I would be Full Term today… but Baby A surprised us early!

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Here’s his birth story:
I woke up around 1am on Wednesday, October 12th with contractions that weren’t real labor, but they were strong enough I couldn’t sleep through them. This had happened with both B and M leading up to birth, so I assumed it would stop by morning and thought nothing of it aside from maybe Baby A wouldn’t be another 39-40 weeker after all. But it didn’t stop, and contractions remained irregular every 10-20 minutes and too painful to rest and eventually carry on through. At 37 1/2 weeks I still couldn’t imagine it would turn into labor, but it wasn’t stopping and I was getting exhausted!
By 9pm that night they finally began getting more regular and intense, now around 10 minutes apart. It was a few hours later they had continued picking up and stayed under 10 minutes.  I spoke to the on call midwife because I was starting to be anxious about what to do with how unexpected this was and slowly things were moving.  I couldn’t believe it was really labor yet, but it was nearing 24 hours of no sleep or breaks and I wanted to go in and get checked out. I decided I’d feel better going in now and not waiting any longer, and it’s a good thing!  By the time my mom got to our house and we were ready to go just after 1am, contractions had been 4-6 minutes apart for an hour, getting very painful, and I was beginning to feel pressure.
It was a bit after 2am Thursday the 13th when we got to the hospital. I was at 5cm, 90% effaced, and -1 station, but since I was only 37 weeks they said they wouldn’t encourage labor, nor would they admit me to L&D unless I was progressing.  They said they could give me a shot of morphine so I could have some relief and sleep–I’d never heard of that being done and the idea made me uneasy, so I said nothing and just got onto hands and knees on the triage bed praying when the nurse came back I’d have progressed and wouldn’t have to worry about it.  They got an IV started and at next check I was 6cm, woohoo! Although I was still in disbelief that I was in labor, we went to our L&D room to await the anesthesiologist to come insert an epidural, which I’d decided to get because I needed to rest and have a break!  Birth plan out the window (not that I’d even written it down yet!), and I didn’t feel one bit badly about it.
Between taking their time in triage and another patient in front of me, the epidural wasn’t in and set to go until 5am. Contractions were so painful with so much pressure by then I had been afraid it would be too late and I didn’t think I could handle pushing without a break first. Phew! The epidural process was much different than the one I’d received 8 years ago, and it took correctly this time! Relief!
They had me turn on my side with my leg over a “peanut” so I could rest but my hips would stay open. Then I got the shakes so badly I couldn’t sleep anyway! But the pain relief was enough, and after about an hour of resting while shaking my water broke and I felt a lot more pressure. I was checked again for the first time since triage and was at 9cm with just a lip of cervix to go.
Another half an hour and I was sure baby’s head was crowning. Ouch! I felt a lot of burning pain, but still couldn’t fathom it was pushing time! Like really, was this actually happening right now?! My midwife (Sarah) said to push when I felt like it though, as hard as I could… 2 contractions and 3 pushes and he was out, much to my surprise! He was super slimy (B and M had been totally clean) and I held him with towels while we waited for the cord to stop pulsating, deliver the placenta (which took some effort from me this time), have the midwife dislodge some clots that were blocking things (also had never happened, and ouch), and to have a tear sewn up. I’d been hoping for no tearing, but despite the midwife’s perinial support the scar tissue hadn’t stretched enough. Bummer, but I’m actually not very sore!  From the start of what seemed to be active labor, he was born in about 9 hours.  I hadn’t expected him to take longer than M, but then I hadn’t expected him for another 2 or so weeks either!
A was 6 lbs. 11.8 oz. and 20″, pretty good for 37 weeks 4 days! Because he’s a bit “young,” he was slow to learn how to latch, he’s been pretty sleepy and not nearly as alert as B and M were, and at first he needed lots of skin to skin to help him regulate his body temperature and blood sugar. His first day he was pretty relaxed, but since then he’s started the wanting to be attached to me often and he will cry (he squeaks, aww!) if he gets too distressed. He makes little noises and roots when he wants me to hold him, before the squeak-crying starts, and while still in the hospital he required it be skin to skin only, he would not tolerate clothes in his way. Lol. He wasn’t very hungry at first (also new for me), but his latching began improving quickly and we’re gradually getting better with it now on Day 3.  We were able to go home after just over 24 hours, which has been great of course and B and M are so excited over him, but the hospital really was pretty relaxing in retrospect, ha!
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