Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Saturday, March 26, 2011
Thursday, March 24, 2011
How big is he?
Monday I worked a 12 hour shift at the hospital and came home wide awake, so after winding down a bit on the computer I went to bed around 4am Tues. morning. I woke up to a contraction for the first time around 5:30 am but was able to sleep between contractions until about 9 or 9:30 when I got up to pee a second time. After getting up I felt like I was leaking fluid, but I wasn't completely sure. I started getting ready to go to the birth center because even though the contractions were very spaced out and erratic they were definitely a bit on the painful side where as all my braxton hicks were purely a tightening sensation with no pain at all. As I got ready I kept feeling more fluid leak and changed pads twice so I started calling people. First Greg at work, then my mom who was going to care for Luke, then the certified nurse midwives who were going to deliver me, then my work to tell them I couldn't be on call because I was having a baby! Then I got Luke up and Greg got home and the three of us finished getting dressed and ready to go. My mom came and we loaded into her van because the car seat wasn't fully installed in our car yet and my Dad was going to come in to town after doing chores to take the car to get that done and then meet us at the birth center.
We got to the birth center around 11am. Angel checked my vitals and the baby's heart rate and then said we could go walk if we wanted to. We hadn't eaten breakfast yet so Greg, Luke, my mom and I all walked about half a mile to a bakery to get cinnamon rolls to take back to the birth center. I was contracting frequently but they weren't horrible, just uncomfortable enough that it was better to stop walking when they came on. When we got back to the birth center we all went to the kitchen to eat our rolls and I sat on an exercise ball, but my contractions all but went away while we ate.
After we were done I talked to Lois, the other midwife, about using a breast pump to try to get the contractions going and she got it out for me. Mom played with Luke and my dad got there too and Greg and I sat and watched a movie while we used the pump. The contractions definitely picked up, but we only did it for 45 minutes and I needed a break. We got some tea to drink and I just felt so tired from not sleeping much the night before so Greg and I decided to take a nap. As soon as we lay down my contractions went from about 3-4 minutes to 15-20 minutes apart which was lovely and allowed us both a little snooze in between over the next hour. As soon as I got up they resumed their former pattern and were stronger than before.
By that time it was after four and Luke was getting tired and in need of a nap so after talking about it with him for a while we sent him off to my parent's house until after the baby came. He had wanted to stay but I didn't think it would be a good idea for either of us at that point because without the fluid cushion the contractions were more painful than they had been when I had Luke and I didn't want him to be scared or me to be inhibited from doing what I needed to do because I was worried about him. It was definitely the right decision.
After they left Greg and I tried watching some more of the movie while pumping to continue to ramp up the contractions, but I don't think they needed it. I was in full labor and nothing was slowing them down now. After a while Lois suggested that we walk the stairs for a while, which sounded like a strange thing to do to me, use up energy etc while in labor already, but it actually felt pretty good. It was cooler in the basement and the contractions were strong enough that I was really having a hard time with some of them and getting hot and shaky between them. Also the stairs were softly carpeted and the perfect spacing so that whenever I had a contraction I could get on hands and knees on the steps and rock and it helped with the pain a lot.
They were getting really intense and I was starting to get worried because they hadn't felt like that with Luke until close to the end but I didn't feel like we were that close to the end yet. I went up to use the bathroom and Lois decided to check me and I was 5 centimeters. With Luke I didn't even get to the hospital until I was 5 cm and then we played board games and enjoyed ourselves for a couple of hours after getting there. Right now I was barely holding on during contractions they were so intense already. But I felt like hopefully I would move a lot faster from that point on since this was a second baby.
Lois suggested that I get in the labor tub and try the jets, which I think helped me get through transition and the last 5 centimeters really quickly without loosing it. All of the sudden though I couldn't be on my back any more, I had to get on my hands and knees, and the next contraction I felt like I had to push a little. It took Greg and Lois a couple of contractions to get me out, dried off and over to the bed. Lois called Angel to come back and then got me the exercise ball toe lean on for support while I was in hands and knees position and pushing. The contractions were extremely painful at that point and after a few of them and feeling like I wasn't making that amazing progress that second time moms are supposed to make I said this isn't working!!! Angel was already there and she asked if I wanted to squat or lay on my side and I said I don't know, I just can't do it like this any more. She told me to get on my side and that did the trick. in about three more contractions I had his head down and out and one more got the rest of him out.
It was amazing. When his head came out I took a breather between contractions and said over and over, "Oh sweet boy, thank you for coming out!!!" I knew the body wouldn't be nearly as painful as the head and I was so grateful that I was at the end at last. While I was pushing on my knees I just felt like it was too much pain and I was never going to get this baby out, and I was soooo happy to have that behind me! With Luke it was so different, I pushed an hour and 42 minutes and I didn't feel like it was really unbearable pain at all, though the head coming out was just as intense, but by then I knew I was at the end. With Aaron it was all more intense and I didn't know if this was going to go fast like I hoped or take a long time for some reason.
When he was out he came directly to my chest and they helped stimulate him and got cord blood to test since I am RH negative. He cried a little and we all just looked at him. After a while I let Angel weigh and measure him and give him his meds, and then he came back to me to nurse which he did like a champ! We started calling people and my parents and Luke headed back to celebrate with us. When my parents got there he had just finished nursing so we told them it would be Greg first while I got cleaned up and then Luke could hold him with us and then they would get their chance! Greg had gotten the two of us burgers and fries so we took turns eating and holding Aaron. Angel made a cake to celebrate and Ben and Andrea showed up in time for that. Greg and I gave him his first bath and after Angel was content with our vitals and my bleeding, which was very light, she let us head home. We left the birth center at 11pm, only 3.5 hours after Aaron was born. He was the 200th birth at that center (both Lois and Angel were practicing before they started it).
So far we are all doing really well. Aaron continues to nurse like a pro which is wonderful, and he has been sleeping well too, though we are only just past that first 24 hours when they are super sleepy anyways, so we will see what his personality turns out to be. So far we have only rarely seen his dark eyes open, and only heard whimpers most of the time here and there. He has only started to cry hard during the past two diaper changes, one of which made Luke pretty worried and he wanted me to stop holding on to Aaron.
So far Luke has been adjusting well. You can tell it is stressful for him, but exciting too. He seems to really like Aaron so far, but I think there are other things that will be hard for him, like sharing our time. He always wants to help, to hold him, to kiss or give him hugs, etc. and he is really gentle. He was already used to doing a few things that help a lot, like playing with a super soft ball and getting it for me whenever it goes out of my reach, so I can sit on the couch and nurse and play with him all at the same time really easily with no worries because even if it were to hit Aaron it is so light and soft it could only startle him at the most.
The first day home has not been uneventful. Greg cut himself in the late afternoon and we had to go to the emergency room to get his leg stitched up, which was pretty scary for Luke. When he saw them wheeling Daddy into the hospital he started crying pretty good and I had to reassure him that they were just going to take care of Daddy's ouchy and make it all better for him. Also they wouldn't let Luke and Aaron and I go back to the room with Greg, saying that there were just too many germs for a newborn back there. I didn't understand that at all, because Greg was in a private room with a door on it, which they had to sterilize from the previous patient, and they wanted Luke and Aaron and I to wait in a completely full waiting room with all these sick people and no curtains even to protect us? It didn't make any sense to me at all. Luke was hungry so I got him some trail mix from the vending machine and we sat in the remotest corner we could find but as soon as he was finished eating I called down to the maternal/child unit where I work and they invited us to come wait down there so they could see the baby and we would be away from the germs.
Luke, Aaron and I stayed down there for quite a while and Aaron nursed and got a diaper change and still they said it was going to be a long time yet because the ER was so full. I finally called my mom who was planning on coming to the house at some point anyway, so she came and got Luke and they went to the store to get a few groceries. Greg actually got done about 20 minutes after they left so we got home about the same time and mom heated up the beans Greg had made over the weekend and we all ate supper and spent the evening together.
Hopefully tomorrow won't be quite so eventful. Today the midwives checked on us by phone, but we took our own vitals and took care of ourselves, which was nice to get back to some sort of normal (aside from the ER visit) with Luke and be more comfortable in our own space etc. Tomorrow Luke is going to spend a few hours playing at Ben and Andrea's in the afternoon since she is on spring break, and in the evening we will drive back to the birth center to get some lab drawn on Aaron and possibly give me a shot if he is RH positive blood type. Mom said that one of my grandma's is going to bring us supper so that will be easy too.
I am feeling great, just a little sore belly and back from labor, but I only had a very tiny tear and didn't even need stitches at all so I feel way better than I did after Luke's delivery. Everyone has been commenting on how quick my recovery seems to be this time, especially the girls at work who are used to patients not leaving until at least 24 hours post delivery at the earliest. Everything was also really good timing. Luke didn't have to spend the night away from home. Greg is on spring break so he has this week off completely and part of next week too. I happened to get my new diaper bag in the mail this morning and was so excited that I went ahead and packed it just to see how much it could hold, and then it was completely ready when Greg cut himself and we had to rush out the door. Now if we could just get the drier fixed and a few things ready for when Greg goes back to work and when his parents come down.
Well, this is long and I am tired and ready for bed! We are going to try to actually wear decent clothes tomorrow, not just sweats, and take some pictures with all of us, maybe outside if it is warm enough. I will try to post a few pics tomorrow. Thanks for all the well wishes and goodnight!