Get ready.... it's a long one!!
The day after Jack?s due date, I had my 40 week check up. They did an ultrasound to make sure the fluid levels were good and everything looked ok, and noticed that Jack?s movements were very minimal. He moved just enough to ?pass? (avoiding an immediate admission to the hospital for induction!) but not enough for my doctor to feel comfortable letting me go until who-knows-when. We decided to have her strip my membranes, which I was super nervous about because I?d heard that can be extremely painful. I was very relieved that it wasn?t painful at all and also very fast! Dr. Anderson said that just in the process of stripping them, I dilated from 3cm to 4cm. She predicted that I?d go into labor in the next 12-24 hours, but we scheduled an induction for 2 days later, just in case.
That night, I still felt normal but decided I?d better at least pretend that I could go into labor during the night, so I added all my ?last minute? items to my hospital bag, packed Piper?s lunch for school the next day, and got everything absolutely ready to go. SO glad I did!! I woke up at 3:45am with very painful cramping that felt nothing like my contractions with Piper, but more like I realllly had to go to the bathroom. I went to the bathroom, got back in bed, and was hit with another wave of that same painful cramping. I started to wonder if perhaps they were actually contractions, and by the time the 3rd wave came it was obvious to me that they were. I grabbed my phone and started timing them with the super handy ?Full Term? app and realized that they were already 8-9 minutes apart. Considering that my contractions weren?t even timeable with Piper until about 12 hours into it, I was shocked to realize they were already so regular! Around 5am, Conor woke up and saw that I had my phone in my hand and was moaning, and he immediately sat up, knowing what was going on! Once the contraction passed, I confirmed that they were pretty painful already and that I really wanted to take a shower but was concerned that I would miss timing them because I obviously couldn?t take my phone in the shower. Conor offered to go in there with me, so at 5 in the morning he was sitting on the toilet hitting ?start? and ?stop? every time I told him to! What a good husband. ☺ During that brief shower, my contractions REALLY picked up. By the time I got out, they were about 5 minutes apart. I couldn?t believe how quickly they?d progressed, but knew that I was in A LOT of pain and we better get moving. Conor jumped in the shower while I ran downstairs to wake up my parents (who were staying with us) and Piper. It was so funny?I walked in their room and turned on the closet light so I wouldn?t blind everyone, and immediately my parents threw the covers off and bolted upright, as if they?d been waiting for me to walk in the room. I half expected them to be fully clothed with shoes on!! As soon as I said, ?It?s time!? my mom said, ?YAY!!? and jumped out of bed. Piper, who was sleeping on a mattress on the floor, looked up sleepily and said, ?Mommy, what are you doing in here?? and I said, ?I think it?s time to go to the hospital to have your baby brother!? and her face instantly lit up with the biggest smile?it was so sweet! She followed me out to the kitchen and noticed that it was still dark out and said, ?Mama, can I stay up??? Haha! Conor and I threw everything in the car and headed off, with my parents and Piper leaving just a few minutes after us. They dropped Piper off at Patty?s house and met us at the hospital.
The whole drive to the hospital the contractions were coming fast and strong. I was in so much pain and also complete shock that we were already this far along?the complete opposite of my marathon labor experience with Piper! I already felt an urge to push, which was a little scary but it wasn?t yet the ?I have no choice but to push? feeling.
We arrived at the hospital just before 7am, only 3 hours after my first contraction. They were now about 4 minutes apart. The check-in process seemed to take an absolute eternity, though I?m sure it was less than 10 minutes. Once I was set up in the bed, they checked me and I was 6-7cm dilated. I was a little disappointed that I wasn?t further along, due to the extreme amount of pain I was in. As I?d done with my first delivery, my plan was to go all natural, without any drugs. Conor and I immediately began my ?survival? mode, where he would fan me and massage my head with ?The Tingler? (this weird copper contraption that massages the scalp and is very relaxing to me) during every contraction. They checked me again around 8am and I was 8cm. I kept feeling the urge to push, but it was too soon. Dr. Anderson arrived then and offered to break my water, which I briefly hesitated about because I was afraid of upping the intensity of the contractions but was also desperate to have it all over with! I decided to have her do it, which immediately caused the WORST and LONGEST contraction ever! It was agony! Fortunately, it did seem to speed things along. Around 9:30 I told the nurse that I absolutely had to push, so she checked me again and said there was just a tiny lip of cervix left but that she was pretty sure I could just push through it on the next contraction. People started rushing in and breaking the bed down to get ready for delivery. I started pushing?which was complete agony, of course?and couldn?t believe it when Jack was born only 10 minutes later! I pushed for close to an hour with Piper! It was a complete shock when I realized that Jack was born at 9:45?only 6 hours after my very first contraction. It was the most beautiful spring day, I felt amazing due to the short labor and very minimal tearing, and my son was absolutely perfect!! It was so cute?the very first thing he did when they placed him on my chest was give the biggest head-to-toe stretch! He started crying right after he was done stretching. ☺ He was 8 lbs, 6 oz and 20 ??. Almost exactly the same weight and height as his sister!
It was wonderful to have the whole day ahead of us to gaze upon Jack, visit with family, and rehash the morning?s events. Patty picked up Piper from school that afternoon and brought her to the hospital. She was SO excited to see Jack! Her very first question was, ?Mommy, does your bottom hurt?? Haha! I assured her that yes, it did. ☺ She wanted to compare foot sizes with Jack and wanted to know if he had drank any milk from my boobs (exactly how she phrased it). Typical Piper!
I had been praying the whole pregnancy that this labor and delivery experience would be shorter than Piper?s, which was 21 hours. I got my prayers answered and then some!! After P?s birth, I felt like I?d been hit by a truck and was absolutely delirious with exhaustion. I tore very badly with her, so the recovery was a bit more intense and I was so nervous to leave the hospital?I would?ve been fine if they?d kept us for a week! With Jack, I felt so normal almost immediately afterward and couldn?t WAIT to go home. The tearing was very minimal and only required 1 stitch! Since everyone was healthy, they let us go (at my request) only 27 hours after his birth. Again?so different from Piper?s birth!
Jack?s birth was an incredible experience and I was grateful to again have been able to go drug-free. He is the absolute SWEETEST little guy and sooo sleepy! He?s now 10 days old and barely stays awake for more than 2-3 hours a day. He only wakes up once a night! Not sure what we did to deserve that! The adjustment from 1 to 2 kids is going well, though it?s no doubt been made easier by the fact that Jack sleeps so much. Despite that, I am having to be very mindful of managing my time?it?s way too easy to get behind! I?ve had very little computer time due to that, which is probably a good thing. ☺ And also why it?s taken me a week and a half to type up his birth story! Breastfeeding was not going well due to a very painful latch, so I am pumping full time. I?m very fortunate to have a great supply this time and Jack eats very well! I ordered his birth announcements this morning, so I'll be sure to scan one and post it whenever they come in. Now.... if you've made it through my little novel, please enjoy a zillion pictures of our littlest love!! (If the pictures are huge, my apologies. I resized them, but photobucket is a little slow on the pick up sometimes....)
Snow Pea Sibling! Jack's Birth Story (Tons of pics!!)
Get ready.... it's a long one!!