Well it seems I have only big updates to share lately! A new job, cross country move, and a brand new baby. Claire Lucia joined us on April 20, 2021, all 6lb 9oz of her. Her birth was a positive experience and all that I could have asked for. If you want to know more details keep reading, and if not, feel free to close out now 🙂
I went to work on Monday, April 19, when I was 38 weeks and 5 days pregnant. I was surprised that during the day, I had sporadic contractions that reminded me of my early labor pains from my first. They came very inconsistently and were about 2.5-3/10 on the pain scale. I decided to do some more walking than normal (typically I’ve been pretty sedentary this trimester because of bad pelvic pain this go around). I also went online and ordered all of the remaining baby items we needed and made my husband help clean our room (at my inlaws house where we have been living) and the baby’s space. I also put my toddler to bed, usually my husbands job. I had a feeling it might be my last snuggle with him as my only babe and I took in every minute.
After putting Brooks to bed, my contractions really picked up around 8pm. They got to a 5-1-1 timeframe for almost two hours, but my gut told me they weren’t strong enough to warrant going to the hospital yet. I decided to take a hot shower and that felt awesome but really slowed things down. My contractions spaced out to every 7-10 minutes but also became stronger. I was unable to sleep because of the frequency and around midnight I had several very strong contractions that worried me for a 30 minute car ride to the hospital. We decided to go in to be checked out, even though I didn’t think I had been laboring long enough. Unfortunately, I was right. We were there from 1:00am until 6:30am, but my contractions stalled out quite a bit and I made no progress during that time from when I checked in. At that time I was 2cm dilated, 80% effaced with baby very very low. The nurse guessed, however, that I would be back later that day to have the baby.
Anyway, we got sent home with ambien, which I took happily and got a few hours of sleep, until maybe 10am. I was awoken by a contraction that was decently strong but not terrible. Contractions were 10-15 min apart at that point. We decided to run out to get a smoothie and Pete wanted Panera :). I’m so happy I got a nourishing snack in because that would be my last meal for a bit! By the car ride home the contractions were worse but not 5-1-1 yet. When we got home, I decided to take another shower and get ready. I felt and looked pretty wild at that point! My nerves and emotions were shot too. I felt nervous that I was going to be in long term painful prodromal labor, but also wanted to clean myself up a bit in case I was truly in labor!
In the shower, just about an hour after grabbing lunch, contractions became really painful where I had to moan very loudly to cope, and it felt like I was starting to have periods of time where there was not a break in between. (Side note – being in labor at your inlaws house is a treat, haha!) I got out and tried to do my makeup but it was getting way too painful to stand up, so I laid down and then it got even worse. Over a 20-30 minute span I was contracting every 3-4 minutes lasting about 45 seconds, but then also felt very crampy even when not contracting. I then quickly had a few long contractions in a row that about made me scream and brought me to tears. My husband made the decision that we were going back to the hospital around 1:30pm.
On the drive there, my contractions were back to back and I was suffering quite badly. I lost it, frankly, and was crying profusely. I cried and screamed my way through check-in and when we arrived at L&D, they saw a different woman than they had a few hours before! They grabbed the doctor quickly and she checked me and thank goodness I was at 6cm, nearly fully effaced. I can’t tell you the relief I felt from knowing I didn’t have to go back home and live through that any longer. My pain management plan was to labor as long as I could and then accept an epidural if needed, and I guess you can say things went to plan because I definitely needed the epidural. The anesthesiologist was my angel and did a perfect, quick and painless epidural— the hardest part was sitting through contractions.
I did have one mildly traumatic moment during my labor where my blood pressure dropped significantly when I was put flat on my back. This happened during my first labor so I warned my care team, but I was put on my back after the 7pm shift change. There was a miscommunication and the nurse did not realize the “why” to my request to not be laying flat. Luckily no bad outcome there and I was able to be stabilized quickly by sitting up and to my side.
Despite that short lived scary moment, the rest of my labor was quite good! The doctor checked me after my blood pressure returned to normal and I was at a 9 or 9.5 and she said as soon as I felt the urge to push to let her know and I should be ready to go. I labored down for maybe 30 more minutes and started to feel a heaviness/pressure. The nurse said that I could do some practice pushes. After my first one she called the doctor in, and within six minutes I pushed out my girl! She was 6lb9oz and 20 inches of a beautiful peanut sized babe.
I couldn’t believe how quickly it went compared to my first birth and how great I felt after. I was up and walking within an hour.
We also made it home to my inlaw’s from the hospital in time to celebrate Brooks’ 2nd birthday! The kids’ birthdays are 4 days apart and I anticipate a lot of fun April birthday celebrations in our future.
I am so grateful that my mother and father in law were able to be there to take great care of Brooks while we were at the hospital.