Ryan – 11 lbs 8.6 oz

“My last baby was born right at 9 lbs even, so I figured this one would be around the same. I was extremely surprised when I birthed this 11 lb 8.6 oz baby boy (med-free) yesterday morning! He’s simply precious and I couldn’t love anything more!

This is the story of our 5th babys’ birth. My first two babies were born in the hospital (baby #1 came 6 weeks early and baby #2 was an elective induction after a very emotionally and physically difficult pregnancy), my third baby was born in the water at a freestanding birth center, and my fourth baby was born in the water at home.

With this baby, we had planned to have another homebirth. We had all our supplies in order and were just waiting for out little man to decide it was time to come meet us! 40 weeks came and went, just as I expected it to. I hit 41 weeks on a Sunday and while I was certainly ready to meet our little guy and feeling all the discomforts of late pregnancy, I found it neat to be able to say that I had made it to 41 weeks. Very few women these days can say that. We all went to church that morning and after making it home, I noticed bloody show for the first time! I decided to make a last trip to the grocery store before welcoming baby. I started feeling very light contractions throughout the store, but still wasn’t convinced I’d meet baby that day as with my previous babies, it was usually up to 3 days after seeing bloody show before labor started in earnest. Got home and after a few high blood pressure readings, decided to go lay down for a bit just to see if it would go down and if the contractions would stop (since they really weren’t getting really strong, though a bit stronger than earlier in the afternoon). When my husband woke me up an hour later to check my blood pressure, I stood up and felt wetness. Went to the bathroom, and there was dark red blood covering at least half the pantiliner. It was also dripping into the toilet and I soaked through another pantiliner within a minute or two of standing up again. Took my blood pressure and it was 149/100, which was considerably higher than any of my others. At that point, we just didn’t feel comfortable birthing at home, so I had my husband call his dad to come over to stay with the kids at our house overnight (since it was already 1130pm and they were all out) and we got a quick bag together and headed up to the hospital.

Upon arrival at the hospital around midnight, the contractions were getting more moderate in strength and I could tell they were coming closer together. I had soaked through another pantiliner on the way to the hospital, but they didn’t seem concerned about the bleeding for some reason. I told them this wasn’t normal for me at all and I’ve never had bleeding like that during labor, but all they asked was if anyone had mentioned previa or anything placenta related to me in the pregnancy, which they hadn’t, so they didn’t even follow up with me on that. But, we went to this specific hospital because I had heard they were the most natural friendly in the area, and they sure did live up to that reputation. After the first initial hour of monitoring, they took it off and only checked heart tones once every hour or two. I told them I didn’t want an IV, but since my GBS status was unknown (didn’t test for it this pregnancy) they did put in a hep lock and gave one round of antibiotics. I was never made to lay flat on my back for any reason and I kept the bed upright and in the ‘chair position’ the entire time. They brought in a birth ball for me to use, but it was too short and not comfortable at all. There was a rocking chair in there, too, but I didn’t use it. I truly felt the most comfortable staying still and listening to my hypnobirthing CD. The hospital had a CD player built into one of the cabinets, so that was nice. My poor husband hadn’t slept at all and I only had one hour of rest, so we were both dozing the entire labor. But, the nurses were really great in respecting our wishes for everything and basically leaving us be while I labored.

For the last hour or so, I was really getting irritated with my body. I could feel the pressure in my behind, but that urge to push just wasn’t coming and the contractions were SUPER intense. I still hadn’t made any noise during the labor, just breathing very deeply through each contraction and every nurse that came in asked if I always labored so calmly. If only they knew how intense it was! Either way, probably around 10am I was just really getting frustrated with the pressure but no urge to push. I told my husband that I bet the reason why things weren’t progressing any farther at that point was due to my positioning and that if I went to the bathroom (which I felt I needed to do) then I would surely start pushing and have the baby over the toilet. After my next contraction just sitting on the bed, I decided to try and make it up. Sure enough, as soon as I stood up, a contraction hit me and my body immediately started pushing. I managed to get my hand over to the nurse call button (poor husband just kept asking, “What’s wrong?” lol) and all I could manage to get out was a grunt of “I’m pushing”. I was leaning over and clinging onto one of those short swivel dr’s chairs while my body just kept pushing. Within seconds, about 5 doctors/residents/med students were in the room and they had thrown a big sheet over the floor where I was. They kept saying that I needed to try and get back up into the bed, but I just couldn’t move for the next few contractions, and thankfully, they did not force me in any way. I finally managed to stand up straight between contractions and get back into the seat-positioned bed. Pushing in that position was nice. At one point, one of the residents asked if they could lay me back a bit more and I shot her a death look and said that no, it wasn’t comfortable at all, so they left me alone. As is typical for me, my contractions spaced out a bit during the pushing phase, but it was maybe only 4 contractions later and I felt that ring of fire (I SWORE I was tearing front and back it burned/hurt so bad, not to mention that I was already worried about tearing since I wasn’t birthing in the water like I did with my last two) and my body just kept using the contraction to push the rest of him out. We welcomed our little man into the world at 10:29am. What a RELIEF! They gave him right to me on my chest and he immediately started crying. They left the cord to finish pulsating for a few minutes and I just sat there talking to him. I think my first words to him were, “Well, hello there precious boy!” and I just kept stroking his face. Even in those first few minutes, the nurses were all commenting on how big he looked, but he really didn’t seem like much more than my last baby was when she came out, so I had NO idea how big he was. I was thinking *maybe* 9 lbs like my last. I pushed a few minutes later and out came the placenta, and all the while I just got to hold and get to know my little man.

Maybe 15-20 minutes after the birth and I was completely cleaned up ‘down there’, my husband took baby Ryan over to the pedi nurse to have him checked and weighed while I got a few crackers and juice. They did a bit of oxygen because he looked blue in the face, but it actually turned out to be bruising from the quick birth. They also did a bit of suctioning because there was mec in there. A few of the nurses were hanging out to see how much he weighed. The main pedi nurse said before putting him on the scale, “Oh, I’m going to guess 11 lbs” and I said, “No way. Maybe 9-10 lbs, but he can’t be 11 lbs”. She set him on the scale, gave it a minute to stabilize the readout, and amid all the gasps she exclaimed “I’m right! He’s 11 lbs 8.6 oz! WOW!” You seriously could’ve knocked me over with a feather. There was no way I could have imagined he was really that big! All the nurses said that was the biggest they have attended the birth of, and while I’m not sure that’s entirely correct, I am very happy that the birth went so smoothly with such a ‘big’ baby. And one last note…upon inspection of my perineum after the birth, the attendants didn’t even find as much as a ‘skid mark’ from the birth. Absolutely no tearing!

We CAN birth ‘big babies’!!!”

~Leslie T. W.

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