((Sorry it’s been so long, my gals! 😬 As you can probably deduce, I’ve been a little busy these past several weeks. ☺😊🤱
I took some time to adjust to two under two life, and then I let things get away from me. But I’m going to do my best to get back into a weekly/bi-weekly schedule, and I have lots of content planned, so stay tuned!))
😊💘 So, my husband and I had an eventful Valentine’s Day! 💝☺️
💚 Meet Michael Antonio! He was born February 14th at 7:07am after a 7 hour labor and delivery.
⚖📏 He was born at 39 weeks and 5 days gestational age, and was a healthy 9lb 2oz and 21.5 inches at birth.
He’s been such a darling baby so far. 🥰🥰🥰 He’s been sleeping 6-7 hours solid at night since he was almost 4 weeks old! 💤💭🙏🏼 I’m still not getting much sleep, though, as I’m getting up in the middle of the night to pump milk at least once, and of course, doing periodical breathing checks. 😅😅😨
So let me give you the details. It was pretty intense!
At about 38 weeks, I was starting to get very, very uncomfortable. 😣 And honestly a little surprised and disappointed that Mikey had not made his appearance yet. I’ve heard that second babies come sooner than first babies (although of course everyone is different), and was hoping that I would have been able to meet our second son sooner rather than later.
So once I hit 39 weeks, I decided to try out the old induction tricks and wives tales. 💁🏻♀️
We had Chipotle for dinner pretty much every night, with extra hot sauce. 🌯🔥😋 I was drinking and eating pineapple like it was my job. 🍍🍹 I did lunges and squats every second I got. 🏋🏻♀️🏋🏻♀️🏋🏻♀️ I followed a few “Baby Mama Dance” videos, and Just Danced as often as possible 💃🏻👯♀️ And finally I tried spending some more “alone time” with the husband. 😘😝😅
But nothing seemed to be working. I know you can’t expect these things to work right away, but I was starting to get frustrated. Because with every passing day I was getting more and more miserable. 😩😫
Which brings us to the day before Valentine’s Day. My husband brought me a red velvet cake with our nightly burrito bowl dinner to lift my spirits. I emotional-ate half of it. I got really tired at around 9pm and decided to go up to bed.
❗️Around quarter to midnight, I was woken up by a violent cramp. 😵😵😵
At this point, I had been having some pretty intense braxton hicks for a few weeks, so I assumed it was just more of that. I rolled over and went back to sleep.
‼️Next thing I knew, I was getting woken up every 15 minutes with more of these wrenching menstrual cramp pains.
This felt all too familiar…
“You should probably stay home today,” I said to my husband as he came into our room around 1am (he had fallen asleep on the couch after I went to bed).
🤩”Baby time??” My husband jested.
🤐”Maybe.” I said. I didn’t want to jinx anything.
As it turns out, I didn’t have to worry about that!
I made a few errors in my timing, but this is more or less how things progressed.
⏱From this point on, it was hard to get any more sleep, because every 10 minutes I was in searing pain. Within that hour, I was getting contractions every 5 minutes or less!
A little after 2am my husband called my Mother In Law, and then the OB on call. At this point, I was doubling over every few minutes, but managing to breathe through it each time. 😵😤
💩💩I also felt like I had to go to the bathroom for about half an hour at this point, but was afraid to. 😅😅 I know needing to push can feel like the same thing, and I was paranoid about delivering my baby at home in the bathroom. 🚽👶🏼😨
I mean, we were literally a 60 second drive from the hospital, so I figured I’d wait to go there in case the worst happened.
🚙💨 My in-laws arrived at about 2:45, and I waited out another contraction before we got into the car. We made the one minute commute across the street to the emergency entrance of the hospital. I got out of the car to the receptionist as my husband parked the car and got our bags. 👜🧳
👋🏻 “Hi, I need labor and delivery, please.” 💅🏻 I asked the kind gentleman at the desk as composed as I could. He seemed puzzled at my outwardly calm appearance, but believe me, I was in agony on the inside. 💀💀💀 He got me a wheelchair and we were on our way!
We were admitted at about 3am. I met my first nurse and she began my intake (people think it’s hard to answer questions at the dentist, try being interviewed while in the throes of back labor 😵😵) and then she proceeded to “check” me. 👈👈😂
“Hmmm, I can’t seem to find it…” I remember her saying (I apologize, some details might get a little fuzzy).
😱😱😱”What?” I asked. Can’t find it. What did that mean? Was I not dilated?? That couldn’t be, I thought.
“Let me get someone else,” she said, leaving me in a silent panic. After a little while, she brought in another nurse who proceeded to jam what felt like her entire fist into my business. 👊✊ I felt like a calving cow. 🐮🐄🤠
Now at this exact moment, not only did I have to take a huge post-chipotle dump 💩💩💩 (sorry if this is tmi…but this is a labor and delivery story so… 🤷🏻♀️), but I was also contracting and having back labor, all while this woman’s entire forearm was pressing against my internal organs. It was literally the worst thing I’ve felt in my life. 😰😰
🏳️ “I need the epidural this time!” I blurted out. My plan was to go natural this time, like I had before (with minimal use of gas and air). But honestly, in that moment I felt if it was going to continue like this, and I possibly wasn’t even dilated enough (or at all??), I wasn’t sure I could go another several hours of that every 2 minutes.
After they were done with their torturous examination, I decided to try to go to the bathroom, 💩💩 and I felt worlds better afterwards. 😌🙏🏼 The contractions themselves automatically became much more bearable. However, I was still getting the terrible back pain. 😓 The doctor came up shortly after this to check me herself.
I remember the nurse saying that sometimes the baby’s head can be positioned in such a way that makes it difficult to find the cervix, for some reason? 🤷🏻♀️🤷🏻♀️ I was hoping this would be the case, as I was going to be upset if it turned out I wasn’t dilating, or something crazy. I did not want to get sent home after all of this.
“Well, the reason we weren’t finding it was because there is no cervix.” The doctor said, matter-of-factly.
She looked at me and smiled gently. “We’re at 10cm.”
🤯 “Oh.” I said, breathing a sigh of relief, while at the same time feeling a wave of shock run through me. Within 3 hours I had gone from “When is this baby coming??” to “He’s basically already here!”
💉 Not long after the doctor had finished, the anesthesiologist had showed up with his equipment. Even though the doctor had told me I would be pushing much sooner than later, I looked at the epidural longingly.
Although I was so close, the doctor said I still had the option of taking the epidural, and my back was killing me. It was worse than it was during my first labor, which was the only thing that made me consider it at the time.
Getting an epidural was a bizarre experience. It was very uncomfortable, a little squicky, but not super painful. It just felt like a couple of bee-stings in my back, which is what I’ve been told it felt like before. 🐝 And compared to what else I had been feeling, that night wasn’t bad at all. 👌
Truth be told, it was worse on my husband than on me. 😅😅
After a minute or two, I was able to relax a little bit. At the same time, though, I was shaking, which made me feel a little anxious. 😧😧
Things kind of slowed down from here. For the next hour, I took time to try and settle my nerves, joking around with my husband and the nurses.
Then at 5:30/6, the doctor came in to help speed things up. She broke my water, 💦and mentioned that she saw some meconium, or baby’s first poop (lot of poop talk in this post lol sorry 💩😂). This meant that NICU would have to evaluate Mikey before we could have skin-to-skin time.
I looked at the doctor in horror, I didn’t want anyone to take my baby from me so soon! 😰😰😰 Thankfully, she reassured me that he wouldn’t leave the room, and that staff from NICU would come to us to check him out and they’d have him on my chest as soon as they could. 🙏🏼😌
And then it was time to get down to business 💪💪💪
I had a hard time getting him down and out. I had to go more or less by vague pressure and indication from the doctors to push.
💉 After half an hour, the doctor said she would have to give me Pitocin and turn down my epidural to help give me something to “push against.” I wanted to avoid Pitocin if possible, as I’ve heard the contractions from it can be unbearable, but at this point I just wanted him out and safe. 💯
For some reason I continued to have a bit of a hard time getting him out. The doctor, nurse, and my husband swear I was doing great, but it felt like a struggle! 😣😣 But I continued to push as hard as I could, and then…
💘My Valentine’s Baby👶🏼
It felt like another hour, but soon enough there he was! 😍😭😍 My second baby❤️
I saw them take him to the warmer as a swarm of NICU staff surrounded him to check his vitals. After a couple brief moments, he was on my chest. 🥰🥰🥰
Apparently he got stuck at the shoulder while pushing, and the doctor had to reach inside me and assist him out, which is part of what held things up for a while.
But I didn’t care. Whatever it took. He was here. The best Valentine’s Day gift ever. 💘💝💖🙏🏼💚🤱🏻
🌱Pros And Cons: Natural Vs. Epidural💉
So how did this labor compare to my last?
As I mentioned with my first labor and delivery (btw if you read this please forgive the formatting…still haven’t gotten to fix it 😓), it started out with dull period-cramps. The only thing that clued me in that it was the real deal was their consistency. And then, things very gradually progressed from there. I feel like I had time to get used to the pain and get through it with little to no problem (until that back pain at the end 😖😖).
Whereas this one felt like I went from zero to 100 within mere hours. 😵😵
🚶🏻♀️To put it into perspective, it was like going from a walk to a jog to a run with Vinny and a full on sprint right out of the gate with Mikey. 🏃🏻♀️
So now that I’ve experienced a natural birth and a birth with epidural, here are my personal pro’s and cons:
💉Pros Of Having An Epidural👍
- Pain relief, obviously 😅🙏🏼
- It gave me time to relax and center myself and really take things in 🧘🏻♀️
- It gave me the opportunity to maybe get some more sleep which would mean more stamina 💤
- It allowed me the center of mind to text loved ones 🤳
💉Cons Of Having An Epidural👎
- In my case, I feel like it slowed things down. I couldn’t feel my contractions all of the way, which I think took away the “urgency,” if you will, and I think it inhibited my ability to push effectively. I think I might have been able to push and have him born sooner, had I not gotten the epidural. 🕛🕞🕒
- I couldn’t stop shaking–anesthetics and analgesics can make people shaky, and I felt very shaky while under the epidural, which I think amped up my anxiety a bit 😬
- Because I didn’t have feeling in my lower half, I couldn’t get up and move around to speed things up or use a tub or birthing ball for pain relief and anxiety, and I was trapped in bed, needing help to shift positions 😑
- I wasn’t able to squat, which was part of my initial birth plan. Squatting helps gravity assist in getting the baby out, and is actually how it’s supposed to happen, but obviously it was not an option if I couldn’t feel my legs. 🤷🏻♀️
- I now have constant back pain. It’s ironic the reason I got the epidural in the first place was because of back labor, because now I have back pain because of the epidural. 🤦🏻♀️ It’s a common side-effect, and it doesn’t happen to everyone. Eventually I think it does go away (at least I hope it does!!!), but even as I write this, the site where I got the epidural aches, and occasionally the left side of my back will go numb around the site. Laying on my back is also very uncomfortable still, and standing for long periods of time bothers it as well. ☹️
🌱Pros Of Having A Natural Birth👍
- You can move around! Because you can feel your legs, you can move around, change positions, get into a tub, etc to relieve pain and anxiety and move things along. 💃🏻
- You can feel everything, so you know what to push against. 💪
- Less possibility of back pain from epidural site. 😌
- Less possibility of feeling shaky from pain medication, just from nerves if you tend to shake when anxious or in pain. 😌😌
- Bragging rights 😂
🌱Cons Of Having A Natural Birth👎
- You can feel everything, and it’s painful 😕 If you’re someone with a high pain tolerance, and if you’ve had extreme menstrual cramps, it might not be so bad, though! My labor the first time felt exactly like really bad periods I used to have, and so did this one, aside from the perfect storm of pain I’d had upon admission. 💀
- Anxiety–pain can heighten feelings of anxiousness and possibly cause you to doubt yourself, but trust me, you can do it! 💪
So, given these pros and cons, what would I do again? It depends.
I think I would prefer to go natural again, when/if we have another baby. I feel there are fewer cons to a natural birth than one with an epidural.
For me personally, giving birth naturally was an empowering experience. But, I’m not against getting an epidural again, either. I guess it depends on the size and placement of my next baby.
🌳Because Mikey was a big baby, and because of his position in my pelvis, it was more difficult for me than last time. And because of how quickly things progressed, I think it seemed even more painful.
So if this type of situation happens again, I might opt for the epidural. 💉👍
Of course they also say that each subsequent labor goes a little faster, so next time I just hope to have enough time to make it to the hospital! 😂😂😬🙏🏼
So that’s my story this time, and I hope I can offer some insight to any expecting Mamas who are debating natural vs. epidural.
I say ultimately, go in there expecting the unexpected. If you’re set on going natural, go for it! But, if things change and you feel you need an epidural to get through, don’t feel bad! I still feel it was worth it, even though without it I could have shaved an hour or so off my whole labor and delivery time, and my back probably wouldn’t hurt so much rn. 😓😓
Here are some pictures to bring you up to speed! 😊😊
🤰🏻How have all of your labors been different? What are your biggest birth fears? Any other words of wisdom for expecting ftm’s I might’ve left out? Leave them all in the comments! 💬
Thanks for reading, my gals! 😘😘
👀If you’re new here, and this content or any of my upcoming content interests you, make sure you add your email and follow so you don’t miss any updates! 😁😁 And if you’re already following, thank you and bless your heart and soul! 🙏🏼🥰🤗
📋 Upcoming Content: My (Stay-At-Home) Mom Guilt, My Son’s “Home-Nursery-School Curriculum,” and Two Vs. One: How To Survive 2 Under 2