Sweetpea is 5 weeks old (!) which means it’s high time that I memorialize her birth story before it becomes any more blurry in the rear view mirror. Here goes!
Like her brother, Sweetpea was induced. Unlike her brother, she was not induced due to size. Hers was a scheduling induction due to my maternity leave length and the time we had parental assistance scheduled to be around. But, we did wait for her to be fully cooked at 40 weeks before pulling the trigger. Still, it’s kind of bizarre picking your kid’s birthdate.
I had to show up the night before the induction at midnight for an insertion of cervadil with monitoring. Mr. X came with me to get me settled and then I sent him home to get one last night of uninterrupted sleep in our bed. My doctor thoughtfully prescribed me an Ambien so that despite being hooked up to machines and IVs and lord knows what else, I slept like a log. I don’t remember when I woke up the next morning, but I called Mr. X and he showed up for the adventure of the day.
We had to wait until 1pm to let the cervadil do its thing after which my OB came to visit. We discussed breaking my water or just starting pitocin. I voted for just the pitocin since the water breakage with Rex was a nightmare. So, pit was started and contractions came on, but not terribly fast or hard. At some point, I heard a pop and felt a gush of fluid – my water broke on its own! I was so thrilled not to have to deal with having it broken. Of course, things started to get more intense after that.
I made it until about 3:30 and 5cm before asking for the epidural. It took another hour for the doc to arrive to administer it. Unfortunately, they sent Mr. X out of the room so I had to hug on the surly OB nurse all the while my supposed best friend did his thing. Epidurals are naturally uncomfortable to begin with but this one was particularly so because I had to pee badly and the contractions were continuing with their thing. Sitting still so as not to be paralyzed was supremely difficult.
Once it was in, Mr. X was allowed back in, Surly Nurse catheterized me (ouch!) and the bladder pressure eased a bit. But, while I started getting that super warm tingly feeling in the lower extremities, the actual discomfort of the contractions didn’t get any better. In fact, it got worse, like very strong pressure on my pelvis. This coincided with Sweetpea’s heartrate decelerating with each contraction. Surly Nurse began moving me from side to side and I was given oxygen to help Sweetpea. Neither of us was doing well at that point. I knew something wasn’t right, almost like she was being pushed into my pelvis with each contraction. My OB appeared at that moment having been alerted to Sweetpea’s distress and told me that it could be a number of things including her cord wrapped around limbs or worse her neck. I was pretty certain this was not the case, but I still knew that Sweetpea wasn’t going to handle a vaginal delivery well. I told my OB that I didn’t want to chance it and to go ahead with a c-section.
Flurry of activity at that point once the decision was made. I lost track of Mr. X briefly but he reappeared in the operating room in time for the main event. Since I already had the epidural, there wasn’t much to do before my doctor started slicing and dicing. If I never experience someone manipulating my innards while awake, it will be too soon. Mr. X could probably have lived a very long and pleasant life without seeing my innards manipulated. But, he did get to see Sweetpea enter the world. I have vague recollections of her crying and then hearing the nurses laughing because she was peeing and peeing all over them as they were doing her Apgar scores.
I spent a little longer on the operating table because I elected to have my tubes tied. Why not have it done while I’m already open? If having your innards manipulated wasn’t weird enough having doctors discussing mundane topics while operating on you while you are awake is just plain bizarre. My doctor, though, was nice and efficient and I was in recovery in a matter of minutes. There were some issues with pain control as the morphine just wasn’t doing the trick. The nurse finally gave me liquid ibuprofen which did the trick.
Sweetpea was brought in to me and I got to finally get a good look at her and saw how absolutely beautiful she was! She had wispy hair with frosted white tips, just like mine when I was born. She also latched on like a champ and got some good colostrum before conking out. I don’t remember how long it took to get me in the post-partum room, but we were all pretty exhausted at that point. We sent her to the nursery so all of us could sleep but she was brought in to nurse. And nurse. And nurse. And nurse. It seemed everytime I had just fallen asleep, there was the knock at the door and the sound of the bassinet being wheeled in for another feeding.
I had to remain in bed for 24 hours after the c-section so I was captive to the nurses and anyone else who came in. Apparently this hospital is also a teaching one because student nurses from the local community college came in All. Day. Long. to check my fundus, ask about my gas (is it passing? yes), look at my incision and take my blood pressure. Thank goodness I was on pain medication otherwise I would have not been as humoring. I appreciate they have to learn, but I wish I had been given a choice about whether they would learn on me. Luckily, the next day they weren’t around and I could recuperate in peace… except for the demolition work going on down the hall. The joys of an older hospital!
We were all released on three days later and Rex finally got to meet his little sister. Asking a 2 and almost 3/4 year old his impression of his new sibling is not going to yield a useful answer so I didn’t bother, but I could tell that he was freaked out by her. He’d seen babies before, but not ones that were now going to live in his house 24/7. Luckily, we had grandparents around to help him stay grounded and he went to daycare as usual for more normality.
Five weeks on and we’re all settling into the new new routine. He’s still doing a great job being gentle around his sister and enjoys giving her kisses on her downy little head. He also likes keeping an eye on her while we change diapers. He asked to hold her the other day and when I started to put her in his arms, he told me that she was too heavy and ran off to play.
I can’t believe I have two kids.