Life is busy with two! Not to mention all that’s been going on the last few weeks, which I will post about again soon (as I’ve already promised so many of you waiting for an update on that), but first things first. As promised, here is the birth story of our 2nd perfect baby boy!
This pregnancy had been a little harder than the last in regard to the timing of the first trimester sickness, some killer back pain that made me immobile at times, and at the very end, the return of cholestasis of pregnancy which I developed with my first pregnancy also. This condition is very serious as it increases the risk of stillbirth. After seeing my doctor, he decided that it was best to induce me to prevent harm to the baby. The induction was scheduled for the next morning at 6 a.m. As you may (or may not) remember, my due date was March 17 (St. Patrick’s Day).
Kai and I let his mom watch K and went out for a “last supper” date. We went to our favorite local restaurant and had some delicious food. It was great being able to tell the waiters and waitresses who had watched my belly grow the last 9 months that we would finally be meeting the baby the next day. They served me up a virgin cocktail on the house in celebration of pregnancy and delivery. We savored every minute knowing things were just beginning to get crazy. The entire meal I had irregular, but fairly strong contractions which lasted all night and until I went into the hospital the next morning.
Being induced is a completely different experience from spontaneously starting labor and then heading to the hospital, which is how older brother K arrived. We arrived at 6 a.m. freshly showered and excited to meet the newest member of our family. The nurses laid out my hospital gown and warm blankets and took all of my information while I was not experiencing intense contractions--much better than last time when I was trying to give answers in between major, piercing, awful contractions that had been going on for days.
At the very beginning
Around 7:30 after the information gathering, etc., the doctor came in and broke my water (painful!!!!) and started me on a pitocin drip. I already had requested an epidural on my birth plan, but hospital policy wouldn’t allow it until I reached 4 cm. The contractions started immediately and were 2 minutes apart for the next 6 hours. They didn’t start off too bad, but after about an hour they started getting pretty intense and after 2 hours, I was close to begging for my epidural. Thankfully I got my epidural around 10 a.m. because I had reached 4cm! Once the epidural was in, life was great!! I watched the contractions continue and felt only the hardness of my belly. The nurses came in and marveled at how intense the contractions were on the monitor and told me that I was ready to have this baby and probably would have gone into labor on my own that day or the next. The highest dose of pitocin they administered was 10, which according to them was not much at all.
I remembered that I had promised to tell several friends and family when we started labor, so I pulled out my phone and started updating. I then came across the sad news of Japan’s devastating tsunami. We realized that while we were having one of the best days of our lives and would soon meet our beloved new son, thousands of families had just been torn apart by tragic loss and destruction. It was sobering to say the least. We will always remember the day baby K came into this world and now we will never forget one of Japan’s worst moments in history.
Finally around 12:15, less than 5 hours after everything was started, I told the nurses that I felt like I needed to start pushing. After a check, they agreed that it was time. What a difference! Last time my labor lasted for 5 days, this time a little over 5 hours!!! Kai got into his gown as he was planning to deliver baby K, just as he had delivered older brother K. Pushing with my first labor experience was painful. Even with an epidural, it was bad. So I was expecting/dreading the same thing this time too, but was pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t painful. Yes, I felt the pressure, but there wasn’t pain involved like the last time. I can only guess that the last time they had backed my epidural off and I was feeling everything. This time was soooo much better and soooo much easier. I pushed for a little over a half an hour and at 12:57 baby K made his appearance!!
No, I didn't take this picture, the 2nd delivery nurse did :-)
They put him directly onto my chest as soon as he came out and his cries were immediately calmed by my voice. He weighed 6 pounds 12 ounces and measured 20 inches in length. He was perfect. His tiny fingers grasped mine and were formed beautifully. His tiny little legs curled beneath his small body and he felt so extremely helpless in my arms. After holding a solid 2 year old, he felt so fragile in my arms. I was in awe that God had blessed us with 2 seemingly perfectly created little boys. I had been afraid during this pregnancy that something would be wrong or go wrong. When I looked at older brother K and realized how wonderful he was, I was sure that it wasn’t possible to have 2 healthy babies with all the potential risks. But holding him in my arms and staring into his beautiful face made me thank God that even though we don’t deserve 2 amazing little boys, for whatever reason, He blessed us with them both. I felt such a immense sense of responsibility that I graciously accepted. Being a mom is one of the best things I’ve ever attempted.
His red hair! I hope it stays!!
We spent the next 2 days in the hospital recovering. Kai stayed with me and older brother K stayed at home with Kai’s mom who had come to help with him during the delivery (he came to visit several times though). The hospital staff were wonderful and we actually got some rest in the hospital this time. By the way, the only people present for the delivery this time were 2 nurses, the doctor, and us. Much different from the approximately 20 that were in the room last time! To be honest, both birth experiences were wonderful. They were completely different in so many ways, but they were both wonderful. Both times we had fantastic doctors and nurses. Both times the boys were very well taken care of. Both times we marveled at what a positive experience it had been. But each delivery was completely unique and different.
We have been enjoying baby K so much these last several weeks. He’s such a sweet baby. His personality is different from older bother K’s so far. Older bother K has a “grab life by the horns” approach and has always been so full of energy and activity. We have always loved this about him! Baby K seems to be much more relaxed so far. He only cries when he’s hungry or needs changing, and is content to be held and stare deeply into your face. This makes anyone holding him completely melt—me included! He seems to adore his older brother already when K comes over and strokes his face or touches his tiny hands. Older brother K has adapted so well. He jumped into the “older brother” role immediately and has done amazingly well. Of course there have been occasions when he’s acted out more than normal, but those are rare and he’s easily deterred from those moments. In his defense, he’s also gone through so many more changes than is “normal” for his age... But more on that in the next post… :-)
Cute little feet!