On January 21 at 5:42 we welcomed our second child, Gabriel James, into the world. After suffering with cholestasis and going through non-stress tests, blood tests, and doctor visits, I had been scheduled for an induction on January 28 at 38 weeks. I laughed that baby had his own agenda and decided to come spontaneously on the 21st instead (at 37 weeks). He’s a genius already
In the early morning of the 21st, I felt a gush of fluid and lost part of my mucus plug. Not knowing if it was actually my water breaking, just fluid from the mucus plug or possibly leaking amniotic fluid, I went to the hospital to be checked. At this time I didn’t think I’d be giving birth this day but I hurried to finish packing my hospital bag; unfortunately, I didn’t bring them with me (I was in denial!) AND we still hadn’t installed our car seat yet. Not wanting to bug Jordan at work, I had my Mom come with me.
The hospital assessed me and wanted me to stay two hours to monitor the fluid. I’m pretty sure the nurses thought I’d be getting sent home that day as I was having contractions but they weren’t consistent and due to my history this pregnancy of braxton hicks, it wasn’t too unusual. My Mom left around 11:30 to pick up Sofia from school and my sister, graciously, came to be with me, as I still didn’t want to take Jord away from work in case nothing happened. Then around 12:15, Jacquie had been there for about 10ish minutes, my water ruptured. All over me and my bed. I’ve never been so relieved to not have this happen at home as there was meconium present and everything I was wearing turned brown (they hadn’t put me in a hospital gown so I was in my street clothes). So gross!
I was then sent up to labour and delivery and suddenly reality set in that I was having a baby today! I wasn’t sure how fast things would go either as my water didn’t break until transition with Sofia, so I frantically texted Jordan to get to the hospital. Around 1pm they checked my cervix and I was dilated 3cm. Due to the meconium, I was checked more often in case it turned black, so I was assessed almost every 20mins to ensure baby was not in distress.
We never timed my contractions but I could tell they were getting closer and more painful. I didn’t start off having bad back pain but as labour progressed, so did back labour. Poor Jord’s job was to ensure pressure was exerted on my back at all times. I laboured in the shower for a bit and on all 4’s swinging my hips in the hopes baby would turn, no such luck.At around 5pm, I started feeling more pressure – like I had to go to the bathroom. The nurse checked me and I was only 3-4 cms dilated but could feel things starting to pick up. Contractions were coming closer together and there was a lot of pressure down below. Decided to try some laughing gas to take the edge off and for the most part it seemed to work (well, according to Jord and my sister anyway, I guess I’d lay there after in a content state – this I didn’t notice so much but I believe them ). The tricky thing was sucking enough of the gas in and trying to breathe at the same time, while enduring contractions. My nurse was amazing though and coached me through it.
This is where things picked up. The nurses didn’t really believe how fast things would go at the time and did they ever laugh about it after!
I started feeling more pressure so I was checked again, this time was 5cm dilated. Then I REALLY felt like I had ‘to go’ about 10mins later and I was 6cm dilated. The nurses started running around like crazy getting things ready and paging my doctor (who was at the hospital but waiting around for things to happen). In a span of about 20mins I was at 8cm dilated and ready to push by 5:30pm. I pushed about 3-4 times and could feel my little man coming. The pain was a bit worse than I remember from my first baby but I was relieved to not have the epi so I knew what was happening and when to push. This time I did feel the ‘ring of fire’ when his head came through. I’ve never been so relieved to have such great coaches reminding me not to scream but to let it go from within (my sister said at one point it sounded like I was doing tribal chants, hehe).
Gabriel James was born at 5:42pm, weighing 7lbs 2oz and 20 inches long. He came out so fast that his face was bruised, but luckily he was crying and loud so they weren’t worried about him swallowing the meconium. And for being 3 weeks early he was a great size!
Due to my fast labour, my uterus had some difficulties shrinking and getting the clots out, so the nurses had to really press on it – which I think was more painful than the entire labour itself! Luckily I didn’t have any issues and they were able to get it going.
We made sure Sofia was the first to see Gabe and she was instantly attached. She wants to hold him all the time, read and sing to him. It’s so sweet. Just hoping her attachment issues with us calm down a bit and soon. Not even 4 hours after coming home from the hospital was she asking why Gabe wasn’t helping with her chores. Haha, such a stinker.