Our son, Jaren, was born on Friday 2/22/2013 at 9:51 pm via an unmedicated, vaginal delivery.
7 pounds 14 ounces | 20 inches long
(only 1 oz less than Noelle, and half an inch taller)
Sam and I had been waiting impatiently that entire week because my bloody show had passed a few days before. I was on strict orders from Sam not to go anywhere and not to operate a motor vehicle that week. He gave me his office number, his manager’s number, and his receptionist’s number in case I couldn’t reach him on his cell. I don’t know why he was so nervous, after all, we’ve been through this before!
By Friday, I had had enough. I was getting serious cabin fever and desperate to get out… so I decided to run some errands, which included operating a motor vehicle! I really wanted to make Amy’s Thai Basil Chicken for dinner that night, so I drove to two different supermarkets looking for Thai basil and chilies. When I got home with the goods, it was already 3:12 pm in the afternoon. As I was laying all the ingredients out, I felt a trickling sensation down there. I was wearing a thick Kotex pad so I wasn’t sure if this was my water breaking or some accidental pee (you can never be too sure when you’re 40 weeks pregnant!). I changed into a fresh pantyliner, continued to make dinner (hey, I’ve got priorities!), and felt more trickling. By the time dinner was made, my entire pantyliner was soaked. I knew then that it was definitely my water.
I decided it was finally time to text Sam. I told him not to rush home because I wasn’t even feeling contractions yet, but predicted that contractions would come within the next 2 hours.
He got home at 4:30 pm. At that point dinner had been made, and I was trying to squeeze in a short nap. I knew once labor started, I would not be sleeping for a long time after. Sam changed out of his work clothes, grabbed our bags and loaded his car while I laid there trying to pass the time. Around 5 pm, I felt the onset of some light contractions and began timing them. Although they weren’t too painful, they were already 5-minutes apart. When I had my last obgyn appointment earlier that Monday, I was already 3 cm dilated so I knew this baby could come fast, especially with this being my second pregnancy. By 5:30 pm, we decided to head to the hospital even though my contractions were still bearable because we didn’t want to risk not making it in the middle of Friday rush hour.
We arrive at the hospital around 6:30 pm. The contractions were getting painful and only about 2-3 minutes apart at this point. I was having a hard time talking through the contractions and needed to stop and lean against something every time I felt one. We checked in, and the nurses immediately checked my cervix to see how far along I was. I was already 7 cm dilated!
Still able to smile and take a pic or two in between contractions!
I was taken to the room where I would labor in, and got hooked up to a machine that would monitor my contractions and the baby’s heartbeat. In my birth plan, I had wanted intermittent fetal monitoring, but the nurse insisted I stay hooked up to the machine; that limited my ability to labor freely. I ended up laboring on a birth ball for the entirety of my labor. I didn’t get to leave the room, I couldn’t walk around or shower or do any of the things I was able to do with my first labor. Not my ideal scenario, and honestly, this labor experience was a lot worse than my first even though the labor was shorter and the outcome the same. Luckily, I had Hellobee, Instagram, and Facebook to distract me from the pain. 😉
Laboring on a birth ball – doesn’t look like it, but yes… I’m in pain!
I had tested positive for Group B strep when I was 8 weeks pregnant (but when retested at 37 weeks, I was negative). As a precaution, they still wanted me on antibiotics. They hooked my left arm to an IV and started pumping penicillin into my veins. The nurse warned me that it would burn, and burn it did! It felt like fire was shooting up and down my left arm. To say that I was “uncomfortable” would be an understatement. I could not believe I had to deal with this additional pain while trying to labor without an epidural. It crossed my mind more than once why I was doing this to myself again.
At around 8 pm, the nurse did another cervical check on me. I was still only at 7 cm – that was so discouraging. I discovered the reason why I wasn’t progressing any faster was because a part of my sac was still fully intact. The nurse wanted to make sure all the antibiotics made it into my system before breaking it.
I continued to labor on the birth ball with nowhere to go. I tried to go to my “quiet place”, and focused on breathing and relaxing with every ounce of my being. My husband held my hand through it all, and quietly whispered words of reassurance. He truly is my rock. I know I couldn’t have made it through either one of my unmedicated births without him.
At 9 pm, the nurse finally had the doctor come in. As soon as he did, he did a cervical check and broke my water. I’m not exactly sure what he used to break my water because all I felt was a huge gush at the same time he checked my cervix. I didn’t see any long scary needles or other instruments. I was now 9 cm dilated and he expected labor to progress even faster from here on out. He was right – within the next 30 minutes I quickly reached 10 cm and was ready to push.
I position myself on the bed and they raise the stirrups. I feel a strong urge to bear down. The pushing begins, and I hear myself scream bloody murder. I’m crying and shaking and desperate to get this over with. I push three times, and I hear my doctor tell me to stop pushing – it was incredibly hard to just stop pushing in the middle of it, but I somehow muster up the will. I later found out that my cord was wrapped around my baby’s head so they had to cut it first before I could continue pushing (fun fact: I was also born with a cord around my neck). Another 2-3 pushes and he was out!
At 9:51 pm, a healthy, but bluish baby boy was placed in my arms. I was overcome with joy for the second time, as I gazed adoringly into my son’s face; this was the moment I’ve been waiting for these past ten, long months. Did he long for me the way I’d longed for him? He felt so right in my arms, as if we had always belonged to each other.
They let us do skin-to-skin for a few minutes, took him to get his measurements while I delivered the placenta, and quickly placed him in my arms again. The doctor told me I didn’t tear, for which I’ve been so grateful. I endured a second-degree tear with my first, and the difference in my recovery has been huge.
My worries about my daughter feeling jealousy or resentment appear unfounded… and my fears about my ability to love my second as much as my first were put to rest. It’s true what they say, our capacity for love only expands with each new addition. I don’t know how I was ever able to live without either one of my two munchkins. They are my life, and I want to give them the world.