Anyway, moving on, our family has grown! I'm pretty sure that I mentioned on this blog that we were trying to conceive, and after five months of trying we found out I was finally pregnant again! I really wanted to have a home birth, but in the end we just couldn't afford it (the ones here are all out of pocket), so I opted for the next best thing, and that was a natural birth at a birthing center. At 19 weeks, we learned that I was carrying a healthy baby boy, just as I had suspected. My pregnancy was completely uncomplicated, so always a good thing!
On March 24th, I had an appointment in the late morning. I'd been steadily dilating, and had been fully effaced since 36 weeks along. We had discussed with the midwife at the previous appointment about possibly doing a membrane sweep at this appointment if I had dilated more, mainly because the birth center was an hour away, and if you remember, Sophia's labor only lasted an hour. Obviously we didn't know how long this labor would be, but just in case it'd be nice to be nearby. I definitely wasn't interested in laboring all that way in the car! Or birthing there.
Anyway, at the appointment I was 4 cm dilated, so 1 cm than i was the week before. We decided to go ahead and try the sweep, and if he wasn't ready, things wouldn't progress. She told us that if labor hadn't started by 5:00 PM, just drop by so she could do a check to see if any progress had been made. So, after the appointment we went to this big park not far from the center and hung out there literally all day. The weather was beautiful, Sophia loved it, and we got a lot of walking in. I barely had any contractions though, so i wasn't really expecting too much once 5:00 rolled around.
Surprisingly, during that time I had dilated to 5 cm, so she decided to go ahead and give us a room to hang out in. After checking me, she did a little more of a sweep just to encourage it a little more and had me drink a little castor oil (ick, never again). I felt a little more crampy a little bit after the second sweep, but mainly just hung out. Sophia hardly had a nap (like maybe a ten minute one on the drive from the park back to the birth center), so she was kind of being a hyper terror, so that part wasn't really amazing. I can totally see the appeal of having someone watch your other kids during labor and birth.
After a bit, I could tell I was having contractions, but they weren't really painful, just pretty much felt the same as all of my braxton hicks contractions/prodromal labor. I could still talk through them and manage them. Eventually I decided to sit on a birthing ball, mainly because the bed wasn't too comfortable and I've always liked sitting on them.
At around 8:00 one of my midwives came in to time the contractions to see if they were regular (I hadn't been timing them and really had no idea if they were or not). So that's when I learned that apparently they were 2-3 minutes apart and around a minute long.
At 9:00. she came back and asked if she could check me to see where we were at since I was starting to get the shakes, and I was at 8 cm. I was shocked! I was heading into transition and honestly wouldn't have even known I was in labor if I hadn't been there. I was just seriously not in pain. The contractions were uncomfortable, but I could still talk, text, laugh, etc through them.
Pretty much more of the same, just hanging out and contracting, and at 10:00 I was checked again (because I really felt shakey and cold at this point) and found that I was now at 9-10 cm dilated. After being at 10 cm for a little bit and nothing really going on (no urges to push yet, etc), we decided to break my water to help him come down some (which they had a lot of problems breaking my water; guess I make strong amniotic sacs!). Looking back I kinda wish I didn't, since after doing so the contractions actually started to feel pretty painful. Not to the point where I had to be vocal, but it was definitely harder to work through them. Plus, at this point I had moved onto the bed, since they were wanting me to be where I planned to push him out, and I figured that if I couldn't have a water birth there, might as well have him on the bed. So I think it would've been easier to find pain relief on the ball, or better yet in the tub. That was the first time I really felt an urge to get in the water; before that I just didn't really have the desire to and I really wasn't in pain, just a little discomfort.
Anyway, after a little bit of having the intensified contractions, they suggested that I start trying to push with them to bring him down (I wasn't really planning to push until I felt the urge, but now that the contractions were worse, I decided to go with it so I could quit contracting). It really didn't take long before he was crowning, and that HURT. With Sophia, pushing was such a relief. Her contractions were painful despite my water being intact, and with pushing I could do something to lessen the pain. With Jack, the rest of the labor really wasn't painful, but I kept pushing just to get that part over with. During this part, I HAD to be vocal. A little earlier, the second midwife came in to hang out too and started playing with Sophia, so that part was really nice. I think she was finally a little concerned though when I was pushing, since I just couldn't keep quiet through that sort of pain. After a couple of pushes, at 11:18 PM, Jack Oliver was finally here!
He really took to nursing right away, which was just so amazing. He's the first of all my babies to do so; I guess third time's a charm! After a bit, we weighed him and measured him. I figured the whole pregnancy that he was about the same size as Sophia. He was 6 lbs, 7 oz, and 19 inches long. So one ounce heavier than her and a half inch shorter.
Jack has really been the perfect addition to the family. We're just SO in love with him! He's such a content, easy baby, it's so nice! Sophia is obsessed with him, which honestly makes a lot more work for me most of the time, but I'm so glad she loves him. I can't believe that he's already three weeks old! Seriously, where has the time gone? I weighed him yesterday, and he was 7 lbs 4.8 oz. The week before, he was 6 lbs 6.4 oz, so that's basically a 14 oz gain in the matter of a week. I was shocked! Little piggy for sure. :)
As for me, I'm doing great! Back into that awkward "none of my clothes fit" stage, and tired, but so happy. I gained a total of 18 lbs during the whole pregnancy, and he was born at 39 weeks 3 days.