Graham’s Birth Story

Sorry for disappearing last week. I planned to get back to my regular schedule of posting but then I decided I would rather spend my time snuggling my new little guy. #sorryimnotsorry – I caught up on some deadlines over the weekend and have plans to get back into a more of a regular posting schedule as much as I can with 2 under 2 {one being a brand spankin’ new newborn!} As all the moms out there know, my time isn’t always my own anymore! But I am excited to share with you Graham’s birth story today!

And if you want, check out Brooks’ Birth Story Part 1 & Part 2!

hospital

So I don’t really know where to start except for the beginning of the day on Monday, September 7th – Labor Day. As I mentioned before, we decided to go forward with a scheduled induction for various reasons after discussing all our options with my doctor. Looking back, I’m so happy we went with this option because it was SUCH a different and better experience going through labor with Graham than it was with Brooks. I’m sure this had everything to do with the fact that this was baby #2 and the fact that I was having him within 19 months of having my first baby, but I’ll still take it!

We arrived at the hospital at 8:00am on Monday morning. My parents stayed at our house to take care of Brooks and Jackson for the few days we would be in the hospital – having this organized and scheduled ahead of time made everything easier – on everyone! After we got to the hospital it took a while before we actually got started – we had to get checked in, go to our room, get changed + have my stats checked, had an ultrasound to make sure baby was in the right position and then had to wait for the doctor to come to chat. After all that was said and done we decided to start with a prostaglandin pill that was inserted vaginally – this was given to help continue to soften my cervix to prepare for labor and potentially even jumpstart labor on it’s own.

After that pill was inserted, I had to stay laying down for 2 hours – which was not as easy as it sounds when you have to pee every 5 seconds, but I survived. The pill had 4 hours to work it’s magic and then I was checked again – fully effaced and with contractions but not regularly enough or strong enough to bring on real labor.

During that time I enjoyed a clear liquid tray, which is pretty amazing when you are starving and can’t eat!

clear liquid tray

After I was checked for progress we started with pitocin – I was totally not excited about doing this based on my previous experience with Brooks  but it was the next best option to get things moving along and the nurse was pretty impressed with the quick progress I had made with the prostaglandin. They started me with low levels because I was contracting on my own, just waiting for everything to kick start into real labor mode.

As you can see from this hospital bed selfie, I was feeling pretty good at this point.

pitocen

I was on pitocin for a few hours during the afternoon. Charles and I entertained ourselves by playing cards and watching daytime TV. I also hung out on the labor ball in an effort to keep moving things along in any way I possibly could. It also just felt better to move and bounce than sit in the bed all day, even though I couldn’t go very far because I was hooked up to machines.

ball

The nurse came in a few times asking me if I could feel any of the contractions that was showing up on the monitoring device but I couldn’t really at all. She seemed to be pretty impressed by this  and they eventually started upping the pitocin levels.

Everything pretty much stayed the same in terms of pain levels + progress for moving things along until around 5:15/5:30pm when the doctor came in to break my water. I was sort of surprised they wanted to do that so soon but they said that with second time mom’s things tend to move much quicker and this would get us going in the right direction – boy were they right!

labor ball

With Brooks I had been on a epidural before they broke my water and I remembered it feeling good, sort of freeing in a way – definitely a release. So when they said they were going to do it again this time, I was looking forward to it. But with no drugs it was a much different experience, in that it HURT LIKE A B#*tch!

But after that things started to get really crazy, really quick – it was like my body knew exactly what it needed to do, just needed a little kick. After my water was broken, I started to really feel every contraction. The nurse came in and asked if I wanted an epidural and I wasn’t sure if I wanted one so soon, but in a matter of moments I went from feeling fine + playing cards with Charles, to unable to speak through contractions – Charles remembered this transition from last time and I did too. My mood immediately shifted and it was game time. And I wanted the drugs!

It took about an hour before I was actually able to get the drugs and it was the most pain I had been in, possibly ever. I had the epidural much sooner last time and this pain was serious {magnified I’m sure by the pitocin} It was a pretty rough hour on all of us, I was seriously questioning what the hell I was doing getting myself back into this mess again! And knowing what was ahead of me in terms of labor, was freaking me out even more, especially based on my previous experience – Who does this more than once?!

The anesthesiologist finally came in and he was a no-muss/no-fuss kind of guy. Efficient in a way that I appreciated but he also took his time making sure everything was right, which took a while. Again, I appreciated this, but wanted it to move along at the same time!  The insertion of the needle hurt, a lot – and it took a while – but once it was in there it was good to go because my pain level immediately went down. I also told him that last time my epidural fell out, so he made sure to tape my entire back up – that needle was going nowhere + when they took it out, I’m pretty sure my back was waxed! With Brooks labor only half of my lower body went numb from the epidural, but with this one I was completely numb and it felt so much better. I was chilling out after that – feeling pressure but much easier to deal with the actual pain.

An hour or so went by again and then I started to feel nauseous. I told the nurse that I was vomiting and feeling ill like this right before Brooks was born too. I didn’t actually get sick this time, but she had the doctors come in to check me for progress. Much to my surprise, the doctor looked up at me and asked me if I was ready to have this baby!

Umm..WHAT?!

I was in complete shock for many reasons. With Brooks, I pushed for 4 hours – it was crazinesss. With Brooks, I was also in some serious pain, even with the epidural. I felt the pressure, I was able to move around – but this time, it was a whole different ballgame. How was I about to have a baby when I couldn’t feel anything?! How could I even push?

I looked back up at Charles who was next to me and he was just as surprised as I was. We were both in some serious disbelief that we had already gotten to this point already, because the last time they had checked me, before they broke my water, I was at 6 cm – and now it was time to push out a babe!

More doctors and nurses came into the room, ready to get this party started, so I began to believe that the doctor was serious. Everyone got into place and he told me to push – something I couldn’t really feel to do – but somehow managed to do at the same time.

I pushed about 10 minutes, he said the next push + we would have a baby here.

Again, still in disbelief at this point {pretty sure so was Charles}

The doctor then asked me if I wanted to feel the babe’s head down below. I’m into the whole beauty of labor + all that jazz but I politely declined {I’m sure with a horrified look on my face} Just not my jam.

But sure enough, next push and little man was here.

first photo

Aside from the length of the labor + the pain itself, this birth was completely different from the moment little man came into this world as well. Brooks was 2 weeks late, had meconium and had to be taken aside to make sure he didn’t swallow anything bad {spoiler alert – he didn’t} With Graham, he was popped out and immediately put on my chest.

The cord was cut right from my chest {something I didn’t get to see before} + everything else was done around me while little man + I got some solo time to get to know one another officially. This was so nice to experience – they didn’t even weigh him or bath him or anything. It was all about the first hour for the mom + babe.

love

While he hung out on my chest they cleaned me up down below {woohoo – no tearing!} and I let Graham see if he wanted to try out nursing a bit. He latched on for a bit and we sort of had our first feed.

After that he was weighed + measured – he clocked in at 7 lbs. 11 oz. {which is the same weight Brooks + my husband Charles were born at – how crazy is that?!} He also measured 20 inches long {0.5 longer than big bro!}

babe

We were able to arranged a bit of late night childcare for Brooks, since baby brother was born after Brooks was asleep for the night, so my parents were able to come to the hospital to meet their new grandson + Charles parents came over too. It was nice for all the grandparents to get to see the newest family member within his first 2 hours of being out in the world.

second babe

welcome

After the grandparents got to say hello we were wheeled off to another level of the hospital – Graham stayed with us the entire time. They did everything – all the tests + check-ups and even his first sponge bath – in the room with us, so we weren’t separated at all, which was really nice.

bundle

The next day was a big one for us because my mom was bringing Brooks over to meet his new little brother. We have been taking about this for a long time now but B is still so young so we didn’t really know what to expect from him. 
threeBut it turns out Brooks was excited to meet his brother and was really interested in him. It was so sweet to see him meet his new little mini-Brooks for the first time. And even more surprising for us just how much the two look alike when Graham first made his appearance! 
boys

I was pretty pumped to have our first official photo as a family of 4 taken.

four

But let’s be honest – Brooks was there just for the extra TV time! Ha!

chilling

Is it weird that I was looking forward to this time in the hospital for my entire pregnancy? I was excited not to have to cook, or clean or go anywhere or do anything. I was excited to just be – and to have my meals brought to me and friends + family visit and just really relax and be taken care of rather than taking care of everyone else. A little crazy to look forward to, right?

But I was also looking forward to this time as when my new son and I would get some alone time to get to know each other. He was {and still sort of is – knock on wood} pretty sleepy so he wasn’t up all crazy hours of the night  those two nights – the second night was a bit more cluster feeding but I couldn’t complain. I was excited to not be pregnant anymore, to have him here with me and very thankful my second labor experience was so much better than the first!

oh hey

Having Graham born around 8:00pm meant we didn’t get an extra night in the hospital – it was nice to go home to my own bed and to Brooks but at the same time it was nice to be in the hospital where I didn’t have to worry about anything!

But either way, it’s so exciting going home with baby boy #2 in my arms!

home

Off to enjoy life with 2 under 2!

How was your labor + delivery experience? Please share!

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11 Comments

  • Reply Lauren September 21, 2015 at 9:58 am

    Loved reading your story! I’m 20 weeks with #2, and I’m starting to think about all those logistical planning things for our 2 year old! I’m so glad it all worked out well for you!

  • Reply Ashley @ Running Bun September 21, 2015 at 10:09 am

    YAY I’ve been waiting for this! Congratulations!!!! I also declined the option to feel the head lol.

    I am so interested/nervous to see how my daughter will do when she meets baby #2. We’ll see in March!

  • Reply Sara September 21, 2015 at 11:56 am

    He is gorgeous! I’m so glad you had a better experience this time.

  • Reply Barb @ A Life in Balance September 21, 2015 at 12:16 pm

    Congratulations! My dd8 took a long time to come up. We rushed to the hospital in the morning because my boys had come so fast, and then sat around all day waiting.

  • Reply saraah September 21, 2015 at 12:29 pm

    Pitocin, right?

    • Reply Leslie September 21, 2015 at 4:28 pm

      yes! oops! fixing the spelling now -thanks!

  • Reply Julia September 21, 2015 at 1:23 pm

    Congratulations! He’s such a cutie, I’m sure Brooks will make a great big brother.

  • Reply Kay @ Goaloflosing September 21, 2015 at 1:42 pm

    What a beautiful birth story! Congratulations! Sending love!!

  • Reply Trina O'Boyle September 21, 2015 at 7:56 pm

    Congratulations!!! Just as you, I had 2 very different birth experiences. My 1st was a C-Section and my 2nd was a VBAC. So glad you had a great experience the 2nd time around. Enjoy every minute of having a newborn, as you know it goes quickly.

  • Reply Natalie @ The Ravenous Mommy September 22, 2015 at 4:21 pm

    Congratulations! You have a beautiful family 🙂

    So happy your experience with #2 was so much better!

  • Reply Patty O September 28, 2015 at 9:23 pm

    What a beautiful birth story featuring Graham! I am so happy for you that this labor was a positive experience – you looked terrific before and after the delivery! Congratulations to you and the family – Brooks will be the best Big Brother ever! Thanks for sharing!

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