After my son, Wyatt, was born, I learned no pregnancy is the same and some are harder than others.
My story starts in 1994. After two miscarriages, I became pregnant with my daughter, Hayley. It was a textbook pregnancy: morning sickness, reasonable weight gain, and a brutal 29-hour labor. She was a big baby at nine pounds and 21 inches.
When I became pregnant with Zahra, six months after Hayley was born, I thought I was an expert. I pretty much did my own thing and I had the best time with this pregnancy. She was our Valentine, born February 14, 1996. My best friend, Julie, was with us, and after a very short and fun four-hour labor, we all thought we were experts. Zahra was an even bigger baby at nine pounds, 12 ounces, and 22 inches long!
Then we decided to "go for the boy.” After we made our decision to have another baby, I believe I became pregnant the next day! I had problems from the start. I always felt dizzy and nauseous, and it was not a fun pregnancy. My husband, Conrad, kept saying, “It’s got to be a boy.” I had what my doctor called "implantation bleeding" but the ultrasound technician decided it was my period and added four weeks to my due date. I was disappointed because we wanted a Christmas baby.
I suffered constant back pain and got very large very quickly. People would ask, "Are you getting close?" I was only three months pregnant!
At 27 weeks (or 31, depending on who you asked), labor started. Contractions were very mild but consistently twenty minutes apart. I went to the doctor, but she sent me home and told me to sit in my recliner with my feet elevated for gravity to stop the contractions. Finally, after 22 hours of contractions, they stopped.
On December 19 we went out for lunch. During lunch I had a great deal of pressure and I wasn’t feeling too great. Wyatt had dropped into my pelvis (which doesn't happen with third babies, my doctor said). I was ordered not to have this baby at 30½ weeks. I was obedient; uncomfortable, but obedient.
The first week of January was not fun. Zahra had the chicken pox and I was almost two centimeters dilated. Since chicken pox can harm an unborn baby, my doctor ordered Zahra be removed from the house. So, we sent Hayley and Zahra to Daniel’s house where they stayed for a week, while Wyatt happily nestled in my pelvis.
I spent the next three weeks at three centimeters and I experienced leaking. Then labor really started January 31, 1998, at 4:02 AM. When the contractions were seven minutes apart I woke Conrad. He told me to wake him when they were five minutes apart. I said, "Wake up now." When contractions were four minutes apart, we called the doctor who told us to meet him at the hospital.
At 8:30 AM Julie, Conrad, and I arrived at the hospital. My contractions had stopped and I was very depressed. The midwife checked me and said I was six centimeters. She recommended walking, which we did for an hour, and then I decided to take a nap while Conrad and Julie went to get some breakfast. My doctor decided to break my water instead of letting me nap and then she too, went for breakfast.
Julie had a violent allergic reaction to her breakfast and she went down to emergency for treatment. As she was leaving, I demanded, “Don’t you dare miss this birth.” She had been present at Hayley's and Zahra's births.
Labor really started rocking after my water broke. The midwife said Wyatt would be born before noon. I used the gas to cope with the hard contractions (I highly recommend it, though it's not for everyone). I was talking very calmly with the support team and then I yelled, "Get somebody! I have to push now!" I pushed for about an hour, Julie returned from the ER, and at 1:46 PM Wyatt was born weighing nine pounds, 10 ounces, and he was 22 inches long. He was a little purple but recovered quickly.
Wyatt is now 14 months old and he is an absolute joy!