Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Our baby girl joined the family on Monday, February 5th, at 7 p.m., weighing 8 pounds even and measuring 20.5" long.  For blog purposes, we'll call her Baby R.

I've always heard that every pregnancy (and subsequent labor and delivery) is different, but having only experienced one before, I didn't realize how true that was!  Or how traumatized I was by my pregnancy, labor and delivery with S2.  I went in prepared for the worst and was pleasantly surprised when Baby R was only 4 days late (vs. 7 with S2), I only truly labored for 8 hours (compared to 44 with S2), and my epidural actually did its job.  Amazing, I tell ya!  Oh, and no horrible pregnancy swelling or PUPPs rash like with S2 either.

I'm still on the road to recovery.  I'll spare you the gory details *cough*3rd degree tear*cough*, but it's so nice to just be at home, able to spend this time with my littlest girl.

Here's her birth story, punctuated with cute pictures, because I can't help it.

Around 4:30 a.m. on Monday, I woke up and needed to go to the bathroom.  I always needed to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night so I didn't think anything of it.  I went and noticed something in the toilet (again, sparing you the gory details), and I got a little excited but didn't think all that much of it.  I went back to bed but couldn't fall asleep and around 6-6:30, the smoke detector started beeping from a dying battery.  S1 got up and was fidgeting with the thing (you better believe we replaced the battery right then - you never know when you might have a rogue Crock-Pot!), and meanwhile, I'd had a couple of mild contractions, pretty similar to Braxton Hicks so again, I didn't let myself get too excited.

I got up, helped S2 get dressed for school, and told S1 about my mild contractions but that he should go on to work and I'd let him know if they got regular.

I got some breakfast and sat on my yoga ball, watching all the morning talk shows, having contractions that were 7-8 minutes apart.  I put make-up on and fixed my hair, just in case this was it. Well, around 11 a.m., the contractions got steadily longer and closer together.  Around 1, I called my OB office and made an appointment to get checked at 2:30.  S1 came home, got all of our stuff in the car and off we went!

At the doctor, I was 4cm dilated and my midwife asked if I felt like I wanted to go home and try to walk around to get to a 5, or if I felt like I needed to go on to the hospital.  I said, "HOSPITAL!"  At this point, my contractions were still bearable but definitely getting stronger.

We got to the hospital around 3:15, where they started bloodwork and an IV, and the anesthesiologist came in to talk to me about my epidural.  I was finally able to get an epidural at 5:30, after I'd had sufficient IV fluids and my bloodwork came back okay.  The epidural worked fabulously on my right side, but only took at about a 70% on the left side.  I could still feel my contractions but the painful edge was taken off.  I'm pretty sure that's how an epidural is supposed to work, because I could still feel when I needed to push, it just wasn't excruciatingly painful.  The worst part was I was feeling the contractions the most in my left upper inner thigh.  It was such a strange feeling - definitely not where you'd think you'd ever feel contractions!

When the midwife came in to check me after I got my epidural, I was at a 7, wahoo!  She said to let them know if I start feeling pressure all the time, even between contractions, because that might mean it's time to push.  I let the nurse know that I was feeling that pressure maybe 20 minutes later and she checked and I was an 8-9.  By 6:30, I was ready to push!

But.  Baby's heart rate was dropping down into the 80s and the midwife and nurse were a little bit freaking out.  My midwife called the OB on call into the room because she thought he might need to use the vacuum to get her out.  (My OB practice has 4 midwives and 8 doctors - you can choose to either see the midwives or OBs, but there's always one of each on call at the hospital, so the OB can step in if needed.)  My nurse started moving me back and forth onto each side because they felt like the baby had gotten herself into a weird position and if they could get her to move, her heart rate would improve.  Well, luckily, it worked and I was able to push naturally, without the OB having to use any extra equipment.  It was kind of scary, and as such, we have no video of the birth because S1 stayed at my side the whole time.  Sad, but also, we have a video of S2's entire birth and I've never watched it because, gross.

So anyway, like I said, I could still feel my contractions, so with each one, I pushed 3 times, as hard as I could.  I was determined to get this kid OUT OF THERE.  I was much lazier with S2's delivery, but I wasn't messing around with this one.  On the 5th contraction, her head was almost out, when I had to stop pushing to wait for the next one.  That was the worst part - I could feel that she was almost here and it HURT and I just wanted to keep pushing.  Well, finally, the 6th contraction came and she was out in the world!

I feel like Baby R's birth is what it's supposed to be like.  I always try to go into a situation with no expectations whatsoever (because then you can't be disappointed, amiright?), so I was pleasantly surprised when her birth was relatively (dare I say!) easy.

She is the cutest, sweetest Baby Love and I can't believe she's finally here.  We are so excited to have our two girls and feel like our family is finally complete.

S2 told us the other day that she loves our big family now, "Me and Mommy and Daddy and Baby and Abbie [the cat]."

I love our big family now, too.

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