Hey there world, so it's been a month since Henry was born, how about a birth story?!
5:30 amI woke up to contractions, but really I had been feeling contractions for about a month now. These felt a little lower however and a little more productive. The night before I had made a cake for matt's work but I hadn't finished the last steps. So at 5:30 I decided I should finish this cake. I also ran around finishing up laundry, cleaning the house. I kind of knew today was going to be different so I better get things in order.
7:30 amThen I woke matt up when my contractions were a little more painful...and told him that we should probably go in. I really didn't want to be turned away, but my midwife had told me with second babes to watch for more painful contractions not the timing of them. So we took showers, had matt's wonderful parents come over to watch Cora and we gathered up our hospital bag (and cake) and left.
8:30 amSo we stopped at starbucks on our way. Matt needed a coffee if this was really "it." I don't think the lady at the drive thru window noticed I was contracting...so that was good, which made our
9:00 amWe got to labor and delivery... I figured they wouldn't take us seriously with matt's coffee in hand. Who stops for coffee if they are truly in labor? I thought they would send us home in a second. Instead... I was checked and my water was fully intact and I was about 3cm dilated. I was elated. But seeing how I hadn't been checked previously they didn't have anything to compare it to. They asked me to walk around for an hour in the halls then I could be checked one more time at 10:15. If I dilated- sweet, they would admit me and we are having a baby today! If no change, they'd send us on our way. I did the walking with matt. This time was fun- I could actually move, walk, sit. Last time my water broke first so all movements were incredibly painful. I couldn't walk, couldn't get in the tub- nothing. Pure pain. This time I had painful contractions in which I would stop walking, stop talking....couldn't really hear or process anything but the pain. Then when it was over matt and I would resume our conversation and walk the rest of the hallway until the next contraction. It was grand. We were excited. I knew this was labor, and I knew I was having a baby soon.
10:15 amThey checked me and I was 5cm dilated! Amazing. Last time it took me about 12 hours to get this far along. My nurse said she would admit me, call my midwife and start an IV. She attempted an IV- missing it. I told her I could do a few more laps around the halls- get those veins to pop out. She said no... she had other plans for me. I am actually having this baby quite soon. She had already called anesthesia for an epidural- she could tell I was in quite a bit of pain and she needed an IV now. I laughed....excited that this was for real.... let's get that IV! Last time I hemorrhaged post partum, and I definitely liked (ok, needed) the epidural, so I was on board with her plans. Everything was kind of a whirlwind. We answered a bunch of admitting questions, they started an IV and started the bolus of fluids. Anesthesia came and started the epidural. It really wasn't a big deal- little uncomfortable to be sitting hunched over during contractions- but whatever. Contractions are uncomfortable period. Like 10/10 pain regardless. So a tiny poke in the back? Minuscule. So now I could just relax a little and wait. My sister came to be a part of the delivery, which was different from last time when it was just Matt and I. It was great... someone to take pictures, to witness the pure craziness of welcoming a human into the world, and to be an added support for me (which she was!).
12:00 pmMy midwife popped in, and checked me again- I was 8 cm! I think my water partially broke somewhere around this time. She said she'd go change her clothes and grab some lunch and then let's have a baby?! She is so laid back, I loved it.
1:00 pmMy epidural wasn't really relieving the pain, I felt it quite low...and figured maybe something else was going on. I called my nurse in and my midwife came in also. She checked and I was 10 cm! My midwife threw on a face mask, and gown and sat at the foot of my bed... and said... so do you want to push?! I said uhh.... is it time to?! She said sure, if you want. I had forgotten how to and my legs were quite numb. So my sister took a leg, the nurse took the other and matt was up at my head coaching me to push. I pushed twice and I could hear the fetal heart monitor just drop each time. His heartbeat was either nothing, or rather close to mine (not good). My nurse and midwife said calmly.... "oh wow, he doesn't like this pushing does he! Let's go ahead and have this baby!!" I knew this was not a calm situation, but I appreciated their demeanors. Which is exactly why I chose my midwife to begin with...very calm and collected, soothing. With Cora I pushed for 2 hours, so I wasn't really sure what to expect but I couldn't freak out- I needed to focus on super good pushes. So I just closed my eyes and focused.
1:10 pmYep, about 10 minutes of pushing (4 pushes total) and he was out. I literally could not believe it. I think I was laughing or crying or in disbelief that this was it. Here was my healthy beautiful little boy on top of my belly now?! I was done? This was my "labor" experience, I felt like I was cheating. Way too easy. 6 hours? Not 17 hours like with Cora. Sweet!
So matt cut the cord... and our little Henry Oaks was born at 1:10pm on October 29th 2013. He was 8 pounds, 10 ounces and 20.5 inches long...with decent Apgar scores minus his super blue hands and feet.
Little Oaks latched right away breastfeeding, which just warmed my heart. What a boy... healthy, thriving and hungry.
After we got to our postpartum room we had Cora come meet her little brother. The grandparents brought her by....and it was precious. She climbed right up to the hospital bed into my arms and just starred at Henry. I'm sure she didn't know what to make of him, but she knew he was a baby and gently kissed him, all bundled up. She played for awhile in the room- unaware of how her little world just changed and then went home with matt and grandparents.
Kelsey (my sister) stayed with me for a few hours, until matt came back. It was glorious. We had girl talk, face-timed with our parents in California who would later come to meet him. And we ate sushi, and sipped champagne and reminisced about the glorious day while henry rested in my arms. It was perfect and exactly how I pictured a better postpartum experience could be. (thanks to Kelsey planning it out and executing it wonderfully)
Henry slept the first night off and on and more importantly breastfed perfectly through the night. He had a circumcision the next day and we asked to be discharged. I knew the real test would be at home... multitasking and survival of the sleep deprivation newborn stage.
We were ready. Let's do this Henry...