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Since I haven't really gotten a good narrative together for my blog, I thought I'd jot down some details before more time goes by...
Thursday night I knew something was up, but my contractions weren't close enough or strong enough to go into the hospital yet again and get sent home. I asked for a blessing and received one before evening, even though I usually wait until I'm in the hospital before I aks for one.
Made a nice cheeseless gluten-free pizza and enjoyed it like I may not be able to eat again for a while. I find it's just as good without cheese as with, just onions, turkey sausage, mushrooms, herbs and nutritional yeast as toppings. I was sick with our Halloween cold, so I kicked up the garlic, onions and herbs.
I slept for a couple hours on the couch, like I always did as a kid when I was sick and I still find comfort in it. I woke up about midnight with some stronger contractions, but still not strong enough to go in. Drank some juice and went to bed. Soon after lying down I felt a big snap inside me, and had just read a birth story that mentioned feeling the membrane rupture, so I was pretty sure what it was. I cried for a couple seconds at the decisiveness of it all, got up, and felt the water trickle. This was 1:30 am.
So, I'd heard a lot about labor starting with water breaking. Most of the stories involve a bit of time and effort to get labor going at that point. So I figured I had time to ramble into the hospital, take a bath, get a foot rub, walk around, etc. We rambled with fairly good time, then my husband enjoyed his license to speed. Soon I wasn't noticing his speed or complaining that he was treating stoplights like stop signs...because the contractions were starting and they were very strong. I figure now that my labor had been slowly going for 24-48 hours, and this was when the transitional contractions were starting. By the time I checked into the hospital, I was already dialated to a 7 and becoming frantic. I'd played with the idea of natural childbirth, but never seriously read the books I bought or enrolled in any classes, so I wasn't prepared for the strength of these contractions. Everything went very fast once they found I was at a 7. The baby was showing signs of stress, with a reduced heartrate during contractions, so I was quickly put on oxygen and IV, and my doctor was speeding on his way to the hospital. He lives about twice as far from the hospital than we do, but was there within 10 minutes, as fast as the anesthesiologist, who I believe was just in another wing of the hospital. By the time I got an epidural, I was already dialated to a 9. At this point I ask, what was the point of getting one...but it wasn't nearly over yet. We had a little stargazer on our hands, so he couldn't just pop right out. I pushed for an hour, but any longer wasn't safe for the baby as his heartrate was still dropping during contractions. At that point, an episiotomy became necessary. I had hoped to avoid that, but was willling for the baby's sake. Not long after that, he was born, looking up at everyone, with a conehead up front, and full of healthy newborn fury.
I was relieved he was safely delivered and a little shocked at the speed of everything. It was 3:50 am. Soon I was able to relax and hold him, nurse him, and relax some more. It took a few hours for the shock to wear off, but then I felt emotionally quite good. I didn't have the same spaceyness that I had after my first was induced. Speed can be a good thing, certainly better than multiple hours of laboring, though I wasn't prepared for it to go that way.
He was immediately quite keen on meeting all his milestones of nursing, filling diapers, sleeping, and nursing some more. He regained his birth weight by 4 days old, and that usually takes 2 weeks. Needless to say, he's a very hungry boy, and a handful when it comes to feeding and diapering. Yet, he does sleep a lot so it's not too hard all in all to care for him.
The bit of excitement and worry we had started about 36 hours after his birth. My doc had ordered a follow-up strep group B test, but the results hadn't come in before my labor. Well, then came in positive. This required 48 hours of close observation and an extra day in the hospital. I was worried and watched closely for the first sign of a problem, a decreased appetite. This never became a problem at all, but I slept easier after the 48 hour mark. At that point we were pretty much out of the woods of the real dangers for newborns. I would have certainly taken the antibiotics if we had known the results in time, it's a dangerous situation without them, but I'm very thankful he did fine without them. (My cold and cough had gone on long enough, that some antibiotics probably would have been nice for me too. I can tell you, you don't want to have a cough with stitches and while nursing...not fun.)
Anyway, I'll stop there for now! The excitement didn't end there, and every day has new and unexpected obstacles...today for instance I took the two boys out in the car for the first time without somebody helping. Turns out our reliable little car isn't so reliable! Thank goodness for roadside assistance and being close to home where we can get picked up and returned to home base. Then my older son started throwing up a few hours after returning home, with a stomach bug that's been going around. All this on the first day home without help! I'm going to bed now :-)