I woke up on Monday, March 7th with a horrible sore throat and generally feeling horribly sick. When I told both Devin and my mom that I was sick they both said, "Oh GOOD! Must mean that the baby is coming soon." Devin had been convinced that our boy would come on my birthday and I was terrified the baby would be born on Leap Day (not only because it only comes once every 4 year but because our babysitter who we asked to stay with Charlotte once I went into labor wouldn't be home until Leap Dap). Once those days came and went we were basically on baby watch 24/7. At my doctor appointment the week before, I was only 1cm dilated and 50% effaced. The doctor said that baby boy was still "high up" and she felt like I had at least another week to go but that she felt I would go full term. She also warned me that she would be going to Hawaii the week of March 7th and that she really wanted to be there for the birth of our baby boy. Charlotte and I did a lot of cleaning and relaxing on Monday and Tuesday- our carpets were cleaned on Tuesday (HALLELUJAH!) and on Wednesday I had a doctor appointment with a doctor I had never met nor seen before. It was probably my most annoying doctor appointment ever. I heard her talking on her phone outside my room and telling someone that she would "be there in 10 minutes at most". Then she came into my room and introduced herself and I gave her a small background on my previous pregnancies. Usually my doctor lets Charlotte help measure my belly and find her baby brother's heart beat but this doctor was not enthusiastic about having a little helper- she had somewhere to be in 10 minutes after all (cue eye roll). She then ASKED me if I wanted to be checked- which I said YES to because I was feeling more pressure and having more braxton hicks contractions. (I had been praying that my water would break as my sign that I was in labor because there were a few times where I thought "this is it" only to have the contractions stop). She then told me that it wasn't likely that I was any further along than I was the week before and that baby was fine so she really didn't see any point in checking me (THEN WHY DID YOU ASK!?). I left the appointment super annoyed and missing my usually doctor something awful. I took Charlotte to the park and to Jamba Juice that day for a little "Mommy and Charlotte time". When I texted my friend Cherie (our photographer) what had happened at the doctor she said, 'That doctor is going to regret not checking you when your water breaks at 2am and she has to deliver your baby." ......
I was supposed to work the next day... the first time all week where I was finally scheduled and they actually needed me to come in. I had a sitter all set for Charlotte and we went to bed as usual..
I woke up to go pee (per usual) around midnight and went back to bed. Much the same as Charlotte's birth I awoke to a weird trickling sensation. I thought that maybe it was (TMI!!!!) discharge so I just laid there for a few more seconds just to see. When another trickle didn't come I decided to just get up and see if it really was my water breaking and if it wasn't then I could just lay back down and go back to sleep. I checked my phone and it was 2:40am and my alarm wasn't set until 4am. So I got up and SURE ENOUGH here comes another trickle.
"Devin, it's time. My water is breaking" I said.
Your water is breaking?
"Yep. It's time to go." I said
I asked Devin to get me my pads-because I am SMART and had my bag packed since about week 32 and I KNEW from experience and general nursing knowledge that I would be leaking fluid until the baby came. I ran to the bathroom so I wouldn't make a mess on the carpet and I called my mom first.
"Mom, my water just broke. Baby is on his way" and off she went to book her flight.
I called Cherie second- but I told her to wait to come to the hospital until I got there.
I then called Jill and Carrie (our dear friends who volunteered to watch Charlotte once I went into labor)
and I called my boss Kim last letting her know that instead of coming to work, I would be having a baby that day.
I also called my doctor's office to let them know that my water broke and that I was heading into the hospital (they call the hospital and give them a heads up) BUT I showered and got ready first because there was NO WAY I wasn't going to have makeup on this time around!
Around 3:30, we were ready to go to the hospital. Jill and Carrie had arrived, Devin and I had both showered and gotten ready, and our bags were in the car. I crept into Charlotte's room and was just going to give her a quick kiss but I just couldn't leave like that. The last few moments with just her as my only baby- we couldn't part with a quick kiss and without her knowing what was going on. So I woke her up and brought her over to her bright pink rocking chair and I rocked her. I told her that mommy and daddy had to go to the hospital because baby brother was on his way. I told her how much I love her and how she will ALWAYS be my baby no matter what. She told me that she loved me too and to "give baby brother all the blankies." I tucked her back into bed, gave her another kiss, and off Devin and I went to have our baby.
I had to change my pad before we left because HOLY LEAKING AMNIOTIC FLUID BATMAN. With Charlotte I had 2 big gushes and then just leaked a little bit the rest of the time but this time around... I swear I had like 8 liters of fluid. We forgot to have Devin give me a blessing while we were still at home so once we got to the hospital he gave me one in the car in the parking lot. As soon as I got out of the car, I had a giant gush of fluid and I told Devin that my entire butt was probably soaked and that I thought fluid would start running down my leg soon. So we picked up the pace and checked in through the emergency room. Luckily I pre-registered so they just called up to labor and delivery to let them know I was there. I apologized to the front desk ladies because I was leaking fluid EVERYWHERE (don't worry we are used to it, they said... of course you guys are!). Up to the "New Life Center" we went. They had me sign some forms for both me and the baby to be treated (YES WHILE I AM STILL LEAKING FLUID DOWN MY PANTS AND DOWN MY LEGS) and decided I needed to be "triaged". Really guys? REALLY? I KNOW that my water broke. So off to triage we went, and I asked my nurse for a GIANT pad because I was sopping wet at this point. "Oh!" she said, "Well let me have your pants" So I handed over my pants and she tested them to see if it was really amniotic fluid and not just pee and sure enough it turned colors right away "OH yeah these are soaked. Yep, definitely your water. Ok let's get you to a room."
Luckily at the hospital I delivered at this time, you get to STAY in the same room the whole time- for delivery and postpartum (which was not the case for Charlotte) so we made ourselves comfortable while the nurse checked us in and checked my vital signs. It was time for my IV (please do not tell me your strong opinions on getting IVs... I do not care. I am a nurse and I know and understand the purpose they serve. I get it- IVs suck and they hurt ESPECIALLY the giant ones OB puts in. So if you are one of those who doesn't want/get one, I get it. But I wanted one. Because I knew I would probably end up wanting an epidural- NO, I don't want to hear your opinions on THAT either-and I knew I needed at least 1/2 liter to a liter of fluid in me before they let me have one so my blood pressure wouldn't tank). The poor nurse was on her 3rd night in a row. I told her that I am a nurse as well and I showed her right where I would poke me if I were her (I have a freckle on my left forearm that sits right on top of a vein). She missed. I told her that it was OK! Because it was. Misses happen regardless of how good your veins are or how good someone is at IVs. So she tried on my other arm and another miss. I knew she felt bad and I felt bad for her! I have totally been in her situation and cranky/mean patients don't make it any easier- it's not like she WANTED to miss! So she got another nurse who put the IV in my hand-which I hated and requested to have removed that night (or I would be a bad patient and take it out myself!). So finally things started to settle down so we could get some rest and in walks the doctor to do an ultrasound to see if baby was head down and guess who the doctor was... the same lady I saw the day before who refused to check me. "Oh, I guess baby was more ready than we thought!" she said. Luckily she was only on call until 7am so I got a different doctor the rest of the day. I don't think I could have handled her delivering my baby. My new doctor came in after awhile and suggested I walk around a bit before they checked to see how far along I was. My contractions were definitely there but not too strong yet. My mom's flight was scheduled to get in around 9am so I suggested Devin run home and see Charlotte and grab some breakfast before mom and Cherie came. (Cherie picked my mom up from the airport- same as she did with Charlotte's birth). I walked around the unit, reading a book on my phone and after about 20 minutes my nurse found me and told me she wanted to check me. 4cm and 75% effaced. The doctor came back and suggested giving me a "whiff of pit" (pitocin) and I declined for the time being. I had that party with Charlotte and I wasn't too enthusiastic about having it again and I really liked doing the work on my own AND I wanted to wait until my mom was here. They brought me a birthing ball which I LOVED so I hung out on that until everyone came to keep me company. Around noon my contractions were getting a little more intense- nothing like what I had with Charlotte but enough for me to ask when it was appropriate to have an epidural. I felt like a whimp for asking but I really just wanted to REST and since pitocin was on the table I definitely did not want to start that train ride without an epidural. I also was a pain in the booty patient and asked for fentanyl before my epidural (because I'm a nurse and all... we do a lot of nerve blocks at work and I know how much it helps!) Luckily I knew the CRNA Susanna (we worked together) who placed my epidural and she did a PHENOMENAL job! She was so quick and efficient and she told me what was happening before she did it. And my nurse Rebecca was amazing- she just held me the entire time and told me I was doing a great job. I was VERY fortunate with both of my epidurals- I was still able to tell when I was having contractions and when I needed to push (when the time came). Unfortunately- the epidural did stall my labor and it also made me feel horribly dizzy. I ended up on 10L of oxygen almost the rest of my labor because it made me feel so much better. "Now I know why people like going to those oxygen bars!" I kept saying. We had to keep rotating positions to try and help it along. My sweet nurse even gave me a massage! She was awesome. She did bring in this giant peanut looking thing she called her "minion" to place until my legs- we got a huge kick out of that. I sent mom, Devin, and Cherie to the cafeteria or to get out and walk around because GOODNESS KNOWS it was just a sit around a wait game. (Did I also mention that I did not eat anything- jello or popsicles sounded gross... and we had the food channel on ALL day! Until jeopardy came on at 6.... mom really REALLY wanted to watch it). My mom took a nap, I took a nap, Cherie worked, Devin read some intellectual book. At 4pm I was at 7-8cm and 95% effaced. Unfortunately, my doctor was now doing a few C-sections and we had to wait for her to deliver me. But hooray no pitocin for me! Although at this point I didn't care because I had my epidural and I JUST WANTED TO HAVE A BABY ALREADY! 6:30 came- wheel of fortune was on, and I was complete. My nurse suggested we try a few "practice pushes". Mom, Devin, and Cherie were all sitting and talking and I finally yelled "HEY GUYS! We are going to try pushing! Come on!" They brought in the delivery tray! I pushed a few times- trying to remember HOW exactly to do it and then it came time for shift change. My sweet nurse had to go home and I got a new nurse at 7:30 named Kim. Around this time my (new) doctor came back and I told both her and my nurse that I felt like I needed to PUSH! So they brought the warmer and transition nurse in (the nurse assigned to the baby once it is born) and my doctor stayed to see how I was pushing. We knew from Charlotte's birth that I like having a count down while pushing instead of counting up (which I also used for my laboring mothers during my OB rotation and they loved it too!). I liked my new nurse right away- she took charge and was encouraging and laughed with us during contractions. I LOVED this new doctor- Dr. Mall was her name. She was laid back, she made jokes with us, and she HELPED me so much during pushing. She stayed the ENTIRE time I pushed. I knew I was doing a good job when both her and the nurse would say "YES! Just like that!" haha. I did get a little testy at one point because my mom wasn't holding my foot AT ALL and I had nothing to push against (sorry mom). My epidural was starting to wear off at this point and I could start to feel everything. I finally asked my doctor if I was making any progress and she said absolutely that the baby was just "turtling" and that we needed to get him around the pubic bone to get him out. My mom said that she could see his hair but I didn't want to know what color it was until he was born. Well, with one good push I KNEW his head was out. Talk about the freaking RING OF FIRE. I did not know what that meant with Charlotte BUT KNOW IT NOW. One more push and out he came.
They placed him on my chest but I couldn't see his face! "He looks like Charlotte!"-I remember Devin saying. I asked Devin to count fingers and toes, and to make sure he was REALLY a boy! I tore once again- I could feel the doctor stitching me up (I swear she did a MUCH better job than my last doctor!) and everyone was once again over with the baby while I'm laying there being sewn together again. Luckily Devin came and checked on me to make sure I was OK. This time it was interesting to notice more. How my doctor kept traction on the cord until the placenta was out, how they hung pitocin just in case I had a postpartum hemorrhage again (which I didn't thank goodness), how they checked to make sure my placenta had no missing parts and that it had 2 veins and an artery. I didn't hear anyone call out an APGAR score but I know that his was 8 and 9 (because now I pay attention to things like that). I don't remember when the doctor left or the transition nurse. My nurse went to make me a cocktail (gingerale, apple juice, orange juice, cranberry juice). Devin called Jill and Carrie to bring Charlotte to meet her brother. Mom and Devin were calling and texting... and I was holding my new babe. Fresh from Heaven.
Charlotte arrived with Jill and Carrie- wearing her "big sister outfit" (which she requests to wear DAILY now) and she was so sweet. It made my heart so happy to have my babies be together and meet for the first time. We did have a bit of an issue when it was time for her to go home she wanted mommy to come and we had to explain that mommy had to stay in the hospital for a few night but that she could come back the next day.
Unfortunately by the time everything settled down I was starving and everywhere was closed except Chickfila. So that's what I ate as my "first meal". Mom stayed with me in the hospital that night... she basically slept the entire night haha and Devin went home with Charlotte to help her feel some normalcy... and so Devin could get a full nights rest. I did have a mini breakdown the next night. I was on my own the entire day except for an hour when my family came to have dinner with me. I missed my Charlotte. I missed my husband. I was sad about how things had changed so suddenly. How heavy she suddenly felt in my arms. How I couldn't devote my time to JUST HER anymore. My nurse came in and I was sobbing. She hugged me and told me first the crying is NORMAL right after delivery and for up to 2 weeks after (thank you for that) and then she asked me what I was so sad about. I told her how I missed my daughter, how I was sad about how our relationship was changing, and how the heck was I going to survive with 2 kids!? She gave me encouraging words, told me to get Devin back her ASAP and have him cuddle with me on the bed, and that she would take Conrad for a few hours after I fed him so we could rest. IT. WAS. THE. BEST. When it was time for her to leave the next morning I gave her 3 hugs and when I got her card in the mail the next week I cried again. Labor and delivery nurses- I love you.
Transitioning from 1 to 2 has been a much easier transition than 0 to 1. Charlotte LOVES Conrad so stinking much it kills me. She has been a little resistant to mommy lately and only wants Daddy but I'm hoping it's a phase. She has had moments where she does just want mommy. Luckily she hasn't regressed with potty training but she has a little bit with sleep- she has woken up a few times during the night since bringing Conrad home. Overall I don't think we could have asked for this transition to go any smoother. I FEEL GREAT! Other than being tired which is expected with a newborn in the house. I told my mom that I feel normal which is weird because with Charlotte I felt like I couldn't do anything besides stay home and feed her all the time. Maybe I'm a bit more relaxed this time around (as relaxed as I get...) but it's been good. We are all in love with Conrad and so thankful that he is here. There is an air of finality with his birth too which I am thankful for.
And now, lots of photos from his birth
(This is one of my favorite photos. I have named it "The Nurses". Me, holding my nurse, while Susanna gets ready to place my epidural. Susanna is a CRNA)
(Obsessed with The Great British Baking Show)
(reapplying... wish I would have fixed my hair)
8lbs 1 oz
21 inches long
Charlotte made us a family and Conrad completed it.