Thursday, April 18, 2013

and then i [finally] wasn't pregnant anymore


It's amazing to me (now that I'm over the hurdle, anyway), how quickly one can change from being miserably huge and pregnant to overjoyed and so full of love for a new little person. After being in labor for weeks, trying everything I could to make labor progress and failing in my attempts, I felt so awful, not able to eat or sleep anymore, that my favorite midwife, Joy said at my impromptu appointment, "I just think you'll feel so much better if you can have this baby." So after not too long talking to her about induction and Jon and I talking together, everything fell into place for little boy number 2 to come to us that very day, 3 weeks ago yesterday. 

We headed from the midwife's office over to the hospital next door where I checked in as the second labor and delivery patient for the day. The nurse got us settled into our room and inserted the IV to start pitocin around 4:30 pm. For the next two hours, even as the drug increased, my contractions felt so minimal that I knew I really had been in labor for at least a month. Add that to being pregnant 3 weeks longer than I was with Emory, and I felt justified in my misery. At 6:30 pm Joy came in to break my water, and I moved to the birthing ball from where for the next hour and a half, I watched Alias with Jon by my side or behind me, rubbing my back as my contractions increased. Around 8 pm I moved to the shower/tub where I used warm water on my abdomen and counter pressure on my back from a loving husband to make it through the next almost two hours. When I finally moved back to the bed to be checked, Joy told me I could push, and I felt so relieved that my body worked so quickly this time (thank goodness for zumba and being in such god shape) --even more relieved that after maybe 10 pushes she said she could see his head and it would just take a couple more to birth him and meet our second little boy. 

He came out pink and perfect, 8 pounds even and 19 1/4 inches long, with a head of dark hair, and I couldn't get over how much more I loved this birth experience than my last. The extra 3 weeks of pregnancy feel worth every bit, knowing I got a good 2 1/2 hours of skin to skin time after birth, followed by breastfeeding, and our little boy stayed with us in our room the entire time. Sharing those few quiet hours of bonding with this baby has created a lasting effect that I didn't know I missed so much with Emory. (Of course I felt bonded with him as well, but it's truly amazing to feel how well Penn and I know each other based on the closeness we had). I feel so great after giving birth that I get a surge of energy, and that energy kept me awake, listening to Jon's snores and baby's breathing, trying to imagine his name. We couldn't pinpoint the reason, but he really didn't look like a Jude, and we had no other ideas we could agree on at that point. 

The following morning we learned the full moon invited a packed L/D unit, so the staff us to a different floor for the rest of the day. My mom and sisters came for a visit, and Kendal and Amber stayed a while to help us find a name for the little guy. When Kendal suggested Penn, she referenced tennis, but I remembered that it was one of the only names I liked when we searched boy name lists months before. So Jon chose Emory's first name and I chose his middle name; I chose Penn's first name (with Kendal's help), and Jon chose his middle name. The rest of the day remained pretty relaxed--Jon Sr., Joy, and Nanny brought Emory, and despite the little man's apprehensions, he warmed up to Penn quickly and loved his little brother from the beginning. We fell in and out of sleep throughout the afternoon, shared the last of my room service, and my mom and Kenny came back to help for our discharge from the hospital around 5 or 5:30 pm. We left ready to go home with our new babe and rejoin with Emory.

We always had such fond feelings for the hospital where Emory was born, mostly due to the wonderful care he received in the NICU. I now have the same feelings towards Providence in Everett, but this time it's thanks to such a positive experience all throughout my pregnancy, as well as labor, delivery, and recovery. I love my midwife Joy, and so appreciate my nurse, Lisa as well. During labor, they helped keep the room peaceful and comfortable, with just the right amount of sense of humor. I'm almost sad to not be pregnant any longer, just to not get to visit with the midwives any more. Driving to Everett now means more than going to visit my family--it means going back to where Penn came to us for the first time. 


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