In my last post, I wrote about all the events leading up to Joshua’s birth. In this post, I’ll talk about his delivery and the aftermath.
After getting my epidural at around 10:30pm, I immediately was able to relax and get a little rest. I hadn’t slept well in days, especially the night before, and having worked all day, I was exhausted. It was nice to close my eyes and rest through my contractions for about an hour. I never fell asleep but I felt so relaxed. Ben and I just talked and held hands and waited for the big moment. Around 12:30 I was getting ready to push. I could feel the contractions, though they weren’t painful. I felt the pressure and desire to push. It took 3 sets of 3 pushes (or about 20 minutes) to delivery Joshua. Unlike Jack, it was such a calm experience. I wasn’t screaming. I was focused and calm and even though it was still pretty fast, it wasn’t lightening fast. Instead of getting a near 4th degree tear, I got a 2nd degree tear. Let me tell you ladies, a 2nd degree tear feels like a picnic compared to an almost 4th degree tear. I never experienced much pain from it (just a little discomfort) whereas with Jack, I was in a lot of pain afterwards for weeks (severe pain for the first 3 weeks).
The moment when Joshua came out was so beautiful. I remember that moment well with Jack too (it was where my memories really began with Jack since that’s when the pain ended). For anyone who’s had a child, it’s hard to describe the feeling. It’s this level of joy and love that’s indescribable. Mom’s of second children often worry when they are pregnant about how they could possibly love any other child as much as their first. But that fear just melts away right when you see that second child. I fell in love instantly and I know I love my boys equally even though I’m sure I’ll love them differently. I could see right away that they are different physically. Jack’s face was round and his ear lobes were not attached (this is a detail Ben and I joke about). Joshua’s face is heart shaped and he has little elfish ears. They are both beautiful children and they look like brothers, but they definitely have their own little look.
Joshua latched almost right away and very well right after birth. We did skin to skin and everything was going great. Unfortunately, when they took Joshua’s blood sugar, it was a little low. This was greatly disappointing to me because I had spent the last 3 months watching my diet really carefully due to my Gestational Diabetes. I had good numbers with only an occasional high number. I gave up most of the carbs I ate and ate radically different from how I normally ate, making sure to always pair proteins with any carbs I did eat. His sugars never dropped below 42 (45 is the minimum they liked to see). They tried 3 rounds of glucose gel and donor breastmilk, but his sugars were still lower than what they wanted to see. So at that point the doctors decided he should go to the NICU for an IV of glucose and fluids. Hearing he had to go to the NICU was really hard. I cried thinking of my sweet, tiny newborn with an IV in his hand, but the nurses assured me that it would all be fine and this was a fairly routine procedure. Even if that were true, many of the nurses seemed like they had never (or rarely) had given a newborn the glucose treatment. This makes me wonder just how common it really is.
Josh was taken to the NICU at about 2pm on March 1st. Ben stayed with him for a few hours while I got a little sleep since I hadn’t slept at all in nearly 2 days. Then around 7pm, I went to the NICU and stayed there all night long and cluster fed him to try to get his sugars stable. By 5am the next morning he was in the clear and the nurse and I walked him back to our room. Ben had been sleeping since 8pm the night before (I was quite jealous…lol), and he was so thrilled to see us back in the room at 5am. He got up and let me get some sleep. From that point on everything was good with Joshua including his blood sugar.
On 3/2 the nurses kept watch over him, tested his sugars 3 more times to make sure everything was good (and it was! yay!) and then we were discharged around 4pm that afternoon. It was wonderful to go pick up Jack and go home as a family.
At birth Joshua weighed 7 pounds 8 ounces and was 20.5 inches long. By the time we left the hospital he was 7 pounds 1 ounce, but one week later he was 7 pounds 11 ounces and by two weeks he weighed 8 pounds 6 ounces! Today Joshua is 2 weeks and 4 days old. He’s doing great…he hasn’t quite figured out his nights and days yet, but I’m so grateful that he’s healthy and gaining plenty of weight. We are so lucky to have two healthy boys.