Leo’s Story

Welp, five days out and this is the first time sharing my birth story. My first induction was 4 days (holy hell), so I was REALLY nervous about this one. A little background: I had gestational diabetes (second time) and was induced at 39 weeks and 3 days. I also have a severe anxiety disorder, so that was something that factored into both my pregnancy and my delivery. 

This pregnancy has been miserable. I knew I would have GD again, but I forgot just how terrible it is, not to mention I was on insulin this time. I ended up in the hospital at least 6 times for monitoring, plus 2 appointments a week since November. It’s been fun. Two weeks ago I ended up in the hospital again and basically begged the OB to just induce me, but he said no. I had a really terrible panic attack and was basically nonfunctional for the last week of my pregnancy. 

My appointment was scheduled for the 23rd at 9 a.m., and by the time I got to the hospital my anxiety was at a level 15. I paced around the room for about an hour before I got settled in and found out that I was soft but closed.

My doctor (who I love) gave me half a dose of Misoprostol orally and we hunkered down to wait the four hours to see how I progressed. This was a lot better than last time – they had given me Cervadil and I had to wait TWELVE hours before finding out I hadn’t progressed at all. This time I hadn’t really opened up after 4 hours, but they just gave me another dose and we left it at that.

I’d been having contractions for weeks at that point, and they really only intensified during the day. It was a good sign for me, and I figured at least something was happening. They gave me two doses of Fentanyl to get me through some of the contractions and let me rest in the evening. By around 11 I was 1.5 centimeters and decided to ask for my epidural instead of another dose of Fentanyl.

Getting an epidural for my last delivery was SUPER traumatic. I was basically having a panic attack on the bed and they refused to give me anything to help with my anxiety. This time they gave me Fentanyl and the anesthesiologist was AWESOME. Like, really, really awesome. My night nurse was amazing (probably the best nurse I’ve ever had in a hospital before) – she was just so caring and comforting. While I slept, she would come in to adjust my monitors and tuck me back in afterward. It just made the entire experience that much better.

I was still a 3 around 4:30 or so, but I was definitely having serious contractions and progressing pretty rapidly by then. They came back around 8 and I was 7.5 (!!!!) – remember, my last delivery was 4 days, so I wasn’t super confident that I was going to be giving birth within 24 hours of starting my induction.

One really vivid memory of this labor was when I was in transition. It was kind of surreal knowing that I was so close to delivery; I was in labor so long last time that everything kind of melded together. This time there was a very distinct moment when my nurse said “you’re in transition” and I promptly threw up. I want to say that I don’t know why that memory has stuck with me, but I do know why; it’s because that was the moment I knew that I was going to be a mother of two soon.

My doctor came back in around 10 to check on me – this was a different doctor than the day before and my normal OB – and my water literally broke as she lifted the sheet to check me. My epidural had started to wear off a bit so a new anesthesiologist came to fix me up. He happened to be the one that did my last epidural, and I am SO happy he wasn’t the one to start it this time too. 

I was just chilling in the room with my husband, feeling contractions in the top of my belly but really not much else when the doctor and nurse kind of came running in around 11. They said that they had seen on the monitor that I was probably ready to start pushing, which surprised me. Everything about my last delivery was super calm and slow, and I probably pushed for about 2 hours before the doctor even came in to do the actual delivery. 

This time, my doctor basically told me to do a test push and we got started. It was all very frantic. As soon as I finished up my first set of pushes, his heart rate dropped and all hands came on deck to get him out ASAP. They had to give me oxygen, and I was sobbing as I pushed because it was really obvious that something was seriously wrong. By my third push, the doctor was using the vacuum, and I had him out on the fifth push. Fifteen minutes from start to finish. 

I know for a fact that I wouldn’t have been pushing for 2 hours this time, but 15 minutes wasn’t exactly on my radar either. My last baby came out and didn’t breathe at first, which was traumatic in its own way, but Leo came out pink and screaming. It was the best sound I’ve ever heard. Of course, me being me, I started ugly sobbing on the bed, but I’m sure that’s somewhat normal. 

Leo Allen Duff came into the world at 11:16 a.m. on Wednesday, January 24, 2018, weighing 7 lbs. 8 oz. and measuring 20 inches long. Coincidentally the same (literally) exact weight and length as Remi.

I tore in the same spot as before, but my doctor stitched me up quickly. My epidural was still in full effect, so there was no problem there either. He latched quickly and effectively, and is still nursing like a champ. 

One of the biggest differences between my first and second deliveries was when I wanted to go home; I stayed an extra night with Remi because I needed the extra reassurance. We went home early Thursday afternoon with Leo; I was ready to get back to Remi and start our new life together. 

I have so many other thoughts about my pregnancy, labor, and delivery, not to mention being a mother of two, but I feel like I need to leave it at that right now. I’m having a hard time processing it all. I can’t stop thinking about my delivery and how I feel about it, and maybe I will never feel completely comfortable with it. But right now I’m happy. WE are happy. Remi is the sweetest big brother, and we are truly loving being a family of four. 

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