We are so excited to announce the birth of our son – Todd Wayne Fennell III onto my blog. We are so in LOVE with our precious gift from God and have been enjoying getting to know our little one as well as adjusting to newborn life. We are 10 weeks post delivery and I wanted to finally share our birth story with you all.
It all started a few weeks before his actual birth day. Our due date was January 29th, on January 17th (38wks pregnant) I thought my water might have broken. I called my doctor and was told to go to Labor & Delivery to be evaluated. I was so anxious about checking myself into the ER (something I’d never done before) that I broke down in tears. The nurses in L&D at our local hospital, Cleveland Clinic Indian River Hospital, were so sweet to me that day. They ran a few test and it turned out that my water did not break and I was still very pregnant, LOL. I was zero centimeters dilated and 50% effaced.
By 39 weeks pregnant things were getting really hard for me to do like walk and sit and just basic everyday tasks. At our 39 week appointment our doctor wanted us to get an ultrasound to check our son’s amniotic fluid levels and heart rate. So it was back up to L&D we went, this time my husband was with me. After the results from the ultrasound came back we were told our son was measuring on the larger side, they estimated between 8 1/2 lbs to 9lbs. Mind you I have a 5’4″ frame with an average size torso. When they told us this we were shocked. How could I be carrying a baby of this size!? Only God knows and I think it has to do with genetics (I was 8lbs 6oz. when I was born). During the ultrasound we got to see our sweet son. He was just as cozy as ever inside of my belly because at this point I still wasn’t dilated and only 50% effaced.
Our due date finally arrives and still no sign of going into labor. That’s when our doctor recommended that we schedule an induction for the following week if I don’t go into labor sooner. They wanted to go ahead and schedule one, because our son was measuring on the larger side and the longer we wait the more complications could arise. We arrive to our 41 week appointment eager to see if we’ve made any progress on dilation. I was trying all the home remedy tricks you could imagine to go into labor naturally!!!! I didn’t have an issue with being induced if I had to be, but I also wanted to go into labor naturally if I could. Still no progress.
At our 41 week appointment, our doctor asked us if we wanted to go ahead and start induction that night or wait until the next day. My husband and I both looked at each other and were so excited and anxious all at the same time. We knew it was coming, but I guess we thought we would have one more day to prepare any last minutes items. You know how that goes! We ultimately decided to go ahead and start the induction for that night, Tuesday Feb. 4th. Looking back now, I can’t believe the marathon of a labor we had.
Now here is where the fun begins! After packing our hospital bags (my husband packed way more than I did) we arrived at the hospital around 10pm on Tuesday night. We were met by the sweetest L&D nurses who helped us settle into our room and went over some paperwork with us. I still wasn’t dilated and only 50% effaced. My doctor’s plan was to start with Cytotec to soften my cervix. We did two rounds of Cytotec throughout the night and next morning. By noon on Wednesday I was only to one centimeter dilated. I felt like my body worked so hard up to that point (which it did), but I was hoping for more progress. My doctor then decided to insert a Foley Bulb and to start Pitocin to further help with dilation. All day Wednesday I labored on a birthing ball or in the hospital bed. My husband played our favorite Spotify playlist and we had a few family members check on us. It was 9pm Wednesday night, almost 24 hours into my labor when my doctor checked me and I was at four centimeters dilated. Hallelujah, finally some progress!! At this point we were given an option, to stop for the night or to keep going. I hadn’t eaten in 24 hours and my doctor was concerned about my energy levels. I was concerned, exhausted, and still had no idea what was coming next! I was given the option to have a bag of glucose fluids given to me to help with energy levels, so we decided to keep going as long as I was allowed to get that sugar water, LOL . My water was broken around 10pm Wednesday night and that’s when things really started to get serious.
Going into labor I told myself that if I could handle the pain on my own then I didn’t want to get an epidural. All throughout my pregnancy I had pretty severe back pain to the point where I couldn’t even drive my car any amount of distance without my back hurting. From the moment my water was broken I started to have the most intense back pain, way more intense than during pregnancy. It was the worst back pain that I’ve ever experienced. I opted to get an epidural as soon as I could. My sweet husband was right by my side throughout this entire process. I had a stress ball in one hand and held his hands with the other. I labored all night, squeezing his hands tighter and tighter as each contraction came and went. I think his hands still hurt to this day… During the early morning hours, about 2AM, the epidural was only working on one side of my body (my left side). Around the same time my L&D nurse suggested that I use a peanut ball to help with dilation. If you don’t know what a peanut ball is, think of a large exercise ball in the shape of a planters peanut. I wrapped my legs around that thing and switched from one side to the other. By doing this, it not only helped to spread out the epidural medicine, but it also helped me to dilate faster than I had the entire time before. I went from five centimeters to nine centimeters in a matter of a few hours.
At 4:30AM on Thursday February 6th, 2020, it was finally go time. I was finally at 10 centimeters dilated and we were ready to push. The L&D nurses called my doctor and we were soon pushing. My husband says we pushed for two hours. I honestly can’t remember as I was completely and utterly exhausted. It was only by God’s strength we were able to get through the next few hours. At 6:29AM we met our handsome sweet baby boy measuring 8lbs 12oz and 22 inches long of pure love. It was truly love at first sight. My husband and I are so thankful God chose us to be his parents and we are so excited to raise our sweet boy.
The entire pregnancy and delivery process is just such a miracle. I’m so thankful to be on the other side of it now and I’m starting to feel better. I had a second degree tear and honestly couldn’t walk very well for quite a while. I’m so glad my husband stayed at the hospital with us. He changed more wet and dirty diapers during our stay because I couldn’t get out of the bed.
After 4 days of being at the hospital between labor and recovery, we were finally able to go home on Saturday. I took the longest shower of my life that first day home and it felt so amazing to sleep in my own bed. We are 10 weeks post delivery and I think we have finally started to turn a corner. We have figured out somewhat of a routine and I’m so thankful for it. If you ask my husband, I’m a planner, and I needed some consistency in my days. I’ll post another update on how it’s gone so far, especially with the ‘stay at home’ orders by our governor due to Covid-19.
To our son: We are so in love with you. You’re 10 weeks old and full of smiles and little giggles. You’re little personality is coming out and we ooh and ahh at every little thing you do, even your crys. You love to smile and play in your jungle gym. You also love your bouncer seat and baby carrier as well as being outside. You have brought so much joy to our lives and we are so excited to be your parents 🙂
All the best,