Behind The Bumps 24
The baby “Behind the 2nd Bump” is here! This will be my last post in this series, I hope you’ve enjoyed following my pregnancy journey. Here’s a little insight into his birth…
In the last 4 weeks of my pregnancy, my breech baby turned head down on the second ECV attempt in the hospital. I went from a booked c-section back to plan A when baby turned at 38 weeks (June 7).
On June 20, I was woken up at about 3:30 in the morning with some pain in my hips. Labour started the exact same way with my first son so I has a suspicion that this was “it”! For about an hour I just laid in bed, dozing, and looking at the clock every time I felt the tightness in my hips, which turned out to be about every 10 minutes. I opened the pregnancy app on my phone and was starting to time an actual contraction when I felt a small tap and rush of fluid and knew, UNMISTAKABLY, that my water had just broken. I woke my husband up, apparently by “smacking him,” and called my midwife who said if active labour did not pick up, to meet her in the clinic at 9 AM. At this point it was probably 5:15 in the morning and, very shortly after I got off the phone with her, my contractions picked up – big time. I started to time them and they were coming about every three minutes which was very soon into labour for it to have progressed so far. I called my midwife back, asked my husband to get everything into the car (thank God it was all packed) and we left for the hospital. My mom was staying with so she just stayed with our two year old, Harrison.
We got to the hospital about 6:00 am and my midwife wasn’t there yet. If you are under midwifery care but your midwife isn’t at the hospital then they just put you in an assessment room to wait. I thought I was probably still leaking a little bit of fluid so I went to the washroom which is the next room over. While I was in there, my contractions were coming so close together that I couldn’t really get OUT of the bathroom. I was in there probably 10 minutes and my husband came and asked if everything was okay. He describes that as his way of saying “is there something I should be doing right now?” I mean, no everything is not okay, but, yes I guess it is okay because everything that is supposed to happen is happening. What I find funny, now knowing how close I was, is that I made sure three times that I locked the bathroom door, never once thinking I could potentially give birth in this bathroom and this door would be locked. After struggling to wash my hands (struggling because I now know I was basically in transition at this point), I finally managed to get out of the bathroom. At this point it was about 6:20 am (1.5 hours since my water broke) and my midwife had just arrived. I was asking her for some pain relief and she said she needed to check first and see how far along I was. I managed to get on the table and she checked and said I was FULLY DILATED and there would be no pain relief for me. I was scared, I will admit it, but I also didn’t know how close I was. Me: “Can I have an epidural?” Her, bewildered: “No, you’re going to HAVE A BABY.”
So she goes to the desk and gets a delivery room for me and comes back and tells me there’s a room and that we can go to it. I looked at her like she had three heads, as all my manners have flown the coup by this point. You want me to WALK to a delivery room? NOPE. If I had done that the baby certainly would have been born at the front desk and we would have had to name it Concierge or something. She gets a wheelchair for me, which I basically throw myself into off the bed, (as my husband’s like “IT’S NOT READY YET!” about the chair and I’m still launching myself off the bed, assuming either a chair or a person will catch me before I hit the floor) and takes me the ten seconds to the room. As I was going from the chair to the next bed I could feel the baby’s head coming. About five minutes later, at 6:35 am (after apparently 4 pushes but I wasn’t counting), the baby was born – a healthy, not so little boy (8lbs 13oz) who we named Rhett William. I had gone from nothing (laying in my bed at home) to a large baby on my chest in under two hours, enduring only about 30 contractions total. I couldn’t believe it – after a 26 hour-plus-forceps journey with Harrison, in the blink of an eye our precious second baby was here. I was still in my regular clothes, as was my midwife as she had only been at the hospital about 10-15 minutes. I did change into a hospital gown after about an hour when they weighed the baby and such.
I was completely overwhelmed by the speediness of it all. I wish I was given a list at the beginning of labour with the number of contractions on it and then I could just cross them off as they happened 😉 One of the best parts for me was that we were home nine hours later to welcome Harrison home from daycare and order Boston Pizza takeout for dinner.
If we were planning three kids I might be inclined to shoot for a home birth. I’m not sure how much shorter the timeline could get before I’d find myself birthing in the passenger seat of our Pontiac Vibe.
Well here we are, at the (near) end of the pregnancy. Hasn’t it flown by? Hahahahaha, no, no it hasn’t. As with all life events, at times it takes forever and at times it flies by. And when you get to the due date, you’ll think “already?!” on one side of the brain and on the other you’ll think “good gravy just get it over with”… To be honest that’s where I am right now.
29-31 weeks – My mom is in town for the 29th week, she usually seems to do a visit at the beginning of April each year. We didn’t really do too too many things, I’m not sure why. I did get the kids’ nearly-matching thrifted side tables sanded and painted and we went to a Hometown Hockey festival that was in town. Overall I’m feeling rather large Marge but mostly ok. My sinuses have calmed down substantially, thank goodness, and I’m sleeping decently.
32 weeks – My 32 week midwife appointment determined that the baby is still breech – most have turned into the head down position by this point. If you missed my exciting breech experience last pregnancy, you’ll certainly want to catch up. Last time they didn’t catch it until 36 weeks though and 32 is MUCH earlier to start thinking about things I can do to help the baby turn. Lots of time…. right? We moved Harrison out of the nursery and into his big boy bed after taking the front off his crib and letting him get used to that for two weeks. So far so good! He loves his new room which I’m so happy about as I put a lot of time and energy into it (time, I have. Energy, not so much).
33-35 weeks – 34 week ultrasound to confirm positioning confirms that I have another Frank Breech on my hands (bum down, head and feet up). I’ve started going to a waterfit class twice a week and it’s pretty amazing. Even if it doesn’t help the baby turn, it’s so nice to get into the pool and stretch my hips and my shoulders. I’ve mentioned it before but water workouts when you’re pregnant are the absolute best. I’ve also started going to a chiropractor pretty aggressively (at the very beginning of my 33 week) to try and get some head-down movement from this child. Still keeping up with chiropractic and waterfit regularly. My inlaws visit for a while and we do *all the projects* that need doing in the house – big and small. Some nesting things like freezer meals and hanging a mobile, some repair things, it was super productive and a big relief.
36-38 weeks – Oh boy. The almighty ECV. For those unfamiliar with an ECV (which is most), it’s an External Cephalic Version and it’s an attempt to turn a baby head down from the outside using a little bit of pressure (or lots of pressure but who’s counting). Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, and it really can’t be predicted. I had it done with Harrison at 37 weeks and it worked on the third turn attempt. I wasn’t so lucky this time as the baby was positioned with its back to my back which makes it very hard to turn. Three tries with no luck and they called it a day. I was devastated and cried for a few days while I laid upside down on the ironing board (propped on the couch) and tried to encourage the baby to turn on its own. A follow-up appointment led to me asking if we could try it again. The doctor was very reluctant, but didn’t say no, and I knew if there was a chance, then I had to go for it. And lo and behold, they had a spot the next day and THE BABY TURNED WITH NO RESISTANCE! I couldn’t even believe it. So then I cried again, for like half an hour while they monitored the baby’s heartbeat and then we got to go home. So back to Plan A! Phew, that was stressful, and I know that people give birth differently every day but it was taking me a while to come to terms with what the new options could have been.
And now we wait for baby!
Preparing for your first – or a subsequent – baby can be overwhelming. Even if you’re relatively minimalistic or are trying to fit it all in your studio apartment, there’s still a lot to think about, and a lot to choose from. But where to start? I’ve linked some of the products we chose for our baby(ies) in the article below if you’re interested.
Well, let’s assume you give birth at the hospital or a birthing centre. You’ll need a way to get the baby home and a way to transport him or her. Depending on your living situation, that could mean different things. For us, we needed a car seat, a stroller that works with the car seat, and a baby carrier, wrap or sling. Your needs may be different depending on your family and living situation. If you don’t own a car you may not need a car seat, for instance.
Then once you get the baby home, you’ll need somewhere for them to sleep. For us this looked like a bassinet beside the bed for the first few months and then a crib after that. Some folks with larger master bedrooms move the crib right into the bedroom and skip the bassinet. Some families with less living space (think: Toronto and Vancouver) choose to go with a mini crib. If you plan to co-sleep, you’ll need to know how to do that safely and if there are any products you would like that will help (like an in-the-bed co-sleeper or something of that nature). We swaddled our first baby in a variety of products including Aden and Anais muslin swaddles, Summer infant Swaddlemes and the Woombie, all worth their weight in gold if it helps gain some much-needed shuteye.
Soon enough they’ll wake up (new flash – they’ll wake up screaming) and need to eat. We had what we needed for this as it was attached to my body but if you choose to formula feed, you’ll obviously need formula and bottles. You can choose whether you’d like a warmer and a sterilizer – some families choose them, some don’t. If you plan to breastfeed, you’re mostly good to go but it helps to have some nipple cream or ointment and a nursing pillow. You may want to consider bottles and a breast pump as well – often these products go together as the bottles work with the pump. A nursing cover is optional depending on your preference.
If you have two floors in your home, you’ll want a safe place to put the baby on each floor, like a playard or another bassinet or similar product. You might want to think about your bathing strategy (sink vs support in the tub vs bathe with the baby vs small baby tub) and how you’re going to get all their stuff around with you (like a diaper bag, for instance). Besides that, and some clothes, you can choose what else you’d like to have on hand. As they grow and your life with them evolves, you’ll realize additional things you need like teethers, pacifiers, toys, baby-friendly dishes, sippy cups, a highchair etc. I, myself, have driven everyone around me insane while trying to add decor to the baby’s room because it’s important to me that I enjoy being in there.
And last, but certainly not least, it’s important – especially if this is your first baby – to prepare your body. I know you’re tired and you’re busy and you’re sore but try and ensure you stay even somewhat active – my pregnancy activities of choice have been yoga and water workouts. I hated yoga as it’s not my style but I’m glad I forced myself to go. Water workouts are the bomb dot com while pregnant if you have one in your area. Plus you’ll get to hear all the locker room conversations from the 70/80 somethings who frequent these classes. It’s worth it just for that some days. Find the time to do something. Take your vitamins, make sure your iron levels are good, get an exercise ball, and ask your healthcare provider what you can physically be doing to prepare for labour.
Of course no matter what you do to prepare, you’ll find you’ve over-prepared in some areas and under-prepared in others (why did I buy 30 short sleeved onesies and only 2 sleepers?), so you’ll figure it out as you go!
Oh, glorious second trimester, how I love you. This is the best time of pregnancy (other than when you meet the baby of course). You start to show (and look super cute), you tell everyone about your pregnancy and you have more energy and motivation than in recent memory. It’s also the fastest-passing period of the pregnancy.
My second trimester for me started right before Christmas, and we went on a decently long road trip down to Nashville and Louisville (from Ontario) to visit family and friends. I was adamant that we needed to break the drive into two days (could be done in one) because pregnancy, yo. Also, we were traveling with a toddler and had no idea how it would go. Anyway, I’m glad I had a bit more energy for that trip!
Until week 17, I was still working full time, although at a relatively non-demanding job, and have been home with my toddler ever since. I started feeling the baby move earlier this time, probably about 16 weeks (vs 19 weeks during pregnancy round one).
Haven’t really gained a ton, not particularly troublesome but I started this pregnancy ten lbs lighter (not really a good thing in my case) than my previous pregnancy so I’m kind of hoping for more weight gain this time around. I’d like to end up the same (or close) net weight as with my first. Can you say net weight when referring to humans? My son has to have very minor day surgery (on his ears) halfway through this week that my husband was going to be the go-to parent on and then my husband got the flu at the last minute. In my pregnancy app I’ve marked these days as “crying: severe.” Nothing quite like springing it on a pregnant woman that she has to take her precious toddler in for surgery alone.
19 – 20 weeks
Feeling a bit of anxiety, over everything. We flew home to Calgary these weeks and then drove four hours and attended a wedding. It was extremely snowy but all around pretty good. I didn’t faint at my father in law’s office this time, and any time that doesn’t happen, I call it a win.
20 – 23 weeks
Feeling my first (of both pregnancies) sustained bout of rage, directed always at the nearest human. It passes in about 10 days, but is coupled with a post-vacation, post-grandparent, slight time-change toddler hangover that really compounds the matter. I’m really starting to feel more sore than the first pregnancy which I’m aware is because my muscles have already done this and I also didn’t work too hard in the last two years to get them back in shape (read: not at all). 20 week ultrasound showed everything in order. I’m still more tired than my first pregnancy, a LOT more tired, and I nap when my toddler naps regardless of what needs to be done around the house. Also the weight gain has picked up substantially – 9 lbs in 5 weeks, much better than the measly 1lb I gained from 13-17 weeks.
I don’t want to wish this pregnancy away as it may very well be my last but I’m getting sore and tired (so much talk about being tired!). My sinuses have gotten soooo bad and I’m trying to do everything possible to help them! I have re-created the pillow fort I used to sleep on and that has really started to help but then it hurts my back, hahahaha! There is no winning sometimes! I’m finally making progress on the guest room and on Harrison’s new room which means soon I will be making progress on the baby’s room. The only thing that is changing in there is the wall decor, but with being tired, chasing a toddler, trying to move the guest room, sell everything from the old guest room and the office and set up a toddler room from scratch its somehow made it’s way to the bottom of the list.
Overall, in one word I would describe this pregnancy as “tired,” if you hadn’t ascertained that just yet. I’m trying to do a push (ha!) to get all things on the list done before I’m too far into my third trimester because I’m already familiar with the increasing fatigue and would hate to lose momentum before doing crucial things like packing my hospital bag!
Hello, nice to see you! Since I last wrote, I’ve grown a little more, the baby has grown a little more and I’ve started eating far more than the “recommended” increase in calories. Which, by the way, is totally not actually enough calories to sustain a growing baby. It’s ok, though, because my scale is broken so I only know once a month how much I’ve gained.
Every pregnancy and every child is different. I know this because I’m full swing (third trimester ahhhh!) in a second pregnancy and have friends with multiple kids who have remarked on how they can do everything as similarly as possible with each kid and they still are different – because people are different, obviously.
My first pregnancy, with Harrison, was business as usual – tiring first trimester, a little more energy in the second and into the third, and then uncomfortable and ready for it to be done near the end. Aside from that small breech incident, there weren’t any hiccups to be found. Similarly, my second pregnancy has been just as business as usual – but they’re still different! How are they different? Well, for starters I have a toddler at home that I’m parenting – for the first 16 weeks I was working full-time but have been home with him since. Perhaps using that as a contributing factor, this time around I’m WAY more tired. Everyone tells me it’s because I’m expending energy into BOTH OF MY OFFSPRING simultaneously (a trend I expect continues until I die). Some symptoms I experienced last time that I haven’t this time include seriously stuffed sinuses (I asked the Snuggle Bugz community last time and got some amazing answers that really helped), gastric reflux and constant nosebleeds. This pregnancy I’ve only experienced one nosebleed (obviously at 5am after tending to a sweaty, panicked toddler who was awake for whatever reason). It helps that you know 1) these things are coming and 2) anything goes in pregnancy. I mean, not that you shouldn’t bring up an issue to your doctor or midwife if it’s new but there are so many hidden/unknown side effects of pregnancy that nothing would surprise me anymore. This time around my limbs fall asleep like whoa. It sets in so fast I’m surprised it hasn’t happened while I’m walking.
My thoughts around labour have definitely changed, not that I’m particularly looking forward to it, but I’m aware now that 1) pain relief really is a relief and is (most likely) available, 2) it will probably be shorter than last time, and 3) I can do it. When I got to the point in my first pregnancy that we were actually discussing the birth I remember feeling lightheaded in my appointment. Welp, I managed to get through it and here I am waiting to do it again.
In a surprising turn of events, I was actually more anxious during the first trimester with this baby than with Harrison. I chalk that up to two main things: 1) I’m a mom now, so I spend my time in bed thinking of horrendous and extremely unlikely things that could happen to my child, increasing my all-around level of anxiety (ie. What if I was driving along a road beside some water and some kids threw a pumpkin at my car and I swerved into the lake and had to get my kids out of their car seats before the car sank? WHAT IF? This drives my husband crazy, by the way). That previous scenario actually did happen to someone but he didn’t have a child in the car. And 2) this baby was planned and I am glad it worked out when we wanted it to, but planned means expected, and expected means anxiously awaited. Harrison was a big surprise and so much of my first trimester was spent grappling with that idea rather than this time just watching the days tick by and hoping everything was ok.
I anticipate it being different in the hospital and raising the baby, not just because there’s another, slightly bigger but still very dependent, human who also needs our attention, but because I know it will be ok, and that it may feel like an eternity but it passes in the blink of an eye. Of all the things we went through with Harrison – the sleepless nights, wondering if it was ok if he cried, the 5 week hospital stay, I know now that as long as they’re safe, fed, and loved, it’s all going to be ok.
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