In light of having finally written Brylee's birth day story 3 years after the fact, it seemed like a good idea to write Ian's before the craziness of staying home with two kiddies turns my newborn into a 5-year-old in the blink of an eye. So here is Ian's unedited birth day story. For disclaimer's sake, as I mentioned in Brylee's: If you're not into birth stories, obviously just don't read.
I've already written about the premature trips to labor & delivery, the ongoing dilation count, the confusing contractions and big baby predictions in my weekly photo updates. In short: I've been 3-4 cm dilated since 35 weeks; I was sent to l&d for an ultrasound that showed I had swollen kidneys causing sharp back pain; we visited l&d 2 more times, both trips ending in shots of terbutaline to stop contractions; started exercises "prescribed" by the midwife at 38 weeks to get baby facing back instead of forward; baby continued to measure big but no more estimated guesses at his actual weight; walked and ate spicy foods and everything else to move labor along before 2011 to no avail. I began to feel bad for complaining about baby not showing up "on time" when I wasn't even to my due date.
Sunday, two days before d-day, Daniel was grading the last of his finals when I gave him a hard time about showering. I told him I needed him clean in the delivery room and we wouldn't have time for him to shower if he waited until I went into labor. No more than 15 minutes later my water broke. I yelled, "Daniel, you punk! I told you to shower in case my water broke!" Daniel rushes to the shower while I sit dazed trying to figure out what still needed to be done.
We say "bye" to Brylee while I call the midwife and Mom, Shae, Daniel and I head to the hospital. Her reaction? "Finally!" When I tell her I'm not yet having regular contractions, she asks if I want pitocin right away. I reassure I want to wait for things to progress on its own. She doesn't plan on showing up until I've told the nurses I need the pitocin. (Apparently she has doubt right from the get-go that I'll progress on my own).
While I knew my water had broken, it wasn't free flowing which seemed to leave the l&d nurses a little skeptical, perhaps by protocol. We check in sometime around 11:55a and they send a sample to the lab to be sure it is in fact amniotic fluid; I wait for contractions to become more regular. An hour after checking in, I have a terrible contraction that brings involuntary tears to my eyes and definite breakage of my water. I send Daniel to get the nurses who come in to confirm I'm definitely in labor and it's time for me to start my first dose of antibiotic (I'm supposed to have two before pushing baby out). After this confirmation and a couple contractions later, report comes from the lab that the swab they took when I first checked in was in fact amniotic fluid. Wow, good to know.
Contractions are more or less bearable, but of course I fear for 1) the point when they'll get too intense and 2) the point when labor's progressed so much I must push without epidural. So, we go ahead and get the epidural. The pressure from it being put in is too much, so she pulls the needle out and chooses a smaller one. I don't remember the epidural sucking this much with Brylee, but it's finally in and taking effect. She tells the nurses that she put it to only 85% because of my height and instructs for them to call her if it needs adjusted. Let's save her the trip and put it to 100% now!
They lay me back and prop me on one side to encourage the medicine to evenly distribute across my back. About an hour later I get permission and help switching sides. I'm overall uncomfortable and still have plenty of sensation of pressure (my epidural with Brylee took away all feeling). Another hour passes, it's around 4:00p and the pressure and discomfort is too much again. The nurses come help me shift and instruct me to inform them if I feel pelvic pressure. That's absolutely what I'm feeling, so they go ahead and do a check to see how I've progressed. (The original plan was to wait until 5:00p, give me the final dose of antibiotic, then do a check and call Lesann if need be.) I'm 10 cm dilated with still an hour to pass until I'm able to get the final antibiotic.
They tell me to just blow air out like I'm blowing out candles to breathe through the contractions and hold baby in. Pretty soon I'm doing this through contractions coming every 1-2 minutes. I feel so much pressure I wonder if baby's just falling out of me. The nurse checks and moves her pointer and thumb about an inch apart showing me how far (close?) the baby's head is. I'm exhausted breathing through contractions every minute, trying not to push and getting worn out before the "real" work begins. She checks again to be sure he's not crowning.
Meanwhile, the babies crib is pulled out and everything prepared for his arrival. The nurses don't leave my side and monitor my progress. They decide to give me the final dose of antibiotic a little bit earlier than required (doses are supposed to be 4 hours apart) and they call Lesann to come in. She shows up and is doing paper work until someone asks if she plans on coming in. Apparently whoever called her in didn't include the details that I had been ready and trying not to push for an hour.
Delivering Our Big Ol' Newborn
It's about 5:00p, everyone is in place and I start pushing. Ian Vinal arrives at 5:15p Sunday, January 2. Lesann comments that he must be at least 10 pounds. He's obviously a big baby and we make quick guesses on how much he weighs. 11 pounds and 21"! I can hardly believe it. I get to hold and kiss on him a few minutes before the nursery nurse takes him to his little crib to dress him and footprint him, etc. I am in love!
Lesann says the only thing that tore is my small tear from last time. After delivering "the rest" she shows us the placenta where Ian has been cozy the last 39 weeks. I'm in enough of a daze I'm genuinely interested; Daniel, on the other hand, is completely grossed out and says he didn't need to see that.
First Hours with Baby
Everyone clears out of the room, leaving Daniel and I alone with baby who seems to be happy and healthy. A nurse gives me direction on feeding him. We planned on enjoying these few moments before moving to our recovery room and welcoming our family to come meet Ian. The nurses weren't in a rush. Quite opposite, actually. We ended up eating supper and hanging out in the L&D room until after 7. I was surprised how much feeling I had in my legs so quickly.
We were moved into our recovery room and I was able to get changed before inviting the family in. Brylee is in love with her new baby brother and gets possessive when it's someone else's turn to "cuddle him." We give her "big sister" gift and read her Kitty's Cuddles while she ignores it and focuses on baby. Nick is taking pictures. I am feeling surprisingly good and overwhelmingly content.
Everything is still so fresh in my mind about those next two days. Ian has no problem latching on, but the nurses still seem obsessed with him needing to be woken up to eat every 2 hours and keeping him awake to eat at least 15-20 minutes; they don't seem pleased that I let him sleep 3-4 hours at a time and feed him for 3-5 minutes before letting him fall asleep. The lactation consultant reassures me that his intent on sleeping through and falling asleep during feedings is completely normal for the first 24 hours. It's his size that worries the nurses about him getting enough, but I'm reassured that he will eat more when he's ready and everything will change when milk actually comes in. (By the way, milk's come in now and he still eats less than 10 minutes each feeding every 2-3 hours; growth and output are both on track.)
The first night I wake up only to feed Ian. Daniel burps him and changes his diapers with no questions asked and no directions needed. The second night Daniel doesn't wake up easily and is pretty out of it, but I was a little more on my game. I was warned of the 2nd night and cluster-feeding and soothing that new babies need. Ian did none of it and even slept another 4-5 hour stretch. I felt a bit quilty, but hung onto the lactation consultant's direction that I didn't need to wake him to eat. The sleep was great!
I move around much more than I did in recovery with Brylee. I don't take as many pain meds either, but still feel pretty good. Daniel and I OD on HGTV and enjoy occasional company from mom and Brylee. Between not having Daniel and I around and digesting what this new baby means, Brylee seems less herself. She loves cuddling Ian, but gets a little aggressive with her love. She'll adjust.
Ian is perfect in every way that Brylee impressed us. I can hardly believe our little family nearly fills our 5-seater car. And just like that, for the time being, our family is once again complete.
See Brylee's birth story >> here and see Oliver's birth story >> here.