Elliott’s pregnancy was much like Elijah and Evelyn’s, but with this being my third baby at 39 my body was telling me to slow down a bit more than it had in the past and I listened. I thought I would get lucky and not get the pregnancy rash I had with Evelyn, but at 30 weeks it reared it’s ugly head so once again I went strict dairy and gluten free to give me relief which has worked beautifully both times. With Elliott I started taking milk thistle, dandelion root and D-Hist as well.
This is the first pregnancy where I really scaled movements and barbell in CrossFit. Over the past 6 years there has been a lot more information come out on how to properly take care of the female body with fitness and pregnancy and I really tried to do my best.
Towards the last few weeks of my pregnancy I was generally more uncomfortable with more cramping and pressure. My appetite was absent and my energy level tanked. With the loss of my dad at the end of September I knew I was under more stress than usual and tried my hardest to listen to any messages my body was telling me. I was still working out 4-5/day at the gym as the mental release was much needed.
My due date was November 14th and it came and went. I was 5 days over with Elijah and one day early with Evelyn. I clearly remember the feeling when you go over your due date and for me it’s the feeling that this baby will never come. I also had a fear in the back of my mind that I would need to be induced and prayed that that wouldn’t be necessary and that Elliott would come on his own.
On Saturday November 16th I woke up and felt a bit more crampy and crappy than usual, but got ready for the gym. Before leaving I continued to feel a bit worse and knew that I wouldn’t be able to work out, but Lucas wanted to go and I tagged along. When we got there I hopped on the assault bike for a short bit, but that didn’t feel good either so I just took it easy. As the late morning when on those cramps picked up and started to come from my back in more consistent fashion. I told Lucas that today was likely going to be the day and I hopped in the shower and then sat on the couch to rest. I use that term loosely as the kids were all kinds of crazy and it was in those moments that I realized a home birth would not have been ideal. haha!
Lucas texted my midwife, Beth, to let her know what was going on and we’d be heading to the hospital about 2pm. I don’t tend to have fast labors, but didn’t want to take any chances. I threw some last minute things in my hospital bag. Evelyn was down for her nap and kissed Elijah and my mom goodbye. Elijah was acting worried and I asked him what was going on. He asked me if I was going to be ok. I realized that the last time we went to a hospital my Dad died so I did my best to reassure him that I was going to be ok.
When we got to the hospital we were taken to the delivery room that was well designed. They had a bracket in the ceiling for a sling to help with positioning with labor and delivery, a nice big bathtub, a beautiful view to nothing (thanks rural Wisconsin!), and a diffuser going with lavender. They told me I could leave my clothes on and they took my vitals. They had wireless monitoring probes for the baby and it was so nice to not have to be attached to anything. I told them my birth wishes which were again minimal interventions, delayed cord clamping, immediate skin to skin and breastfeeding. They didn’t even ask about an IV (I’ve never had one with any of my births) and didn’t do a cervical check. I had done some reading that cervical checks can cause a bit of trauma to the cervix and slow down labor. I expected to have the initial one, but it didn’t happen. The midwife I had seen all through my pregnancy was Krista Cleary, but a new midwife had started, Beth, and they both were going to be in the room for my delivery.
My blood pressure was up a bit, but not concerning. It seemed when I was talking my contractions would slow down. Things were building in intensity over the next couple of hours. I tried the sling, but with my knees it didn’t feel good so I hopped on the birth ball and spent a good hour on there. Lucas was sitting behind me putting pressure on my back with contractions. The Hawkeyes were playing Minnesota and I told him to turn the TV on for distraction. Thank goodness the Hawks won that day! I tried getting in the tub, but again it just wasn’t a good fit for me, so I hopped out.
At about 5 the contractions really started picking up to the point where there were some really intense ones and ones that were back to back. I remembered those quite well. I have never taken a birth class or done any birth prep. It always seemed that when I tried to do hypnobabies with Elijah it just brought more stress. I tend to be a very internal laborer. While on the ball I was picturing Elliott making his way down the birth canal and everything really opening.
I started getting really exhausted sitting on the ball and decided to climb into bed to rest. Interestingly this has been my preferred position with each of my babies. I laid on my left side and Lucas was there to reassure and help in whatever way I needed. My water still had not broke at that point and as things progressed Beth checked and I was almost a full 10cm dilated and my bag was bulging. I hadn’t really had any urges to push at that time and I’m thinking it was due to my water still being intact.
Towards the end there was one really big contraction and my water broke. Almost immediately I felt the urge to push and gave a big push. There was a nice long break before the next contraction and on that one I pushed and his head came out. I pushed again on that contraction and the rest of him came out at 7:06. He was put on my chest, started crying, and once again I was just amazed at this whole miracle. He was perfect. We waited to clamp his cord for over 5 minutes. He was 21in long and 8lb 5.2oz. I ended up needing a few sutures for a tear in the posterior aspect. I have actually torn all three times in that same spot.
He started breastfeeding and thankfully it was easy with him. We also did a lot of skin to skin. When Lucas first held him he peed on him. haha!
The first night we didn’t get a lot of sleep due to typical newborn shenanigans and still being on a high from the birth. Mom, Elijah and Evelyn came to visit us on Sunday and it was so sweet to see them meet their little brother for the first time.
Sunday night the hospital had a dinner brought to us and our nurse set up a table with a sheet for a table cloth and electric candles like a date. It was such a sweet touch. I pretty much got no sleep that second night as Elliott was cluster feeding. We went home Monday.
He was back to birth weight at 5 days old.
I know I said this before, but our family is truly complete. After Evelyn was born (who was a surprise baby) Lucas was very vocal that he was done. I on the other hand just didn’t feel done. I felt that our family was missing something. Elliott wasn’t planned so to speak, but Lucas had been slowly coming around. I remember feeling that something was off and decided to take a pregnancy test even though I wasn’t late with my period yet. It was faintly positive and I almost fainted. How was I going to possibly tell Lucas I was pregnant again when he was done. I didn’t tell him right away as I wasn’t sure how to break the news. Then on a Saturday night I was in bed and he was in the bathroom getting ready for bed. He was telling me about a conversation he had had with someone who was in a similar boat as us and his wife wanted a third and they ended up having the third baby. Lucas began to tell me that if I truly wanted to have a third we should do it. I then blurted out, “I’m pregnant”. You should have seen his face. haha! No fun announcement there! I was nervous about bringing a third child into our already full and chaotic house. We didn’t have a bedroom for him so we ended up creating a bedroom for Elijah in the basement, moved Evelyn to Elijah’s old room and Elliott took over Evelyn’s room. Elliott is such a blessing and I’m still in shock that I have 3 kids.