Today is the day The Bean was supposed to arrive. It's kind of strange to imagine that if Jen hadn't been induced that he may not have been here until now... or even later than now. The past ten days we have been soaking up as much of this tiny person as we can and giving him all kinds of love and attention. It has been amazing. I am SO glad that the three of us have had this time together. Going back next week is going to be hard, but I'm glad to know that I have breaks coming up. I can't get enough of this guy!
THE STORY OF THE BEAN'S BIRTH
We went in to hospital on Monday the 10th at about 10am. We waited until about 3pm for the resident in triage to administer a medication (Cervadril) to make the cervix shorten and soften. They kept us at the hospital overnight because they wanted Jen to be at the hospital when labour started in case the baby wasn't handling things well. They also wanted to check Jen's vitals every 4 hours. By around 1:00am on Tuesday Jen was having some mild contractions. She woke me up at 1:30am and we timed them for a while. At about 2:30am we called the nurse and she checked on things and then at 3:00am a doctor came by to take out the Cervadril and see how things were progressing. She was slightly dilated, and we were told to try to get some sleep until the morning.
By about 2:30 in the afternoon Jen's contractions were getting a lot stronger. She had to stop and breathe through them and if she was up walking around she had to stop and hold on to something. The pain was very intense. When the doctors checked things again she was about 3cm. After having spent most of the night awake we were concerned with the strong contractions and estimating that it would take about another 6-7 hours to get to 10cm plus an hour or two of pushing that she would get too tired to continue with a natural delivery, so she asked for the epidural. They put that in at about 4pm and the relief was significant. Around that time they also started the Petocin. We were both able to lie down and rest for an hour or so, which was wonderful.
They continued to monitor Jen's contractions and the baby's heart rate as they increased the dosage of Petocin to make the labour progress. After a contraction the baby's heart rate would dip a little, which they weren't too happy about. Then, at one point, the baby's heart rate really dropped after a strong contraction and didn't pick back up. The medical and midwifery staff all rushed into the room. I was pretty scared, but the doctor was fantastic. She calmly turned back the dosage of Petocin and explained that if the baby continued to react that way then she would recommend a cesarean. I have to give her a lot of credit, at that point if the she had said she thought we should have a cesarean we would have done it without a second thought. Instead, she decided to give us a time to continue to monitor things before making that decision. The baby's heart rate stabilized after about three or four minutes and we were able to continue with the vaginal delivery.
At about 10pm a nurse came in and checked Jen. She was 10cm and the nurse encouraged her to start pushing with the next contraction! We were very surprised. Our team of doctors, midwives and nurses came in and encouraged Jen to push through her contractions. Right towards the end they used a vacuum and administered a 2nd degree episiomity to help him on his way out. After a little under an hour The Bean was born. It was absolutely amazing to watch him come out and look around and start to cry. They cleaned him off and checked his APGAR response (which were great -9/10 at both the one and five minute marks). Then they let us hold him. One of the midwives helped Jen start nursing right away. Jen's parents were in the waiting room and came in shortly after the birth to visit.
We ended up staying in the hospital overnight so that they could keep a close eye on both Jen and The Bean and on Wednesday we went home. Jen's parents stayed in the city until Thursday. They were very helpful -watching the baby while we rested, going to the store and getting some things we needed, preparing and tidying up dinner, etc.
The first couple of days (well, more nights) were a little tough. We were very concerned about The Bean's size and he wasn't nursing well. Fortunately we were able to get a lot of support from the midwives and from a doula we hired just so we could have that extra little bit of reassurance. He's now eating like a champ and packing on the weight. After a drop down to 5lbs. 2oz. on day three, today he weighed in today (day ten) at 6lbs. 1oz.! We're all starting to figure things out a bit and get into a little routine (eat, diaper change, sleep, repeat). The Bean's had lots of visitors, but we're trying not to overdo it. I think my favourite moment so far was when the four of us (cat included) cuddled up on the couch together.
I cannot express how wonderful it is having this little guy in our lives. I love our little family so much!