Hi friends. I have had my hands full!! I am sorry I didn't write sooner. DS arrived on his duedate after only an hour and a half of labor! I had been really strongly expecting babe (gender unknown before birth) to come early, because DD was 6 days early, 2d babies are on average earlier, and my body was not tolerating the pregnancy well at all... (severe hyperemesis into 3rd tri, massive mood swings toward the end, massive pains all the freaking time, etc.) So when Thanksgiving came and went without our new blessing I was beside myself with grouchiness, not to mention insomnia. I had to pull 2 all-nighters for work the week before I left and somehow that got my body into not sleeping, like I was permanently ON and couldn't turn myself OFF. Then I had a night with 2 gushes of what did not smell at all like pee to me in the middle of the night. No ctx. Less pain in week 39 than throughout the whole freaking pregnancy. I had taken off work, was too disabled to really tool around the city with DD (couldn't even walk to playground 3 blocks away, not that the weather was specially inviting for that either). I called MW in the morning and reported the gushes. She said probably amniotic fluid and that, if so, it started the clock on my birthing venue -- I had to go into active labor within 24 hours of teh first gush. Kicked myself for accurately reporting time. Took long shower, went out to brunch with DD and DH, took DD to playground, where I tried my darnedest to run around and induce labor. Climbed huge dinosaur structures, etc. Nothing. This after having had severely painful Braxton Hicks from 24 weeks on. So I decided to go into the birth center and have my MW check to see if it really was amniotic fluid or not (having had third gush late in afternoon). Then we had huge drama over care of DD during my and DH's potential stay in hosp -- even though I planned to come home to labor until I was very far along, I also knew I would be going on pitocin at midnight if labor didn't start. I got all worked up and decided that pitocin was the slippery slope to a worst case scenario. So DD's BFF's moms, who had said they would do "anything" for me, chose that moment to clarify that they meant anything for no more than 12 hours, and then we were responsible for transporting her to a new caregiver! this would have involved transporting a convertible carseat on pub transp (because we use subway but caregiver number 2 uses car) and all sorts of drama. I was livid and extremely anxious. So we got there, much subterfuge so that hosp would not know I was there (did not want to go all the way to MW's office because it was just too far to come with DD if we then had to backtrack to any caregiver). MW checked and it was just urine! all that over peeing in my pants!
Then I went home and slept, finally, and woke up to mild lower back pain, whatever, less pain than for months, I tell you. I decided to pee thinking it would relieve the BH. Then I felt this intense pressure in my vagina and rectum. Apparently it was DS descending! Fast! I was insisting I woudl labor at home, that I wasn't very far along. MW and friend (new friend) who was taking DD were like, oh no, we're coming over. Thank God MW had moved to near me, and friend is in excellent shape (she sprinted the whole way), because things were happening fast, although I couldn't believe it. MW insisted we had to go to hosp "right now." I decided I wanted to labor in my own bed. She was like, no. DD was still there and freaked because I decided I wanted to bite down, bit DH (broke skin), and then insisted on biting a baby teether, and she was like, "No! you can't! That's baby's!" she then brought me my childhood doll (she has a matching one) to hold to help with the pain and a photo of herself to look at during labor (to remember her). The whole DD hand-off was not as planned at all -- no details -- just use your judgment, I trust you, do what you need to do. This friend has DS 2 mos. younger than DD, but her parenting style is not purely AP and in theory she would not have been my first choice (sleep trained DS, uses sugar and TV as bribes), but in practice she was a trooper, a godsend, to whom I owe much of my peace of mind about DS's birth. Also, DD had wanted to be there after transition, and this friend was like, no way -- her DH had witnessed his 2 younger sisters' homebirths as a child and considers himself traumatized by them. I tried to explain that this was different -- DD would have her own support person (this friend) and would be free to leave (which her DH wasn't as a child) but she was deadset against it, based on her own traumatic and precipitous delivery of her DS. So I was 5-6 cm when MW arrived at 10 am, took cab -- thank God this was Sunday morning and there was zero traffic!! I was in my MW's lap in the backseat, and she was coaching me not to push -- I just really wanted to push. Speed limits were exceeded, red lights were run, etc. We saw DD's pediatrician leaving as we entered and he said "have fun" and I was like huh? I couldn't sit in a wheelchair without severe pain (the bumps!) and there was no time for a stretcher.
So I got on the bed was determined to be fully dilated. Pushed twice and water broke -- meconium everywhere. Nurse attending was a HB MW (now working as a nurse to have regiular hours and never be on call when she has kids -- boy do I get that) and agreed with my MW to violate hosp policy and not transfer me out of the BC based on the meconium. She said it was the worst she had seen in 10 years. SHe gave me some peppermint and something else (chamomile?) aromatherapy that helped a lot. Pushing DD out honestly had not hurt at all, which was why I agreed to let DD come witness it at that point, but DS was something else! Burning, tearing, and so freaking fast. No one looked at a clock but the estimate was 11:05. He had the cord around his neck but I didn't know that till after the fact. Ped was on hand to suction him but took one look at how alert he was and passed him to me. (I was protesting his going to the ped in the first place, but the mec was bad, even DH could see that.) He was alert right from the start and didn't have a conehead at all -- just beautiful. Tons of dark (black) hair, compared to his sister, who was virtually bald for much of her infancy. Eyes pretty dark too -- more gray than blue.
I had some pretty severe afterpains, which made me think I was hallucinating. I expected sensations/pain during labor but with DD the afterpains had been mild -- less than my menstrual cramps. This was like a 9.5 on a scale of 10. I was freaking out.
Friend brought DD to visit, and she was thrilled with her "baby bruhver." I was a little concerned -- DH, DD, and I had all expected a girl, just because DD had been a girl, and for about 3 weeks before the birth DD had been saying if it was a boy she wanted to send it back. Gulp. But she is super thrilled with everything about him, extremely affectionate (everyone else thinks we allow too much of that, but I think even if she is a little rough with him I would rather have this reaction than any other, and I don't want to demonize her love for her brother), obsessed with a proper latch, having me pump enough milk before going back to work (I can't face the pump), . Also feeling displaced and having more tantrums than she ever did at 2. DD could not stay the night in the birth ctr with us, so that separation (back to my friend's house) was hard. Bribery was involved. My poor friend was horrified that DD woke up twice in the night. I was shocked that she went to sleep independently (with friend's DS) a full hour and half before her usual bedtime. But anyway all is forgiven, I hope. After wakeup #2 friend coslept with DD, which I know is beyond the call of duty because she coslept with her DS for 9 mos. and hated every minute of it. Somehow friend got DD to sch the next day (she lacked all requisite security badges) and I think the routine was good for DD. Unfortunately one of her close friends bit her that day, which was probably not what she needed. (She got herself cleaned up, asked to go give friend a kiss to reconcile, and then bit her back! Teacher confided she thought it was funny, the whole ruse leading to getting back at her.)
Unrelated to the bite, we pulled DD out of sch, or rather severely downsized her schedule -- now she goes only 2 short days a week. This is sort of my chance to be a SAHM. I would like for her to be in sch 3 days a week but we can't afford it. She is happy to be home with us and has a really hard time going to sch and leaving me with DS. She rejects all "special time" with me and wants her brother to be there too!! Even though she likes it, I think she is weirded out by the schedule change -- she has been going to that sch 4 days a week for 2 + years. I am homeschooling/unschooling for the rest of the time, although I found that next to impossible for the first 3 weeks postpartum.
Physically I had a harder recovery than with DD. I guess because this time I got 2 2nd degree tears. My unschooling plan involves "using the city" and its cultural resources to follow her interests but we couldn't really do anything when I couldn't walk without pain. now we are getting better at it although she is surprising us by demanding a lot of downtime at home. She is reading tons (I swear she jumped a grade level a few days before Christmas) and I think that leap is a big part of her acting out. She was hiding her reading until her brother was born and now she si motivated to read to him (and I fear was hobbled by perfectionism before and didn't want to read to us the parents). So we don't really have a routine yet. Have found our library storyhour, though, so that's a start. She is also obsessed with a game that is like tic tac toe but more nuanced called Gobblers Gobblet -- the hit present under the tree this December.
DS may be having GI issues. I saw a GI this week for him and was advised (I think ordered is the word) to give up caffeine and alcohol. Alcohol isn't frequent enough to be the cause of the problem but I am giving that up just in case. I refuse to accept that it is "colic" without a cause -- he is clearly in physical pain every evening (and at other times occasionally). It kills me to think that my vices may have been the cause. I am also entertaining a foremilk/hindmilk imbalance/overactive letdown theory but GI poo pood that (not well educated re BFing, IMHO). So I am missing my stimulants/treats and block feeding (although I forget which side I'm on -- how bad is that?) although i don't want my supply to tank out altogether, yk? Still, he is gaining well -- 10 lbs. 10 oz at 5 weeks is pretty awesome, right? He was 7 lbs, 6 oz at birth.
Up too late, must sleep, tomorrow is going to be very early for DD's dance class...