As I write this, J is 5 weeks old. He is a dream baby, very relaxed and easygoing. He was slow to gain weight at first, but as of this week he is 9 lb. He has started smiling! It is a lot easier than I expected with a second baby, especially because I'm not as anxious as before. He's just kind of joined our household and our routine, we've managed to get out more and do fun stuff with S. Here's the long-awaited birth story!
At 4:15 AM, I woke with cramping. I kind of had a feeling that things may be starting. I tossed and turned for awhile, trying to get back to sleep. Finally got up at 5AM. As soon as I went into the bathroom, my water broke. It surprised me and I cursed and turned on the bathroom light, waking up the Bunny. I told him to go back to sleep.
I went downstairs, called my mom to come over, drank a cup of tea and ate some cereal. I was having very minor contractions every 10 mins or so. I called the doc and they told me to wait 4 hours to see if contractions start, if they don’t get going at least 5 minutes apart to call at 9AM.
S woke at 6:30 and we went through his usual morning routine. My mom arrived and S was very suspicious. He just wanted to snuggle next to me, I think he knew what was coming, though I didn’t tell him I was having the baby that day.
The Bunny took S to daycare and we got our things together for the hospital. It was a beautiful, sunny morning and unseasonably warm. At 9:30 I called the doctor and was told to go to the hospital.
We arrived at the hospital and were checked in. The Bunny started getting woozy and had to wait in the waiting area. I was only 1 cm dilated. The triage nurse, when she found out I was an immigration lawyer, went on a crazy tirade about “anchor babies” and how people are coming over from the Middle East to have babies here. Totally nuts and a really inappropriate conversation to have with a patient! The student nurse and I rolled our eyes at each other.
I was sent up to a L&D room and met my nurse, who was FANTASTIC. I was given half a cytotec to get the contractions going, they got going pretty quickly. I called my sister to come to the hospital later, I had a feeling I would need her there if the Bunny got woozy again. The contractions got going about every 3 minutes. They brought in a rocking chair and I rocked through the contractions for about 2 hours.
The doctor was MIA when they wanted to check me, as she was for most of my labor. Eventually another doc checked me and I was at about 3 1/2 cm. They offered an epidural but I wanted to wait until I was at least 5 cm. However, I was in a lot of pain, so I said I’d get it in an hour.
My sister arrived just as they were about to put in the epidural. What an ordeal. The doc inserted the catheter but something wasn’t right with it because I felt a strong jolt in my left leg when she moved it. She had to remove it and start over, TWICE! Finally on the third attempt, she called in another anesthesiologist to check it. It was in the space, but just barely. It was very hard to sit in that position for over 30 minutes, my neck was killing me. She felt horrible about it. My legs were starting to get numb, so I took it as a good sign.
I had pain relief for about an hour, then started feeling the contractions again, though not at bad as before. However, I could feel when the nurse checked me. Another doc came and gave me an extra shot of medication through the epidural catheter, that helped for awhile.
At 5:40, the doc ordered that I be put on Pitocin. This ticked me off, because she never came to ask me if that’s what I wanted or discussed it with me at all. She was obviously in a big hurry for me to deliver. She even called the nurse to make sure that she started it. I complained to the nurse about it and she just gave me the smallest dose possible.
Around 6PM, they checked me and I was at 6cm. I was really disappointed, I thought I would have been further along. I was in quite a lot of pain at this point. The nurse recommended that we use the “peanut ball” to put me on my side and speed things along. It’s a peanut-shaped exercise ball that they put between your legs. The minute I turned over, I suddenly felt an incredible pain and pressure. It felt like the baby was going to come out of my butt. The nurse said I’d have to endure it, but after laying on my side for a few minutes I was having a strong urge to push. My sister ran for the nurse, they checked me and I was complete. I went from 6 to complete in about 15 minutes! The MIA doc came and had me push once, then she disappeared again. She had another patient about to deliver and she had to check on her. I had to breathe through 2 contractions, which was agony. Thankfully, the doc came back and suited up for the delivery.
I pushed for about 20 minutes, through about 8 contractions. I can’t really describe it, other than to say I was in pure agony. Hats off to moms who go through natural childbirth, I would never be able to do it again. Finally, at 7PM, J came out, with one hand next to his head and his cord wrapped around his neck! He was totally fine, though, and I got to hold him for a few seconds when he came out. I was shocked to see what dark hair he has and commented on how blue he looked (he hadn’t yet taken a breath). I had a second degree tear which was stitched up. J scored 8/9 on his apgars. My sister was super excited to have witnessed the birth.
S visited the next day. He acted very oddly toward me at the hospital, he wouldn’t come over near the bed or look at the baby. I think it freaked him out a little bit that I was in bed in the hospital, he didn’t understand what was going on. Thank goodness my mom brought him a helium “big brother” balloon, which he played with and then she read him a book to break the ice.