Meet Theodore Leo

After being induced with Claire, I had really high hopes of being able to go into labor on my own with Teddy. While Claire's labor and delivery (read about it here) was an amazingly, beautiful experience, it was incredibly intense due to the Pitocin.

This is very lengthy! Sorry in advance.

The day before
Claire and I drove to my 39 week appointment on Wednesday afternoon, all by ourselves. Typically Matt would come with us but he has been on steady daylights and couldn't make it to this appointment. To be honest, I wasn't worried about it at all. I had a feeling that I was going to go past my due date, just like I did with Claire.

I thought it would be a good idea to put Claire in her stroller while we were in the doctor's office. She's a busy body and since I was going to have my midwife sweep my membranes, I thought it was the smartest thing to do.

We checked in and headed to the bathroom to give my urine sample. Claire had a couple little snacks and watched some Tom and Jerry while we waited to be called back. After about ten minutes the nurse called us back and started our check-up.

To my surprise, my blood pressure was high. Like 160/100 high. WHOA! How on earth could it be so high? I wasn't feeling stressed at all. As a matter of fact, I felt pretty great. I told the nurse how Jen was going to be sweeping my membranes and she laughed and said, "Really? She did another patient's yesterday and she delivered this morning!"

After hearing  that, I was officially looking forward to my procedure! I immediately started praying it would help get my body ready to go into labor by itself.

After the nurse left, my midwife came in. She started the appointment off by sweeping my membranes. Wow. It was painful. I remember it being uncomfortable when she preformed it last time ( when I was 40 weeks pregnant with Claire) but holy cow! Oww weeee! She told me I was only 1 cm and that my cervix was really posterior. Hence the reason it hurt so bad. She said I was softening up nicely but didn't think I was going to be going into labor anytime soon.

SHOOT! Not what I wanted to hear! I mean, I was ready to be done with this pregnancy. It's been a very healthy pregnancy but I was just ready to meet my little guy.

We discussed my blood pressure and she was a little concerned. My urine wasn't showing any traces of protein, so that was good. She wanted the nurse to check it again before we headed over to labor/delivery for a NST. So my midwife left and the nurse came back in. My blood pressure came down a titch, but was still too high for comfort.

I got dressed and made the two minute trip down the road to the hospital. We registered and headed up to maternity. They got me hooked up to the monitors immediately. Since I couldn't chase Claire around the room, she chilled out in her stroller and played, ate, and chattered away.
Teddy looked fantastic! Thank God! My blood pressure, on the other hand, did not. It was still high. My midwife and I were hoping that after I settled down a little, it would come down, but it wasn't and I was starting to get a little nervous. They took me off the monitors so I could give another urine sample, along with some bloodwork.

Claire and I played while we waited. By this time it was 3:30. My first appointment started at 1:15. Claire had only had an hour nap and neither of us had eaten lunch. I called the nurse and she brought us some graham crackers. So we snacked on those while we waited for my results to come back.

Bloodwork came back just fine. Urine. Um, not so much. In the two hours since I gave my first sample in the doctors office, protein started to accumulate in my urine. Not a good sign.

After a little wait, my midwife showed up and discussed that I would most likely be staying the night and being induced in the morning. She was sure that this was all a sign of pre-eclampsia. She left us alone while she called the ob and came back with the official news: I was going to be induced. I called Matt and he left work. He had to stop at home and shower and pick up my bags. I called my mother who immediately left work and headed straight to the hospital (a 3 hour drive).


As much as I wanted to meet this little guy, I was not looking forward to the induction itself. The good news was that I wasn't going to get the pitocin until the following morning. The plan was to have cervidil inserted and then start the pitocin in the am if my cervix did what it was supposed to do (soften and dilate). If not, another round of cervidil would be given and then pitocin would be started 12 hours afterwards.

Okay, seriously, I was frightened. I mean, I.was.scared. I was afraid I wouldn't respond to either rounds of cervidil and that the pitocin wouldn't work and then I would end up with a c-section. Surgery scares the crap out of me.
Anyways, Claire and I were moved to a delivery suite, the room where my darling Teddy bear was going to be born (hopefully). Nurses came in and went through all my paperwork, got my hep-loc placed, and went through the plan again. After we were "settled" Claire wrecked havoc by squealing and giggling and scattering all her toys around the room (thank God I brought her "hospital toy bag" with us).

It was about 6:15 when Matt finally arrived. I was exhausted. Claire had been such a good little girl, especially given the circumstances, but she is busy and she hadn't had a good meal since breakfast. Not to mention the fact that she was gettig tired.

My midwife came in around 6:30 and inserted the cervidil. I had to lay flat on my back for 2 hours in order for it to comform to my body. It was dreadful. My lower back had hurt for so long and that 2 hours on my back was hell. After that, I would be able to get up and move around as normal. I had to have this in for 12 hours. She told me that 2/10 women go into labor after cervidil is placed, and that 2 out of the remaining 8 usually had to have another one. She wished me well and told me to have the nurses call if I needed anything. She said she'd be back in the morning to take it out and see how I progressed.

My mom arrived around 7:30 and hung out a while before taking Claire home. Matt and I sat and talked about what the next day was going to bring. I told him my fears and he eased them, like always. He ordered some pizza and we sat in our room and ate as parents of one for the last time.

I decided to take a hot bath so I could get myself calm and relaxed because I knew I needed lots of rest for the day to come. The nurse came in and started my bath. After ten minutes or so she came back to check on it when she noticed the water was a yellowish-brown. Umm... no thanks! She immediately switched my room and got the other bath started for me. No discolored water this time!

Shortly after I got out, my mom called and asked to speak to Matt. Uh oh. That couldn't be good. Come to find out, the tank on the back of our downstairs toilet had cracked and there was water all over our downstairs hallway, closet, and down into our laundry room.


I assured Matt that I would be fine and told him that he should go home and help my mom clean up and get some rest himself. He did as I asked... happy wife, happy life ;)

I settled down and watched a little tv. I snacked on some graham crackers and ginger ale. I finally passed out around 11:30.

My nurse came in to check on Teddy's heart rate around 2:30. I had been able to fall asleep all the other times she came in but I noticed a couple of contractions and I made myself stay awake to see if they were consistent. They were just little contractions, but stronger than the Braxton hicks that I've been experiencing for weeks on end. It seemed to me like they were semi-regular and when I realized that, I couldn't sleep. No way!

Could it be true?! Could my body be going into labor?! It seemed too good to be true. I watched the hours go by. I was running on adrenaline and while I knew it wouldn't last forever, I couldn't ignore what was going on with my body. I was far too excited and nervous and anxious. I wanted to get out of bed and start walking the halls. I knew I couldn't because I had to be monitored at all times while the cervidil was still intact.

At 6, my nurse came in and removed the cervidil. She confirmed that my contractions were definitely following a pattern and that they were getting regular and stronger. She measured me and said she thought I was 1.5 cm. She expressed that my cervix had come forward and that it was nice and soft. Looks like the medicine did it's job. Waahoo!

I had to lay down and be monitored for 20 minutes but after that I was allowed to get up and move around. First, I called Matt and told him what was going on and that he had better get his butt in gear. Knowing my midwife would be there soon, I got a quick shower and waited for the two of them to arrive. I got my ipad out and started jamming and bouncing on the medicine ball. I was determined to get this labor on the road.

And so it begins
My midwife arrived around 7:15 and I asked her if we could skip the Pitocin (because I felt like I was progressing beautifully on my own). She happily obliged. While I bounced, two of us talked for a while.

Goodness I love that woman!!

Matt arrived shortly after and after talking, we decided to check my progress. From 6:00 to 8:00, I had dilated (from 1.5 cm) to almost 4 cm! I was thrilled.

She asked me if I wanted her to break my water. She told me that she thought it would help get things moving along and since I wanted to avoid Pitocin, I agreed. After that interesting event (omg, it felt like I was peeing myself) my midwife left to see her patients at her office. My contractions got noticeably stronger almost immediately.

I continued to bounce on the ball. I loved having the upbeat music- it helped me focus. I concentrated on each and every contraction. In between them, I texted friends and family and that took my mind off the impending wave.

It was when I started to get really uncomfortable and had to focus my breathing, that I decided to hop in the tub. Laboring in the tub is incredible. It's relaxing and helped me focus on my body. During each contraction, Matt held the hand-held shower head on my belly button and it relieved a lot of the discomfort. I started to get over heated so I got out. The nurse came in to check lil man's heart and my blood pressure. Teddy looked great and my blood pressure was super high.

I had to get into bed for twenty minutes so she could get a trace of his heart rate. She thought that laying down may help my blood pressure. Once again, baby bear looked fantastic! However, my blood pressure wasn't. She let me get back in the tub. This time, I sat width wise in the tub (instead of length-wise). I rested my head on the back and slouched down indian-style to keep my pelvis as open as possible.

Through each contraction, Matt was there telling me how amazing I was doing, all while holding the shower head on my belly button.  He is such an amazing birth doula!

Believe me when I say that this labor was the most incredible experience in my entire life. I mean, I could actually feel my precious baby move through the birth canal. It was unbelievable. Absolutely amazing.

I continued telling myself that my baby was coming into the world and each contraction brought me closer to meeting him. I told myself that my body is strong and it knows exactly what it is doing. Birth affirmations, anyone? I breathed in slowly through my nose and out slowly through my mouth. Pushing/breathing the pain away with each exhale.

It was about 10:30 when my midwife came back in to check on me. I was getting super strong contractions, but nothing like I had experienced with Claire's labor. She had me hop out of the tub and she checked me once more. I had asked the nurse to run me a new bath because it was getting kinda funky. If you've had a baby before, you know what I'm talking about.

I was 6-7 cms this time. I felt slightly disappointed and very nervous because I knew that transition was coming and I knew it was the hardest part of labor. They had me lay down for 10 minutes to get another trace on Teddy. Being on my back was terrible. It was this position that brought back labor, something that is far more painful (in my opinion) than any contraction. My midwife said she had 3 more patients to see and that she would be back in about 45 minutes. She left and I got out of bed and started heading back to the tub.

At this point, the contractions had intensified by one thousand and I was trying to figure out how to be most comfortable during each one. Once I made it to the bathroom, I leaned over onto a little chair and held onto it's handles and squatted as far down as I could... though my knees were barely bent. I did this for 3 or 4 contractions.

I remember my nurse standing in my room, doing something... I don't know what. But I screamed. Oh no! OMG! I HAVE TO PUSH! I grunted and cried. I groaned and my body pushed instinctively, all on it's own.

My nurse told me to try to hold back my pushes and she ran out the door to call my midwife. I stood in the bathroom and moaned and tried to hold my body back from doing the most natural thing it knows. I wasn't able to control myself each time. I have absolutely no idea how my midwife got to the hospital so quickly. She seriously must have sprinted from her office, which is about a block down the street from the hospital. I think she may have only been gone twenty minutes. She checked me while I was standing up and said I was complete, only a small lip of cervix left. She had me make my way out to the bed. She let me push a couple times standing up while they got all everything set up.

I really, really didn't want to get into that bed. I think it was because I was afraid of pushing. I pushed for two hours with Claire and I really feared that it was going to happen this time around.

Despite my fears, I got myself into bed and with the next contraction, I pushed. Not a great one, but I pushed. Next one came and I pushed as hard as I could have pushed. And I could not stop pushing. Matt looked at me and told me to breath. I didn't want to let it go. I felt him coming and I just wanted him out. My midwife and nurse told me to take a break and breath, and that they could see his head.

The next contraction came and I pushed with all my might. I remember screaming and then hearing him cry.

At exactly 11:30 am, my beautiful Theodore entered the outside world! Happy Birthday baby boy! Oh yeah, happy birthday to me too! Yes, we share a birthday!!

He was placed on my chest, where he stayed for the next half hour. Matt cut the cord after it stopped pulsating. I delivered the placenta (on my own this time). I had to have a few stitches and I felt each and everyone of them! Owww weeeeee!

After trying to nurse him, I gave Matt a chance to hold our new son. The nurse noticed he was making a funny noise so she took him to the nursery to check on him. He seemed to be doing fine, so she brought him back to our room.

In the meantime my in-laws arrived with Miss Claire. She was absolutely amazed when she saw her little brother. She knew his name and immediately gave him a kiss. It made me cry. Seriously, it was the sweetest moment in my life.

She weighed and measured him. Mr. Theodore weighed 8 pounds and 5 ounces and was 21.25 inches long. What a big boy!

He was still showing some signs of distressed breathing, so my nurse took him back to the nursery. I was able to take a nap when everyone went to lunch. My parents and aunt arrived and we all went to see my little man. It was hard seeing him in the nursery and not be able to hold him. I wanted to hold him and nurse him and get to know him. But I couldn't. He had to be left alone to rest. I cried. A lot.

After an x-ray and a thorough check-up with the pediatrician, he was able to come back to his momma. He finally nursed and we've been in heaven since.




  1. You are amazing mama!!!!! Amazing!!! Congratulations again. He is PERFECT.

  2. What a beautiful story! I cried, haha. He is so handsome and what a beautiful way to have a birthday :) so happy for you guys!

  3. Awwww I'm crying!!!! You are so strong and amazing girl!! I am soooooo glad you got the birth of your dreams!! And Teddy is just so precious!! Xo!!

  4. Oh my heavens, sweet, sweet baby boy!! What a beautiful addition to your adorable family!
    And you are super woman!! So glad everything went as you'd hoped with the birth!

  5. Just read this, you are amazing!! And love that you share a bday!


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