the birth story of Iris Miriam

22 July 2020

I think it could actually and aptly be called, "the birth blip" if one were to compare her earth entrance to the odysseys of some of her siblings. Not to name names but ahem ... Theo, Phoebe, and Abe.

So, don't blink or you'll miss it.

Laughs.

Knee slaps.

We all know I can make a short story go the length of an unabridged War and Peace.

So, here we go.

Where were we? Let's start at 38 weeks and change and some good old fashioned prodromal labor. Nothing I wasn't used to but since I'd been hanging out at 3cm and 80% effaced for a few weeks my OB (whom I love) was shocked all the contractions hadn't kicked things into gear. Simon was so sure I'd have the baby around 39 weeks (as I'd done six times before ... ) that he'd rescheduled all of his surgery patients (not a simple thing with the covid testing prior to surgery etc etc) and I was getting worried that he'd be back to work as usual once the baby did come. So, in the interest of Simon being at the delivery and not going beyond 40 weeks because I was trying for a VBAC (post Clement) my OB decided to schedule an induction for 39 weeks and 1 day.

In the hopes of not having another OP baby and running the risk of pushing for three hours during a VBAC I sought out the care of a wonderful chiropractor in town. My experience with chiropractic care was limited to one visit where I was hoping to get some relief from a stubborn migraine (well over a year ago) and I did! It was amazing. However, I'd heard and read such great things about chiropractic care during pregnancy and really wish I'd gone sooner than I did. She was confident we could ensure a well positioned baby for delivery and my hopes were up VERY high that she was right. I didn't even think about the lower back relief that would come with the adjustments or the headache she was able to cure (pop?) on the spot. I only went to three or four adjustments before Iris was born but they made a huge difference in how much better I felt physically approaching labor.

My hilarious friend Fran also told me to load up on dates starting at 35 weeks to help shorten labor. I put several in a few smoothies a couple times a week and while many naysayers would laugh I don't doubt that they helped.

Alright. Induction day! I know things like inductions and epidurals and Pitocin can have a bad reputation in the birth story world but I'm hear to shed a positive light on all three. Clutch your pearls if you must. 98% of my labor anxiety (which is ... minimal) is wondering what I'd do with the kids when I went into labor with no warning (unlikely but ... still) so having it on the books and someone (thank you Mom and Hemma!!) there to watch the kids was really quite nice. We got there at 6am (despite sleeping through my alarm which I have done maybe twice in my life), masked and ready to roll. I had my IV in and Pitocin started by 7:30am. Since I was attempting a VBAC the Pitocin dose had a limit and while I don't think I ever hit that limit -  the tick tock of the clock was definitely dancing pretty in the back of my head. My nurse was wonderful - as most labor and delivery nurses (I've had!) tend to be. We FaceTimed the kids and told them hopefully the baby would be here by dinner time.

The details are already fuzzy but I think my doctor came and broke my water around 8:30. I was still only at about a 4 and maybe 90% effaced. The resident came in an hour later and called me, "a 4.5" and Simon and I looked at each other and I started to worry ever so slightly that I wouldn't make any progress and I'd be having another c-section (not the end of the world! Just wasn't looking to go through that recovery again ... ). My nurse kept telling me to say the word when I wanted my epidural and while I wasn't in a ton of pain at all with the frequent contractions - I was definitely getting more and more uncomfortable (starting to sweat and curl my toes) and when she reminded me first I'd need a bag of fluid I said -- let's just go ahead and do it. And we did. I had a wonderful nurse anesthetist and a wonderful epidural (could still feel and move my legs but no pain). Simon and I were SO sure that I was having a boy (her heart rate was super low throughout the pregnancy which isn't a proven theory - it was proof enough for me and my late night Google searches) that we hadn't nailed down a middle name in the event we had a girl.

We decided to toss around some girl middle names and decided we wanted to go the Marian route and I was super surprised Simon agreed to Miriam because he normally goes through a, "no way ... maybe ... I'll think about ... maybe ... I don't know ... I guess ... maybe ... okay!" song and dance when I suggest any name at all. So, easy peasy.

Around 11:10 Simon noticed a heart rate decel and the resident came in to check my progress and asked if I was feeling any pressure. I said sort of but .. not really because I tend to exaggerate any pain of any kind and while I felt some pressure - it didn't really feel like the baby was about to come out. Fully expecting for her to call me a, "4.75" she said I was at a 7 as my doctor walked in from her clinic across the street. She decided to check too and said I was an 8 and we were, "about to have this baby" as she started gearing up with a gown.

I nervously chuckled behind my mask.

I had told her time and time again my lengthy pushing history and tried to protest because she hadn't been around for my requisite three hour pushing parties. How many patients had she left in clinic rooms across the street? They were in for a long wait. I got ready to push and she said I would have the baby with my next contraction.

Bold claim and I believed her 0%.

But, she was right! A couple of pushes and one contraction and out she came at exactly 11:25am! Simon looked at me with a look that I thought meant, "you were right!" and we had a boy but he then said, "it's a GIRL" and I'm pretty sure I started crying tears of disbelief. We would've been thrilled to add to our pack of boys and how fun for Clement to have two brothers so close in age? But, Phoebe and Julia really really wanted another sister and I was so happy for them.

They kept saying that was such a big baby but put her right on my chest and she started nursing almost immediately and didn't stop for a solid two hours. It made for some awkward FaceTime calls to our family as they wanted to see her face but we couldn't wait to share the news. The girls were so excited and the boys seemed happy but later both Bosco and Sebastian had to ask what we named her so ... happy but distracted, I guess.

Eventually she allowed us to break her away from her food source to be weighed and bathed. They were so certain she was in the 90th percentile for weight and that we'd have to monitor her blood sugar but since she was, "just" 8 pounds and 5 ounces (my second biggest after Abe) - she managed to escape the many heel pricks.

We we're moved to my postpartum room and I think I figuratively held my breath until we were discharged the next day after Clement spent a week in the NICU (no time at all compared to so many other babies but a week nearly did my in). When we pulled in the driveway from the hospital the kids had allll climbed in the car before I could even get her out of her carseat - they were SO excited to meet her.

She's been a great eater, sleeper, and all around wonderful addition to our family.


The end!

11 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. I am so happy for your family! Iris is so super cute. I am pregnant with #4 and having such bad lower back pain so I may try your chiropractor trick. So elated for you that you had a VBAC that even went more smoothly than your pre-C v-births! Anomaly!
    Also if you are looking for late-night nursing television (although you may have her on a through the night schedule already I guess...), I can strongly recommend Indian Matchmaking on Netflix, an excellent stand in while the bachelor is on delay/repeat.

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    1. Congratulations!! Love on the Spectrum is also a great binge.

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  3. I’ve been eagerly waiting for this! Dates in smoothies gave me a one contraction baby too. Now I’ll eagerly await Fran’s next birth story!

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  4. Chiro care is so great during pregnancy! I had it throughout pregnancies #2-4 after having to have a C-section with my first baby. Those deliveries were textbook, and barely pushed at all with babies 3 and 4! So glad she made it easy for you!

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  5. Congratulations and what a great birth story! Totally get what you mean by holding your breath until discharge. My third baby was in the NICU for 7 weeks and my fourth, born at 39 weeks, had to stay unexpectedly for 2 nights! I felt like I was stealing something when I finally got to drive home with him ��.

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  6. I’ve been waiting for this post.... no shame. I am so happy you were able to do a successful VBAC and no NICU! She is such a beauty! Congrats Patton family!

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  7. Cobgratulations!! I have always loved your birth stories (and now Fran's too, after your tip off who knows how long ago) and always look forward to them! Blessings and prayers for you and your fam!

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  8. Oh this was the beeeeest. I am so happy for you that the pushing was so easy this time- praise God!! She is just so perfect.

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  9. So I'm a HUGE believer in chiropractic care during and after pregnancy. And I have been induced for all 4 boys and had no issues. And no drugs for labor after my first one. Easy peasy. So in my mind, although I know people have issues, pitocin gets a bad rap!

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  10. Yay!! For another Patton in this world and so glad you did not have too rough of a delivery.

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