On Sunday, November 13th, Eric and I went to the hospital for our scheduled induction.
The next day, Sean Philip Astor was born.
At our 36 week appointment with the doctor, an ultrasound showed that our baby was quite large. Our doctor was concerned that he may get stuck in the birth canal, or that we would be facing an emergency C-section if we waited for my labor to progress on its own. Given that we induced with Lucas, we knew that I’m a good candidate for it and I wanted my best shot at a vaginal delivery.
My labor with Sean was much more challenging than with Luke. Upon arrival at the hospital the doctors were commenting on my contractions and their regularity. I was already at 3 cms and 90% effaced so I was hoping things would move quickly. That this would be more of a labor augmentation than induction. We started pitocin at midnight but come 7 am, I had made no progress only having more regular contractions. My doctor offered to break my water at that time but we opted to wait and see if it would break on its own. I walked the halls, sat on the birthing ball…nothing. Finally, at 2pm, the baby was in position and I was ready to move things along and have our water broken. Once the doctor broke my water I was in intense pain. I had delivered Luke without an epidural but I felt like I wouldn’t be able to stand what was looking to be hours more until pushing (I had only progressed to 4 cm). Plus, knowing this was my last labor, I wanted to enjoy it and not be screaming for it to end. I came to find out that in that half hour I had gone from 4 cms to 9.5 in 30 minutes — no wonder it felt like a fright train was pushing on my cervix!
After the epidural my doctor wanted the baby to labor down allowing my contractions to naturally push him much farther down the birth canal than she would have done if I was unblocked. I didn’t start pushing until 7 pm and was able to rest and sleep for much of that time we were waiting. After just 20 minutes of pushing our son was born. He was 8 lbs. 13 ozs. at birth. So far he’s nursing great but it’s taking my body some time to get up to speed and feed a baby of this size. We’re recovering fine, and settling into life as a family of four.
After four years of loss, TTC and worrisome pregnancies, I feel like I’ve burst through the finish line. That my body gets to be mine again and I can stop being mad at it. I always wanted a houseful of children but am so thrilled to have my two boys and am ready to focus on time as their mom. I wasn’t sure if I would feel this relieved to be finished having our children. Logically, it’s right for us but emotionally I was prepared to be sad. The truth is though, I’m thrilled that I never have to wear maternity clothes, manage heartburn or deliver…and that’s not even factoring the challenges we faced when things went wrong.
Lucas is embracing his role as big brother. It helps that both grandparents and teachers have supported us in talking a lot about what good and bad things come from having a new sibling. He has said Sean is his best friend — but he’s also said having Sean makes things different. Luke is clamoring for all the mom time he can get and I’m doing my best to give it to them both and really letting everything else fall to the wayside. Having grandparents here for three weeks has certainly helped as I’ve only prepped one meal the entire time. This Thursday my mom and dad will head back east, Eric’s work is picking back up since he had held a few weeks in November to be home with baby. We are flying solo for three weeks before my in-laws join us for Christmas and New Years so I’m hopeful that things will only get so bad before we have extra hands on deck.
For his own part, Sean is a relatively easy guy. I noticed from day one that he flies into a rage pretty abruptly going from mellow to thoroughly pissed in a matter of seconds but coming out of it just as fast. Luckily it’s few and far between but when he’s mad, he’s crazy mad. This is, if I’m being honest, a trait he surely inherited from his mother. Otherwise, he’s a chowhound and a pretty good sleeper. At two weeks he’s nice and alert in the morning and for an hour or so in the evening. This means that at night he’s up to eat and then back down to sleep. So, even though my sleep is broken, I’m just up for about a half hour to feed him and then I’m able to lay right back down.
All in all, it’s been a great two weeks. I’ve been day dreaming about football Sundays and camping trips. I’m thinking about what it will be like when these guys are in high school and eating us out of house and home.
I have lots of thoughts on the election — and I fully intend for a post on that but it’s been important for me to delineate this time for Sean and focus on the new life and positivity and hope in our home. I hope that you’re finding some ways to seek peace, I noticed you’ve been quiet online lately and that maybe seeking less screen time has been one tactic. We’re here when you’re ready. Missing you and eager to hear about your Thanksgiving and how you’re riding out what has surely been a hell of a year.