So going back in time to Friday, July 12. I went to work that day expecting to go back to work the following Monday. I was only 39 weeks and 3 days at that point. Lukas was born at 40 weeks plus 3 days so I figured I might as well get comfortable. I even had Mr. Cob snap a picture of my growing belly that night.
|39 weeks + 3 day belly|
We woke up Saturday morning and went about our day. We did something for breakfast, donuts maybe? (See I'm already forgetting). And then we went to the bank. I decided I should probably cook some food to freeze for after the baby arrived so we then headed off to the Farmers Market. I didn't really want to go but we'd already made the fatal mistake of mentioning the farmers market to Lukas so there was no way we weren't going after that. So off we went. It was at some point in the late morning that I noticed the contractions. Nothing painful. Nothing consistent. On we went with our day.
Our good friends' son was having his first birthday party that afternoon so after cooking a few meals in the early afternoon we headed over for the party. Sitting in the car I realized the contractions were somewhat timeable. About every 7-8 minutes. I was still unconvinced.
I spent all afternoon chatting with friends at the party and watching Lukas and his friends play, so I didn't really notice the contractions. But on the car ride home (around 6:30pm) they began again. Every 7 or so minutes again. We got home and put Lukas to bed and I figured I'd cook the rest of my freezer meals in an effort to distract myself. Finally around 9pm, with contractions hanging around every 7 minutes, we decided to call my parents to give them a heads up and said they could come over if they wanted. My mom said there's no way she could sleep now knowing the real thing might be happening, so they decided to head over.
They arrived a little after 10pm. Mom helped me finish making enchiladas while dad and Mr. Cob watched TV. Lukas continued snoozing away, unaware that anything was happening. The contractions were about 6 minutes apart but not painful. I took a bath at one point to relax and thought about laying down for a bit but everyone else was more concerned than I was and around midnight Mr. Cob convinced me to call my OB. My OB said that I could head to the hospital at any time, but it sounded to her like things were happening! I was still not convinced. (Sidenote, I LOVE my OB. As in, may have another baby just to hang out with her on a regular basis again. Even though I had clearly woken her up from a deep sleep, she chatted with me on the phone for 10 minutes, at midnight, about how excited she was that my little boy was finally coming. I mean, really, she is Fabulous!)
So at that point I decided to actually pack a hospital bag and we left around 2am for Northside. Eerily it was the same time we went to the hospital for Lukas' birth. I was convinced we were in for a long labor (remember Lukas wasn't born until almost 3pm the next day). And I still wasn't even uncomfortable. I thought we'd get to the hospital and be turned back for a false alarm. Before I go any further I need to make note of what has now become one of my favorite parts of being in labor - the car ride to the hospital with my husband. We are both so giddy and excited and we sing very loudly to fun music. It's just a burst of fun before the "labor" part of labor begins.
We arrive at the hospital and a sweet security guard asks if I need a wheelchair. I do not. (I'm still convinced this isn't happening). We check in and wait for the nurse to take us back to our room. We get in our room (one without a window) and I get hooked up to the fetal monitor. In case I didn't mention it with Lukas, the fetal monitor is one of the most uncomfortable parts about the whole thing. They wrap a band tightly around your gigantic belly and the thing is so tight it leaves marks. I hate it. Anyway, she checked my progress (about 2-3 cm) and confirmed that the contractions were about 6 minutes apart, so we were staying. The real deal had truly begun!
Then the nurse left and said she'd be back and to try to rest. Mr. Cob passed out on the "sofabed" and I got a little sleep myself. I could only get comfortable on my side though, and they lost the baby's heartbeat every time I laid on my side so eventually around 6am I had to turn back over. I was still in no pain at this point. I noticed the contractions but didn't have to breathe through them or anything.
At 6:30 the nurse came in to say my OB wanted to start me on pitocin since nothing was really progressing. I asked if we could give it 30 more minutes to see if things would pick up on their own. She agreed. Nothing progressed. So they started the pitocin. (Which, if you're keeping score, I'm now 2 for 2 on the pit front. Oh well.) Around this point someone checked me and I was like 3 cm, so not much progress.
My OB came in around 8:30 to check on things. The pitocin had made the contractions pick up in timing, but they still weren't of the painful variety. She checked me and said I was closer to 4cm. She then broke my water. Now, let's talk about this for a second. I had thought I felt some leaking before the big water breaking event, but chalked it up to wishful thinking. Well after the water breaking (the big gush variety), which took her some time (we think his head was really low and was preventing the water from breaking on its own), things started to pick up. As in I went from totally cool and in no pain to having to breathe through the contractions and really concentrate in the span of 30 minutes. By 9:30am I was in some serious pain, but still breathing through. By 9:45am I lost my mind and was screaming for drugs.
The anesthesiologist was called and on his way. This did not change the fact that I completely lost it from about 9:45am -10am. The pain was too intense. My nurse (Katherine Hill, who just happens to have the same name as my BFF) was INCREDIBLE. And so was Mr. Cob. If it wasn't for them I'm not sure I could've made it through that 30 minute span before the doc gave me the epidural. It was rough. The contractions were very intense and very close together. I do think the hypnobirthing techniques I learned with Lukas (and practiced during my nightly meditations before bed this go around) helped keep the pain at bay for as long as it did and helped me somewhat breathe through the really bad contractions.
Finally the doc with the goods arrived to get rid of the pain.
But I lost it again when he was there because the mere thought of a needle in my spine sends me over the edge. Thankfully he was quick and painless (seriously, the insertion of the epidural did NOT hurt). And within 5 minutes the pain was gone completely. BUT, the pressure started before the anesthesiologist even left the room. The pressure down there. You know, there there. I mentioned it to the nurse and the anesthesiologist and they just figured it was nothing.
Well it wasn't nothing. Thirty minutes later (about 11am) the nurse was back to check me. I looked at her like she was crazy because I knew nothing had happened since the last time I was checked. Wrong. Ten centimeters baby! It was time to go. (Sidenote: if there is a baby #3, and I'm not saying there will be, I will ask to be checked once more before getting the epidural. Looking back, I think I was probably in transition when I got the epidural. I am not crazy or against the epidural, but if I'd known the finish line was so close, I think I would have opted to skip the epidural ONLY because it took seemingly forever to wear off this time and I couldn't walk for hours after delivering J.) So at eleven am I was ready to go but my OB was not there. The nurse called to tell her it was time, like N.O.W.
So my OB arrived around 11:15 and got set up. And when she was ready I started pushing. (We need another sidenote at this point. There were only 4 people in the room for the pushing this time: my OB, Katie Hill the nurse, my hubby and me. With Lukas there was about 12 people in the room. Seriously. The was meconium when my water broke so the neonatal care team was brought in. I hadn't realized with Lukas that if there are no reasons to suspect complications, there are very few people in the room. I much preferred only having 3 spectators!) So back to the pushing. I pushed three, maybe four times and out he came.
It's true what they say, your heart simply expands and you truly can love another child as much as your first. I did not believe this until I saw Julian for the first time. We are truly blessed to have him in our lives and it's hard to think of our family before him. It simply feels like he has always been a part of it.