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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Bodie's Birth Story

The day started with denial. As much as I had hoped our son would arrive early (mostly to assuage my own discomfort), I was very surprised to be having contractions.

I didn't sleep much between 2:30 and 6:30am. It wasn't that unusual from the previous three weeks of my pregnancy to have spent half the night tossing and turning. When my husband woke up around 6:30, I remember telling him I wasn't sure what I was feeling, but something seemed unusual.

By 8am, I was confident I was having contractions. I remember sending a text "I'm not ready to admit I'm in labor, but I am having contractions." I used an app to record the contractions, which was much easier than remembering to write down the time.

That morning, I was half annoyed and half relieved once I realized I was in labor. I had planned to go into the office to tie up some loose ends that morning. My last day was supposed to be the previous Friday, but we had snow days on both Friday and Monday, then I had doctor's appointments on Tuesday, so I had made plans to go in and say some goodbyes and finish up a few things. But... someone had other plans.

I called my OB's office and they advised me to head to the hospital.

Then we called a friend who would watch Maggie and soon after 9am we were headed to the hospital. It was snowing lightly when we left and I remember pausing to take this photo of the lightly falling snow.

I remember thinking how fun it would be if this was 'for real' (meaning I was in fact in labor) to remember driving to the hospital in the snow. I've always loved winter, so having a winter baby I was real happy it actually felt like winter in New England since things have been mild this year.

My contractions were varying between 8-9 minutes apart by the time we arrived at the hospital. The OB on call, Dr. V, confirmed I was in labor and "progressing." I remember her saying "you're having this baby today." After she left the room, I breathed a sigh of relief and told Brandon "now we can let our family know."

They moved me into the L+D room and we met the nurse, Melissa, that would be with us through the birth. She had returned from maternity leave the previous week and we quickly learned her two children were the same age difference as ours.

The thing that stood out to me about Melissa was that she knew my birth plan when she first met me. I breathed a sigh of relief after she recited parts of it back to me (apparently it was in my file) during our first meeting.

I labored at the hospital for about five more hours. I was able to walk around the labor and delivery floor and use a birthing ball in hopes of continuing to progress, but the contractions only got about 4-5 minutes apart in that time.

At about 4pm, Dr. V came in and told me I was progressing, but since my contractions weren't getting stronger/closer together, she probably wouldn't be able to deliver me since her shift ended at 5pm. She asked if I wanted to "speed things up," by allowing her to break my water but cautioned me "things would get intense really quickly."

Oh, I was ready. Why would I spend another 3-5 hours of not eating and just trying to move things along?

Dr. V knew exactly what she was talking about. She broke my water a little after 4pm and in about 15 minutes it was time to push. I didn't know it at the time, but the doctor had to stop me from pushing briefly because his umbilical chord was wrapped around his neck (my husband later told me about this). All in all, it took three sets of three pushes and was a fairly quick process once my water broke. He was born at 4:33pm.

They placed Bodie immediately on my chest and let him stay there for an hour before they even weighed or measured him. I kept wondering how big he was since the doctor told me to expect a nine pound baby this time around.

I'm grateful I didn't find myself comparing the two situations very much in the moment, but of course I look back and see the differences and similarities.  

Having had an unmedicated birth with Maggie two and a half years earlier, I felt better prepared for the second time around. I remembered reading Birthing From Within days before I had Maggie and how it allowed me to see childbirth in a new way. Even though I don't relate to much of the spiritual way the book is written, I checked it out of the library a few weeks before Bodie came so I could refresh my memory. 

I ended up reading a good portion of it one night when I couldn't sleep about a week before Bodie arrived. The funny thing about reading Birthing From Within this time around was that it didn't seem enlightening at all. I think having been through childbirth previously was the best preparation I needed for Bodie's birth; while I knew it would unfold differently I had a general idea of what to expect especially in terms of pain management. 

Since Bodie and Maggie were born at different hospitals, I can say Bodie's birth was much more private. Maggie was born at a teaching hospital and there were a number of interns in and out of the delivery room, which was rather distracting. 

I remembered my calendar that morning was drawn by a friend I've known though the blog world for several years, Lindsey of Pen + Paint. I loved the saying and thought it was quite fitting for the day our little boy arrived. I'm still thinking of how I'll preserve this page from the calendar. Shadow box collage? Frame? Scrapbook?

The hospital did newborn photos the last day of our stay. Isn't he handsome? I'm so grateful Bodie  arrived eight days early, but most of all that he is healthy!


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