New Beginnings: Our Birth Story, Baby #3

New Beginnings: Our Birth Story, Baby #3

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Our third son, whom we are calling Pumpkin here on the blog, was born a little over a month ago on June 10, 2019 at 11:46pm. He was 6 lbs 15 oz and 19 1/4 inches long with a shocking amount of reddish hair. Our largest baby yet!

For those interested, this is our birth story.

The lead up

Our third son, Pumpkin, had an increased fast labor and delivery! Read more about his birth story.
Our third son!

For two weeks, I had been having mild on-and-off again contractions and was 3cm dilated. At our 38 Week doctor appointment, I was 4cm dilated and our doctor was very confident he would be born within the next 48 hours. That evening I had a few stronger contractions but they were still sporadic, no more than three in an hour, and went away when I laid down.

Then at exactly 10:00pm, I had a long and painful contraction. I hopped in the shower and had three more in the next five minutes. Fortunately, the boys were fast asleep and my dad was home to watch them so Bradley and I grabbed the go-bag and hopped in the car. We arrived at the hospital about 10:40pm, checked in, and went into triage.

At the hospital

The whole time I was having very intense contractions mere minutes apart. This time I asked if I was still able to receive any pain medicine. (My other deliveries were completely un-medicated.) They wheeled me into a delivery room, called my doctor, and began setting up. I was already 7cm dilated and shaking uncontrollably. Perhaps due to the speed at which the contractions had intensified, I was having a hard time managing my breathing and adjusting to the pain.

At that point, I had the choice of an epidural or Nitrous Oxide.

A happy dad holding his newborn son.
Proud Dada!

I chose the Nitrous Oxide gas, which was a new option at the hospital and the staff had a little difficulty getting it to work. It was probably only a handful of minutes, but it felt like an eternity to me. My back was hurting so badly. I couldn’t stop shaking or relax between contractions which meant I could not breathe properly through them.

They got the gas working just in time, and it helped take the edge off just enough so I could relax and get in some deep breaths. This momentarily slowed the contractions and helped me sort of “reset”, if that makes sense. I was able to focus and control my breathing. Then it was time to push!

All said and done, our third son – Pumpkin – was born exactly one hour and 46 minutes after that first contraction.

Talk about a fast labor and delivery! It was the fastest one yet! It makes a great birth story to share.

A close up on our third son, a redhead, sleeping soundly with a toy giraffe.
Looking cute at close to one month old!

My reflections

Our little unexpected blessing has kept us on our toes throughout the pregnancy and with his birth! At one and a half months postpartum, we are so very grateful for a relatively smooth delivery and a smooth recovery. The little fella is a good sleeper and was sleeping 3 to 4 hours at night by week three. The last few days, he has been doing six hour stretches at night!

He also is our first successful exclusively breastfed baby! Most likely due to his larger size, he was able to latch well from the get-go so we have not had to supplement. He ocassionally gets a bottle of pumped milk from Daddy when I need a break, but the rest of the time, he nurses. I am grateful to have this experience after challenges with Peanut and Pickle!

I had not had any issues with my milk supply this time either, and am making enough extra to have a nice little stash in the freezer already. It should be quite decent sized by the time I return to work.

The entire Van Sant family: mom holding the newborn and dad keeping the toddlers from falling off the hospital bed!
The whole family!

We are also very grateful for how smoothly Pumpkin has transitioned into the family. Peanut and Pickle adore their new “baby brother”. Oddly enough, it seemed easier adding a third baby than it was adding a second, but that could also be that we have had hardly any outside stress this time.

Our redheaded little Pumpkin is a blessing and a joy. We are so happy!

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.

Jeremiah 1:5


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