Monday, February 21, 2011

L's Birth Story - Part 2

So after about 7 hours of labour, Tracy announced that I could start pushing. I did not feel an urge to push, but wanted it to be over ASAP so I push anyways.
Tracy manually dilates me because I’m so exhausted and well past my limit (so I feel). She helps position his head into a better position as I try to push by pushing the left side of his head BACK IN since his head is tilted to the right. This hurts badly but I’m in so much pain that it doesn’t really matter. I’m desperate. I beg again for an epidural.

Tracy tells me she sees hair. I debate in my mind whether she’s lying to me to try to encourage me. I think to myself that if she is, it’s awfully mean of her as I’ll find out at some point.

Hubby says he sees the head is coming. I think he’s still way up there so I reach my hand down and am surprised to feel about a 2” diameter of head. It’s very squishy. Now I believe that they’re telling the truth. Someone grabs a mirror and I’m thrilled to see his head. The mirror makes a huge difference and is very encouraging to me.

His head rocks in and out for about 10 minutes, it feels like forever to me. Tracy is concerned about shoulder dystocia. She has me pull my knees up as close to my ears as I can get them (McRobert’s position). I'm flat on my back. I don't want to be here. His head finally comes out. The cord is around his neck. Tracy reaches to cut and clamp and then changes her mind and lifts it over his head.

His shoulders are stuck and take some huge pushes and assistance from Tracy to get them out. I feel something crack just before his shoulders were born, I think it was my tailbone. It’s so loud that my mom said she heard it too. I feel so good after he is out and I am shocked and amazed that I did it. He was born at 11:23 am.

They put him on my chest for a few seconds but have to take him to the table for suction and oxygen because he is grunting. They guess he’s around 8.5 lbs.

Hubby, Baby, Carla

The placenta is born 6 minutes later. Tracy tells me not to worry, there’s no bones, it’ll come out easily. That one statement – there’s no bones – makes all the difference for me and I push it out easily. The placenta is big, much bigger than they’re used to seeing. Tracy tells me that it has grey spots on it which means it was starting to not function as well. I’m not concerned as I know this is often what triggers labour to start.

Tracy recommends that I get a shot of pitocin. We’d discussed it previously and I wanted to avoid it if possible. Due to his large size, difficult birth, the large size of the placenta (and thus a large wound left behind), and the manual manipulation of my cervix and his head on the way out, she recommended strongly that I get it. I agreed. I also allow fundal massage, something I’d wanted to avoid, for the same reasons.

I ask if I’ve torn. I have only a small skid mark, no tears at all. I didn’t need any stitches. I tore in 3 places with Five, all of which required stitches and left me in significant pain for several weeks.

I’m cold and shivering so Barb and Becca put warm rice socks by my legs and pile blankets on top of me. It feels so good to be at home, with my own blankets on me, instead of in the hospital trying to get warm with those thin sheets that they call blankets.

11:36, they bring him back to my chest to see if that helps stop the grunting. It doesn’t so they take him back to the table and discuss with Hubby which hospital they should take him to.

They try one more thing. They tell everyone to be quiet and turn down the lights to try to get him to relax. Hubby is sitting with him. I’m praying. Hubby is a former firefighter so he has first aid training and has delivered babies on the side of the road after car wrecks. One of the things they are told is to put the baby on its stomach to help it expel mucous and breathe more easily. He suggests this to Carla, who flips him to his stomach. He stops grunting.

Baby, Carla's hands

They weigh him and he is 8 lbs, 13 oz! 1 lb and 4 oz bigger than A was! He has a lot of fat on his body. I tell them that I am very glad that I did not know he was that big as I would have had an even harder time birthing him had I known that. 12:34, they bring him to me to breastfeed. He does great.

Hubby and my mom go out to get coffee, muffins, and timbits (at my request, I’m ravenous and craving timbits!). Barb has to leave.

Vitamin K shot is given. He doesn’t cry until after the shot. We declined the eye goop (ask me why if you want to know more about it).

My dad arrives with flowers. Gerbera daisies – my favourite – are among others in the bouquet, and an “It’s a boy!” balloon.

After 30 minutes or so, Becca takes L so I can go pee. I’m not bleeding a lot which is great.

Auntie Becca with Baby :)

My mom makes up my bed and I settle down there with L. Everyone drifts out. Hubby naps on the couch and L and I nap in the bed. The house is so peaceful.

Mom comes back in the evening with dinner and cleans up the house. I’m sore and stiff but able to walk much more easily than I was after A was born.

Baby holding Hubby's finger

The next day I’m bleeding like around the middle of my period. The day after that, it’s like the end of a period. I bled a lot more after A's birth, and for almost 5 weeks! I’m pleasantly surprised that, despite his larger size, I’m recovering from the birth much more quickly.

Wendy visits me the morning after he is born (Saturday). She notices that he’s tongue tied. After she points it out, it’s so obvious that I’m surprised no one noticed it the day before. (I regret not taking a picture of it as it was quite a sight – his frenulum was all the way to the end of his tongue, and very tight.)

Saturday afternoon A comes home. He’s thrilled to meet L and also thrilled to get two new transformer toys. He begs to hold L and I get some great pictures. So far, he’s very gentle with him and runs to him all concerned if he cries.

My 2 boys!

My milk comes in 2 days after he’s born, almost to the hour. After 3 days, my tailbone is still quite sore. I’m barely bleeding at all. I’m able to manage stairs, although I only use them when necessary (our nicer shower is downstairs).

3 days after his birth, Wendy visits me again. He’s 8 lbs, 15 oz! I didn’t expect him to lose much weight, but I totally didn’t expect him to actually gain weight! (Five was 7 lbs, 9 oz at birth and 7 lbs when we left the hospital 1.5 days later.)

Baby in Wendy's scale

He’s peeing and pooing well, the meconium is gone now. We took him to get his tongue tie released. The next day, the difference with breastfeeding is incredible. He’s able to open his mouth about 50% wider and take much more of the breast into his mouth. I have very little pain, which lessens more with each feeding.

Baby on the way to get frenulectomy done. 1st time in the carseat and NOT happy to be there!

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