For fear that I will forget this whirlwind of a labor and birth, I wanted to jot down the details of last night. I still feel in complete shock, and haven’t been able to get any sleep (though I am resting) since my nap yesterday afternoon (thank goodness for that!). Andrew, Milo, and I are over-the-moon about Oliver. He already seems like the perfect addition to our little family.
My contractions started at around 7:30pm and at first I was not sure it was real labor, thanks to the false labor I had a couple of weeks ago. But I quickly realized it was the real thing as I was reading Milo a bedtime story and actually had to stop reading to breath through a contraction. Milo, none the wiser, went right to sleep.
As soon as I said the words, Andrew kicked it into high gear (despite only getting 4 hours of sleep the previous night), and we both did the final preparations for the birth room: hanging curtains, setting up the futon mattress, and filling up the birth tub (which ended up being an all-night affair trying to get it and keep it warm). I called Mary, my midwife, and my birth assistant to give them all a heads-up.
Everyone arrived around 10 or 10:30- I can’t remember if it was later than that. By this time, my contractions were painful, but I was still laughing and joking in-between, so we knew we had more time than everyone had been telling me. It’s amazing how different this labor and birth was from Milo’s. For a first-time-birth, I ramped up so quickly with Milo, everything seemed to chug ahead at a steady and fast pace. This time around, I had a lot more breaks in-between contractions, and dilation was a lot slower. We later found out why- my water didn’t break until I was actually pushing!
When the tub was FINALLY warm enough, I spent a good deal of active labor managing my pain by rocking and swaying in the water. It was definitely worth the wait, and all the pots of boiling water Andrew was running back and forth! He was literally wearing oven mits all evening!
At one point, when I felt the urge to push, the midwife checked me for dilation and was shocked to find that I was only 7cm, so we decided I should get out and walk around the house a few times. This did the trick, and I soon began pushing, though that also took longer than I expected. Once the water bag burst (and I mean BURST- with a loud pop!) there was no stopping him. Oh, except Oliver decided to come out with his right elbow beside his head AND his left hand on his face. Let’s just say that hurt. I mean, come on! Isn’t the head alone enough?
The crazy thing? Oliver was born at the EXACT same time Milo was: 3:11am. So this labor was actually longer than my first, but I can’t say it was harder by any means. Once out, we noticed that he was perfect, and tiny! After nursing and a good meconium poop, they weighed Oliver- a tiny 6lbs, 2oz! And once I delivered the placenta, it was obvious why. Poor little guy was trying to seek nourishment from the crappiest looking placenta I could imagine. It was small and unhealthy looking, and almost in pieces. I have no idea what causes this sort of problem, but I intend to find out to avoid this (if possible) with any future kids.
Regardless of the placenta, Oliver really is adorable, and perfect. He is already trying to nurse constantly (probably realizes he had better make up for lost time) and makes the cutest faces and sounds.
As Andrew said in the last blog entry, Milo is so excited. He has been asking to see “NewBaby” every five minutes, gives him kisses, rubs his back, and generally just wants to smother him with love. I don’t see an ounce of jealousy (yet), and perhaps the best? Milo was presented with a basket of new toys from Baby Oliver this morning, for which Milo is eternally grateful.
I know we have some days and weeks and months of adjusting to do, but so far, Milo has taken it all in stride, and I feel so lucky that I have such an amazing husband to support our family as we grow. Seriously, Andrew has not slept in close to 48 hours, yet he is doing all the childcare, plus taking care of me. He is seeing the pediatrician right now with Oliver to get him checked out (a good idea for any baby born at home… just in case). Andrew was everything I needed during labor, and knew exactly what I needed to hear for encouragement, guidance, and support.
Happy Birthday, Baby Oliver, and welcome to the family!
Oh, and yes, Oliver was the name I had been pushing!