I guess Mercer's birth story starts a couple of days before my due date. I had a check-up with my doctor and I was only dilated to a one; no signs that anything was starting yet, but things can change quickly at the point in pregnancy, so I wasn't worried. We talked hypothetically about induction and when that would be done, but not at length, because neither one of us expected it to be an issue. Adelaide was born a day early, so of course Mercer would come any day, right? 

Fast forward to the next week (Monday I think), my doctor was just as surprised as I was to see me at another check up. I was about 40 1/2 weeks, still dilated to a one, no signs of anything starting... We went ahead and scheduled an induction for that Friday. I really hadn't given induction any thought at all. After all, Adelaide came on her own, no problems whatsoever. So scheduling that induction wasn't scary, or stressful or anything, because there was not one ounce of me that thought I would actually be showing up for an induction. I just knew I was going to go into labor any minute. I left that appointment and bought red raspberry leaf tea and pineapple just to be safe. That would make it a sure deal. Right?

Fast forward a couple more days: Thursday, the day before the scheduled induction. Still no signs of anything. At that point, I had been drinking 3 cups/day of red raspberry leaf tea for 2 days and eaten almost 2 entire pineapples on my own and walked endless circles around our yard while Adelaide napped. I went to an abandoned parking lot and walked on the curb, one foot up on the curb, one foot on the ground for half and hour. (I had been assured by another mom at Adelaide's school that it would make me go into labor.) I left there and drove over to the local library where I climbed up and down a flight of stairs for another 20 minutes. 

Nothing.... except exceptionally sore calves.

Now I was starting to worry. I didn't want to be induced. I wanted things to happen naturally like they had before. I wanted my body to have time to adjust to labor and to trust that my body would do what it needed to do on its own when the time was right, when Mercer was ready. It went fast with Adelaide as it was, and I was scared of what it would be like when it was forced to happen. I went back and forth and cried and cried and cried. Eventually, I decided I would call my doctor and push the induction to the following Monday.... he couldn't do Monday, if I wanted to wait, it would have to wait until Tuesday, but he "did not advise that I wait that long." At my appointment earlier in the week, he had told me that after 41 weeks, you're basically just waiting for something to go wrong, hence scheduling the induction. He said it just wasn't worth risking something happening to the baby when my bishop score said I had a low risk of needing a c-section if induced. But I was convinced that I would go into labor naturally, I just had to give it time... maybe my due date was off and I wasn't as far past as my doctor thought. But the more I thought about it, the more I started to worry. What if he was huge by the next week? He measured at 8 lbs 2 oz earlier in the week... what if waiting meant he got too big for me to be able to do it anyway? What if something terrible happened to Mercer all because I didn't want to be induced? Was I being selfish? After lots more back and forth with myself, tons of tears, calling a friend for advice and crying some more, I decided I should just go ahead with the induction the next day as planned. It just wasn't worth risking his safety when everything indicated that an induction should go perfectly fine. So, with my tail between my legs, I called my doctor's office again, and asked to have it moved back to Friday (the next day). My doctor was already gone for the day. They couldn't change it. That was it, I had made my bed and now I had to lie in it. Cue more tears... but eventually accepted it and made peace with the plan. If it hadn't been for the "I wouldn't advise it." from my doctor, I would've been happy with plan, so I focused on my desire to let things happen naturally.

6:30 Friday morning, I wake up to a phone call from the hospital. "Are you coming in for your induction this morning?" Ummmm.... no? What? Huh??? Apparently, my doctor didn't call to tell them I wasn't coming until the next week since it was late in the day when it all happened.

Wow.... this is getting long.... it'll get quicker (way quicker) once I get to the hospital....

I told the nurse of the new plan, to wait until the following Tuesday. "How far along will you be then?" "41 week and 6 days." I told her. She said she did not think that was a good idea, that was too long, it wasn't safe. She recommended I call my doctor's office to try to get it done that day. Remember how I got okay with the plan, now I was terrified. So, when my doctor's office opened, I called. My doctor was in surgery. His nurse was not sympathetic at all, afterall, this was all happening this way at my request. Then I started crying. She felt bad for me then, and said she would talk to my doctor when he go to the office. I heard back from her around 12:30. My doctor agreed to go ahead and induce me if I could get to the hospital asap. Oh, sweet relief. I had been worried sick for hours. At this point, I just wanted him to be born so I could stop spending my days worrying about why it wasn't happening. I called Jordan who had just finsihed up a job about half an hour away, he came home, my mother-in-law left work to come stay with Adelaide and we got to the hospital a little after 2pm. I was dialated to a 2.5 when we got there and apparently I was having contractions, though I couldn't feel them at all. Who knows how long that had been going on? I also had low a fever. Yep, I had a cold on top of it all and could barely talk and was so congested I couldn't breathe through my nose at all. Wonderful timing on all points, huh? The nurses got the Pitocin going pretty quickly after we got there, but I wasn't feeling too much in the way of contractions for a while. 

They did come though....


^^ These photos do not do justice to the pain I was in...  I must have a good poker face when it comes to overwhelming pain! And thanks to Jordan for having the foretougt to take photos of my misery, haha! ^^

I finally decided to get an epidural at about 6:15 after probably a couple of hours of pretty good contractions (by good, I mean bad :). When it comes to an epidural, there's really no reason to wait! Why do so many of us want to wait and wait and wait? I did the same thing with Adelaide and nearly missed my chance to get one at all. If you're planning on getting one anyway, just get it! It's not like it's going to run out or you're going to prove what a woman you are by suffering through it as long as you can. Anyway....

My doctor came in to break my water somewhere between 6:30 and 7:00. He said he was expecting a baby around midnight. There were bets as to whether Mercer would be an April Fool's baby. The contractions got way more intense really quickly after that. Even with the epidural, I was in such pain. It was a totally different experience time. With Adelaide, I had been having contractions for about a day before she was born. They felt like really bad cramps, I could feel the tightening around my belly, just like I always read it would be. The were strong (remember me standing in the middle of the road at the hospital because I could not move through the contraction?) But once I got the epidural, nothing. Not a damn thing. No pain whatsoever. I couldn't move anything from the waist down for hours even after she was born. Dead weight. With Mercer, there was no crampy feeling, just pressure. Intense, downward pressure. I could never understand how pressure could hurt before that experience, but it can. Oh wow, it can! And I could still move my legs, that probably should've tipped me off that this time was not going to be the same. I don't know if it was just a much more intense experience because it was happening so quickly and it was forced or if the epidural just didn't take as well this time... By 8:00, I had been telling my nurse that it was hurting like crazy, I told her about the intense downward pressure and she said it was him moving down. There couldn't have been more than a minute between contractions, it seemed almost constant. When they would let up, I just felt exhausted. I could barely open my eyes, I just wanted to sleep. At some point, someone made a call to let my doctor know it was probably time to head to the hospital. When my nurse she checked again me though, his head was there. Like, "Right there" she said (I could get more specific about just how close he was to greeting the world with no doctor present, but believe me when I say, he was right there!) Then understood completely why it was hurting so damn bad! I felt that urge to push that people describe, which I didn't experience at all with Adelaide. I could just feel my body telling me it was time for that baby to get out! My mom and sister were in the hallway at that point and apparently, the nurses were yelling at my doctor as he arrived to hurry up, he's coming! That part was very much the same as it was Adelaide. The part where the baby didn't care if there was a doctor there or not. Impatient! Both of em.

The doctor came in, I pushed twice in a row, one contraction (during which Jordan told me, and I vaguely remember, I said rather loudly- though I don't think it was a yell ;)- "It f**cking huuuurts!" and holy shit, did it!), and there he was. I was in complete and utter disbeleif that that was it. He was there. That fast.


As my doctor was stitching me up, I could feel that damn needle... the sharp as hell pain of those stitches going in. He asked if I had one of those button things... and at that point I remembered that I had that extra juice button for my epidural, and I should've been using is for, like, the past hour. It's amazing how pain can make you so foggy that you don't even realize you have a way to stop it. So, someone gave me the button, I pushed it and the pain went away. So yeah, I endured all of that for no bloody reason. What a dummy.

But that was that. Mercer Ansel was born at 8:12 pm. 7 lbs 7 oz (yeah, that 8+ pound estimate was way off), 20 inches long and perfectly healthy.

I don't know if things would've happened on their own if I had just waited. Probably? But in the end, he made it to the world safe and sound, and that's really all that matters. Two completely different birth experiences, two completely perfect kids :)

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