Sunday, February 2, 2014

Happy birthday, sweet boy: One week ago today #birthstory

One week ago, our son was born. At 2:57 am on Sunday, January 26th, 2014, I became a mother of two. Having mastered the art of all things girly and sparkling, I now get to try my hand at "boy mom".

Birth did not go exactly as I expected...

My first child was nine pounds, born after an induction, extremely long 16 hours of labor, many vomiting episodes, three hours of pushing, and an episiotomy. We all, doctors included, figured that this birth would be a bit faster. No guarantees but surely with my first being so large, I could handle another - at least in a similar fashion. But we thought maybe easier.

We even induced at 39 weeks to make sure he did not quite reach the size of his sister. We estimated about 8 pounds. So in we went on a Friday night, planning for a birth on January 25th, our 11th wedding anniversary. I was calm and ready to get things going, so I snuggled up in the homemade quilt that accompanied me from home and slept through most of the night.

Induction began early Saturday morning with Pitocin and shortly thereafter, breaking my water. I was dilated a little bit but baby was way too high. We waited, and waited, and waited. I made it several hours before asking for an epidural. FOUR epidural attempts later (worst pain of the entire ordeal), I was once again resting. Then vomiting. Then shaking uncontrollably.

Sleep, wake, vomit, shake. And repeat. Over and over for many hours.

My contractions were strong and regular, so we were all shocked when a check revealed he was still too high. I am not even sure he budged at all. I continued to dilate, but the little guy stayed put. January 25th came and went. When I was dilated enough for another good check, the doctor felt the umbilical cord around baby's neck. She told us that it would be OK if he was born quickly - but he still had not moved down.

Around 1:30 a.m. on January 26th, we were faced with a choice: Labor for a couple more hours and see if I could push enough to move him down. Or, go into surgery. We could tell by the expressions of the doctor and midwife, especially when they looked at each other, that they felt waiting would not help. I was exhausted from vomiting and every muscle ached from shaking. I made the choice myself - we would go to surgery.

I cried. I cried a lot. Then my husband and I called and texted all the family members. Despite being about 2:00 a.m., I needed them to know. I was afraid and worn down, and I needed those extra thoughts and prayers. Within 30 minutes, I was being wheeled into the OR with a very concerned husband by my side.

Very shortly thereafter, Andrew Stephen was born. Alert, pink, and a healthy 8 pounds, 5 ounces. We had not decided on a middle name, but the moment he came out, I said "Stephen" - after his daddy. Daddy was my rock and my helper through it all, and I had no doubt that Andrew needed his daddy's name with his.

So... delivery number two? Not always easier than the first! 18 hours of labor, shaking added to the vomiting, and an eventual C-section. But now that is behind us, we are home, and we can begin our new life as a family of four.

Next post to come... the Atlanta snowstorm that shut our city down, trapped people in their cars, kept our nurses on back-to-back-to-back shifts, and prevented us from getting home. Andrew has quite a story to hear one day!
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