William Richard Mann (who we primarily intend to call Will), who was due to arrive September 5th, came exactly one month before his siblings’ birthdays, on August 28th, 2017. His entrance was not nearly as dramatic as his sister’s, but thankfully not quite as laborious (no pun intended) as his big brother’s.
The last weeks of pregnancy for me were marked by two competing realities: I was 1) SO. READY. for pregnancy to be OVER (and did NOT want this kid to wait until his due date), and 2) SO. NOT ready for this kid to come before or ON the first day of The Field School. Praise Jesus, Will came at just the right time–the Monday after the first week of school, a little over one week before Sept 5th.
I’d had two false labor starts with this dude, so when I was having some contractions Sunday evening of the 27th, I didn’t think a ton of it. I went to bed like usual, but by 11pm was waking up every 30-60minutes with contractions. By around 2am I figured I had better start keeping track of my contractions, and over the next hour they started to get more frequent and more intense. By 3:30, I was thinking maybe we should head into the hospital, and my midwife (who delivered Nora) told me that I still sounded like I was early-ish, but that she trusted my instincts if I thought it was time to go in. I hemmed and hawed for about ten minutes before deciding I would rather be at the hospital a little too early than repeat our desperate try-not-to-have-a-baby-in-the-car, almost-have-a-baby-on-the-street-outside-the-ER situation we experienced with the baby girl.
My friend came over to be there for the big kids in the morning and take them to her place to spend the day with some of their favorite little people and Jer and I drove to Mount Sinai. It felt sooooooooooo not stressful. I was having intense contractions every few minutes but it was nothinggg compared to the kinds of constant contractions that come right before your body makes you start pushing. We got to the hospital and I kept reveling in how calm everything felt… to arrive, be triaged, and even *register* like you’re supposed to.
By the time I got through registration around 4am, my midwife checked me and I was only 5cm. She stripped my membranes while she checked me, and my contractions continued to get more intense and closer together, fairly quickly. After getting into the L&D room, I remember sheepishly asking her, “So… Can you go from 5 to 10 cm pretty quick or does it always take a while?” I could not imagine enduring these contractions through midmorning or into afternoon. To my great relief she said, “it can happen fast,” and not 30 minutes later when I asked when she’d check me again, she said, “when you tell me you feel like you have to push.” I thought, heck, I think maybe I need to push (??), so she checked me again and I was nearly ten centimeters. Within a few minutes, I was at ten, pushing, and after about 3 contractions-worth of pushes, Will was born at 5:53am.
Holy wow I was relieved to not be pregnant and to be on the OTHER side of labor (nothing like birthing a child to remind you how freakin intense it is to push out a human). And we had made it to the hospital almost a full TWO hours before he came. Winnnnsssss all around. ! Will has been our easiest baby so far (although all three were a breeze), with the exception of his waking up every 1-2hours at night to eat. We are so so happy to have him and everyone is doing surprisingly well. Hope to share more soon on the adjustment to three!