I didn’t intend on sharing Leo’s birth story, but so many of you kept asking, so here we go… Before I get into the nitty gritty, I want you to know that if you’re struggling with infertility, miscarriage or making a family in the way you always dreamed about, I am thinking of you. You are always in my thoughts when I share about our new baby and our journey to get here. It’s been a long 4 plus years trying (6 years between our children) and I can honestly tell you, this baby, our sweet Leo, has healed parts of me that I truly didn’t know needed healing. So friend, if you are reading this and can relate, just know you aren’t alone in your journey and it won’t be forever.
Now the nitty gritty deets that you all want …
Leo’s due date was August 10th. Our daughter was at the cabin with my parents and had been for a about a week when August 10th came and went. I was missing her so much, the house was clean, I had done all the crazy nesting organizing and was just READY. Ready to meet our sweet babe and move on to the next chapter. Just ask my neighbours, they saw me walking around the block 2 to 3 times per day trying to get things moving/pass the time. Even though we didn’t find out the gender, most people guessed it would be a boy and I was pretty convinced they were right because he was taking his sweet a#$ time, just like his father does 😉
After two nights of false labour I was getting pretty tired. I had contacted the maternity nurse at the hospital (yay for small towns) because I had passed a small clot that I was worried about. After feeling uneasy about it, I decided to go get checked at the hospital the following morning. The nurse had suggested to go in on day shift (after 7am), as it was close to 6am by the time I called back.
Photo taken at 40 weeks, just 4 days before Leo was born.
It took a bit for the doctor to rupture my membranes and by the time he was done I was dilated to about 5cm! I was then hooked up to the monitors and they monitored my contractions for about half hour. Contractions had started on their own, but were irregular, then they gave me half a dose of misoprostol (it’s just a pill). When I heard the name of the drug it rang a bell because I also took it to complete my first miscarriage. I thought to myself, I’ve come full circle!
Things are a little foggy, but I think once I took the pill I was monitored for another half hour. My contractions were getting stronger, but still bearable. Everything was going well so as soon as the time was up, they took the monitor off, then I was able to get up. I tried being on the exercise ball for a bit, then tried the shower. Apparently labour and water just ain’t my thing, so back to the exercise ball it was. At that point I felt like I needed something for the pain so I tried the laughing gas. It didn’t seem very long where I was labouring on the exercise ball, leant over the bed, inhaling as much gas as I could (haha), and then I felt so much pressure. I finally caught my breath so I could tell the nurse and I screamed something along the lines of “I think it’s coming!” and “and I feel like I’m pooping!” The nurse quickly checked for baby’s head and next thing I know she picks up the phone calling for the doctor.
They managed to help me on the bed, a midwife came in (I’m thinking she must have been in the hall because she was there right away) and as I’m on the bed I can hear the nurse say, “I don’t think she’s pushing,” and I was sure to pipe up, “I’m not pushing!!” That baby was coming out on his own time! Minutes later my doctor and his resident came in and then I actually started pushing. At one point I remember my doctor saying, in his very calm voice, “Jackie, I think that contraction is done now, you can take off the gas and just breathe.” Haha, clearly I couldn’t get enough… And what felt like only a few pushes, out came our boy at 12:48pm, just two hours after taking the misoprostol! Leo Joseph Lindsay. Weighing 8lbs 9oz and 21″ long.
He was extra slimy and had a blood shot eye because he came so fast, but still so perfect! It was like all my worries were gone. The biggest relief I have ever felt.
As I’m laying on the bed, skin to skin with our sweet baby boy, the placenta now passed, I felt a big gush. Then another one. I knew immediately … and I said to the nurse, “is there supposed to be a lot of blood?” She quickly checked me and the next thing I know they’re putting an IV in and the doctor pulled out a clot the size of a baseball. Having haemorrhaged once before (my first miscarriage), I knew that postpartum haemorrhage was a very real possibility. I am just so thankful for the nurses and doctors and their immediate care to lessen the bleeding.
And this friends, is why I’m glad I wore the hospital gown. There was so much blood, I went through about 3 or 4 different ones that day. And also why I’m glad I didn’t have my own pillow or anything else that I would have to take home and clean blood off of! Someone had suggested to take my own towels because the ones at the hospital are so small. While this is true and much larger and softer towels would have been ideal, I would have then have had to deal with the cleaning when I got home, which is the last thing a new mom needs, more laundry!
I’ll share my list of things I took to the hospital below.
I almost didn’t share this photo because it is far from flattering, but this is postpartum! I was still swollen (as you can clearly see) and we were both TIRED, but this is real life and we were so happy to bring our sweet boy home to meet his big sister.
The next few days at home were so amazing. After gone through such a long journey to get to this point I was just so happy. So relieved. So thankful. Nothing else seemed to matter. As I am writing this a month later, the tiredness is starting to sink in and more of the reality of having a baby, but I am still so so grateful.
A few other things – I didn’t have any real tearing, but I did love the padsicles – they helped for the haemorrhoids… I also noticed my abdomen was super sore afterwards and when I asked the doctor at my next check up he had said I had a hernia, which is not uncommon and will also more than likely heal on it’s own. Although it was quite tender for the first week, it seemed to go away quickly and it hasn’t bothered me since, knock on wood! The baby blues and crazy up and down hormones were very real following my first birth, with my daughter, however I have not had the same experience this time around. My husband was home for the first month, which helped make things less overwhelming, especially transitioning to two kids, however I feel like these emotions are yet to come! Or at least, I am not ruling it out once I’m on my own more and things are a little more challenging. For now, I am keeping my daily goals very simple, like making sure we have supper!
Your (Instagram) Questions Answered…
Q1. Was it intimidating or uncomfortable with the COVID precaution?
A1. No. We had to wear a mask going up to the third floor in the hospital, but did not have to wear a mask in our room. For us, we were only allowed one other person in the room, that was my husband, but we were totally fine with this. It would have been nice for our daughter to come up to meet her brother right away, but not the end of the world! We were also allowed a doula, if we wanted, but we didn’t go that route. So basically the only thing I really noticed was that all the nurses and doctors had masks on, no visitors were allowed and we weren’t really supposed to leave the room. However, we did not plan on staying when we first just went to get checked out, so my husband did leave at one point to get our luggage and car seat and maybe Subway 😉
Q2. Was it different than what I was expecting?
A2. To be honest I tried not to have any specific expectations, but one thing I did expect was for it to be quick. When I gave birth to my daughter things happened quickly once they got going and I remember the nurse then, saying to me that if I had another it would come quick. But I didn’t think I would go in and have my membranes ruptured and it be 2 hours quick. I don’t know what anyone can anticipate those things! And as far as it being “natural” or not, what was most important to me was that it went smoothly and doing whatever it took (that was in my control), to make that happen.
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