Brody Anderson Brewer
August 1, 2012 at 6:46PM
7 pounds 7 ounces and 22 inches long
I'm a mother of two - I know, I can hardly believe it either. My pregnancies and labor experiences were definitely different, but each had their own pros and cons. I guess you could say one advantage to my pregnancy with Brody is that I could feel early on my body changing and preparing for labor. With Autumn, I didn't have any of that. Nada, nothing.
I started preparing early, just in case. From cleaning the house, doing the laundry, and even having the start of a hospital bag packed. I was optimistic since Autumn was over a week late, but it never hurts to be prepared - it would pay off in the end.
|It became a joke by the end of the night how I was glued to my phone all day, tweeting away. What else was I gonna do? =)|
At my 38 week check up, I was ecstatic when I was dilated a whole fingertip. Obviously a fingertip isn't much when you have to dilate about the size of a bagel, but it was something! The doctor even mentioned that while he didn't think I was ready that week, next week we could talk induction. Fabulous! I had been nervous my entire pregnancy about going into labor on my own and how scary that would be, since I hadn't a clue what to really look for in the way of contractions and pain. An induction would take out all the guess work. It's all I knew at that point since Autumn was evicted after being 10 days past my due date.
However, at my check up only a week later, I was still just 1cm. When I brought up an induction to this OB in the practice, Dr. Williams, she said we could certainly get me on the schedule - AFTER my due date which was August 7th. Not exactly what I'd been hoping for. Since I wasn't showing any great improvement or "readiness", they don't usually schedule an induction before your due date. Trust me doc, I'm ready!
I left disappointed and turned to Facebook for every myth/natural remedy/old wives tale I could find to speed up my chance of delivering. Everything from castor oil (no thank you), pineapple, a ride on a bumpy four wheeler (not sure where I could get my hands on one of those) and doing "the deed". Ultimately I decided on spicy foods. I have a low tolerance for spice, so I opted for a Chipotle night with my folks and sister. They were happy to oblige and take part in "Operation Evacuate Brody".
|Our awesome nurse Janet. I was happy to give her a baby on her graduation day, with 14 minutes to spare before her shift got over.|
|My awesome Doctor, Dr. Williams from About Women, OB-GYN|
As luck would have it, the chicken was especially spicy that night and my mom's MEDIUM salsa was added generously as I ate through the layers of my chicken bowl. I polished off as much as I could and tried to be actively moving around. When I got home, I tried going up and down the stairs, cleaning and picking up... but I was just too tired. All I wanted to do was sit down and relax. I figured I'd try something else tomorrow.
|The Brewer Men|
That night I found myself waking up constantly throughout the night like usual. Around 4AM I found I wasn't waking up simply to go to the bathroom but because my back was hurting. I pulled out my phone and used an app to time the pains in my back and the tightness in my belly. I just knew if I went into labor on my own I wouldn't know what I was doing and I'd end up giving birth on my new comforter set I bought myself for Christmas. I googled back pain contractions and all sorts of nonsense. I didn't know what I was feeling and I was scared.
Around 5:30, I got into the shower. To ease the discomfort? Well, not really. I thought "if I am going into labor, my hair needs to be washed for pictures cause this isn't going to hack it". I didn't feel much better after the shower and the pain in my back was still pretty annoying. It seemed more constant than anything else, but I could still feel my stomach tightening. I decided to call my OB office to get their thoughts and whether I should be worried. After I'd already called my mom for her 2 cents anyways.
|No woman will ever be good enough for him =)|
They ended up recommending I come in to be checked and I was grateful. Better safe than sorry. Adam called into work and said he would be late and we grabbed everything for the hospital, just in case. It was then I was glad I'd had a "go bag" ready and only needed a few more items to complete my list. We woke up Autumn, dropped her off at my parents and made our way to the OB office which is right next to the hospital.
8:30AM I was taken back to a room and saw one of the nurses. As I sat on the table I continued to have the pain in my back and started to get horribly nauseated, despite taking a Zofran before we left. When the doctor checked me, I'd gone from 1cm the afternoon before to 3cm overnight. The doctor could see that I was uncomfortable and didn't look great and recommended I go over to Labor and Delivery and have them monitor me for a while.
Could this be it? The doctor crossed her fingers for me and hoped for the best.
|Since he was being cleaned and monitored after delivery, Nana, Grandpa and Autumn saw Brody for the first time via the nursery window.|
Adam and I walked over to Labor and Delivery hand in hand and they got me changed and into a room, but everything was still up in the air. I was being monitored but it wasn't a guarantee I was there to stay. I cautiously began sharing the news over Twitter and Facebook, just as I'd promised. I was so worried it would be a false alarm and I'd be embarrassed when it didn't work out that I'd kept most everything to myself until this point. Adam and I had left the bag in the car, not wanting to get our hopes up. Well, my hopes. Adam was just along for the ride and taking things as they came. For me, this was it. It had to be.
|I was so happy and excited to see Autumn at the end of the day. She was so sweet and gave me lots of hugs and kisses.|
|Showing Autumn and my parents video of Brody shortly after delivery.|
After getting checked in, the nurses suggested I get up and walk around to let gravity do it's thing and then see how I progressed. That began the walk - down the same, short hallway, back and forth. Back and forth. I was worried that the contractions were stopping but walking did help. It was all in my back and bum, not the "menstrual cramps" everyone described. I remember joking to Adam and he walked with me that maybe I should start doing lunges to really get this baby moved down.
When the nurses called the doctor on call from my office down to check on me, my heart dropped. It was Dr. Williams, the one I'd seen yesterday that hadn't been induction happy. "Oh great," I thought to myself, "She's never gonna let me stay." I was even more scared when I had dilated to 4cm but I was still not getting an official spot in labor and delivery.
Back to walking - 20 minutes rest, 40 minutes walking. Back and forth, back and forth. It was almost 1PM now, and I still had no idea whether or not this was "it", and whether I'd be staying. As I walked the long hallway, I talked to my mom on my cellphone. She was convinced this had to be it and if they sent me home, it'd only get worse and I'd be right back in L&D. I was thinking, "If this isn't it, I'm not gonna have the slightest clue then what labor feels like!" The pain in my back and bum definitely grew more and more intense. Everyone has since told me how awful back labor is, but I was grateful for it. I found those contractions much easier to breathe through and walk out then the crampy, menstrual-like pains I would experience after Brody arrived.
At 1:43PM and after being monitored for contractions since 9:30AM, my nurse called down the Doctor again to check me and that she would "start preparing my things for an IV and epidural". I was dilated to 5cm and I WAS A KEEPER! I couldn't believe it - I was going to have a baby today. I'd done it! Alright, Chipotle did it - but I was checking in folks!
It turned out I was the only one in Labor and Delivery that day, so I had all of the sweet nurses to myself, included Janet and Margie. Janet was a clinical student and today happened to be her last day - she was graduating! Her shift ended at 7PM, so we made it our goal to get this baby out by 6PM. Wait - are you serious? Margie was saying this at 3:37PM - that's only 2 hours away! This is one of those times where my pregnancies were very different and I was so grateful to be speeding things along with baby #2. I couldn't believe how fast things were moving.
|The iPad and my iPhone were my connections to the outside world in the hospital. I was bored to tears this time around. The nurses liked my blinds closed, so it was dark and I felt super confined.|
|Apparently the hospitals don't clip babies finger nails, and they wouldn't give me a pair to do it either. Brody came out with the longest nails I'd ever seen. Sadly, they scratched up his skin immediately.|
I was about 5cm when the man with the epidural juice came in. I don't remember my epidural being painful at all with Autumn, but I definitely felt it this time around. I found myself laughing and giggling at the pain. When you're feeling it all in your bum, what else are you supposed to do? It seemed to amuse Janet, Margie and those around me. Giggling was not the normal response they were used to seeing.
You know how all the naysayers are convinced that epidurals slow down your labor? Well, that was not the case for Brody and I. My contractions continued to get stronger and stronger. Wahoo! It seemed like every time I got to hangout with Margie and Janet, they only had good news for me. Adam and I spent the time talking with the nurses, watching our ancient TV, playing with the iPad and I was busy tweeting away all the details to friends and family back home.
|Nana holding #17.|
Once Dr. Williams broke my water, she was convinced things were really going to get moving. At 5:20, I was measuring 7 centimeters. What did I do? Called my mom and Dad to Facetime (video chat) of course! My mom was eagerly waiting for more updates, so it was fun to use Facetime for the first time to check in with them. Autumn was busy playing with her cousins, but I was glad to see my parents and check in. I showed them around the room and told them everything I knew at that point. When we hung up, I started to feel awesome pressure on the right side of my back. I asked Margie to check me, because I had a feeling...
My sweet nurses were starting to gear up and even asked me if I wanted to order room service before it closed and before I started pushing. I ended up sending Adam out to get dinner, because once things got going he wouldn't be able to leave anytime soon as Brody and the camera would need his attention. He is married to a photographer after all. Once he returned with a sandwich from the cafe, Margie said that after he finished we'd "have a baby." Well, Adam must eat slow or something because she was back shortly after. "We're bored - let's have this baby." Remember, I was the only one there =)
|Autumn getting to hold her baby brother for the first time, when she and Nana came to visit me the day after Brody was born. I loved having my family be able to visit this time around, even if it was a little overwhelming.|
|Autumn didn't quite know what to make of him at first - but she loved giving him his plug and thought it was hilarious when he couldn't keep it in his mouth.|
Everyone started moving all around me. They prepped the table for Brody, pulled off the end of my bed and Dr. Williams came into the room. I warned the nurses Adam wasn't game for holding my legs (he almost passed out during Autumn's birth) so we positioned him behind my head to grab some photos after Brody came out - but with very clear instructions no crotch shots. We all had a good laugh as I pointed out the "no shoot zones".
The thing I loved most about my labor experience and that I can't really translate into words was how relaxed it was. All smiles, all laughs and a great environment in that room. I was totally at ease and just soaking it all up. Another advantage to a second pregnancy - I was really just along for the ride and having a great time. No unknown, no stress, no worry.
At 6:34PM, I tweeted, "Time to push! Be right back!"
At 6:46PM, Brody Anderson Brewer was born measuring in at 7 pounds, 7 ounces and 22 inches long.
When they placed him on my stomach, he was tiny! He was so clean, so beautiful and had the longest fingernails I'd ever seen on a baby. I didn't cry. I was happy! It was a great day! Everyone in the room was in the same great mood and just a happy go lucky bunch. I just smiled over to Adam as he watched Brody get cleaned up. We were now a family of four - holy cow!
|Before my sister Jodi came to visit, I asked her to bring a pair of clippers so we could clip Brody's nails. Aunt Jodi to the rescue!|
Once I was taken care of, Brody was measured, and everything was cleaned up, we had the room to ourselves for about an hour to enjoy our new little guy that had quite a bit of hair, but not quite as much as his sister (but as pointed out, Autumn "cooked" for 2 extra weeks). I checked my phone and saw my Dad had texted me and asked if I wanted to Facetime with Autumn before they put her to bed. I did, but I also wanted to share the news so I called home via Facetime. My Dad answered and began to ask me how it was going and that's when I flipped the camera over to Adam holding Brody. "WHAT?! He's here!?" My Dad couldn't believe it. He went upstairs to show my mom when he walked in on all the women at Girl's Night just reading my tweet announcing Brody's arrival. Autumn saw her brother for the first time on on iPhone =)
Shortly after our phone call, they took Brody to the nursery to be washed and all that jazz. My parents texted me saying they were on their way - I hadn't expected that but I was excited to get to see them and Autumn. During Autumn's birth it was right at the time the swine flu was at it's peak, so I wasn't allowed any visitors, not even my mom. Having family visit me at the hospital was new and I was excited.
|My dad, Jodi and the boys were set to fly to Disney world Saturday. I had given them all a hard time that they would miss Brody's birth, but luckily they were all able to meet him and spend time with him before they left.|
Unfortunately because he was being cleaned and monitored, they weren't able to hold him but they did get to peek in on him at the nursery - again, he was the only baby there since L&D was empty. I was so happy to see Autumn. She had on a bright pink "Big Sister" shirt that my mom had made for her. My mom thought of everything - I had really hoped Autumn'd have a shirt, something I don't think I'd ever voiced, but my mom came through. I loved getting to hug Autumn and talk to her. Adam showed her video of Brody right after he was born and she was mesmerized.
|My nephew Christian was pretty impressed that I had "room service". I could order as much as I wanted whenever I wanted. The food was just okay. Still, I was with Christian - room service is pretty fun, even if the food isn't the greatest.|
My parents and Autumn left, after one more stop at the nursery, and Adam went out to get me something to eat. It was just past 9PM or so at this point and I hadn't had a single thing to eat all day. I'd been up since 3 or 4AM, we booked it to the hospital and once I was in L&D I couldn't eat because I didn't know if I'd be staying. I was famished! While he was gone they moved me into my post-partum room which was a huge step up from my stay with Autumn. I had my own room, a nice big TV, huge private bathroom, a vanity and sink, and even a couch.
|Grandpa finally getting to hold "junior". My Dad even stopped on his way home from an event to bring me shampoo and soap so I could take a proper shower. My family is pretty much the best ever.|
I got to spend a little time with Brody and Adam before I sent Adam home for the night, and around 11:30PM I said goodnight to my little guy and called it a night. It was over. I'd given birth, Brody was here safe and sound, and I was a mother to two amazing little people.
What a day.