Norah has been a constant surprise: from the moment we conceived (while I was breastfeeding and tracking my ovulation cycle)- to the day she entered this world (2 weeks past her due date). At my 41 week appointment, my doctor wanted to induce labor, but as long as my baby was healthy and my blood pressure was good, I wanted Norah to come on her own. So after a few hours of stress tests and an ultrasound to make sure that she was doing well, I decided to go home and continue to wait for my little girl to come when she was ready. [Insert a week of walking, evening primrose oil, jalapenos and sex. Nothing. Not a single contraction.]
At my 42 week appointment, I was desperate to have my baby and began throwing a serious [internal] pity party. I was sitting at the nurse’s station doing the routine checks and a woman ran past me and into the bathroom...sobbing. She had had a miscarriage. I was instantly reminded of the miraculous gift of having a healthy, full-term baby and all I could do was cry and pray for this mama who lost her precious baby prematurely. With puffy eyes and my spirit in check, I decided to wait until the full 2-week overdue date, at which point my doctor strongly recommended inducing due to the size of the baby. I was scheduled to be induced at 8:00pm the following Monday night.
My husband and I arrived at the hospital that Monday night and it was the strangest feeling- preparing for childbirth minus the whole “being in labor” thing. This was not how I wanted to have my baby. I had a birth plan this time...and this was not part of it. I was frustrated that Norah was not going to come when she was ready- but I understood the risks associated with waiting. My head and my heart were at odds- but my husband and I decided that being induced was the best decision at that point.
Over the course of 12 hours I received 3 doses of misoprostol (to help soften the cervix and induce labor), but I was still only 3cm dilated. I hated being confined to the hospital bed and refused to stay there another minute, so I requested a portable monitor and began walking laps around the delivery floor. After about 2 hours, my contractions were picking up and my doctor decided to break my water. From there labor started progressing rapidly. I continued to walk and push through my contractions using the birthing ball (which I found to be the most helpful during this labor). I was quickly at 5 cm, 45 minutes later at 6 cm and within 3 hours, my little red-head (another surprise) had finally arrived. My husband and my doctor were both an incredible support. Norah was perfect, every 21.5 inches and 9 POUNDS of her.