Monday, April 7, 2014

Max's birth

*I've been putting off posting this, waiting for more pictures from other people, but I'll just add them later.

For starters, I was convinced that I was in an eternal pregnancy. For three weeks I was 3 cm dilated,  50% effaced, despite having episodes of consistent contractions. I would have a few hours of semi-intense and regular ones and then fall asleep timing them! It was really frustrating each week to have made no progress. I was pretty miserable towards the end! Poor Tyler and Millie dealt with either a zombie or a witch all the time.

Wednesday night (the 26th) around 9 I started to have what I thought was another one of those "episodes." Tyler and I sat in bed and planned when he would take his paternity leave and vacation days this year and I casually timed contractions, every 15-20 minutes at that point. I told Tyler to get some sleep, trying not getting my hopes up that this was the real deal and predicting that he'd be off to work the next day. I continued to time contractions through the night, and fell asleep around 4:30am. I would wake up every 7-10 minutes to have a contraction and then promptly fall back asleep. I had been awake since 4:30am the previous morning and I was exhausted!

Yogurt and granola and a cheesy Netflix movie- labor fuel!
Thursday morning around 6 I woke up having contractions every 3-5 minutes, each lasting almost 2 minutes. I was walking around our bedroom at that point, trying to help things along since this seemed to be more than an "episode." After about an hour of that I told Tyler he probably shouldn't go to work and that we should make our way to the hospital. We called Tyler's mom, I showered and finished packing, and we were on our way. This was so different from our first delivery experience- going to the hospital in the middle of the night just the two of us and being so nervous. I was still so nervous, but for different reasons. Mostly I was scared my contractions would suddenly stop or we'd get to the hospital and find that I hadn't progressed at all. I was much more emotional this time, listening to Millie sing "Let it Go" in the backseat and knowing she had no idea of the big things that were happening. She was about to be a big sister and not my baby anymore! Plus, riding in the car while having contractions was pretty excruciating. There were a few minutes where I was crying and unable to calm down and catch my breath, making the contractions worse, making my crying worse, etc. But Tyler was totally a rock- holding my hand and saying sweet and reassuring things to help me. We dropped Millie off at Gigi's and were on our way to the hospital!

We arrived and got all checked in at about 9:15. The nurses asked their zillions of questions and then checked me- 4 cm, 50% effaced. BUG. I was hoping for a 6 or 7 after all night of laboring, you know? Oh well. They called my doctor and she said to go ahead and "help me out" with some pitocin. So fun! I didn't have pitocin until after the epidural with Millie, so this was a whole new experience. Not an entirely pleasant one. Tyler and I settled in and played Ticket to Ride against each other on the iPhone/iPad and watched the Office reruns. Side note: having television for the 2.5 days we were in the hospital made us so grateful we don't have it at home. We could rarely find something we wanted to watch, and flipping through channels was such a waste of time! Anyways. Since I was hooked up to the pitocin (and some fluids) I was not allowed to walk around. I did get in the rocking chair, and that allowed me to move a little bit.

Panoramic picture of our room
Every L&D room has a different nature scene on the ceiling! Hilarious.
My view from the rocking chair
The doctor came to see me and broke my water around noon. Another something I'd never experienced without an epidural, also not entirely pleasant. That picked things up quite a bit, which was welcomed since at that point I was at a "loose 4 cm," 90% effaced. I texted my mom an update (she was on her way down from Lufkin) and expressed my frustration, to which she replied "Flow instead he wins the race!" Clearly meaning slow and steady wins the race. Gotta love what these "smart" phones come up with when you dictate things. Mom arrived around 1pm and we continued waiting. At almost 3pm I asked for the epidural. I was feeling some really intense pain and some discouragement at the progress I wasn't making on my own. I tried so hard to relax my whole body through each contraction but apparently it wasn't working! So, epidural it was. The anesthesiologist came pretty quickly, which I was thankful for. I told him about my epidural with Millie being too strong and begged for a lighter dose. He did a great job! I could move my legs and feel when I was having contractions but the pain was manageable. Perfect. The nurse checked me right after it was in and I was at 7 cm 100% effaced. Five minutes later, 8 cm. Just after that check I started to feel lots of pressure, which was so exciting to me! I never felt that with Millie and I knew it meant we were close. The nurse didn't believe me at first but then after watching me for a couple contractions decided to check me again- this was at about 3:20. We had been joking that we should try to have him come at 3:27pm since it was 3/27. The nurse checked me and didn't even tell me where I was- she just smiled and said he'd definitely be here by 3:27- if they could get ready by then! She hurried off and I tried really hard not to push and just wait.

I'm not as relaxed as I look- my arms just kept falling asleep!
The doctor finally came (I say finally- it was probably 5 minutes. Everything feels longer when you're trying to keep a baby inside of you) and she told me I could start pushing. It was amazing how quickly everything happened this time around. I pushed through 2 or 3 contractions. Tyler was being so sweet and encouraging. During one contraction He said, "Breathe, Cam! Or don't breathe... do whatever you're supposed to do!" It made me laugh. He's so funny and sweet. Anyway, after a few contractions, baby's heart rate started to drop. The doctor did an episiotomy, asked the nurses to get the vacuum ready, and told me baby wasn't liking this part and that I needed to get him out fast. Um, yeah! Don't you dare use a vacuum on my baby! He was out in a few more contractions, at 3:40pm. It was amazing!! I actually felt him come out and even though it was strange and painful, it was wonderful and I was so glad. There was a high unlike anything I'd ever felt before and I felt so proud of myself! I felt great and had so much energy for the rest of the day.

I really appreciated the way the nurses were- they let me hold him for a while before they took him away to weigh and measure him. I'll tell you one thing- I felt a whole lot more proud of myself after they weighed and measured him! I knew the whole pregnancy that he was a big baby, bigger than Millie, but I never would have guessed over a pound bigger! 9 lbs 5 oz. We couldn't believe it. The nurse measured him several times and kept saying she'd never seen such a tall baby- 22.25" long. So that explains how I still felt his feet in my ribs even when he was halfway out! We were so thankful to have our beautiful, healthy, big baby boy. He nursed right away, the way you'd expect a 9 lb baby to nurse. Eating comes very naturally to him. :) He also showed us his thumb-sucking abilities, which was totally adorable. The nurses left us alone for a while and we just loved on baby boy. At that point we decided his name had to be Maxwell- we didn't have any other names in mind that would fit such a big boy! His middle name, Paul, is after Tyler's grandpa. He died while Tyler was on his mission so I never got to meet him, but he's the kind of man we want our Max to be.

Mom, enough pictures!
All ready to go home, but not happy about it
We squeezed him into the newborn outfit we had with us
Recovering has been good-- better than last time in some ways and harder in others. I think after Millie the adrenaline of experiencing everything for the first time distracted me from the pain of it, if that makes any sense at all. This time I think I've just felt everything more. Plus, I've been very emotional, which wasn't the case as much last time. But, having said that, I already feel almost back to normal. There were a few hard days where I wasn't sure about this whole 2 kids gig and where I felt pretty crappy, but it was just a few days! Now my biggest challenge is reminding myself to take it easy so that I continue to feel good until I truly am back to normal.

Max is such a good baby! As I said before, he's a great eater. At his first checkup on Wednesday he was already back to his birth weight and beyond, weighing 9 lbs 6 oz. He's off the charts for height and not far from that for weight, 90%ile. He gives me a few good hours of sleep each night, usually at least one stretch of 3-4 consecutive hours! Max is very calm and low maintenance, even more so than Millie was, I think. He stays pretty quiet until suddenly, he roars when he's hungry, as if I starve him. Clearly that is not the case, Mr. Forearm Rolls! He is so cute and sweet. He has my long toes and Tyler's high cowlick, but other than that he just looks like Max to us! We love him so much and are so happy he's here.


Lindsay said...

I have been waiting for this!! Even though I knew much of the happenings of the day, I love hearing it all from the mom--that's the best perspective (and the most important one in my mind :)...) anyway congrats again, he is just perfect and I'm dying to see him in person!

Whitney Nolden said...

what a beautiful story! congrats!

The Freeman Family said...

Camille...I loved reading this! It makes me so excited to welcome our little guy. You are a champ! Hope I can handle it as well as you have! He is perfect! Xxx