Hi Beautiful Parents,
We hope you had as amazing a Thanksgiving as we did. Our son came to us at 7:08 pm on Tuesday. It was a magical day that came 12 days late but all 3.1kg and 51cm of him made it in in great health and thankfully we were all doing well enough to get an early discharge on Wednesday night. While we were too exhausted to make a full-on Thanksgiving dinner the next day, we did muster up some energy to make pumpkin pie 🙂
As the due date approached, we started going on long walks, eating spicy food, going to acupuncture, doing some nipple stimulation and everything else on the natural induction list 🙂 Despite our best efforts, our baby was just too comfortable in that womb and our doctor scheduled an induction at 41+5 on the day she was on duty. This meant that laboring at home and giving birth at the birth center was out of the picture. Knowing full well that researching the drugs used for induction wouldn’t help, we indulged until our itch was satisfied. We then went on a long walk and talked it out. Level headed, we decided that no matter what, we were in this together and we were going to make this birth our own. We agreed with the OB that she would first try stripping membranes on Monday to see if it would help move things along.
On Monday, we did groceries and I made food for days. Since there was no progress throughout the day, we had an early dinner and went to bed at 8PM gearing up to report to Mount Sinai West at 2AM for the scheduled induction. By 4am, a Foley balloon was placed to get things started (we agreed with the OB to avoid Cytotec). Dina was uncomfortable walking around with the balloon but we both got excited to see contractions pick up and quickly leaned into it. We kept the room as dark as possible, ate some of the soft foods we smuggled into the hospital (thanks for the bone broth reco Mary Esther!), and tried to get some shut eye. At 9am, our OB removed the balloon and checked Dina, she was 4cm.
Soon after, she vomited which we saw as a good sign but unfortunately the contractions slowed down then stopped altogether. We tried acupressure points and nipple stimulation to keep contractions going but it didn’t lead anywhere so we decided it was a good time for a nap before discussing next steps. At 1:30pm, we decided to get started on the Pitocin. At this time, the nurse shifts changed and a lovely lady covering for another nurse on break came to check on us. I heard her speak in Creole in the hall, and tried to connect with her speaking French. We cracked some jokes, asked about Haiti and immediately started to like each other. I asked her if she could become our nurse, and she was happy to take care of us. We felt much more comfortable and napped soundly, only to get woken up by a big contraction.
The contractions were mellow and far apart for a couple of hours but as soon as her water broke around 4pm, they intensified drastically. At some point after that, the nurse came in to reduce the dose of Pitocin because the contractions were too close to each other. Dina moved from the birth ball to squatting against the wall following our doula’s advice to deal with some back labor, then leaned over the bed at a 90 degree angle. The contractions got harder to breathe through and Dina mentioned feeling some rectal pressure. From all the signs we learned in class and read about, it looked like she was in active labor. Our OB came in to check Dina at 6:30PM and while she was mid contraction after the check, Dina uttered the words “I don’t want to know!” As soon as the contraction ended, Dina informed us decisively that she wanted to know! Our Doula sped after our OB and came back with “The good news is that you are 100% effaced, but you are still at 4cm”. Dina was shaken but with a few words of encouragement, plowed through.
Half and hour later as the contractions got stronger and closer (sub 2 mins) and with me massaging her back while our doula held her hands and breathed with her, Dina told us she wanted an epidural. Following our birth plan, I told her that she was doing great and that we could talk about the epidural in 5 contractions. She squeezed my hands and told me there was nothing to talk about – “GO GET THE EPIDURAL!” Dina started to grunt with the next contraction and the OB heard us from the hall. She rushed in and told her to stop bearing down but when she checked and found that Dina was at 10cm, it was time to push!
Dina’s face transformed, she was reinvigorated and three strong, intense pushes later, Aiden was born! We were able to just forget about the cord until it finished pulsing, and get 1.5 hours alone with him while he latched all by himself 30 mins after being born and has been an amazing latcher ever since 🙂
Witnessing this was transformative for me. I have never seen such human power and am even more in awe of the woman that is Dina. I will be forever grateful to her for having courageously taken us down this trip filled with discovery, magic, and pure bliss!
Thanks again for all the knowledge and support 🙂
Dina, Simo, and Aiden