Finn’s birth story.
Don’t worry, I’m going to give you allllll of the details below. Probably some that you didn’t even want to know! But before I do, I’m going to give you a massive spoiler alert.
His birth went exactly the way I had hoped and prayed that it would. Down to every single, teeny, tiny detail.
I could weep (actually, I have) when I think about how many things could have gone differently. How even just a day or so difference could have changed it all. How there were SO many details to be worked out- and yet, they all did.
I remember being in labor and looking over at Jim and my Mom and crying. Because I was realizing just how much God had worked out every little detail, just for me and Finn.
Even things that I had never voiced. Fears I had been carrying- He took care of.
Finn’s birth was an absolute miracle. It was calm, peaceful, and an absolute balm to my soul.
I had shared how scared I was leading up to his birth, how anxious I felt.
All of that dissipated before he came. And every fear and concern I had stressed over, none came to fruition.
So, with that,
Here is how Finn came into the world 🙂
I always kind of figured there would be two options ahead of me for Finn’s upcoming birth. Either:
A) He would be an absolute freight train of a delivery (a la big sister Mabel) and be born completely drug free
B) I would manage to get to the hospital at the first sign of a contraction/progression and get myself an epidural(for the first time ever!)
My parents arrived on Thursday, September 14th. We went to dance class, Abigail’s soccer game, and watched an episode of Sherlock after the girls went to bed. We all went to sleep around 11 and everyone had a full night’s rest.
I woke up around 7 am on Friday, September 15th and thought I might have just felt something. The same familiar senstation that I had had with both girls- it wasn’t painful. I wouldn’t have even called it a contraction(though it was)…just, a twinge. Of sorts.
Jim was starting to get up and ready for work and I said, “so….either it’s poop…or it’s a kid. I’m not sure which, but I should be able to let you know in a few minutes”
Typically, I would have slept longer or I would have gone downstairs for breakfast with the girls before getting ready, but, I figured I should probably start getting myself ready just in case it was the latter, so I did my hair and makeup, saw the girls and told them good morning when they came out of their rooms at 7:30 am.
By then, I had a few more “twinges” which made me say, yeah- those are contractions(I think? Hopefully?). So, we let my Mom know “surprise! it’s (probably) baby time!” and Jim loaded up the car with all of our stuff. (and he didn’t forget my birthing ball this time! 😛 )
I asked my Mom to snap a picture of me before we left for the hospital- behold my last bump picture!
We took the time to tell the girls that we were headed to the hospital to meet baby Finn and took a few pictures together- our last picture as a family of four!
Abigail was excited! 🙂
We left the house around 8 am and I had a few contractions in the car on the way to the hospital, but it was NOTHING like the drive to the hospital with Mabel. The pain was totally manageable and honestly I wasn’t even convinced that I was actually in labor or that any progression was happening.
I had been 4cm at my last OB appointment on Wednesday, so I knew that I was at least that far along, but didn’t really know what to expect!
We made it to the hospital and none of us could remember what entrance we were supposed to use. We tried the ER first, which was a total swing and a miss. Jim had dropped me and my Mom off and had gone to park the car, so I had to call him and tell him to come back and get us, lol!
He picked us back up and drove us over to the hospital entrance, where we were directed to the correct floor and all was well. Hooray! We’d made it!
They put me in a “holding room” to change into a hospital gown, take a urine sample, and check my progress.
A few minutes later Jim showed up, birthing ball in hand, ready to assist.
The nurse checked me and what do you know, I was already at a 6! This was ACTUALLY it. I was actually having a baby!
AND I just might actually have time to get an epidural!
Like I’d said, in my mind, I figured if I got to the hospital already at a 7/8 I wasn’t going to go through the trouble of getting an epidural because I’d basically be done at that point. But, I was secretly hoping that I might only be a 5/6 instead and could get the drugs. Because, I’ve lived through transition two times now.
And to be completely honest, I really, really didn’t want to live through it a third.
So, when the nurse asked if I’d be wanting one I said YES PLEASE and also get it going IMMEDIATELY because this baby is going to show up fast.
They took us to our room, which, coincidentally was the exact same room that I had Mabel in! We thought that was pretty cool.
I kept having mild contractions as we waited and got everything signed and prepared and hooked up before the anesthesiologist could arrive.
They got me settled into bed and got my IV going. Apparently, you have to get an entire bag of fluids before you can get the drugs? I don’t know the in’s and out’s of it, but it seemed like it took forever. I kept asking, “is the medicine man coming?” because I was seriously getting panicked the longer it kept taking because I can’t stress this enough- I really, REALLY did not want to live through transition again.
As I laid there all hooked up and getting my fluids, my Mom asked a few times if I wanted to sit on my birthing ball or walk around at all and I was like NO. I was NOT going to move or do anything to get him in a better position to be born. That dude had better just sit still and wait a bit. (which, worked!)
Sometime after 10am the “medicine man” FINALLY arrived and I could finally breathe a giant sigh of relief because he was here! I was actually going to get an epidural!
^the face of someone who is about to get her drugs^
They had my Mom leave the room but let Jim stay with me while they put it in. I guess it went fairly text book though he “zapped” me at one point and that hurt like- wow, it was the biggest shock. I yelled and jumped and you’re not supposed to move like, at all, when they’re inserting your epi….because you can like, be paralyzed or something. But really, that did NOT feel good at all.
But after that little hiccup they got the meds flowing(you can feel it like cool water down your back) and got me completely situated.
Before the epidural I had to pee SO bad, but they told me to just wait and after the meds started working, I wouldn’t feel like I had to go anymore and they could take care of it for me, lol.
So that’s what we did! It took absolutely perfectly. A little bit more on the right side than the left, like, my right thigh felt really heavy compared to my left one but I could still feel my toes and move my legs if I needed to. Which was exactly what I was hoping for. I didn’t want to be so numbed out that I was paralyzed.
But it was numbed enough that it made my contractions almost completely painless. It basically turned my heavy hitting contractions into braxton hicks sensations. I knew I was having a contraction because I could feel it, but it didn’t hurt. I would look at my Mom and say, “I’m having one?” and she’d look at the monitor and say something like, “oh yeah you are. a huge one” and then we’d all cheer because woohoo, epidurals are the best!
And it was so crazy because my labor ended up being JUST LIKE MABEL’s, in that my contractions were super mild and then started coming just one on top of the other on top of the other once I started moving into transition- but let me just say how much happier I was this time around! (Also, Mabel’s cord had been wrapped around her neck, so her heart rate just kept dropping and dropping and dropping. Finn didn’t have that problem at all and his heart rate stayed steady and strong the entire time)
So anyway, back to having to pee- I didn’t feel like I needed to pee anymore, so the nurse came and checked me- I was at a 7! and emptied my bladder.
Then they left me to progress for a bit on my own.
It was hilarious, because we were all just like….what do we do now? That’s it? I guess we’ll…take a nap? Look at our phones? It was SO strange, because my previous two births have been SO MUCH WORK and required SO MUCH FOCUS the ENTIRE time.
Such a completely different experience this time around.
And really, once I got the epidural in, that’s when I started getting really emotional. Because, like I mentioned above, it was dawning on me how every little detail was working our just for me.
I had been so worried about whether to induce or not and I didn’t have to make that decision.
I had been so worried about who would keep the girls and how long it would take for them to get to our house and they got to stay and play with my Dad all day and there was no waiting required.
I had been so worried about going into labor while Jim was at work, while I was at home by myself with the girls- and that didn’t happen.
I had been so worried about knowing when to go to the hospital and getting there 1) too soon or 2) too late, and instead, we got there at just the right time.
I had been worried about getting an epidural and how I might not have time for one OR be the person who has a horrific reaction to it- but neither came true. In fact, it seems that I was a perfect candidate for one.
I had been worried about who would be delivering my baby, because it is completely random whether my Dr. would be there or not. And as we walked to my room to get settled, MY Dr. B was sitting at the front desk taking care of paper work and let me know she would be the one delivering my baby that day.
I mean, I could just go on and on. (which I pretty much have) but it’s no wonder I was brought to tears as Finn’s birthday was just unfolding so beautifully.
Around noon, my Dad sent pictures of the girls to show me how well they were doing!
So, as much as I’ve talked UP my epidural experience so far, I have to mention one big giant problem with it.
Around this same time, noon I’d say, I started feeling like I needed to pee again. My nurse had come in to check on me and asked how I was doing and I said that I needed to pee. And she was all….you shouldn’t be feeling like you need to pee.
So she asked me when I had last hit my epidural button. And we were all….what epidural button?
APPARENTLY, they give you a remote that you push to dispense meds to you every 15 minutes(or as needed) to keep you numb. Which NO ONE told us about…. I’m feeling like that should be epidural 101 but maybe since it was my third baby they just assumed I knew about this magical button? I don’t know. But to know that I had gone over an hour without refilling my meds had me feeling PRETTY annoyed.
So, she got me a new dose and my remote and off she went.
Until an HOUR or so later, she comes back to check on me and we discover that actually my epidural pump is BROKEN and hasn’t been dispensing any meds for another hour. Sighhhh.
So, my remote didn’t work and we had to call her into my room every 15 minutes for her to manually dispense the meds to me. When she did it that first time and I felt the water sensation running down my back for the first time since the “medicine man” had given it to me, I was like OHHH so that’s what it’s supposed to feel like. Hmm. would have been nice to know.
Anyway- I’ve talked about this epidural A LOT haven’t I?
Shortly before 1pm they checked me and I was at 9cm. My Dr. B had to take a call at 1pm and she told the nurses that as soon as she breaks my water, I’m having a baby. So we waited until after her call to finally finish things up!
Shortly before 2pm, she came into my room and broke my water. Exactly like my girls, my water breaks at the very, very end, and just a few pushes later….they’re here!
The anesthesiologist had told me, “now, your epidural isn’t going to help with the pain and pressure of pushing. It just helps with contractions” and the nurse told me, “when it’s time to push, it is going to feel really different with an epidural than it did without”
And I don’t know what made it this way, but once his little head was right there and ready to go- it was excruciating. Like, I legitimately lost 100% all control of myself. There was no listening to instruction. There was no listening to my body. I had gone pretty primal when I had my girls, but this felt like way more than that.
Mom switched the camera around and only took pictures of him being born (which the internet will never get to see) but I’m so glad she did, because my face in those moments is not something I think I ever want to witness! (which is really saying something considering what the alternative photos are of)
Pushing Finn out was seriously the most painful thing I can think of ever experiencing. I was absolutely screaming and yelling.
I wanted to find a way to just shove him back up in there and get him out some other way.
I wanted to force him out of there immediately so I could just make it stop hurting so much.
I waffled back and forth in my brain between sucking him back up and blasting him out (neither are great options, those) and couldn’t make sense of how or why it just hurt SO SO MUCH and then they were telling me that his head was out, which should have felt exciting but it didn’t- it just really FREAKING HURT and so they told me to push again and out came the rest of him.
My Dr. broke my water at 2:02 pm and Finn was born at 2:09. (For comparisons sake, with Abigail I pushed for 10 minutes…with Mabel I pushed for 2)
They put him on my chest and I didn’t feel that drug free, all natural birth high that I had had with the girls (Mabel specifically). I was mostly still just reeling from how much pushing him out had hurt, that I honestly think I was in a little bit of shock.
Obviously, I was so thankful that he was okay and so, so perfect and healthy but dude, just, ouch.
I remember my Mom’s voice saying, “talk to him, Courtney” because I was just holding him silently like “what the heck was that!”
And, like the shock from the pain that I mentioned, the old brain was also having a hard time catching up to Finn himself. Like, obviously I had known that he was in there and was coming. I knew there was a baby. But there is still just something SO surreal about them being inside of you for 10 months and then boom! they’re in your arms instead.
Just like with Mabel, we got to do skin to skin immediately for a nice long time, they delayed cord clamping and my Mom got to cut it!
This is a picture of me, legitimately apologizing to my Dr. for screaming at her, lol. Look at how nice she is!
Then, just a few minutes after he was born(I’m talking like *maybe* 10 minutes new), the little dude was READY to eat.
So, after a nice long time of snuggling and initial check ups and clean ups and things like that- they finally took the little guy to get weighed and measured and wrapped up!
(My hospital has now started delaying baby’s first bath for at least 6 hours, which I think is AWESOME!)
Finn weighed 7 lb 13 oz (my biggest baby!) and was 19.5 inches long.
Is there anything more delicious than that first post delivery meal?
Answer: no, there is not.
Minus the 7 minutes of pushing(which I know isn’t a lot but oh my gosh I wish you could understand how badly it hurt) and the epidural that didn’t come with a users guide, it was the exact birth experience that I was hoping for. It was calm and not rushed. It was actually my longest labor and delivery(7 hours from start to finish!) but that is what I had wanted- and exactly what the epidural did for me! I felt great afterwards(minus some swelling from the fluids for a week or so after) and this has BY FAR been my easiest recovery yet.
And that is the story of Finn Montgomery’s birthday.
You were totally worth it, little boy. We love you so much.