Life doesn’t always go the way that we think it will. My pregnancy went so well especially since I am 40 now. I really was not overly miserable and no major complaints just my normal heartburn. I did end up with carpel tunnel which we think the milking brought on so I had to quit milking. Towards the end of my pregnancy the baby did move down low enough that my midwife recommended not lifting anything over 10 pounds and being careful.
After returning from my trip to Arizona my blood pressure was showing a higher lower number than my usual. I run more towards low blood pressure so she had me start monitoring my blood pressure at home with her extra stethoscope and monitor. The reading we were getting indicated that I had a low pulse point. My midwife recommended that we get an ultrasound to make sure the baby was ok. We also got a new blood pressure monitor. We think the low pressure point readings were just from human error.
So on December 16th we had an ultrasound at another midwife’s office. (Now something else you should know…my cycles are not normal. I have never fit the wheel but I track my cycles and have been very accurate in my calculations of due dates based on when I believe we conceived each of our children.) Based on my LMP my due date would have been December 15th but my midwife and I had agreed to a due date of December 30th. Well, the ultrasound showed that I was only at 33 weeks gestation!
Everyone became very concerned that we could have an IUGR baby (Intra Uterine Growth Restricted). My midwife and another midwife there highly recommended we get in to see a doctor to find out what was going on. So on December 18th (our anniversary) we had an appointment with the doctor. Again they found nothing wrong with the baby but they also measured the baby to be 33 weeks. The doctor was convinced that we were just wrong about the due date (he believed we were due between January 15th and February 1st) and scheduled us for followup ultrasounds and baby monitoring every week through January 7th when he said that if everything still looked good he would clear us for a home birth but if I went into labor before that he recommended a hospital birth. There is just no way he could be right about the due date considering when we had a positive pregnancy test and when we heard the heartbeat.
It was such an emotional week! I was a wreck. My husband was going between calm, everything is going to be okay to angry at the doctor who wouldn’t listen to us. On Sunday night my husband and I had a long talk about not wanting to live in fear and just trust that God and my body knew when the time was right for this baby to be born and if it had to happen in the hospital we would just have to work through that. At least my midwife could still act as a doula and be there with us and just maybe we could have proof of growth and the baby would wait until after the 30th in which case our midwife would be willing to deliver us at home. I also ate as many calories as I possibly could this week! Bring on the ice cream!
On Monday, December 22nd I had my weekly midwife appointment. I gained 3 pounds and my midwife could tell that the baby had grown since the week before. We talked about our plans and we both felt pretty good about our plan and told the baby to stay put for another week 🙂
Tuesday, December 23rd my tummy felt like a tight ball the whole day. My midwife thought it was probably just Braxton Hicks and to just take it easy. So I crossed off several of things on my list and just made 1 batch of cookies with the kids, watched a Christmas movie and took a nap. I fell asleep around 9:30 pm that night. I woke up about 12:45 am with heartburn and a contraction. I went to the bathroom and had another contraction, and then another. I downloaded a contraction timing app and kept track until 2 am. I was having contractions about every 5 minutes for about 1 minute. I woke up my husband and then called the midwife. I packed a bag for the hospital and tried to wrap my mind around the idea of having this baby at the hospital (only my first baby was born at the hospital and I was induced with her). My husband was concerned that I was moving faster along than normal but I didn’t think so. I called the midwife to come at his request. By the time she got here at 3:30 am I was in pretty serious labor. She wanted to check me and found I was at 7 cm!! I couldn’t believe it! And I knew we had to leave immediately! (I move very fast from 7 to 10 cm.)
It took us probably 20 minutes to get me to the car through my contractions. Thankfully there wasn’t much traffic. I started to have pushing sensations although I didn’t really realize it at the time. I consciously decided to be alert in the car and not check out (which afterwards I realized was another sign that I already was past transition). When we got to the hospital it took me a great deal of will to take the step over the threshold into the building. (I hear the security guard looked rather worried.)
We signed in the birth center at the hospital at 4:16 am. I gave birth to 8potato at 4:34 am. She was a tiny little baby weighing in at 5 pounds 12 ounces. (My smallest before this was 6 pounds 9 ounces and my last baby was 8 pounds 4 ounces.) She was full term but there were 2 knots in her cord. My midwife is convinced that the knots were the cause of her small size.
We tried to be nice and respectful but turned down almost everything they wanted us to do at the hospital. The attending doctor was especially disturbed that we refused pitocin after birth for me. My babies always do a great job of nursing and helping my uterus return to its normal size. I didn’t want any extra drugs in my system! It took us 11 hours and signing “Against Medical Advice” documents but we were able to get home by 4 pm on Christmas Eve to share our best Christmas gift ever with her siblings.
We still aren’t sure if the hospital birth was necessary but we are so grateful for this little doll baby and that she is perfectly healthy. We are sure that she was covered in prayers in that last week before she was born and praise God for his mercy and the love he has shown towards us in this very special gift that is a reminder of the even bigger gift he has bestowed on us with his Son.