I cannot believe that I am sitting here writing out Beau’s birth story before our baby boy’s due date. After two beautiful hospital induction births at 39+5 and 40+4, I had no clue that I would go into labor on my own at 38+4 just hours after scheduling my induction for 5 days later.
I tried to keep notes and JP did a wonderful job of supporting me and taking pictures to help me remember. This will be a long post because I want to remember every single detail of this special day. That being said, I’m going to rewind a little bit and start this story on Tuesday, November 17th, the day of my growth ultrasound and OB appointment.
November 17 – Ultrasound and OB
After dropping Brody off at school, I went on a 2 mile walk then headed to the hospital for my growth ultrasound. At 33 weeks, they noticed that my baby was growing quite fast and measured almost 3 weeks ahead. That put him in the 90th percentile! They wanted to check back on his size to make recommendations on whether or not we should induce and when.
At that ultrasound, the tech measured baby at 40+4 and about 8lb 5oz which was two weeks ahead of baby’s gestational age. It was quite a shock as neither of my other kids were abnormally large. Brody was 8lb 7oz but was born 4 days PAST his due date.
A few hours later I went to my OB appointment to check me out and discuss induction dates. At that appointment my belly measured right at 38cm which is right on track. I was also already 3cm dilated and 60% effaced. Since I had been dilating about a centimeter a week for the past few weeks, my body was doing the work it needed.
We talked about baby’s size and my doctor’s concerns about me going all the way to my due date. Then we settled on scheduling my induction for Monday, November 23rd when I was 39+2. I was excited and nervous and had so much to get done before the big day! Jokes on me…
I went to my parents’ house to talk to my mom after that appointment and plan out everything. After my cervical exam, I noticed a funny feeling in my glutes and down my hamstrings the rest of that evening and mentioned it to my mom. I felt a little off, but nothing to really indicate what was coming later.
That night, my friend Jessica came over and brought us sushi for dinner (cooked for me!) and to catch up before baby came. Good thing too because I ended up going into labor just 6 hours after she left my house!
November 18 – Early Labor at Home
Now let’s get to where labor truly began! I made notes in my phone so I wouldn’t miss a thing. Here’s the timeline:
1:45 am – Potty wake up call
Mother nature called as it did often at this stage of pregnancy. Afterwards I slid back into bed and quick fell back asleep.
2:20 am – Wake up with cramps
I woke up again with the weirdest twinge in my lower abdomen kind of like a bad period cramp. Even though it woke me up, I fell back asleep shortly after.
3:20 am – Can no longer sleep through cramps so I begin timing them
4:00 am – Get up and take a shower
At this point, my contractions were about 6-8 minutes apart. Laying in bed was uncomfortable and I want to see if they would go away if I changed positions, so I decided to hop in the shower.
I couldn’t really time my contractions in the shower, but I took my time, washed my hair and enjoyed the comfort of the warm water. They definitely were still coming and seemed to have a pattern to them.
4:30 – Move to the bath
Water has always been comforting to me, so I decided to move to the bath tub post shower. I started tracking my contractions again and found that they were about 5 minutes apart. They were getting a bit longer and more painful, but very manageable.
5:00 – Get out of bath and text my mom
In case she woke up early (which she often does), I thought I’d text for her to call me. I wasn’t ready to wake her up quite yet!
5:15 – Blow dry & straighten my hair while contractions pick up
Next thing I know my contractions were coming pretty fast. They seemed to be about 3 minutes apart, but I wasn’t convinced they really were. It was still manageable, so I proceeded to do my hair since that was necessary and all.
6:00 – Wake up JP and call my mom to come over
I realized my contractions were getting more painful and still coming quick, so I alerted everyone! (I probably should have done it about 30 minutes sooner to avoid the chaos that came next.)
6:05 am – Call the on call doctor who tells us to get to the hospital
6:20 am – Get kids up, dressed and over to our neighbors
It was going to take my mom a bit longer than planned to get to my house because she had to get herself and my newpher (who spent the night) up and ready before coming over. I took my time to get Chloe ready for school and Brody up before running them across the street. I knew my neighbor Christy would be able to help me get Chloe to the bus so my mom wouldn’t have to worry about it!
6:50 am – Head to the hospital!
And about an hour after calling, JP loaded our hospital bags into the car and we were on our way to have a baby!
Laboring at the Hospital
7:05 am – Arrive at the Hospital
We arrived at the hospital in about 15 minutes which means we got there right around shift change! I was shuffled into my triage room while JP had to wait in the waiting area for a bit. Next I peed in a cup, changed into a hospital gown and talked with the nurse. I told her that I was pretty sure my contractions were about 3 minutes apart which we confirmed on the monitors!
The doctor on call came in to check my cervix to see how I was progressing and I was elated to hear that I was already 5cm dilated. I had been 3cm the day before at my OB appointment, so my body was doing exactly what it was supposed to. Since I was GBS positive, I knew laboring at home for too long wouldn’t be great because I needed to get antibiotics in before delivery. Two doses was ideal, but at the rate I was going, we would be lucky to get in one.
Eventually they let JP in and then I had to get the dreaded COVID test. Nothing quite like having a stick shoved up your nose and to your brain in between contractions! But it really wasn’t that bad, and I’m pleased to report that it came back negative.
In Our Room
8:15 am – Settling in
After about an hour in triage, we were moved into our room where I could officially get settled in. I needed my own space to focus and get my head in the right place for this labor. I didn’t mention it in previous blog posts, but I planned to go into this labor with no drugs. During Brody’s labor, I didn’t technically get an epidural. However, I did ask for it at the very end and while the anesthesiologist was sticking me in the back, I yelled that I needed to push. He stopped and I had a baby just 10 minutes later. It was really insane, but I knew I wanted to do it again.
JP set up my birth affirmations and pulled out my essential oils. We couldn’t diffuse the oils until my COVID test came back negative, but we were still able to use rollers and such. In case you’re wondering, I brought lavender for calmness, peppermint for nausea and clary sage for pain management. We ended up diffusing clary sage once I got my confirmed negative test! I also used it on my wrists and temples prior to being able to use the diffuser.
Once situated, I FaceTimed my mom. I was so bummed that she couldn’t be there for my labor, but we did call her a couple times throughout.
9:45 am – Contractions become more intense.
By 9:45 am my contractions were definitely getting more painful and lasting longer. I knew I needed to keep trying several different positions for labor. During Brody’s I got stuck on the ball and it probably stalled my labor a bit. This time, I labored on the ball some, but honestly standing, swaying and putting my weight back into JP helped a lot.
10:20 am – Second cervical exam
Our nurse came in to check on me and I asked her to check my dilation. I knew that my contractions were getting significantly stronger and everything seemed to be going fast.
Turns out I was right because I was 8cm! 8 hours since I felt my first crampy contraction and I was 8 cm dilated. My nurse was nervous for me to move to much because she thought it would break my waters which would likely send my labor into super speed. We settled with me staying near the bed and not sitting on the ball anymore. I needed just a bit longer to get my first dose of antibiotics in!
First I laid there a bit just to give my legs a break. I spent a lot of time on the ball and standing, so I was getting a bit tired.
With every contraction JP was also doing amazing hip squeezes to help with counter pressure. Since it was just the two of us in the labor room, you see these photos of me laboring solo. Let me tell y’all that I did NOT do this alone. JP was there for every single contraction in whatever way I needed him. He was the best support system and it brought the two of us so close together. I couldn’t have asked for a better partner.
The next hour, I continued laboring and trying different positions. I thought that I would love being on all 4’s, but it was actually horrible for me! For the next hour, I found that standing and swaying through my contractions while JP squeezed my hips and I leaned back into him was what I needed.
In between contractions, I would sit on the bed to give myself some rest. My legs were feeling shaky and tired! It was also helpful because each time I sat and then stood was like doing a squat. Anything to get baby to descend!
12:00 pm – Is it time?
Just before noon, I talked to my nurse to let her know that I was feeling a lot of pressure. This is where Beau’s birth story really picked up! It wasn’t necessarily pushy pressure, but it was getting intense. That being said, my waters still hadn’t broken, but I had a feeling it was time!
My nurse checked me and I was indeed 10 cm and ready to go! She ran to call the doctor because it was go time!
Birth of my Baby BOY!
12:08 am – Start Pushing
My doctor’s office is actually in the hospital building, so she was there in minutes. She arrived and I started pushing at 12:08 pm. My first push didn’t have my full effort behind it because my waters were still in tact and I didn’t have the burning urge to push. Luckily, my doctor broke my bag in that push and my waters went EVERYWHERE with an intense gush!
I also HATED the way my legs felt in the stirrups with my nurse and JP at either side. I decided that I simply wanted to hold them on my own. It helped me feel so in control and ready this way!
The next contraction came and the urge to push was THERE! As I pushed, I literally roared. It got me through the ring of fire and his head was born in that contraction.
I had a quick minute to catch my breath before the next contraction. Knowing that his head was born, I knew that I could get him out. My next contraction came and I gave another big roaring push when I thought I felt a little tear. My doctor then guided me through some smaller pushes as his shoulders were born to keep me from tearing too much! In that third contraction, my baby was born at 12:12pm on November 18, 2020!
12:12 pm – Beau is born!
I heard JP yell, “It’s a BOY!” And to be honest, I just knew it. I mean, technically I had no clue and it was a 50/50 chance, but in my heart this baby was a boy.
He was immediately put onto my chest while I cried happy tears and loved on my precious boy. We wanted delayed cord clamping, so we let the cord pulse for about 3 minutes while I held him.
JP was able to cut the cord like he did with our other two babes.
Our first photo with our baby boy! It’s very 2020 with JP’s mask beard.
Beau Philip Gougler was born at 12:12pm on November 18, 2020. He weighed 8lb 7oz and was 21 inches long! Quite a big baby for joining us 10 days early!
I’m very impressed with the ultrasound tech from the day before who estimated his weight at 8lb 5oz!
I ended up needing a couple of stitches, just some first degree tears in a couple of spots. While my doctor stitched me up (which I could definitely feel despite the numbing agent), they did a quick weigh of Beau that you see above!
1:00 pm – Our first nursing sessing
They brought him back to me very quickly to snuggle and nurse. This baby was born ready to eat! He immediately took to my breast with an amazing latch.
It was weird not having my mom there to support me like she did with my other two! Luckily, Beau is my third baby and we both seemed to know what we were doing.
We spent the next two hours in our labor and delivery room nursing, snuggling and eating my first postpartum meal before heading up to our postpartum room.
At this point, I was feeling pretty good. I was a little sore which is clearly expected especially with a couple of stitches and some pretty big hemorrhoids! (You may remember me mentioning them in my 35 week bumpdate.)
Moving to Postpartum
This next part of my story gets a little crazy. You would think that this is where things calm down after a pain med free delivery! But Beau’s birth story is nothing compared to my postpartum recovery.
Stay tuned for the full, chaotic story of the next few days in postpartum. Coming soon!