Tessa Kate arrived almost two weeks ago, but I have finally carved out a little time to write about the day she was born. Her birth wasn't nearly as interesting as Cooper's was six years ago. That's a good thing, though! There were a few hiccups throughout the day, but things went much better and easier than I ever expected.
At my 39 week appointment on Monday, March 10, my doctor said I had made enough progress to go ahead and induce that Thursday. As you may remember, I was fairly nervous about being induced. I shouldn't have been, though, because it was so easy. We basically just checked in early that morning and got all settled in. The nurse (who, as I mentioned before, stayed with me throughout my entire labor and delivery) started my iv and we waited for my doctor to come in and break my water. We didn't have to wait long, but she wasn't able to break my water for whatever reason. So they started the Pitocin, hoping stronger contractions (stronger than the ones I had been having for the last half of my pregnancy) would hopefully do the trick. Before leaving, my doctor said I was able to get an epidural whenever I was ready. At first, my contractions weren't painful at all...they felt just like the ones I was used to having every day, but closer together. Eventually, though, they started hurting a good bit. And in my back, just like when I went into labor with Cooper. It only took a few of those for me to go ahead and request the epidural.
The epidural experience this time around gets its own paragraph. It was wonderful. I had heard a million great things about the anesthesiology team at Brookwood...particularly about one doctor in particular. I was still very nervous about getting an epidural, based on what happened when I was in labor with Cooper. For a refresher, the nurse anesthetist who administered that gigantic needle in my spine last time originally put it in the wrong spot...and argued with me at first when I complained that it was pain, and not just pressure, that I felt. So frustrating to think about, even all these years later. This time around, though, was a breeze. The anesthesiologist (the one who had I had heard so many positive things about) was in my room for a total of nine minutes and I literally felt nothing. It was amazing. And beyond that, he truly administered the perfect epidural. I could feel my legs and feet the entire time, which was a new sensation for me. In hindsight, I believe that I was just too numb with Cooper and wasn't able to push properly, thus resulting in a nightmare of a delivery. The epidural this time around was absolutely perfect. It did make me feel weird and I ended up getting sick in the middle of the day...just like I did with Cooper. But I realize now that that is just my body's response to anesthesia. And, although I seriously hate throwing up, it was a small price to pay for such a good experience this time around.
After the epidural, my doctor was able to break my water. Things progressed quickly from there. At some point during that time, our family members arrived. By four in the afternoon, I was ready to push (which I just could not believe...I had only been in labor for nine hours!). And at 4:20 p.m., our sweet little Tessa Kate was born!
Afterward, I was supposed to keep the baby on me skin-to-skin for twenty minutes or so while the doctor finished everything with me. Initially, I wasn't too excited about this...I'm not really a skin-to-skin type of girl. It ended up being fine, though, and I was completely covered up. Not to mention I was immediately, madly, intensely in love with our perfect little girl. And, unlike after Cooper was born, I was wide awake and alert and ready to soak every second in with her. I didn't really want any visitors in the room right away, but we did have Cooper come back to meet his sister. Just like us, he was immediately in love with Tess. A few minutes old, and she already had the three of us wrapped right around her teeny tiny finger!
We were told we would be heading up to our postpartum room shortly after that, but there were some issues (with me, not the baby) and it took us much longer to make it there. Nothing too alarming, but they kept extending our stay in recovery. So our poor family members (some of whom had been at the hospital all day) had to wait a long time to come back and visit. I felt really bad about it, but there was nothing we could do.
Other than a semi-rough first night in the hospital, I am relieved to report that I had an overall great stay and experience this time around. I have actually had a wonderful recovery. And even better: Tessa Kate is doing so well. She never lost any of her birth weight (which seems pretty rare, but is a really good thing) and was actually up three ounces at her first doctor's appointment a few days later.
As much as I was worried about this second labor and delivery, I was really blown away with how easy everything was this time. And since I know the opposite side of a smooth delivery, I am more than thankful for this fantastic birth experience!