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I've pretty much already given the main details of his birth but I guess I'll write out the long version.
I got a horrid stomach bug or something (I still think it was just my body prepping for pregnancy but my doctor said no) at about 34 weeks. Finally went to L&D on the third day when the contractions were really picking up. Turns out I was probably dehydrated but they just sent me home (would have been nice to get some fluids!). I was a fingertip dilated but my contractions were mild and didn't seem to be doing much. All seemed well for about 2 weeks. Then, at 36 weeks and 1 day, I woke up with pinkish brown discharge and completely freaked out that there was something wrong. I rescheduled my doctors appointment to that afternoon. I luckily wasn't having too many contractions but I was still pretty freaked out. When I got to the doctors office and left my urine sample I realized there was mucus in the discharge so I figured out that it was my plug. However, 36 weeks seemed too early for bloody show. My doctor checked me and confirmed that I was losing my plug but was only 1 1/2 cms dilated. He seemed pretty unconcerned and said that they don't stop labor after 36 weeks because the drugs used to stop labor had more possible complications than having a baby then. He also said most babies who come on their own at that point do not have any issues. He didn't put me on any restrictions and kind of was just like- you could have him at any time or he could take two weeks to come.
I spent the next three days laying really low because I had a hair appointment on Thursday that I really wanted to make it to lol I had contractions all night every night from then on though. They hurt but weren't getting closer together. So, I made it to my appointment and then went out to dinner with my family. I made plans to take my 5 year old to get her pedicure that I'd been promising the next day. And, then, I got this brilliant idea to dtd with dh to get things prepared for baby's eventual arrival. I should have known better since dtd put me into labor with #2. However, that time it took days of dtd so I figured I'd be okay until 37 weeks 3 days later. Right after, I started getting contractions that were more intense and regular than before. I timed them and they were 7 minutes apart and 45 seconds apart. I tried taking a bath and then lying down and nothing stopped them. So, after about an hour I gave in and called my parents and the doctor. He said he wasn't sure I was in labor but I may as well head in to get monitored. My parents came over and got my girls and we headed to the hospital 45 minutes away. I spent the ride over going "I'm probably not even in labor and I out everyone out for nothing."
I walked into the hospital pretty much singing the same toon and complained because they wouldn't let me walk upstairs. Later, one of the nurses told me they saw me come in and said I couldn't be in labor because I was too calm. Well, once I got hooked up to the monitors the nurse checked me and she goes "oh you're 4 cms, we're not sending you home." Lol I was actually really calm considering when I figured out I was really in labor I initially started crying until I realized it was freaking my 5 year old out and turned it off lol. She was not happy about having to go away from me- the 2 year old had also sobbed about it. Anyway, at that point I think I switched over from denial onto acceptance that it was happening and concern for my baby coming at 36 weeks 5 days. They moved me into my labor room and called my doctor in. I got to 7 or 8 cms before I got my epidural. My doctor does his own epidurals and he's really good but for some reason it did not work completely. It was definitely better but not gone- there was like a window on my left side that it never numbed. I am like the worst person in stressful situations *unless* it's happening to me I guess because I was just really calm during labor- no screaming or any of that.
After the epidural, the doctor broke my water at which point we found out there was meconium- and quite a bit in the water. I started freaking out slightly but my doctor was really calm about it and we just focused on delivering the baby. I'm not sure how long it was between that and when I started pushing but it was not very long- I started feeling a lot of pressure and went from 9 cm and a rim ( not even sure what that means) to uncontrollable pushing in a matter of one or two contractions. I pushed longer than I thought I'd have to but still probably only like 15 minutes or less. When he came out the doctor put Max directly on my belly (covered in meconium and all lol) like I'd requested. There were at least two baby nurses present to take care of him and they started suctioning him immediately. I remember going on about how he couldn't breathe because he was kind of gargling like he had fluid. However as soon as they got him suctioned he started wailing nice and loud. They took him over to the warmer and examined him. I don't really remember much after that because I was really out of it for the first few hours after birth.
His birth stats were: Maximilian Edward, born at 2:58 am, 5 pounds 1 oz, 18 inches long. My total labor was only about 5 1/2 hours with only 3 of them in the hospital. I went from maybe in labor to definitely about to have a baby pretty quickly.
They checked him and everything was perfect. He had to stay on the warmer or be wrapped or doing skin to skin for the first 12 hours or so. He also had to get heel pricks for blood sugar every 3 hours for the first 24 hours. All the tests they did came back great. Never any jaundice, passed his car seat challenge, etc. every time I stood up for the first few hours I'd start gushing blood everywhere. I kept thinking I was okay only to get more blood all over! It was so gross. I also passed a huge clot which literally felt like I was giving birth again!! It was a little disturbing and I felt really awful for the first day between that and not being able to sleep. I barely held him except to breastfeed because I was afraid I'd drop him! Luckily the bleeding stopped and they gave me an ambien to help me sleep. After that things improved immensely and little Max has turned into a fantastic breastfeeder! We stayed in the hospital 48 hours and have been adjusting well to being a family of five!