Edward Patrick was born on Wednesday, September 21, 2016 at 9:43 am.
I was 10 days overdue with this little guy, and I was READY by the end. I was pretty stressed the last 2 days leading up to the birth. Walking had become almost impossible. I crawled up my stairs. I limped and braced myself around my entire house. Walking from the kitchen table to the counter was difficult. My back was the problem, and I even was driving an hour north twice per week just to go to our chiropractor. My mom had to go home the Saturday before Eddie’s arrival, so Monday and Tuesday was the first time in 5 weeks that I had to parent alone during the day. It was rough. Ev is pretty self sufficient, but the kid needs her exercise. So it was a challenge.
By Tuesday night, I was exhausted. I fell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow at 10pm. An hour later, I woke up with Braxton Hicks. This was odd. I usually woke up around 2am. I had a few but just fell back asleep. I woke up again at 2am with Braxton Hicks. They did not go away after I used the restroom. They were about 5-7 min apart, but mild. I didn’t want to get too excited, because this happened a week earlier. I layed awake for a while, thinking about how I would make it through another day with an active toddler. Eventually, at 3:45am, Ian’s first alarm went off. I was waiting for it, and then asked, “Ian, will you stay home from work?” This is the Army. That’s not an option. But I asked anyway because I was desperate. He said no. So I told him I’d been having Braxton Hicks, and it was somewhat consistent, but really mild. So he said, “I tell ya what. I’ll make a compromise with you. How about I stay home from PT and we’ll see how you’re doing.” It was also racing out, so I didn’t have to twist his arm too much 🙂 I immediately felt a sense of relief come over me. I finally felt my hips and pelvis relax. All of that pent up stress and constant pain was making me very tense. Not even 5 minutes later, I had my first real contraction.
We monitored it for about 40 minutes, then decided to call the midwife. My contractions were 5-6 min apart, and I had a quick labor with Ev, so we figured we’d let her know so she could make the 45 min drive to our house. I wasn’t convinced she needed to be there yet, but she did. That’s how I felt last birth too. On her way to the house, my water broke (5:45am). Funny side note: I could almost sense that it was going to break. As the contraction was coming I could almost feel the fluid moving and it felt like it was going to pop. Luckily I was a few steps from the bathroom, so it didn’t get everywhere.
Nancy, the head midwife, arrived (at who knows what time), and Tina, the other midwife, arrived shortly after. Nancy checked to see how dialated I was and she said I was about a 5/6. She said he was facing one of my hips, and showed me some ways to move him. That sucked and I was not shy about telling her that I disliked it 😂 I tried though, and she was very supportive and encouraging, so that was nice. Meanwhile….Ian was getting Ev ready for the day/feeding her breakfast/getting her set to go hang out with our neighbor friends. Thank goodness for them! Ev was out the door and shortly after, Ian came back and we filled up the tub.
During a lot of this, I kept thinking/saying, “it’s too early for that.” I thought it was too early to get in the tub. I didn’t want my labor to stall. However, I felt somewhat out of control this go around and like I couldn’t relax. I voiced this feeling and Nancy encouraged me to get in so that I could relax. I got in and the first contraction I had, I felt like I had to push. My body was kind of doing it already. I said, “it’s too early for that!” I asked nancy and she asked if I wanted her to check and see how dialated I was. I was 8 cm, but where he was sitting made me feel like I had to push. She told me to do a modified push-up position in the tub for 2 contractions, and I would dialate more. That did the trick.
Somehow, I found myself squatting and pushing in the tub. I had a small push, and then a big push and his head was out. As his head was coming out, I thought, “isn’t it too early for this?” His head shot out, and with one more push, the rest of his body came out. He came out so fast, that he burst some blood vessels in his eyes. They were red for about 2.5 weeks.
The first thing I said was, “I’m so glad that is over!” I just really REALLY wanted him in my arms instead of my belly. Pregnancy is a beautiful miracle, but nothing beats having a warm snuggly baby to hold. So that was my prize.
Now that I have had about 3.5 weeks with this little man, it is safe to say that it will take a bit for me to get running again. I’m giving myself 8 weeks, at least. I’ve been walking, but recovery is slow this time around. I keep overdoing it, causing more bleeding. I try to take it easy, but apparently it’s not enough. 8 weeks is my magic number because I read a pelvic floor physical therapist suggest that, so that will be my baseline. I look forward to that day, though.