A few hours after I wrote the last post in which I expected to have a c-section, Bud decided to change things up. I started having contractions and we decided to try to labor. The night was pretty intense and there were some tender and tough moments. By morning, I was pretty discouraged as I felt like I had worked really hard, but was not dilated very much. I was glad that the next doctor to take call was the person I had been seeing for prenatal care. We had a good discussion about options and the key phrase I remember was that I needed to commit fully to whatever path we chose because, in her experience, the patients who do the worse are those who waffle and feel bad about their choices. After hearing that, I realized that as much as I had wanted to have the experience of a vaginal birth, I was done with the process. I was exhausted and worn out. I was ready to be finished and meet our child. Partner and I talked things over; we were on the same page. The doctor came back and we shared our decision. We had one condition which was that Partner would announce whether Bud was a boy or girl to which they all agreed. I noticed that I did not feel afraid or ashamed or pressured into any decision. I felt supported, excited, and calm. The procedure went well and when I heard the baby cry, I felt relief and joy. The baby was held up for Partner and I to view. Partner smiled and said, "It's a boy!" He went to be with our son. I got reports from Partner across the room and found out that the new mister looks like his sister, was pretty affectionate as he held on to Partner's finger and refused to let go. Partner also laughed that the new mister took care of business right away by pooping and peeing as he was getting checked. His cry was not as ferocious as his sister's. When he came into my arms and we had skin to skin contact, I felt like I was holding my daughter again. The resemblance was strong, but the mister was asleep on me and did not seem to be too concerned with all of the noise and chaos around him. I was overwhelmed with love (again) and felt so lucky to be able to start the parenthood journey again.
The first day I do not remember much except that I was exhausted. In the recovery room, I kept going in and out of sleep. When Partner and the mister returned, I smiled at both of them and noticed that the baby was sleeping a lot as well. The staff told us that both the baby and I would be drowsy and more awake the next day. We tried to practice latching and skin to skin contact. I was really glad that all of the nurses seemed to be on board with supporting breast feeding.
In contrast to my previous experience, I was alone with the mister for most of my hospital stay. In those quiet hours, I felt like we got to know each other better. I wonder if my parenthood experience with him will be calmer and more peaceful, like these first days. My parents arrived into town a few hours after we were at the hospital and were taking care of the Little One. She was having a hard time without us, so Partner spent the nights at home with her. I missed the Little One a lot and was so excited to see her and introduce her to her brother. She came the day after he was born with my parents. When she came into the room, she gave me a big hug and saw the baby. We took some cute pictures. Then, she was excited to see what else was in the room. In those first moments of seeing both kids together, I realized that my baby girl is not a baby anymore and was surprised that I felt really emotional about the change.
Two things stick out that indicate I am more confident in my role as mister's mommy. On my last night at the hospital, I had sent the mister to the nursery after feeding, so that I could sleep for a few hours. Since I had a c-section, I was not able to get out of bed easily and had trouble lifting him without help. A nurse brought him back and told me in a very snotty tone that they could not keep him because he was crying too much and needed to eat. Our interaction really upset me. I fed again and waited until I was sure that mister was in a deep sleep, then sent him back. A few hours later two nurses returned and told me that he was crying and that they could give him formula to calm him. They then tried to convince me that it would not impact my breast feeding for him to have a bottle. I felt angry and upset; I said that I would keep him in the room and feed him. The night was hard as he kept eating, but we got through and both slept eventually. The next day, I spoke to the lactation consultant who came to visit and when I told her what happened, she said that was not what the staff was supposed to do and she was glad that I decided to try keeping him on the breast. Even though the encounters were upsetting, I felt like it was a good test of my confidence as a mom to a new baby.
When it was time to go home, I listened carefully to the instructions and felt excited. When we left the hospital with the Little One, both Partner and I felt scared and nervous. We both cried and worried about our ability to take care of her. Partner came to pick me up and was talking with the mister. He said that he was also happy to bring him home. When we left the hospital room and said goodbye to the staff, we held hands and smiled as we waited for the elevator. We laughed as we loaded him into the car and I felt the familiar nervousness of driving with a new baby. As pulled into the driveway, we both smiled and said to our new addition, "Welcome home. We are so happy that you are here."
We have had an eventful few days. Last night, I saw some blood when I went to use the restroom and had some abdominal pain. The doctor told me to put a pad on and watch to see if the flow increased. By the time I had gone to bed, the bleeding had stopped and I just assumed that my body was getting ready to welcome you. This morning, I was starting to feel some pain and noticed that the blood had returned. I called the doctor's office and they asked me to come in. I was nervous about driving because I was not sure if the pain would increase, so I asked Partner to come home and go with me. When we got to the doctor's office, we found out that my cervix was closed and that the blood was minimal. I went home with instructions to call if anything changed.
Partner and I decided to pick up lunch and I felt super exhausted after I ate. I wanted to get some groceries before your grandparents arrived and needed to have some energy when I picked up your big sister. I woke up from my nap and felt like my water broke. I groaned because I was not sure if it had really happened and was worn out from all the doctor visits. We called the doctor's office again and were instructed to go to the hospital for evaluation.
On the way to the hospital, I was feeling some pain and wondered if this meant that I would be able to deliver you vaginally. When we arrived, it was was confirmed that my water did break and that you are doing great. After more evaluations and discussions which felt inclusive, we decided to go with another c-section. I am nervous about another surgery, but in a better place mentally and more comfortable with our decision. We are so excited to welcome you to our family. I feel like I got some decent rest over the last few weeks and enjoyed the chance to nest. I hope that you have a safe journey into our lives and I look forward to meeting you!!
With the Little One, my water broke the day I was 38 weeks. (As an aside, reading that post still makes me cry) I did not have any time in this "any day now" zone. With her I had longed for more time as we needed to prepare the house and sort things out. With Bud, we got most of the essentials prepared. I am still contemplating making a labor mix and need to clean a few things, but overall we are more ready than before. I did not anticipate how uncomfortable I would be physically. I feel like I cannot really move without feeling a lot of pressure or pain or an awareness at how slowly I am going. My fatigue has also increased to the point where it is no long possible for me to run after the little one or fully participate in her imaginary games. We have been doing a lot of drawing, singing, and talking together which is good, but another shift in the relationship. I am also aware that these are our final moments as a family of three. It is hard for me to nap near here as I constantly move, but I was glad that we took a nap together today. When I woke up and saw her sweet face still asleep, I started crying.
I tried to explain to Partner that I was excited, but also nervous and sad about the changes ahead. How are all of us going to have family cuddle and nap time? He said that it will be different, but better. I had similar angst before the Little One arrived and I remembered a moment a few weeks after she was born where all three of us were in the bed together and I just felt such happiness. I should trust history that change can be challenging, but also awesome.
My parents arrive on the 10th. We have been half hoping that Bud will wait for them before making an entrance. I had some tension with them last time as I did not really know what to expect or how to articulate what I needed. I am hoping since there is less unknown with a newborn, that we will get along better. Plus, while I am ready in most ways for labor to begin, I would like to go see a movie with them before the baby arrives :)
Partner is scrambling to finish up his binder for tenure. I cannot believe that he is already up for tenure. He has to write statements related to his teaching, service, and research to submit along with supporting documents to his department and the college administration which make the case for why he should be tenured. I have never had as much confidence in anyone as I do him, but we both are nervous. The binder is due on the 15th and we are hoping that it will be finished before the new addition arrives.