In case you missed it, read Part I here.
As soon my midwife said I was going to have a baby today, my mind started reeling. Would little Beau be big enough? Had I checked all the essential to-dos off my list?
Luckily, the answer to both questions was yes. I immediately called James, my mom, my sister and James’ mom from the parking lot before heading to Labor and Delivery. James swung by the house to pick up a couple of my last-minute items before heading down to Northside Hospital. My mom enacted her baby watch plan, and because her bag was already packed she left her office to head straight to the hospital. My sister, who had JM in tow, took her station as babysitter for the day. And James’ mom, poor thing, just found out she had come down with pneumonia so she wasn’t able to make the trip up, though I promised her we’d try to keep her as up to date as possible throughout the day.
I checked into admissions by myself with my bag slung over my shoulder and asked one of the women behind the desk to take a picture of my last day pregnant with Beau.
They told me it would be a while before a room was ready, and as if on cue, I started feeling weird—more Braxton Hicks (or I guess at this point I should be calling them contractions) and little Beau was moving like crazy. The woman next to me who was waiting with her pregnant daughter to be admitted kept glancing over at my belly and eventually commented that my baby sure was moving a lot. I’d heard that many babies move less during labor, but apparently little Beau was trying to make sure he had several back up options in case coming out head first didn’t work out.
James showed up and we were given a delivery suite around noon. I told the nurse right away that I wanted an epidural for delivery—at my midwife’s suggestion because she said things may progress quickly. So I got the two required bags of fluid before getting an epidural, and then the anaesthetist arrived. Looking back on the experience, the worst part of labor was the numbing shot before the epidural. I flinched, make that jolted, when she did it. I guess it caught me off guard a bit. With James Michael, I got the epidural when I had full on contractions after being given Pitocin, so the numbing shot and epidural barely even registered with me. I can’t exactly remember the timing of things, but I think I got the epidural by 2 pm or so.
After the epidural, my midwife came in to check me. I was at 6 cm and she then broke my water. After a while, my contractions slowed to 8 to 10 minutes apart, so they gave me a little Pitocin to jumpstart things again. It didn’t take long for my contractions to be in the 2 to 3 minute range, and before I knew it I was feeling the desire to push during contractions. About 2 minutes later, my midwife and nurse came into the room and my midwife confirmed I was 10 cm.
James positioned himself in his trusty chair turned to face me directly at the head of the bed, while my mom chose a more precarious position towards the foot of the bed. With the first push, I felt like I had no idea what I was doing, but after that instinct kicked it. I pushed for roughly 15 minutes (three pushes for 10 seconds each per contraction) before little Beau entered the world.
It all happened so quickly, from my OB appointment that morning to delivering my 7 lb 4 oz, 19 inch-long baby boy at 5:48 p.m. By the end of the day I felt overwhelmingly blessed–that the delivery went so smoothly and that I delivered a healthy baby. Beau’s birth was even smoother than James Michael’s. I joked with James about whether this means the birth of baby #3 will be chaos–as in getting stuck in traffic on I-75 during labor or something similar. Don’t worry, I’m giving myself at least a year, if not more, before venturing out into the deep end. But Beau has been such an easy baby from the start (knock on wood) that thoughts of #3 aren’t that far fetched 🙂
My how fast they change from directly after birth to just a couple hours later.
James comparing Beau to pictures of James Michael as a newborn.