So just like a race report, I anticipate this blog being epically long. I have warned you...
I delivered Aven on her 39th week date. With Little man, when my 39th week came and went, I realized I might have to settle in for the long haul. It didn't really dawn on me until Meg asked me if I wanted to set up my induction date...just in case. Induction? Really? OK...I guess so. We scheduled a date as far out as possible. The day after Thanksgiving (11/23). I was pretty sure I wasn't going to make it to that date. Little did I know what fate had in store for us.
Week 39 and week 40 were rather uneventful. I was getting more and more uncomfortable, but I wasn't "feeling" it. I wasn't getting physically uncomfortable, it was more of an emotional and mental thing. I was getting more anxious, worried everything was "normal", and increasingly worried about exactly HOW my labor was going to progress. Hindsight is 20/20 and I was remembering how painful natural childbirth was with Aven and I was doubting my ability to say "No" to the epidural this time around.
After you go past your due date, you go in for check ups twice a week. So I saw Meg on Monday and Thursday of that week. Monday's appointment was disappointing, to say the least. STILL 2ish cm dilated and only 50-60% effaced. Patience. I had to practice a lot of patience the last few weeks. When I went in on Thursday I was SURE I had progressed. I had been feeling crampy and menstrual all Wednesday night. Just like with Aven (watch there is a trend here). So when I got news that I didn't progress after Meg checked me on Thursday, I wasn't too disappointed; because just like with Aven that is how my last appointment with Meg went. As far as I was feeling, I was pretty sure at that point we were going to have this baby Friday (16th) or Saturday (17th) at the latest. I started feeling mild, but strong real contractions in the afternoon on Thursday. They were about 15 min apart. Around dinner time, they stopped and went away. By the time we were ready for bed they were back and much stronger. I could talk through them, but I knew things were progressing. Yeah?!
To be safe, we packed Aven up, dropped her with my sister, and headed to the hospital. I thought, "Hey even if I labor in the hospital for 6-8 hours, at least Aven will safe and taken care of. I can deal with not being at home." They admitted us at 11:30 pm and the night nurse checked me. I got hooked up to the NST machine, basically it is 2 sensors they strap to your belly and they listen for the baby's heart beat and the strength of your contractions. I have been on this machine for the past month due to my "age." Since I am over 35 I am considered "high risk." UGH. After an hour, my contractions were 6-8 min apart and very strong, but I didn't dilate past the 3 cm I was when I was admitted. The nurse said the midwife on call (not Meg) said I should be discharged and sent home. I didn't want to leave. I explained this is my second pregnancy, I live 45 min away, and have a 2 year old we have to get help with. It would be much easier for us if they could let us stay. The nurse said, it is really unlikely I would be delivering in the next 5 hours since I hadn't progressed from my morning appointment. Then she said, and I quote, "It is not like you will be having a front porch delivery. That is SO rare. Come back when your contractions are at least 4 min apart for at least an hour. That way we will know you are in ACTIVE labor when your contractions are consistent for an hour." OK...with that vote of confidence, Andy and I headed home. I wanted to get some sleep anyway. So this was shaping up to be exactly like Aven's delivery. We went to the hospital, got turned away, I will go home and rest, then head back to the hospital in the morning and deliver my baby boy, right?
We got home at 1:30 am I got something to eat, took a Tylenol PM to help me sleep, and laid down. I woke up at 4 am with a bout of super intense killer contractions. Andy said in hindsight, I was physically looking different to him. My eyes weren't really focusing on him when I looked at him, I was trying to get in all these different positions to relieve the intensity of the contractions. (Child's pose, curled up in a ball, and fetal position). When none of those were working (BTW, my contractions were still erratic and about 6 min apart) I thought, last time with Aven I took a bath and my contractions slowed down. If I can slow down my contractions, we can get things re-packed and down to the hospital. Driving usually slowed them down too. In my head, we had PLENTY of time to get to the hospital. I took a bath and instead of slowing the contractions down it sped them up. They were 2.5 min apart now (less than 45 min has transpired from me waking up) and they were STRONG. I was getting really sweaty and hot sitting in the bath. Thinking the water was too hot, instead of my body trying to work through hard labor, I got out of the tub. In hindsight, I should have stayed in the tub.
Warning gross TMI: I got out of the tub and put a towel down over the toilet and sat down. I had 4 really hard contractions and started to get worried that I couldn't deliver Little man without an epidural. I was thinking, "Whoa, these contractions are really strong. It is going to be really hard to endure another 6 hours of this at this intensity." I got up and saw a bloody mucus pile on the towel. I thought OK, that was my mucus plug and we are getting closer. I got dressed and went to find Andy. He had the car all packed up and ready to roll. It took me some time to get my shit together because I had to keep taking breaks every 2.5 min to have a contraction. The contraction was lasting about 60-90 seconds, so I really only had about a min or so to walk.
It was so hard to focus on my body because I was so focused on getting to the hospital. I didn't take in the fact I was experiencing the most difficult part of labor and trying to ignore it. My thought process was, "Get down the mountain and relax. Relax. Relax." I turned to Andy right before we headed out the door to get in the car and said I am going to head to the bathroom first. Hey, it is a 45 min drive to the hospital and I haven't ever left the house without peeing in the last 6 months!
What happened next was almost an out-of-body experience. It all happened so fast Andy and I had to talk it through to make sure we both remembered how it went...
I sat down and BAM my water broke. Everything was almost immediate after that. I felt like I had to push. No effing joke. I will be honest. I freaked out. I called Andy into the bathroom and told him I have to push. I think his eyes got as big as mine and we just froze. I asked him to look down and see if he saw anything. He said he saw his his head coming out about an inch and a half. Andy ran to call 911 and by the time he was back I had another contraction and wanted to push again. Andy had the sense to play "catcher" and I pushed. Little man came out in one fell swoop and he was very slippery. Andy grabbed some clean towels and wrapped Little man up and spoke with the 911 operator. She was a total ding bat and had no clue what to tell Andy. At least she had the sense to dispatch an ambulance. I think this all took about 2-3 minutes. FAST!
I sat down on the toilet in amazement, fear, and a feeble attempt at trying to stay calm. The baby didn't cry so we started to freak out he wasn't breathing. Andy went and got the "brain sucker" and we tried to clear his mouth and nose. He still didn't make a noise. Just bubbles. We figured if he is making bubbles there has to be air coming from behind, right? He was really purple/bluish too. We kept rubbing his back and torso with the towels. He started pinking up. I think this took about 3-4 minutes, tops.
Then my placenta delivered. It looked much different than it did with Aven. It was dark blood red and really flimsy and almost transparent. Aven's was a greyish purple solid and really firm. I was able to finally get up and go clean myself up. Childbirth is an amazing but very messy ordeal. Poor Andy. He was holding baby boy over the toilet because his umbilical cord was still attached. He didn't cut it, but rather tied it off. Not with a shoe lace like they do in the movies...we didn't have an extra shoe lace sitting around. Andy cut the lanyard off one of our Litespeed - Quintana Roo jump drives. Of course my job had to be involved with the delivery of our son, LOL. The umbilical cord was surprisingly really short. Ergo hovering over the toilet with a newborn baby.
When I was getting dressed, I could hear the ambulance sirens. Maybe 5-10 min after baby boy was born. I walked back to the bathroom and the EMTs and first responders were there with Andy and the baby. They cut the cord and handed me Little man. I have to say, I felt amazing! The super painful contractions stopped, I was able to walk like a normal person finally, and Little man was here! Yahoooo!
Andy got the dogs and house ready for us to leave and we were off! I was in the ambulance with the baby and Andy followed in our car. We headed to Erlanger Hospital. Not my first choice, I would have rather been in a birthing center, but I didn't want to challenge the EMTs and just did what they told me to do.
We arrived at the hospital at 7 am. We estimated baby boy was born at 6 am. Andy was keeping track of my contractions on his phone and the last "record" of a contraction was at 5:58 am. They weighed baby boy and started getting his vitals. He was 20 inches long and weighed 7 lbs. They collected information from me and then Meg arrived to check me out. I am pretty sure I was still in shock. Everyone kept asking us to tell our story and how we were "able" to deliver our own baby at home.
Truthfully, Andy and I didn't do a damn thing. It was an out of body experience. My body took over and did what it needed to do when it needed to do it. I had absolutely NO control. Our bodies are amazing things. In a matter of 41 weeks, one small part of Andy and one small part of me, combined to create life. My body created a disposable organ (placenta) and protected Little man until he was ready to make his debut. Sure I took prenatal vitamins, ate healthy, and took care of my body; but all the real work was done unbeknownst to me. As far as the birthing part...Andy and I really didn't have a choice. Baby boy was coming and we did what we had to do. I think you go through it and then on the other side you take a breath. There wasn't any time to second guess stuff and we just did it.
We are so incredibly blessed. Little man is healthy and I am healthy. It was a relatively seamless delivery and all is good -- Thank God! There are so many things that could have gone wrong, but didn't. There are so many different scenarios that could have happened but in the end, this is how Little man wanted to arrive and so he did.
We named him Tristan James Sweet. Andy really liked the name Tristan from the movie Legends of the Fall. When he told me he liked the name when we got pregnant with Aven, I really liked it too. Strong, different, and cool. My Dad's name is James so giving Tristan my Dad's name as his middle name was important to us as well.
Yesterday was Tristan's 2 week birthday and things have gone pretty well. I will blog about being a second time Momma later, but wanted to get out THE story before I forgot any part of it.
Thank you to everyone who has helped us this year. The last 2 weeks have been truly amazing and we are so happy and blessed to have the family and friends we have. Here are some pictures of Tristan (nick names have included Mr. T, T-dog, T-pain, and T).
|Me and T in the hospital|
|Sweet family heading home from the hospital|
|Post milk coma...|
|Working on his tan.|