Friday, October 20, 2017: Once Emsley was in bed and the later evening was upon us I found myself babbling to my hubby on the couch, telling him that I felt like this baby boy was never going to come. After having Emsley early at 38 weeks, it really messed with my head that our second babe should also come early. Despite having this feeling, I also sensed this little boy was going to cook longer than his big sis and I had predicted he would arrive during week 39. The Instagram world of mom’s shared their personal birth stores with me, informing me that their babies arrival dates varied, proving siblings didn’t always follow the same path weeks wise. Despite knowing all this and in the end not even making it to my due date, I found myself once again almost in denial that I was ever going to have this baby. The lead up had peaked for me around the start of 39 weeks and by the end of that week I was feeling deflated and discouraged. Almost feeling as though that belly of mine was there to stay for good, which was a terrifying thought since I was a whale and could barely eat, breathe or move anymore. Despite feeling physically ready and expecting him to arrive at any point, I secretly wished and was grateful that he hadn’t yet come. If you read my last post you’ll know that I was struggling with the acceptance of another babe. My “Emsley world” was a great world to be in and I was worried about how much baby brother’s arrival would affect her as well as our relationship. My maternity leave this time started at 39 weeks and because baby boy didn’t arrive before then, week 39 became Emsley and mommy’s week of fun. I focused on my one child whole heartedly, enjoyed my time with just her and dedicated each new day to her and her only. I am so incredibly grateful for that week. It really was unexpected to some extent but one hundred percent needed, valued and enjoyed.
Now back to October 20, 2017. I was sitting on the couch babbling about my emotions to my hubby, saying how I felt like this baby was never going to make his appearance. I had Braxton Hicks in bed one night around week 37 but when I got up to pee about twenty minutes into it, it went away. I also had period like cramping and a tiny bit of spotting the previous Saturday (at 39 weeks) on the day I was actually in a wedding party for a good friend. I panicked that morning when it started around 10:30 am, thinking I wouldn’t be making it to the wedding, but in the end the cramping stopped around 6:00 pm, just in time for dinner. On the 20th of October, I had felt nothing. My husband decided it was a good night to start working on the drywall above our new fireplace. He chipped away at that project while I watched, snacked and babbled my inner emotions.
That night we went to bed around 11:00 pm, which was about an hour later than we had been going to bed. I woke up at 2:15 am on the morning of October 21, needing to go pee. I had been peeing on average about 3 times a night. First around 12:00 am, second around 2:00 am and the third time around 4:30 am, before waking up at 6:00 am with Emsley for the day. This had been consistent in the last couple weeks of the pregnancy, so this pee wake up call was not surprising. About an hour later at 3:15 am, I woke up again. This pee break was a bit more surprising to me as it seemed too soon to be going again, considering I hadn’t drank anything right before bed. I got up anyways and went to pee, and as I did I felt a slight period like cramp and noticed a tad bit of spotting on the toilet paper. I ignored the spotting, as I had had that same amount on the previous Saturday which had disappointingly led to nothing. I went back to my bed and lay there for almost 15 minutes, during which I experienced two more period like cramps. Those two cramps were much more intense than the first one, but were tolerable and felt like the worst day of a period. Since I was uncomfortable, I decided to go to the bathroom again to see if a different bodily function was upsetting my stomach. When I wiped, I saw a large amount of blood on my toilet paper. I had had excessive bleeding during Emsley’s labour and birth so I was instantly clued in. I calmly walked to my husband’s side of the bed, tapped him on the arm and said “I think it’s time”. He sprung up fairly quick, all things considering. He isn’t usually a fast one to wake up and if you read Emsley’s birth story, he did not act as fast with her as he did not take me seriously that time around. Since I had already “cried wolf” the previous Saturday in this pregnancy, I was sort of surprised at how fast he reacted. He asked if we needed to leave right then and I told him that I didn’t think so. The pain was quite tolerable so I decided I would shower and get ready for the day. I asked him to call my mom to tell her to come over to watch Emsley. He called her and she was completely ready and prepared for the call, answering the phone by saying, “Is it time?!”. Her and her partner made their way to our house almost instantly while I hopped into the shower. While showering, I realized I should probably eat something as I remembered how hungry I was after Emsley’s birth. I popped my head out of the shower and directed my hubby to call my mom again and ask her to pick up Tim Horton’s on the way to our place. Not knowing how hungry I’d be, I requested both a bagel and a muffin.
After showering, I put on some makeup and fixed my hair, after all I didn’t know if I would be labouring all day and wanted to look my best. 😛 My mom and her partner arrived at our place just after 4:00 am, while I was getting dressed. It was then that I decided to time my contractions and found out that they were already under five minutes apart. I grabbed my purse, a banana (I eat a lot!), my bagel and my muffin, while my husband packed the car with our hospital bag. Just before we left, I explained a few things to my mom. It was at that moment, as I was explaining things that the pain really started to increase. I remember standing by my kitchen island, leaning on it and lifting myself up on my tippy toes as a contraction came on. I quickly went for one last bathroom break and hopped into the car by 4:15 am. During the car ride I was wincing in pain, clutching the seat and lifting myself off of it. My hubby was petrified that I was going to have this baby in the car and clearly out of enjoyment as well, asked if he should go through the red lights. Contractions were now about 3 minutes apart on average. After experiencing a contraction that had more pressure of baby down there, I agreed to him running the reds. Since it was a weekend at 4:15 am, the roads were thankfully mostly empty. I did however tell him to be careful because I knew if we got pulled over it would delay us even further, and I couldn’t risk or even think about that during these contractions. We arrived in the emergency parking lot at 4:35 am and I quickly led my hubby into the building. I skipped over the regular emergency department as I had learnt my lesson from Emsley’s labour and birth (they do not tend to your needs and you do not get red carpet wheel chair service as I had previously expected). I somewhat hobbled my way through contractions to the main elevator but when I arrived outside the elevator doors, I couldn’t remember what floor L&D was on. I turned around to head to the help desk but as I did, a random older man sitting on a bench right outside the elevator almost instantly chimed in saying “3rd floor”. He was either a mind reader or my large belly and minor face grimacing while standing on my tippy toes were obvious signs I was in labour. Not sure if he hangs out there solely to direct distressed pregnant women to their final destinations or if he just happened to be there that night doing his own thing and noticed little ole me lost and in pain. Either way, I was grateful.
I entered labour and delivery triage around 4:40 am. No one was ahead of me in line and overall the triage department was quiet, which I was thankful for. I chose to stand while filling out the forms and once again, raised myself up onto my tippy toes as the contractions came on. I informed the two staff members that my last labour and delivery was fast and furious and that once I started bleeding to this level it meant the baby was coming. They appeared to listen, but didn’t really acknowledge or react to my comments. After the paperwork was complete, I asked for one last pee break to which the nurse agreed but laughingly said “only pee, no baby please”. I don’t think she knew how accurate that joke could have been… After the pee, I got placed in the same L&D triage bed as I had been put in with Emsley. I waited for the nurse to come back and check me, to see how far I was dilated. Between contractions she first measured my blood pressure and baby’s heart rate. Similar to Emsley’s pregnancy, they had difficulty monitoring his heart as I am informed that my babes move into position fast and therefore are easily “lost” as they shift around. A few contractions later and the nurse checked how far I was dilated. Her reaction was similar to the nurse’s reaction I had when I was in labour with Emsley. She said, “Wow! I think you’re fully dilated?! I don’t feel your cervix at all. You know your body well! Let me go call for a bed.” My hubby and I then heard her on the phone, just past the curtain, “I need a bed now please… No I don’t have time to talk right now, we need a bed ASAP. Get the doctor on call and get a nurse down here.”. Once again, I was asked if I could walk to my L&D room or move myself into a wheelchair. Knowing what I knew from Emsley’s pregnancy, it was probably best I didn’t get out of the stretcher as I had begun to push with her while in the hallway being wheeled into a delivery room. I politely told the nurse that I would prefer to not move from the stretcher so she did her best to maneuver me down the hall to my room. I was wheeled into the same L&D room I had with Emsley at 5:03 am. The nursing staff asked me to sit up on the stretcher so I could move myself onto a delivery bed. As I did that, another nurse hooked up the blood pressure cuff to me. The doctor entered at this point and told me she would break my water right after my blood pressure was taken and we would get that baby out. I told the nurse measuring my blood pressure that she would have to wait as I was feeling another contraction come on. It was during that contraction, at 5:06 am while sitting on the edge of the bed that I felt my first urge to push. I quickly told the staff and they encouraged me to lay down. I pushed a little despite not being in a birthing position as the pain was great and the pushing is the only thing that makes it feel better. It was during that push and in that moment that my water broke right underneath me. I lay down and attempted to push again but it was as though I had never done this before. I felt panicked and confused as to what I was supposed to do. Apparently my body wasn’t remembering what it had done last time and I couldn’t remember what had previously felt right. I lost any attempt of moving that baby during that contraction completely. On the next one I asked for guidance and got my game face on. The team of nurses with Emsley were like a little cheerleading squad, telling me what to do and how to do it. This team was much more calm and relaxed. They really let me guide myself which was nice but also left me slightly lost. By the second round of pushing, the team clued in that I wasn’t doing it right and coached me a bit which really helped. The doctor asked me to wait during the pushes to let my body catch up, I’m guessing in hopes of preventing tearing, but that burning ring of fire dominated. The third round of pushing and he was out, at 5:15 am. Only 40 minutes after I entered the hospital, and two hours after I had been woken up with cramps. He was completely opposite of his sister, his skin was splotchy and was red in colour, just like his dad’s instead of yellow in colour like his mom and sister. He looked filled out and his cheeks and lips were so big. He weighed in just over two pounds more than Emsley did at 8 lbs 4 oz and was much longer at 21 inches in length. His hair was a lighter than Emsley’s dark brown hair at birth and instead was a light brown colour. His eyebrows/eye lashes are an even lighter shade than his hair in a blonde tone and his eyes were a dark bluish grey colour. My predictions from my last post might be somewhat accurate as he appeared to be much calmer at birth. He let out a cry like he should when he entered the world but not nearly to the extent of his sister. He was placed on my chest and once again my husband and I stared at each other in disbelief. He was here. We were now proud parents of a little girl, and a little boy.
In triage just before I got wheeled into a birthing room.
Skin to skin.First selfie of the three of us.Traditional post birthing pepperoni pizza.All tucked into bed.
Ready to go home! But first, our traditional on the bench photo before daddy pulls up the car.