I’m currently sitting here with the most beautiful view of my precious Alex sleeping away in his swing. It’s hard to believe that just a few shorts days ago, he was still tucked away nice and cozy up in my belly. Boy, how things change quickly!
Alex’s entrance into this world, as many of you already know, began on Friday (after it being postponed from Wednesday). We were scheduled to arrive at the hospital for 6am, so we did the same routine as the days prior and were up at 4:30am in order to get ready and get to the hospital on time. As I was drying my hair after showering, I hear a knock on the door; I open it to find Jay with his cell phone in his hand and he informed me that he had just gotten a call from the hospital.
Apparently they had another rush of people the night before and asked if I could come in at 8am instead of 6am. Not knowing whether or not this meant “come in with the chance of being sent away again,” I immediately called them back, and they confirmed that I would not be getting sent home. Thank goodness.
So we still wound up with some time to kill, and since I didn’t want to worry about having to say goodbye to Lucas all over again, I wanted to be sure we left the house before he was up and decided to go grab some breakfast. After two failed attempts at two local diners (seriously, I thought those places were supposed to be open wicked early, no?!), we ended up at a bakery/café about halfway between our house and the hospital.
Being both starving and having no appetite from some nerves, I knew I should fill up now since I wouldn’t be able to eat once the induction began. So I got some scrambled eggs, toast, a blueberry muffin, and a (kind of gross) iced coffee.
We got to the hospital right at 8am, and after a quick go around with registration, we were instructed to head down to labor and delivery. At that point, I was greeted by a nurse who informed me that there were still no beds ready, so I was brought to the same triage room (and bed) that I had been brought to two days before that.
Thankfully, this time was go time, and the nurse went through the 1,001 questions and other necessary paperwork before getting me hooked up to the monitors and with an IV to begin the Pitocin. The Pitocin started at 9:47am, which meant we were finally on our way!
Even better news was that it appeared that my body had actually begun (albeit, slowly) starting labor on its own. I had dilated to about 3cm, was contracting about every 12 minutes or so when they first hooked me up to the monitors, and by the time they were ready to start Pitocin, it had dropped to about every 8 minutes. So it made me feel good knowing that my body was likely getting ready, even though it still needed a little jump start.
Maybe 20 minutes or so later, the nurse came back to let us know that a bed was available so we started to make our way out of the room when another nurse walked in and asked us to stop. Apparently, another woman had just come in “about to go in labor at any second,” and we were asked to wait again. Ay yi yi.
Thankfully, the wait was probably only another 10 minutes or so, and then we were finally into our room. For the next 2 hours or so it was just me and Jay in the room, so we spent time chatting and watching TV. Then a little while later, my parents arrived!
At this point, I think they had my Pitocin levels (which start at 2, and increase about 2ml every 30 minutes or so) at about a 10 and I was getting contractions probably every 3-5 minutes. Some were mild and some were painful, but not totally unbearable. My mom actually snapped this (awful!) photo in between two contractions while I was attempting to eat some jello.
At 2pm, my doctor came in to check and see how things were going and asked if I’d like her to break my waters. I said yes because I figured, hey, we might as well keep the party moving, right?
Well break, they sure did. Jay likes to describe the experience as “if you’re hiking in the woods and see/hear a rolling brook/stream.” They weren’t kidding about there being a LOT of fluid again this time, and once it finally stopped (which felt like forever, not kidding) my stomach felt (temporary) immediate relief. All of the pressure that had been built up with the fluid was gone and my belly got noticeably smaller. It was so strange!
Just like with Lucas, there was meconium in my waters, which meant that there was going to need to be some extra people in the room when I delivered so they could check on Alex to make sure he was alright. It was a bit unsettling, but they assured me all would be fine; and since it had been with Lucas, I wasn’t too concerned.
I knew that breaking the waters would cause the contractions to come on stronger, and sure enough, within about 20 minutes they were really hitting hard. I spent the next couple of hours trying my best to breathe through them, having both my mom and Jay take turns rubbing my back and helping me get through them all. But by the time they got to the point where they were making me cry and on the verge of throwing up, I knew I wasn’t going to make it much longer and asked to be checked again before trying to get an epidural.
The nurse checked me and told me that she thought I had made it to 9cm (!!!) and went to go find my doctor to see what next steps would be. At that point, I was elated to hear I had progressed so quickly, but was nervous that I wouldn’t be able to get the epidural. A little while later, she came back and said that my doctor approved having the epidural, which I thought was very strange, given the fact that I’d never heard of that being an option once you’re dilated 9cm. I remember trying to ask/question it a couple of times, but I was in so much pain that I just trusted the doctor and said to get it ASAP.
By about 5pm, I remember the anesthesiologist coming in. At some point, my parents had left the room, but I’m not sure when, and they asked Jay to leave also while they administered the epidural. Having to sit entirely still during those contractions was probably one of the hardest parts of the day but he finally finished and within about 10 minutes, I was finally starting to feel some relief. The doctor came back, checked me again for dilation, didn’t really say much, and left the room.
Shortly after that, the nurse came back in and came to my bedside. Funny enough, I had told her the story earlier in the day about how a nurse had checked me with Lucas and told me that I was about 6cm dilated when I was really only 3cm. She then proceeded to tell me how sorry she was to have to have me experience the same thing again, because as it turns out, I wasn’t 9cm dilated…I was only 4cm. FOUR.
I was so frustrated (I mean, how do you confuse 9cm with 4cm?!), but apparently the cervix was back behind the baby’s head so couldn’t feel it at all and assumed it was almost fully dilated. I’m not sure whether or not my doctor just didn’t believe it or not (as to why she had approved the epidural based on her reading of 9cm) but at that point, I didn’t really care. I was just annoyed that after all of that, I was still only 4cm dilated and now stuck in a bed with an epidural.
On top of that, Alex’s heart rate began to drop a bit after I got the epidural and they had to stop my Pitocin and monitor him a bit more to make sure he was handling it okay. Thankfully, it was just a brief thing and he wound up getting back to normal fairly quick. Even still, it made me more frustrated for getting it that soon; but at the same time, my doctor said that with the pain I was in, and with how tense I was, it wouldn’t have been good for the babe either.
I got pretty wiped after that and ended up sleeping on and off until about 7pm, when a new nurse came on. She was super sweet, and after checking me and telling me I had progressed to about 7-8cm dilated, she said “oh, you’re totally gonna have this baby before 9pm!” I don’t know what it was about her, but she got me really pumped and excited and from then on, I was ready.
At about 8:15pm, she came back in and I told her that my epidural was starting to wear off but that I wasn’t sure if I should increase it anymore. She recommended that I didn’t increase it, just so I’d be able to feel the need to push, and she decided to check me again. At that point, she said I was at about 9cm but then asked me to push once (while she was checking me) so she could try to clear me to a 10. Sure enough, I pushed and she said “okay, you’re 10cm – time to have a baby!”
Around 8:30pm, my doctor and the other ped doctors arrived and they got the bed set up to start pushing. Once the pushing started, Alex’s heart rate started to drop a bit so I needed to use an oxygen mask in between pushes to make sure I was staying as relaxed as possible. At one point, I heard the doctor say that he was face up and was getting stuck behind my pelvic bone so that was preventing him from making much progress.
I then heard her tell me that she was going to have to use the vacuum to help assist him out. Then I heard her say that the cord was wrapped around him. And then I heard her say that she was going to have to snip me…and I about wanted to cry. But at the same time, I was so determined to push him out that I let those thoughts take over and pushed as hard as I could have possibly pushed.
After about 23 minutes or pushing, Alex Thomas made his grand entrance into the world at 8:53pm!
They handed him to me for immediate skin to skin contact for a minute before having to take him away so the doctors could check him. He wasn’t really crying at that point, but shortly after being handed to the doctors and them suctioning him out a bit, we heard our first cries from Alex. What a sweet, sweet and reassuring sound.
They quickly gave him back to me and we wound up having almost an hour of skin to skin time and nursing time before they even washed him up, weighed him, or did any of the other stuff that needs to happen. That was totally different from when I had Lucas and was so nice.
Eventually we found out that our little chunker weighed in ay 8lbs 11oz which meant my guess of 8lbs 10oz was the closest out of anyone else in the fam!
I definitely felt much more alert and awake after the birth of Alex; with Lucas, I ended up getting super sick and barely remember anything. But this time, I definitely remember sitting and talking with Jay, and having a bit of an emotional moment about my father-in-law.
And a little while later, my parents, my brother, and his girlfriend Carissa came in to meet our new addition.
They didn’t stay too long, but long so that everyone could meet him and definitely long enough to have a toast of champagne in his honor.
I still have a hard time believing we now have TWO kids. Like, how is that even possible?!
But obviously, it is, and we are just so incredibly in love.
I’ll be back to share more details of when Lucas got to meet Alex for the first time and will try to pop in with some other updates here and there! In the mean time, I’ve also got a few posts scheduled for the next couple of weeks, too, which I think you’ll enjoy.
Again, thank you all for your incredible support and well wishes! We’re so happy and thankful. <3