So we had a baby a week ago. I’m not sure if I’ve even been on this blog in the last nine months to share that I was pregnant. But with two kids, a growing business, and trying to keep a (sorta) organized home, I don’t have time for documenting their lives in any sort of physical way. And I certainly don’t remember anything unless it’s written down. So I’m going to do my best to keep up with their lives here so we have a record of these fun yet exhausting years.
Family photos to come soon! But here’s our little guy. Chase Kenneth Martin, born at 4:29 on 4/8/17. 7lbs 6oz, 20.5″.
First up, Chase’s birth story. I could just say “read Paige’s birth story and it’s basically the opposite, minus the induction”. But if you want the full story, read on…
Staring around 32 weeks I began weekly acupuncture appointments with the hope of avoiding another induction. Fast forward to 41 weeks + 3 days and I found myself in a similar situation: no labor and a decision on inducing. My appointment was on Thursday, and I was given the choice of Friday or Sunday for inducing. I ended up choosing Friday because I figured it gave Greg a few extra days at home if we had the baby (who was not named at this point) over the weekend and my favorite two midwives were on call over the weekend.
In some ways this was much less stressful than a sudden induction like Paige’s, but it was also kind of weird. We were given a time to show up at the hospital on Friday evening, like it was a hotel reservation.
10:00am Greg had gone into work as normal and Paige and I headed off to the first meeting of our new mom’s group. It’s a group specifically for moms of toddlers and an infant. Great way to meet more moms and have something on the calendar weekly. I was the only mom who had yet to actually birth the newborn, but there was a two week old and a five week old, as well as a handful of other babies between two and five months.
12:00pm We returned home and had lunch, then I had Paige snuggle with me on the couch for her nap. It was her last nap as an only child (dramatic, much?) so I wanted the snuggles even though I’ve been working so hard to get her to nap in her own bed. Motherhood…it just messes with your mind at every turn.
2:30pm I dropped Paige and Alfred off with Grandma and Jim. Once they were situated I headed home to a very quiet house. I finished packing a few things, cleaning up the co-sleeper, and just sort of walking around the house enjoying the quiet. It’s never quiet here.
4:00pm Greg arrives home and I jump in the shower. I couldn’t figure out if I should put on makeup and do my hair or just go in with a clean face. My induction was schedule for two parts and there were no plans to have a baby Friday night, so I ended up just going au natural.
5:00pm We head out the door to have a baby! I’m a little sad I never got to experience the “oh sh!t, I think my water just broke” or tracking contractions, but that’s just not how we have babies. We stopped by the gas station to fill up the car and Walgreens to buy bobby pins so I could pin back my hair.
5:30pm We stop in at a taco place and have dinner. It’s early, the food arrives fast, and we are done eating by 6. But we’re less than 10 minutes from the hospital and our ‘check in’ isn’t until 7pm. We look for open houses (the market is so crazy here there have been Friday night ones recently), but don’t find anything. It’s pouring rain so we can’t take a walk, and at this point I’m pretty bummed about the induction so I really don’t want to do anything else. We swing through the Starbucks drive thru to kill a few minutes then head to the hospital early.
6:30pm We arrive at the hospital birth center and check in. Someone just departed a room in the new wing, which has private tubs, so they have us hang out for a bit in the lobby while they clean the room. Things are looking up – I’m now 2/2 on snagging a room in the new wing and I LOVE spas/hot tubs/baths, so this is very promising. (The old wing also has tubs, but they are not in your room so you have to walk to / from the tub to use them.)
7:30pm My favorite midwife, Mary Lou, and her midwife-in-training, Dominique, come in to chat with us. At the appointment the day before we decided to start with cervical ripening because my Bishop’s score is still quite low (a tool that estimates the likelihood of an induction being successful).
8:00pm The midwives and nurses got their stuff together and I had the same Cook’s catheter procedure as I had with Paige. We had baby monitoring for two hours then we turned off the TV and tried to get some sleep. I was woken up for vitals and 20 minutes of baby monitoring at 2am and 6am. I had some pretty intense contractions but they subsided around midnight and I was able to get a little sleep.
8:00am After ordering and eating breakfast and cleaning up a bit, the nurse came in to remove the catheter. And then then Deborah (new midwife on call) did a quick exam and oh-my-gosh this time it worked so well! I was at 5cm and 75% effaced – major progress from the night before. We all agreed we were ready to go so they started to get things set up for pitocin. The one fun complication was that I had a reaction to the tape they used to secure the catheter to the inside of my thigh. I had a terrible rash on both inner thighs (I guess because I slept on my side so it ended up touching both?) that was actually quite painful.
10:00am And here we go… my least favorite drug on earth starts flowing. I had my hep lock put in (the fun IV that goes in your hand for all drugs to be pushed through), and this time they only blew one vein before a successful insertion. Once the pitocin was going, they told me to get up and walk. My nurse, Jenny, was awesome – she was ready to get this baby out so she didn’t let me sit around. We wandered the hallway back and forth for about 90 minutes. Because I was on pitocin the baby had to be monitored at all times. I had wireless monitoring, but we had a short distance we could walk for it to be picked up.
11:00am This is probably the time I started to feel some regular contractions. Nothing too crazy, but I would lunge, squat, or do forward bends (per Nurse Jenny) each time I felt one. We also decided that we weren’t super in love with any of the names on our short list and started checking out all the birth announcements and Christmas cards that lined the hallways. And that is how Chase was named. Five letters, monosyllabic. I was sold. (Like Paige’s middle name, Clara, we have a Kenneth on both sides of the family so his middle name was already set.)
12:00pm Jenny has me come in the room and gives me two different sets of exercises to do during contractions. The first I did for ten contractions, the second for three. I thought my hips were going to fall off during the second – that was actually worse than the contraction – but I followed orders and completed both.
12:30pm It’s like Jenny knows what she’s talking about or something because I went from talking or just lightly breathing through contractions to telling her I was going to start making animal noises soon. She suggested we call my doula, Jenne, because things seemed to be progressing.
1:00pm I got in the tub just about the time Jenne showed up. My contractions were definitely not fun at this point, but I was on a really low dose of pitocin (about 1/3 of what I was getting with Paige) so I was actually getting a 2-3 minute rest between each, which is night and day difference than constant contractions.
these times are all approximates because things get fun at this point and the last thing I’m doing is looking at the clock
2:00pm The nurses start changing the room to delivery mode. Brining in all the baby stuff, adding a pediatric nurse to the group, etc. This should have given me positive thoughts, but for some reason it really got my head stuck in Paige’s birth and I became convinced – completely convinced – that it was going to be another 12 to 24 hours before this child was born. It didn’t matter what anyone said, and they were all saying ‘this baby is coming soon’, I wasn’t having any of it.
2:30pm Jenny decides I need to get out of the tub because I’m sounding “pushy”. This center does not do water births (but they sometimes accidentally happen), so it was out of the tub for me and resting on a peanut ball on the bed. At this point I was in the fun transition phase, which I did not experience pain med free last time so it was a whole new level of fun. The center has since added nitrous to their offerings, which I have to say is awesome. I asked for it at this point and they handed me my mask. With nitrous you have to breath in and out into the mask (so you don’t get everyone else in the room high), so you do get dry mouth. I’m not sure it lessens the pain, but it makes you loopy enough to not care as much about the pain.
The room also starts filling up at this point. In the end, there we had a full house but I have no idea who came in when. I’m all about training, so I’m always fine when people bring their trainees along. For the actual birth we had Greg, Jenne, Nurse, Jody the nurse trainee, Deborah my midwife, Dominique the midwife trainee, and two baby nurses (not sure why there were two?).
3:00pm I demanded an epidural and they humored me by starting the fluids bag (you have to have a full bag of fluid before you can get an epidural, and that’s not the quickest process) and calling anesthesiology. But they were all telling me that the baby would come before I would be able to get an epidural. And I was telling them they were full of it. According to Greg, there were lots of knowing looks and smiles shared among everyone in the room.
3:30pm My beloved nurse Jenny is off shift and in comes a new Nurse. I have no idea what her name is even though in the end she was nice enough and cleaned up our room and was on shift for several hours. But she came in the room and 1) wasn’t the anesthesiologist so she was dead to me and 2) started offering suggestions in a very annoying way. I looked over at Greg and told him to tell her to “shut the f*** up”. While he is a great birth partner, I don’t believe he relayed the message.
4:00pm The anesthesiologist arrives. Why anyone would want a job that involves sticking large needles in irrational women I don’t know. But they have me sit up (which is not a fun way to experience contractions) and I get the first needle which is just a numbing solution for the actual needle that goes in your spine. It still creeps me out 100% to think about an epidural and the only time I have any desire for one is in middle of labor. He’s got the shield up (no idea what that is but I remember them talking about it during both labors) and is literally, like seriously literally, about to pump me full of the epidrual, when…
4:25pm I tell the anesthesiologist he needs to stop because I’m having a baby. I roll over on my side and…
4:29pm With the next contraction Chase Kenneth Martin pops out.
So apparently the midwives, nurses, and doulas who do this for a living know what they are talking about. I stand corrected.
While I’m so happy I didn’t end up with the epidural because I was immediately able to move around as I wanted and unhooked from all monitors and solutions, I had to birth the placenta and get a few minor stitches sans epidural. Not fun. They do give you a few lidocaine shots to help with the stitches, but frankly they might as well have not. I did get to keep the nitrous during this part. They would not allow me to take it home to use (for myself) during toddler tantrums though.
And with that we became a family of four.
Greg and I hung out with Chase for the rest of the day and Grandma brought Paige over on Sunday after nap time. She was very uninterested at first, but after about an hour she asked to hold the baby.
Greg is home for two weeks but that’s about to come to an end. It’s been so much fun to have this family time, though I’m also excited to see how our new routines shake up, get back to my business, and watch this little guy grow and see who he becomes. I only wish I could freeze time for newborn cuddles. Knowing this is it for kids is bittersweet. I’m over the moon that Chase is who completed our family.