~ The Arrival of the Handsome Prince!
Well, he's here! Timothy Owen was born on June 7, 2005 at 12:52 am after a short 4 hour and 52 minute labor. I wound up getting induced by my obstetrician after all, due to a high amniotic fluid level. He explained to me that he thought it was prudent to break my water under controlled circumstances rather than run the risk of letting it break on its own and the possible cord prolapse that sometimes occurs when a woman has as much excess amniotic fluid as I had. I had approximately 25% more fluid than normal, and cord prolapse was a real possibility.
That being said, here's how it went! It was a Monday night, June 6th and Tim and I kissed Norah goodbye at my mother's house and headed up to our hospital at 6pm. By the time I was checked in and settled into my room it was well after 7pm, and my doctor arrived at 8pm on the dot to check me. I was 3 cm dilated, and 90% effaced. He broke my water without incident, and told Tim and I to take a walk around the labor and delivery ward for 45 minutes to see if that would kick things off without pitocin. What a relief to have my water broken! It was like I finally realized I'd had the need to pee because of all the pressure on my bladder for the last nine months! haha
So, we walked and walked, quite uneventfully. Uneventfully for us, that is. Tim recognized a guy he knows very casually, whose wife was apparently in labor also. The guy was sitting outside his wife's labor and delivery room, crying, and they didn't seem to be happy tears, so all Tim and I could do was speculate and hope things turned out well for that couple. I still don't know what exactly happened.
After 45 minutes, there were a few minor contractions, but nothing significant, so on came the pitocin! Since I was already about 4 cm by that point, I was eligible for the epidural immediately, but I wasn't really in any pain. Over the next 2 hours, my discomfort increased, but again, I wasn't in real pain. Just a lot of pressure. At about 10:30pm our nurse told us the anesthesiologist was just next door administering an epidural to someone else, and if I wanted one I could be next in line. So Tim suggested I give it a shot and I thought, why not? I wasn't in agony, but I knew agony would definitely be coming soon, so why force myself to go through agony if not necessary???
So the anesthesiologist! What a guy! I swear, he must have women singing his praises and blessing him every day because even though I hadn't been in agony, I immediately felt WONDERFUL. I could even feel my legs, move them, scoot my body around, etc. The relief was instant and amazing. I have experienced childbirth both ways now, with and without the epidural, and let me tell you, with an epidural is a lot more pleasant!
My epidural kicked in around 11:45pm, and at that time I was 6 cm dilated. At that point, the baby was sunny-side-up (wrong position for birth) and my doctor had me hike my legs up and lay half on my side, half on my tummy to encourage the baby to turn. My obstetrician told me he was off for a brief nap, and Tim dozed off too.
Literally, within about 20 minutes I began feeling an immense, incredible, strong pressure. Basically, like the epidural had worn off and I was doing my panting breathing again to keep myself under control. I rang the nurse's call button, who then summoned a resident to check me and lo and behold, I was fully dilated! My doctor came back in and laughingly told me he'd just fallen asleep and how on earth did I dilate that fast in only 20 minutes? He'd been expecting full dilation several hours later!
So, the room got thrown into gear, and it was all I could do to stop myself from bearing down, the pressure, and the urge to push were incredibly strong. It was very difficult to hold back until everyone was ready.
I will say the one negative of having the epidural was the weirdness of pushing. Without the epidural during Norah's birth, it was very instinctual and I only pushed about 3-4 times. This time I think I wound up pushing 6-8 times, still not bad at all, but not as instinctive. The whole pushing process took in the realm of 20-30 minutes. Regardless, the pushing was brief, and soon the baby's head was out. Again, it was incredibly hard not to just push again and get the whole thing over with, but the doctor was doing his best to use mineral oil and the contractions of my uterus only to ease the baby's shoulders out.
I wound up needing just a couple stitches, but I didn't feel anything and already my healing is coming along just fine. The rest of the delivery was easy easy easy. As my doctor said, the uterus is an incredibly strong muscle, just let it do the work for you, and it did. The baby was born at 12:52am, and he weighed 8 lbs., 4 oz, and was 21 inches long. He is gorgeous, healthy, and has a head of soft and silky dark hair just like his daddy.
He looks just like daddy, and he is mellow and easy-going just like daddy also, so we named him well. We did give little Timothy his own middle name (different from Daddy's). Big sister Norah is very curious and sweet with him, so that is coming along well also. Breastfeeding started off really rough. Within the first 36 hours of Timothy's life my nipples were already cracked and bleeding, but I stuck with it. Luckily, a very sweet lactation consultant helped me out by suggesting rubbing the colostrum on the nipple, letting it air dry, using compresses of as-hot-as-you-can-stand-them tea bags and letting it air dry, and then lanolin. After about 3 days, things have improved drastically.
My advice to you if you're reading this: have an epidural, stick with the breastfeeding even though it's really tough at first, and above all, enjoy your babies. I feel like I hit the lottery. A healthy little boy, a gorgeous daughter, a wonderful husband, I can't believe I am as lucky and blessed as I am. I wish you all the best, and similar good fortunes to each and every one of you.
Thank you all for reading this journal.