Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Unexpected, but Not Unwelcome :)

A birth story dedicated to my "baby" boy Andrew who never ceases surprising me...
This weekend we got a VERY unexpected surprise, the arrival of our 2nd son! Andrew Joseph, 6lbs 3ozs (he is currently 5lbs 14ozs), 19ins on Sunday, December 13 at 8:18am at 36 weeks 3 days!

On Sunday morning around 2am I was awoken by contractions again (this had been happening a lot). They were pretty painful as usual, but I thought they would go away after awhile as usual so I just laid there. After about an hour of continuing contractions every 3-5mins apart, I awoke Chris. He wanted me to call the doctor, but it being the wee hours of the morning I didn't want to bother their emergency line and I was still hoping at this point it was false labor. Chris got dressed in his clothes and really tried to get me to go to the hospital, but when I refused he went back to bed (in his clothes). Around 3:45am I couldn't take the pain anymore or sleep through the contractions, so I woke Chris again and called the doctor. She could tell by the shakiness in my voice over the phone that something was up and wanted me to go to the hospital.

I called my mom around 4am crying saying I needed to go to the hospital. My mom asked why I was crying and I was like "I'm so not ready, I just can't have the baby tonight!" It was true. There were many loose ends I hadn't done: pack my hospital bag, freeze meals, buy diapers and baby wash. My mom reassured me that "You'll never be completely ready and the baby coming will be fine."

When the contractions continued for the 45min hospital ride, I knew. I knew this was the real thing and the baby was coming, ready or not. I broke down crying several times in the car to Chris (about not being prepared) while Christopher was happily riding in the back seat calling Mommy and Dada. On the ride there Chris and I saw a shooting star. How cool! My parents were going to meet us at the hospital to pick up Christopher, but we arrived first. Unfortunately because of the swine flu outbreak, Christopher was not allowed upstairs (all children under 18) so Chris had to wait in the lobby with him till my parents arrived.

Chris waited in the lobby with him while I carried my bags to labor and delivery on the second floor. The walk seemed to take forever. I had to stop with every contraction to breathe through it. I checked myself in all the while trying to breathe through contractions. They admitted me to triage and set me up. The nurse said to me as she was setting up, "I'd hate to tell you, but everyone I've had tonight has been admitted." Shortly after, Chris was by my side (and my mom too) and the doctor came in and checked me and said I was 7cm!!! We were shocked! I mean I was uncomfortable, but I had no idea I had progressed that much. The doctor asked if I wanted an epidural and was shocked that I wanted to go natural (no drugs for pain).

They put me in a room and started antibiotics because the results of my Strep B test (taken the Wednesday before) hadn't come in yet. They had to go with the assumption that I had it and treat me with antibiotics through an IV. I hate blood tests/IV's because of bad experiences with them as a child. I have a high pain tolerance, but not for needles that stay in your veins. The thought makes me so anxious, I have full-blown panic attacks. The nurse "blew" the first IV. Basically, it's when the needle isn't in the vein and they turn it on and all the fluid builds under the skin. Horrifying. She then tried another vein and had success, but the antibiotic is a super dose so it burns and burns and there's nothing you can do about it. Luckily, it finished in an hour and they took it out.

After 2 hours (around 6am) I hadn't made much progress, so the doctor asked if I wanted my water broken. It was a tough decision. Many times when they break you water, it causes the baby to go into distress. Ultimately, we decided to do it and get the "show on the road." They told me breaking my water would intensify things (because up to this point was I getting through contractions just breathing) and it sure did! The pain was unbelievable. I few times I said, "I can't take this anymore, I need an epidural!" I just wanted to start pushing so badly and get some relief. After an hour I still wasn't fully dilated but had less than a 1cm left. I was in so much pain that the doctor recommended pushing through the next contraction to see if that would dilate me completely.

Before she gave me the go ahead, I started pushing and couldn't stop! He was coming SO fast and I completely loss control of myself. The pain was much more intense than it was with Christopher (probably because he was coming so fast) that I was calling out pretty loudly in pain. I was so embarrassed afterward! I must have apologized later a hundred times to the nurses and doctor, but they were understanding. He was out in less than 3 pushes. The doctor stayed past her shift to deliver him (or else another doctor from my practice would have). Immediately after he was born I asked, "Is it a boy?" I just knew it would be another boy. I had washed, folded, and put all of Christopher's old clothes into the nursery drawers because I was so sure it was another boy.

Unlike my delivery with Christopher, I couldn't hold him right after he was born. He needed to be examined first. They had paged the NICU team since he was only 36 weeks, but thankfully they weren't needed. My little Andrew had arrived, a little brother for Christopher. I have two sons. What a blessing!


  1. Congratulations!!! He is so handsome! I am so proud of you for having another big boy! -LR

  2. Congrats, Marjorie and Chris!!! I love his name! I can't wait to see pics :)

  3. Oh Marjorie!!!
    I am so happy for you all and thankful that everyone is O.K. When I got Chris' text I was incredibly shocked, as it sounds like you all were too! Girl, you are my hero! How hard it must have been to be without Chris while he was with Christopher! How true is it that, "life is what happens when you're busy planning"?

    So how long did your labor last? Crazy how each labor is so totally different (or so I've heard from the parents of my patients). I had a feeling it was another boy too, but thought for sure you'd go in 2010. What a special Christmas this will be for you all though! I am just bursting at the seams with joy for all of you! Many prayers and blessings being sent your way, and please let me know if there's anything I can do for you.


    P.S. I LOVE the name Andrew! It's on our potential list too along with the nickname Drew!

  4. thanks all! i really thought 2010 as well. labor started at 2am and he born at 8am, so 6hrs in all. 4hrs once we got to the hospital which is when i start counting bc before i got there i didn't even know i was in labor.

    my mom was a big support person for me as well which i forgot to mention.

    this going to sound strange, but i just thought about him as "andrew" when i first found i was pregnant.

  5. My husband missed the birth of my second child (first boy). We were set up for an induction. And the drs and nurse assured us that the cervical gel given would only slowly open my cervix and the real labor would start in the morning when they put in pitocin. Since we live only 15 mins from the hospital Paul went home to sleep (Catherine was a middle of the night delivery and it was brutal to recover from the lack of sleep so we thought this would be a good idea). In the end, Stephen decided he was ready before anyone else was and hard labor came on fast and strong. I went from 3cm to 10 in less than an hour. Stephen's heartrate wasn't recovering between contractions (because there was no time between them), so they rushed me for an emergency c-section. I didn't make it to the operating table, Stephen practically popped out on his own. One push and he was out. It was more natural a delivery than I had ever planned.
    And by the time the nurse called Paul to tell him what was happening it was too late Stephen was born. My own Dr. didn't make it in on time. He showed up 10 minutes afterward.

    I'm glad it went well for you even if a little early. It also goes to show you how much worrying about being ready is useless. :)