Bo’s birth story – part two

A little while later, the on call OB and resident arrived to check things out.  They decided to break my water and I remember glancing at the long, crochet hook thing in the resident’s hand.  At that moment, I was sure glad I’d had the epidural because I didn’t feel a thing.  They noticed that there was a bit of meconium in the fluid so they decided that a respirologist would be present for the delivery in case Bo breathed any in.

I think I was about 8cm shortly after that.  The nurse told me to let her know when I started to feel pressure or the urge to push.  Then, I could start pushing any time.  I was definitely feeling a bit of pressure down below but not an urgent need to push so we decided I would rest a bit longer.

Finally, a little before 4am, we decided to give it a go.  I did a couple of practice pushes with the nurse and then the OB and resident came in.  I did about 3 pushes with each contraction.  It’s funny because, although it wasn’t easy, it felt a lot less intense than my first birth experience.

The resident said I was pushing really well and that she expected the baby to come pretty quickly.  I didn’t believe that for a second.  With Littleman, I pushed for 2.5 hours, so I assumed this one would be tough too.

After a few more pushes, the doctors stopped me and said that they could tell I was going to tear in the same spot where I had torn last time.  They asked if they could make a small cut to help it along.  Since it was going to tear anyway (and I couldn’t feel anything at that point!) I said sure.  We moved on and kept pushing.  Shortly after, they stopped me again.  He was coming!  A couple more short pushes and he was out!  His cord was around his neck, but the OB stepped in and sorted that out quickly.

They had warned me that Bo may not cry right away if he aspirated any meconium.  The respirologist was on standby across the room.  But, as soon as Bo was out, we heard his cry immediately.  What a great sound!  I watched as D cut the cord and then the respirologist checked Bo quickly before he was wiped down and placed on my chest.

It really was amazing.  After pushing for so long during Littleman’s birth, I feel like I was too exhausted to pay attention to a lot of things that happened immediately after. He didn’t cry right away and had to have some oxygen.  Also, since he had some heart issues in utero, he was whisked over to a NICU team to be fully checked before I was able to really see or hold him.

With Bo, it seemed a lot calmer.  There were fewer people in the room and I felt a little more “present.”  I actually saw him right when the doctor pulled him out.  And it was amazing to have him in my arms so quickly.

I delivered the placenta and then got all stitched up (from the episiotomy and tearing).

One thing I’m really happy about was the chance to try breastfeeding right away after Bo was born.  We were skin-to-skin and the little guy latched immediately.  It was so cool to see him eating so soon after being born and I felt good that I could actually see that there was colostrum there.  With Littleman, we didn’t try until a bit later, he was reluctant to eat and I struggled to even hand express any colostrum.  It felt so much less stressful to be getting off to a decent start with feeding.

D and I spent the first couple of hours after delivery getting to know Bo and trying to decide what his name would be.  We had narrowed it down to three names but wanted to see him before we made a final decision.  It turns out it was harder than we thought it would be.  We wavered between two names for a while and finally gave ourselves a deadline of 6:30am.  We knew our families would be (anxiously) awaiting news about our status and we didn’t want to make any birth announcements without a name.  Once we decided on his name, we shared our exciting news with our families.

So that’s it.  The story of how little Bo arrived on his own on his induction date, instead of waiting to be evicted!  (For part one of Bo’s birth story – click here).

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Bo’s birth story – part one

I’ve finally had a bit of time to start writing down the story of how Baby Bo came into this world.  When I left off two weeks ago, I was at home waiting for a call from the hospital so I could go in to be induced.  I was 41 weeks pregnant and 3cm dilated.  My OB said that I probably just needed a little “nudge” so the plan was for them to break my water to try to get things going.

Of course, that was a busy day in the birthing unit and by the evening, I still hadn’t been called in.  I tried calling triage around 8pm to find out whether I should expect a call anytime soon or if I should just go to bed as usual.  The nurse said that I should go to bed and try to rest and that they’d call me in the night if any space became available.

So off I went to bed.

I didn’t have much luck sleeping, though.  Shortly after getting into bed, I started having contractions.  And not just the uncomfortable, tightening contractions that I’d been having off and on for weeks.  But full-blown, painful, don’t-touch-me-or-talk-to-me contractions.  I started timing them and they were pretty consistently 10 minutes apart, lasting for just over a minute.  I tried to stay in bed, but it hurt so much.  I tried hanging out on the couch, but that hurt too.  I tried standing.  No way.  It all sucked.  Around 11pm, the contractions got closer together and were 4-5 minutes apart.  I told D that it was time to go to the hospital and jumped in the shower.

The hospital – luckily – is only a couple of minutes away so it was a very quick drive at that time of night.  I knew I didn’t want to suffer through too many contractions in the car.  So uncomfortable.  It was also handy that Littleman was already sleeping at Nana and Nonno’s house because of the planned induction.  We didn’t have to worry about calling someone to come and watch him.

We made it to triage and checked in.  I was a bit worried that they would think I was being a drama queen, given that I was supposed to be induced.  Instead, the staff were all pretty impressed that “the induction” had arrived in labour!

The nurse hooked me up to the monitor right away and the baby’s heart sounded good.  Contractions were pretty strong and still around 5 minutes apart.  The on-call OB checked me out and I was 5cm dilated and 100% effaced.  She told me they’d be admitting me and asked me my feelings about pain relief.  I answered, “I want it.”

We had to hang out in triage for a bit while they found me a delivery room and called the anesthesiologist.

When our labour/delivery nurse came for us, I was in the middle of a contraction.  I heard her ask D if I could walk to my room or if I would need a wheelchair.  He answered that I could walk.  I remember grunting and shaking my head: no way.  When the contraction ended, I jumped into the wheelchair and off we went.  It was probably around midnight by then and it took until 1am before the anesthesiologist was available to do my epidural.  The nurse was great and kept having me “breathe through the contractions” which was kind of like hell.  I’m actually not sure how people manage without any pain relief.  After 4ish hours of horrible contractions, I was miserable and was pretty darn relieved when it was time to get the epidural.

The squeamish fainter in me totally disappears when it comes to epidurals.  I guess my intolerance for pain outweighs my fear of needles!  I got into position on the edge of the bed and the doctor started his business.  They told me to warn them if I was getting a contraction, which, of course, happened exactly in the middle of getting it done.  I had to stay perfectly still and “breathe” which was very hard.  Finally, it was in and a couple of contractions later, I was pain free.

Now we just had to wait for me to dilate a bit more and we’d be ready to go.  I felt pretty good at this point, other than the fact that the epidural made me extremely itchy.  Like all over my entire body.  It was rather annoying but better than pain!

Stay tuned for the rest of the story – coming soon!

He’s here!

At 4:15 am today, we welcomed Cooper into our family! At exactly 41 weeks, we were waiting to be called in for an induction when Cooper decided to come on his own instead. We are absolutely thrilled and are all doing really well.

Thanks to all of you for your support yesterday as I was waiting for the induction. Full birth story to follow once we get home.

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Waiting for the call

What’s worse than waiting to go into labour spontaneously?  Waiting to be called into the hospital for a planned induction!  Holy crap.  It’s now 6pm.  D and I have been waiting 12 hours for a call.  Ugh.  We got up bright and early, got Littleman off to daycare and got ourselves showered and ready.  Then we sat.  And waited.  And watched crappy TV.

I made sure I ate a healthy breakfast.  Then I got hungry again so I had to eat lunch.  I tried to nap.  Then I tried calling the hospital.  The receptionist in the birthing unit said the charge nurse would call me back with a status update.  That was about 3 hours ago and I haven’t heard a thing.  I had a snack and tried to nap again.  Then I got hungry.  D just went out picked up subs for dinner.

I’m sure the hospital is busy and I’d much prefer to be waiting at home than sitting in a hospital waiting room.  But it kind of sucks.  I barely slept last night and now I know I’ll be going into this labour and delivery exhausted.  I just hate not knowing what’s going on.  Will they call tonight?  Do I just go to bed as usual in case they don’t?  Could they call in the middle of the night or will they wait until morning?  What the eff?

Anyway, I think I’ll call back again after shift change and maybe I’ll have better luck getting an update.  If not, I’ll go to bed and hope to get at least a little bit of sleep today.

We have a plan

I had my weekly OB appointment today and I don’t think anyone actually expected me to make it to this one.  It’s also my 36th birthday today and I just assumed my baby would be here to celebrate with me.

In terms of my body, there hasn’t been much change from last week.  The baby is in the same position and I’m dilated to almost 3 cm.  The doctor could feel his head when he examined me (weird, right?) and the heartbeat still sounds great.

I will be 41 weeks pregnant on Wednesday and my doctor recommends we move forward with inducing.

Induction is something I always wanted to avoid, if possible.  For the most part, I’ve only heard negative stories about it.  Most people I know who were induced had horribly long, miserable labours that ultimately ended in C-sections.

Of course, after going into labour naturally at 39 weeks with my first pregnancy, induction wasn’t something I had really considered this time around.  Now that I’m overdue, I’ve had to shift my thinking a bit.  But, surprisingly, I’m feeling OK about it.  At this point, I’m more than ready to have this baby.

So, we have a plan.

On Wednesday (assuming baby boy hasn’t arrived on his own before then!) I will be induced.  Since I’m already a bit dilated, they will start by breaking my water.  Dr. P thinks this should be enough to get things going.  If not, then they will put me on Pitocin.

Am I nervous?  A little bit.  Mainly because it’s different than last time and I don’t really know what to expect.  Am I excited?  Hell yes.  We’ve been waiting for this baby for a long, long time.  I can’t wait to meet him!

(Another) false alarm

A couple of hours after I returned home from yesterday’s OB appointment, I started experiencing some mild contractions.  Although Dr. P had told me that he thought the membrane sweep would be successful and that I could go into labour as early as that night, I still didn’t really believe it.  This certainly wasn’t the first time I’d had contractions during this pregnancy so there wasn’t much point in getting too excited.

To make matters a bit more complicated, I had received a call from the daycare earlier in the day, telling me that Littleman had a fever.  That meant I had to pick him up and that he wasn’t allowed to return the next day (today).  Of course, when I brought him home, he had no fever and was totally fine.  But, it means that I can’t just worry about what my body is doing.  I have to make sure he’s taken care of too!

Anyway, D got home from work and I started timing the contractions.  We had dinner and hung out a bit.  Contractions were about 7 minutes apart.  I also noticed some pinkish mucus when I wiped, which was a first for me.  Dr. P had warned that I may get some spotting after the internal exam, so I knew this was nothing to get excited about.

Around 7:30ish, we decided to call my mom.  We figured it would make more sense to take Littleman over to her house to spend the night, rather than worrying about whether or not we would have to call her to come over to our place in the middle of the night.  We packed up some stuff for him and D drove him there.  I actually got a little emotional when they were leaving.  This could be the last time that he was our only child!

After that, I had a shower and then relaxed on the couch a bit.  Contractions continued but didn’t get any worse or closer together.  I decided to get into bed a read for a bit.  When things continued with no change, I finally turned off the light to try to rest between contractions.  This is where timing them got tricky.  I would relax and start to doze off.  Then a contraction would start.  I’d reach for my phone to start the timer on my app and then lie there through the contraction.  But after a while, I guess I would doze off when the contraction ended without stopping the timer.  The next contraction would come and my timer was all screwed up.  I gave up and decided that rest was more important.  I knew I wouldn’t sleep through any serious contractions and that I would certainly wake up if things were progressing.

After several hours of off and on contractions, lasting 7-10 minutes, things finally started to taper off.  Somewhere between 3 and 5am,they stopped all together.  Ugh.

I managed to get a couple of hours sleep after that.  My mom still has Littleman and will bring him back a bit later today.  If I’m feeling up for it, we may go somewhere to walk around for a bit.  It’s freezing outside so we’ll have to hit up a mall or large store.  We’ll see.

Needless to say, these false alarms are starting to frustrate me a bit.  I know my baby boy will come when he’s ready, but I also know how much harder the labour will be if I’m already totally exhausted from a bunch of sleepless nights caused by false labour.

As D left for work early this morning, he reminded me that “good things come to those who wait.”  I normally hate those kind of expressions, but he’s right.  A strong, healthy baby is certainly worth waiting for!

38 weeks – false labour or the real deal?

I’m 38 weeks today and feeling pretty good.  Well, at least I’m feeling good at the moment.  On Monday night, I was pretty sure it was “go time” and that we’d be welcoming our new little boy.

But nope.  False alarm.  I’ve had a couple of incidents of contractions during this pregnancy, but Monday night was different.  Around 10:00 p.m. I started getting some crampy pains.  By 10:30, I could tell they were coming in waves so I started timing them.  I was pretty uncomfortable and kept having to get out of bed.  They were around 7 minutes apart for quite a while, sometimes dipping closer to 5-6 minutes.  As the time got later, we contemplated whether we should call my parents to come over and watch Littleman.

At my OB appointment this week, Dr. P had said I should go in and get checked if the contractions were 6-7 minutes apart for an hour.  Although I certainly met that criteria, I just didn’t really feel like it was time yet.  So we decided to wait it out a bit longer.  By after midnight, I was getting pretty miserable.  We decided we’d both shower and then see how I felt.  Again, I just couldn’t decide.  I dried my hair (stopping a couple of times to get through the cramps) and then we lay down on the bed for a bit.  I figured I’d be more comfortable progressing a bit further at home, rather than dragging myself to the hospital in the middle of the night, only to be possibly sent back home.

Finally, around 3:30 a.m., I must have dozed off between contractions because when the next one hit, I realized I’d never stopped my timer from the previous contraction and it had been counting for 17 minutes.  Obviously, they were tapering off.  At that point, I put away my phone, stopped timing and finally, finally, got a bit of sleep.

As you can imagine, I felt like crap yesterday after getting very little sleep.  I was kind of expecting things to start up again once I started moving, but for the last 36 hours or so, I’ve felt fine.

I’ve read that false labour can help prepare your body for the real thing, making actual labour can be quicker/easier.  I sure hope that’s true.  Because, if so, I’m super prepared!

Other than that, not much has changed this week in terms of pregnancy symptoms…

Sleep: Awkward and uncomfortable, with pretty consistent insomnia between 3:00 and 5:00 a.m.

Symptoms: The acid reflux is still horrible.  I’m snoring like a mo-fo (although I’ve bought some nasal strips which I think are helping a bit).  I’m feeling a ton of pressure down below and my bladder feels like it is constantly full.

Other: It’s a really good thing that I’m on maternity leave now because I would be having a really hard time if I had to continue to get dressed for work.  Most of my tops are too short now and I struggle to keep the bottom of my belly covered.  I don’t feel like I’m all that huge, but I guess the baby’s dropped just enough to make clothing awkward.