He’s Here! Part 1

Baby Boy #2, currently nicknamed “Bean” or “Beanie”, made his appearance on October 14th, 2010, at 11:08pm. He was 7 lb 6 oz, and 20 in long.

2 hrs old

I’ve been wanting to write this post for weeks, but it’s hard to put my precious bundle down for anything other than caring for my two-year-old or taking a nap. Or maybe a shower. They’re both few and far between these days. 🙂 I have gotten better about putting him down when he sleeps, though, so I can actually get stuff done. Currently, Beanie is taking a morning nap and Pie is distracted by Elmo in Grouchland on Netflix Streaming. I’ll probably get halfway into this post before Beanie wakes up again. Thus, “Part 1”.

MORNING, OCT 14 2010

We left Pie with my parents the night before, so all we had to do that morning was throw stuff in the car and head to the hospital to begin . . . duh-duh-DUUUUH! . . . Induction.

I slept moderately well, but I did wake up once or twice to pray that labor would start up on its own during the night, or that the induction would go smoothly and I wouldn’t have to get a C-section in the end, that the midwife would be helpful and fight for my choices, that the nursing staff would be awesome, that the baby would have no health difficulties, etc. I wanted another good birthing experience, but now that variables were being thrown into the mix, I was nervous.

Fortunately–aside from being at the hospital for many hours before anything even happened, mainly because I didn’t want Pitocin right away–I don’t think the experience could have gone more smoothly. 🙂

We checked in a minute or two after 8am. I donned an oh-so-dignified butt-(and-chest-)revealing delivery/nursing gown, got hooked up to the contraction and fetal heart monitors, and then the staff parade began. With the nurse who would be helping me came her nursing student. With the midwife came the midwife’s student and–I think–a student of the student, unless he was another nursing student . . . Navy Hospital is a teaching hospital, so not only are you a patient, you’re also a guinea pig! This isn’t always a bad thing, but it does mean there can be a lot of wasted time and no real long-term connection with staff or doctors (LOTS of turn-around as students graduate and people get transferred). It can also mean the occasional mistakes or less-than-efficient procedures.

For instance, just getting the heplock for the IV inserted took a painfully long time–emphasis on “painfully”. Though I can be hooked up to a blood donation bag, fill it, and walk out in about ten minutes, I apparently have a poor vein structure for getting stuff INto my blood. Didn’t help that my hands were cold, too. The nurse’s student, unfortunately, was too tentative and inexperienced to get it right on the first try. Or the second. Or the third. And I had decided to skip the lidocaine, thinking that it would just hurt worse than the IV insertion, anyway. I was a big girl; I could handle it!

Here’s a tip: If you have a nervous nursing student putting an IV in your hand, DON’T SKIP THE LIDOCAINE. In fact, if they have a hard time just finding a vein to insert the IV into, don’t skip the lidocaine. They may have to stick you more than once, and the less you feel, the better! Just take my word for it. It probably would have been more comfortable to get an epidural at that point . . .

I focused on listening to the baby’s heartbeat, or the midwives talking to me. I’m not afraid of needles, it just hurt like the dickens. The poor guy was just so intent on not hurting me that it hurt more the longer he took. Finally, another, more experienced nurse walked in and found a vein in my other hand, but had to insert a smaller gauge just to get it in right. This will return to haunt me later.

I was required to sit on the monitors for at least 20 minutes before I could get up and do . . . whatever. The midwives checked me–dilation to about 3cm, about 50-75% effaced (I think)–and then discussed options. I told them I wanted to leave Pitocin as a last resort. I’d heard stories of gals on a Pitocin drip for most of the day, never progressing until they had to up the dosage hours later. I’d heard other stories of labor stopping or becoming too intense, and the birth ending in an unwanted C-section . . . I wanted to avoid that, if possible. If my body could get labor going on its own, I’d rather work with that.

So, first option: Cytotec. It comes in a pill, which the midwives break into four pieces and insert a quarter of it into you to ripen the cervix and hopefully get things moving naturally after that. It at least gets you to a point where you can start using Pitocin, if nothing else. I’d heard something bad about that, too, but at the time I couldn’t remember what it was. The midwife seemed confident that it was safe and effective, so I just prayed she was right and nothing bad would happen. They ordered it, the pharmacy took their time getting it, and more time passed . . .

Beanie just woke up. Part 2 later!