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9 lbs 3 oz.
While considering the birth of my second son, I realized how disappointed I was with my first birthing experience. Although I had succeeded in a natural birth, I felt like I had lost control over what I wanted to happen, and the fact that I didn't experience any initial bonding time with him really bothered me. I wanted the second birth to be very different. I did a lot of reading, and I realized that the monitors were something that hindered the natural process, and that the position I delivered in most likely impeded TJ's decent as opposed to helping it. Delivery on one's back actually causes more instances of tearing and the necessity of using a vacuum and episiotomy. His size (10 lbs 11 oz.) should have been handled through encouraging me to use gravity to push him out instead of having me be on my back with the doctor pulling him out. I also decided that I wanted this baby's birth to be free as as many interventions as possible. I wanted my entire experience to be different.
I actually had my membranes stripped twice, which I decided to do because of my fears of another very large baby. An ultrasound had measured him to be 10 lbs 5 oz. a week before my due date. The first sweep was done on Friday the 29th and that night I went into false labor. We went into the hospital but returned home because I was still only at two centimeters which was the same that morning.
Then on the following Tuesday, my due date, I had the procedure done again. Nothing out of the ordinary happened that day. I had the same number of BH contractions that I had been having. I put TJ to bed as usual and because I wasn't too tired, I sat down at the computer and started to post on JM. The house was quiet. Tony and TJ were sleeping. At 11:30 I logged off and left the computer room. As I walked through the door, I bent to pick up a part of one of our vacuums that TJ had been playing with in the hallway. As I straitened up, I felt a gush of water. Not quite believing that my water broke, I went in to tell Tony that I thought it had, but that I wasn't sure. He groggily said, "what do we do?" I told him nothing yet. I went to my childbirth book and figured out that it had indeed broken, and I called the OB. The midwife called me back and told me to head in if I started regular contractions, but if I didn't to just come in in the morning. I went to lie down, and immediately hard contractions started. I decided to take a shower and see how I felt afterward. After the shower I woke Tony up again, and told him that I was calling his mother and that he needed to log into the computer and to get a substitute for the next day. Soon after my MIL arrived we headed to the hospital.
We went into the hospital and were checked in by 2:30 am. I agreed to be hooked up to the monitor initially. I was for about a half an hour. My contractions were regular and coming close together. After the initial monitoring, I tried to sit on a birthing ball, but it was too short for my long legs, and it made my pain worse. By this time the laboring tub was almost full, so Tony and I went in, and I stayed there for a little over an hour. Between contractions we decided on Michael's name. It was funny because up until that point he was going to be either Matthew or Jacob. I used a simple breathing pattern, and as long as I stayed focused on it, I managed my pain. In the tub, I realized that this baby was getting close because of the pressure I felt and I was starting to feel the urge to push. We quickly rang the nurse and went back into the room.
She asked me what I wanted to do, and I said, "not lie down in the bed." So she encouraged me to stand. I held onto to Tony's shoulders or grasped him around his neck and swayed back and forth. This was very effective as far as bringing the baby down. Soon I told her that I wanted to push, and she called the midwife in. At this point the midwife checked me and said I was 8 cm. She didn't tell me not to push which surprised me. She showed me a birthing bar ( a bar that goes up over the foot of the hospital bed that you either hold onto or lean on in a kneeling or squatting position) and I tried to lean over it. I found that my arms kept going to sleep and I ended up holding onto Tony again. She checked me a few minutes later and told me that I was 10. She said that I couldn't push while on the birthing bar, but that she would be able to deliver the baby if I was in a similar position at the head of the bed. So I basically just turned around. (It was actually very difficult to do that at this point). The head of the bed was raised to it's highest position and I leaned over it in a kneeling position. I knew we were getting close. I really felt that I knew exactly what was going on with my body, even though it was hard I was much more aware than during my first birth.
At this point I was losing focus. Tony and the nurse kept telling me to breathe, and of course I yelled or gasped the usual, "I can't do this." and "How close am I?" Before I knew it, the midwife said she had his head and to push one more time. As soon as I did, she reached under me and slid the baby up my front. I held him immediately with Tony right there the whole time. They turned me around, and I finally lay down. I had only pushed for about 10 minutes although it did seem like an eternity.
I had requested that they leave the umbilical cord attached for a little while, which allows the last of your blood to pump to the baby before he is detached. The cord was cut after about 10 minutes.
He stayed with me and Tony in our room without being removed for any kind of interventions, bathing etc. until 2 pm. He had his bath and first blood test at that time in our room. Then it wasn't until 2 am, the next morning, he was actually taken out of my room for the remainder of the newborn procedures. I feel like I protected him from stress at least in the two first days of his life.