Masthead header
Morgan Crane: Personal Blog bio picture
  • Bloggity Blog Blog

    Another thirty-something mama writing about my three and a half year old daughter, my one year old daughter, breastfeeding, birth, car seat safety, motherhood, photography and family. Come see what's going on.

Induction Without Pain Meds – Baby L’s Birth Story

This entire pregnancy I anticipated and hoped for a labor and delivery experience similar to my experience with T’s birth. I planned to labor at home as long as possible and then go to the hospital ready to deliver.

Well. True to form, this little rascal had other plans. Baby Rascal Strikes Again!

At my 39 week appointment we were concerned that I might be leaking amniotic fluid so we did a fluid scan and a check. The fluid level was average but on the low side and no amniotic fluid was detected upon exam. So, we decided to check it again at the 40 week appointment if I made it that far. That appointment was on my due date, 10/13, and the scan showed low fluid. My midwife recommended going to the hospital that afternoon to be induced.

Wait what? Induced?

But my plan! My PLAN! Ha. So much for my plan. I was upset. I was MAD. I was mad at my body for not going into labor before fluid started getting low. I was mad that I was even seeing my due date. I was so DONE being pregnant. But I was MAD.

I talked to S and I talked to my doula and we considered asking for a repeat scan the next morning but fundamentally, it didn’t make sense to put it off. I was having regular contractions. My body was ready to labor. S was already leaving work. We had childcare on the way. My doula and photographer were available. It made sense to just go ahead and get it over with. I didn’t imagine this birth as something to “get over with” but that’s where my head was.

So, I went home. Cried. Updated some friends. Worked through my anger. Got my stuff together. Then I curled my hair and put on a full face of makeup. The routine of it calmed me down and made me feel more in control of the situation. With so many other things feeling out of my control, I needed something to hold on to!! On the plus side, I had hired a birth photographer so why not look fabulous?

We went to the hospital around 3:00 and I was contracting on my own but it was similar to the contractions of the week prior where I was just starting and stopping. They were uncomfortable but not kicking into active labor. While waiting for a room to be ready I was walking in the lobby trying to get things moving. The Stanley Cup was at the hospital for viewing so that was kind of fun to see. I opted not to get in line for a photo but I sneaked a few on my phone.

I had a good rhythm of contractions going by the time we were set up with a room. I was hopeful that labor would start for real without augmentation but a little skeptical.

Despite things not going as I had hoped, I was determined to be happy and try to have fun. I brought speakers from home and put on music to dance to in my room. My nurse said it was a breath of fresh air to have someone in such a great mood. Again, since so many things were out of my control, I took control where I could! I chose joy! I was about to meet my baby!


My dancing, walking and squatting and other methods increased the intensity of the contractions but still, nothing noteworthy. I would get into a good rhythm but then as soon as I would sit down they would stop. Baby’s head was too high up with my water intact (just like with both of my other labors). We couldn’t get measurable, strong contractions on the monitors when they would hook me up. It was really frustrating.

We went to the cafeteria and ate some dinner and then went back to the room to be hooked up to pitocin. I was so glad they let me eat. I wanted to just break my water but my midwife wanted a good contraction rhythm first before we broke it. Looking back I wish I had pushed harder to have her break it but hindsight is 20/20, right? So, around 7:00 they started the IV. That meant being attached to a big IV pole that I got to drag around with me. They had mobile monitors so I could walk around but whenever I would walk they would lose the baby’s heartbeat so that was kind of a pain. I had to keep going back to be readjusted. I rested for a bit. Walked for a bit. Had a great time chatting with S, my doula Samantha and my birth photographer, Maggie. I was on a mission to just try to enjoy myself. We made jokes, told stories, etc. They were able to move us to the one room at the hospital that has a big tub to labor in. I was happy to have access to it since I had always imagined laboring in the tub!



The pitocin did its job and got my contractions into a good rhythm. Every 2-3 minutes I’d have a contraction that made me stop and breathe but they still weren’t stopping me in my tracks. I knew from experience with my other two labors that it would take my water breaking to push me over the edge into active labor. So finally around 11:30, after 4 hours on pitocin, we called my midwife in to break my water. My guy was super cozy in there unlike his sisters who couldn’t wait to get out!

Linda broke my water around 11:45 and the effect was immediate. I sat on the bed for exactly two contractions before they got so intense that I couldn’t sit anymore. I stood up and leaned on the wall, which was my preferred position for contractions during my labor with T. I asked Samantha to squeeze my hips during the contractions and it helped a little but wow. Things got REALLY intense REALLY quickly. I was only dilated 3 centimeters when she broke my water so I was thinking it would take awhile to dilate and be ready to deliver.

We turned on the water for the tub right away and I got in and used the shower to spray on my lower back and distract me from contractions. It felt nice but those contractions were beastly. They were more intense than I remember with my labor with T. Probably because with T they worked their way up to that intensity naturally whereas this time it with from 0-60 when my water broke. Holy cow though. Shit got real.

I tried to use the same imagery as with T’s birth where I visualized the baby getting lower and lower in a “going down the drain” fashion and I used my voice going lower and lower to express that. I labored standing in the shower for maybe 10 minutes until the tub was full enough for me to lay down.

maggiecuprisinphoto_Lawson_birth047 maggiecuprisinphoto_Lawson_birth050

Laboring in the tub was… interesting. I don’t know what I was expecting but this wasn’t it. People made it sound so relaxing and made it sound like it was less painful somehow but it still was very painful. The up side was that I was able to really relax between contractions and let my body work. During the contractions I braced my elbows against the sides of the tub while the rest of me floated. I vocalized in a deep moan, wiggled my fingers and toes in the water, which felt great, and tried to breathe. Moaning helped with the pain but I DREADED taking a breath in during a contraction because it was excruciating! I was scared to breathe! It helped that I figured out that I needed to breathe 1-2 times during a contraction before the wave peaked and ended and I got the rush of oxytocin. It wasn’t as scary when I understood logically that they were only going to last a short time and then I could have a break.

Unlike my labor with T, where I just kept waiting for things to get worse so I never really complained because I didn’t really think I was “there” yet, this time I bargained with myself during each contraction. I said things (in my head) like “I can do this for maybe 10 more minutes but then I think I need pain meds” and “You don’t need to put yourself through this”. It was a totally different experience.

I finally said to my doula, “I don’t think I can do this for hours!” and she said “There’s no way you’re doing this for hours. You are so close!” And that helped so much!! I really thought I was going to have these intense contractions for a long time when in reality I jumped straight into transition and was dilating quickly.

All of the sudden, I started feeling a lot of pressure. I told my doula “This is what it felt like when I arrived that the hospital with T and I said I needed to push”!

Then, I felt him turn and descend. I could feel him go from being high in my belly to being IN the birth canal and on his way out!! I told Samantha what had just happened and she said it was about time to get out of the tub! (In IL you can’t deliver in a tub in a hospital so I had to get out before pushing.)

I had to get from my floating on my back to my knees and in that movement I really thought he was going to come out in the tub! I was on my knees, gripping the side of the tub, and my body started pushing all on it’s own. I was just along for the ride! Everyone made it top priority to get me from the tub to the bed.

Walking that 8 feet was pain unlike anything I’ve ever felt. Walking when your body is starting to push is NOT recommended. They covered me in warm towels and a warm blanket. I told them I didn’t want to be on my back so I got on my hands and knees and they raised the back of the bed so I could lean on it. Again they were having trouble picking up his heartbeat on the monitors so the nurse kept trying to reposition them on me and I just wanted to scream at her to stop touching me! They had to keep pressing the monitors into my abdomen and it was incredibly painful.

Going into this labor I told my doula and my midwife that I just wanted my body to determine when to push. I didn’t want any counting. I didn’t want direction. I wanted to labor down until my body just pushed the baby out. That’s exactly what happened and it was an incredible experience of what my body is capable of!

I had a few contractions on my hands and knees and then they asked me to lay on my left side in hopes of getting a better read on the baby. I had barely lay down when a contraction came and Linda could see him crowning!! I was amazed!

From there he basically came out on his own! I definitely had the “ring of fire” sensation but I didn’t have to push through it. My body just did it. Linda narrated his head coming out. She said she could see his eyebrows then eyes, ears, etc. His cord was around his neck and she deftly maneuvered it over his head. I could intensely feel when his shoulders were about to come out! Linda helped guide the shoulders out then I reached down and brought him out the rest of the way! So thankful that I was able to deliver all three of my babies with my own two hands. It’s indescribable. I hope to remember that feeling as long as I live.

He was completely limp. Not crying or moving and that made me freeze in fear! On the video my doula says “Talk to him, Morgan!” and I rubbed his back and said “Hi baby!!” They said his heart rate was low and he needed some stimulation to wake him up. So, they took him over to the giraffe warming station and rubbed him with some blankets and that’s where he had his first cry. There’s nothing like the relief that comes from that sound!! They suctioned him and then gave him back and we got to have our first real snuggle while I was delivering the placenta. That took a little while to come out but eventually came out intact. Samantha held it up for us. Always fascinating to look at!

He went back to the warmer for more suction because he was so gurgly and they also needed to stitch up my tear. I tore in the same place with all three kids!! (seriously??? I couldn’t have had just one without a tear?) Stitches down there are pretty much the worst, even with local anesthetic. We made a joke that it just feels like shards of glass in your vagina. No biggy! haha. The things you joke about in childbirth!

A pediatrician came in to check him and said he looked great so we got to have him back. Finally everyone cleared the room and I was able to just hold him and process everything that had just happened. The hour after birth has been a super intense experience for me all three times. All the people and the stitches and just processing what has happened… it’s a lot. The second hour is where things are beautiful and relaxing.
During that second hour, Daddy got to hold him. We got to take some pictures. We went up to our room together and began our journey as a family of five. The girls met him the next day after school. Maggie came back to take out first family photos. Precious memories to be sure. I’d recommend birth photography to anyone.
All things considered I still wish I had gone into labor on my own but for an induction, I couldn’t have asked for better. I know that the pitocin made my contractions more intense and painful but I was still able have to deliver without pain medication as I had planned.
I firmly believe that my decision to proceed with joy had a major impact on my experience. I was an active participant at every turn. I worked with my birth team to make decisions and we had a great birth!
If you’ve made it this far in the story, thanks for reading.
Birth matters.
Women matter.
Babies matter.

 Tweet This Post Pin to Pinterest Back To Top

I know you, Baby.

I know you, Baby. I’ve heard your voice and smelled your smell. Your face brings back long July nights in 2010 and cool November days in 2012. Sometimes in the middle of the night I’d SWEAR I’m nursing a different baby. A baby from my memory.

But you aren’t either of those babies. You are YOU. You have your own habits, your own face, your own needs. Somehow your babyhood is now a culmination of my experience mothering newborns. I’m so glad to already know you and know what to expect. I’m so thankful for these sweet, late night memories of days gone by and babies who are grown.

I’m also thankful that my experience with them means a more peaceful experience with you. I love that you remind me of your sisters. I love that I see their faces in yours and hear their voices and smell their smells. I so enjoy learning about YOU though. My son. My last baby.

You just got here, but I’m so glad to already know you.

 Tweet This Post Pin to Pinterest Back To Top

Thoughts On The End of Pregnancy When It May Be The Last Time

This is going to be all over the place.

So here I am, 38.5 weeks pregnant with Baby 3, getting close but fully in the deep end of the waiting game. I’m tired, uncomfortable, generally feeling awful but at the same time feeling very nostalgic. This may be the last time.


This may be the last time I’ll be this pregnant. Or pregnant at all.

Heck. It PROBABLY is the last time but I can’t and won’t make that call right now because I have no idea what this is going to be like. I’m sure someday I’ll be able to say for sure but right now I don’t know. I know too many people who thought they were done and even made decisions on permanent birth control and they regret it later.

So I’m inundated with all these ideas of what I “should” be doing and how I “should” be spending me time. These are my last days of “me” time for a LONG time and all I want to do is sleep. I have silly thoughts like “I never had pregnancy photos in a mountain lake in a flowy white dress!”. Never mind that I don’t live anywhere near the mountains… I briefly looked for someone to take some fine art nudes to capture this belly but didn’t find anything and I’m still debating trying to take a few myself… You know. In my spare time before baby arrives…
My apartment has great light but no neutral backgrounds where I could actually pose… All the ideas… no idea how to execute.

The thought of never having these photos weighs on me but I’m sure I won’t care as much once the baby is out. Newborn photos are more important…. aaaaaaaaand I don’t have those booked either!

So now, I want the photos but I’m too tired to take them. I want the last moments with my big girls to be positive and memorable but I’m too tired to do fun things with them. Someone pointed out that THEY won’t remember these last days but I will. I shouldn’t be so hard on myself but I’m kind of trapped in my own head/skin right now. I’m stretched to the max.

So I wait, and try to remember every kick and roll and hiccup and sleepless night with this life inside me. My body is great at making babies… decent at carrying them and pretty good at birthing them. It’s GREAT at feeding them and I know I’m a great mom. My time alone with this little love is drawing to a close and pretty soon I have to share him/her with the world… That’s always tough for me. Mama doesn’t like to share. I enjoy this time where I have my babies all to myself.

I can’t wait to see the girls as big sisters though. I know that Q will have a very special relationship with this baby. When she came home from school today I imagined the same scenario in a few months when it will be the baby’s favorite time of day. T is so good with babies. It will be a HUGE adjustment for her though. I’m scared of how she will act out because I know it’s inevitable. Q was super chill at her age and she still had issues adjusting.

It’s going to be a total zoo… I can’t help but wonder what we’ve gotten ourselves into. But I know it will be worth it. I’m trying to enjoy these nights without responsibility and these days to myself. It will be almost a full 4 years before this one is old enough to attend preschool. Here we go again…

Bring it on.

 Tweet This Post Pin to Pinterest Back To Top

Baby 3.0 – 20-22 Weeks Pregnant


Weeks Pregnant: 20-22! It’s safe to say this pregnancy is flying by!

Size of the baby: 20 Weeks: Banana size, 22 Weeks: Spaghetti Squash! Almost 11 inches and 1lb!

Emotional stuff: Things have been pretty good. Emotions have run high but I’m starting to expect that! I’m doing some major purging of my clothes and kid clothes that I don’t love. Using the Marie Kondo method of thanking each item for the part it played in our lives made it easier to purge things!
It still hasn’t hit me that there will be an actual little baby here in 4 months. I can’t wrap my head around it. So much to do before then!!

Physical stuff: These have been the absolute best two weeks of my pregnancy. I just caught a cold so that has slowed me down with aches and fatigue but luckily it hit on a weekend when S could take over. I also saw a neurologist and feel much better prepared to handle any future migraines. Maybe I’ll be spared future ones but if they come, I’ll be ready!

Baby is still super active. Still waiting for the right opportunity to get Q to feel some kicks but S has been able to feel lots. I had my laptop on my belly tonight and it kept wobbling around due to all the kids. I am in for it later on I think.

Sleep is decent once I am able to fall asleep. It gets so hot in our room and I run hot while pregnant anyhow. Now when I sleep I tend to stay in one position and when I wake up my top limbs will be asleep so that’s not very fun. I wake up every time I roll over so that’s not very fun either. I know it’s just going to get worse though!

I can’t stop eating: Whatever is around. Food is not my friend this pregnancy. I haven’t been craving or loving anything. I’m fortunate if I can just find things that taste good. Fresh fruit has been pretty good.  

I can’t even look at: No real aversions. 

Fitness: I haven’t been doing much. I need to decide if we want to keep the Y membership since we aren’t really using it…

Sibling Prep: Not much change from last entry. Q is excited for a sister. She wants to name her Annabelle. The boy name she has picked out is “Bluuuuhhhhhhhhhhhh”, like the sound of vomiting. 🙂 Aren’t almost five year olds precious?

Birth prep: We have our Doula booked. That’s about it so far. It’s sneaking up on me though.

Baby prep: Went through old baby clothes and purged the ones I don’t love. That was liberating. We also got some of our baby gear back from friends that so now we have actual baby stuff. WEIRD! 

 Tweet This Post Pin to Pinterest Back To Top

Baby 3.0 – 19 Weeks Pregnant

I still want to do a bump photo series and hope to start it at week 20. Between feeling gross and gross weather my motivation to get camera ready has been at an all time low. However, I know I’ll be sad if I don’t! I also need to get over the fact that I’m heavier all over this pregnancy and won’t look as cute as I did when I was pregnant the first 2 times. Time to get over it!!!

Week Pregnant: 19! Whaaaaat?

Size of the baby: About the size of an heirloom tomato. In layman’s terms, baby now weighs about 8 1/2 ounces and is roughly 6 inches long from head to bottom.

Emotional stuff: oh Hai raging hormones 🙂 I am officially becoming preg-motional. I feel like it’s rather early for this but everything seems to be happening early this pregnancy!! This week I’ve gotten so mad about something I couldn’t calm down for over a day and also so overwhelmed by something that won’t happen for a year that I cried. hahahahaha
I’m calling a spade a spade though. This pregnancy has turned me into a crazy person. Watch out for me by the end! lol. I am more convinced than ever that it’s a boy. Things are just too intense in every way!

Physical stuff: Last week I had migraine from Monday through Friday. Monday it started lightly and took root by evening. Tuesday – Thursday were full blown migraine culminating with me throwing up twice on Thursday and calling S to come home early because I didn’t feel safe to drive and pick up T from the sitter. Friday I was recovering and by Sunday I felt back to normal. This week has been good but I still feel nauseated a few days a week. Sometimes before I eat. Sometimes after. I can’t predict it anymore. This has not been an easy pregnancy for me.

Baby is super active. I feel him 50+ times a day. He kicks a lot when the cats lay on my belly or if one of the girls is sitting with me. I can feel the kicks from the outside but no one else has yet. I kind of like my private relationship though. Baby is all mine only for a short time!

I can’t stop eating: Pasta salad, grape tomatoes, Frosted Mini Wheats. 

I can’t even look at: Food really isn’t my friend, still. I eat whatever sounds good at the time and half the time it doesn’t actually taste good once I get a chance to eat it. I hope eventually I’ll be able to just eat and enjoy my food! I’ve been eating out a lot because it’s so hard to buy food at the store and actually want to eat it later…

Fitness: This week I’ve felt really good. I’ve been able to go walking again with the girls and it feels great to be active. I can get through the day without napping (even though I still like to nap if I can) and my energy in general seems to be back. 

Sibling Prep: Q is just the sweetest when it comes to the baby. She kisses my stomach every night and says “I just love you so much!”. It makes my heart explore. T still is pretty oblivious. She’s obsessed with her baby cousins though so that’s a good sign. When we talk about a new baby coming to live with us she suggests one of her baby cousins. 🙂

Birth prep: We have our Doula booked. That’s about it so far. It’s sneaking up on me though.

Baby prep: Starting to think about going through the old baby clothes and donating anything we don’t love. We definitely need to get rid of some stuff to make more room for the baby. It’s going to be tight but we’ll be OK. I’m just going to need to do some hardcore nesting and organizing. 

 Tweet This Post Pin to Pinterest Back To Top