Sunday, December 6, 2015
5:30AM - I awoke to slight contractions, similar to ones I had had on and off the past few days, so I tried not to get my hopes up.
6:30 - Zach woke up and asked how I was feeling.
"I don't think you're going to work today."
Still trying not to get my hopes up I got up to shower, shave my legs, blow dry my hair, apply makeup and see if those contractions stuck around.
9:00 - I started timing and keeping track. They didn't feel close enough yet, but as I started writing them down I realized it was getting close. I thought maybe it was because I was running around getting bags ready, eating breakfast and getting Anna dressed, so we sat down to watch 'Shaun the Sheep'.
10:30 - Kicking my feet up didn't slow the contractions. We loaded up the car and took Anna to my parent's house where I ate my last meal of toast, started feeling the hard contractions kick in, and said goodbye to our only child for the last time.
11:00 - We checked into the hospital with my birthing ball and my crumbling resolve to do it natural. I got my gown, peed in a cup, and had my cervix checked. 6 cm dilated. Yes! We were in and it wasn't a false alarm.
11:45 - I was hooked up to a drip line and because I was Strep B positive I needed four hours of antibiotics before Clyde came through the birth canal to make sure he wouldn't be exposed to any infection. The exercise ball wasn't making the knock-your-socks-off, back-arching, intensifying contractions go away. I knew there was no way I could live minute to minute, contraction to contraction for four more hours. Just knowing it could get worse was enough for me to summon the anesthesiologist as fast as possible.
2:00 - Good thing we got that epidural. I was fully dilated and 100 percent effaced. The only thing keeping Clyde in was the amniotic sac. My water still hadn't broken and thanks to the resisted urge to push, and epidural, I was able to stay relaxed enough to get Clyde his full four hours of antibiotics.
3:30 - The doctor and Clyde couldn't wait any longer. It was time to move things along. As Dr. Hutchison broke my water he placed bets with Zach and my mom about how many pushes it would take. He guessed four, so I had to one up him and guess three. I was still so numb I had no idea how I was going to be able to push hard enough. With Zach and a nurse holding my dead weight legs and Dr. Hutch coaching me through each push a little wrinkly, brown and curly haired head emerged. With his head out by the first contraction, the nurse asked if I wanted to see, it was too strange to see him half out and I opted to keep my head on the pillow and my eyes tight for pushing. The second contraction only required two light pushes to get him out. The total pushes? 5... five... F-I-V-E. And not a single stitch or tear.
3:45 - Zach cut the umbilical cord and Zachary Clyde Allen was officially born. I had a sweet lanolin coated baby in my arms and it was all too easy and so incredibly sweet. People commented after that it looked like I hadn't even broken a sweat, they were right. My body apparently knew what to do the second time around. Everything went fast and smooth. I was well rested and relaxed and so much more emotionally prepared for what was about to happen. I swore that Anna was a great and easy delivery, but this was 100x's easier than that! I keep telling people this is not the norm, don't expect this. I'm already worried that if I have another one I won't make it to the hospital in time. Clyde would have been born around 2:00, if not sooner, without that body numbing, time altering epidural.
I have read so many birthing stories that talk about the flood of love that came over them when they saw or held their baby for the first time. This has never been the case with me. Don't get me wrong, I love my children, but it didn't ever hit me like a ton of bricks at one specific point. That's not how love has ever worked for me. With Anna and Clyde it was a little spark that began to grow the moment I thought I might be pregnant and grew as they grew and giving birth was just the next stage of growth. Holding him for the first time was amazing. My eyes wanted to study him and find every bit of Zach and I. I just wanted to kiss every inch of him so he could know how loved and adored he was. Between Zach and I, I don't think he was ever not being held. He is one loved little guy.
While there is nothing more incredible and terrifying than holding your newborn, Anna paved the way and eased me into motherhood so that I could focus more on the joy and excitement and less on the innumerable fears you feel as a parent. Speaking of Anna, I was so excited to have her meet and get to know her little brother, and to be honest, I missed her. Now that Clyde was here I ached to be home with my little family. But because I had tested Strep B positive Clyde and I had to stay in the hospital for 48 hours to make sure he didn't have a fever spike. Thankfully that never happened and two poor nights of sleep and adoring visitors later we were able to take him home.