I can’t decide if having been through labor before was to my benefit or detriment. I’m pretty sure I’ve romanticized Ella’s birth a bit. At least to the point at which I didn’t remember how much hard work it required.
About 2:30 am on Sunday I was wide awake. I tried to lay in bed and turn off my brain but I just could not get back to sleep. I went downstairs, got a snack and watched some reruns of Friday Night Lights. I had just started to doze off around 4:15 or so when I felt my first contraction. At almost the same time, I heard Ella crying out for me. It’s like she knew that I was starting labor. A hug and a kiss were all she needed to get back to sleep. I went back downstairs, laid down and decided to try to go back to sleep.
The contractions started to become more regular but were not painful yet. I was not sure I was actually in labor. Around 5:30 I decided I should probably eat breakfast just in case it was real labor.
Full and feeling anxious, I decided I better tell Josh that I thought it was go-time. I told him and jumped in the shower. At this point the contractions were really ramping up. We decided to follow the midwives advice and head to the hospital earlier than we did last time. Since I was Group B Strep positive this time, I also had to make sure I got there in time for at least one dose of antibiotics.
Much to my disappointment my contractions stalled on our way to the hospital. This had me questioning whether or not it was the real thing. Once we arrived I made Josh walk the labyrinth outside the building with me until the contractions were 2-3 minutes apart again.
I think we were out there for a good hour or so.
With regular contractions again, we went upstairs and got checked in. I think it was around 8:30 or so, but I have no concept of time at this point.
I got hooked up for my baseline monitoring and got my IV started for the antibiotics. Luckily I only had to be hooked to it for 20 minutes for the dose. I hated having the IV attached to me.
I paced around the room and bounced on the ball for a while. You want my socks don’t you? My feet were freezing even when the rest of me was hot, so they brought my this sweet yellow socks. Not to worry, they came home with me. The nightgown, not so much.
Funny, out of all the snacks I brought with me, it was Sour Patch Kids that hit the spot. Right as I was hitting transition and getting ready to finish dilating in the tub, those combined with my Nuuns were rocking my world.
Once I was able to be helped with my shaky legs, into the bath tub, I knew we were close. I opted to wait to get checked until I started feeling pressure. When my midwife checked me our baby was low and I was 8 cm dilated. It felt like 5 minutes later I was ready to push, but I’m not sure how long it actually was. I can say that the pressure was intense. I do not at all remember feeling such strong pressure with Ella.
I was helped out of the tub to start pushing.
I decided that maybe I wanted to stand for a while. They got the squat bar mounted on the bed so that I could grab onto while I stood in front of the foot of the bed. I spent a while standing there and involuntarily squatting down as the contractions and pressure came. My legs were getting really tired so I climbed up onto the bed and leaned over the top of it, while kneeling. This felt really good but I decided I wanted to sit.
At this point I was getting really tired. The pressure was so intense I felt like my entire bottom half was going to blow open. I could feel that I was making progress but with every rest I had between contractions, it felt like he was moving back up. It was a few huge pushes into being in this new position when I started to doubt that I was going to be able to do it. I started crying and told Josh that I didn’t think I could do it. He and my midwife Angela just kept telling me how strong I was and that I was a warrior. I wanted to believe this but I was in so much pain from the pressure I just wanted to cross my legs and say, he has to come out another way because this is too intense.
I kept going and with one more big push I could feel his head. It was right as his head made its way out that my water finally broke. I thought I might be one of those rare few that birth a baby in its sack. Angela, Josh and the nurse did a great job of not letting on worry when apparently Anderson’s cord came out with his head. I gave one more huge long push and he was out. His poor head was entirely purple as were his hands and feet.
It didn’t take long for him to cry out and the color return to his slightly cone shaped head. His poor little face was bruised and swollen from his rapid descent. I guess I only pushed for about 15-20 minutes, which felt like a lot longer. It’s amazing how all of the pain was just gone as soon as they put him on my chest.
Hello endorphins. We waited about five minutes or so until his cord stopped pulsating before Josh cut the cord.
I was shocked when they weighed him about an hour later and told me he was almost a full two pounds bigger than Ella. It’s no wonder that it was such hard work to get him out.
We stayed at the hospital two nights so that they could monitor our sweet baby since I only had one dose of the antibiotics. We were so happy to go home.
Here we are a few days later and we’re both feeling and looking much better. All of Anderson’s bruising is gone, his head has rounded out and most of his newborn puffiness is gone. I lost a decent amount of blood after delivery and was pretty ghostly looking but feel human again. I do have some nasty bruises on my arms from the unsuccessful then successful IV insertion for the antibiotics. I’m really not even sore, no stitches, which is shocking. I take that back my arms and legs are sore from all the squatting and pulling on a sheet.
Now we’re in the fog of being new parents again and helping Ella through the transition into being a big sister. It’s blissful and exhausting chaos. Ah…