My third baby is here, it’s a girl! What a whirlwind it has been, she is already four weeks old and I am just now getting to the announcement on Instagram and this labour comparison post. Life as a Mom of 3 under 4 is crazy, let me tell you. Crazy, but delicious and wonderful. I have not stopped holding and snuggling and kissing her this entire time!
Things actually happened really quickly after my last blog post about the postpartum weight loss plan. When I filmed the video I was 2 days past due; the post went live at noon the next day and sweet Baby A arrived just after midnight that evening…and I was home from the hospital by 2am. Things happened FAST!
If you want to go back and see my bump comparisons with the other pregnancies, you can click here for Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3. And if you want to read my labour story comparing the first two pregnancies you can read that here. But now for a little summary of how it went this time compared with the other deliveries!
one: contractions. With the first baby I felt the contractions right around my belly button. With the second baby I felt them in my pelvic bones. With this third baby, I felt them in my lower stomach under the belly button and the pain felt more like the stomach ache feeling from baby #1 than the bone pain feeling from baby #2. Funny how it’s different every time!
two: total time in labour. Now this is where things were REALLY different: Baby number one was a total of 45 hours, Baby number two was a total of 21 hours, and Baby number three was a total of 9 hours in labour. I have now had three pain medication free childbirths, I feel so blessed and lucky to have had such positive experiences and even more happy that they are getting shorter and shorter!
three: pushing. I pushed for 3 hours for the first baby (yuck), 2 hours for the second baby (better, but still yuck), and a total of maybe 5? pushes and about ten minutes for the third baby (woohoo!!)! It was so fast…and extra painful! I think the faster it is the more it hurts, but the sooner it is all over, so not a bad trade. There was also a point where my midwife had me “nudge” (imagine little grunts with tiny fast pushes) the baby out between contractions and it was amazing and so effective, no effort at all and I highly recommend!
four: walking. For the first two babies, my husband and I drove to the nearest hospital 1.5 hours away as soon as we thought things were happening and just walked and walked for hours/days until active labour began. We didn’t have time for that this time! Contractions started at 3:30pm and I just timed them all afternoon and we went about our business playing with the kids and putting them to bed. For me, contractions never begin far apart, they start close together. This time, they started at about 6 minutes apart and 30 seconds long. I wanted to wait until they were the traditional 1 minute long, 1 minute apart for 1 hour before going to the hospital since it was only 5 minutes away and my midwife lived very close. By 9pm they were 1.5 minutes apart and lasting 45 seconds, so still not quite there. I was standing in our kitchen painting my nails between contractions (that’s my tradition) talking about labour with my mom, sister, her friend and my husband when suddenly my water broke! I couldn’t believe it, that has never happened before!! Hubby and I rushed to the hospital, we knew that for me once the water breaks it’s not long before the baby arrives—and we were right, it was only 3 more hours. And the contractions never really got longer, so it’s good I didn’t wait for that. My husband was so calm, prepared and reassuring; he already had a garbage bag over the seat for me and just calmly got my shoes and helped me into the car and called the midwife. He is such a rock.
five: waiting. This baby arrived just a few days past her due date, so there was not too much anxiety about being overdue. In fact, she was the earliest to arrive of all our children! There also wasn’t a lot of waiting for active labour to begin, I was completely done in less than a day, which was such a treat! I am convinced it is because of the tremendous care I received from my midwife. All of my deliveries have been pain medication free, and all have been in the hospital. While my first two were with a fabulous doctor who respected all my wishes, there was still anxiety over the medicalization of childbirth (“what if my doctor isn’t available and I get Dr. C-Section-Specialist?” “what if I’m overdue and they want to induce me?” etc.). I was left alone during labour to figure things out myself, and I was encouraged to do what was most tolerable, like standing upright during contractions, lots of walking, eventually laying down when I was tired. Not so with the midwife! She was giving me all kinds of suggestions for how to make things progress as fast as possible, regardless of how uncomfortable it was for me. So, lots of squatting and sitting through contractions. She had incredible techniques to help with the pain, like counter pressure on my back and tailbone and hot/cold compresses. It was by far my greatest labour and whole prenatal experience and I cannot recommend a midwife enough!
Our two other children just adore her. Baby J (3.5 years old) won’t stop holding and kissing her lips and toes and holding her hand, and Baby K (just turned 2) keeps kissing the top of her head while I’m nursing her. It’s so lovely to see them altogether. She has the sweetest disposition and is a great sleeper, too (lucky us!).
Like always, my husband is amazing. So supportive, calm, helpful, strong, and loving. He found fun music to play in the background, held me through every contraction and push, and instantly bonded with our new baby girl. Since she was born, he has had to do a lot of extras without any hesitation; I know how lucky I am to have him! He is literally a dream come true and the best partner I could ever have. And just a couple weeks after her birth we celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary. We have accomplished so much together in that time, and so much more to come!
PS: you can read about why I don’t post pics of my kid’s faces here.
First Pregnancy Dress: Olian Cary Empire Maternity Dress
Camera used in the 2nd and 3rd Pregnancy pics: Olympus O-MD E-M10 Mark II with 14-42mm IIR lens