Everything about Eric’s arrival was different from his brother’s. At 29 weeks with Eric, I was dilated to 3 cm already, so I was put on bedrest. For 7 weeks, I was supposed to do nothing, and I had a not quite 2 year-old. Uh-huh, sure, I can do nothing! Actually, I had a lot of help from friends, since we now lived 1200 miles from all the wonderful family that had been present and helpful with Jeffrey. The last thing I wanted was a tiny preemie who needed help breathing, so I listened to the doctor. But at 36 weeks, when he said I could get up, the first thing I did was mop the kitchen floor!
Exactly 7 days after I was given the go-ahead to get up and move, my labor started. Heck, since I was already at 3, I was almost finished with stage one! I woke up about 5 a.m. with small contractions, and waddled out to the living room to sit in the recliner- the only comfortable chair for a very preggo woman, in my humble opinion. I told the DH that maybe he should start timing them, since they were sort of regular. At about 8 a.m., after three hours of 4-5 minutes apart, we thought maybe we should call the doctor. I was pretty relaxed about the whole thing, and in no hurry. My water had not broken yet, and I wasn’t in a rush to get to LDR- I kind of felt like it was a false alarm, and didn’t want to bother with all the fuss, just to be sent home later.
The doctor said we should come in, especially since I was already at 3 cm, but again, I was in no hurry. At around 10, we called a friend and dropped Jeffrey off at their house, visited for a minute, and eventually made it to hospital, about 10:30. The admitted me, and around noon, my doctor came in- I was still having regular contractions, but they were still totally manageable. He asked me what I wanted to do. Did I want to go home and wait it out, or did I want him to break my water and get the show on the road? I remember looking at him like he was insane- go home? When I can have this baby today? Over my dead body, get the party started, man! So he broke my water.
Because of what happened with Jeffrey, and the exhaustion and stalled labor and all the natural techniques that failed us, I asked him to start a pit drip if I hadn’t gotten really rolling by 3 p.m.- and he agreed. For three hours we tried the natural crap again, and for three hours, nada. Baby was at +1, dilated to 4 cm, contractions for 10 hours, and no progress. It would seem I just suck at the labor part- I’m 0-2 on getting the babies out myself.
At 3 p.m. the pit drip was started, and around 4:30 I asked for an epidural. The anesthesiologist was a beginner, and so it took him several tries to get it in right- all while I was having pit contractions. Lots of fun. But, he did, and it worked just as wonderfully as it had the first time. In an hour and half, I went from 4 to 10, and was ready to push. Again, good feeling in my legs, felt my contractions, and felt the urge to push. DH called my mom and family in California, and everyone gathered at my mom’s house, and they put us on speaker-phone.
The doctor actually had to ask me to wait, to slow down, because the baby was coming so fast. I pushed two times, and Eric was born. It was about 6:30 in the evening, and my whole family was listening-in from two states away. He came out madder than a wet hen, screaming his little red head off. He looked so small to me, and I remember saying so, and the nurses laughed- he was three weeks early, 8 1/2 pounds, the same weight and length as his brother- but I was just so used to a gigantic two-year old- you forget how small a newborn actually is.
It was such a different experience than the first birth- about a million times easier, and I was nowhere near exhausted, like before. I think you are more confident, too, with the next babies. I knew what was happening with my body, what to expect, what was normal, and I was so much more relaxed.
Eric didn’t actually have a name for a while- none of the names on our list fit him. We kept trying different things, and they just bounced off. It wasn’t until about midnight, when my brother called and we were just talking quietly, I looked over at sweet little No-Name, and he became Eric. We hadn’t even considered it before, but sure enough, when I called to DH, who was in the bathroom, what I thought baby’s name should be, he popped his head out, looked at me, and said, “Yeah, that’s it.” Our naming method is a little unorthodox, but oh well- it works for us! So my second son is named for both of my brothers- we figured since his first name was my older brother’s, we ought to give his middle name as the younger’s. And it is.
The next morning, DH went to go get Jeffrey and bring him to see his new baby brother. I will never forget watching him tear around the corner of the hospital, so excited to see his baby, like a Mac-truck in tennis shoes. He had turned two the week before. He was so happy and sweet and gentle- he loved the baby from the moment he saw him- and he’s still pretty protective of his brother, now that I think about it…
We had to stay in the hospital an extra day-Eric had a little trouble with his blood sugar, and he had a hard time coordinating his suck. It isn’t that unusual in a baby 21 days early- the nurses informed me that the suck is one of the last things to develop before a baby is born. Who knew?
So with this next one- I’m not even messing around. Hook me up, get the show on the road. Eric came fast, and I probably could have done it without the epidural, but I didn’t. And if I have time to have one again this time, I will, and I refuse to feel bad about it!