Our sweet Jordan, our May baby. Although this is technically our fourth birth rodeo (man, that’s a comparison that breaks down real fast), I could not believe how much every birth has felt like its own entity. The butterflies, the excitement, the nerves, the preparation. While I had peace knowing what my body has or hasn’t done, I was still very in touch with my fears of giving birth again. I was nervous about precipitous labor; Emma had been born in under three hours and while that sounds nice and fast, it’s also hard to stay on top of the pain. I was also anxious when I went late; Luke had been the only other babe to be late and there were complications, which I was hoping I wouldn’t have to face. And although I knew these were only hypotheticals, I think my body had a hard time relaxing and allowing labor to come.
I had no consistent contractions leading up to the birth but my anticipation was so high and I was overthinking every twitch. I was dilated 2-3cm for weeks and had my membranes stripped twice actually (you’re reading a birth story so I imagine you are expecting to read things like stripped membranes but if not, you should probably stop here..). It worked both times but my cervix literally closed back up after a week; he was not ready! But on the eve of being one week late (May 9), I started having more contractions, not evenly spaced apart but at least they hurt and I knew something was happening. I’d been texting with my doula to keep her updated but around 11:30pm, I was at a standstill. It wasn’t really progressing. Around midnight she sent a text suggesting I try and sleep for a little bit and I reluctantly agreed.
When I woke up, Kate was snuggled next to me (which I didn’t remember happening) and it was 1am on the dot. I stood up and instantly was bummed, I had slept off my contractions. I went downstairs to turn off lights and boom! One of the heavy hitting contractions came. I got in position in the bathroom to start my early labor and before I could take a beat, the next contraction came and with power. That was all it took, I knew the pain level was high enough that we needed to get to the birth center right away. I woke up James, grabbed our bags and we filed out into the quiet street to load up. We called, gave the heads up and were there within a few minutes.
My contractions were quick and painful and I was breathing through them and focusing as best I could. I walked up the stairs to the birthing wing and the attendant at the desk directed us straight into our room. I didn’t hold back with my grunting and such and I think the nurse got the idea that I was ready for business. They called in a nurse for my IV (always required to get this because of my former c-section, always reluctant!) and I got into a gown, all the while working through contractions with James applying pressure on my back. The nurse got me on the table to check me and I was at an 8! Thank goodness..
At this point, it was about 1:40am and the nurses proceeded to try and get my IV in. After 20 minutes of IV poking and pausing for incredibly strong contractions, they finally decided to go through a huge vein in my arm which is a super inconvenient spot, but I just wanted that part to end. At 2am-ish, as soon as the pricking nurses left, I felt a downward urge to push. The contractions were at their strongest and I knew it was time. They brought the doctor in and she checked me out and said, push when you’re ready. Praise the Lord! I couldn’t remember a time when the doc gave me the green light so quick. She encouraged me like I was a seasoned pro! At this point, my water hadn’t actually broken. She mentioned it as I was pushing and I realized.. I’m pushing this baby out in the water bag?? Jordan’s bag of waters was still intact, and while that sounds like a cushy soft type of push, it was so much pressure and so uncomfortable, not like those soft slick little baby heads.
Finally one of my pushes felt like it was getting somewhere and pop!—I kid you not the bag popped and sprayed like the splash zone at Sea World. I was mortified, But they kindly rejected my apology. Yes, I apologized because you know what, I find that it’s a decent thing to do when you’re embryonic fluid splashes across your OB’s face 🙂 But with the splash, came Jordan’s head! Which provided some pressure relief. But then she said, “let’s give another push to get his shoulders out”—what!? So with another grand push came the rest of little Jordan who immediately was scooped up and before being put in my arms, let out a mid-aerial poop and got that first meconium out of the way.
BM aside, moments of pure joy, elation and relief (nothing like that instant relief) ensued and we embraced that first beautiful moment with our little boy! I was so thankful to see him, see his face, hear his sweet cry and have him out of my belly! He instantly rooted and we began nursing as everyone fluttered about. He also proceeded to pee all over me as we sat there, which just seemed endearing in the moment. I honestly could care less, I was so happy to be holding this little bundle. He weighed in at 8lbs 4oz, which explained the second shoulder push and was our biggest babe! The minutes and hours to follow were spent sleeping, recalling the evening and soaking up the entire beautiful experience.
I was so struck how much this birth had required of me, especially emotionally. It is a wonder how much these created bodies can do! And even though you’ve done something before, it isn’t a given that things feel easy breezy. I was nervous, I was aware of the gravity of it all, more than I’d ever been. I was both amazed with my body and sobered by what it would be doing. Things went fairly smooth—and I’m so grateful for it, but I knew more than ever that continuing to reach out to each other as we embrace these moments is so vital. Incredibly thankful for this healthy, wonderful delivery and blessed beyond measure to have our sweet Jordan Levi here with us!