I don't really remember how much I shared about a birth plan or really much leading up to the day. I know I shared about gestational diabetes and maybe that Ezra was measuring fairly big - like 82nd to 85th percentile over several weeks leading up to my due date. At 32 weeks I began having weekly biophysical profiles to check size, lung development, fluid - all normal things, but all things that can be affected by diabetes. So, talking to my doctor, we decided that we would go the same route we went with my previous birth and induce labor when he was at full-term. I had already decided that I did want an epidural but wanted to avoid any oral pain medications prior to birth if I could. I know my body and I do not handle pain well. I tested Strep B positive and would need antibiotics during delivery. I was already 2cm dialated and having irregular Braxton Hicks fairly often. I was nervous of course, but knew we were ready. On top of it all, I was done being pregnant for weeks prior and just wanted the time to go by.
So, at 5:30AM Monday, September 29th we headed to the hospital, which is just a few blocks from our house, ready to have a baby.
I say ready, but really Ezra's birth felt so much more surreal than Jonah's. I couldn't seem to make myself be present. I was there. I knew what was happening. It was so similar to what I had done just 20 days shy of three years prior that it almost felt like I was reliving a different time. I just kept saying things like "I can't believe we are having a baby today" or "I feel like this isn't really happening." I knew it was, but it's hard to explain. It's like my brain had been so busy leading up to this day that I hadn't had time to just really think about what was happening.
Before 8am everything was rolling along. I was starting to feel contractions. I wasn't able to talk much they were coming fast, but still pretty irregular. By the time my mom got there I was already so uncomfortable, it was almost all we talked about. They hurt. They hurt more than I remember with Jonah. I kept forgetting to breathe, but I did and in between I was happy because I knew it meant we were moving along.
|side note: can we get one of those blanket warming drawers in our house? the best.|
My in laws came in the night before and stayed at our house with Jonah. I kept wanting him to come to get my mind off the pain, but I was also a little nervous about him seeing me in pain. Turned out I didn't have to worry about it because around the time he was coming, we had decided it was time for the epidural. I had already spoken with the anesthesiologist and gotten some questions and concerns out of the way. I was really feeling strong regular contractions at this point (around 10am). The nurse had offered me other medication while we waited for epidural but I'd chosen to wait.
Anesthesiology came fairly quickly and started the process for the epidural. The worst part of it is them having you sit on the side of the bed and a strong contraction coming while they are telling me to bend over and pushing on my back. It doesn't take that long but with both labors now I wound up in serious stressfilled tears. After it was done I had some issues with blood pressure. It was just dropping a little so I had to get flat on back for a while - which I worried would then slow labor down. It took what seemed like forever to feel better but it eventually evened out and I was able to relax. Family came in and visited for a while which was good for my mood. Jonah was so excited when he came in. We'd talked about this day and the anticipation was so exciting for him.
I'm a little blurry on the timing here but after visiting a while MeMe decided it was time for her and Jonah to go get lunch. Wesley asked if he could go get something to eat after they left and I just wasn't sure and I told him to get someone to bring him something, but I don't think he ever got lunch. I just didn't feel like he should leave. I was right. I'm not sure when it started happened before or after jonah left but the nurse came in to adjust the monitor for my contactions. I was still feeling them but wasn't in pain. I could look down at my abdomen and see it rise up and tighten with each one, however, from the nurses station it looked like I hadn't had one in a while. A second nurse came in and adjusted the monitor and they finally started picking them up again. I hadn't even thought about look at the monitor because I was comfortable and knew they were still coming pretty regularly.
After another amount of time I'm not sure about (withing 30 minutes or so) my OB came in and there was some hushed talking - seemed like some concern and the nurse had put me on my side because they were seeing some early dips in the baby's heart rate - which I think is more common if you are further along. So, according to the monitors I wasn't having contractions and his heart rate was dipping. The doctor checked me and said I was at about 5cm (I don't remember the effacement, etc) so I was quite discouraged. She also put a monitor on the baby's head to get a more accurate heart rate. I stayed sitting up but turned to the side and everything was fine. As soon as everyone left though, I broke, I was so emotional. I was slightly worried about his heart rate dropping and just nervous in general but I think it was just a sign that things were happening and he was coming!
Then within the next half hour everything just progressed really quickly. During my first labor (with jonah) the epidural seemed to really strong and I could really not tell when I was contracting, I couldn't feel him move down, but this time was totally different. I had actually had them turn it down when my bp was dropping and I felt short of breath shortly after they'd put it in. Needless to say, I was feeling a lot more. I could feel him drop (you know really strong in my booty). My nurse, Bradley, who was awesome by the way, kept telling me to call her if I felt the urge. She wasn't out of the room five minutes. Then she was alerting the nursery and getting things ready. Wesley called his mom to come back because they were still at lunch - it all happened so fast! With 45 minutes I dilated from 5 to 9+ and then 10 within the next half hour or so and by 1:54pm we had another baby boy!
Ezra Oliver was born.
I'm sharing these very intimate photos because I treasure them so much. I'm so thankful my mom was there to capture. I know when I see birth photography of other's births it always makes me cry. So much raw emotion in those few moments when you first lay eyes on your child.
As soon as he and I were cleaned up and checked out Wesley brought him back over to me and we soon transitioned to skin to skin. Then my dad brought Jonah in so that he could share in as much of this experience as possible.
Ezra Oliver was 8 pounds 14 ounces and all cheeks! He was 20 inches long and came out sucking on his fingers. We nursed within the first hour after birth and did pretty well. I wrote more about it in my breastfeeding post. He was so strong pushing his little head around and fell asleep on mommy while we all fell in love.
There's so much more to share about our newest little man and the struggles of my hospital stay, but the story of him coming into our world is perfect and complete. We now get to love him forever!
Read Jonah's birth story here.