This is part 3 or 3 of Brooks' Birth Story. If you missed part 1 or part 2, you can catch up here. Fasten your seatbelts, this one's a doozy...
As one would imagine, and to my dismay, we did the epidural-pitocin dance from 7:30pm-9pm. The contractions would intensify and become closer, then they would increase the epidural and decrease pitocin, etc., etc. This happened until they found the right balance to allow my cervix to open completely. I started to push at 9 pm and this is when things begin to get fuzzy.
The balanced concoction ended up being a decrease in epidural and increase in pitocin. In my mind (and the midwife agreed) the 2 drugs cancelled each other out and I may as well have gone without medication- I was tired, angry, and frustrated to say the least. I felt like I had been pushing for hours and I was reaching my limit. The midwife took a damp paper towel and put some drops of lavender on it to help calm me down. The aroma was nice, but I was so far outside of my mind- I don't think it made a difference at this point. I was crying. More and more nurses and physicians were filling the room and the original midwife and nurse who were there with me in the beginning were starting to fade off into the distance. My pulse was elevated and they put an oxygen mask on me. I swear the oxygen mask made it more difficult for me to breathe but they were adamant about keeping it on. It gets even more blurry at this point, like I was having an out-of-body experience. I kept shouting over and over again:
"I feel like I'm dying"
"It hurts SO bad"
At one point I was yelling "I can't do this" (a typical transition confession- but didn't realize it at the time). I couldn't even believe what was coming out of my mouth. I am "Moms in Harmony" this isn't how it's supposed to be. This isn't how I'M supposed to handle these situations. This isn't the example I aim to be, personally and professionally. I literally thought I was going to die before birthing my baby. All the nurses and midwives were cheering me on and Ryan was by my head comforting me and trying to keep his composure- I can't imagine seeing him in this condition if the roles were reversed, he was so strong! This was definitely the low point in my labor and delivery.
I felt like I had nothing left and then, one affirmation kept replaying in my mind- "The only way out is through". I don't know how, but Brooks Ryan was finally born at 10:31 pm perfectly healthy. I had a 1st degree tear and required a couple of stitches, but nothing major and nothing compared to what I thought it was going to require. I was swooning over my new son as they were stitching me up and pressing on my belly to help my uterus contract. Even after they stitched me up, I still had a lot of bleeding that was "concerning". They gave me a shot in my leg to help make it stop. They kept checking me every hour for the next several hours. What's even worse is the midwife did a physical exam *down there* to check for blood clots- this was the worst pain, I wouldn't wish this on anyone! Vaginal exams are uncomfortable to begin with, never mind one that has just undergone a traumatic delivery and stitches! Eventually my bleeding subsided to an amount they considered "normal".
I was able to get up and go to the bathroom without a problem and spent the next hour or so doing skin to skin and breastfeeding. My parents were so excited they had been waiting at the hospital since 7 pm to meet their newest grandchild. It was about midnight when they got to meet him. After a brief visit with them, we got ready for bed but I only half slept because my adrenaline was still sky rocketed from birthing my baby and I just couldn't stop staring at how beautiful he was. I had just been through the WORST pain experience of my life, but it all melted away as soon as I held Brooks in my arms. He was worth everything. I honestly didn't think I would be able to walk the next day, but I actually felt pretty good. My body has recovered so much faster this time around than with my first pregnancy, it's amazing!
Life with two has been an adventure. I can't imagine our family dynamic any other way now that Brooks is here. I didn't have the post partum challenges that I had with Savannah, but I did have better expectations in regards to sleepless nights and breastfeeding. I also had more support with the birth of Brooks. My Husband had more flexibility with his work and my in-laws were living with us during this time. Having the support allowed me to be more at ease with this transition. I was able to muster up the courage to venture out of the house and attend a weekly breastfeeding support group at the Hospital where Brooks was born- this group helped me tremendously in all areas of Motherhood, not just breastfeeding. The whole vibe of the group was very much like health coaching and I think that's why it left such an impact on me. Health coaching new Moms is something I am extremely passionate about because I understand the importance of support. My program offers new Moms a way to get back to themselves and a way to create some clarity around the fog.
There's a whole grieving process with knowing you won't be having any more children. I appreciate the process and the miracle of life. I'm totally at peace with my family the way it is, I don't feel like I need to add another human being to "complete" us, but it's still sad. I'll never feel those little baby kicks or experience the pure joy and excitement of meeting this human being you created for the first time; no more birth announcements or gender reveals; no more positive (or negative) pregnancy tests. I miss the hospital staff and the midwives I saw monthly and then weekly leading up to the birth; no more baby name brainstorms (I have so many awesome names I never got to use!).
But...making the decision to just focus on our 2 children is a good feeling. I'm looking forward to traveling and making fun memories together as a family of 4.
If you are interested in learning more about my health coaching services for new Moms, send me a message! I'd love to hear from you!
Love & Laughter,
Welcome to Moms in Harmony, I'm so glad you're here! My name is Meg and I'm a healthy lifestyle enthusiast, holistic advocate, wannabe blogger, Wife, and Mom trying to get the hang of it all. Kick off your flip flops and stay awhile!
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