I am happy to officially announce that Jean-Luc has arrived.
For all those interested in the gory details:
When I had Ocki my water broke first and I never went into labor on my own and I had to be induced with pitocin. This water breaking first business seems to be a genetic trait as that is how it always happened for my mom and my sister. I definitely did not want a repeat of the 26 hour pitocin fueled nightmare so I started doing membrane sweeps at about 39 weeks. I credit these with going into regular labor. At 40 weeks + 4 I had my third sweep and felt the first contractions about 1.5 hours later. At this point they weren’t very time-able or strong. Two hours later and I was pretty sure I was in labor. Contractions were three minutes apart and getting stronger all the time. Between dropping Ocki off with family and the drive to the hospital it was another 2 hours before arriving at the hospital.
When we get there I am at 5cm. Things are starting to get uncomfortable.
With Ocki I wanted to go the all natural route but after 6 or so hours of 1.5 minute apart transition like contractions I got over my fear of needles and scruples about how epidurals might not be the most healthy for baby….blah blah blah. With Jean-Luc I still wanted to try to go the natural route. Not because of the needles or thinking it might hurt the baby. After all, Ocki was just fine when she came out after the epi. It was more of a morbid curiosity. What does it really feel like to give birth? I hadn’t done anything at all preparation wise. Hypnobabies did not happen. So while I was going to try and hold out as long as I could I also wasn’t going to feel bad if I caved and got the whole medical cocktail.
After another hour or so at the hospital things are starting to get way uncomfortable but I’m still holding out. I did not find that walking or being on all fours or anything to be more comfortable. That made it a lot worse! Probably would have made Jean-Luc arrive a little faster, what with gravity pulling him down. I found it most comfortable lying on my side. I think because I could rest easier between the contractions.
At maybe three and a half hours (who’s counting? I sure wasn’t!) at the hospital the pain is starting to get really bad so they check me. I’m at an 8 now. So transition. To my everlasting shame, I got some Fentanyl. Just kidding. No shame here. I could still feel it all. Just enough to take the edge off. Plus it wears off really quickly so I got to feel the pain of pushing in all its glory!
I’ve always heard that you’ll know when to push and that you feel like you need to take a giant and excruciatingly painful poop. I’ve also heard a lot that when its time to push you get some relief from the pain and that you get to feel all empowered. Lies. All lies. Pushing was the worst. I certainly felt pressure but never really felt like I wanted to push. Pushing just caused it to feel like all the skin and muscle and stuff was slowly being ripped apart. Think one of those medieval torture devices where your limbs are tied to a wheel and slowly pulled from their sockets. Yeah. That is exactly what it felt. 100% the worst part. I was screaming like a banshee the whole time.
Somewhere in the midst of pushing is the point that I thought I couldn’t do it anymore. It just didn’t feel to me like it was doing anything. I was all like get back up in there baby! When I was ready to give up and be like “get back in there baby” they had me reach down to feel and there was the head, halfway out. That really surprised me how far out the baby was and really bolstered my energy. About four or five more pushes and my little baby was out!
Labor was about 6 hours starting from when the contractions were time-able (8hrs from the first cramps) with 40 minutes of pushing. Not bad!
Epidural vs Natural
Although I did have a little of the Fentanyl, for me I’ll chalk this birth up as natural. My thoughts on it are I wouldn’t say one is better than the other. Rather that one birth was easier than the other.
Ocki was a 26 hour ordeal with 4 of those hours being pushing. I was also on Pitocin. Now I have heard that there is some debate about whether pitocin contractions are actually worse. Let me put the matter to rest — they are unequivocally 1000 times worse! Avoid like the plague if possible.
Jean-Luc was 6 hours with only the last two or three being really bad. To be sure the pain from pushing was a lot more intense without the epidural but it also was 3 hrs and 20 minutes shorter.
What would I do in the future? I think it really depends. If I ever have to be induced again I think I would just be like “give me my epidural” upon arrival. Or if the labor is going really long I might get one. If all the rest of my future babies are 6 hour labors I might just go unmedicated.
Life with Two
Jean-Luc is a very sweet baby. Not colicky at all. Just cries for food, diaper changes, and snuggles. Which is all the time! Mostly at night.
I would say that the hardest part is adjusting to two. When one of the babes wakes up at night it often wakes up the other. There also seems to be a lot less time. Right now Jean-Luc is still at the age where he needs to eat all the time. So feeding him is pretty much my life right now. And of course Ocki is at an age where she needs lots of interaction and stimulation. So they keep me busy!
One of the sweeter things is how much Ocki loves Jean-Luc. Lets just say that there is no shortage of hugs and kisses for this little guy!
Even though I have a lot less time on my hands for things like cleaning and blogging having Jean-Luc is an absolute pleasure. We simply adore him! Expect to see no shortage of him on my Instagram account!