Hi friends! Happy Wednesday! Writing this story 8 days post partum…well at least starting it. We’ll see when I actually finish it haha–I actually finished it the same day I started it! Thank goodness for preschool and the Mama Roo! This post is a bit long because I wanted to include all the details in case you’re pregnant and want insight into every aspect of labor and delivery. So without delay…here’s his story…
I was a little apprehensive about Matthew’s birth, mainly because with Madeleine I was in active labor for 45 hours…yep, 45 hours. I was SO exhausted by the time that was over I was nervous for what Matthew’s birth was going to be like. I was also a little nervous that it would be super short and he was going to be born in the car, only because he was so low and I was feeling constant pressure on my pelvic floor, so I thought I’d labor for 2 hours and he would just fall out.
I’m happy to report his birth was textbook! Sunday, October 20th, was a normal day. Got up, went to church, came home and worked out. My workout felt good and strong, but I was definitely feeling more pelvic floor pressure. I thought sweet boy was moving into position more. We went to a friend’s house for small group and dinner and came home to get ready for bed. PS- Andrew had been in bed all weekend with a fever, trying desperately to recover–great timing to have a baby ha. I got ready for bed, fully expecting to still be pregnant in the morning. As I literally was climbing in bed at 9:30, I felt my first contraction and it hurt! When my contractions started with Madeleine, they were inconsistent and painless for a day before they hurt (I didn’t count those in the 45 hrs). I knew this time around it was going to be quicker because within 10 minutes I was having to breathe through them. It felt like a hot, burning band around my middle and my thighs felt like they were cramping. Clearly, I wasn’t going to get any sleep. Andrew immediately got up and shaved and showered so he was ready whenever we had to leave. He then got back in bed to try and catch a few hours of sleep while I labored (I preferred that because we don’t need to both be sleep deprived while heading to the hospital).
After 3.5 hours of laboring, my contractions went from 9 minutes apart to 6 minutes apart. That’s when I woke up Andrew and asked him to call triage and relay my information (contractions every 6 minutes for the past 30 minutes and very intense). I didn’t think I could talk to triage without having a contraction mid-conversation so he called and talked to them. They said I could come in and get checked if I wanted to. We live about 30 minutes away from the hospital and with the intensity and span between each contraction, I wanted to go in.
Andrew loaded up the car with our pre-packed bags, we woke up my mom to let her know and give her the monitor for Madeleine, and watched as Gordon freaked out and walked around our feet the entire time. Last time I was in labor, he threw up all over the floor…animals totally know when something’s off.
As we headed to the hospital my contractions went from 6 minutes apart to 3 minutes to 2 minutes–I could barely catch my breathe between each one. Things were definitely progressing! We got to the hospital and they checked me and I was at 4cm. Honestly, I was surprised I wasn’t further along considering my contractions were so close together. However, because I was 4cm I was considered in active labor and could get the epidural *Praise Jesus!*
It still took about an hr to get the epidural because they have to admit you, hook you up to an IV, hook you up to the monitors, call the anesthesiologist, etc. Thankfully, I knew that this time so I could mentally prepare myself. I was a little more nervous for the epidural this time because last time I got fentanyl to take the edge off because the anesthesiologist was delayed; this time I didn’t get that. Thankfully, it went like clockwork. The hardest part was contracting in the bent over position while the doc did his thing, but my nurse was amazing and placed her hands on my shoulders and coached me through the contractions. Seriously, our hospital has the BEST nurses. I felt a little pinch when they did a local anesthetic, and then some pressure, but other than that, it was pretty painless. The epidural worked within about 15 minutes, and I was ready to just wait for little man to arrive.
Last time I got an epidural, it slowed my labor down a bit, this time it didn’t seem to affect it. They checked me after I received the epidural and I was 5cm (around 2:30am). It seemed I was dilating about a centimeter an hour. Fairly decent pace. Andrew and I were able to sleep while I continued to labor (pain free! 😁). They did put a peanut stability ball between my legs and had me lay on my side to make sure labor continued to progress. The nurses left us alone for most of the time so it was great to catch up on some sleep. At around 6am, they checked me again and I was 8cm! I was shocked that I was so close. The time really flew since I slept through most of it haha. They left us alone to sleep some more…I highly recommend resting up if you get an epidural, while you wait because you’ll be glad you got that extra sleep once the baby comes and there’s no extra sleep. 😆
At 7:30am, they checked me again and I was 10cm…time to push! I pushed for over an hour with Madeleine and Matthew came out in about 25 minutes! He was born on his due date at 8am sharp. Very punctual kiddo. 7lbs 3.5oz 19 3/4 inches long. So sweet and snuggly! (Side note: I did get a second degree tear in the same spot I tore last time, but I’m healing faster this time around than last time.)
He started nursing 20 minutes after being born and hasn’t stopped since ha. He nursed every 2 hours for the first two days…exhausting! BUT because of that, my milk came in before we left the hospital. Last time, it took about 3 days to come in. Since he was born in the morning on Monday, we got all day Monday and Tuesday and decided to go home early Tuesday evening instead of waiting the full 48hrs. Definitely second child since we thought we had a handle on it so quickly.
Since then it’s been an exhausting week of adjusting and relearning newborn habits and getting him on a sort of schedule and helping Madeleine adjust to not being the only child anymore. He does not like to be put down (he’s the snuggliest baby), so we had a few rough nights in the beginning but we learned a few tricks from a sleep consultant friend of mine, and those seemed to have worked. He’s now nursing every 2 hours during the day and every 3-4 every night. I’m getting about 6ish hours of sleep each night broken up into 3ish hr chunks. Everything is an ‘ish’ at this point but seeing as how I’m still only 8 days post partum, I can’t complain!
All in all, this labor and delivery (and so far, recovery) has been much faster and better than with my first. I definitely attribute this to working out during my pregnancy. Maintaining some muscle as well as purposefully working my pelvic floor and abs to stay strong throughout pregnancy is helping me currently. If you have any questions about anything I did during pregnancy, or now as I recover from labor and delivery, please feel free to simple respond to this email with those questions! I’m an open book about the whole process!
Until next time (where I’ll dive into my recovery a little more),