Here we are, a month after the birth of baby M, and I’m just managing to get this posted. But you’ve been there; life just gets in the way. So, without further ado, the story of baby M.
Though my pregnancy with K lasted until 41 weeks, I was hoping and praying that Baby M would come early. Between the aches, the low iron and the trouble sleeping, I was so ready to have this baby.
Sept 18 was a scary day for me; during my second IV iron treatment, my blood pressure spiked then fell to 56/30. I couldn’t see, hear or respond to the nurses, and it took close to an hour to get me regulated again. After heading up to L&D to have a non stress test to check on M, I was sent home – everything looked great, and it was just a freak reaction. Since J was going to be out all afternoon/night, we sent K to my MIL’s for a sleepover. I figured all I really needed was rest.
At 3:45am on Sept 19, I woke up thinking I had peed myself (so glamorous). I slowly got out of bed, and the trickle turned into a gush. Though I was told it hardly ever happens this way, my water broke all over the bed. J wanted to make sure it wasn’t just pee…but the sheer volume of it proved it was definitely my water.
I paged the midwife, and she told me that since the fluid wasn’t clear (it was green/brown), they wanted to check me out in 8 hours, provided I hadn’t gone into active labour first. I showered, took some Gravol and Tylenol, and lay back down. I had some mild cramping, but really nothing major.
By 10am, contractions were nowhere to be seen. We decided to go for a walk at the mall to get coffee and see if the activity might start something. When I was still contraction-less at 12pm, we headed to the hospital to get checked out and have another non stress test.
Here, we learned a few things. The midwives are very hands-off; they prefer for things to happen as naturally as possible. That being said, because my water contained meconium (baby poop), they were much more concerned about a risk of infection. If the fluid had been clear, they would have let me wait up to 72 hours before suggesting an induction. Since it wasn’t, the most they felt comfortable with was about 24 hours. So, after chatting it over with J, we decided that if labour hadn’t started on its own, we would come in for an induction at 7:30 the next morning.
2 P M
We got home around 2pm, and I took some more Tylenol and laid down. K was having a blast at her Grammie’s house, so we figured we’d go over to see her at dinner time, one last time before the impending induction. At about 4pm, I was having irregular, slightly painful contractions, so we jumped in the car to go visit K. Though my MIL had made dinner, by 4:45 I knew I needed to go home. The contractions were ramping up fast.
6 P M
I jumped in the shower to try and relieve some of the pain on my back (apparently, my babies like to hang out in a posterior position, meaning lots of back labour for me!). By 6pm, I was begging J to page the midwife for me; this was the real thing. We hesitated briefly, because I didn’t want to get to the hospital and only be dilated to a 2 or 3, and be turned away. But, the contractions were intense enough that I was really nervous for the drive in to the hospital; so when the midwives told us to head to L&D, we did.
8 P M – 5 C M D I L A T E D
I was checked in and given a birthing room by 8pm. The contractions were coming fast and hard; J is hands down the best labour coach I could imagine, and even the nurses on the floor asked if he wanted a job as the resident doula. There was no doubt to my midwives, before even assessing me, that I was in active labour. When they checked, I was 5cm dilated and 90% effaced. Halfway there, I cheered silently, though I knew the hardest part was yet to come.
8 : 3 0 P M – N I T R O U S G A S
After a half hour of monitoring, I jumped in the shower again. Hot water was incredibly soothing between contractions which were 2 minutes apart, and J was right in my face, keeping me focused. After a few incredibly intense contractions in a row, I knew I needed a little more assistance. The hot water was nice, but wasn’t really helping all that much.
While the midwives hooked me back up to the monitor (I was allowed 30 min off/30 min on, because I opted out of continuous monitoring), they asked if I wanted to try some nitrous gas. Knowing how well it had worked (briefly) during K’s birth, I happily accepted. Though it didn’t stop the pain of the contractions (or even really dull them), it certainly made me care less about the pain, and made everything a little more bearable.
9 : 3 0 P M – 9 C M D I L A T E D
By 9:30pm, an hour and a half after I’d been admitted, contractions changed again. I told the midwives that I couldn’t do it, that it was too hard. Thankfully, the student midwife offered to check my progress; I think she knew I needed some hope. At this point I was 9cm dilated with only a bit of a lip left; that gave me some new energy. With K, it took 8 hours to go from 7cm to 10cm, so I felt great about my progress. With a bit more hope, I took a few contractions leaning over the back of the bed (almost on all fours). At this point, I started feeling the urge to push. Though I wasn’t fully dilated yet, the midwives encouraged me to follow my body, and push if I felt I needed to. I pushed a few times, and M had descended to a 0 station when he had been at -2 before.
As I was pushing, supporting myself on my knees was getting too difficult. Also, my reliance on the nitrous gas meant that my pushes weren’t very effective. So at that point, I flipped over into a seated position, gave up the gas, and settled into pushing…for real.
P U S H I N G
At this point with K, I had my epidural, so I don’t remember how intense pushing actually was. Anyone who tells you that pushing feels good after contractions?? Well….we need to have a few words. After four or five contractions/sets of pushes, I was exhausted. I told the midwives that I couldn’t do it, and I needed a break. Since my contractions were right on top of each other, there was no break to be had. But, in another amazing intuitive move, the student midwife asked for my hand. Just before the next contraction, she guided my hand down, and I could feel M’s head RIGHT there. With a few more pushes, J could see a head of dark hair. Mustering all of the strength I possibly could (and bursting blood vessels in my face and shoulders), I pushed through four more contractions. When I felt his head, then his shoulders slip out, I’m pretty sure I cheered and fist-pumped…then my slippery, beautiful Maxwell was placed on my chest. It was 10:57pm.
B I R T H – 1 0 : 5 7 P M
I kept saying over and over that I couldn’t believe I did it; I really didn’t think I could have an epidural-free birth. But M arrived, safe and healthy, and I felt fantastic.
He snuggled into me as the midwives stitched me up (second degree tear again, ugh), and latched on to nurse right away. After the stitches were done, and I had gotten about an hour of skin to skin time, the student midwife helped me up to shower and pee while M had his newborn exam.
He weighed in at 8lbs 12oz – a full pound and a half bigger than his sister and 21 1/4 inches long. He scored a 7 and a 9 on his Apgar, and the meconium in my water had no effect on him at all. Since I had gone med-free, and M was in great shape, we were prepped for discharge; a mere 2.5 hours after he was born.
D I S C H A R G E D – 1 : 3 0 A M
We were at home and settled in for the night before M was even 4 hours old. Thankfully, being so new, he was exhausted; we all fell asleep at 3:30am, and slept until almost 9am. I’m enjoying that now, while it lasts.
Recovery was a breeze this time. I’ll write another post soon about recovery, adjusting to 2 kids, and K meeting M for the first time (it was precious). For now, I’m going to go enjoy the brief amounts of sleep that I can grab, before M wakes up to nurse again!
We were at home and settled in for the night before Baby Oats was even 4 hours old. Thankfully, being so new, he was exhausted; we all fell asleep at 3:30am, and slept until almost 9am. I’m enjoying that now, while it lasts.
Recovery is going much better this time around, but we’re only 24 hours into this thing at present writing. I’ll write another post soon about recovery, adjusting to 2 kids, and Littke Oats meeting Baby Oats for the first time (it was precious). For now, I’m going to go enjoy the brief amounts of sleep that I can grab, before Baby Oats wakes up to nurse again!