Let me start off by saying that I have accomplished many things in my life, but having a second child has been the biggest accomplishment of my life so far. The entire process from trying to birthing a baby took 2 1/2 years. We learned many things in that time that we have grown from. Sorry if I am oversharing but hopefully this information can help someone else out in the future. Also, I was on medicine and dizzy for a couple days so this is what I remember and my own opinions. I don’t mean to offend anyone.
The last couple weeks of my pregnancy were difficult. Each morning I woke up and could not believe I had many weeks left until giving birth. Each day was getting harder. Then Sunday morning I woke up and it felt like I peed my self a little. So I went to my computer to google if it was my water breaking because I didn’t really think it was. Then on my walk back upstairs probably 16 oz of water released in my pants. I was so excited. Since only 15% of womans water breaks and mine broke last time I was surprised. My water broke last time too.
So I started to get myself together and realized that on Sunday we can not double check at the doctors office to go to the hospital but with that amount of liquid it was go time! I called some people and we got someone to watch our other daughter. My water broke at 6 am and we did not get to the hospital that is 40 minutes away until 8. So there was bunch of nervous throwing stuff in a bags before we even left the house.
Drive to Hospital
So as I said the hospital was 40 minutes away. The entire night I was having contractions but I was having the same type for about 3 weeks before so it was nothing new to me. But after my water broke they started to get harder. My husband was driving slower than normal because of what was happening on the highway but I wanted him to go faster :). The good thing is contractions only hurt during the contraction. The amount of hurting was only about 20 second and then 5 minutes off. But they definitely hurt way more than the contractions I was having for the past 3 weeks. We got there and got checked in. I was 4 centimeters dilated. Moving right along.
At 9 am they checked me into a room and I said I wanted to feel less pain. An epidural was the plan. First they gave me something in my IV for a while. Then they gave me the epidural. Since I was on the other medication I can’t really tell you exactly what happened with the epidural. But there was a student involved, and I was poked 3 times. I was told that a wet tap occurred or the covering of the spinal cord is punctured and fluid had leaks out.
At this point I started to push. I was 9 1/2 centimeters dilated. They told me I should only feel pressure but I felt was more than that. I did not feel the contractions but there was lots of pain down there. Way more pain then the last birth with an epidural. They told me to push and I did not want to because I did not want feel more pain then I was currently feeling per contraction. Obviously there was only one end to the pain, pushing more.
After about 40 minutes of pushing she was ready. They asked me if I wanted to feel the head and I did. It was soft and had a coating of hair and was a great experience. This gave me the momentum to push more. They laid her on my chest as soon as she was born. I noticed the thick umbilical cord still attached. Everything else came out beautifully and was cleaned up quickly. The was no ripping. My husband cut the cord. My sister showed up about 20 minutes before so she got to watch too. I was groggy from the medicine but remember enough of the experience.
They measured her at 21 1/2 inches and 8 pounds one ounce. For a baby that was that big and 11 days early it was big. They tested her for gestational diabetes and found nothing. I told them I wanted to be done with my pregnancy ;). Since I am only 5 feet, this is a big baby! 🙂 All the test came back great.
Close family came to visit. Then what we having been waiting for: my daughter got to meet her sister for the first time. She loved it. She was so happy and acted excited too. We think she almost cried from the emotions.
Since they had issues with the epidural they asked me to watch out for headaches. About 1-3% of people need one after an epidural. At this point I just gave birth. I was laying in bed with lots of pain killers. It was not until the next day around 2 that I realized that I did get headaches when I sat or stood up. I tried drinking caffeine at the advisement of a nurse but it did not help. It was difficult to tell if it was a real headache or a spinal headache. They told me I needed to get a blood patch.
Blood Patch #1
Here is what wikipedia say a blood patch is. I have never heard of this before. They basically go into your spine again, then take blood from your arm, and put that blood back into your spine. I was explained the treatment and it happened in my room. The nurse came in and was as nervous as I was. This scared me but it had to happen. Having headaches every time I stood up is not something you can have when starting to take care of a newborn and recover from giving birth. He did the procedure, I laid down for 2 hours and then when I sat up, no more headache! Since we had the procedure done, I stayed 1 more night then we were planning.
The next morning we were on our way home. I wanted to sleep in my own bed and nurse at home too. Breastfeeding was going as good as it could. There was many lactation consultants that gave me help at the hospital. I also had a facebook group of friends that have breastfed to vent and get help. We got home with my older daughter staying at her grandparents for the week and our dog at my sister in laws to an empty house. While in bed I realized that my headaches came back. I went to bed with a bad headache, a new baby being nursed at night, and pretty sore all over from giving birth.
Blood Patch #2
I woke up and realized that I needed another blood patch. There was only a 10ish% chance that I would need to get it again. We were not sure what number to call but finally found the right one. The good part was I did not feel the headaches laying down. So I laid as much as possible. How was I going to do this! Well we made an appointment at the pain center and they said to come in. With the headache I had to travel 40 minutes in a car with a new baby that I was exclusively nursing. We recruited a good friend to come with us to help with the baby if needed when we got there.
I tried to keep my head laying down during the car ride. The baby slept the entire way which made everyone happy. The pain center was very efficient, got my right in, assessed me, and the procedure was done again. This time it was done in a much more sterile room. They had me lay on my stomach this time and used an x ray on my back to help as a guide. As they pushed the blood into my back this time I felt way more pressure than the first time. My back was very sore after this one which made it difficult to sit up or lean back for a couple days. This made it more difficult to nurse. I taught my new baby to nurse only laying down for the past couple days as that was my only option with the increasing headaches. They had me lay down for a hour hour after it was done. I sat up and it worked. We then all celebrated with junk food from Sheetz and went home. The baby slept again on the way home. I feel very lucky that we made our first road trip without problems. It was late when we got home and a friend made us spaghetti dinner that was amazing after a long first day home with the baby.
Milk Coming In
The last pregnancy my milk came in and hurt almost more than labor. This time it came in but with the help of much more education, support, and a nipple shield I got though it. There is still way to much milk which makes it difficult to lay down, but I am told that soon this will go away. There were times again where I wanted to quit but it would hurt more if I did. I can’t pump much to make them hurt less when she is not feeding because then I will just produce more milk. But I am ready to get to a more comfortable point.
Day 2 and Beyond
As I write this we have been home for 5 days. There has been many aches and pains but I am getting though them slowly. Also emotions are high as the baby cluster fed the second and third nights home every hour. But the fourth night was much better. Every 2 1/2 hours. Even though I had some trouble after the birth the baby has been amazing.
Now that I am not in pain I am enjoying having a baby around again. I love to lay with her and feel her skin on mine. She is perfect. My daughter comes back today so we will add that challenge into the mix now. Having the time off while going though the small issues was very helpful. You never know what will happen.
While all this was going on my husband was cleaning the house, helping me get rest, and helping with food and grocery shopping. He was very helpful to make this last week go smoother.
Since I was progressing so well I wish I did not get the epidural. I just had it in the plan the entire time and could not imagine feeling the pain without it. Even though I had it the end of child birth was still very painful for me. Then I had 2 days of horrible painful headaches. These headaches made my body very tense which gave me horrible neck and back aches too. Then I had 2 more medical procedures done which were minimally painful but had some pain. But I realize you can not change the past and it was a decision that I made.
I can’t believe how big she is for how tiny I am. My body can do amazing things. I was sick for almost my entire pregnancy. Mostly nauseous and tired. But I also could not do the every day activities that I usually do because I was pregnant. I missed a wedding, a graduation, and a few other events. But now I can get back to enjoying life with 2 children. I can get to my after pregnancy to do list in a month or so :).
There were so many very helpful medical professionals that helped me though the past week. I feel sad that I don’t know their names but I am forever thankful for all of them. Most of them gave me reassurance, tips, and advice as I move forward. We were very lucky to make all of them in our lives as we start our family of four.
Also, the support of friends and family. Though food, watching our daughter and dog, and comment and prayers. We are very lucky to have such a support system.