She’s here! (As you might have guessed from my radio silence).
The most anxiety-provoking thing about labor – for me – is not knowing how it’ll all begin. Will contractions start? Will my water break? Will some health issue cause the need for an induction? So many unknowns! With Wildman (whom I’ll refer to as WM from here on out), I had days of contractions.
Thankfully, Baby K’s birth was much quicker. Her journey into the world began on Friday, May 19. We’re thankful she waited for my mom to come into town so that we had someone to watch WM and our pup while we were in the hospital.
Before I start my story, you should know some things about me. I’m really stubborn. I also like to carry out my plans as best I can with a toddler. I tend to get cranky when things don’t go according to my plan. Ok, we can continue…
The plan for the day was to take WM to lunch and then to Build a Bear at Park Meadows. He really wanted to make a stuffie for his new baby sister and one for himself. We had an enjoyable lunch and started to gather our things for our next stop. As I stood from our booth, I though I felt water leaking. Not knowing what that really felt like, I mentioned it to my mom (who played it very cool, by the way), so we sat down at our table for a few more minutes.
“It’ll probably leak again when I stand, if that’s really what I felt,” I told her.
When we got up again – nothing. My poor mom suggested we just head home. But we were so close to the Build a Bear store! Besides, I wasn’t totally convinced it was water and not pee (9-month pregnant lady problems…). So, I insisted we go make these stuffies before we left.
WM had a blast picking out and stuffing animals for him and his soon-to-arrive sister. I was still feeling fine at this point, and insisted I could drive the 30-minutes home. Spoiler: it went fine. I had what I thought were a few Braxton Hicks, but nothing painful.
Once we were home, I drafted status emails for my work accounts so that I could shoot off details of where my projects left off and what was complete. As I stood up from writing, my water broke. All over my dining room chair. There was no denying it this time. Pants and chair were soaked.
I called my husband who rushed home from work. We gave WM lots of love before heading to the hospital. Triage and being admitted went on pretty uneventfully. We were in our L&D room by 7 p.m. Because I wasn’t in active labor or having super uncomfortable contractions yet, I wasn’t high priority. It took four hours of waiting before a resident came to check me. My hubby and I were a little frustrated, but once we saw a doc things sped up quite a bit.
Because I hadn’t progressed passed 1 cm since my 39-week appointment a couple of days prior, my doc gave me Cytotec. That’s when things started going really fast. Strong contractions started within an hour. I powered through four and a half hours of active labor. I bounced on a birth ball, walked around our gigantic room and finally, ended up swaying my hips on all fours – the only position that was somewhat tolerable through the pain.
My legs started shaking from kneeling for so long. I was getting tired. I needed something to take the edge off. Our hospital offers Nitrous, so I decided to try that in hopes that I could deliver without an epidural. For each contraction, I pressed the mask that delivered the gas into my face as hard as I could. I breathed in as deeply as my lungs would let me. It offered some relief, but not what I was hoping for. In the meantime, the nurse offered to draw me a bath to labor in, which I agreed to even though I wasn’t sure I’d be able to walk there. It’s a tactic I was interested in trying, but I never got there.
I started to get pretty agitated having to hold a mask to my face during the worst contractions. After 30 minutes of Nitrous, I begged for an epidural. By the time I was medicated enough to be somewhat comfortable, I had about 10 minutes of rest before my doc checked me again. To her surprise, I’d gone from 1 to 10 cm and it was time to push!
The pushing experience was so laid back. The resident and attending sat on either side of my bed as I pushed, while my husband supported me by my side. We were talking and cracking jokes between pushes (ok, maybe it was just me. I get awkward sometimes – especially when spread eagle in front of strangers).
At 4:48 a.m. on May 20, Baby K arrived! She was 7 LBS 12 OZ and 20 inches long with LOTS of dark hair. She’s a total mix of me and my husband.
We’re one and a half weeks in to being a family of four. We’re loving every minute of it! Of course, there is some adjusting for everyone. WM is doing so awesome and loves cuddling on his sibling. We’re so fortunate that Baby K has been a great sleeper so far, giving us 2-3 hour stretches at night. It’s been great having my mom and hubby home to help with both kids.
My help will leave/go back to work on Monday, so wish us luck! Any tips on juggling two?