Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Leo is Here!

Our new little guy is one week old today! He is currently sleeping in the bouncer (that big brother Milo so loved as an infant) in the middle of the kitchen floor while I sit typing this at the kitchen table. Chris is upstairs putting Milo down for a nap. Tomorrow Chris goes back to work and I need to learn to handle life with two little boys. So before we ratchet up the crazy times, I wanted to take a moment to sit down and record Leo's birth story.

Last Monday was the holiday after New Year's Day. Chris was home and we met some friends at a bounce place. After a few false starts there, Milo had a great time and was worn out when we got home. We all had a nice nap and I was feeling mostly fine. Later that night we went to the grocery store for dinner and to do a big stock up trip. I was starting to feel a little crampy with all the walking around the store, but otherwise fine. After heading to bed, I woke up with slight contractions around midnight. I was able to stay in bed for most of these, but around 2 a.m. I headed downstairs and popped on Facebook since I couldn't sleep anyway. I noticed my brother was on messenger, so I sent him a message saying to keep his phone on that night because my contractions were getting stronger. After that, I woke Chris up to tell him I thought I was in labor.

We stayed upstairs for a few hours before moving down to the living room and eventually calling the doula around 4 a.m. She came over and helped me through the contractions I was having. She also suggested some positioning moves (lunges mostly) to help the baby move from resting on my right side (which if he would have stayed there would have meant a posterior baby). After working through these exercises, we noticed the baby had moved which was a relief. Around 6 a.m. I decided to head to the hospital. I didn't want to be home when Milo woke up and I was certain I was in active labor and wanted to get the show on the road.

Upon arriving at the hospital, I was admitted and found to be at 5 or 6 centimeters dilated. After the paperwork and getting the IV in place (ouch), I moved to the tub and labored there for about an hour. The water at first really helped the pain of the contractions, but then it stopped having such an effect. After deciding to get out of the tub and finding I was 7 centimeters dilated, I opted for an epidural. I was in pain and tired and just wanted to rest.

After the epidural I fell asleep for an hour or so. Thankfully, my body kept contracting and the baby was happy. A resident came in a broke my water, after which I quickly progressed to the complete 10 centimeters. At this point, I was wondering if the epidural could be turned down a bit. It seems my body responds a bit too well to this medication because I couldn't feel a thing. The answer was no, it couldn't really be turned down.

I started pushing around 3:30. My doctor came in and said the baby's head was coming out crooked and it would be tough to deliver him. He suggested using the vacuum. I opted to keep pushing for a bit, but ultimately agreed to the intervention. With that help, Leo was delivered at 4:28 p.m. He came out screaming and squirmy. I was able to immediately hold him for quite a long time.

Overall, this birth experience was 100% better than Milo's. I felt more in control, more respected and more at ease the entire time. Are there things I would go back and change if I could? Sure, but since the outcome was so positive, I am just thrilled with how it all went. The recovery, both emotionally and physically, has been so much easier this time around.

Why the differences? Being a second time Mom probably had a lot to do with it. This wasn't all brand new to me. My birth team definitely had something to do with. Choosing a Dr who was supportive of VBAC was key. Changing hospital environments also seemed to have an impact. Hiring a doula to be a supportive influence was also a dramatic change for the better. And finally, I think having a stronger yoga practice helped me be more aware of my body and my ground.

Little Leo is a joy. Well, I think he is a joy. At this point he mostly sleeps. And eats. Milo, as expected, is a loving and sweet big brother. We are all enjoying bonding and getting to know our little lion.


Monica said...

CONGRATS to you and your family!!! I'm so happy you are all home and happy and enjoying being a family of four! Also, so happy you had a positive birth experience. Congrats again!

Emily said...

SO happy to read your story!!! I even skipped to the end first :) Congratulations again!!