I don’t even know where to begin. An apology for not posting for so long? A thank you to ScientistMother for making me feel less lame for posting after such a long hiatus?
I guess I should begin with the Bug. Bug was born on December 29th, two weeks before his due date. I had been predicting for months that he would be born that week and had made all my lab work plans around my mothers intuition. Luckily Bug obliged.
I woke up at 4:00 a.m. with infrequent but regular contractions every 8-10 minutes. At 6:00 a.m. I woke Husband and told him that he wasn’t going to work. Actually, that’s not true. I woke Husband and we negotiated how long it was going to take him to collect his timepoint. After labwork was out of the way, we spent a relaxing day in early labor. We took Bean to a puppet show, we had a nice lunch. When Bean went down for her nap, I tried to lay down myself but found I was too restless. So I folded laundry and Husband set up the co-sleeper. When Bean woke up, she cried because she hadn’t helped set up Bug’s bed. So I gave her a little stuffed toy and a blanket for her to lay in there for him, and then we bundled her off to a friend’s house.
On the way from our friend’s house to the hospital the contractions started to get intense. About 10 minutes away from the hospital my water broke and the contractions started coming every 2 minutes. It turned into the classic “laboring woman yelling at her husband on the way to the hosital” cliché, with me telling husband he was an idiot for stopping at stop signs. By the time we got to the hospital I was in tears and could no longer walk or talk during contractions. They took us straight into our room.
The midwife checked me. I was only 4 cm. I was devastated. The contractions were extremely painful and coming right on top of each other. I tried several different positions, rocking on all fours, on the birthing ball, squatting. Eventually I asked to get in the tub, and the tub gave me a lot of relief. The midwife turned out the lights and I spent a couple of hours laboring in the tub with husband applying ice cold compresses on my forehead. When I think back on that part of my labor, I remember it as both intensely painful and intensely intimate. I remember my hand clutching the side of the tub during contractions, and husband holding my head. The midwife framed in the doorway with a dim light behind her. I remember the labor in fragments, with tunnel vision. I don’t remember Husband’s face, only his voice and his hand.
After awhile I was starting to lose my ability to cope through contractions. I asked the midwife how much longer. How much longer until Bug was born. No more than 2 hours she said. 2 hours sounded like an eternity. I opted to get a dose of fentanyl to help ease the pain. In reality, the fentanyl didn’t really ease the pain, but it did help me rest between the contractions and helped calm me down. The fentanyl wore off extremely quickly, but it was enough to help me rest, refocus and start coping again.
After about 2 hours in the tub, I asked the midwife to check me. But as soon as I stood up I could tell it was time to push. Husband helped me out of the tub and into the bed. With the midwife and the nurse’s help, I tried pushing. I was surprised to find that pushing seemed to relieve the pain of the contractions. After 45 minutes of pushing, Bug was born, wet and beautiful on my belly.
Bug’s birth was an incredible experience. Along with my wedding day and Bean’s birth, it was one of the best days of my life.
Bean wasn’t able to come visit her baby brother at the hospital (thank you, H1N1), but she has been an enthusiastic and loving big sister. The adjustment has been surprisingly smooth. Bean is a caretaker for sure and likes being Bug’s second little mommy. She likes to smile for and otherwise entertain him, and she always tells me if he is crying (even when I’m holding him). There haven’t been any real signs of jealousy yet (*knock on wood*).
Bug for his part is an extremely mellow and wonderful little baby. He’s sweet and cuddly and not much of a crier. He’s been nursing and growing well. A relatively good sleeper, even. Now 3.5 months old, he’s smiling, rolling over, and starting to grab toys. We’ve been using a co-sleeper for the time being and that is working out wonderfully (though I dread the day when Bug moves into Bean’s room).
I’ve been back at work for the last three weeks. It’s going okay. My mom is here in town taking care of Bug, and he’s slated to start in the infant room part time next week, going full time May 3rd. I’m far more anxious about Bug starting daycare than I was about returning to work. I know ultimately that he will be fine, but I’m really dreading this transition. It’s easier to be away from him knowing that he’s being cuddled and sung to by his grandma. Much harder to leave him with someone else.
So that’s where I’m at. I’ve actually had some great luck at the bench since I’ve been back, so that makes work a bit easier too. I’m also trying to write the papers had been hoping to write before Bug was born. Writing is fun because I spend at least as much time reading papers as I do writing my own, and that’s a nice way to get back into the science.
I promise more posts to come.