Friday, August 7, 2009

Labor and Delivery, Josiah

It should go without saying that a labor and delivery blog will be graphic. So there, you're warned!

Let me start with the fact that I didn't think I'd make it to my due date (August 10) before Josiah was born. Julia was 16 days early, and my doctor said I was likely to follow the same trend. Although, it was hard for me to decide what I thought would happen, since I had previously convinced myself that the reason Julia was early was that my last doctor had stripped my cervix. When I found out that she in fact did NOT do that, I was sure Josiah would be early.

Most of the pregnancy everybody kept telling me how tiny I was, but then I dropped pretty early and everybody thought I was about to pop from like a month before I was due!

I guess I'll review here some highlights of this pregnancy:

-found out the same day Julia got her tongue clipped, she was barely 18 months old. I had planned a long time before that how I would tell Riley the next time I got pregnant. Well, I didn't do it exactly like I planned but came pretty close. Almost immediately after we got home from the surgery (just me and Julia, since Riley had to go to work) I took the test and of course it came back positive! I didn't even have to wait the three minutes. By the time I was all zipped up and flushed, the second line was there... I was so excited! So I took this picture and emailed it to Riley:

... Pretty clever, huh? Riley replied on im, "are you pregnant?...holy crap!"

-so the next couple months were a miserable concoction of fatigue and nausea, although I was spared the vomiting that most women have to suffer with.

-just when I thought things were going to get better, you know, since the 2nd trimester is supposed to be wonderful, I started experiencing 3rd trimester symptoms. no fair! my doctor said that was normal with subsequent pregnancies since your body already knows what's coming. so, i was NOT enjoying pregnancy like I thought I should be. my friend caelene loaned me a book called supernatural childbirth. i won't go into the whole thing, but what i learned was that pregnancy doesn't have to be miserable, children are a blessing and God doesn't give a curse with a blessing. I started to see things differently and although the next few months wouldn't be perfect, i began to have a little more faith that i could enjoy this pregnancy and not have to be miserable. well, wouldn't you know, i started to feel better. my back stopped hurting so much, i had more energy, and just an allover better feeling about things.

-finding out that it was a boy was SO great. i longed for a son since before julia was a year old. not that i wanted to get pregnant right then, but i really hoped the next baby would be a boy. and BOY, there was no doubt! here's the sono picture at 19 weeks:

-i never got to the super uncomfortable "get this baby out of me now!" point with julia, but with josiah it was different. we got all moved into our new apartment and i was starting to get uncomfortable, so i was pretty ready for him to come early, even though my due date was still 3 weeks away. i decided he should be born on july 31, since riley would have a week off of work, he would actually have 9 days off since it was a friday. plus it was my grandma julia's bday. that would be cool. and we had stuff going on the weekend before that.

-with the nesting instinct kicking in and contractions galore, it seemed like every night Riley was convinced that we'd be having a baby the next day! i just kept saying, no... not yet.

-ok, i'm finally getting to the day of...!

we went in on friday, july 24, for my 1:30 weekly checkup. hearbeat, great. blood pressure, great. urine, great. weight gain, great. but then she measured my tummy (from the top of the uterus to the pubic bone is supposed to be approximately as many centimeters as you are weeks pregnant). well i was over 37w4d and only measuring 33 cm so she decided to do a sonogram to make sure josiah was growing okay.

he was measuring fine (estimated 6lbs1oz, give or take a pound) but then she started looking for amniotic fluid. anthing below 10 (not sure what that number represents, i think 100cc) is low, and anything below 5 is really dangerous. well, she could only find one pocket that measured 3. yikes!

what does that mean? we asked. well, when there's not enough amniotic fluid, there's no cushion for the umbilical cord, he could smash it and it would cut off his oxygen supply. she said we had a couple options. one, induce labor and have the baby that day. or, get admitted to the hospital for iv hydration to beef up the amniotic fluid, then go home, be on bedrest, have to come back for more iv fluids because it wouldn't stay up, etc. she recommended getting induced, and since i was full term and didn't want to be on bedrest, we decided to go ahead with the induction. "we're having a baby tonight!"

so, josiah was coming early, as previously thought, just not the way we imagined. we went home, finished packing the hospital bag, called a friend to pick up julia (good thing we had JUST asked her the night before if she could do that whenever he was born!) and went back up there. the whole time calling and texting people with the news. good thing we upped the minutes on our cell plan, because we still went over!

we left the office around 230, got back up to the hospital around 330. i was supposed to have a maternity portrait session at our apartment at 300, so that was a bummer! we had 2 parties to go to that night, a party the next day, and i was supposed to teach the toddler class that sunday! hence the reason i wanted him to wait until the following friday! well libby ended up coming to the hospital to take final pix of my big belly, which are turning out quite well with a little photoshop-ing the hospital-ness out! (will post those another time, along with his newborn pix)

checking in, paperwork, changing into the gown, getting hooked up to the monitor, yada yada, they finally started the pitocin at 430. i was only dilated 1cm, so it was looking like it'd be after midnight. my doctor wasn't going to be on call after that, so i was really hoping for a miracle! my doctor with julia wasn't able to be there so i really wanted this time to be different! plus i really like this doctor. we were thinking 1-4am, since typically with an induction you dilate 1cm per hour.

so we're just sitting there, no contractions, texting, calling and facebooking everybody that i was in labor. fun! the adrenaline was definitely pumping! the nurse asked me if i was planning on an epidural, to which i replied, "if it starts hurting, yeah!" see, last time i wanted to do without, so i waited until i was absolutely miserable in excruciating pain, to give in and take the epidural. well, by the time it finally kicked in i was complete, so i swore to myself that next time, i would get it right away instead of suffering through more than i had to.

it took a couple hours for the contractions to start, so around 630 i asked for the epidural. i had just gotten my blood drawn so she said i had to wait about an hour for the results to come back. well, i figured i could deal with another hour since they weren't too bad. i found that sitting up when one came on helped a little bit.

the results came back and the nurse said she'd go ahead and get the anesthesiologist to come do the epidural. she said he was her favorite. yay! he was really funny and did a great job. i'm not sure why people are so afraid of getting that needle in their back (talking pain here, not possible side effects), after all, it's so much less painful than contractions! anyway, by the time i actually got it in, it was 830.

the nurse checked me again and i was a whopping 3cm dilated... geez! 2 whole centimeters in 4 hours. the chances of delivering before midnight were looking really slim! i actually started worrying that they'd end up having to do a c-section for failing to progress. but i tried to be hopeful!

i started to feel relief pretty quickly, in fact, my right leg was REALLY numb. i knew it was going to be a much better experience this time! riley decided to take a shower since it was obviously going to be a while. about an hour later the nurse came in to check on me and i was starting to feel pain again. i told her i could feel the contractions again, so was the epidural wearing off or were they just getting a lot stronger? she said she'd check to see if i'd dilated.

well, she puts her fingers in and says, "um, that's a head... you're complete!" it was 9:52. 4 hours to dilate 2cm and 1:16 to dilate 7. crazy! i couldn't believe it.

but of course my immediate thought was yay! my dr gets to deliver me! they called her up and she got there pretty quickly. i kept feeling a lot of pressure down there, and since i knew i was complete, i was afraid the head was like, right there and he was just going to slide out! he didn't.

my doctor got there, the nurses had everything ready, we waited for the next contraction, pushed and the head started to come out! i looked down and could see an inch of wrinkly mush. that's the head?! it was so weird. i even got to touch it! another push, and more head came out. one last push and he was here at 10:14pm! piece o' cake =)

seriously, it couldn't have gone better. we (along with lots of family and friends) were praying for a smooth delivery but i never imagined it would be that easy. don't get me wrong, the oligohydramnios (low amniotic fluid) was quite a scare and the pregnancy had it's share of less-than-fun times, but i really couldn't have asked for an easier experience when it came to labor and delivery.

riley cut the cord and they immediately put him in my arms. gooey and everything. my son! i was so excited. i just kept looking at him and a flood of emotions ran through me. i kept thinking, why am i not crying? and then i finally did. the minutes after that are kind of a blur, but basically they wiped him off and gave him back to me to breastfeed, which he did pretty well if i remember correctly. riley held him, then soon after my mom got there (had to drive from abilene). i was a happy camper!

let me tell you, i love harris heb. it is so mom-and-baby-friendly and the whole time there was wonderful. i had great nurses, and they never took josiah out of my room. they did EVERYTHING in there where i could see. they let both my mom and riley stay both nights, and they encourage a nap time from 1-4 where visitors are discouraged so mom can nap with baby. they don't even send any nurses or paperwork people in there during that time. it's fabulous!

i've recovered pretty quickly, aside from a little bit of pain here and there, but nothing major. josiah is a great eater, a great burper, and so peaceful. and don't just say it's because he's a newborn and sleeps all the time. he just seems a lot more laid back than julia was/is. which is what i was really hoping for!

he's already back up past his birth weight (6lbs 14oz) and is pooping and peeing more than enough. julia is a great big sister-- we have to remind her to be gentle, and remember to give her lots of attention, but she likes him!

this is my first day alone with both of them, and it's going good so far! riley was home the whole first week, and my mom was here till the 30th, and my niece was here this week until yesterday afternoon. so i've had lots of help! i've been trying to take naps when julia does, since i'm up throughout the night with josiah. it's hard though, because i'm used to using that time to get stuff done. guess i've gotta rearrange my life a bit! i love my hubby and babies and am looking forward to this new chapter in our lives as a family of four!

we've also had family and friends bringing us dinner almost every night, which has been SUCH a blessing! i kind of feel spoiled. but i'll enjoy it while it lasts! maybe after it ends i'll actually feel like cooking again. =)

i LOVE watching riley with josiah. i can see the desire there for relationship... he wants to hold him and talk to him and it's just so precious to see their bond! of course it doesn't hurt that josiah looks a lot like riley! he resembles julia's newborn pictures, but looks more like riley than she does. from the big hands and full lips to the prominent cheekbones and beautiful eyebrows, he's definitely his daddy's son!

here's my belly as josiah grew:
6 weeks

10 weeks

14 weeks

18 weeks

22 weeks

27 weeks

30 weeks

34 weeks

35 weeks

37.5 weeks, 7 hours before Josiah was born

after the epidural

2 days postpartum

and, if you've read this far, then here's one last one for you!

2 weeks postpartum: what breastfeeding (and good genes, thanks Mom!) have done for me!

ok, that's all for now... i'm sure i'll be writing more as he grows!

oh alright, ONE more of my little prince!

don't you just want to kiss him?!


  1. I DO want to kiss him! What great puckering lips he has!

  2. Thanks so much for sharing, Joanna! You have a wonderful way of telling stories!

  3. P.S. Someone just gave me a copy of "Supernatural Childbirth." Can't wait to read it!