The last few weeks of pregnancy, for me, are always filled with quite a bit of labour anxiety. With Stella, it was the fear of the unknown, and with Chloe I was worried the labour would be as long as Stella's. This time around everyone told me that labour with baby #3 was a "wild card", and that stressed me right out, but alas, here is how it all played out.
It was Friday, October 14th, my due date, and we were going about our morning routine when I began to feel mild contractions, followed by some bleeding. I quietly mentioned to Joe that I think I lost my mucus plug. Within seconds Stella was screaming "what's a mucus plug?" across the house - something new she can teach her classmates today I suppose? LOL After drop off I quickly started to finish the last of my errands. My friends and family thought I was nuts but I had things to do - I had to source fabric for The TKL Winter Box LOL. While at the fabric store I had a few strong contractions, but by noon everything came to a hault.
Fast forward to 10:30 PM, the contractions started again. We opted to get some rest since we didn't know how the night would play out, but by 3 AM I couldn't sleep through my contractions. At around 5 AM they were roughly 12 min apart, so I woke Joe up, my sister arrived shortly after (she's been with us for all 3 of my births) and we had my mom on the phone prepping childcare. We decided Joe would drive the girls to her place for the day, since I like to labour at home for as long as possible, and I didn't want the girls to see me in pain.
Over the next few hours my contractions were very irregular - 6-12 min apart, rarely lasting a full minute. I was managing well through each one, however I felt nauseous and I didn't have much of an appetite. If I was walking or standing, the contractions would be more frequent, but if I was sitting or resting, my contractions would slow down - I even managed to take a 30 min nap, which apparently was my bodies way of telling me it was go time! Right after my nap, I gained a big appetite, ate lunch and felt so energized - I even did 3 loads of laundry in an effort to keep moving! It was now 3 PM, the contractions were a bit more consistent - 6 min apart and almost lasting a min - so we called the midwife. After a phone assessment, and a few dreaded contractions in the car (these are the worst!), we arrived at the hospital at 4PM. We were in labour room #5, where we welcomed all of our babies into the world!
First things first, they did an assessment to see how far I progressed. On my way to the hospital I mentioned that if I wasn't at least 7 cm dilated I would feel defeated. Joe and my sister gave me a pep talk that if I was at 5 cm I should feel good that I was half way there, and although I agreed, I was still hoping for lucky #7. To our surprise, I was at 9+ cm!! There was pretty much just a thin layer from my sack of waters that was keeping me from pushing ...CRAZY! I couldn't believe it... I think the midwives were shocked as well, because although they kept their cool, they started moving quite quickly to get everything ready.
I was given the option of breaking my water to get the show on the road but before I could decide, I heard a pop inside (it was so strange), and my water broke right onto the hospital floor. Shortly after things started to feel really intense, and I broke down into tears. For those few moments I felt so weak, and I started to panic but there was no turning back now LoL. A quick pep talk and a few contractions later, I found every last bit of energy left in me, and I felt the urge to push. I remember looking over at my midwife between contractions and saying "you need to make the pain stop, I'm done". She said I could get the baby out the way I was breathing, but if I wanted to speed things up, to try another breathing method, which I can't describe in writing, but it worked!
A few breaths later our little guy made his way earth side at 5:24PM. He was 8lbs 9oz of deliciousness and our biggest baby yet! As I felt his little body wiggle out of mine, I was flooded with tears and I kept saying "Oh my god, we did it. I can't believe we did it!". They instantly placed Jack in my arms, and the first thing I thought when I looked at him was, it's Coco! LOL They look so much alike from the second he was born. Right then and there time slowed down, and we laid skin to skin for over an hour.
Although I had a moment of weakness, throughout my entire labour I felt very calm and I felt that I had finally mastered the breathing techniques I learned in hypnobirthing (we took classes when I was pregnant with Stella). I remember I saw a picture of the girls in the corner of my eye, as I was working through one of my contractions, which stuck with me. When things felt very hard, I would envision that photo, and then our morning affirmations came to mind. Everyday on our way to school we say a series of affirmations and in that moment "I am strong" and "I can do hard things" would play over and over again in my head. Who would've thought that while trying to instil confidence in my girls, I was doing a little something for myself.
Since we're in the care of midwives, I was back home, showered and in my bed, with my squishy new baby by 11PM. The girls slept at my moms that night, and it felt like it did when we brought Stella home for the first time. He even gave us a good 6 hours stretch of sleep that night, which was magical and very much needed for all of us.
On Sunday, Jack met his big sisters who have been loving on him since the moment they laid eyes on him. So far, everyone is adjusting really well, some are whinier than others, but overall we're all doing great. I still can't believe we created 3 beautiful little humans, and I think by baby #3, I've finally learned to embrace this newborn phase, sleepless nights and all!