November 8th 2012 / 7lbs 6oz. 20 ¾ in
On November 6th, I had an appointment at the OB office. I had dilated to 2 1/2 cm, only 1/2 cm more than the week before. The OB (the female doc) predicted I’d still be pregnant a week later. I thought so too… but it seems I can’t keep a baby in past 38 weeks.
The night before November 8th, I stayed up through the morning trying to finish up some work. I had done similar before the birth of Elijah, only I was immersed in Google, searching for ways to start labor. I almost forced Greg to go out and buy some castor oil. Good thing he didn’t, that would have been a disaster.
I laid down before 8AM and was awakened by a contraction. The same kind that usually woke me up when I needed to pee, so I went to the bathroom and got back into bed. Minutes later, I felt another one. Annoyed, I brushed it off and tried to get comfortable. I had at least two more until it dawned on me. I started timing them and they were 5 minutes apart. That’s when I texted Greg who was laying on the couch.
For the past few months, in preparation of Marley’s arrival, I’ve been saying, “Sh*t’s gettin’ real”, but this time when I sent it via text, Greg knew exactly what that meant.
He came upstairs and walked into the room.
“How many minutes apart?”
“Nooo, I’m not ready!”
I got up, washed up, and made sure we had everything packed, hunching over and crouching down on the floor in the process. I also made sure to “relieve” myself whenever I got the urge because I didn’t want to while pushing out the baby.* Part of my mucous plug made an appearance as well. I lost the rest at the hospital. I was calm. I knew we’d have plenty of time, so I moved slow. My OB (the female) had said to head to the hospital ASAP once labor started since the baby was so low, but I still took my time. Greg woke up Elijah and got him ready. We were out the house in about an hour. We checked into the hospital around 9AM.
The lady at the front desk offered to wheel me up to labor and delivery, then this old lady volunteers and ASKS how to get there. I wanted to look at the lady at the desk and say, “NOOooOoOOO!” So we get in the elevator and she has trouble maneuvering the chair inside. My patience starts to wear. We get up to labor and delivery and she wheels me towards NICU. She presses the intercom and someone tells her that she needs to go back down and make a left. She gets lost again and someone gives her more directions. OH EM GEE. I wanted to hop out of that chair and WALK my dern self!
We were taken to a room where I changed into a gown and hopped into bed. There was more “relieving”. I became frustrated because I didn’t have that problem laboring with Elijah, although a tiiiny portion said hello during pushing. But I was like “really, of all times?! Geeze.”*
I labored in the bed for a while… on my left side, hooked to the monitors. I was 4 cm when checked. I hadn’t slept at all since I was up all night and I knew that I didn’t want to labor again for 12 hours, tired like I did with Elijah. And when in labor, constant noise irritates me to no end and I didn’t know how patient Elijah would be. We had plans for him to be picked up days before labor. This was all a surprise so we just rolled with it. Greg set Elijah up at the table with my laptop and he seemed pretty content.
All this to say, I took the pain meds offered to me. I hesitated at first, but I just wanted a little nap so I could relax and dilate as fast as possible. With Elijah, I was stuck at 6cm for the longest because I was having trouble relaxing with his head being so low. So I took the “little something” and they ordered the epidural.
* * * DUN DUN DUUUUUUUN * * *
I layed there thinking, “I am totally butchering my birthing plan. This is NOT what I wanted. What if the meds complicate things? Ugh. Whatever. I’ll justify my actions some way.” *thinks of excuses* “No birth goes completely as planned, get over it.” It must have taken an hour or two to finally get the epidural. By the time it came, I was wondering if I even needed it. Honestly getting the epidural was what I was most anxious about. I didn’t want to have to be poked 50 million times or have any complications from it. And I wanted to unlock my au naturel badge, lol. My grandmother did it TEN times.
Greg stepped out the room with Elijah while the epidural was administered. I’m assuming because they didn’t want to frighten Elijah with the needle in case I freaked out or something. After about 10 miuntes, the epidural was in and Greg and Elijah returned to the room.
I layed back down… on my left side, thinking about the epidural. “Well, I suppose I can relax now. I hope I’m not going to regret this.” I called my mother and told her I was in labor. Greg called family to let them know as well. We drifted off some time after that. The nurse came in and said my contractions were becoming less frequent.
“We may have to give you some pitocin to start them up again. I’ll talk to your doctor.”
“Aw hell”, I thought. “I KNEW I shouldn’t have gotten this damn epidural, what if I end up needing a C-section or something? More drugs! What if I can’t breastfeed? Get it together…”
I tried to relax. It’s all I could do. I complained to Greg and layed their listless.
Somewhere in here we discussed the middle name we HAD NOT decided on yet. Greg finally gave in to the name I chose ;-).
We drifted again.
“WTF was that!?”
“Ummm, my water just broke.”
At first, I thought the baby had viciously kicked me. Since I was hooked up to the monitor, the sound was amplified. It scared the crap out of me, hence the exclamatory expletive.
Greg called the nurse in and saw that I sprung a leak. She cleaned me up with Greg’s help.
She then, started the pitocin…
The epidural wore off…
Things progressed quickly and I was ready to push within minutes… but the doctor hadn’t arrived yet.
There I lay shivering (from laboring, I had preheated blankets) and breathing deeply to keep baby from falling out. With Elijah, I cupped my girly parts because I was sure he was coming out. This time, I kept my hands out of there, lol. The nurses were very encouraging and told me I was doing really good. At one point a tear shed down my left eye and I laughed because through all of that, I only let out one tear. Greg was by my side for encouragement. He massaged me for a bit, but he wasn’t digging deep enough into my lower back (he didn’t want to hurt me) so I told him to stop, lol. I don’t really like to be touched during labor anyway.
While waiting on the doctor (one of the male docs was on call) to arrive, the nurses stared out the window until they spotted his car. The count down began. I began thinking about how long it would take him to walk to through the entrance, to the elevator and up to the room. He walked in and it was time to get to business.
“She’s 8 cm, but the baby definitely wants to come into the light.”, said the nurse.
I asked if I could deliver on my side, but he recommended the dreadful “goodies wide open” position. I gave the stank face and cooperated. The nurse grabbed one leg, Greg grabbed the other, and I grabbed my thighs. My OB sat down and started coaching.
“You want to bare down like you’re having a bowel movement.”
“I want to apologize for anything other than a baby that comes out of me.”
And it happened.
“You’re losing your bowels because the baby is pressing down on them.”
I gave a few big pushes.
“You’re doing it, you’re doing it, hounz! I’m so proud of you!”
And a little one to make sure I didn’t tear… and I didn’t :-).
“Do you want to catch your baby?”
I couldn’t respond, I was too busy concentrating.
“I think she just wants to be done”, said the nurse.
“Do you want to catch your baby?”
“Do YOU (Greg) want to catch your baby?”
“I …don’t know…”, Greg hesitated. (Note from Greg: I originally wanted to catch our baby. But after seeing how small and fragile he looked, I didn’t want to inadvertently hurt him. It’s like buying a Lambo then not wanting to drive it because you’re too afraid you might wreck it. Not saying my son is a car, but if he was, he’d definitely be a Lamborghini Mercy.)
A baby is plopped in my arms and I am re-fricken-lieved.
I. felt. everything. and I was grateful for that.
I was able to nurse right away and enjoy skin to skin.
The birth went so smoothly that he didn’t even notice. He was so into his games, that he didn’t care, haha. I’m also not a screamer and everyone spoke in calm tones. The nurse complimented how well I did and how well Elijah behaved. She said it was such a beautiful birth… and went on with how nice it is to see them. Her tone indicated that they have their share of stressful births. She reminded me so much of my midwife who delivered Elijah, which was comforting. Her bedside manner was beyond perfect.
The birth of Marley didn’t go as planned, but I’m not much of a planner anyway. I can go with the flow if need be. Although birthing a baby is one of those few in a lifetime moments, we tend to want those moments to be spit-shine perfect. But what’s more important is bringing a healthy baby into this world and nurturing them the best we know how.
When I think about it, I got the best of both worlds laboring with Elijah and Marley. With Elijah, I labored about 12 hours before surrendering to an epidural. I endured all the pain before the push. With Marley, a short time of labor was spent under the epidural before it wore off. I was able to feel and control my pushing, something I couldn’t do laboring with Elijah. I tore a bit with Elijah, and that’s probably because I couldn’t feel anything. So combine both labors, I’ve experienced all stages of labor unmedicated. Next baby, it’s on!
Natural water birth.
Hopefully not at a hospital… simply because I can’t stand the post-delivery precautionary poking and prodding every hour.
Oh, and I’ll probably hire a birth photographer…
I never wrote out Elijah’s birth story because I was overwhelmed at the time, luckily, Greg live blogged it here :-).
* Turn up your nose if you want, but I’d be glamourizing the story if I didn’t tell. After all, it is frequently asked about during labor talk. Shh happens. And you survive.
“So. How was labor… did you poop???”