Monday, September 9, 2013

The Grand Finale: Baby Vegas' Birth Story

Baby Vegas has arrived!  Right now I'm enjoying a cool glass of water while Vegas is laying across my lap in a milk-induced coma.  He has a poopy diaper, but I am forgoing changing it so I can update you guys.  I am so generous right?  Maybe by the time I'm finished, Hubs will show up and change it for me!

I'm so excited to share Baby Vegas' birth story - he has completely changed the way I feel about laboring and delivery. The weeks leading up to his birth were so filled with anxiety and fear, the nights I had contractions would have me flashing back to Little Man's birth and being terrified of what was going to happen next.  After his birth I finally understand why women don't mind having more than one child... hahaha.

So it all started on August 17th - Baby Vegas' due date!!  Despite all my efforts and insistence that he might come early, nothing really happened til 9 AM on that Saturday.  I woke up feeling kind of "off" and having very mild contractions.  They stayed 10 or so minutes apart all morning and so I just enjoyed some trashy tv and relaxed in bed.  Hubs brought me breakfast in bed and I warned him that I was absolutely going to force out this baby today.  We called my mother-in-law over to watch Little Man at about 1:30 and my contractions were 7 minutes apart by then, so we sat around and chatted for a bit until we decided there was nothing much better to do than go to the hospital, ya know - just in case.  We figured they'd either check me and send me home, or maybe I'd be SUPER DILATED and just pop out a kidlet.  I was hoping for the latter but betting on the former.

Of course, I demanded we stop at WaWa for one last Slurpee just in case.  Oh, and we took the final belly shot photo, right on time!
40 Weeks and my dry-erase marker kicks the bucket.  Obviously time to give birth!!

So we got to the hospital at 3:00 and plodded over to L&D.  When she checked me out, I was only at 1 cm dilated (out of the necessary 10 cm, for the non-baby obsessed folk), but contractions were 5 minutes apart, and so I was told I needed to walk around the hall in the hopes that I would at least dilate to a 3 or 4 and be in active labor.  They gave me an hour and disappeared.  So Hubs and I walked.  And walked.  And walked.  L&D is a small area, so it got old pretty fast.  I debated getting into the whirlpool tub thing but the room was small and creepy.  Plus my contractions were starting to get a little more intense than they had been at home.  There was not another soul in the ward though, so it was a peaceful and quiet afternoon.

After an hour they came in to check me again and I was only dilated to 2 cm.  Dammit.  But my contractions were strong and still 5 minutes apart.  At this point I told the nurse I had no interest in going home and that I wanted to be admitted. (I know, ballsy right?!)  I told her that the contractions hurt enough that if I were at home, this is the point at which I'd be leaving to come back to the hospital to be checked again - so there was no point in leaving and coming back in an hour.  Luckily when she talked to my doctor they decided I could stay, but warned me that it would be a long boring night for me.  Whatever, I was going to have a baby!!!  So at 5 PM I text all the family and friends to alert them that I was IN LABOR getting admitted!  Then I sent Hubs to go get me some tacos before the doctor put me on an all liquid diet.  This would prove to be a terrible idea later, but was delicious at the time. Hubs was also terrified I'd give birth somehow while he was gone (a 20 minute trip in total), which had me cracking up.  Little Man's birth took 29 hours from when I was admitted to actually having him in my arms, so I wasn't really anticipating a rapid birth.

After our quick dinner, the contractions had picked up to the point where I was no longer enjoying them (you know, as a sign of impending baby) or able to shrug them off.  So they offered me stadol through my IV to take the edge off the pain.  I was eager for a little relief, but instead the stadol just made me feel insane.  I was giggling and crying in laughter, but then my thoughts were very fuzzy and disjointed.  I couldn't speak very well and then to top it all off - it didn't really do much for the pain at all.  Mostly what I remember of the stadol experience was how much I hated every minute of being on it.  I kept asking Hubs to remind me never to take it again.  Repeatedly.  And I begged the nurse to flush it out of me somehow.  She seemed skeptical of my intense dislike of the drug and tried to get me to "accept the feelings and not fight them" - but I couldn't ever get past that awful floaty and out-of-control feeling.

So then at around 7:30 PM they offered me an epidural.  Through the stadol haze I was in I tried to explain that I didn't want to get the epidural too early and slow down my labor.  I'm sure my slow speech and desperate attempts to keep eye contact despite the crazy feelings I was having really helped get my point across.  Anyways, the nurse assured me that an epidural would not slow me down, and besides - if I was planning to get one anyways, why not now?  No need to be in pain if I didn't have to be!  I was skeptical of her logic, having educated myself extensively through other people's birth stories and WebMD. But against my better judgement I told her to go ahead and call the anesthesiologist and let them know to come up "whenever".

All of a sudden during my next contraction I felt - and I swear I heard - a pop like a balloon bursting.  My water had broken (7:56 PM) and it took me completely by surprise.  With Little Man my water had slowly leaked for hours, but this time it happened all at once and felt so strange.  With the next contraction it felt like I got hit by a hammer.  They were coming harder and harder and I was gripping the rails of the bed each time trying to breathe through them.    It took another half hour for the anesthesiologist to show up and by then I was thanking my lucky stars that I hadn't waited like I thought I should...

Hubs held me and supported me through another contraction while I got the epidural.  The first attempt only took on my right side, so the anesthesiologist did some adjustments and then I had absolutely no feeling in my right leg and was numb in my left.  A couple bad contractions later and I was in heaven - I couldn't feel any pain at all.  Score!  I sat back and began to relax and then my family started showing up - my mother and sister arrived first, and then my mother-in-law.  They were all going to stay in the room during delivery, and then my best friend K and her boyfriend were going to be there in the waiting room (there was a limit on how many could be in the delivery room).  At some point, I started to feel very nauseous, and got some anti-nausea medication through my IV when my nurse noticed I looked a little green around the gills.  She scolded me a little for not talking to her about how I was feeling, because I'd been silently suffering through the nausea for over an hour.  That's when I finally started falling in love with my nurse - I seriously could not have made it through labor without her support.

Around 10:30 the nurse came in to check me since I'd had the epidural for two hours.  I was so busy chatting and enjoying time with the family I had dilated to 10 cm without even realizing it!  The nurse then suggested I was ready to push - but I didn't feel any pressure like I had with Little Man and didn't feel "ready".  So she just shrugged and told me she'd come back when I felt like pushing.  I remember sitting there feeling kind of shell-shocked - I just couldn't believe that any minute now I could be a mother of two and yet was still feeling pretty great!

At 11 PM I decided it was time to try pushing, even though I felt no pain and very minimal pressure.  I called the nurse into the room and we did two practice pushes along with my doctor (who I want to note, was the ONLY doctor in my 4 doctor practice that I hadn't met and was so nervous about going through labor with.) After the two painless pushes, both of them told me the baby was still very far up in the birth canal and it would be a long hard road of pushing if I kept at it.  Instead, they suggested I just wait around and see if he floated downstream a little before pushing.  I was all for putting off what I suspected would be a lot of pain, so they left and told me they'd come back in an hour or so.

At 11:30 I knew it was my last chance to try and convince Baby Vegas to be born on his due date.  Doctor G and the nurse came back in and we did two more pushes together before they informed me it was still a long road down the birth canal for Baby Vegas.  Sigh.  Off they went!

Then I just chatted for awhile with the family, dozed off a little here and there, and waited for Baby Vegas to get his bags together and start heading out.  His due date passed us by, and at one am the next morning I was finally feeling enough pressure that it seemed time to push!!

So the doctor and nurse came back in, and we started pushing.  My pushes were only effective about half the time, but they never made me feel like I was "failing" or being difficult - which was another huge difference from my previous labor experience.  The whole time the doctor just encouraged me through contractions but never tried to rush me through the process. My amazing nurse kept assuring me I was doing great and offering me anything I needed.  Hubs stayed at my left leg the entire time holding me and telling me he loved me (even when the nurse offered him a chair and I assured her he definitely did not need a break if I was not getting one!)  My right leg was alternately held by a nurse-in-training, my mom, and my little sister.

Eventually my nausea came back and I puked up those formerly delicious tacos. Ick.  But then I felt 100% better and was able to focus a little more on my pushes.  Unfortunately after an hour and a half of pushing I still hadn't made much progress.  I started getting worried then that my doctor would try to push me towards a c-section, which terrified me.  After every push I insisted there would be no need for a c-section, and bless that doctor's heart she just smiled and said that as long as the baby and I were doing well that there was no rush. And THAT is when I fell in love with my doctor.

Eventually my little guy started having tiny dips in his heart rate, and the nurse let me know that the cord might be wrapped around his neck.  That was the only moment where Hubs and I looked at each other with a little fear, but then she reassured me that everything would be alright and that the doctor would make sure he was okay.  At that point I joked to the doctor and nurses that every time they gave me an update on the baby they needed to end the sentence with "but everything is fine".  So they started doing that and it really helped out with a lot of my anxiety.

Finally at 3:15 AM the nurse suggested that we do a "tug-of-war" technique to help make my pushes more focused and effective.  She held one end of a bedsheet while I held a knot on the other end, then during my contractions I would tug on the knot as I pushed.  All of a sudden my pushes were moving him out - everyone started rushing around getting ready to welcome my little one into the world!   At 3:49 AM Baby Vegas finally arrived as my Hubs and my sister were both by my side.  The doctor immediately put him on my chest because we had decided to do delayed cord clamping (which means we waited until the umbilical cord stopped pulsing before cutting it) which was great because after that it was awhile before I got to hold him again.  Hubs bravely cut the cord, and then they took our little guy off to get cleaned up while I got repaired down below.  (All I will say about that is, that I fared much better than I did with my first birth.)

Baby Vegas was 8 lbs, 2 oz, and a shocking 22 inches long!  They had told us at his ultrasound that he was going to have hair - but holy moly, did he come out with hair!!!  We had our doctors and nurses check and double check everything about him, and he was 100% healthy and typical.  That amazing nurse stayed next to me for awhile while I urged the Hubs and family to stay with the baby, and she just kept assuring me of how wonderful and perfect he was in my ear, and it took everything I had not to dissolve into great big sobs.  I couldn't believe I had made this perfect little boy, that everything was going to be okay, that there was no great big hammer about to drop out from the sky and crush us.

Welcome to the world Baby Vegas - we've been waiting for you!
Check out that hair!!

And that folks, is how babies are born.  Or at least, this one baby, who has already become one of the most precious gifts I've ever received.  Which is why it has taken me three weeks to finish writing this post, because he has thrown us all into a whirlwind of falling in love with him, and being parents to two amazing little boys.  

My next few posts will be Baby Vegas-focused because I want to write about my post-partum recovery and how his first few days home have been... but then its all about Little Man again because we got the final date for his big IEP meeting!!!   Now that I've finished writing this monster of a post, hopefully I can crank these next updates out a little sooner!  


  1. <3 So happy to read this! Teared up a bit! So happy for you, Hubs, Little Man, and Vegas!!!