Little Bean's Birth Story (told by Mama Jessica)

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“Little Bean” [pseudonym at family’s request] finally arrived on December 20 at 11:19 am. 7 lbs 3 oz 20 in and perfectly healthy! We were instantly in love. 

The birth went really well overall and of course was very different than what either of us had imagined. Little Bean was born at 42 weeks via an induction. Our doctor told us from the beginning that she would let us go to 41 weeks and 6 days - but of course she went on vacation by the time we got to our 41-week appointment, and there was pressure from other doctors in the practice to induce sooner. That last week was really tough - mentally, emotionally and physically. We were so thankful to have our doula help us through some conversations with our doctors in those last few days. After a lot of back and forth the induction was scheduled for 41 weeks and 6 days. Believe me, we tried every possible natural induction suggestion we could find on the internet up to that point and nothing worked! 

Honestly I was pretty disappointed realizing I would have to be induced. I felt it would most likely inhibit any plans I had for a natural labor and would mean significant interventions I did not want. We revisited the birth plan with our doula and adjusted expectations. 

Once we were at NYU we did two rounds of Cytotec (I was barely one cm when we checked in) and then a foley balloon. Didn’t feel any contractions until the balloon was in but we worked through them and I felt confident by the time the balloon came out at 4 cm that I could handle active labor. Completely expected the doc to go with pitocin next, but she was willing to try breaking my water first. Contractions started up again almost immediately and we’re much more intense than before. This is where my memory lapses... 

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I think it was about 3-4 hours after my water broke that our doula and our nurse thought I might be in transition and wanted to confirm with a cervical check. This was because I was vomiting a lot -- much more than I would have anticipated before. I was concerned I’d need fluids soon, because I couldn’t even keep water down. I was also shivering uncontrollably – which, honestly, felt very scary in the moment and started to hinder my ability to breath through a contraction. When they checked, I was 6 cm and immediately felt disappointed. I knew I couldn’t make it another few hours. It was 5:30am and we hadn’t slept at all. I opted for an epidural and initially was upset that I wanted it so much in the moment but in hindsight I think it was the best choice for me.

The epidural allowed me to sleep a few hours. I was still feeling the contractions they were mild enough for me to rest. The nurse woke me up around 10:30am to check me and I was ready to push! 

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I realized that I wouldn’t be pushing for long when after the first one the doctor didn’t leave, but she went to put on scrubs. I pushed for about 30 minutes and out he came! Rich was able to announce the gender and the rest is a blur of me sobbing for the next few minutes. At some point I heard the nurse give him an apgar score of 9! He was very awake for a couple hours after the birth and my parents were able to meet him while he was active- which was really special. 

He just had his one-month doctors appointment and I can’t believe how time is already flying! 

We’re so thankful to have had the information from your class and our doula’s support throughout the induction. We were all shocked that I had an induction with no Pitocin. It doesn’t matter how many times people say it -- you just really have no idea how things will go until they happen!