The Birth of My Second Son
Two weeks. Adler Russell is two weeks old. I'm sitting here staring at him dreaming away, with fluttering eyes, smiles, little squeaks, grunts... All while thinking I really should be pumping right now... I swear I could feed triplets (it's a tad insane, but I'd rather deal with over supply than to not have enough.)
December 29th, I had an appointment with my midwife. I had been having ridiculous bouts of false labor, contractions reaching around to my back, breathing through each one rocking on my birthing ball... But to no avail. No baby yet. Tina my midwife told me I was 3-4 cm and that she could feel my little babe's sutures (where the bones meet on your infant's skull.) I asked her if she could strip my membranes again, I had been feeling miserable, as most pregnant women experience during their 39th week. Tina told me she couldn't do anymore stripping, I had done been stripped apparently. I looked at her just about on the verge of tears. I want to have this baby now. After all these weeks of worrying that baby isn't big enough, that I wouldn't carry long enough, that my placenta was too big, that I could possibly leave the hospital without my uterus... I wanted one thing to go MY way. Of course that sounds incredibly selfish. Especially since I am one to appreciate the natural labor process, letting your body and child decide when to get the show on the road. But this pregnancy, this nine month roller coaster of self doubt and fear, ya it needed to end.
Tina looked at the desperation on my face, "You are 39 weeks and one day today, if you wanted, we could admit you tonight to the hospital and break your water. You're body seems incredibly ready, cervix is soft and forward, stretchy, and baby has been engaged." I sat there in silence, trying not to jump off the table with a "HELL YES, LETS DO THIS" answer. Instead I kept my excitement inside. Through a half smile/straight face I told her that I would take this option home to my husband and we would talk it over.
I explained the options to Eric, and like the wonderful husband that he is, he told me that it was my decision because it was indeed, my body. I decided to give myself the night to see if any spontaneous labor would start.
By 2 pm the next day I called the OBGYN office to talk with Tina about being admitted. I had packed and repacked my bags, folded and put away laundry, showered... I was ready. Unfortunately the hospital wasn't ready though, they had already had three inductions scheduled for the night, so i was told I would be scheduled for a 9:00 am induction for the next morning 12/30. Holy shit. I just scheduled my own labor. I felt a bit guilty, but mostly nervous and excited.
Nervous. I could hardly sleep that night, did I make the right decision? Was I going to go through another 26 hours of excruciating labor like I did with Graeme?
We dropped Graeme off in the morning to my mother's, gave him extra special kisses, he was no longer going to be our only child... We made it to the hospital (late as usual lol) got checked into an awesome huge room and met my wonderful nurse, Kristy.
It took three tries to get my IV started... Which really was no fun but I kept a smile on my face and positivity flowing, no need to get upset I knew they were trying their best.
I was told that my midwife would like to start me on Pitocin and then as I progressed she would come in and break my water. The word Pitocin scared the shit out of me... I had heard things about it, like the contractions are horrific and on top of each other with Pitocin. I trusted that this was he right move and went along with my midwife's recommendation.
Pitocin was started around 11 am. It started producing minor Braxton hicks like contractions within the half hour that lasted probably two hours or so. I was sitting up in a rocking chair breathing through each one, when my midwife arrived to break my water. I hopped up into bed, and she attempted to break my water with what looked like a crochet hook. But to no avail, she was unable to break it as my cervix was farther back than she could reach. She requested that the OBGYN on staff that day to come and break my water. So there I waited for probably an hr, contractions were still pretty tolerable, I was able to laugh and smile through them.
When the OBGYN came to my room she was able to reach my cervix and break my water, apparently I had an excessive amount of amniotic fluid. She held her hand inside me until she could feel baby's head come down (ensuring that the umbilical cord did not come down before the head).
Once my water was broke, I began having intense contractions. The Pitocin had been elevated every half hour depending on my contractions and progress. I was laying in bed beginning to have severe pains. I knew I had to move a bit, so I asked if I could stand at the side of the bed. Kristy helped me get up between contractions, I stood for probably a minute before a contraction came on and dipped baby's heart rate entirely too low for anyone's comfort. Kristy immediately made me lay back down on my left side, she prepared oxygen to be administered and stood by anxiously waiting for baby's heart to pick up speed again. After what seemed like forever that little beat got faster and faster, and everyone in the room took a sigh of relief.
Due to that little episode, Kristy suggested I continue laboring on my left side for now. So, that's what I did. I had Eric turn on Pandora on his phone. I asked for a chair and Eric sat next to me holding my hand and breathing with me through each surge. They were getting so strong. Tears would well up in my eyes as they peaked. After a few hours I felt like I needed something to help me, I just couldn't keep going like this, unable to move and experiencing building contractions I asked Kristy if there were options for pain relief.
She immediately suggested Stadol, I half expected her to suggest an epidural, so I was relieved to hear I had another option. I asked her what the drug was as I had never heard of it, and with Graeme I had jumped right into an epidural when I broke from the 22 hours of pain. She explained to me that as long as I hadn't progressed significantly that they could give me Stadol, if I was nearing the end of labor it would make baby too sleepy, luckily for me I was not far enough along to cause any worry of effecting baby negatively. She told me Stadol "took the edge off."
It sure did my friends, I felt every bit of my climbing surges, but I just didn't give a shit. I didn't feel loopy or out of it, I was able to focus on what was going on, but it just kind of, dimmed my brain from caring so much about all the feels!
By about 5 pm my midwife returned from the office to help me deliver. She stayed in the room with me until baby was born. The Stadol was wearing off, and I was getting closer and closer to birthing this babe. Since Tina was there I asked her if I could at least sit hands and knees, which ended up being knees facing the back of the bed. The head of bed was raised into a sitting position and I rocked, rocked into each contraction. Gripped the bed railings and screamed and moaned, sometimes into the pillow, other times I just let the pain out so the world could hear it! Things were getting real. I was cussing up a storm, dropping F bombs like it was my job. Saying things most religious people would probably shame me for... But damnit this was intense and 'Oh Lord' escaped my mouth more than a few times. Eric remained beside me holding my hand through each contraction, he rubbed some lavender massage oil on my back and would breathe through each surge with me. He'd remind me to loosen my clenched jaw, he forced eye contact, he was my rock and I know I couldn't have done it without him.
Tina sat on the opposite side of me watching the tocometer through each contraction and providing light touch to my back during the most difficult surges. It was about 6:30, I had been questioned multiple times if I "felt pressure" my honest response was "I'm feeling so much I can't tell you if I feel pressure!" Then, all of a sudden, boom! Pressure! I felt immediately like I had to push, and subsequently felt the urge to go número dos, ugh. All normal feels but, damn didn't enjoy that feeling in particular. Tina asked me to flip over so that she could check my progress.
I flipped, she checked me, then requested I have a straight catch inserted, baby was being suspended up by my over filled bladder. Kristy grabbed the kit and attempted to insert the catheter...immediately the first words that came out of my mouth were "that feels like, like the ring of fire!" I knew that feeling all too well when I had Graeme, when a baby's head is crowning and your being stretched to hell... Yeah, ring of effing fire. That's what the straight cath felt like. Insane amount of burning and pain, Kristy had a hell of a time inserting it because baby's head was clearly trying to make it's exit and pinching off access to my urethra. After trying a fourth time she was finally able to insert it and empty my very full bladder.
There was then another immediate urge to start pushing. I looked at Eric as another raging surge climaxed, "I have to have this baby now, I can't do this much longer!" Tina grabbed my leg and said "then let's start effectively pushing." That was at 6:50.
The second she gave me the green light to push, I was determined to bring this sweet little babe Earthside ASAP. With Graeme I pushed for I believe 30-40 minutes before his sweet little noggin emerged. They had told me then, that I did very well. I was dead set on proving for the last time that I could effectively push this baby out.
So I wrapped my hands around my thighs and pulled them around my swollen belly. I pushed with each surge, trying my hardest to breathe, screaming with each one to the point where my voice was cracking and my throat was aching. Again, another surge, another push, on repeat for about 8 contractions. Tina exclaiming "good Tami, you're doing so good! Baby is almost here! I feel hair!" They placed an oxygen mask on my face and told me to wait out a contraction, to give baby a little break. I knew this had to be it. It had to be finished, or I honestly didn't know how I would be able to keep going, exhaustion had already taken a strong hold of every muscle in my body, adrenaline was all that was keeping me fueled.
Finally Tina gave the okay to push again. Contraction met with this incredible force within me to push this baby out, brought baby's head to crowning. Surging into the next, one more deep breath and push... Baby's head was out! No cries, only Tina telling me to go again, shoulders were next... I felt a dip in my capacity to effectively push, I was hitting my wall. It took two more valiant, screaming like a banshee, reaching deep within pushes to birth the rest of that sweet little body. My baby, was here!! Tina raised the baby up and immediately asked Eric "Well daddy, is it a boy or a girl!?" I peered down with pure exhaustion to see a...scrotum... My little Lucille was actually an Adler! I had just given birth to our second son! Eric exclaimed, "BOY!!" His jaw was on the ground I swear, we all had the belief I was carrying a girl. The proud daddy smile soon took over the shock, they laid Adler on my chest trying to stimulate my blue baby, no cries yet. A minute or two went by and they clamped my cord and asked Eric to cut, I interrupted to ask if they could wait to do delayed clamping... The nurse that was stimulating my son then told me they were worried about baby. I immediately felt like an ass... " oh God, don't listen to me, do whatever you need to do!"
Adler came around with a little warming and extra stimulation, his apgars were 7,9,9. They brought him over, I opened my gown and he latched onto my breast like a champ. So tiny. 6 pounds 11 ounces of pure beauty. Our family was complete the moment we met Adler Russell at 7:16 pm.
Then there is my tricky placenta... If you've been reading any of my past pregnancy updates, I was told my placenta was huge, bulky, and circumvallate. Well when I birthed that sucker, I was imagining a ginormous placenta with a thick ring of membranes, and possibly hemorrhaging. To my surprise, my placenta was miraculously "normal" size, shape... With a thin layer of silvery membranes lining the outer ring, the cord was off center which typically it is centered. Tina told me that it was "not very impressive." Awesome. The medical profession sure does know how to worry a person, then to find out things were normal all along? Smh.
I did however lose a decent amount of blood after delivering my placenta, I had a huge clot that they had to "massage" (aka beat the hell out of my stomach and pelvis) to get my uterus to cramp up and stop the bleeding. Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful that they could stop me from bleeding out, it was just extremely uncomfortable.
Tina gave me a big hug before she left and told me she was so proud of me, that I had just given birth without any pain medication, that I was "amazing." It hadn't really hit me until she said that. She's right, I did it... With Eric and Tina pushing me through, I birthed without fear!
I have never, ever felt like such a Wonder Woman. I went into this half expecting that I would need an epidural, and here I was holding my baby boy, knowing that I had just done the hardest thing that my body will probably ever experience. I birthed my child.
It's been two weeks and I still feel that high.
Welcome to the world Adler Russell. We are so infatuated with you.
Peace & Love,