Let me start this post by saying a few things. First of all, this post is NOT for everyone. It has absolutely nothing to do with food. It’s personal. So if you’re only here for the food, come back tomorrow for one more Thanksgiving recipe before the big day! If birth stories are your thing, stay while!
I shared Lars’ birth story a couple of weeks after he was born, and I really enjoyed having it to come back to and read, as terrifying as that was, when I was pregnant with Soren. If you read Lars’ birth story, you might remember that it was long. And strenuous. And I got sent home from the hospital TWICE. And did I mention it was long?
Having experienced labor and delivery like that the first time around, I felt a mix of emotions regarding the second time. For one, I felt prepared for (almost) anything. I figured if I could handle 35+ hours of labor, it couldn’t get much worse than that. Second, I was scared. Scared of the pain I knew was coming. Scared of getting sent home from the hospital because I wasn’t dilated enough. Just scared of the unknown.
I was also pretty determined that I was going to go into labor on my due date again, like I had with Lars. Y’know…because I can control that sort of thing. Imagine my surprise when two days before my due date, I started feeling twinges of contractions while sitting on the couch in the morning drinking coffee, and watching Fireman Sam with Lars.
While I was almost positive they were, in fact, contractions, I didn’t want to get too alarmed. They were super mild, but I started looking at my phone every time I’d feel one and after awhile I realized they were coming pretty regularly. I quickly downloaded a contraction timer app and started timing the contractions, too.
I texted Marc, who was working his last shift before having 9 days off, that I “might be” in labor, but he didn’t need to come home yet. After all, I was going to have another long labor, right?
After about 30 more minutes of contractions and realizing they were not only quickly becoming longer and more intense, but also closer together, I told Marc it was probably time to come home. I also texted my mom, who was in town to help out with Lars, that I thought I was probably in labor and could she come take Lars for the morning?
Once Lars was gone I went up to our room and took a hot bath. Sitting in a hot bath was the one thing that relieved the back pain I had with Lars and I could already tell that was going to be an issue with this labor too. After about 20 minutes in the tub, Marc was home. I stayed another 15 minutes in the bath, and then decided it was time to get out. We talked about going for a walk or grabbing lunch, but as soon as my contractions were getting to be 45 seconds long and coming within 3 minutes of each other, Marc thought it was definitely time to head to the hospital.
Since it wasn’t even noon yet, meaning I had only been having contractions for about 3 hours, I was really reluctant to the idea. I labored for 10 hours before we headed to the hospital for the first time with Lars….AND we got sent home because I wasn’t dilated enough and my water hadn’t broken. Still, I trusted Marc’s opinion and we went in.
On the way to the hospital the contractions really ramped up. They were becoming closer to 90 seconds long and still 3 minutes apart. It was not a fun car ride.
Marc dropped me off at the entrance of the Mother Baby enter, went to park the car, and then we headed straight to the Maternal Assessment Center where they got us checked in super quickly and got us into a room. The nurse came in, strapped me up to monitor the contractions and then checked my cervix. I was 5 cm! FIVE! Meaning, this labor was definitely happening. I actually started crying because I was so happy we weren’t getting sent home.
When they asked if I wanted an epidural I thought about it for about 2 seconds before deciding YES I would love one. I wasn’t sure what I would do this time around as far as getting an epidural but I knew if the pain was going to keep getting worse, I wasn’t going to be able to/want to handle it.
We were admitted to our labor room and almost immediately the nurses were in to get me set up with an IV and prepped for the epidural.
After this, the labor was pretty much smooth sailing. For the next few hours Marc and I just hung around our hospital room (I couldn’t really go anywhere after having the epidural), watched a bunch of Fixer Upper, and let my body do it’s thing.
Our nurse came in periodically to check in on me, make sure the epidural was doing its job (it was!), and see if I was progressing any. Around 4:00 she checked me and informed us that I was 10 centimeters dilated, which meant my body would be ready to push pretty soon.
A couple of minutes later the doctor came in (not my doctor – she wasn’t working that day…bummer!) and got us prepped to push. Since my water hadn’t broke yet, she broke it for me, which was a really weird popping feeling. Some meconium came out with the amniotic fluid, which meant our little guy had already had his first poop. This can be concerning if the baby swallows any of it, so they had to call in a nurse practitioner to examine him once he was born. This meant that he couldn’t be placed immediately on my chest, which was a bummer, but obviously the best for his safety.
I pushed for a total of 10 minutes before Soren Miles was born at 4:22 p.m. He was 20″ long and weighed 7 pounds 4 ounces. The meconium ended up not being an issue at all and after they cleaned him up a bit, I was able to hold him for the first time. It truly was love at first sight.
After that, we spent some alone time with Soren, getting him to latch for feeding, studying his face, and talking about how the day went. I really couldn’t believe it had all been so easy. Only enduring a couple of hours of unmedicated contractions, lounging around and watching TV all afternoon, and having a casual conversation with the doctor just prior to pushing a baby out of me. What a night and day difference from my first labor!
And that’s it! Overall it was a pretty straight forward labor. Much less dramatic than last time and really a truly enjoyable experience. The feeling of meeting our son for the first time was just indescribable!
Okay, now back to food tomorrow!