Reader’s disgression: this is a birth story. Birth in general is pretty messy and graphic. If you are not into TMI, you should probably skip this post.
Just before 2:30am on August 3rd, I woke up from my sleep thinking I felt wet. I was half asleep and just rolled over and dozed for a few seconds before it hit me that maybe I should go to the bathroom to see if my water had broken. By the time I had gotten to the bathroom, I was pretty wet. No gush or pop like I felt when I had my water artificially broken in L&D with Sylas so I wasn’t really sure if it was that or if I peed myself. Once I sat down on the toilet I realized that it was indeed my water. So I changed my bottoms and put on an overnight pad. I woke Javier up and said “guess what babe?” He was so out of it, it was funny. Finally he fully woke up, soaked in what I had told him, and started to gather some things around. I called my mom and asked if they would like to come pick up Sylas. She immediately started shouting at my dad “he’s coming! It’s time!” I packed the rest of my necessities in my hospital bag that I had made a list of (the stuff that I use daily, toothbrush, hair products etc) while we waited for my parents to come. I was unsure if we should go to the hospital right away or if we should wait until I started having contractions. I didn’t want to be stuck there for several extra hours when I didn’t need to be, but I also didn’t want to wait too long and not make it. My parents arrived just past 3 and Sylas was fussy that he had been woken up so they sat for a few minutes while he calmed down. They got pulled over on the way and the officer gave them a warning when they explained that they were on their way to get my son so that we could go to the hospital. After my parents left, I called the OB ward and asked if I should come in and they told me to ASAP. My doctor’s wife is a nurse and she answered the phone. So I called my work and told them that I would not be in and they needed to call our backup person as I was scheduled to work by myself in my department that day. I also texted my replacement coworker to give her a heads up. Then texted a few friends and family that today is the day. We got to the hospital just before 4am and registered and went upstairs to OB. It took a good hour to get me all settled in and ready for the wait. My nurse (Drs wife) hooked me up to the monitors and started my IV. She did my questionnaire and by 5am my real contractions had started. They were not much different than my Braxton hicks but were definitely uncomfortable. Javier and I slept (or tried to anyway) for a while. My doctor came in around 7 and checked me. I was at 5cm but he said that the baby was posterior and slightly to the right so I had to lay on my side and got a bolus of fluids to help him turn to my back. He told me that he wasn’t going to guess a time just yet but “definitely today.” I was a little sad at his comment because I felt like he thought I would be there all day. By this point my contractions were getting stronger but not unbearable. I could not talk through them anymore but they weren’t so painful that I couldn’t stand it. It got to the point where it was painful to lay down so I decided to put the bed upright for a while. Javier held my hand through the contractions and I took deep breaths in and out trying to relax into the bed on the breath out. Once in a while they would come in pairs which was not so fun. It was like as soon as one had passed, I had another right after. The first of the pair was usually more mild than the second so I got into a groove when I could tell if I was going to have two or one based on the pain. The head OB nurse came in to check on me and helped me with breathing for a couple contractions and her tips made it easier. The fetal monitor was having a hard time picking up baby’s heartbeat because he was facing the wrong way and I was sitting up so it wouldn’t stay in place so my doctor came in and placed an internal monitor. That really sucked. It hurt worse than the contractions. I could feel his every move in there as he worked the probe to the right position through my cervix. I was yelling “ow” at him the whole time. I’m not a person to normally do that but it hurt so bad. I’m not sure what time that happened as I had lost track of time from trying to ride out the contractions. I tried to lay on my side again to get baby to roll over but it didn’t last long because the contractions hurt too much when I was laying down. So I sat back up and Javier held my hand as we waited. We got into a pattern and sat there for a while until I suddenly started having contractions that would peak and right as they did, I felt my body trying to push. It was a strange sensation. It was like my abs were pushing without me. I started contemplating an epidural at this point but fought myself. I had three contractions in a row like that before I called for the nurse because I felt like I was ready to push with them. She checked me and said “oh my!” The baby nurse walked in and my nurse told her to page my doctor ASAP. They scrambled around for a while and kept telling me to fight the urge to push. It hurt so bad to resist it and all I could do was groan loudly to get past it. The last contraction that passed before the doctor arrived was the hardest and I am sure the nurse thought he wasn’t going to make it because she told me again to resist and that “we’ve caught them before but he’s (dr) almost here.” She and the baby nurse discussed when he (dr) would be coming and the baby nurse said that he informed her he would be over “in a bit.” Which made them think that he wasn’t in a hurry like I was. As soon as he walked in the room I had just finished a contraction and he started to get his gloves and gown on. Just at 10am, my doctor was standing at the blue tarped table getting ready as I was having another contraction and I asked if it was okay if I pushed. He told me yes so I did and a huge amount of fluid came out all at once. He snapped a glove on and said “someone keep their eyes on the prize!” I think he saw that I meant business and was close to done. My nurse told him that she felt no cervix and then asked if he wanted her to take the bed apart or if there was time. He told her to go ahead. So with my feet in the stirrups I was ready. My doctors assistant tried to lay my bed down and I yelled at her to leave me sitting up as the pain was too intense laying down. I had some extreme pelvic pressure after the first contraction but my body decided to give me a couple minute break once everyone had settled into position. My doctor even mentioned that baby was giving me a rest. Soon enough the next contraction came and the nurse and assistant held my legs to my chest as I held Javier’s hand and one of my thighs. I pushed three times during that contraction while the nurses were coaching me to hold my breath and they counted to ten each time. i remember thinking at that point “why can’t they just cut me open, I want a c section!” Its totally true that just when you think you wont make it is when it almost over. With my previous delivery, I was pretty quiet, but this time in between contractions and just after a push, I yelled and moaned to get past the pelvic pressure. I remember chanting over and over “ow, okay okay” and then breathing out through pursed lips. It wasn’t long after that I had the last contraction and pushed three more times. With this contraction the pelvic pressure was immense and I felt him move down my birth canal with the first push. The second push I felt him crown and the dreaded ring of fire. My doctor was pulling me open to help me not to tear which was painful (but effective). TMI my clitoris was on FIRE as his head emerged. I didn’t want him to move back in so as soon as my ten count was up, I took a deep breath in and pushed one last time. It was so fast that his head came out and his body followed quickly after without another push at 10:14am. They handed him to me and rubbed his back to get him to cry. His cord was very short and I remember it rubbing on my clitoris as we waited for the placenta which was painful. The doctor told the nurses to be careful as they were cleaning him because they were pulling on the cord. He told me that the cord was nearly done pulsating and gave Javier the scissors. He then told me that it was time for the afterbirth and just like that, it was all over. I cried as I held him in my arms. After a while, his nurse came over and asked if I was ready for her to take him to the bassinet to do his weighing and footprints. As Javier was taking pictures of them doing that, I felt extremely tired so I closed my eyes and the nurses cleaned up the room. The doctor told me that I did wonderfully , did not tear and had minimal bleeding, shook my hand and told me he would stop by later to check in on us. The nurse put the bed back together and got me situated again. I got to hold Ivan again and Javier and I relaxed and dozed as I did skin to skin and breastfed him for the first time. We passed him back and forth for the next several hours and called our family and friends. I talked to Sylas after he had seen a photo I sent to my parents and all he could talk about was his baby brother. I cried after getting off the phone with him because It finally hit me that we had a baby. After the tortuously long wait, we finally had our rainbow baby, the calm after the storm had finally come.
Between 2 and 3 pm we moved to the postpartum room and my family came to meet Ivan. Sylas immediately crawled into my bed and started pointing out all of his tiny body parts “Ivan have ears, him have feet.” I helped him to hold his baby brother for the first time and took pictures. They left to go eat while I nurses him and showered. They came back and we gave Sylas his gift from Ivan (a wooden train set) which he fell in love with. We passed the baby and spent the evening talking about who he looked like.