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If I had known writing about my prodromal labor last week would bring on the real thing I would have written about it weeks ago!
On Monday morning I woke up around 4am with more annoying contractions. The same ones I'd been having for weeks that never seemed to progress. So I figured I was in for a long, uncomfortable day.
I went in to work, where they were no long surprised to see me. At this point, we all figured I'd make it allllllll the way to my induction later in the week. Besides, my birthday was on Tuesday and there was NO WAY I was having a baby on my birthday.
That night Thatboy and I were watching a movie when the contractions started again. What's funny about them is that they were farther apart than the ones I usually have. I started timing them and they were 7 minutes apart - the farthest they'd ever been. It was 10pm at night and I figured I should go to bed. That usually got my contractions to disappear and I definitely didn't want labor starting.
By 11:30pm, the contractions were pretty strong and now every 4 minutes apart, but I could still talk through them. I called Thatmom, crying that I was about to have a birthday baby. She headed down to come watch Thatkid so Thatboy and I could head to the hospital.
Thatmom arrived at 1:00am on Tuesday morning. My birthday. By that time, I was in agony. I could no longer talk through the contractions, it took everything I could to get through them. I tried various positions to get relief - sitting, standing, moving around, on the ball, on all fours, nothing worked. The contractions were being sporadic, usually 4 minutes apart, sometimes 2 minutes apart depending on if I was moving around or not. I was vomiting, which was causing more contractions.
We headed to the hospital. It was the longest 20 minute drive I have ever taken. Sitting in the car was probably the worst position out of all I tried! And I was still vomiting. We arrived at the hospital at 1:30am and the front desk took one look at me and sent me up to triage. It was very "Hollywood" with Thatboy double parking the car at the entrance and rushing me in where I could barely tell them my name because of the contractions. When they checked me I was 6cm dilated and 100% effaced. They immediately got me admitted. I could barely get up and into the wheelchair to get to the labor and delivery floor, having them wait through another vomiting and contraction episode before I could stand.
By 2:30am I was in L&D with the anesthesiologist on his way. It took at least half an hour for him to place the epidural, but after that, things got back to normal. From 3-4am I was able to actually answer questions about my medical history, give them my name and birthdate, talk about my pregnancy and thoughts on the upcoming process.
Before she left the room at 4am, the nurse did another check. I was still 6cm, pushing 7cm and my water bag was "bulgy." We talked about whether it would break on its own or need to be broken. The nurse said the doctor would come in after shift change around 7am and based on progress we'd talk about it at that point. She tucked me in and told me to get some sleep and left the room.
I was anxious to get some sleep. Other than the pain relief, I really wanted the epidural so I could get some sleep. I'd been up for 24 hours at this point and I knew I wanted to rest before any babies showed up. I closed my eyes and - my water broke. I called the nurse back in and got cleaned up, then she headed out again and I tried again to get some sleep. After my water broke, I could feel the contractions, despite the epidural. They were still so much better than before, but still pretty
uncomfortable. I wasn't able to get any sleep.
At 4:40am the nurse came back in. The baby was experiencing Tachycardia (increased heart rate) and she was a bit concerned. She tried having me change positions, which didn't seem to help, so she called another nurse to bring an oxygen mask and internal monitor. The other nurse suggested they check me out and see where I was in terms of cervical progress. I was complete and the baby's head was almost hanging out. "If she pushes right now, this baby is coming out."
All of a sudden it was all hands on deck. I think every nurse on the floor was in my room, but no doctor. They were paging the doctor, but couldn't find her. I don't think they even broke down the bed. They had me start pushing anyway. Thatboy says after the first push, the head emerged, but it took about 4 more pushes for the rest of the baby to come out.
At 4:52am, less than 7 hours after my contractions started, less than an hour after my water broke, we met Thatbaby. He was as blue as a smurf, but cried immediately and was placed on my chest for skin to skin as he was stimulated to help get the color into him. Apgars were 6/9 because of his blueness.
Thatbaby continues to be my Oppo-baby. So very different from his big brother. Breastfeeding has been so much easier this time around as Thatbaby has a voracious appetite. Despite his rough start, he hasn't had the same issues as Thatkid, who suffered from jaundice for almost the first month of his life.
We're finding the adjustment to being a family of four much easier than anticipated. There's so much less anxiety the second time around, because we already know what to expect, and how to handle situations. Thatboy remarked that this time at the hospital it was almost vacation-like, just sitting around and relaxing.
Although I do think the benefit to having a weekday baby (and a second kid) is that there were far less visitors at the hospital. Which gave us a lot more downtime. Our only guests were Thatmom and Thatkid - who is madly in love with his little brother.
We've been told about jealousy, that it takes several days for a sibling to understand the baby isn't going anywhere, that we could expect all sorts of behavioral issues. We were expecting the worst, which could be why things are going so well. Thatkid is ridiculously protective of his brother, he doesn't want to give him away. He wants to be whereever the little guy is, traipsing behind to watch diaper changes, peering into the crib, asking to "carry him" (hold him) multiple times an hour. He is often fond of saying "He's MY baby. No one else's." I'm already taking such delight in my boys!