I am logged onto my computer for the first time in a long while and thought I would post a long overdue update. Where to start?
Tuesday, 8/9, Marshall, and I went to the midwives because I suspected that I was slowly leaking amniotic fluid since the previous morning. I really should have packed a bag and brought Adam, since they had me head directly to the birthing center. We called Adam and waited for him to come. He brought an old friend (temporarily here from Kuwait) to keep Marshall company until my in-laws arrived (they were away on vacation, but headed back).
The midwives started me on a slowly increasing drip of pitocin to induce labor, as I was not dilated, effaced, or ripened. Nothing. Just leaking, slowly. It was ok in the beginning, but became the most intense, utterly exhausting experience of my life. I was also monitored continously (with remote monitors, primarily) and was on antibiotics since they did not have the results of my group B strep test and the baby was premature, and my water had ruptered days before.
It was completely unlike my previous birth experience. I felt completely unprepared. Blind-sided. In the beginning, I tried to rest. Then when things picked up, I hummed, chanted, walked, rocked, bounced, hung out in the labor tub, showered, and clung to Adam. Toward the end, I could not cope with the back to back artificial contractions and feared losing consciousness a few times. After begging for help, I was given a small dose of Fentanyl to make me relax between the contractions. It was recommended since it wears off after 30 minutes and is not supposed to effect the baby the way others do. It was like being trapped in my own body for those 30 minutes; I was not able to actively work through the contractions.
After 30 hours of labor and two incredibly strong, whole body pushes on the birthing stool, Harper Hawke was born and in my arms! He rooted around, latched on and began nursing right away. Our placenta was beautifully heart-shaped. Although he was born at 36 weeks 4 days, he displayed no signs of prematurity except jaundice and being small at birth (7 lbs 1 oz, 18″). I had a sore tailbone, but was in great shape otherwise.
I longed to be home all through my labor. Missing Marshall was so horrible, I began campaigning for discharge as soon as possible. My in-laws stayed with DS1 at a nearby hotel the first night and he came and visited regularly. The attending pediatrician had been concerned about Harper’s “prematurity”, the length of time that my water had been broken, my unknown GBS status, and Harper’s weight, and bilirubin count.
We were finally discharged on Saturday, 8/13. We visited with our regular pediatrician on Monday and were admitted for phototherapy Monday and Tuesday. Then we pushed really hard to go home. We rented a bili-blanket and Harper had to wrap up in that at home Tuesady night-Thursday.
Once all that was behind us and we were all home together, unfettered by cords and lights, we really began enjoying our babymoon. Marshall is doing well with everything and is adjusting to sharing. We are never apart, so the almost week-long seperation was really hard on us. He wants to nurse whenever the baby does, and that is a real challenge. He is getting the hang of letting Harper nurse first then when he switches sides, Marshall slides in and holds the baby while they both nurse.
Harper is sweet and super snuggly. He loves to be close and tries to follow his big brother’s voice with his eyes. He is now almost a pound heavier than when he was born, and is losing his yellow hue. Seeing DH and DSs all sleeping next to me in the big bed is one of the most beautiful things I have ever beheld.
Adam was incredible during the birth of our sons. He is always strong and gentle. Tender and stable, he reminds me of what is real and important. I am more in love than ever before.