So! I took a giant hiatus, and I'm sure you assumed I had the baby. Sorry I dropped off the face of the Earth! Obviously tiredness was involved, and it just got easier and easier to put it off, all the while my guilt increased! Mostly because I've been going back often to check my blog when Wyatt was born to compare things, and I've felt guilty for not documenting this for her.
Anyway. She's here! An entire month old now, which is absolutely nuts.
Let's start at the beginning, shall we?
I went in for my 39 week appointment. My doctor told me I was at a 4, and did I want my membranes stripped? I told him sure, last time at a 4 I had my membranes stripped and it probably helped me go into labor, and I figured why not? So that's what he did, and dude. I had it done 3 different times with Wyatt, and it never hurt like that. Granted, this doctor is a bit, um, bigger than my last (tiny Asian lady) doctor, but still. Woah nelly! Caleb even commented afterward that he could tell it wasn't awesome just from watching my face.
We got home and Caleb ran downstairs to jump on a call to his new employee (who started that day) and I set Wyatt up with some finger paints. The cramps had started, and so had, I could tell, the spotting. I went to go take care of that and discovered that this wasn't just the typical spotting - there was a lot of blood. Not dark blood, lightened a bit, and I grew suspicious. I yelled for Cabe, but of course he was on his call, so I called my doctors office to ask his opinion. He wasn't available so one of his nurses took my question and said she'd get back to me after she talked to me. She called back and said bleeding was normal, and to go in if it's still happening (the actual dripping of fluid) in an hour. (He'd told me at the appointment that if I had any contractions at all, to just head in because they wouldn't turn me away since I was already at a 4.)
So, I set about waiting it out. I realized I didn't have a single pad ("sanitary napkin", if you will) so I ripped into my nursing pad box.
Hey, it works, right?
I finished packing my bag. And Caleb's. I had a sinking feeling I wouldn'tbe spending the night at home. I called my mom and told her we'd probably be going in, and could she come down to watch Wy? And then? Well. I hadn't got around to the pre-labor pedicure.
So I painted my toes. For reals.
Finally Caleb came upstairs and I asked him to get me a bucket (to soak mah undies). Apparently I should have specified, because he ran outside and grabbed the dirtiest, largest bucket we had. I think he thought I was going to throw up, although wouldn't I have just used the toilet like a normal person? Anyway. I filled him in, and my mom arrived and we sort of explained things to Wyatt, and then off we went.
It was a rather surreal ride to the hospital. My last ride had been slightly different, in the middle of the night, and peppered with 6 centimeter contractions. This one was fairly calm. It was that calm time of night just before the sunset, and I was for the most part, pain free.
This is me, right before heading off. I pulled up my hair in anticipation! And wished I hadn't pushed back hair washing day until the next day....I should have maybe hopped in the shower, but oh well.
We arrived and told the nurses my story, and they set me up in labor and delivery so they could test to see if what was leaking was amniotic fluid. Since it was tinged with blood, they couldn't do the normal test and would have to send it down to the lab, which meant a longer wait. I started having some random contractions while we waited, so I knew we were there to stay. Caleb sent off the obligatory (very flattering...) shot of me in my paper gown to Facebook.
So of course, the test came back positive and they set about hooking me up to all the machines, and started me on pitocin. We'd arrived at 7 pm, and the rest of the evening was fairly slow. I wasn't progressing much, and while I could handle the contractions, I'd started to have some pretty severe back and hip pain. I tried moving in every single direction I could think of, and nothing helped at all. Couple that with the increasingly painful contractions, and I gave in. I got the epidural.
And yes, I did feel like I sort of gave up. I tried not to feel that way - there is no gold star for natural labor, is there?
This labor experience was so much different - it was so odd to just be hanging out and talking and joking with Caleb and the nurses while in labor. I was actually mentally present when I got the epidural, and felt this weird slightly painful electric-like feeling right before he inserted the needle. Apparently normal, but I don't remember it at all from last time. I was sooo out of it.
It started working fairly quickly, and just as I'd asked, it was really light. I felt like I could have got up and walked around, all while not feeling the painful contractions. I could move and feel my legs, but that back / hip pain was gone. SUCH a relief! And Caleb was loving life, the nurse brought him his own giant mug and informed him that the drink station down the hall had Diet Dr Pepper. So he filled his 32 oz mug, and she brought him snacks. We were just chillin!
Things went well until my blood pressure, and the baby's, went down. I could tell, I felt faint and cold. They stopped the pitocin and had me lay on my side and put that dreaded oxygen mask on, and after a while we both stabilized. The pitocin was turned back on, and at this point, I was still only a 6 or 7, and we were nearing midnight. (I was watching the clock like a hawk, hoping and wishing and praying to get past midnight, into an even day! I know! I'm still weird about even numbers!)
The next hang up was the weird feeling I started getting in my arms and upper chest. I stayed quiet about it for a while, until I finally convinced myself that I was in labor, and maybe I shouldn't suck up weird symptoms since maybe it could also be affecting the baby. I typically deal with annoying / bad symptoms because I don't want to be a bother. So I wrestled with myself until I finally mentioned it to Caleb, and then the nurse. They brought the anesthesiologist back in and they turned down the epidural. The nurse checked me again, I was a 7, and she and the anesthesiologist started making bets about when I'd have the baby. It was decided either 3:30 or 4. It was just after midnight.
They left, and I started feeling the contractions. Suddenly, in conjunction with a contraction, my water broke the rest of the way, and what a weird feeling! My eyes went wide and I told Caleb (I made him check to see that it wasn't blood). After another contraction, and more water gushing, I asked him if he thought we should maybe tell the nurse. I figured that alone wasn't huge news, but suddenly the contractions got serious. I remember with Wyatt feeling the need to push, right when I was getting the epidural at 9 centimeters, but this felt different. I felt like she was literally coming out, that maybe she was going to fall right out. Caleb left and brought the nurse back, and in a matter of minutes I'd gone from a 7 to a 10!
So I held on (literally!) while my doctor was called and they prepped for labor. It happened so quick, since I could feel the contractions (remember, my epidural was turned way down!) I ended up only needing to push twice, and out she came! 12:41 am on June 14th. Flag Day.
I remember hearing her first little cry, and I couldn't believe it was over. Just that morning I'd taken Wy to our weekly summer movie, Kung Fu Panda 2. I had plans for the next day, that weekend, the next week even! For some reason I kept filling my schedule because I'd forget, or it just didn't seem real, that any moment we'd have the baby. But there she was! Perfect, pink, and not as tiny as I'd thought at 5 days early!
20 inches, 6 lbs 4 oz, only 1 once less than Wyatt was at 9 days overdue. She took right to nursing, and was so sweet. We were left alone while they prepped our room (this is always my favorite time of having a baby, right after when we're left alone, to marvel!) and we just couldn't believe she was here. Not having such a rough labor, I was much more involved and mentally there, this time. We were so happy.
(To be continued)