You may remember that when Emmarie was born, I wrote a post detailing the birth, as I knew at the time that I wouldn’t remember much of anything about it. It has amazed me how much “parental amnesia” I’ve had since then, forgetting nearly all of the sleepless nights, the ups and the downs of Emmarie’s early years. So it’s only fitting that I write a post about how Micah came into this world. It’s going to be shorter – first, because this was the second time and there’s a lot of similarities that don’t need to be repeated, but second, because it it simply was a shorter birth, as you’ll soon see.
Today’s news: 2nd ultrasound estimates he’s at 8 lbs. 14 oz….yikes! 8:43 PM – 25 Sep 12
We were about a week out from the due date and Alissa was ready to have this baby boy out. We had an ultrasound a few days prior to ensure the baby was going to be able to make his way out (E came early, and was much bigger than expected). I think both of us were hoping the ultrasound would show that he was really quite big and we’d have to go right into induced labor. Unfortunately, this was not the case. The ultrasound technician did say that he was a bit on the heavier side…all measurements were normal, except his abdomen was a larger, causing the weight to skew heavy. (We were okay with this – as long as the head was relatively normal, the rest is easy). He (the technician) doubted these results, but we found they were pretty much on the mark.
Still no idea when the arrival will be…due date Oct. 6, but based on E’s timeline, we would have been at the hospital by now. 8:43 PM – 25 Sep 12
Word from the doc yesterday is either we schedule C-Section or we wait. So, we wait. And make lasagna. 2:30 PM – 29 Sep 12
So by the time a week out rolled around, we were both hoping this baby would arrive. We passed the mark when Emmarie was born (“if this were Emmarie’s birth, you were in labor at this point” — in hindsight, probably not the best things to reflect on when you simply want to be done). I was also feeling the pressure of work, as if the baby did go to his due date, I would be out for three weeks, then returning to go straight into conference week- not exactly my cup of tea. But I had a plan – lasagna.
Making lasagne tonight. You may remember we ate homemade lasagna the night Alissa’s water broke for E. Coincidence? Time to test the theory. 2:32 PM – 29 Sep 12
If you remember from Emmarie’s birth, she came a week early. The night Alissa’s waters broke, I had made her lasagna. I don’t know why exactly we blamed the birth on the lasagna, but it seemed fitting. So, I decided to make lasagna again. We invited Alissa’s parents over for a tongue-in-cheek, “Oh ho ho, it worked last time, so of course it would work this time” lasagna dinner. (In truth, though we were hopeful, we realized it was a pretty superstitious and silly thing to do, but it gave us a bit of humor going into the final week).
Alissa just woke me to say her water broke. On phone to advice nurse. THE LASAGNA WORKS AGAIN! The odds of this happening twice are 1/144! 12:34 AM – 30 Sep 12
Now I don’t know what it was about that lasagna–there is no secret recipe, just the one off the box–but sure enough, I’m wakened from a sleepy stupor to hear Alissa say, “Mark, it worked!” I believe I replied with something like, “Are you kidding me??” You have to agree, this seems pretty coincidental, if not causally related. Not that we’ve decided whether we’re going to go for a third, but I would LOVE to test this hypothesis just one more time.
Alissa’s parents are on their way…heading to the hospital shortly. WE’RE HAVING A BABY BOY!! 1:21 AM – 30 Sep 12
As we had been through this once before, we knew there was no real rush to get to the hospital. I don’t remember the exact statistic, but it’s something like only one in ten women have their “bags of waters” break before arriving at the hospital – most of the labor is done at home, then finished at the hospital. This was why, when E was born, we were at the hospital so long before she was out – all the labor was done at the hospital. Needless to say, we weren’t frantically hurried like we were the first go around. We called Alissa’s parents, who were also in disbelief, and soon after they arrived, we headed to the hospital.
Admitted and having regular contractions about three mins. apart. IV is in after three attempts…phew! 3:56 AM – 30 Sep 12
For those who don’t know Alissa very well, she doesn’t like needles much. As in, she doesn’ t like needles at all. This caused a bit of trouble with Emmarie, as during the pitocin-induced labor, the IV infiltrated, and since it took three attempts to get it back in, we had to restart at square one with the pitocin administration. There were two strokes of good luck with Micah – 1. Despite that it again took three tries to get the IV placed, the IV never needed to be replaced after that, and 2. Alissa was having regular contractions, so a pitocin drip was not needed.
After wheeling Alissa into the room (there are only so many times you get to ride around the maternity ward in a bed, so why not?), we settled in and prepared for what we hoped would be a straightforward labor.
You’re probably wondering how Alissa is doing…she’s managing the pain well…counting to four about a hundred times now. 4:17 AM – 30 Sep 12
Alissa’s having regular contractions and resting in between, but it looks like this labor may be as long as E’s. Good news, no inducing. 6:15 AM – 30 Sep 12
Doing much better now…50 mg. fentanyl administered and the contractions have slowed a bit. Resting in between contractions. 6:20 AM – 30 Sep 12
On the exercise ball now. Some fog rolling in as sunrise approaches. A’s managing the pain well. New set of nurses for the day shift. 7:17 AM – 30 Sep 12
Within the first few hours, we were pretty sure this boy would take forever to come out. Around 4am, there was practically no dilation, but by the morning, the boy was showing a fair amount of progress. During this time, we utilized many of the techniques learned at birthing class, breath counting, hee-hee-hee-whoooo breathing, water, ice chips, rotating from side to side, some “doula hula” – the name just makes me smile, and the exercise ball. One thing we weren’t able to do this time that I quite enjoyed during E’s labor was being able to walk the halls. Providence only has a small number of telemetry (wireless) units…if I ever win the lottery (if I ever play the lottery), they’re getting a telemetry unit for every room.
After some touch-and-go contractions, she made it to 6 cm. – what a strong woman! Epidural placed and now we can rest…downhill from here. 9:16 AM – 30 Sep 12
Thus far, it probably sounds to you like this labor was a walk in the park for Alissa. Some breathing exercises, doula hula, bouncing on a ball…fun, right? I should note that she was in quite a bit of pain during these. At our birthing refresher class, the nurse had the moms try holding onto an ice cube for a few minutes, first with the breathing/focusing exercises, and then without them. The former – tolerable, while the latter – unbearable. To say Alissa was not in much pain would be quite the understatement, but she did such a good job at holding herself together, focusing on getting that baby boy out so we could finally meet him.
Alissa and I had discussed how we didn’t want to go the epidural route right away – once it’s placed, you’re stuck in bed (your lower half is temporarily paralyzed), and there’s a possibility it could slow the birth. We were crossing our fingers that there wouldn’t be a need for a c-section, as recovery from that would be more complicated. (After having my simple hernia surgery the summer previous, I knew I didn’t want her to have to have incisions if there was any way we could avoid it). Sure enough, Alissa made it to six centimeters, and we soon ordered the epidural to be administered/placed.
I don’t remember exactly when the doctor arrived, but with each measurement from here on, Micah was determined to get out. When the doctor said she’d be working on paperwork down the hall, we knew we weren’t going to have to wait much longer.
A similar scene shift occurred, as it had during Emmarie’s birthing: Alissa’s legs were put up, the bed “broken,” the kangaroo unit wheeled in, the doctor getting into sterile “I might get blood splattered all over me” clothes, preparing her tools…all very surreal thinking back to it, so routine yet so special – something big was about to happen.
Micah James BORN! 11:09 AM – 30 Sep 12
When Alissa began pushing, Micah’s head was soon apparent, though it didn’t look much like a head…more like folds and folds of skin. I remember asking the doctor if that really was a head or not, but sure enough, it was. After a paltry three rounds of pushing (one round per contraction), Micah was out, crying, and placed on Alissa’s chest. Seeing this baby boy come out, I felt a rush of emotion – the relief at being done, that he’s alive and safe, at the simple miracle of birth – this gift of a human given to us. It really is quite a gift – they come out as full human beings – no assembly required. As we consistently say with Emmarie, it’s as if we don’t know where she came from – she just appeared, perfect and whole, and now Micah as well.
I cut the cord and he was off to be measured, weighed, poked, and prodded, but all tests showed normal functioning – a sigh of relief. He was a BIG boy – bigger than his sister, but he felt so small as we were well used to carrying a toddler around.
Emmarie, grandma and grandpa came by later that afternoon, Emmarie overjoyed to meet her baby brother. She was a bit tentative at first, unfamiliar with the hospital setting, but soon warmed up and just wanted to hold “Baby Micah.” Micah gave Emmarie a doll, which she named, “Pinky,” and a “Big Sister” t-shirt, which she has already outgrown but still tries to wear.
That evening, a similar scene – the baby swaddled tightly, sleeping in the plastic bassinet next to Alissa, the quiet of the machines no longer beeping with pulse rates and contractions, the soft glow of the computer monitor giving just enough light to see around the room.
We felt much more confident about our parenting abilities this time, and were ready to leave the following day soon after lunch. We completed the exit paperwork, Doug helped us walk him out, and we headed on home.