I can hardly believe it’s been a year already. It’s certainly been a busy one…seemingly busier and harder than Gavin’s first year. Odd, since you’d think with your second child, everything would be a bit easier.
At my initial consultation when I was first pregnant, I asked the Nurse Practitioner since I had already had a very large baby with a considerable amount of damage to my undercarriage, and statistically subsequent babies are larger than the first, if it was possible for me to have an induction at 39 weeks. She replied that sure, they do it all the time for 2nd and 3rd pregnancies (which makes me thing at 4th pregnancies the kid just falls out on their own). So I felt reassured that I would not be crawling to my 41st week with this baby.
Again, I had a very easy pregnancy. In fact, it was easier than the last one because my blood pressure stayed low and only went up a little bit in the last couple weeks before Cooper’s birth. I did have issues with pre-term contractions that started about 6 weeks before, but my doctor put me on work restriction so that I would cause a pile-up on the highways I commute. So the last 5 weeks of my pregnancy I sat working from home, which did help keep the contractions down to a minimum (though were still getting some as often as once every two hours). I was lonely, a little bored, and had much easier access to food than if I was at the office.
So even though I ate a little bit better than my first pregnancy (well, except for that Chik-Fil-A addition I had: 12-piece chicken nugget meal with Fries, Cole-Slaw, and Extra-Large Sweet Tea), I started eating a more once I got home. By the time I weighed-in right before I had Cooper, I again, just as in my pregnancy with Gavin, gained 37lbs and my waist was 43 inches. However, since I didn’t have any water retention and swelling, all 37lbs were my own and not blamed on water.
I had my check-up at 38 weeks, and even though I was still having some contractions, I was only 2cm dilated, so I reminded the doctor about the promise made to me 8 months prior. On my way out, I got myself scheduled for Thursday, July 12th, just in case I didn’t progress on my own. I had my pre-induction appointment on Tuesday and was 2-3cm, so I was told I didn’t need to get the prostaglandin gel this time around. I quite relieved because I didn’t want as crabby as when I was going to the hospital to have Gavin.
Thursday morning we got up, called the hospital to make sure they could take us. We were cleared for entry, so I got up and took a shower, took some time to do my hair a little and put on some waterproof mascara, ate my contraband applesauce, got Gavin ready and made sure his overnight bag had everything and anything he could possibly want for his first night away from home without either Justin or me (he got to stay with his best friend, Ainsley). We drop him off at Dave and Kari’s house and he was upset about us leaving, so Kari got him to go help her wake up Ainsley. Turns out while we were at the hospital, he was having a good ol’ time playing with Ainsley and I think he even went to Chuck E. Cheese.
So we get to the hospital a little later than we were supposed to (like 35 minutes later), and as I’m walking up to the nurses station to check in, I realized I was very comfortable, non-chalant, and even chipper. Thought maybe it was because I knew what to expect, but then also realized I wasn’t in labor yet this time around, so I didn’t have that misery making me mean and nasty. We get into our room, laugh at how the baby fry-warmer is located in the closet (our other room we had down the hall 3 years before, had the fry-warmer in a corner), and I even posed for a couple pics, mostly because we didn’t think anyone would believe us when we told them I was in a calm and happy mood.
They got me hooked up to my 5 bazillion miligram IV bag of penicillan, since I flunked my GBS test, and I sat there getting sanitized for a good 3 hours. Afterwards, they ramped up my pitocin and I got my epidural, since the anesthesiologist was apparently doing nothing more than roaming the floor looking for a back to poke. Seriously, the nurses came in 6 times to ask if I wanted it yet…since I wasn’t in any pain, I didn’t feel the need. But when they mentioned that he might not be immediately available when I was ready for him (read: climbing the walls), and I was sure I was getting one (yes, please!), to maybe get it now. So I did. And let me tell you, since I wasn’t in blinding agony, I got to find out how much that epidural actually hurts! Well, not so much hurt as sting (don’t want to scare anyone away because OMG it is a godsend!). But it certainly did not tickle!
Once the epidural kicked in a little, they checked me and I was already 5cm dilated. I was thrilled, and also confused as to why my contractions weren’t getting very strong yet or why my water hadn’t broke by now. But my doctor came in a few minutes later with the monster crochet hook and broke it for me around 12:15pm. The nurses began coming in every half hour or so to check on, and usually raise, my pitocin. But I never felt too uncomfortable (yes, yes, I know I had a epidural, but you still feel a lot of pressure).
About 2pm, my contractions were actually starting to get uncomfortable a bit, and Cooper had moved again, and Justin and I had trouble finding him with the baby monitor…we had already rearranged the monitor on my belly a few times since my water broke because Cooper was moving around a bit more as my labor seemingly painlessly progressed. A different nurse than who was assigned came in to help us find Cooper’s heartbeat (my nurses were helping out with a delivery a couple doors down). She rolled me from one side, then the other (thankfully with my wonky epidural, I could actually use most of my left leg to help her heave my bulk around), and kept smearing more KY on my belly and moving the monitor around on it, pushing down a bit. She got a concerned look on her face, and put the oxygen mask on me, saying maybe by getting a bigger burst of oxygen into my body and bloodstream that it might help us locate his hearbeat easier since he seemed to have burrowed into my butt. She kept prodding and pushing and smearing and encouraging Large Calm Breathing on the mask.
I could feel her nervousness and I was starting to get anxious myself. I stole a glance at Justin behind me and he looked concerned, too. When she couldn’t locate Cooper’s heartbeat, she calmly said, “one minute, I’ll be right back.” I just nodded, not knowing if I needed to start panicking or if she was a newer Labor/Delivery nurse and needed more experienced help (our other assigned nurse was new to labor and delivery).
As she stepped out of our room, she hollared, “Claudia!” and I could hear the note of alarm in her voice and could hear her footsteps quicken before the door shut behind her. My heart started pounding wildly and I grabbed Justin’s hand as the tears and blubbering started. I’m not sure if I said anything coherant, but I remember making some sort of sound and being scared.to.death.
All these thoughts started racing through my head. I was terrified that something happened to Cooper, and was even more scared that if they did an emergency C-section that it might not happen in time.
Our nurses came in, and Claudia immediately checked me. She announced, “9, nearly 10cm! and bloody-show”. She instructed the other nurse to call my doctor. Claudia then looked at me, still seeing the panic on my face (I’m not sure if Justin still looked upset…I kind of had tunnel vision) and told us that the reason we couldn’t find his heart beat was because he had scootched so far down. My doctor then came in, verified Claudia’s assessment of my cervix, and sat with Justin and I, chatting amicably while the nurses scurried around getting everything ready.
My doctor looked at the clock and said, “we’re gonna have this baby in about 20 minutes…just want to give your cervix a little more time to make sure you’re a good solid 10 cm, then we’ll push.” Then she went on saying she remembered I was a “good pusher” and now that I knew what I was doing, she was fully expecting some championship pushing from me this time around. And since I was experienced, she offered to dial up my epidural and said that Claudia would help me know when to push in case I couldn’t feel the pressure, to which I agreed.
Just at 3pm, the doctor donned her haz-mat suit and we started pushing (after I reminded everyone that someone had to keep counting at all times while I was pushing, or else risk getting cussed-out). After about 5 pushes (with a brief pause in there while the doctor unwrapped Cooper’s double-wrapped umbilical cord), at 3:21pm, Cooper Josef was born. As my doctor was still suctioning out his mouth and getting his umbilical cord clamped and ready for Justin to cut it (so proud of you honey!), I was still sitting up in the stirrups, and elatedly announced to her (and half the hospital), “THAT was EASY!” And she replied, “I told you it would be! You are made to have babies!!” At which point Justin turned three shades of green and almost had to sit down.
Apparently I am made to have babies because while Cooper weighed less (8lbs 3 oz…11 oz less than Gavin), he was actually larger gestationally (he was born at 39 weeks and Gavin was born at 41 weeks). And Cooper’s head was larger than Gavin’s, yet I only required one stitch….not the many many stitches required after Gavin’s birth. And like most 2nd (or 3rd) births, the recovery period was much easier. Hell, on the day we came home, I realized that I not only needed to pick up my pain prescriptions, but some nursing pads and maxi pads. So instead of trying to explain to Justin which ones to choose, I just took the truck and shuffled off to Target all by my two-days-post-partum-self (left the Cooper at home with everyone there). Unfortunately, Cooper’s colic and my poor milk supply more than made up for the easy pregnancy and delivery. But I can hardly remember that aggravation now:
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