Friday, October 10, 2014

After David Was Born

Okay, so I was a bit naughty and left you guys on kind of a cliffhanger. You'll have to forgive me. I'd just given birth earlier that day, remember. And then, instead of delivering the continued story the next day as I had promised, I didn't write anything on my blog for a heart-wrenching three days. You'll have to forgive me again. I did have a newborn and a toddler to tend to, and James has been going to work for at least a few hours every day since Wednesday. (I think maybe I will allow him to go back to work all day again on Monday.)

Right. So. Fixing that cliffhanger business. So.

After about two hours of labor, I pushed David out. They put him on my belly, and he started talking and complaining about his exit immediately. Seriously, really cute baby noises. He sounded like the cute baby dragon or baby dinosaur noises you hear on cartoons and movies.

I felt much better, and I felt far better than I had after, say, my labor with Amelia. I felt pretty good, actually. Except that those private bits between my legs were a bit upset. Don't get me wrong, though, it felt much better than the sensation of having a baby trying to get out from there. They just weren't happy again yet.

For those of you who read Amelia's birth story, you may recall that I got an epidural. This time I was completely unmedicated. I hadn't even had Tylenol or anything. Or even a warm bath for pain management (cough, James). Not that I had wanted an epidural, but I have this feeling there wouldn't have been time for one even if I had demanded such a thing. So I had a bit more sensation down there in the nether regions this time with which to feel the delivery of the placenta.

Placentas are slimy, and a lot less bony than babies. It felt kind of gross coming out. I was curious how much the placenta weighed and had them weigh it. It was about a pound and a half, so definitely not record-breaking. After it was out, I can say that I was no longer nauseous.

Meanwhile, David was making cute baby dragon noises and looking around. By this point, I think someone had toweled him off some. (He hasn't had a bath or anything yet besides that quick towel-dry straight from the womb.) A few minutes after birth, the umbilical cord stopped pulsing, and someone (not sure if it was one of the midwives or the nurse) clamped the cord and helped James cut it.

David had come down so quickly that my tender tissues hadn't really had time to stretch out enough, so I had torn my perineum (the skin between the vaginal opening and the anus) a little... though one of the midwives (Anne) told me it was just a little bit. She wasn't sure it was bad enough to even need repair at first, but she decided to put a few stitches in anyway, just to make sure it heals up nicely. Again, given the lack of epidural, I could feel a lot more of this process than I had last time, even with the local anesthetic. Pokey needles are pokey. Ouch.

So yeah. More cute noises from little Dragon. Once he even made a sound that sounded a lot like "uh oooh!", and both Anne (the midwife-in-training) and Annie (the postpartum nurse) kept laughing at how adorable he sounded.

I was starving. I made James spoonfeed me lemon yogurt. Ah, I knew I had brought him for something, besides transportation to the birth center. (I don't know if he'll believe me, but I think I could have driven myself if I had needed to. It would have really sucked, but... yeah. I could've done it, frosty windshield and all! Bahaha!)

I had basically ignored him throughout labor, especially after his cold water faux pas. I'd been too grumpy to actually get upset at him for that... Ah, wait... I suppose I did use him for something during labor. I neglected to mention that I vomited during labor, and James handed me an emesis bag all helpful-like. He might've said (okay, did say...) a few encouraging words (too exuberantly, of course). Otherwise, he was just kind of an annoying, bouncy, excited, and far too happy presence in the room.

(Gosh, James is bad at containing his excitement. In the weeks leading up to birth, whenever I'd have a particularly uncomfortable contraction, James would respond by expressing glee, presumably because he was excited about the baby coming. Despite my attempts to train him to respond with sympathy for my pain instead of glee--we had plenty of time to practice this--I don't think it really sunk in. Sure, he stopped saying things like, "Yay! You're in pain!"... But um, the more intense labor got, the more James bounced up and down with adrenaline and happy excitement. Gosh. Stop being so happy.)

David started nursing pretty quickly. He was really interested in it, but it took him a little while to find the nipple. His latch was pretty good, thankfully. (Amelia had significant trouble with nursing at first, likely because she was over two weeks early, and possibly also due to disorientation and other side effects of the epidural.) David tried to find the second breast, too, but he was so bad at locating the nipple that even with help he eventually just gave up and napped instead.

But, boy! He was persistent. He nearly crawled off my chest (more like nearly launched off, despite lack of wings) more than once, and sucked and licked all over my belly and my chest--everywhere except the nipple, that is. He spent a long time looking for the noms before deciding being born had been hard work and that a nap was in order.

Once David and I were suitably cleaned up, they left us alone for a while. As I said, David fell asleep, draped across my chest. We were both still naked, and we had a warm blanket over the top of us. I still hadn't really moved since I had given birth. I think maybe they had had me scoot over a few inches at some point so they could remove the mess out from underneath me (all the amniotic fluid and blood and exciting stuff that comes out with baby) and put new, clean things there, but otherwise I was in the exact same spot I had pushed in. It was kind of nice to just kick back and relax.

Though... at this point, I was starving. Again. I had James bring me flower juice (water with elderflower syrup in it), string cheese, and a granola bar to tide me over until... well, next snack time. I think Amelia came and visited at this point.

Oh, Amelia. She did just fine. We had brought our friend Cassie Anderson to help out. Despite being woken up at 5:25am, Amelia was in a great mood. She and Cassie apparently had a grand ol' time playing and sharing snacks.

Cassie tells me, though, that when I was making mighty screams, Amelia's eyes got all wide and concerned, and she put her hands up to her mouth, and said, "Oh no! Mommy!" "Are you worried, Amelia?" "Yeah..."

When Amelia saw David, she said, "Ooh, beebee! Cute!" I think, though, that the visit was mostly for her to make sure I was okay. And, well, I was smiling and happy at this point, so I guess that reassured her enough that she could go and play some more with Cassie.

At some point, I handed David over to James, and I walked over to the bathroom. The nurse had the tap water going, hoping that would encourage me to pee, but it didn't really help. After sitting there for ages, I finally did pee, and I exultantly proclaimed, "I peed!" ... just like Amelia does. I felt a little silly for being so proud of myself, but I suppose that's okay.

Maybe three hours after birth, we finally measured David. He weight 8 lbs, 8 oz. He was 21.5" long, 14" around the head, and 13.5" around the chest. He hated it. He made his first truly distressed cries. They were actually even kind of loud. (He is so quiet compared to Amelia. Straight out of the womb, Amelia's cries were piercing, and David's are... mild squeaks.)

Went back to bed and cuddled the newborn some more. He was still naked. And, um, he made it quite obvious that his bowels were working fabulously. He pooped meconium all over me. Twice. We eventually decided to put a diaper on the kid. He soiled that one.

The nurse did a pulse oximetry test to screen for congenital heart defects, but he didn't pass it immediately, probably because he was working hard on both a giant loogey out his top end, and several giant poops out his bottom end. After he got those cleared up, we would be allowed to leave. (The pulse oximetry results had be normal before we could go home. The pushing phase of labor had been so incredibly brief, that although most babies get some help expelling the mucus from their airways during the pushes and squeezes on the way out, David did not get that benefit. He just came out so fast.)

Before we left, he soiled yet another diaper, so much so that the nurse was shocked. It was the biggest load of meconium she had ever seen a newborn produce. And this was meconium load number four. (I am so grateful that he held all that poop in until after he was born.) "Just like daddy," I commented. No, seriously. I am convinced the man child has inherited his father's gastrointestinal system. Darn it.

James had fed me many snacks by this point, but I was still starving and both he and Amelia were starving and tired and just itching to leave. Itching. They had both been ready to go right at the four-hour mark (you are required to stay at the birth center for at least four hours after the birth), but we had to stay for five hours while David was working hard on spitting up mucus and pooping out meconium. Once he finished that and the pulse oximeter read normal results, we got ready to go.

So we all loaded up in the car and headed home. Kind of. Again, we were all so starving. Obviously, we had to stop at Five Guys for bacon cheeseburgers. Then we went home and napped all afternoon. (The one lady at Five Guys who bothered to ask how old the cute baby was ended up completely dumbfounded and shocked upon learning that he was only six hours old... and that I was walking around out of the hospital and snarfing bacon cheeseburgers already. And impressed.)


Love and bacon cheeseburgers,
Jenna and Amelia and David

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