Let's do a quick summary of those lovely 9 months leading up to it. Puking and nausea, check! Then I got bronchitis so any good cough gave me 30 seconds or less to hoof it to a trash can. I have now added Pita Jungle, grocery bags while driving, and my own hands to the list of places I've vomited. Awesome! Then I coughed so hard I damaged my rib. Throwing up with a cracked rib is exactly as much fun as you'd expect. Especially when they don't let you take Ibuprofen or the good steroids for your bronchitis. But they will give you a Z-pack. And then make you take another course of antibiotics for your asymptomatic Strep B in your pee, because apparently the Z-pack won't cut it and they want to destroy any normalcy in your GI track forever. Fast forward and the puking ends at about 19 weeks, but the rib take a solid 10 weeks to be pain-free during my exercise classes. And it healed up just in time for me to get diagnoses with placenta previa and put on exercise restriction. Thankfully the placenta moved up after a month but a month without breaking a sweat had me going batty. I got cleared for exercise and then it was time for the glucose test! I had tested my blood sugar on my own after a few sugar-induced headaches so I already knew that I was diabetic again. One of the pluses of a 3rd round was that my doc just let me epically fail the 1 hour and called it good. No need to find a sitter so I can suffer through a fasting 3 hour awfulness. Just a few months of pricking my finger 4 times a day and overthinking every piece of food consumed, but that was old hat. The fun this round was trying to figure out how to not drop into the low 60s during spin class and be able to eat something right after without throwing it up.
Blah, blah, blah get to the BIRTH!
But see these details are important so I can remember that I really dislike being pregnant and so you can all give me sympathy! I DEMAND YOUR PITY! No really, it is to explain the series of events. Like how I had an awesome high tech ultrasound 4 weeks before my due date because of the diabetes and showed baby at a perfect 50 percentile weight. HA diabetes! HA! I will continue to eat my 19g of carb ice cream bar for night snack without protein and only feel marginally guilty. And then how at 37.5 weeks my doc refused to strip my membranes because baby had "weak little white boy lungs" and she didn't want to give him any nudge out and risk breathing troubles. But she promised to do it the next week and guaranteed that I would have the baby right after.
Then I got my next 38ish week ultrasound and baby had jumped up to 85 percentile and was measuring 8lbs 13oz. I felt like a diabetic failure and tried to figure out what I had done wrong in the last 4 weeks. Exercise makes your sugar jump before it drops, did baby drink all that sugar up? I was still testing and the numbers were good and I wasn't cheating THAT much (but totally cheating), and a 9 pound baby?! Ugg!
So I was prepped for my next appointment two days later to strip the membranes and have a baby. I was 3cm and 90% effaced so I was pretty confident it was going to kick things into gear! Ends up my doc wasn't there, just her NP student because my doc had delivered 7 babies in 24 hrs and was still at the hospital. The NP wouldn't even check me because she was afraid that might send me into labor and my doc would be ticked. She did promise I could come in the next morning and my doc would see me to get things going, even though she didn't usually set appointments for Friday.
Next morning rolls around and I get a call from the office an hour before my appointment. It is now 10 babies delivered in 36 hours and Doc is at home sleeping. Since I'm going to have a 9 pound baby though and DIABETES!, they set me up for an induction 18 hours later at 3am.
BOOOOOO! I remember REALLY not wanting an induction with baby #2. I was going to do a million hippy labor inducing things like acupuncture and herbs and what not to avoid it, but it didn't seem worth the effort when I only had 18 hours to do them in.
Time for a photo break. I have lots of cute pictures from the hospital but that requires access to the majority of my earthly possesions and I won't have those for two more weeks. So cell phone shots it is!
Back to the story. Called at 11pm like instructed to make sure they aren't full. Hospital has room but says call back at 2am just to make sure. Who needs sleep before having a baby? Things still look good so we roll in at 3am and I'm so ready to have them just break my water and get things going because 8hours of pitocin did nothing for me with my first induction. I'm a veteran this time, I'm ready to speak up and negotiate to get what I want.
It's 4:30am before I am even in a room set up with an IV. Now I'm remembering why I did not want to be induced. I like efficiency and having to relate every medical history detail along with redundant blood tests for STDs just irritates me. And then they won't even start me on pitocin for 4 HOURS! I was going to convince them to break my water after an hour of pitocin and instead I have to lay around with cords running everywhere for 4 hours because months ago I had a high amounts of a normal bacteria and need two bags of antibiotics before the baby is born. Oh and the best antibiotic for it is going to make your whole arm burn, that same burn as when you run icy numb fingers being run under warm water.
I was angry.
Mostly emotional pregnant woman angry. The kind where the thinking part of you knows there isn't a good reason to be angry but the emotional part of you just says, "Screw you logic brain! Screw everyone. I hate all the things!" Not sure how we passed the time, but after around 3 hours the next nurse told me how getting the two bags of antibiotics before delivery meant that the baby could go home after 24hrs. Without it, they have to watch the baby 48 hours. That little tidbit would have pacified Angry Pregnant Woman into Irritated and Uncomfortable Pregnant Woman.
Bored yet? I was. Eventually pitocin came and then my doctor came and did break my water, I didn't even need to negotiate. Then the contractions start kicking in for realsies and I had to play the game of Epidural Timing. It's when you want to be far enough along that your labor isn't going to stall with the epidural but soon enough that you aren't screaming in pain before it kicks in. You also have to factor in that you don't have any control and birth could stall out regardless or the epidural could not give you relief at all. And it takes about 45 minutes for the doc to come and get it all set up so you have to guess what your pain is going to be like 45 minutes from now.
Folks, I've had a birth no drugs. I don't remember even crying anytime through the whole experience, but pitocin contractions are a different beast and the tears started falling just before the blessed drugs kicked in. It took more work to get it in the right spot compared to my first epidrual experience and that cold nerve pain is not pleasant as they dig around to place it, but SO WORTH IT! The anesthesiologist said, "I started you out on medium to low, but you are tall so we can really go to town if you want to. You press this button if you start to feel any pain."
Then Angry Pregnant Woman disappeared and Happy Rainbow Sunshine took her place.
I could still move my legs but no pain and I took a lovely nap. I lost feeling in my left leg but gained so much calm and patience. they bolstered the leg and I happily relaxed on my side for another few hours. I think 3 hours passed when I started to feel some discomfort. After conferring with my husband for several minutes on whether or not to call the nurse or press the epidural button we decided to go ahead and do both. Then a quick check to confirm it is time to get the baby out, and my doctor is there are ready. I have a latex sensitivity and the gloves without it irritate my doctor's skin so she says we are going to do this fast so she can get the gloves off faster. I'm very happy with that plan and Merrick comes out after on the second set of pushes.
I feel a little bad because the first words he hears from me are, "His scrotum is huge!" Seriously though, he was competing with his 3 year old brother. It's a pity pictures would be terribly inappropriate because, dude. My doctor said he didn't look like a diabetic baby at all. He wasn't fat or big-bellied, but he was dense and she was interested to see how much he ended up weighing (8lbs 10oz for the record. 21.5in long) He had an apgar of 9 and was instantly trying to eat his hand.
They cleaned him up a bit and handed him right to me.He latched on and fed like a champ for 20 minutes. It was so strange because the crew cleaned up and then just left us to enjoy our new addition for almost 2 hours. No weighing or bath or eye goop, just mom, dad and baby enjoying some peace. And we didn't even have to ask for it, it was simply given. I like this new protocol when there is a healthy baby and mom.
They eventually came back and did all the hullabaloo and sent us off to recovery. I only had one little stitch, but I forgot recovery is always a beast. That spot where the blessed epidural was put in ached for a week (still worth it). Everything hurts and nonexistent ab muscles make moving around on the terrible hospital bed difficult. We sent a picture of M3 to my amazing mum who was watching the other kids and J just couldn't stop saying, "He's so cute!" over and over. She has adored him from day one and hasn't stopped. M wasn't particularly interested in the baby (still isn't) but he hasn't had any animosity towards him either.
M3 decided to start off his life of comparison to his siblings by being a perfect child. He does this thing where he is awake and not crying. The other two never did it so it's strange to see. He just lays there and looks at the world. Don't get me wrong, newborns as still a TON of work to keep fed and clean of poop and are difficult, but this kid is a breeze compared to the first two. He started sleeping a solid 4 hour chunk after about a month and usually goes back to sleep after eating. He has this really low pitched mewing cry that breaks my heart because he uses it judiciously. I counted down the days until I could let my first two kids cry it out for sleep, but this little guy might never have to because I'm a sucker. He smiled at 7 weeks and continues to make all of us smile too.
A big thanks goes out to all the people who brought us dinner, helped me get my house ready to sell 2 weeks postpartum, helped us with the blessing, and helped us with moving. It's been a whirlwind but a wonderful one.