This story actually started on Friday at the doctor's office. I was officially a full week overdue, so we went in for an ultrasound and NST to check on the baby boy.
During the ultrasound, we got to see baby boy all over again, which is always exciting, but we also got an estimate of his weight...9 pounds, 12 ounces. And everything looked great. Plenty of amniotic fluid, lots of fetal activity, and no signs of labor or distress. I'm not going to act like that number, NINE pounds TWELVE ounces, didn't scare me. My doctor said that the machine typically overestimates the baby's weight, but he also said that he was confident baby boy was over 9 pounds and that if this were my first pregnancy, we might be talking about a c-section. He scheduled us for an induction Monday morning. The plan was for us to check in at the hospital Sunday night for a little help softening my cervix and then to start the induction drugs early Monday morning. He estimated that we would have a baby before noon on Monday.
I spent all weekend cleaning and desperately hoping to go into labor and then desperately wishing it away. I was so tired of being pregnant, but at the same time, so afraid of getting an almost 10 pound baby out of there. It seemed like the opposite of what I wanted in terms of labor and birth. I gave up the idea that I would make it through delivery without an epidural; I was already too scared.
We arrived at the hospital Sunday night, and I spent the next several hours randomly bursting into tears. It was kind of ridiculous. I will blame it on hormones, fear, anticipation, and general craziness, but in retrospect, I really feel bad for my poor husband. I couldn't explain why I was crying or give him anything to do to help me, and it seemed to happen every time someone tried to talk to me. The nurse and the doctor both got cried on. I was waiting for the next person to walk in the door to be from the psych ward...
The doctor put a gel on my cervix to soften it, and he said that it very rarely actually starts labor, but I am one of the very rare. Within an hour, I was having serious contractions about two minutes apart and it looked like we might have a baby that night. Yay! I labored for about three hours (I think; time is a little fuzzy), the crying episodes ended, and the nurse told me that the aneasthesiologist was right next door. Epidural time! He and I had a long talk about that headache that I got last time. Obviously, he couldn't guarantee that I wouldn't get it again, but he assured me that he would be extra cautious. He was wonderful (no headache!), and the epidural worked great on the pain. Unfortunately, it also completely stopped my contractions.
We spent the night trying unsuccessfully to sleep. My contractions never really started back up, so early Monday morning, the nurse started a small dose of Pitocin. I thought being upright might give gravity a chance to help out, so I sat up, and my blood pressure promptly dropped. I began to feel weak and baby boy's heartrate started dropping during each contraction. There was an oxygen mask and a few attempts at laying in different positions, but I was pretty out of it at that point; all I wanted was to hold PJ's hand. I was worried that the next step would be a c-section if baby boy's heartrate continued the drop or if I didn't progress fast enough. However, I came back to life when I realized a short time later that it was probably time to push. The epidural blocks most of the pain, but not pressure, so I could definitely tell when the pressure of a contraction increased. The nurses told me that it took 16 minutes from the time I said "it's time to push" until baby Colin was born.
Colin Gray Cooper
born at 8:03 AM, March 19, 2012
9 pounds, 8 ounces
The doctors and nurses were truly wonderful and so encouraging while I was doing the actual pushing. I had a huge baby with only a small tear, and I think that speaks very highly of the medical staff's patience and caring for me and my sweet boy.
Baby Colin is a snuggler and a snoozer. He seems to be content almost anywhere, but he especially likes to be cuddled up next to you with lots of blankets. I keep trying to decide if he looks like Cara did as a newborn. He doesn't have the hair or the chubby cheeks, but he has the same gorgeous dark eyes. I can't even talk about his little lips without kissing them. And he definitely takes the cake on size. :-)
She seems to be adjusting to the idea of a baby brother slowly. She hasn't been very interested in him, although she did acknowledge that he was crying and want to check on him this morning. She's still doing her thing, being a big girl, as adorable as ever. I rocked her for a few minutes before she took her nap today, and the difference in size between my two babies absolutely blew my mind. It was like she grew up in three days.
All in all, I'm so glad to begin this journey of mommy of two. I wondered out loud last weekend if I would miss being pregnant. The answer is a loud, echoing "NO." :-) Cuddling Colin under the warm spring sunshine is way better than being pregnant.