I want to capture all of the details of Noah's birth before I forget them (I'm not getting any younger!), so here goes...Warning, it may be too much info for some! ;)
Due on July 12th with our second son, I went in for my 40-week OB visit on the 13th. I was still dilated 3 cm (as I had been the week before) and my cervix was still soft and thick. My OB and I had previously discussed that he wouldn't let me go past 41 weeks with my pregnancy because that is when problems usually start to happen in pregnancies. So, I knew induction could be a possibility for this pregnancy as well. I was induced with Ethan 9 days after my due date (with him arriving 10 days after it), so I figured this little guy wasn't in any rush to exit the womb either. Apparently I have the world's most comfy uterus! Go figure. I really, really wanted to wait and see if Noah would come on his own, but at the same time, I was super miserable and ready to meet the little guy. When my OB asked if I was ready to have this baby, I said yes, so he checked his schedule and told me to be at the hospital the next morning at 6 am to induce! I think I was in shock as I left the office and it didn't hit me for a bit that I was going to have this baby so soon. I started to have second thoughts and considered calling them back to say I wanted to wait. After all, I still had 6 days before I would reach 41 weeks. But, I decided to go ahead with the plan (since I was continuing to get more and more miserable with each day) and at 5 am the next morning I called the hospital, as instructed, to be sure they had a room available. I guess this was protocol in case 10 women happened to all go into labor the same night in our small town of ~25,000 people. ;) They said it was a go, so Josh and I got ready and made our way to the hospital. It took what seemed like forever to get registered and then we were on our way upstairs to the Labor & Delivery area!
We made our way to the Labor & Delivery Suite 4 where I changed into my gown and made myself as comfortable as one can make oneself on a hospital bed. The nurse came in and went through all the pertinent info and then they tried to start my IV. I have horrible veins. It is a curse that I inherited from my father. :( I have been told that they are very tiny and wind around a lot. She tried to get one into my left arm with no luck, then my left hand. Still nothing. My veins even managed to bend the needle. Seriously? The pain was nothing compared to what was to come, but still annoying nonetheless. Finally another nurse came in and was able to get one going on my right hand. Whew. Unfortunately, I had a huge bruise on my left arm for well over a week from her efforts. With the IV finally in place, they started pumping the Pitocin into me at 7 am. Awesome. I managed to go my entire 40-week pregnancy (and in the middle of summer too) without any swelling, but by the end of the day, I was super swollen from all of the fluids they kept flowing into me the whole day. At 8 am, my doctor arrived to check me and break my water and get things going. Upon his check, I was still dilated to just 3 cm and my cervix was soft, but still pretty thick. He had trouble breaking the amniotic sac and I was beginning to wonder if I was going to have bad luck all day?? The nurse was convinced I was going to have my baby before lunchtime. Hmm, little did she know...
Things started to progress...sloooooowly. I was contracting pretty good, but nothing too intense or painful at first. Around noon they really started to hurt and I requested some pain meds for my IV. They gave me some Stadol and about 5 minutes later I was regretting it. The medicine made me absolutely loopy (and nauseated to boot) and I could barely hold my eyes open. :( It was kind of like an out of body experience. I guess I even asked Josh how soon the medicine would wear off because I just wanted to go back to feeling normal again. Apparently, Noah was not a fan of the drugs either because they caused his heart rate to slow and the nurse was concerned. She put an oxygen mask on me to help, but his heart rate still wasn't improving, so she advised no more pain meds in my IV. Wonderful. A little before 2 pm the medicine wore off and I began to feel the pain of the contractions again. By this point it was very intense. I was still not progressing very quickly and I was stuck at 6 cm. After another couple hours of enduring the pain, the nurse recommended that I get an epidural. She had said earlier in the day that she had never seen anyone not get an epidural when they were induced with the Pitocin. She said that because I was in so much pain, that my body was focusing on that instead of allowing me to progress. So, after a lot of consideration and consultation with anesthesia, I decided to go ahead and get an epidural. This was never an option with my first pregnancy as the anesthesiologists at the Newnan Piedmont Hospital said they would not give me one because I have two protruding discs in my lumbar spine. I let these doctors know about it, so they were a bit reluctant to give me one as well, but in the end decided they would do it. Finally, by 4:30 pm they did the injection and I started to feel some relief again. By a little after 5 pm, I had finally progressed to 10 cm and was feeling the urge to push! That was quick!
My doctor finished delivering another baby and made his way to my room. Having done this once before, I knew how miserable the pushing part was and I really wanted to get it over with as quickly as possible. While the epidural had been helping take the edge off of the pain from the contractions, it definitely did not get rid of the pain of the pushing. I felt everything! Thankfully though, it only took 3 or 4 rounds of 3 or 4 pushes (about 10 minutes I think) and he was here at 5:20 pm!!
Daddy cut the cord...
...and he was placed in my arms!
He weighed in at 7 pounds, 13 ounces and measured 20.5 inches long. His head was 14.25 inches around.
He was absolutely perfect!!
I can't say enough wonderful things about the doctors and nurses at West Georgia Health. The whole experience was sooooo much better than the one we had in Newnan with Ethan. The nurses were incredible and super helpful and we left much happier. All of the nurses involved in my care even sent me a card after I was home congratulating us on our new addition. How sweet of them!! One of them also followed up with me the following week with a phone call to make sure all was going well. These things would have been awesome to have had the first time around when I had no idea what I was doing! haha! The hospital itself was great too, from the L&D room to the recovery room.
So overall, the experience was a much better one than what I endured with Ethan. My body recovered much, much quicker too. Though I did spend 2 nights in the hospital this time (I had only spent one night there with Ethan), I was feeling pretty awesome by the time I was discharged. Once home I continued to do well and just two weeks after delivering I am almost back to my pre-pregnancy weight! Just 2-3 pounds to go! :) I attribute this in part to Noah's very voracious appetite. Fortunately for both of us, nursing came much easier this time too. With Ethan, we had to supplement one bottle in the evenings when he was little because I couldn't produce enough for him. So far for Noah I haven't had any problems making enough milk. When we left the hospital on Saturday, he had dropped in weight to 7 lbs, 6 ozs, but by his first check-up on that Wednesday (just 4 days later), he was back up to 8 lbs, 1 oz!! Yep, my milk is like liquid gold!! But, it does seem like I may be eating/drinking something he doesn't like. He has developed into quite the fussy little guy in the evenings now (even more so than what Ethan was) and has enough gas for all of us. Poor guy! :( He appears to still be getting enough to eat (despite the large amounts he is spitting back up) because he is filling out nicely, but we will see for sure next week at his one-month check-up. Where does the time go??
Ethan is adjusting well to becoming a big brother I think. Though he still isn't interested in holding Noah, he does give him hugs and kisses, so that works for now. :) He is good about sharing his cars with him and has been a super great helper here at the house for me! He loves helping to push him in the stroller on our walks...
And entertaining him when he gets fussy...
We are adjusting to being a family of five now (yep, gotta count our Daisy!) and we're excited about what the future holds for us!