Last Tuesday little Miss K decided to make her entrance and it was nothing like M. Actually in many ways it was as different as M’s as you could possibly get. Except that they were both born around 39 weeks. K was exactly 39 and M was 39+1. You can read his birth story here.
Everything started on Monday. It was around 4:30 and I knew I needed to start making dinner so I could get M fed and S up from bed at 5. I found that while I was standing and cooking I didn’t feel quite right. I suspected then that I could be going into labor but I wasn’t positive, as with M my water broke hours before having any sort of contraction. Not wanting to jump the gun I tried to put it out of my mind but I found myself rushing through the cooking. By the time dinner was ready and I had S up I was getting waves of nausea. I told S so he could decide what he wanted to do about work, but I still didn’t want to rush anything incase it was false labor, or took awhile. At that point we decided he would go to work as usual and I would just monitor everything while my mother was on standby.
After dinner I decided to take a shower as I thought it may make me feel better, and if not at least I would be clean when we headed to the hospital. When I stepped out of the shower I threw up and that was when I knew these were real contractions and we needed to get going. At this point I panicked a moment because even though it was a little slower, once the actual vomiting started I knew if this were anything like my labor with M it could be just a short matter of time before I was fully dialated and ready to go, and I really didn’t want to do that in the car! S called out of work, my mother came and got M, and we were on our way.
The hour long drive was excruciating because I would have a contraction about every 20 minutes and with it came more vomit. I am a huge baby when it comes to being sick, so to be sick with contractions was not what I would call a good time. After what felt like a million years we got to the hospital and they got me into a room. A quick cervical check showed that I was only at 3.5cm dilated so began the debate of whether or not I was actually in labor or if I just caught the stomach bug. I knew beyond a doubt that I was in labor but everyone else, besides my nurse, was a bit hesitant to agree. They hooked me up to the monitor and we decided to wait it out while the doctor delivered another baby.
I continued to have contractions every 20 minutes and threw up every time. While they didn’t get closer together they definitely got more intense. It was horrible. Being in labor with Micah sucked, and I’m one who will tell you that you do not forget the pain, but at least I wasn’t throwing up on top of it. At this point I had no idea how I would possibly be able to push when the time came if I was also losing the contents of the stomach. Actually, at this point there wasn’t really anything left, it was dry heaving. Gross.
Finally after a few hours of that joy the doctor came back to check to see if I had dilated any further. I had only gone to about 4cm and I could tell by how she was feeling that my cervix was still relatively high. She decided to check with an ultra sound to make sure the baby’s head was facing down. I didn’t think much of this as I ended up with the same doctor who had delivered M (which was nice and surprising given it is a rotating practice) and she had done the same with him.
I did start to worry when she seemed to be spending longer looking at the ultra sound machine than felt normal. Then she looked up and went on her conversation (I believe it was about how fast I actually went into active labor with M) before casually throwing out “and this baby is breech.”
You know how in tv shows about doctors the doctors always have to learn that if you have a patient die you need to actually say to their family member “I’m sorry so and so died” because it’s the only thing that makes it real? Yeah this was kind of like that. I knew it meant that I would have to have a cesarean but I needed the doctor to actually say the words so I asked “what does that mean?” At this point S’s eyes were huge. My next question was to reassure him, “can S be there but without having to see anything?” Again a yes.
At this point they went to call in the on-call team since it was around 1:30-2:00 in the morning and we started texting and calling anyone who would need to know. I knew my mom would want to drive down so she needed to shift M off to my sister-in-law. I also knew she needed to be there just incase S passed out. He doesn’t do well with hospitals and I had a suspicion that just being in a surgical room with the bright lights and overly sterile equipment may be enough to bring it on.
It only took about 30 minutes (a short amount of time for rural Maine) for the oncall staff to arrive and get me onto the surgical floor to start the process. They took S to get dressed while they were giving me my spinal. Next thing I knew I was down, S was there, and they were getting things going. I did not like any part of the process. They say you’ll only feel pressure but I call bull. I may not have felt the full pain sensation (obviously if I did I would go into shock and pass out) but the tugging and pulling definitely hurt. I actually said it was painful at one point and the anesthesiologist replied with “I’m not surprised she had your uterus outside of your body!” This was after I actually delivered the baby as I also had a tubal ligation while we were there, as that was my plan for 6 weeks after a natural birth. This way I just got it out of the way. Also as I would say I was in pain they would ramp up the pain meds but then when they did I would get nauseas, have to pull the oxygen mask off, and throw up in a bag while they sucked the vomit off my face. Super classy. Not at all humiliating.
After what was probably 15 minutes but felt like 40, they had the baby out. The nurses and doctors kept saying he. “He’s here,” “he’s out,” and “he had great color,” were a few phrases I remember. I looked at S and asked “is it a boy?” He laughed and said “no she’s definitely a girl.” I don’t know why the doctors couldn’t figure that out but whatever. S got the baby and held her up to my face but I was having a pretty hard time connecting with her at that point. I was also having a hard time staying awake. S took her to the nursery while I spent another 15 minutes in the room while they tied my tubes.
Finally they wheeled me out and made sure the anesthesia was wearing off properly before taking me back to my room where I was finally able to properly meet, and hold, my baby. I knew in the delivery room she was going to be different than M. He came into the world screaming and she came in quiet as could be. When she did start crying it was very soft and subtle. When I met her in my room she was as chill as could be just checking things out. It was amazing how active her eyes were for only being a little over an hour old. She is bigger than M was. She was 7lb 14oz and 20 3/4 inches.
For the record I also continued to throw up until around noon. Every time I would breastfeed and my uterus would contract I would throw up again. Clearly my body was not into contractions. On the plus side the breastfeeding started out amazingly, unlike with M. She latched on instantly (he did too) and has continued to ever since (he did not.) She ate so well in the time that we were there that she had 4 dirty diapers in her first day of life and the nurse actually said I had the best feeding log she had seen in years! The lactation consultant even said she made her job easy because she had nothing to do since we were getting it so easily and quickly. She’s continued on that trajectory and I have far more milk than I ever did with M. I had always questioned if I made enough with him and thought in the early days I had (we knew later on I didn’t but I always thought that was because he started sleeping through the night at 3 months) but now that I know what truly full breasts are like, I know that I definitely didn’t make enough for him.
She also sleeps better than M did. When he first came home he cried and cried for what felt like months (but probably wasn’t that long). Perhaps because he wasn’t getting enough food, but also because he had reflux. She sleeps like a typical newborn so there is no rhyme or reason to it, and some days she sleeps all day and others she feeds all day, but she sleeps more than M did. I haven’t been so overly tired that I feel drunk this time.
I also barely had a hormonal surge. At least, it didn’t effect me emotionally like it did with M. This could also be because I have had more sleep so I wasn’t overtired on top of the hormones or because S has had the last twoish weeks off with me, which has helped me from losing my mind, or maybe it’s because it’s my second kid so I had a better idea about what to expect. Either way I’m happy to to have been a blubbering, over tired, mess.
M had one rough day when he wouldn’t sleep and seemed to be terrified that we were going to leave him again. He kept crying and saying “bye?” With a horribly sad and anxious look on his face. We gave him extra attention and kept telling him we weren’t going to leave him again. It was heart breaking. That day I was blubbering because I felt so bad for him, but he got over it fairly quickly.
He also is a creature of habit and a new baby definitely messed up his routine, so that could have added to him being upset. Now though he likes to give his little sister kisses and will pet her head like a dog when in feeding her. He’s super sweet with her and I think he’ll be an awesome big brother. Watching them melts my heart already. Of course, I won’t be thinking that when they’re throwing shit at each other in the back seat of the car but I have some time to mentally prepare myself for that.
Now we are slowly trying to get ourselves into a routine . S goes back to work tomorrow so the true test will begin for me. How to handle two kids by myself. That should be interesting. So makeup is on hold for a little bit while I figure that out but I’m hoping after a week I will have at least a general routine in place and can get back to blogging regularly. Maybe I’ll even stick to a legitimate schedule, but I’m not guaranteeing anything!