Stellan Wyatt was due January 23, 2016. Having been given three possible due dates, that was the last one. It came and went in contractions-but-not-labor fashion.
When I saw my obstetrician at 40 weeks 4 days, she gave me the option to do non-stress tests to ensure baby was still handling life inside well – or she offered to induce labor. Miserable, tired of waiting, scared after Elliot, and hurting, I cast aside all my tendencies for natural, unmedicated, unhindered childbirth and opted for induction.
I got to the hospital that same morning at 10am. Blaine had all of the kids across town at another appointment, and we set to making arrangements. An amazing neighbor left her work, drove to the clinic to meet Blaine, switched vehicles with him, and took the six younger kids to her house for the day. Meanwhile, Blaine and Liberty met me in the delivery room and there we sat, waiting. It felt rather like cheating. Pitocin and an epidural meant I just laid around, waiting for some indication it was time to push. So entirely odd! It was a good experience, overall, just odd. As a VBAC, (Ruby was a breech Cesarean) I’m considered high risk, despite this being the fourth birth after the Cesarean. I was all but babysat by the nurse, I met the OB who would deliver, and was assured I’d deliver before shift change at 7pm. I was skeptical.
I was 3 cm at 11:30am when they started the induction. The doc had a scheduled Cesarean to do at 4pm, so at 3:30pm he broke my water to give the nurse the ability to do internal monitors should she need to. Dear Stellan moved away from the monitors over and over and over, but he finally settled in and cooperated, thankfully. No internal monitors needed. At 3:47pm, I was 4 cm. My epidural suddenly wore off of my left side and nurse declared it was likely time to push. Umm, no, I was just 4 cm. You just said so. She checked me again. Still 4 cm. Let me say, the epidural was lovely. The wearing off during hard labor was not lovely.
I suddenly felt pressure, the nurse smiled knowingly, and checked me again. “You’re complete.” Completely what?! I was stunned. Blaine and I debate over pushing. I think I pushed twice, he says once. At any rate, the doc didn’t even break the bed down. I pushed and Stellan was born at 3:57pm… Mere minutes after being 4 cm. Stellan cut the line, coming before the doc even got into the OR for the Cesarean he had to do on another patient. Because Stellan had a large amount of meconium in the amniotic fluid, my requested cord clamping was out, as was Liberty cutting the cord, but once he was cleaned up a bit they brought him to me.
The hospital policy has changed greatly since my last hospital birth. The nursery is closed, and baby stayed with me the entire time I was in the hospital. It was perfect.
Giving up homebirth was hard. There were moments of frustration. The nurses all gave me my space, recognizing this was not my first baby, but it still was far more invasive than homebirth. The time away from my family, from my other kids, was really okay. Coming home meant they climb all over Stellan and I, and delaying that for a few days was good. Meeting the doc hours before delivery was far less intimate than the friendship I have with my midwife, but I got the doc that took over for the one I’d originally chosen, before he had a medical emergency and took a leave of absence. I couldn’t have been happier with how he treated me.
Stellan Wyatt weighed 9 lbs 2 oz – the same weight as Sterling at birth. Stellan was 21 inches long. He was very nearly named Haakon Roelof, the first name I love and Blaine’s grandpa’s name for a middle name, but I backed out of it the morning of his birthday, not so sure I wanted to give him two unknown-in-America names. Stellan was another name we’d discussed, and Blaine suggested that. It’s perfect, and I love it. We decided to use that for a first name that morning, but he was without a middle name until a few hours after birth. Wyatt was a name we’d talked of several babies ago, and Blaine suggested it later that day. Stellan means ‘calm’ and Wyatt means ‘warrior, brave, strong’. Had he been a girl he’d have likely been named Dahlia, but having been assured by the ultrasound tech that she was 100% sure he was a boy, we didn’t discuss it at length.