This seemed like a particularly important part of my life, so below you’ll find the Birth Stories of both Biggest and Littlest. They’re 23 months apart, and the lights of my life (even when they’re driving me nuts).
The Birth of Biggest.
I have to say, first of all, that it took over a year to get pregnant with Biggest, so when I found out, I was unbelievably excited. I was desperately hoping to have a boy, and try as I might, I couldn’t look at girl stuff for more than 30 seconds without seeing something truck related and diverting my attention. I was fairly certain I knew what I was having, although I chose not to find out.
The day after my 39 week appointment, I was particularly crabby, particularly nesty, and particularly sore. So I did the only thing I could think of: I went for a walk. I walked and I walked and I walked. I kept getting cramps, but that didn’t really stop me, I was huffing and puffing anyway.
Around 8:00pm, I realized that they hadn’t gone away. I was playing Tetris with hubby, so I kept half an eye on the clock and played the night away. At least, until 11pm. By this point, I had somewhat realized that they were regular, and I’ll admit, I got a little excited. I went for another walk, this time with hubby, to see if they would go away or not. Note to self: newbie mistake. I got home, they hadn’t gone away, but I thought, I may as well get some sleep, it’ll be a while yet. And right as I laid down, they got painful. Now I was tired, and I’d only just started. So I sucked it up, called my mom and sister, and sat down to wait it out. By about 5:00, I was tired, I’d been in the shower a while, and my contractions, which is indeed what they were, had become completely sporadic and close together. So we called the hospital, and went in for a check. Nothing, I repeat, nothing had happened.
I was devastated. The nurse went to call my doctor, to give me something to help me sleep. While she was out in the hall on the phone… my water broke. True story. The nurse came back in, and started talking to me about what she was gonna give me, at which point, she realized it too. They decided to keep me, just to see how things progressed.
4cm in, and I was exhausted and in pain, this was about 10:00am. I had hoped for a natural birth, but I was aware that birth doesn’t always go the way you want it to, so I chose to go for medication. My hospital has a policy of epidurals only as a last resort, so they gave me a new drug. This one was out of your system every half hour, so they could repeat the dose right up until you were ready to push, without the usual problems associated with your newborn. I am happy to say I got some sleep. At least for a little while, I was so tired that I didn’t give them much indication that I was having a contraction; they thought my labour had stalled. So they got me to walk, slowly, down the hall with my mom, and they were always surprised that I’d had so many contractions during that time frame.
Around 2pm, I felt really ready to get the show on the road. They checked, and I was a 10! I was super excited, but they told us that it would probably be a few hours yet. I heard it and was like OH HELL NO! So they got me to do a few practice pushes. “Practice pushes” turned into “stop, you’re gonna tear!”. It only took 4.
Biggest was born 2:46pm, roughly 8 hours after my water broke, 7lbs 2oz, 20.5″, 39 weeks and 2 days. He had huge hands, and huge feet, and a huge nose. But he was beautiful, and he’s the sweetest kid I’ve ever met. Even at 2 1/2 years, with tantrums up the wall. He grew into all of the big features, although he currently wears a 4T. FYI: My doctor told me if I ever had other children, that I should get to the hospital right away. It was pretty short for a first time labour, and I firmly attribute it to too much walking.
The Birth of Littlest.
Littlest was one of those unexpected delights. I had always wanted the children 2 years apart, but as circumstance would have it, I wasn’t expecting anything near that. I was wrong. When we got Littlest’s due date, it was exactly one month before Biggest’s 2nd birthday. I chose again not to have the gender revealed, but I was fairly positive he would be a girl. I had always wanted one of each. Or so I thought… In retrospect, I knew. I totally knew. I tried to chalk it up to wishing Biggest was a little younger to fit those little boy sleepers again, but really, I knew.
The day I went into labour with Littlest, I had finally stopped caring. I had spent weeks of intense braxton hicks contractions, hospital visits, non-stress tests, and a really bad flu bug that left me in there overnight at 36 weeks. I was so much more uncomfortable than with Biggest, probably because your body’s kinda like “I did this once, I remember this, so let’s do all of it early as a little payback for having this happen the first time”. I tried everything to get him out. Pineapple juice, walking, the bedroom tango, you name it, I did it. Except for the actual medicinal stuff, because he wasn’t quite overdue yet, despite feeling like it. So this day, I said “screw it”. I went and had a benny at my favorite restaurant, had a walk, went for ice cream, even had take-out for dinner. I needed relaxation, so I got it. My doctor had said I was roughly a 2, but I’d been around there for a while, and she didn’t see me going into real labour right that day. She had already done a couple of membrane sweeps, and if I hadn’t had a baby in about 3 days, to come in again and she would do another one before discussing induction options. Note: I remember having a panic attack when I left the restaurant, as I had no idea what I was gonna bring to a restaurant besides trucks, if it was a girl.
Around 7pm, I did a little field research, and then had a bath. I’d been having a bath regularly for several days, as it helped take the braxton hicks away (or at least make them a little less regular, I’d already called wolf several times with the end result being tears and a fruitless hospital visit). Nothing helped. I was getting really crampy, and then decided I really had to pee. Story of my life. At which point, I thought my water had broken. I got my sister to call the hospital, since she was in the bathroom timing my contractions once again. They said I could come in for a check, but they figured I was calling in a panic, and I would likely be sent home.
I managed to make it to the hospital, but every bump in the road was agony, and so was every step. I thought to myself “if this is Braxton Hicks again, I’m going to reach up there and pull this baby out anyway.” We got there. Got up to the maternity floor. The nurse checked, while giving me those “uh huh, suuuuuuuure you’re in pain, yep, definitely in pain. You’ve only been having contractions for an hour and a half, you’ve got a ways to go yet!” kinda looks. She told me I was a 6. Yay! By this point, I was having lots of trouble talking, I couldn’t get comfortable, and I had second by second tunnel vision. She also told me she’d call the doctor, but that the doctor may or may not come down until later.
HA! She totally didn’t believe my hubby when he said I had fast labours. She moved me to the birthing room while she was waiting for the doctor. My doctor (I love her to death!) was there in 5 minutes. I kid you not. You should have seen the nurse’s face. My doc was awfully excited, and settled down to wait, while preparing the drug I’d gotten with Biggest. I was using gas to take the edge off until they could give me that, but they couldn’t give it to me until my blood pressure reading was stable. After a few unstable contractions, they suggest I do one without the gas in case that was the cause of the instability. It was, but I thought I was dying. True story. Finally I got some relief. Only a little bit though, as I was nearing the final stages at ludicrous speed. (Spaceballs reference for the win!). I was ready to push after another hour.
The nurse sauntered in, still disbelieving, my husband said the look on her face was once again priceless once she realized that I meant business, and that my first child had been born in 4 pushes and half an hour. Luckily my doctor expected this, and rather gleefully sat down to catch. 3 pushes later (they had given me a dose of the pain meds only 10 minutes earlier), and out he came.
Littlest was born at 10:42pm, 8lbs 1oz, 19.5″, 39 weeks and 5 days. He had corkscrewed on the way out, first faced to the right, then up, then to the left, so his face was a massive bruise, and we didn’t have a chance for hubby to cut his cord, but he was beautiful, and he’s happy all the time. He’s so much tinier than Biggest, it took him a full 7 months to outgrow his 3-6month clothing, but I figure he’ll end up about the same size.
And there you have it: Biggest and Littlest. With, of course, many thanks to their Daddy, and God, because without that particular combo, they wouldn’t exist.