I’m finally getting around to writing this up! I’ve been trying to think of how to do it, really. I’m not sure why I’m struggling to come up with a good line of thought this time, so I apologize in advance for the stream-of-consciousness of the following.
Quick story is: Jason was born at home at 11:33pm on February 15. He weighed 8lbs 8ozs – about a pound a half bigger than Gloriana!, was 21″ long, and had a 14cm head (I’ve decided this stat should be included; it’s highly relevant.). Sam and I worked well together again, and our birth team was wonderful. There were really no complications at all. I tore minimally, but didn’t require stitches. And I got a pitocin shot to avoid excess bleeding after delivering the placenta. We don’t know if it was technically really needed, but Sam and I have both decided that we rather like it. I haven’t had a bit of light-headedness or even a lot of postpartum bleeding this time, whereas with Gloriana I was a bit scared to shower without someone nearby for a few days because I was worried I might pass out.
Anyway, everyone was surprised and happy to be able to head home and to their beds before 2am. I know I was convinced it was going to be an all night thing. Which, I suppose, brings us to the actual labor.
But before I really start rambling, here are more pictures. I have some on my camera as well, but I haven’t had a chance to upload them yet. These will do for now. 🙂
It was definitely going, though I didn’t recognize it, when we got up that morning at 4:45 (the other kids have recently decided a 5am wake up time is good; we’re not sure why…). Sam had already taken the day off to be with me during the midwife appointment and to take me out for a consolation lunch at Jim’s Bistro. So, we all spent the morning being pretty chill, with me trying desperately not to be too frustrated or depressed that the contractions weren’t coming any stronger, faster, or more consistent than they were.
Eventually we dropped the kids off with Sam’s family, and decided to come home and possibly nap. I couldn’t nap. So, Sam made bread dough, and we went to lunch while it rose. I highly, highly recommend the Raging Bull burger from Jim’s Bistro. It is SO good. We were in and out of there super fast, so we came home and baked the bread. After that we headed over to Brande’s for our appointment.
I’d asked at the previous appointment if she’d be willing to do a membrane sweep should I make it to this appointment. She was, so we did that this time. I was extremely disappointed to hear that I was only 1cm dilated when she started, and that she was only able to get it to maybe 2cm. We left with the not very reassuring phrase “All I can promise you is that you won’t be pregnant forever.” I was pretty much convinced I would be at this point.
Brande was slightly concerned that the baby might have been posterior, so we went straight from her house to see Dr. Church to get adjusted. By the time we got to the office, I was having consistent contractions every 10 minutes. They didn’t last long, and weren’t so strong that I couldn’t talk through them, but I was having to deliberately breathe. However, after 3+weeks of prodromal labor, I still wasn’t convinced this wasn’t going to go where all those had gone: Nowhere. -_-
Home again, after seeing Dr. Church. I tried again, and failed again, to nap. So, we spent most of our time watching things and playing video games. Just trying to relax. I eventually downed a large glass of chocolate, peanut butter, banana smoothie that Sam kindly made for me. I am glad I did. It was a nice bit of energy to get me through!
Sometime around 6pm, we had to decide what to do with the kids. Sam’s family still had them, and they were doing great and having fun. I still couldn’t tell whether this was the real thing or not (contractions every 2-3 minutes – I know, I know… maybe one day I’ll learn… – but they only lasted 15-20 seconds, and weren’t crazy strong). However, I decided that I’d rather give it the chance to be the real thing instead of bringing them home to perhaps stall things, or have to send them away again in the middle of the night.
It was after deciding that that things seemed to get much more serious – though again, I didn’t really feel like it. I felt this time like I had a much harder time coping and relaxing and “getting in the zone”. I couldn’t find a comfortable place or position to relax through the contractions. I tried what I did the whole time with Gloriana (hands and knees), but that DEFINITELY wasn’t right. Eventually Sam convinced me to try to sleep again, so I headed to bed. As with Gloriana, I hated contracting lying down, so I ended up catching some half sleep while sitting up. I didn’t like that either, but I was too frustrated to move around any more.
Sam called the midwife and his mom sometime while I was there. They all arrived around 10pm, I think. I was again frustrated when everyone arrived because the contractions that had been coming in doubles went back to just one at a time. Only for a few minutes though, then it was back to business. Not long after that, my water broke.
I moved to the bathroom, and FINALLY found the zone! Laboring on the toilet was wonderful this time. I was also awake for transition this time. I never really thought I COULDN’T do it, but it was all I could do to remember how rewarding and empowering and amazing the whole experience would be. I did have the thought that if I was starting to think like this, it wouldn’t last long. I would be to the next stage shortly. Just keep breathing and trying to relax.
And finally pushing. I was mentally prepared to push for a while, to do whatever I had to do not to get an episiotomy again (unless the baby was in distress again, obviously). His heart rate stayed amazingly strong through everything, even mid-contraction, so nothing was needed, but calm and focus. Pushing went shockingly fast – less than 10 minutes. My body gave me two breaks during the pushing phase: one right before his head came out (finally felt that ring of fire so many people talk about), and one right after his head was out (weirdest feeling ever – not particularly enjoyable). At some point in there, Sam ended up completely holding me up by my knees, and I was over his shoulder gripping his belt loops! Odd, but effective. lol
Then finally he was born! His cord was only 14-15″ long though, so I couldn’t really bring him to my chest until the placenta was delivered. Once that happened, I got the pitocin shot, and we headed back to bed. I love home births! I’m always SO out of it at this point that I am incredibly thankful not to have to go anywhere, or ever try to be halfway presentable, or put on coats, or ANYTHING! Just head to my bed! It’s amazing.
Surprisingly this time, I didn’t really want anything to eat. I just drank a TON of strawberry pineapple La Croix that I’d been hoarding for labor day. After all the usual after baby things (weighing, measuring, quick exam, etc) were done, everybody headed home, and we drifted off to sleep.
I woke up after about 3 hours unable to sleep anymore. I had the baby high. I was practically giggly from being so happy NOT to be pregnant anymore, and shocked that we had an 8 1/2 pounder!
The after pains were definitely worse this time, but I still only medicated for about 36 hours. Since then they’ve varied in strength, but have never been worse than my usual bad cramps.
Jason slept amazingly that first night. We’ve had a couple of rougher nights since then, but he’s been pretty great for the most part! We’re all thrilled and in love with his little chubbiness! He was baptized our first week back at church (this past Sunday, the 25th)!
We have been thoroughly enjoying our time as a family. We’re blessed to have Sam home with us until March 5, and I still get to ease back into real life because, Lord willing, Mama is planning on coming back that week! Right now, I’m feeling so great normally that I’m fighting myself not to do too much. 🙂