Monday, August 18, 2014

Winston Dare: The Birth Story [part two]

I left off with asking for the epidural, which felt appropriate because it seems to be a turning point in my labors. I guess my body just needs that relief to relax and progress on its own. After finally requesting it, every minute seemed to crawl by. I prayed during each contraction that it would be the last one before the epidural. 

Side note, is it just me or are anesthesiologists kind-of mean? The one I saw with London was fine but this guy was a jerk; when he finally showed up, he was snapping at the nurse and wasn't particularly friendly to me either. I think I had 4-5 more contractions while waiting on him to get everything set up once he was in the room - let me tell you how hard it is to labor while bent over the side of the bed and not allowed to move. (Hint: really freaking hard!)

Once it was in (just like with London, I didn't find it terrible to have put in!), I was able to relax and calm down - I even did my makeup! At that point, somewhere around 7:30am on Sunday, I was at 5cm so I was hoping things would move along quickly - which they did, just not as quickly as I would've hoped! At some point my water broke and they found meconium, so the nurse (who, while very sweet, was brand new to the hospital which meant extra staff, extra questions, and a few other issues along the way) alerted us he would likely have to go straight to the special care nursery. Not exactly a great thing to hear when so many of my birth wishes revolved around the first few minutes after he was born! Honestly though, I was really calm about the whole thing and didn't let myself freak out about it (thanks epidural!) because it was 100% out of my control ... That doesn't sound like me, does it?! But I really don't think I brought it up at all to Ben, or if I did it was just talking about what that meant. So, a pat on the back for my type A self giving up control. 

Things progressed, slowly and uneventfully. Where, with London, they were saying "you'll have a baby by dinner. No lunch. No breakfast. Just kidding she's here!", with Winston it was more "sometime tonight. This morning. Hopefully today?" but again, I didn't freak out too much. It gave us time to name him and for me to do my makeup (a luxury I didn't have during my labor with London). They worried I may need pitocin, as the fluids that accompanied my epidural really slowed things down, but once those had run though te labor picked back up again and thankfully didn't have to be augmented. 

We updated our parents of my progress at various points. I sipped ginger ale and had a Popsicle at some point, another luxury I was not offered the first time. I may have even snuck a piece of candy that I had packed for Ben. It was all very casual and calm, until they decided it was time for me to push. Yes, THEY decided. Issue number one, right? Before I knew it, they were wheeling in warmers and tables and FOUR nurses (plus Dr. Segal & me and Ben in a suddenly-very- tiny delivery room). The temperature jumped about 20 degrees and Ben nearly passed out from the chaos and heat. 

Another stark difference in my deliveries; with London, it was calm & quiet, one nurse and the doctor, both of whom we loved. I felt totally in control, even though I was in pain and overwhelmed, I had the reigns. This time, I didn't know the names of half the people in the room, there were questions being asked and orders being given, and they were telling me when and how to push. It all felt very medical and scary. I had no feeling whatsoever in one leg, and absolutely no pressure or need to push. As they began to coach me through some "practice pushes", Dr. Segal discovered there was another bag of waters that needed to be broken. Luckily, this one was clear (no meconium) so they said it was likely he would NOT have to go straight to the NICU (praise God!). 

I'm thankful that it wasn't too long or painful but it was extremely disheartening to not feel in control of Winston's delivery.  I really don't remember how long or how many times I pushed, but it was less than 30 minutes. They wheeled out the mirror to help me focus my pushing, so I was able to watch him be born, all purple and gooey and tiny and perfect. So tiny, I kept saying; he's so tiny (he wasn't; 3oz bigger than his sister! but tiny in comparison to the 30lb toddler I was used to lugging around, yes). He didn't have nearly as much hair as we expected but his head was a lovely shape and his tiny lips favored his daddy. Actually, everything did - almost immediately I noticed how he looked just like Ben! 

They immediately put him on my chest and he latched right away while his umbilical cord was still pumping; such an amazing feeling. He nursed while I delivered the placenta - much easier than the first time! - which they preserved to be encapsulated for me. We kept his arrival and his name to ourselves as we chatted with the nurses through his bath, measurements, tests, etc. and got to know our new son. He had no problems finding his voice and had a sweet raspy cry just like London's. 

We made it back to our recovery room just in time for the start of the World Cup championship game, and he was introduced to his immediately-smitten big sister and the rest of our family & friends via social media. He was just perfect, and our family was complete! We are so lucky to have our beautiful girl and our handsome boy, both healthy and happy. 

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