Arbor’s birth story is one of a kind, just as unique as her big sisters’ birth stories. Today marks one month since Arbor entered our lives and it feels both like it was light years ago – but also yesterday. The last four weeks have been a blur of messy chaos with sweet newborn snuggles and sleepless nights. Before my labor and delivery becomes as blurry as month one, I want to tell the prelude to Arbor’s birth story. This is only part one… because there is a lot to tell (and I want to remember).
The Prelude to Arbor’s Birth Story
I never thought I would see my due date on December 4, 2021. If you followed my pregnancy closely, then you already know the doctors thought I would go into labor early. I took multiple trips to the Maternal Fetal Medicine specialist for placental abruption monitoring. We also visited the ER on two occasions, one visit I was actually in pre-term labor and having to discuss the possibility of stopping my contractions with medication. By the time I hit 38 weeks, I could not believe we had actually made it that far without meeting our little girl!
When I hit the 38 weeks pregnant milestone, I was already dilated and effaced, as well as having inconsistent contractions. My Midwife performed a cervical sweep the week of Thanksgiving and I thought, “Maybe we will have a turkey baby!” I really didn’t want to give birth over Thanksgiving, but I was willing and ready for the baby to come when she wanted to come.
Fast forward to the week after Thanksgiving. I was not having any significant signs of natural active labor, but did see some promising discharge from the cervical sweep and felt like the baby had dropped a bit more. My OB put my name on the “Induction List” at Yale for that Thursday and performed an aggressive cervical sweep, hoping to put me into labor on my own.
I decided to stop posting live video and photos on social media around this time. We wanted to keep the real time of my labor and delivery private! My close family and friends were the only people who knew I was being induced on December 2nd.
I received the call from the hospital on Wednesday to come in the following morning for an induction. I was SO excited, scared, nervous, etc – you can actually read all of my emotions before having a new baby here. Sadly, my induction was postponed due to a shortage of beds on the labor and delivery at Yale New Haven Hospital. This news hit me HARD the morning I was supposed to be induced. The midwife ensured me I would be up for induction every day – but somehow this order was lost in communication. My name wasn’t flagged as a priority for medical induction and my file was left at the bottom of the pile.
While every bit of me wanted to crawl up in a ball and feel sorry for myself, I forced myself to move along. I tried to find humor where ever it may be hiding.
NOTE: The number and magnitude of emotions that can consume a pregnant woman at the end of her pregnancy is immeasurable. There is very little point in trying to reason with her as well, as everything is heightened. In the big picture, I KNEW that there was a reason the baby had not been born yet. I truthfully believe there is a right time and place for everything, so this is a mantra I tried repeating over and over.
The next day I went to my 40 weeks pregnant appointment and cried to the midwife that I no longer wanted to be pregnant. Every ounce of my body was uncomfortable and mentally – I was sinking to a deep dark place. She was so supportive and comforting, agreeing the end of pregnancy is never pleasant – especially for someone with vulvar varicosities as bad as mine. She performed yet another aggressive membrane sweep, hoping to send me into labor naturally at home over the weekend.
I cannot describe the disappointment and sadness that consumed me over the next FOUR days. Not only did I not feel as if labor was close, but whenever I called the hospital to see if my name was on the induction list and heard NO, my heart would sink a little bit more. My due date came and went, leaving me feeling like I’d never get to meet our new baby.
Family is Everything
(& part of the prelude to the birth story)
My family is amazing in so many ways for so many reasons – but they truly stepped up to the plate the last few days of my pregnancy. The girls were loving and sweet, while Brandon was supportive. My sisters and parents did so much to make me smile – as did my closest friends. I felt love from all corners of my life. Here are some snippets from the days leading up to Arbor’s birth.
What did you do to try to induce labor on your own?
There are so many different ideas as to how to induce labor on your own. Between Arbor, Annabelle, and Ailey, I have tried them ALL. Pineapple, spicy food, sex, nipple stimulation, dates, egglant parmesan, exercise, the birthing ball, cervical membrane sweeps – I’ve been there and done it all.
There are only two ways to induce labor: 1) Pitocin and 2) Let the baby and your body decide when it’s time.
The day before I went into labor I walked over a mile with Brandon around our hilly neighborhood. Is that why I went into labor? NO. I went into labor because my body said, “Here we go!” on the morning of December 6th.
Stay tuned for the real birth story … until then, here is a peek at my text messages with my cousin the morning I went into labor!