If you don’t follow me on Instagram, you may not know I had a baby a week and a half ago. While this blog is not a parenting blog and I don’t have any intention of making it one, I thought I’d share my son’s birth story here today. As I was savoring all the details of the day, I realized how little I could remember from the birth of my first son and realized if I wanted to remember I’d need to write it down. If you are a friend or a family member (or just someone who loves birth stories) this post may be intriguing to you, so read on. If you are someone who only comes here for home decor ideas, I promise to return to our regular programming soon!
April 24, 2014 was a beautiful day. It had been rainy off and on all week, but on that Thursday the rain had let up and the sun peaked out from behind the clouds. The rhododendron in my backyard had huge buds on it, but none of them had yet to bloom. I remember looking outside my window and thinking what a beautiful day it would be to have my baby.
My due date was April 28th, but on the 24th I had a persistent feeling that I was going to go into labor. All week I had been “wrapping up loose ends” and getting the final things ready for the baby. I had a doctor’s appointment that morning and sure enough, she said I was already dilated 4-5 centimeters.
When I came home from the doctor’s office, a package from Diapers.com was waiting with a few last things I needed before the baby arrived. My parents came over that afternoon to play with my 2-year-old son and I was able to finish some last minute details around the house. As they were leaving, I started to make dinner and soon after they left I realized I was feeling some pretty regular contractions.
I had been experiencing Braxton Hicks contractions for weeks, so it took me a while to be sure that these were the real deal. By 5:20pm I called my husband and told him I was in labor and that he needed to come home ASAP. Soon after I called my parents and asked them to come back to our house to look after our son while we went to the hospital.
While I was waiting for everyone to get home, I finished making dinner. When my husband walked in the door, I asked him to take over the cooking and I went to get my hospital bag and make sure everything was ready. There was a load of laundry to fold and by the time I was finished with that, my parents had arrived.
By the time we made it to the hospital it was about 6:30pm. My doctor was already there with some other patients. I knew she was on call that evening and expected she would be there. It took a while for them to find me a room and get me on the monitor. They put me on the monitor for 20 minutes and by a little after 7pm they had a good reading of my contractions.
I was a little concerned that no one had checked my cervix to see how far I had dilated, so I asked someone to check. I felt like I was pretty far along and should be in a delivery room by then. I was already at 9cm, so they promptly grabbed a wheelchair and moved me to the delivery room.
The pain level was pretty excruciating when I reached the delivery room and I let out a loud cry that had my doctor running down the hall. They asked if I was ready to push and I said it was time to get the baby out of me! The nurse and my doctor coached me through the pushing and although it seemed like forever, my son was born by 7:45pm. His head was sideways, so it took a little extra pushing to get him out, but it was ten fold easier than pushing out my first.
The nurse put him directly on my chest after birth and it was the most amazing feeling to hold him so soon. My first son was in the birth canal for two hours and had to be examined by a pediatrician immediately after birth, so I wasn’t able to hold him for a short time after delivery.
Having the second baby without an epidural was like night and day from my first birth (which I did have an epidural). For me, the pain of actually pushing the baby out was the same (if not easier, the second time around) and the recovery process was much, much easier without all of the added drugs.
During my first delivery, I was attached to IVs and catheters and I felt like a tortured animal. I was on a number of drugs post delivery and I didn’t feel like myself for days after. With my natural delivery, I had no IV or catheter and the only drugs I was given for recovery was ibuprofen. I felt human.
We stayed in the hospital for a day and a half, checking out on Saturday morning. The nursing staff was amazing and offered just the right amount of assistance. Our new baby was nursing well and slept an incredible amount the first night.
Friday morning, my husband brought over our older son to meet his new brother. He had picked out a gift for his new baby brother and was so excited that he was opening it for him as he walked through the door. He couldn’t wait to see him and touch him and even smell him.
I was blown away with how loving my oldest son was towards his new baby brother and has been in the days since his birth. The amount of affection he shows for our new family member is overwhelming and brings me to tears just thinking about it. I know they won’t always be so sweet towards each other, but I am savoring the moments when they are.My parents and mother-in-law came to the hospital shortly after to see their new grandson. It was nice to have so many people around. We are lucky to have our parents live so close and they did a great job helping out with our older son while we were in the hospital.
I had a wonderful birth experience, but not all women are so lucky. As I mentioned in my last post, every 90 seconds a woman dies from pregnancy complications and 90% of those deaths are preventable. The non-profit organization Every Mother Counts works to reduce this horrifying statistic and to bring maternal health resources to areas that need it most.
One way you can help this organization is to download the free app Charity Miles which finds sponsors who will donate money every time you walk, run or bike. You can become a sponsored athlete and earn money for Every Mother Counts just by logging the cardio you do everyday.
I can’t wait to start earning money for miles once I can return to a regular exercise routine. For now I’ll have to earn walking. Could there be an easier way to help women in need?
I’m so glad ALT Summit introduced me to this wonderful organization.
#Alt Summit believes every mother counts