Let’s start at the beginning. I woke up one morning and just “knew” I was pregnant. Being that Lucas was conceived with the help of drugs, I didn’t even really think me being pregnant was a possibility. But I took a test (one of those $0.88 ones from Walmart!) and after 2 minutes there was no line. I thought I was just feeling off but then realized the instructions said to wait 3 minutes – and that extra minute made all the difference in the world. One First Response test later and I was waking Darrin up with the new (so what if it was 5am – we were having another baby!).
I had developed gestational hypertension with Lucas and then mild pre-eclampsia so I was working hard at maintaining my blood pressure but at my 38 week appointment it was very elevated – thanks to my hormones getting the best of me and a little spat with Darrin. It didn’t matter and they sent me to Labor and Delivery, under the pretense of running more tests. I knew that if my BP came down and my other labs were normal I could ask to go home and avoid an induction and I went in with that mindset. Without even seeing me, the doctor wanted to admit me and start my induction – I wasn’t ready! I had a wonderful nurse who advocated for me and after speaking with the doctor and having all normal lab results I was allowed to go home under the instructions that I would come back in 8 days for an induction if baby didn’t come on his own.
That next week I did everything – and I mean everything – to make our little boy start the labor process on his own. I would start to labor and then stall out over and over again. So on Tuesday, January 19th at 7am we brought Lucas to my mom’s house and headed to the hospital.
To say I was disappointed would be an understatement.
Around 9am I was fully admitted and the pitocin started. Then came the waiting! Around noon the doctor (who was the same doctor that delivered Lucas!) came in to check me and wanted to break my water. I, reluctantly, consented but it hurt too bad so I had her stop. At that point I was only dialated to a 3 and baby was still high up. However, the doctor was worried about positioning (way to wait until now to check!) so she quickly brought in an ultrasound machine. It turns out our little boy was facing the left instead of facing my back. Not too much later my water broke, and that’s when things started to get interesting. Once my water broke Andrew’s heart rate would drop during my contractions. Because of that I wasn’t allowed to walk (which was so helpful when I was in labor with Lucas) so I only had the option of using a peanut birth ball to help A get in a better position.
The peanut worked and baby was now head down and starting to engage more in the birth canal after only an hour or so. I was also allowed to walk my room only while being constantly monitored, since with almost every contraction A’s heart rate was still dropping. By now it was around dinner time. Things start getting a little foggy around this point. Around 9pm things started getting really intense. The pain was getting to be extreme, I was a little sick to my stomach and I was starting to doubt my ability to do this without an epidural.
Dr. Carroll came in to check my progress and I was only 7cm dilated. I really began to fall apart. The pitocin was miserable and whew, the pain! After talking to the doctor, nurse and Darrin, I decided to ask for an epidural. The doctor was telling me that on pitocin it’s nearly impossible to go epidural free but I was so disappointed. They turned down the pitocin while we waited for the anesthesiologist to come and set the epidural. I’m pretty sure it only took 30 or 40 minutes, but in that time a lot changed! I finally went through transition. I don’t remember much except hugging the bed on my right side and throwing my glasses across the room. Before they set the epidural Dr. Carroll did one final check and it was actually “go time!” She gave me the option of still placing the epidural or starting the pushing process.
I wanted to push! Again, that went NOTHING like I had hoped or planned. With Lucas this part was a breeze but this time the pain was so intense I couldn’t find a rhythm. I kept saying I couldn’t do it. I’ll spare you the details but it was rough. Making it worse was the baby’s heart rate was dropping even more when I pushed and taking a bit to come back up. I was scared and tired and overwhelmed.
After an hour and half of pushing (it only took 40 minutes with Lucas!) the doctor told me that if they baby wasn’t born soon she’d have to get out the vacuum and deliver him that way. As soon as she said that something in me snapped or clicked or something because on that next series of pushes Andrew was born (according to Darrin it was actually 30 minutes later – but this is how I remember it, so that’s what I’m going with!).
After he was born a lot of things were explained. Andrew was posterior, or sunny side up, meaning instead of facing my back, he was head up. That makes the birthing process much more painful. He was also asynclitic, which means his head was tilted in the birth canal. It’s hard for a baby to “help” during the labor process, making mom do all the work. And finally, Andrew had the umbilical cord around his neck 3 times (same as me when I was born actually), which is most likely why his heart rate was dropping. He also had his first bowel moment during the pushing – but thankfully it happened once his head had been delivered so there was no risk to him. Once he was born the doctor cut the cord quickly (so much for my desire for delayed clamping and D to cut the cord), let me take a quick peak at him and passed him to the team of baby nurses/doctor’s waiting for him. That meant I had nothing to distract me while I delivered the placenta and was tended to.
After what seemed like hours I was finally given my tiny little squish to cuddle skin-to-skin, although I was told not to nurse him initially because they didn’t want to stress him anymore than he already was. This breastfeeding Momma was NOT happy with that. After about 40 minutes (they told me to wait an hour) I decided my little man needed to eat and took matters into my own hands! That first latch and skin to skin contact is still my favorite part of being a new Momma! There is nothing better in my eyes.
Andrew was born on 1/20/16 at 12:44am weighting 7lbs 2oz and 20.5inches long. He looked just like his older brother at birth (and still does) but was almost a pound heavier and 1.25 inches longer. I was 39w5d when he was born and other than those issues during labor and delivery he is a perfectly happy and healthy little boy! With Lucas and now Andrew we knew our family was complete!