Squidgy number 2 (not an official title) arrived at 40 weeks 1 day after a good deal of wondering on my part when he would show up. He wasn’t late by any means—American due dates are counted at 40 weeks and French at 41, but since Littlest arrived at 38 weeks 6 days, I hadn’t that experience of an extra week of anticipation before. It was a strange time, full of acid reflux and bad sleep, but also sort of wanting to hold off a little longer on throwing our whole life up in the air.
Labor with this squidgy was almost identical to labor with Littlest, though there were absolutely no signs he was coming this time right up until my water broke—nothing even to interpret in retrospect. Good covert work on the baby’s part. My water broke just after midnight (with Littlest it was 2:30 am), we threw the final things in our suitcases, woke Littlest, and dropped him off at his grandparents who live five minutes from the clinic. Contractions started as soon as we got in the car, and they were, like with Littlest, only in my back.
The maternity unit seemed a little overworked that night and though we arrived at 1 am, by the time we waited in the entry way (25 lovely minutes), got an ultrasound and booked in (another 20 minutes at least), suffered through the “monitoring” where you have to stay lying down (25 more minutes), and got freed up for active labor, it was 2:30 am.
We got everything we hoped for from our birth plan though: salle “bien-être” with its bathtub, no epidural*, J got to deliver the baby (just the feet), and skin to skin for an hour after birth. Things went, just as with Littlest, fast after the first hour which is part of why I was impatient for all the hooha to get done with and to be able to get laboring the way I wanted. At 1:30 am I was at 2 cm ; at 3:45 am after a twenty-minute FABULOUS bath, I had to get out of the bathtub because he was coming: I was at 9 cm. The salle bien-être is not actually a delivery room, but they didn’t have time to move me. The final twenty minutes seemed a little frantic, but even so, I kept wanting to tell the midwife to stop running around doing other things (important medical things of course) because HE WAS ABOUT TO COME OUT. (And in fact I only pushed once.)
At 4:09 am J did the last pull and little brother was laid on my tummy where he stayed for an hour before J and the infant nurse took him away to weigh him and test him. They came back and put him back on me and he nursed like a champion (UNLIKE Littlest though to be fair there was no skin to skin so he was at a disadvantage).
*To be honest the no epidural plan was purely because I don’t think I labor in a way that gives anyone time to give me one. Delivery teams seem to have a certain timing in mind that makes way for an epidural around 4 cm and that whole step just seems to be something I skip.
As for the next part, J stayed at the hospital with me, which was nice, and the whole stay went better than our first one, maybe because I was so clear in my birth plan that I wanted to breastfeed and wanted to hear nothing about formula unless medically necessary. Little brother is a champion feeder though and has been since the beginning which, along with a higher birth weight, has been so much less stressful.
We got our “sortie précoce” which means we left after 48 hours instead of 72, and Littlest even got to come meet his brother at the hospital! We were allowed two visitors per day during restricted hours so he came twice with his Mamie. He was so excited the first time he saw the baby and then proud to hold him.
For now this squidgy is totally chill—he even slept 6 hours straight last night. He only cries to nurse, though he does cluster feed, especially in the evening (but I attribute the 6 hours of sleep to that so no complaining). He looks a lot like Littlest as a baby, to me, but is for now 5 times easier. Fingers crossed that lasts.
Now to find an official nickname…