I sit here and realize it has been over a week. A week already! Since I had Alistaire. Time goes way too fast, just a blur of feedings and sleep – for all of us.
I had a feeling on Tuesday the 7th as I went to my OB appointment (I was doing 2 a week visits) that we were getting to the end. My blood pressure sealed that deal. It was pretty bad, having raised even more from Friday’s appointment. I got put on the NST machine and had a great strip – the baby was doing just fine, it was me with health issues. After I got done my OB and I had “the talk” – which was “you need to go to the birth center as soon as you can today, you have been booked for an induction”. I saw no reason to argue….for I had carried the baby longer than any of my children (38 weeks and 3 days). I knew he was ready to come. She did a last-minute ultrasound to check if he was still head down and how his fluid levels were. All looked well, so I took a huge pile of medical records with me (which was good I did as the hospitals faxing crashed!!) and headed home to Kirk. Ford was at school, I called him and told him to not worry, just let himself in. We got my bag, Kirk signed off from work (that he works from home is a huge plus) and we headed to the hospital – with Walker along. My brother was coming down but he he had to take a ferry over first. Finally we got to the hospital around 11 am and I was admitted. And I found myself in the same wing as two years before, just a couple of rooms away. Felt like home or something. Then I went through a long set of assessments. Kirk entertained Walker as best he could and finally my brother showed up. Kirk drove him and Walker back to the house and then headed back again. My poor husband drove a lot that day.
So out of it all the decision was to start labor with Cytotec – something which many do not agree with. I am on the fence with it, it worked for Walker’s birth and knowing it worked was a good reason to use it again. But first they played with my blood pressure and got it stabilized and then started the Cytotec. I had been having 4 to 5 minute contractions for months so the first dose kicked up my contractions. Then they had to hold off and wait for them to slow down before doing dose two. It can take awhile, I know that! Inductions before 40 weeks can take 24 hours to get into labor so I had patience. Everyone was safe, I knew I just had to focus on me. That evening my friend Dani drove over after work to keep us company, a long drive for her. It was so appreciated! She left when they decided to do dose number two, around 11 pm. Due to my blood pressure I was told no walking, which honestly I was OK with. I was tired. I got woken up every hour or so for testing of my BP and was let off the monitors every couple of hours for 2 hours and was allowed a shower at least – it felt great around 1 am. Kirk slept at least – even if I had that last fitful sleep I have with each baby. So over the night I spent many hours as they tweaked my contractions with watching my blood pressure (which was doing just fine if I stayed in bed). Come morning my nurse said to me “eat a good breakfast” so I did and then I relaxed a bit. After checking on me and seeing I was to a 3, they started Pitocion. Waiting is always hard and especially when one is just sitting and having contractions, over and over. I met with the OB on call, a lovely lady, who works out of another clinic of the OB I see. I felt lucky in getting her by chance. We discussed things – and she asked me how open I was to an epidural (which I was) due to its abilities to lower blood pressure. As I have talked before – I have done natural childbirth and I have used an epidural. I had little to prove with this baby besides having him be safe. No 15 page birth plan for me. Just get him out. I held off on getting the epidural figuring I had time and it wasn’t bad. But slowly I noticed the contractions were getting stronger and I figured might as well get it before it got sucky. So Kirk called the nurse and she was calling up the anesthesiologist/getting stuff ready for him when I felt a “kick/pop” sensation and crap, my water had broken. And just like with Walker my contractions went from “I can handle this” to “owwwwwww”. I went to a 4. Then the worlds slowest anesthesiologist showed up (OK, I kid, I kid…he wasn’t slow but it sure felt like it!) He stood there reading me all this paperwork and I wanted to scream “Just give me the shot, we’ll talk after!!” Hehheh. I had pre-filled out my paperwork for the epidural and suddenly no one knew where it was (how do you lose paperwork from hours before?). But soon enough he started it, between contractions that were maybe 3 minutes or less. I was starting to wonder though because my labor pains felt different. I had pressure in my lower back/rear and I started thinking. My first son was Posterior (sunny side up) and had felt the same way. The epidural slowly filled my back and the contractions went away but what I felt instead was the need to bear down. Oops. My nurse was 1 on 1 with me, a wonderful lady, Marsha. She was just what I had always wanted for a childbirth. A relaxed mom-like nurse who was more like a midwife. She checked me and I had gone to 10 cm in minutes. She paged the OB because I was really feeling the need to push. Her hope was I’d push a couple of times and be done. But with quick checking and realizing I was going to deliver Posterior, I ended up pushing for an hour. The hardest part was getting him to clear my pelvic bone. But he was doing well, his heart rate was great. The epidural was low and I was able to move around, even get on all 4’s and try as many positions as I could to get him out. It helped a lot that I could move. I was using just enough to numb the pain/lower my blood pressure. It was what I wanted – just me, the nurse and Kirk. No one else, just quiet to do what I needed. Unlike my birth of Walker where I had a room full of people due to his erratic heart rate this was as close as I was ever going to get to a perfect birth, the birth I had wanted. And I wasn’t numb, I could feel him moving along. And the epidural was useless as he crowned due to him being posterior. But it was good, even if painful. The only new faces in the room was the OB and two nurses helping with the final delivery. I felt in control, I was relaxed and it was amazing when I saw Alistaire for the first time. He was big. The ladies looked at me and said “This isn’t a 9 lb baby”. When he was weighed he was 10 lbs 6.8 ounces and 22″ long. No wonder my belly was so big. My OB had said to me on Tuesday morning at out last appointment as she sent me off “I’d expect a 8 1/2 to 9 lb baby” – I was supposed to have another ultrasound that week to get a size idea, so his being that big was a bit unexpected. I sat there and relaxed as they checked him over and got him warmed and then they handed him to me but I ended up handing the baby to Kirk as I felt pretty tired from my anemia and the pushing. I didn’t trust myself holding him.
He got a pretty smooshed head being born but within the hour his little head smoothed out! It was amazing to see how much Alistaire looked like Walker. The same nose and chin!
Then I was told I needed to be put on a 24 hour magnesium drip to make sure my blood pressure didn’t affect me. Ugh. Really? So it meant I couldn’t get out of bed for the entire time, preferably to be on my side. So not long after he was born (just after 3 pm), I got put on the drip. It was a long night and Kirk had to take care of Alistaire for me the entire time. Our nurse that night had lots of empathy for us though and she took the baby to the nurses station for an hour or so, just so Kirk could relax. In the morning Kirk went and got Ford and Walker to come meet their brother and then home – he drove a lot once again. It was a long day for me. I was told to not pick the baby up if alone, Mag can leave you very loopy but overall I handled it well enough. Finally at 3 pm on Thursday they took me off it and said I could get up. And then I did feel it, gravity 10X hit me. I ended up sitting down on the couch in my room and drank a huge bottle of juice and rested. Finally after an hour or so I felt OK enough to attempt showering. And then I was happy to go back to bed.
The head scratcher was the OB who visited me on Thursday morning. I was sitting there attached to the Mag drip and he blithely blurts out “You wanna go home today??” and the nurse looks at him and says “She is on a Mag IV!” Can I say I was glad he wasn’t the one on call for delivering Alistaire.
Spent an ancy Thursday evening just ready to go home but had to be woken up every hour or so to check my blood pressure. We had the same nurse that night as well and she took Alistaire for about three hours so we could sleep. It was very good but sleep was fitful for me. The carpal tunnel syndrome I had developed the last couple of weeks made sleep very hard, my hands would go numb within minutes. Morning came and I waited the rounds of doctors. The pediatrician came and was fine with Alistaire leaving and then my OB showed up (thankfully she was on call on Friday at the hospital). With my history she let me out and told me to show up on Monday for a blood pressure check. My blood pressure takes awhile to stabilize after each baby and losing the water weight from the IV’s is very important. I was pretty puffed up.
A week out I have lost 29 lbs – so yes, that is a lot of water that was in me. My carpal tunnel has nearly disappeared (thank you!) and maybe soon I can put my wedding rings back on! My feet still swell up a bit by night but are looking better each day. I’ll have to watch my blood pressure for a while, I am taking it easy and getting use to moving about again – but I have a healthy baby and that is plenty for me!
It is an odd feeling being done. Health wise I feel better but at the same time I miss the feeling of his kicks and punches but still I am glad he is here and safe. And now part of our family ♥