The bone separation pain went from pressure to throbbing at all different times of the day. For this reason, when I started getting labor pains in the 33-34 week, I was told to basically stop doing anything that could lead to labor. This helped a lot to stop labor pains and since I was already effaced and 1-2 cm dilated at my 36 week appointment, it was good I seized activity early on.
I hit 37 weeks on Wednesday July 16 and we met with our "ninja birth assistant" (she's a doula and a midwife and a birth assistant)! She helped make sure we had all the necessary stuff for the birth and gave us a list of a few items we still needed. She was headed out of town that weekend and when I expressed concern about the baby coming soon, she said "keep that baby in!" I definitely was trying to make it to 39 weeks, especially bc our child care for Annabelle was also out of town that weekend. However, I kept saying that I felt like this baby wanted out and wanted out soon!!!
That night, I started to feel like I had to poop. (Tmi I know)! The feelings stayed throughout the night and into the next morning. The pressure downward was heavier and I felt a lot of discomfort, but I just assumed that was the bone separation pain.
Annabelle and I went to her little gym class and I even did the balance beam with her! While I had a hard time moving about, I did my best to so that Annabelle could have fun. But I was exhausted when we got home.
During her nap, I kept getting that "pmsy I have diarrhea" feeling. Except it was coming and going. It wasn't just there like an aura. Waves. Oh boy, was this labor?
With Annabelle my water broke, I knew I had to go into labor with her. With Maxwell, I was still holding out hope to make it to 39 weeks. I was in obvious denial despite numerous friends reporting back that they had similar feelings right before labor. The downward pressure was coming and going too. Or was it? Was I imagining things? I really thought I would know instantly second time around.
After Annabelle's nap, we got in the car to pick up Larry and head to our chiropractor appointment. Getting Annabelle into the car and on the drive over, I had definite contractions. Since I was told this could happen quickly, I picked up my husband and said "we have to go home, I think I'm in labor!" His response "so should I not go to softball tonight?"
When we got home I laid down for a bit while my husband ran out to bed bath and beyond and cvs to get the rest of our birth supply stuff. When he returned, I called Birthcare and our doula. I was def in labor. I also contacted my cousins who were gonna watch Annabelle. Lucky for me, their flight wasn't until 7 am. That gave me more than 12 hours to pop this baby out.
My second labor was hard. I won't lie and say it wasn't. It was harder than my first even though it was shorter. After having time to process things, I believe it was harder for a few reasons.
1. My expectations. Everyone says #2 is easier. Is shorter. Etc... Yes it was shorter but my labor was not short by any means.
2. Pubic bone separation. I don't know if it was more painful bc of the separation. But it was more painful.
3. Maxwell was trying to break out. After each contraction, I would feel Maxwell push off with his feet at the top of my uterus and then a downward strong pressure in my pelvic area. No joke! I kept saying "I feel like he's trying to push his way out." And after each contraction, I would say "no please stop" bc I knew the contraction def stopped but then I would feel more pain... A different pain. This made my contractions not ending, one on top of the other. It sucked. No joke ha.
4. My focus. I tried to focus on the task at hand but worrying about Annabelle and hoping the baby would hurry out so I could get back to her was on my mind. I kept my eye on the time and kept recalculating how much time before Annabelle melted down. I wasn't completely focused and I think that made my contractions harder to focus and breathe brought.
So back to my labor. About 630 my cousin came and got Annabelle. She took her outside to have dinner and play. The midwife and doula showed up about 830 pm. At this time, I was only about 4-5cm and 80% effaced. Labor was intensifying but I was trying to envision open oceans and large spaces willing my body to open up. It was intense. It was hard. It hurt. Around 11pm, I kept telling my husband "we are almost there, just a little more time" partially reassuring myself and partially reassuring him.
But when we checked me again, I was only 6 cm. at this point I felt very deflated. I was sure I was almost there. I was sure it was almost over. At that point, I said "I don't know if I can handle anymore." The pain was getting unbearable. I was cursing and breathing heavily through contractions. I tried to stay focused but some contractions were really killing me. The pain after the contractions were causing vulgar words to come out of my mouth. I was squeezing my husband's hands harder than he could handle. His presence was essential during this labor. I really needed him there.
What choice did I have at this point? Either I throw in the towel and ask to go to hospital or I grin and bear it. I didn't want to be in a hospital and separated from Annabelle longer than necessary, so I tried to regain my composure and focus.
I didn't think I was progressing at all and was so frustrated but once my doula said to try to sit into my contractions, I suddenly felt movement. He was coming out. Hallelujah. Thank GOD almighty. We were making progress. Sitting into the contractions made the pressure more intense. I believe it made him descend more but it was really hard to stay focused through the pain when "sitting into it'. In fact, many contractions I would find myself almost pulling away from the contraction instead. I think this is why i had such back ache and pain for many days after labor.
Then it started to get loud. Larry says that the three of them (Larry, doula and midwife) were "encouraging" me loudly, but it was me yelling "I can't" and them "encouraging" me and telling me I must.
My water had yet to break. So the first thing I pushed out was the water membranes. A big bubble of membrane. However, I thought it was the head. I waited for each contraction to come to help push out the baby like I did when I had Annabelle. Not knowing any different, I thought this was what I was supposed to do. At one point, they kept saying to push and I was saying "I will" bc I thought you simply push when he contraction came. After talking to my doula and midwife after the fact, I realized that I could and should have been pushing between contractions too!!! I just didn't know to do that bc I never had to do that with Annabelle!
When it was time for his shoulders to emerge, they laid me on my back after side lying and told me to spread my legs. After spending 10 weeks to keep my wolfs as closed as possible due to the bone separation, me thighs started to immediately cramp. I couldn't keep my legs up or apart and Larry had to reach over and help me hold my legs up. I was being encouraged very loudly to keep my legs apart, to separate my legs, and to push but push slowly!!!. To which I kept yelling " I can't" ! How does one push slowly when the contraction takes hold of your body? I mean at this point, who cares if I tear!!
Well through all the yelling and chaos, I was able to push out a beautiful little boy... despite feeling like I couldn't handle it...Maxwell arrived at 2:53 am purple and bruised. His face was purple. Like REALLY PURPLE!!! This confirms my theory and physical feelings throughout labor that he was trying to get out on his own.
He was a perfect 7 lbs 8 oz, 20 inches long. His head was a nice 13.5 inches. Only 1/2 inch bigger than Annabelle! Considering he was essentially 3 weeks early, he was a good size. The cord was cut at 3:13 and like Annabelle's cord, it was short so he rested on my tummy until I pushed the placenta out. His first latch was at 3:35 am.
What I didn't know until later was that my little girl cried for an hour or so before falling asleep that night and then again once she woke up around 2am... she was trying to be brave and strong b/c "mommy was bringing baby brother", but this was our first real time to be separated. It broke my heart to know she cried but once we were reunited, we were good.
Here is a picture of me with my midwife Kelly (right) and my "ninja birth assistant" Claudia (left) and Maxwell in the middle.
Recovery UPDATE: for me, recovery wasn't too bad. Despite the warnings, I had no tearing at all. My placenta detached fairly easily and aside from appearing aged, it was fine. My heavy bleeding stopped with 48 hours and while spotting continued for weeks, lochia wasn't too difficult. Cramping was more intense than with Annabelle, but only lasted about 12-24 hours. My milk came in by Sunday afternoon and Maxwell has been feeding nicely. I did have several days of back pain but looking back, that was all soreness from labor pains. My pubic bone separation was gone almost completely within 2-3 days of birth with only minor pain from the labor for a few days after birth.
All in all, the idea that we won't be having any more kids EVER again is starting to fade... but shhhh don't tell my husband that. He's already looking forward to getting a Vasectomy haha.