Long version! On Saturday morning we went and walked around the mall and Toys R Us for about 2 hours, hoping it would help get things moving for me. On the car ride home I started having prodomal labor contractions, so it worked fast! They lightened up just as I was going to bed that night so that I was able to get a good night’s sleep, then picked right back up first thing in the morning. During church they started getting painful enough I was not enjoying having to sit still through them, and walking around afterward they began hurting enough I did not enjoy trying to walk through them. Around 2-4pm they started getting painful enough I was having to sway and breathe a bit to get through them. I spent the afternoon on the birthing ball, hoping they’d continue to pick up. They were all over the place and I wasn’t sure what to think until about 8-9pm when I realized for the past hour any semblance of a contraction had been no more than 10 minutes apart, and they were frequently stronger, and I was having some bad cramps in between them. I had my mom start heading over because I figured if tonight wasn’t the night, it certainly would be tomorrow, and having her there to be with B would make me feel a lot better in case we suddenly decided we needed to head into the hospital. I shortly after realized I needed to call my Grandma to come over and be with B because we would need to be leaving before my mom would get there! By the time she got there I was having some spotting, so I was convinced we were making the right decision to head in.
We got to the hospital around 10:30. It’s a 45 minute drive and contractions were 7-10 minutes apart the whole time, and I was having back labor. I was feeling good about things, but then they checked me in L&D triage and I was only 80% and 2cm. I was so disappointed! They had me walk around an hour to see if I progressed. By the end of that hour contractions were getting more intense and frequent and I was starting to feel lightheaded and like I couldn’t get enough oxygen at their peak. The nurse said it was because my body was working hard, and I was at 4cm then so we were admitted. It was just after midnight at that point.
Contractions were intense enough then that I couldn’t wait to get into a hot tub once we got to the L&D room. It didn’t help the contractions, but it at least gave me some relief from the constant cramping in between them. By 2am I wasn’t able to handle things in the tub anymore and needed to get out and try something else. The back labor was so bad that I didn’t think I could handle doing things naturally at all anymore, and I had resolved myself to not feeling guilty about asking for an epidural if I wasn’t too far to get one. The nurse checked me and I was at 6cm, so I told her I’d like one, I was starting to feel that desperate “OMG I can’t do this” thing. She went off to get stuff for an IV and 2 ridiculous contractions later I felt a lot of pressure that didn’t go away between them. She said she’d better check me again before putting the IV in, and I was somehow at 9cm! Too late for meds now! I guess God was going to make sure I got my natural birth anyway!
I cannot explain the excruciating pain that I was in after that! My water hadn’t broken yet, so the midwife came up to do it and relieve some of the pressure. The nurse then had me lay over a bean bag on the bed to try and encourage M to turn (she was still posterior). I was having a coupling pattern with contractions and during the rest between them I nearly would fall asleep on the bean bag. My body started pushing on its own then, and after a few more contractions I felt M starting to crown. So I yelled that she was coming out and the midwife rushed over. My nurse helped me turn onto my left side (when I then removed my hospital gown because the stupid thing kept getting twisted up!), and after a few pushes it felt like her head had to have come out. Turns out it had partway, but was stuck there while there was a break in contractions. So I rested with her head all half stuck out and then on the next one pushed as hard as I could because all I could think about was getting her out of there so the pain would stop! I distinctly remember how it felt when B came out, and I didn’t feel the same thing at all, so I wasn’t 100% sure she’d come out until they plopped her up on me! My husband told me she’d pretty much “shot out doing a barrel roll.” She came out very quickly and facing sideways, but turning on the way.
The first thing I noticed was that she looked almost exactly like B did when he was born. She looked up at me right away and let out a little cry. Then I began crying and just held her as covered up as I could so she wouldn’t be cold. After the cord stopped pulsating they let my husband cut it. She hung out on me while we waited for the placenta and then for the midwife to sew me up (only a second degree tear, which has nothing on the episiotomy I had last time). She wanted to eat so badly and was getting angry that she couldn’t since I was lying flat on my back! So they took her to weigh her, etc. until I could be sat up, then she latched on and stayed that way for a good 70 minutes. We had to force her to stop because they needed to give her a bath and send us up to our room! She wouldn’t fall asleep either, her eyes were wide open the entire time. She was the talk of L&D for that I guess because when the pedi came to check her out she said, “Is this the baby who nursed for 70 minutes after being born?” And I was like, “Yep.” 🙂
I still can’t believe how quickly everything happened. She was born less than 3 hours after I was admitted. It really was an amazing labor and birth experience, although I can’t full-heartedly say that so soon afterward while I’m still so sore and everything is so fresh in my mind!