…And not always in a good sort of way
The last you heard from me, I was heading to the hospital in the middle of the night with contractions that were already getting down around 2-3 minutes apart.
I was feeling pretty good about things.
We got to the hospital and I was taken to the triage room and hooked up to the monitors. They left me on them for a long time. The longer I sat there, the more my contractions slowed down. They checked me and said that I was only dilated to one centimeter.
Because of my overdue status, my midwife had no intention of sending me home. I was admitted, then I was cut free to walk the halls. My only instruction was to come back for monitoring twenty minutes out of every hour. I did my first walking stint, still having fairly regular contractions, then headed back for my monitoring. Laying down was a mistake. At this point, I had been awake all night long and I was TIRED. I started to doze between contractions. And I had no motivation to get back up and walk when my monitoring was over. The more I relaxed, the farther apart my contractions got. My midwife came in to check me and informed me that I was up to four centimeters (she suspects that they may not have gotten it right in triage since I am, apparently, a difficult person to check), and told me to take advantage of the slow-down to nap and get my strength. So I did.
I woke back up late morning and decided it was time to get things going again. Back to the halls. During the hour that I walked I had two or three contractions. After more monitoring and another check that showed I had *maybe* progressed another inch, the decision was made to start me on a low dose of pitocin.
Things did pick back up somewhat. The contractions still weren’t as close together as they had been the night before, but they were becoming intense again. Between the lack of sleep and how slow things were moving along, I decided to go ahead and get an epidural around 2:00 Saturday afternoon (twelve hours after when I was having those contractions 2-3 minutes apart).
The rest of the day just crept by. At least I was mostly comfortable. The epidural took much more on the right side than the left, but I wasn’t really feeling pain on either side. The decision was made to up the pitocin after awhile. It felt like the day would never end. On the plus side, I got through the first 100 pages of the novel I brought with me.
Around the time that I got to eight centimeters, my epidural was starting to wear off a bit. I was still fine for the most part, but I had a couple of sections on my left side that were getting pretty intense. I asked the nurses about trying to change positions to see if it would help get the baby down quicker (my midwife had mentioned doing this earlier). The nurse suggested I try a “sit up” (I think?) dose in my epidural. I asked her if it would mess with my pushing, since I had an issue with that on my last labor. She told me it was just a little dose and would help things along as much as changing positions would, but would help with the pain, too. It sounded pretty good, so I listened to her.
I wish I hadn’t.
Within a few minutes of the new dose in my epidural, I couldn’t feel anything. On either side. I was more numb than I had been at any point before that. And I stayed that way. When the time came to push, I couldn’t feel what I was doing at all. It was bad enough that the midwife had them turn my epidural off (she said she almost never does that) so that I could get some feeling back.
Despite being completely numb, pushing went a lot better this time around than last time. He came down pretty quickly. I did have them bring out the mirror this time when someone suggested. One look and I was good. I don’t think I will ever need to see that again. Seriously, I just really don’t get people who videotape the whole thing then want to show everyone–I would NOT want other people seeing that. Oh, which brings up another one for the idiot files. As I was pushing, some (obviously confused) man WALKED IN. Now, most people would discretely make some indication of apology to anyone who actually noticed them, then back out QUIETLY. Oh no, not him. He, rather loudly, said something to the effect of, “Ooops! I guess I have the wrong room!” before turning to leave. For the rest of my life, I will now have to live with the knowledge that some random idiot that can’t remember a room number saw WAY more of me than he should have. *Shudder*
OK, so you know how I have been talking about the fact that my midwives kept telling me that I didn’t seem to have a big baby this time around? Well, shortly before I started to push, the midwife asked me how big the last one was. I told her he was nine pounds and she said, “Well, I think we may end up with a bigger one this time.” What??? That’s just what you want to hear when you’re getting ready to push a kid out.
As it turns out, my midwife was wrong. Baby E~ was born at 8:47 pm Saturday night (almost 22 hours after my labor started), weighing exactly nine pounds (just like C~ before him). He was 22 1/4 inches long. Yes, I have big babies. Apparently, I just pack them in there. I pushed less than an hour this time, which is a huge improvement for me.
E~ is a handsome little guy (of course!). He seems to favor my husband as far as his features go, but I think that he may be more of a mix of us than the others are. He is the first one to have blond hair. Oh, and the first to not have Sean’s ears. He is already quite certain that he wants to be held. All.the.time. Which is making it hard for me to get a lot else accomplished, including sleeping, since he will only sleep if being snuggled in some way.
I am discovering that there is a lot of truth to the warnings that afterbirth pains get worse with each pregnancy. Here it is, three days after he was born, and I am still getting some pretty intense cramps. It is getting old, but I have definitely been able to see their results. I don’t look pregnant anymore (I definitely still did yesterday).
I’m also recovering physically a lot faster this time, which is great since I’m still so tired. It wouldn’t surprise me if I feel pretty normal again by the end of the week. So now, I just have to figure out how to make life with four kids under the age of five work.
Easy enough, right? (Suggestions are always welcome…)