Clearly, my blogging skills are phenomenal...been a while since I posted! :P
I thought that since I had Jonah at 37 weeks and 6 days, I would FOR SURE have Max early. I had some signs of labor on March 8 when I was 38 weeks and 2 days. This was the day before my mom came into town. I had contractions for 2 hours in the middle of the night, and thought I might be dehydrated, so I drank a ton of water and they slowed down and eventually stopped. I had another episode a few days later with one very painful contraction in the middle of the night and then nothing after that. The third time I thought I was going into labor was on March 17 (39 weeks, 4 days) when I had contractions for 4 hours in the middle of the night. I almost called into work and almost asked Jordan to stay home! But by the time my alarm went off, the contractions had stopped.
All this start and stop labor was beyond frustrating. I just wanted my little boy to come NOW so that my mom would be able to see his birth! With all this start and stop labor, I decided to do everything I could to get labor started and keep going.
We: went to the park multiple times to walk miles
I got a birthing ball and bounced on it constantly through the day
I drank red raspberry leaf tea
Got foot massages from my mom
etc, etc, etc.
Every night I would go to sleep thinking, "This is the night!" When I would wake up in the morning and I wasn't in labor it was so agonizing.
My actual labor started on March 19 at 1 PM, about an hour before my 40 week midwife appointment. I had been planning on asking the midwife (Barbara) to sweep my membranes to speed things up as well. I told her that I'd been having contractions for a few hours, so she checked me and I was 1 cm dilated, 0% effaced. I wasn't able to get my membranes swept because I wasn't dilated enough. But I was excited! That night I drank a ton of tea, got another foot massage, and took another bath. Contractions slowed down a bit that evening, but picked up again around 9 PM, when they were every 2.5-5 minutes and about 1 minute long. I called the midwife at 11:20 PM and she said I could go to the hospital and she would meet us there. I also reminded her that I progressed from 7 cm to 10 cm in 20 minutes with Jonah, so I wanted to get to the hospital with enough time.
We called our nanny, Becca, and she came to sleep over while my mom, Jordan, and I went to the hospital. We went to check in and the nurse in the ER said I would have to be wheeled up to L&D. I begged to walk and she said that I didn't look like I was too stressed, so I could walk :) I was so happy, because I walked almost my whole labor with Jonah and wanted to do the same with Max.
When we got up to the unit around 12:30 AM, I was able to bypass triage and get a bed. They did intermittent fetal monitoring here just like with Jonah. I had brought gatorade and was drinking that like there was no tomorrow. I got a birthing ball and began bouncing on it. After doing that for a while I decided to walk the halls. We walked for about 30 minutes. There was another lady also walking the halls and she was really loud, moaning in the hallway and obviously further progressed than I was. I kept comparing myself to her, and then decided that wasn't fair to myself, so we decided to stay in the room. I stood next to the bed and swayed, then got on the birthing ball again. Jordan and mom decided to sleep and wait.
Around 2:15 AM, Barbara came to check me and I was 4 cm dilated, 75% effaced, and Max was at -2 station! Yay! I hadn't thought I was that far progressed! I decided to take a nap. I woke up around 3 AM and the contractions were really slowed down. I walked in the hall for a little bit and then decided to take a hot shower. With Jonah, my contractions slowed and then I took a bath and they picked up again, so that was my hope this time around. I showered for probably 30 minutes and they did get a lot stronger.
At 4:15 AM, they put me back on the monitor. Max was having some early decelerations, so I drank more fluids. The contractions were definitely getting more powerful. I was feeling the need to "verbalize" my contractions, not really yelling, but moaning loudly. One of the only outbursts I had (proudly) my whole labor was at this time, when I barked at Jordan to wake up..."It's time! Come on!" haha.
At 4:45 AM, I was feeling a lot of pressure. Barbara checked me and I was 7 cm dilated! They got the room ready at this time, and at 5 AM, I was completely dilated with urges to push. Barbara asked me what position I wanted to push in and I decided on the bed at 45 degrees so I would be in a seated squat position.
With the first push, my water broke! It felt so strange, like a balloon popping inside me. They noted a small amount of meconium in the amniotic fluid, so the NICU people were called to the room just in case. I needed a lot of direction from my nurse, Michele, to pull my legs back, hold my breath, and push down. I really appreciated her just talking into my ear all these directions. My legs were shaking uncontrollably! It was like when you're doing a wall-sit for a long time and your muscles just start to shake. One of my goals with this birth was to not tear, so I pushed about 4-5 times and Barbara applied lots of mineral oil to prevent me from tearing. Jordan delivered Max's head with Barbara's assistance and it was amazing to be able to see it! I then slowly pushed again and Max's body came very slowly out! He was born at 5:23 AM on March 20!
Max had poor color but everything else was ok and he was crying, so his APGAR was an 8/10. Jordan laid him on my chest and he cuddled into me for a few minutes before the NICU people took him to the warmer due to the meconium present in the fluid. He was suctioned and then given right back to me. He was crying, but immediately calmed down when I was talking to him. He began breastfeeding and has an amazing latch. He suckled for about 1.5 hour after being born.
We stayed in the room for about 2.5 hours afterward (during change of shift) before being taken to the maternity unit. Before we left, Jordan went and got me a mango smoothie from Panera (continuing our tradition from Jonah!) and doughnuts from Dunkin. I felt great! I had some soreness and minimal pain, but this recovery was a lot better because I didn't tear at all! I was voracious afterward, eating a huge meal and snacking constantly. I was also a little tired from not really sleeping since 2 days before.
Max is so sweet. He has my lips and nose, but otherwise looks just like Jordan. He has the cutest little cry. I don't even think you could call it a cry, because it's more of a wail, like "Woe is me!" Haha! He has fantastic neck control and is able to hold his head up and look around! His fingernails were really long, and his eyelashes were really short. My mom said they would grow. He smelled intoxicating after being born and I'm pretty sad I allowed them to bathe him the day he was born. I also can't get over how good of a latch he has with breastfeeding.
We love you so much, little Max!