Well, as you can see we made it to week 40 and Enzo arrived on Thursday, April 27th.
Enzo’s birth was definitely not what I had thought it would be. I knew it wouldn’t be easy, and that most likely our “plans” may not all go as we wanted, but yeesh! :p I’ll keep the birth story short… mostly because so much of it is a blur to me now, and I don’t have Josh next to me to fill in the little details I might miss.
I was woken up by my contractions on Thursday morning (April 26th) at 2:00am. At first I wasn’t completely sure that’s what was happening, but after a couple hours of pretty strong contractions, I woke up Josh and told him I was pretty sure things were starting and thanks to a handy dandy contraction app, we started timing things, and the contractions were a bit sporadic at first ranging from every 10-25 minutes, but always lasting about a minute. We called the midwives to let them know what was happening and then… we waited. Most of Thursday was spent in the bedroom watching Netflix while we tried to rest, and while I used the birthing ball to help get through each contraction with some deep breathing. It wasn’t until around 9:00pm that we finally made the call to get to the hospital because contractions were down to 4-5 minutes between each one. Longest car ride ever. Ha ha.
Once we got to the hospital it was more waiting as I wasn’t dilated more than 4 cm, so I hopped on a birthing ball again while they prepared the birthing tub. At about 6 cm the decision was made to break my water so that I could get into the tub, which was really nice – it was so comfortable and did help keep me more relaxed. However… progress was slow. Finally I felt that urge to push, but discovered I was only at 9 cm, and was told to fight the urge for a while longer, which turned into even longer… my contractions were getting weaker and I was stuck at 9 cm, and I was completely exhausted – physically and emotionally. I was going off of 4 hours of sleep and at hour 29 of labor, the decision was made to give me Pitocin, and I made the decision to get an epidural in the hopes that we could get a few hours of sleep and hopefully get some fresh energy. An epidural wasn’t part of my original plan, but I did what I felt was necessary to get me through labor, and those few hours of sleep were fantastic and greatly needed.
After having the Pitocin upped a few times, it looked like things were finally moving along and I hit that magical number – 10 cm. To my relief, despite the epidural, I was still able to feel when each contraction hit, and I pushed with every ounce of my being, but once again we seemed to be at a standstill. Also at some point during all of this, I spiked a fever and both my heart rate and the baby’s got pretty high and Josh and I were told that there was a risk of infection for the baby and he would be taken to special care as soon as the birth happened – definitely not a part of the plan. There was the slightest glimpse of his head, but it wasn’t happening, so there was talk of bringing in a vacuum, but the doctor who could do that was in the middle of a C-Section, so we waited and I kept pushing until the doctor arrived a few hours later and made the surprise suggestion of an episiotomy (a surprise because they really don’t recommend those much apparently anymore). So, snip snip, and after a few pushes, out he came… after 38 hours.
Out he came, and he was quickly whisked away – unfortunately his cord was cut right away, and not by Josh as we had hoped would happen, but they wanted to check his vitals as quickly as possible and at the last second he had pooped, so a bunch of meconium came out with him adding to any concern there already was.
We thankfully got a few minutes together as a family before he was sent upstairs to Special Care, though.
Enzo was in special care for 3 nights, which was really hard… especially since I was being discharged after only 2 nights. Thankfully, the hospital has a few free rooms that you can stay in down the hall from Special Care, which is great, but wow… if you’re at Abbott and that’s your choice, be prepared for the most uncomfortable sofa bed ever, with sheets that don’t fit, plastic pillows, and the worst recliners ever. Oh, and 80’s Zenith TVs with no remotes and VHS players only. We were grateful for the room, but if I win the lottery, I’m donating money to be spent on fixing those up so that families have a more comfortable place to stay when visiting their babies.
Even though his birth may not have gone as planned, I’ve never felt such happiness in my life, except for when I married Josh.
Granted, things didn’t get off to the best start. Enzo’s blood sugar was low, so they put an IV on him and then started him on formula, and while this was happening I started to experience the most severe head, neck, and shoulder pain I’ve ever felt in my life… seriously, labor and contractions were a breeze compared to this pain. It unfortunately made it really hard to even hold Enzo when we would go to feed him every few hours, and just as hard to try and use the breast pump. My biggest hope was that I could breastfeed my baby, and it wasn’t working out. We also found out he was tongue-tied and unless we got his frenulum clipped, he probably wouldn’t be able to nurse. Eventually, we got his done after a week, but I think the damage was already done. The stress and physical pain I was in made it hard to eat and my supply just never really came in. After we got his frenulum clipped, he latched like a champ, but there wasn’t enough for him as he had gotten used to several ounces of formula at a time, and he didn’t seem to like the herbal supplements I started taking. So, after many tears and frustrations I decided to stop trying. Why share my breastfeeding woes? Because there’s a lot of stigma attached to moms who bottle-feed and no one ever really knows someone’s situation. I really feel I gave it my best shot – I went to lactation specialists, and did everything I could to relieve the physical pain so I could pump and try and get him to latch, but it wasn’t worth both of us ending every attempt in tears and frustration. I honestly felt like the worst mom ever because I couldn’t breastfeed, but I know that’s not true. He’s healthy (9lbs 5oz now) and I know that despite being formula fed, he’ll still grow up healthy and strong and loved. Believe me, though, I already got the look once at the store when feeding him a bottle, and it was really hurtful considering I was still trying at the time.
Anyhoo, Enzo is doing great and I’m doing good adjusting to being a mommy. I’m not going to lie – those first couple of weeks are hard with hormones going crazy and lack of sleep and an awkward start like we had. I’m so thankful my mom was able to come out for a week, and soon my sister and nephew!
And now time to end this thing because that kid has a set of lungs on him. Welcome to mommyhood. :p