Townes Randall Pittman
Born April 17th, 2014 10:29AM
7 lbs 4 oz 19 3/4 inches
Someone… actually, everyone told me that because my first baby was early, my second would likely arrive before my due date. Olivia was born at 39 weeks and you’d better believe that when 39 weeks rolled around this time I was READY to meet our precious baby boy! Little did I know… there’s absolutely NO truth in the length of gestation being the same with subsequent pregnancies. On top of that expectation, I experienced at least 3 weeks of prodromal labor, a term I wasn’t at all familiar with from my pregnancy with Olivia. These weren’t the Braxton Hicks contractions I’d become familiar with at around 20 weeks… these were REAL, painful (sometimes just uncomfortable) contractions lasting 30-90 seconds, at 5-30 min intervals… just uncomfortable enough to make me wonder if “this” was the real deal.
Gramma G flew in on April 1st (my self-declared 8-day preterm due-date) to surprise me . She knew how much I wanted her to be here for “Baby Brother’s” big arrival! Her plan was to be here through April 6th… feeling positive that would overlap with our new addition. April 6th came and went… and G extended her trip, not once… not twice.. but 3 times, adding an extra day, feeling certain he’d be here “tomorrow.” After walking countless miles around the neighborhood, morning, noon and night… G finally went home… for 5 days to repack for her next scheduled trip. Meanwhile, my due date came and went… G flew back in. And finally at 40 weeks + 6 days I suspected something really was about to get started. Maybe it was the walking… or the Raspberry Leaf Tea.. Maybe it was the Clary Sage… and pressure points, or the Black and Blue Cohosh… who knows… More likely that it was the impending Induction at 42 weeks (which I felt strongly against!).
Wednesday, early afternoon, April 16th, Olivia, G and I were on our way to Cafe of Life for my bi-weekly chiropractic adjustment. When we arrived and realized that there was an hour wait we decided to have a quick lunch at Stackhouse. Towards the end of lunch I started to suspect that my water may be leaking… (funny story… the cushions at Stackhouse had apparently been rained on – I DID NOT pee myself!) I waddled over to COL for my adjustment and between Dr. Autumn and my WONDERFUL doula Nikki we decided that I probably needed to head to the hospital to get checked out (I’d had low fluid levels earlier in the pregnancy and a decline in fetal movement.) Called Daniel at work at told him to grab our bags and meet me at the hospital. Got checked in and confirmed that baby was doing great, fluid levels were still good… amniotic bag… still in tact. HOWEVER. at 41 weeks, my doctor’s orders were “you’re not leaving this hospital until you’ve had that baby!” Determined to get labor started naturally, I got me checked in to an L&D room (at about 1pm) and the nurses agreed to let me walk. And we walked… and we walked… and we walked. upstairs and downstairs… literally, miles around the hospital. My wonderful doula and friend, who was recovering from a barre class, and my not-so-athletic husband by my side… until 10:30pm.. when we finally decided to call it a night. At that point, my contractions were 5-10 min apart but not regular or strong enough to jump start active labor. So we slept… from 10:30 until about 6AM… My contractions had slowed overnight so by around 6 we agreed that I should get up and back at trying to get labor started. And again, we tried EVERYTHING to get things going… By 8AM Dr. Crites arrived and insisted on breaking my water… she did agree to give me 45 min to see if that would kickstart things… at 8:45 AM I agreed to a small dose of piton… within 30 min my contractions were regular and intense enough that they agreed to back off the meds. Nikki, with perfect timing, arrived and walked me through everything. Positions, breathing (Especially breathing… breathing is SO important… who would have thought?!) By 10:00 I was sure I was ready to push… in fact, I remember telling Dr. Crites (who I had just overheard say to a nurse that she was going to upstairs to see a few patients) that I wasn’t going to be able to wait for her… that this baby was coming quickly. (I was dilated to 9cm)… I started pushing at around 10:15, maybe 4-5x?… The pain was like nothing I’ve ever experienced (obviously)… and to be honest, I’m not sure I can really totally accurately recall… I know at one point I lost focus and started hyperventilating… got dizzy and tingly fingers… Nikki talked me down and helped me remember to breathe through the contractions. Seriously… this woman was MY ROCK. I think I really may have not remembered to breathe without her! Daniel never once suggested that I reconsider the epidural or pain management… He says, “(I) made it look easy” … I’d rather believe he just had 100% confidence that I could do it!
“Baby Boy Pittman” was born at 10:29AM. I felt as I pushed the last time and could reach out for him, Dr. Crites even let us wait a few minutes to cut the cord. From there… everything gets a little fuzzy… The endorphins rushed through me like nothing I’d ever felt. Natural childbirth… pretty exhilarating. It was the most amazing feeling of satisfaction… like I really got to experience the miracle of life. I’m still in awe that God made my body to do something as incredible and awesome.
After I’d delivered the placenta and Crites stitched up a small tear ( 2 stitches… with lidocaine,) we enjoyed almost an hour of skin to skin time, nursing and bonding. Townes had the most amazing, intoxicating scent… He snuggled up so warm and perfect on my chest. He didn’t nurse right away like Olivia wanted to, instead he stared into my eyes, more alert than I’d ever imagined he would be, only seconds old.
We were only in the hospital 2 days.. 18 hours or pre-labor, 2 hours of labor, 30 min of delivery and just over 24 hours of recovery. Although this wasn’t exactly the scenario I had envisioned, it was the most amazing birth experience and even better than I imagined. I am so beyond thankful for both Daniel and Nikki, who were exactly the support I needed… for Dr. Autumn Gore at COL, who helped prepare my body physically… for my mama, for giving me complete peace of mind that Olivia was safe and happy and Mawmaw for coming to the rescue with play dough and big girl toys!
Probably deserving of a separate post completely… The first 2 weeks were a roller coaster. When we left the hospital Townes weighed 7 pounds 1 oz. My milk came in just 2 days later and by our first pediatrician appointment the following Monday he was up to 7 pounds 5 oz.
At 8 days old, Daniel left town for the weekend to play drums in Abilene, TX. My mom had also returned to California, leaving me solo with 2 for the first time… As if that wasn’t scary enough. Townes, who has a little bit of a reflux problem, had a particularly bad episode where he emptied the contents of his stomach, vomited up 4-5 ounces (obviously lots more than his tiny stomach could hold) Unfortunately, he got so choked up that i couldn’t get him to clear his air passages and it was obvious that he was really struggling to breathe. I stood on the front porch (performing what I knew of infant CPR) for the longest 12 minutes of my life until the ambulance arrived. The EMTs were able to suction out his nose and throat and get him breathing normally again before we even arrived at the hospital . A rather traumatic experience, I felt so lucky to have our good friend Laura over at the time to stay home with Olivia and wonderful new neighbors for their help!
By his 2 week appointment, Townes had gained another pound! up to 8 pounds, 5 ounces… evidence that his reflux was really not affecting his ability to nurse! Definitely a good thing because big sister came down with an awful tummy bug and 105 degree fever and mama’s antibodies proved to be great protection!