We had another baby last week! I know our friends and family are waiting anxiously to see some baby photos, and this is where to get them! I’ll be sharing all the details of our second baby’s birth story, which is a bit different than the first time we had a baby!
Not that I’m a baby birth expert or anything, but I felt like things were a lot easier this time around. I was definitely more conscious/aware of what was going on the whole time and felt that the whole experience was smoother. In case you didn’t know about our first birth, I ended up having to get a C-Section (after about 24 hours of contractions, and 12-ish hours in the hospital).
Having a toddler at home, I knew I definitely did NOT want another C-Section. I could barely move for like a month, and couldn’t even lift up my newborn and sit up at the same time – so I didn’t know how I was supposed to also take care of a toddler (who still sleeps in his crib and needs to be picked up throughout the day).
So for the past 9 months, I had known that I wanted to have a VBAC; and the closer we got to the baby’s due date, the more we discussed the trial of labour and tried to determine the best way to approach it. In the end, my doctor decided it might be best to try inducing when she knew she would be working at the hospital, and I had an ultrasound a week before to do one final check on the baby.
Baby Birth Story
My last appointment was on Monday (the 16th) and I was 1cm dilated at that point. The doctor did a sweep and thought that I might even go into labour on my own soon, but we still scheduled the induction in for Wednesday the 18th. They called us at 6:30 that morning and let us know to come in for 9-9:30am. It was another doctor on call at that point, and she put in the Foley catheter sometime around 10:30am. We were told that we could go home but had to be back for 4pm (unless I started getting regular contractions in the meantime). The Husband and I were pretty hungry at this point, so we decided to go get some lunch, then headed home for a nap in the afternoon.
I had maybe 3 contractions in the first 2 hours, but nothing after that (although I was sleeping for an hour or so). We headed back to the hospital, and I wasn’t sure that I would be dilated at all and was thinking we might just get discharged and have to come back when I was in a natural labour. Turns out the catheter worked and I was 3-4cm at this point (it was about 5:30pm) and my doctor decided to break my waters to get things going.
The Husband and I then went down to the gift shop to get something to do (we forgot to bring cards!) and picked up a crossword puzzle book. He also went and got our bag and pillow from the car, since we didn’t want to bring it up earlier in case nothing was going to happen.
I tried to spend most of the time sitting and working on the crossword puzzles (which were super hard btw) because I knew that I’d be laying down for a while once the contractions really started going. After a few hours, they were coming in every 1 to 2 minutes, and I could barely stand the pain at all. In the first labour, I had been given morphine/Gravol in the night to sleep; then had an epidural much later, right before my C-section.
I was hoping to tough it out and go drug-free this time, but by 8:15pm I decided on the epidural and they started prepping me. I was worried that I wouldn’t feel anything and wouldn’t know when to push the baby out (and also very scared that I might get a C-section again) but the contractions were way too hard to handle. After what seemed like forever – the epidural person came in and my pain slowly started going away (I did wait close to an hour though, so next time I think I may have to ask for the epidural earlier).
I was starting to feel the pressure to push, and I didn’t want to have wasted the epidural if baby was ready to come out. Turns out I was only about 5cm at this point, so phew! (But also, how would I have made it the next 5 if I had to go through that pain? I don’t know how people do it!).
Even though my contractions had been coming so often before, for some reason they started slowing down and getting more irregular. Sometime between 10 and 10:30pm, the babies heart-rate dropped really low and a bunch of people came in to see/fix what was going on. Thankfully it went back up, but they did have to put the heart-rate monitor on the baby directly (rather than using the monitor that wrapped around my belly).
I was fully dilated between 11 and 11:30, however, the baby’s heart-rate had dropped once or twice again; and they didn’t want me to push until it was stable for at least 20 to 30 minutes. I couldn’t feel my contractions at all but was told they were still pretty far apart and irregular.
We started the labour/pushing process sometime after midnight, but because the heart-rate had dropped so often before, the doctor was worried that the extra pressure of pushing might put the baby in distress again. She decided to use the vacuum to help take the baby out quicker, and I also had an episiotomy to make extra room. I tell you though, that vacuum worked like a charm since baby just “plopped” right out in two good pushes. (Although I had pushed a bunch before to get the baby out enough to use the vacuum – and let’s just say I was really bad at the whole pushing thing since I didn’t understand when I was supposed to breathe in / out whatever. And the fact that my contractions were pretty irregular still, so it was hard to get a rhythm going).
Welcome Baby Élise!
Our sweet little girl came out at 00:58 on April 19th and she was healthy as can be (minus the vacuum cone shape on her head). I had to get sewed up from the episiotomy while they measured her and what not, but I cannot tell you how happy I was that she came out sans C-section! She weighed 7lbs 7 ounces, and was born on her due date (which is actually the second time that’s happened to me, even though I hear it’s very rare). I’m not sure if it counts 100% though since we technically did do the inducing (would she have come that day on her own?).
Her name is Élise, middle name Lucie (sort of after my dad, Luc) and she was born with a full head of dark brown hair. It’s pronounced like A-lize (think the letter A, then Lise with a z sound) rather than uh-lisse, but that’s probably how most people will say it since it’s a bit more French.
We left the delivery room and were brought into the ward for the first night; by the time we did a feeding and got settled it was close to 3:30am so we all slept! This time I was able to grab the baby when she was hungry in the night, rather than having to rely on the Husband (who just sleeps through everything btw). Because we had her in the middle of the night, and you stay for 24 hours with a natural delivery, we could either leave in the middle of the next night or wait until the next morning.
Being in the hospital doesn’t bother me too much, and I would not have wanted to leave in the middle of the night, so decided to stay the second night. The Husband went home and got little Zachary to visit and his mother (who was thankfully taking care of him!) and my parents came as well.
My mom decided to stay the second night rather than the Husband… and let’s just say she was more helpful haha! We were discharged on Friday morning then headed home and have been settling into a sort of routine ever since.
Thankfully my parents are here for a few days to take care of us, and the Husband also took the time off of work. The first night, little Élise decided she needed to eat every hour (on the hour!) and I was very tired – but it’s gotten better since then.
She’s a bit lighter in weight than Zachary was, and her hair is a bit lighter (although his came in blond after 3 months) so we’ll see if they end up looking similar, or completely different! I find her cheeks are starting to get rounder, and the Husband doesn’t think she has a big enough chin yet (she liked to suck in her bottom lip and it looks really funny sometimes!).
I’ve been spending pretty much all my time with her these last few days (for obvious reasons!) so I’m really grateful that we have help for the others (Zachary and Tootsie!) while I’ve been occupied.
I’m very happy our second baby birth story went smoother than the first, and that I had a successful VBAC. I told the Husband that if I had another C-section, he better be ready to take care of both bébés because I’d be too upset to help. The whole labour process was quicker too, about 15 hours; but I’m hoping that the next time I don’t need the episiotomy, because that’s a whole ‘nother healing process that I wasn’t expecting!