Thursday, August 20, 2015

Jayne: A Birth Story, Part I

Since yesterday marked one year since Jayne's birth, I thought it would be a good time to post her birth story. I included all of [well, most of] the gory details, so feel free to skip this series if birth stories aren't your thing. I've broken it into four parts and will be posting them over the next few days.

Part II
Part III
Part IV

My poor, already neglected second child. I have a plethora of pregnancy posts from when I was expecting Kate (I just counted at least ten), and this baby barely got an announcement.

Just like with Kate, my morning sickness was minimal, but I was plagued by aching, bone-deep exhaustion. It lasted much longer this time around--until about 16 or 17 weeks. I wonder if it's because I'm not working full time and my body knew it could demand more rest.

Everything was similar to my first pregnancy: I started feeling movements right around 19 weeks again. I started "showing" at around the same time. I started feeling contractions around 24 weeks (last time, it was 28 weeks). For the most part, things were smooth and manageable.

Jayne was a very active baby. For the last couple months of my pregnancy, I had polyhydramnios, a condition characterized by excess amniotic fluid. I tend to get really big in pregnancy anyway, but all the extra fluid certainly didn't help matters. Additionally, Jayne seemed to have a lot of room to move around--my body acted as her own personal swimming pool--and she got stronger and stronger. Because of the polyhydramnios, I had to go in for weekly non stress tests, and Jayne's heart rate was always erratic because she was so active. At my first appointment, Jayne flipped and hiccuped and wiggled so much that the nurse couldn't get a baseline heart rate after 35 minutes, so she sent me to the hospital for prolonged monitoring. By the time I got there, Jayne was fine--in fact, she fell asleep and needed to be "woken up" before I could leave.

Since my body tolerates pregnancy fairly well, I was in no hurry to have my baby--my growing discomfort was still lesser than my fear of birth, of the fully immersive experience of parenting a newborn, of having two children. But, as it happened with Kate, I eventually hit the tipping point where "better in than out" turned to "better out than in," and I craved relief and deliverance through delivery.

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