Baby A is 6wks today and I’m finally sitting down to write out his birth story. It’s substantially shorter than V’s three-parter but I’ve found it amazing how each birth becomes part of you in some small way (beyond it being how your child entered the world).
First trimester was full of nausea without vomiting, bad headaches, fatigue and vertigo that lasted well into the second trimester.
I didn’t experience a return to energy until late second/early third trimester and it didn’t last long. Physically I had pretty intense chronic rib pain from mid-second trimester on, along with sacrum pain that chiropractic care didn’t touch. The nausea and vertigo returned late in the third trimester.
I also experienced the Braxton hicks and prodromal labor that I had with V. BH started around 16wks this time with prodromal starting around 35wks.
40 weeks came and went…
The plan was for me to continue working until labor so I could save as much time off as possible for postpartum. Luckily I work a desk job so it wasn’t horribly taxing. I was able to rotate between my standing desk and a yoga ball. I went to work on Monday at 40w4d and it was fairly uneventful. The week before had been hours of consistent and close prodromal contractions that never progressed but they had calmed down over the weekend. I had trouble falling asleep that night (but who doesn’t by 40 weeks?) and it was close to 10:30 when I finally did (after trying since 6 p.m.).
I woke up around 1 a.m with very sharp and intense back contractions. I got up to try not to wake V up and sat on the yoga ball for a little. I tried lying in an inverted position during contractions in an attempt to flip baby (full inversions had been ruled out after trying a few earlier in pregnancy and triggering my vertigo).
After about an hour of laboring on my own, contractions had gone from every 5-6mins to every 4 so I decided to wake up Husband. V ended up waking a few minutes later so we called my parents to come get her. By the time they arrived (maybe 20 minutes) I decided we should probably head to the hospital since it was a 40 minute drive I didn’t want to make if the contractions got any closer.
At the hospital – praying the entire way this is actually labor…
We arrived at the hospital around 3:45 a.m. The nurses saw me doing what they called “the labor dance” through contractions and took me back to a room immediately while Husband filled out paperwork. I had forgotten to grab a copy of our birth plan off the fridge on the way out and naturally it wasn’t stored with my chart so I briefly hit the highlights between contractions (no episiotomy or pain medication, delayed cord clamping, etc.). The midwife arrived just as Husband did and was one we hadn’t met before because she only does deliveries. After a quick check between contractions it was declared I was 8cm, 90% and -1. Husband and I high-fived and then went to work getting through increasingly tough contractions as the nurses went a bit frantic at what they assumed would be a quick delivery.
And then we all sat around.
Well they all sat, I was pacing and changing positions and, ya know, crying and all that.
Things for me got really intense really fast. I asked to get in the birthing tub and since they suspected I was dealing with back labor due to a posterior positioned baby they suggested I rest in the tub tummy down to we if we could get him/her to turn. I went through transition very quickly in the tub and those were some pretty intense minutes. Just as we decided I was getting too exhausted from the intensity of the contractions and started talking about breaking my water (which we did with V but I regretted) my water broke. I didn’t expect it to be such a loud and distinct “pop”! This was around 5:45 a.m.
They were having a hard time monitoring baby’s heart rate after that so they were encouraging me to get baby out as quickly as possible. Not the kind of pushing/delivery I wanted but you do what you have to.
And then, boom, 15 minutes later, our little Baby A was born, face up, at 6:05 a.m.
I know there are lots of women with actual precipitous deliveries but since V’s was 19 hours, including 3 hours of pushing, this felt insanely fast and we kind of felt a bit in shock after it was all said and done.
We were able to do delayed cord clamping while my midwife handled my tear, followed by an hour and a half of skin to skin before they insisted on doing their normal weighing and measuring and such. Other than a slight hemorrhage they were able to stop quickly, the birth and recovery were straightforward. Baby A was 8lbs 14oz; 22″ at birth (compared to V’s 7lbs 10oz; 21 3/4″) and a great nurser right from the start.
This was a much more physically difficult pregnancy than my first. Baby was posterior throughout most of the pregnancy like last time. My chiropractor and I believe I have some alignment issues that the relaxin exacerbated and because everything was so loose it was impossible for adjustments to hold long. I’m hoping to address these issues over the next year or so before we start prayerfully discerning trying for another baby.
Even though V was also posterior, I think she must have been turned a little less so and she turned completely about halfway through labor so it was much less intense. My midwife said if he hadn’t been posterior I probably would have delivered in the hospital elevator 😂
Because I did end up with a postpartum hemorrhage which I’ve been told puts me at risk for them if we are blessed with more children. I’m hoping to do more research into this in the meantime, looking for things I can do to lessen my chances of hemorrhaging. We also have to do some more research to see if this eliminates home birth as a potential option for future births. When I met with my midwife (who was amazing) on her next shift before we were discharged the next morning she mentioned that she’s not surprised I had some excess bleeding since Baby A was large compared to me (she called him massive… I’m 5’2 and petite) and because he came out face up and fast. She did also mention that she was surprised to see my hemoglobin hadn’t actually dropped even though I hemorrhaged so I’m going to do some research into possible causes/natural variances in blood loss during delivery. Some interesting stuff!
Honestly I’m not sure which labor I preferred. Even though Baby A’s was almost 1/4 as long as V’s, his was a solid 5 hours of intense labor and that’s just rough. Because it all happened so quickly there was no semblence of relaxation or peace and I felt out of control and very aware of the hospital-y-ness of the whole thing, much moreso than with V (I honestly think the lights being on the whole time was a big part of it). I guess the beauty of birth is that it is never the same!
Baby A is now 6 weeks and is growing insanely fast. I just had to put away all is 0-3mos clothes (while weeping, naturally) and I swear it feels like we skipped the newborn stage size-wise (though not in the round-the-clock-nursing aspect… please send coffee). At his last appointment he was over 13lbs and 24″, 90th percentile for weight and 99th for height.
Thank you for all your prayers and support throughout my pregnancy, labor, birth and post partum!