2020 birth story Pregnancy #4

Baby #5 is here! Our birth story

Baby #5 is here!  Our birth story
On November 5, 2020, at 4:15 a.m., we welcomed our fifth child into the world.  A beautiful baby girl named Shirley-Ann after the strong matriarchs of both S. and my families.  She was 7 pounds, 14 ounces, and 19 3/4 inches long.  The medical staff said I went from 4 to complete in less than 30 minutes.

Our birth story for baby number #5 started quite differently than my previous births. I was attending my last appointment at maternal health. My blood pressure is typically 112/60 or something similar to that. When my blood pressure was taken the first time, it was 130/75. The nurse and I both looked at the read out and I laughed. That’s odd. That’s high for me. She said we would take it again after my ultrasound, so we went into the exam room and had a great scan with the baby.

After the ultrasound, the tech left and the maternal health doctor came in.  She explained that she was worried that my blood pressure was higher than usual and wanted me to go to labor and delivery to be monitored.  I honestly didn’t think anything of it and wasn’t upset as I didn’t feel poorly and the baby was perfectly fine.  I left the exam room and the staff threw confetti and streamers at me for the end of my appointment.  They were pretty sure I would be having my baby that day.  I promise I thought I would be released as I had a week before.

I called S. and told him that I was going to Labor and Delivery for monitoring and that I would let him know if anything changed.  I had my labor and delivery bag in the car and grabbed it just in case as I walked to the main entrance of the hospital.  The maternal health office had already called the staff and let them know that I was on the way.  When I arrived, I was placed in triage and hooked up to a blood pressure cuff, a baby heart monitor, and a contraction monitor.  The BP cuff took my measurements every ten minutes and for some reason, the systolic number would not go down.  I didn’t feel bad and laid in the room while my numbers continued to rise.

                                                       – 135/85            

                                                       – 144/87

                                                       – 148/71

                                                       – 135/77

Waiting in Triage

I still felt fine though I felt very mild contractions.  At 5:17 p.m., my obstetrician called me on the nurse’s phone and told me that based on my BPs, the contractions, and the desire to err on the side of caution, I would be admitted to the hospital and they were going to introduce Cervidil at 8:30 p.m.  That’s when I met my wonderful nurses Erica, Rachel, and Millisia.  I promise they were awesome.  I had to have had the best nurses on the unit.  They were so amazing.

In the labor and delivery room

The nurses and my doctor estimated we would have a baby at 8:30 the next morning.  However, my obstetrician warned the nurses to contact her if and when my contractions began in earnest as I tend to deliver fast.  Perfect foreshadowing.

I called S. who was still at the house with the kids and told him that I would in fact be admitted but nothing would probably happen until 8ish the next morning if he wanted to rest at home. I went to my delivery room, ordered dinner, and waited for my obstetrician to come in with the Cervidil. 

Pre-delivery meal.  It was pretty good.

While I waited, I turned on my Christian worship music playlist and just relaxed.  It was so different from before where everything was rushed and emotional.  This time I just listened to worship music and felt at complete peace.  My church was hosting “I’m Grateful” service at 7pm via live stream.  I turned off the playlist and listened to the service and it was so timely.  Again, I was just calm and relaxed.  I wasn’t really worried.  The baby was moving well.  Its heartbeat was strong.  I was fine minus the BP trying to creep up. 

The service was so on time.

I texted my mother a few times giving her updates and then rested after the service ended.  It was very busy on the labor and delivery floor that weekend and my doctor came arrived at 9 p.m. to administer the Cervidil.  It wasn’t horrible, but wasn’t enjoyable either.    (Note to those who have to deal with Cervidil:  Don’t Google the process.  It’ll just make you nervous).  My stats at the time was 2 cm dilated and 65% effaced.  Cool beans.  I was going to be here for a while.

The Cervidil administered, I turned off the lights and prepared for a quiet evening. At 10 p.m., I heard a knock on the door and assumed it was a nurse coming to check my vitals or adjust the baby’s heart monitor.  It was instead my darling husband who said “something told him” that he should come to the hospital now instead of waiting for the morning.  I have to say I was so glad to see him.  I like to consider myself a strong woman and I didn’t mind non-laboring that night alone.  But I definitely was glad to see my husband walk through the door.  I knew everything would be okay.

After introducing him to the nurses and getting him settled on the little pullout with blankets and pillows, I turned out the lights again.  About 2 am, my contractions started to get a bit uncomfortable.  Not horribly so, but enough that I had to use the Hypnobirthing techniques to breath through them.  One of my nurses asked if I would like something to take the edge off and suggested fentanyl since it would only last an hour and allow me time to rest.  I agreed and shortly after it was given intravenously, I was out like a light for about an hour.  

Around 3:15a.m., I started vocalizing.  The contractions were back stronger with more consistency. I could see the contractions ebbing and flowing on the monitor.  The Hypnobirthing techniques were coming in handy.  S. commented that I was vocalizing kind of loud to have just received medicine and asked if I was okay.  I remember telling him the medicine was only supposed to last an hour, so everything was as it should be.  I honestly thought I had hours to go at this point. I rang the nurses station and asked for an epidural because I didn’t want what happened last time to happen again. I was checked again and was a 4, almost 5.  I told them to go ahead and hook up the IV bag, but not to call anesthesia yet as I could still breath through the contractions and figured I still had quite a while to go.  This is when things got interesting.  


About fifteen minutes later, I got very nauseous and alarm bells rang in my head.  I ONLY get nauseous in transition.  I made it to the bathroom to attempt to throw up (I can’t remember if I did) and then asked S. to help me back to the bed because I suddenly found it harder to walk.  My nurse came in and I told her I thought I needed the epidural right then.  She asked if I wanted to be checked and I told her I did.  She checked me and didn’t say anything.  She asked the other nurse to contact my doctor.  

Crap!  I looked at her and said “Again? Not again.  Do I not have time for an epidural?”  The other nurse, God bless her, was squeezing the IV bag trying to help me take it all in to maybe get an epidural, but it was too late.

My doctor came in and told me that I was having the baby right then.  She got my legs up and my bag of waters was right there.  A hard contraction came and the bag burst everywhere.  It was filled with meconium…thick meconium.

Now, at this point I feel the need to tell you that the Hypnobirthing had helped, but I could not for the life of me remember anything concerning the ring of fire.  The head was RIGHT THERE and I could tell that this baby was larger than my previous.  I begged the doctor for assistance and she said very calmly that the baby was right there and it would only require one push if I really bore down.

I had to get my head wrapped around the pain and ring of fire.  It wasn’t easy but something kicked in and I gave three very quick and short pushes and out came by baby.  It was intense, but it was done.


Initially, when the baby came out, it was quiet.  NICU staff was there and they began working on the  baby.  I didn’t hear cries but I heard suctioning and gurgling.  I was definitely concerned.  The staff worked on the baby for a bit before I heard a pretty good cry and the baby was placed on my chest.  It was a girl!


I was told later her original Apgar was 7, which isn’t bad but obviously wasn’t a 9. When the staff checked her five minutes later, the score had improved to 9 and she seemed healthy and fine.  And she was.


After our daughter was born, we made sure to thank the staff with yummy cookies from Sugar Me Sweets Baking Co.  You all have seen them several times on the blog and they have always been amazing.  I am a firm believer in supporting small business and they have never disappointed.

The labor and delivery staff loved them and everyone raved about the taste!  I’m so glad they enjoyed them.  Those ladies went above and beyond and I could not wait to thank them.  

I also have to make sure to publicly thank my husband.  He was a great help just by his presence and I was so glad to have him by my side.  Finally, but in no way least, I must thank God.  He is so amazing and so wonderful.  I could not have delivered our daughter without Him.

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