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Eleven pounds of Baby

June 12, 2005. My due date was two days away. And I was miserable, I had been for a couple of months. My first baby girl was now 2 and half years old. While she had been 9.5 pounds at birth, this baby had stretched past that point, I had to buy new maternity clothes three weeks previously in a size 2X, hoping that something would fit!

I had already been to labor and delivery twice since 37 weeks, with contractions that I hoped were labor. But they weren't, they fizzled once we were at the hospital and I was sent home, heartbroken, and just tired of being pregnant.

It was a Sunday and I suddenly had more energy than I had had in weeks. I cleaned the garage and the cars, I vacuumed everything in sight and then cooked a nice dinner. Yet I forgot to eat the dinner I had made for everyone else! When I finally sat down to the computer after our daughter was in bed, I realized that the "cramps" were staying ten minutes apart. Considering I had already been to labor and delivery twice, I wasn't going to rush anything this time. I gave it some time. Contractions were starting to be closer together and didn't change when I walked, sat, or laid down. Good signs!

Complicating factor, our friend to watch our daughter, did not have a car to come to our house. So, just in case, we decided to head to her house and pick her up. It took an hour to pick her up and return her to our house before we could head to the hospital. Contractions were steady at 7 minutes. We arrived at the hospital around 11 p.m. and just in time for thunderstorms to hit the area. I got a place in triage, was checked and was 3 cm dilated, and it was suggested I take laps around the labor and delivery department.

I began walking around the large loop with my husband, pausing for contractions. After an hour, I dropped my husband back off in triage and I kept on walking. The contractions were manageable, and very consistent. I heard the tornado sirens outside, and I saw rain being blown so fiercely that it seeped in around sealed windows in the ward. I didn't know that the rest of the hospital lost power that night! Finally at 1 in the morning I decided to take a break from walking and rest in triage.

Around 2:30 a.m. I was jealous when my neighbors water broke. I was thinking I wanted that to be me! Twenty minutes later, my water broke as well! Thanks tornado weather. I was on the fetal monitor when my water broke, and we actually heard a PoP and it felt like someone had punched me in the stomach. First I was scared, and then relieved. The then consistent contractions disappeared for twelve minutes. However, when they came back, it went from bearable, to intense very quickly.

Now that I was for sure in labor, I was taken to a labor and delivery room. My husband and I spent the next couple of hours having my IV placed, antibiotics given for group B strep, and just dealing with each contraction as it came.

I struggled with this labor. It had gone from 20-100 mph in an instant and I felt like I never caught up. Each contraction took my breath away and made me feel paralyzed. I wanted off the bed, but every time I moved I felt like a contraction paralyzed me and I couldn't get my feet on the floor. Besides the amount of fluid still pouring out of me. I wanted the lights dim, but the nurse kept turning on the fluorescent lights. I wanted to try different positions, but I didn't have anyone to help me get there. While my husband was trying to do what he could, I wanted to scream every time he told me to breathe!

By 5 a.m. I was asking for an epidural. I knew I didn't want to try an IV paid medications. Problem, they require bloodwork to be done and for you to have a saline bolus before an epidural can be placed. Because of the tornado and power loss, the hospital lab was behind on running bloodwork that night/morning. By 5:45 I had my husbands shirt wrapped around his neck and was threatening his life if he didn't provide some pain relief! He quickly went to talk to a nurse.

The anesthesiologist quickly showed up and began the epidural process. Just in time for my body to take over and begin pushing. The look on the nurses face as I held onto her and she realized I was pushing! Her eyes got very wide, "Don't push!" she said. I wasn't doing anything, my body was doing it all. End of attempting an epidural and time to have a baby.

The on call OB showed up and got me ready to have my baby. I pushed through three contractions and his head and quickly his body was born! There was no hesitation this time when I felt the ring of fire. I wanted this baby out and for this labor to be over. He was born with his head at an angle and his hand up by his face. The nurse lifted him up to my chest announcing, "He's a bruiser!" He was even bigger than his sister had been at birth, I could tell that. It was 6:14 a.m. on June 13, 2005.

Turns out our David Giovannie weighed in at 10 pounds and 14 ounces, after he had peed on the warming table. He was listed as 25 inches long. Which was a guess since he was longer than their measuring tape! I didn't have a newborn, I had a three month old, or at least it felt that way.

He had no issues learning to nurse. The issue that he did have was low blood sugar. Colostrum and this large of a baby was an issue. After trying to not supplement, we decided it was better to nurse and then supplement to keep him out of the NICU and be able to take him home. He went home at two days old and we continued to supplement for a couple of weeks until my milk supply could meet his high demand.

While I originally felt great after having Davy, the huge weight was off, literally, and I felt like I was skinny again, it wasn't always an easy recovery. Having a baby that was that size of having twins was hard on my body. My skin and muscles stretched past a point that has been hard to repair. And at the time I did not have access or even know about pelvic floor physical therapy, or any physical therapy. I also had the same issue of perineal stitches ripping out during recovery and having them removed, allowing me to heal naturally, but not pain free.

It wasn't until five years after his birth, when seeing a different OB in a new state, that it was discussed that I more than likely had undiagnosed gestational diabetes when pregnant with David. Which would explain his size, the large amount of amniotic fluid and his low blood sugar after birth.

All of this to say, I am glad that no one was measuring him and saying he was too large for a vaginal delivery. He was born without any issues, and continues to empower me, making me realize, if I can do that, I can do anything!

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