I spent Tuesday morning doing housework and weeding the vegetable garden in hopes that I would somehow jump-start labor. After my shower and lunch I started having contractions and by 2pm they were painful enough and close enough that I started thinking about calling Derek. At 3pm I gave in and called him and told him that he needed to come home so we could head to the hospital. His dad came over to watch Addison and we left for the hospital. We checked in to L&D at 4pm and the nurses hooked me up to the monitors to check my contractions and see how baby was handling everything. My contractions slowed down a bit once we got there [go figure, my uterus NEVER wants to behave] and Derek and I started talking about how we most certainly about to get sent home. I was dilated to 1cm and 60% effaced which wasn't much of a change from my appointment last week. After a while the nurse came in and looked over the print-out from the monitor. She wasn't impressed with the contractions [and neither were we] but she was concerned about Cohen's fetal monitor strip. Each time I had a contraction, Cohen's heart rate would drop significantly. It wasn't the fact that it dropped that was concerning but WHEN it dropped [after the contraction instead of during it]. There is certain criteria that the fetal print-out has to meet in order for patients to be sent home and our information didn't meet the criteria to go home. The nurse said that the strip was 'concerning' but not 'worrysome' which, of course, left me worrying like crazy. They called Dr. H to see what he thought about the situation and he came over to the hospital to talk with us and do an ultrasound to see if he could figure out what was going on. The ultrasound didn't help us much - we couldn't see where the cord was [and the suspicion was that it was pinned between his skull and my pelvis] but we did see that Cohen was not nearly as active as he normally was and seemed to be staying in a 'sleep cycle' despite being poke, prodded, and having loud noises played up against my tummy. Dr. H explained that while he didn't feel like we needed to deliver right that moment but that baby was definitely sending the message that he wanted out sooner rather than later and that meant inducing my labor right away.
|The infamous 'strip' that started it all...|
Cohen Jeffrey Tweedy was born at 11:20am on Wednesday, April 25th 2012. He weighed 6 lbs. 14 oz [EXACTLY the same weight as his sister] and was 20 inches long.
|Our first seconds as new parents...|
|He's giving the nurse the side-eye for taking his vitals...|
|All bundled up...|
|My new little man...|
|Sleeping like a baby...|
|He looks too little to be in this giant car seat!!|
|Getting ready to head home...|
Delivery is hard... I don't think that is any big surprise. However, delivering Cohen was significantly more difficult that delivering Addison, despite them being the same size. It took me almost twice as long to push him out and I feel like the aftermath of his birth was harder on my body this time around. I'm almost 100% convinced that my tailbone is severely bruised and I wouldn't be surprised at all if someone told me it was actually broken - the pain that I feel every time I sit down or bend over is excruciating. Add to that the joy of an episiotomy and you can imagine that my girl parts have seen better days. One thing that was much different with Cohen is that after delivery I was totally unable to pee due to the massive swelling. When Dr came to check on me I was sitting on the potty crying because I was in such pain from trying to pee. He sent for a nurse to re-insert a catheter and drain my bladder. Placing the catheter was almost as painful as the contractions I was feeling after Dr broke my water - it was horrible. Once they got it in, they drained 1600 ml of pee out of my bladder (FYI - that's almost a 2 liter)... the nurse said that with that amount of fluid my bladder had been the size of a newborn. No wonder it hurt like hell! The catheter was left in overnight and ended up being a lifesaver. When they removed it the next morning I was able to pee without any pain (hallelujah!).
The only thing that we left behind at the hospital that made me sad was the nurses. We were blessed (again) to have some of the most wonderful nurses that I've ever met. Some were new to us - Christa, Becky, Jamie, and Pat... and one was dear to our hearts from when we had Addison - Carla. They made the difference in everything - from finding out that things weren't ideal with Cohen's vitals and the stress and tears that followed that, to the painful contractions, and right on through delivery.
I'm just thankful that, despite all the challenges of this pregnancy and birth, this little man is healthy, happy, and sweeter than we ever could have hoped for... Now my new challenge will be to learn how to be a parent of two little munchkins =] I'm sure there will never be a dull moment...