I'll attempt to make this short...but we all know it won't happen that way and will end up as a book (or at least a novella)
Pumpkin Seed's Birth Story
On Wednesday, 10/10/12, we checked into the hospital around 8pm. We had stayed home late enough for me to put Little Monkey to bed and make sure my mom and stepdad were sufficiently up to date on all of the care instructions for him. When we got to the hospital, I was super nervous. Nervous about what an induction might mean for how the birth would go, nervous about leaving LM and nervous about change in general. The nurse brought us right to our room and I worked on getting changed.
We filled out the tons of admission paperwork...well the nurse did. I answered lots of questions (on top of the 3 page pre-admission form I had filled out months ago) about every little thing while a nurse drew a vampire's lot of a blood from me, got me bracelet'ed up and got all of the IV's ready.
Sidenote--no idea how I managed to answer all of these questions while in labor last time with LM. I don't remember there being so many and know my contractions were strong enough that I wasn't 100% coherent.
We started an IV of fluids and they checked my cervix...still 2cm and 50% effaced...STILL. Then, there was a bit of drama as my nurse said she was going to go call the on-call doctor to get the ok to start my pitocin. I explained to her that my OB was supposed to be the one she was communicating with because she had told me she would be handling it all--and wanted to monitor me for contractions first to make sure we needed the pitocin. So, she went away to call her. And we waited. And waited and waited. Never did get a good reason why my OB didn't get right back to her...but I def watched TH get more and more ticked as he was beginning to think she wouldn't show up until delivery which isn't what she promised me when I agreed to induce so she would be in charge of me (yes, I know she probably wouldn't have been there until delivery regardless but she had told me she wanted to monitor me, break my water etc). Finally, after noting that I was having contractions fairly regularly--though they weren't strong and I couldn't really feel them--the nurse finally said that the OB on call from my practice wanted her to start the pitocin. It was 9pm.
They were going to check the pitocin every 30minutes and see where we were at. We started at 2...I don't know the units that go with the dosage. So, time began to pass. At the first 30 minute check, I hadn't strengthened in my contractions yet and still wasn't really feeling them yet. She upped the dosage and we went back to watching tv and talking. Repeat at 1000. And 1030. By now we were up to an 8 with the pitocin. I was feeling the contractions by now pretty strongly. She checked me and sadly...still a freakin' 2cm. I was 80% effaced though. I got up to go to the bathroom and had a small gush of fluid..similar to LM with no big waterworks or anything. The nurse checked (by smelling it...not the pH test) and said to her it smelled like amniotic fluid....not exactly scientific.
So, we went back to waiting. At 11pm, she checked me again and said that my water hadn't broken. Hmm...so either it was a small gush or I peed myself....still no idea. I was now at 4cm. I was disheartened at this point...both about the water and lack of progress. She upped the pitocin to 9 and we went back to waiting, reading. At this point, I told TH to try and rest. I was reading my kindle and trying to suffer though the contractions. Since they were pitocin induced, I was in some pretty serious pain but without my water breaking and only being a 4...I knew I needed to wait on the epidural. It was awful though---I was contracting every 2-3 minutes and had been laying tilted to one side for hours (though alternating sides) because PS's heartrate was a bit "flat".
Finally, I got permission to lay on my back for awhile...and the contractions became much much worse. All of the sudden, a wee bit before midnight, there was a GUSH of fluid...EVERYWHERE. Turns out...that was my water breaking. It was all quintessential classic water breaking...the stuff of movies. I paged my nurse and she came in---my bed was soaked with fluid and bloody show. She helped me to the bathroom...literally gushing ALL OVER the floor on the walk there. I went ahead and peed. As I was finishing up, my OB showed up. She laughed and said that she had shown up just to break my water after midnight (she knew that I had originally wanted Thursday as our induction day) but that obviously, baby didn't want to wait for her. She said she would go tuck in to an on-call room and be there to monitor me. They checked me again and I was at 6cm.
Bring on the epidural!! This anesthesiologist was SO much better than last time. With LM, he was disheveled and clearly had been woken up to go my epidural...and grouchy. He got grouchy at me because I wasn't arching my back the right way....while contracting like mad. This one...he was calm and explained things wonderfully....it was like getting an epidural from Mr. Rogers. I felt it get better right away...bliss. I know so many people are strong and can do birth all naturally...not me. I'm just not built to handle the pain. I was SUPER cold though so they piled the heated blankets on me. The epi kicked in around 1am. The nurse stayed to monitor my blood pressure for 20 minutes or so...and this is where it got scary.
She had me roll back to my side because PS's heartrate was dropping after my contractions were finishing instead of during the peak. She showed me the monitor and I could see her heartrate dip down out of the safe "blue" zone...with every contraction. She whips out the oxygen mask and says she wants me to try this. Just as she's putting it on me, my OB rushes in and says "oh good...I was coming to tell you I wanted O2 on her". I had flashbacks to LM's birth where the same things happened during the marathon of pushing and they started talking about c-sections. Luckily, both times the O2 helped.
However, I had to stay on it this time for a couple of hours. Her heartrate slowly got back to normal but they still kept me on the oxygen. It was hard to keep breathing correctly as I was still shivering from the epidural and nerves. I tried to read and had TH try to nap. My nurse came in around 300 to check me again and found that I was at 8cm but apparently her head was so low that my cervix was bulging from the pressure and turning inward...like a volcano was the nurse's description. She said that it was good I had gotten my epi when I did, because my contractions were off the charts and she said the pressure on my cervix was quite a bit. She went to go talk with my OB to make sure that she didn't want to make any changes. I was allowed to change positions again to see if it would help. I kept reading and TH kept trying to nap. By this point, I was super tired of the oxygen mask...the noise of the swooshing, the drying out of my lips and way it made my mouth taste.
Around 4, my nurse came it to check me again. I was complete at 10cm!! However, still had some room to drop so she went to check and see what my OB wanted to do. Because of how long I had to push with LM (1.5 hours!), my OB wanted me to labor down for an hour. I was crushed. I thought we had finally (FINALLY) gotten to where she was about to come. I was tired of waiting. At that point, I didn't see or care about her logic...nor had I ever read about the concept of laboring down. An hour seemed like it would take an eternity to pass. My nurse left me with instructions to buzz her if I felt pressure.
Thank goodness I had my K.indl.e. My (now) old school version was a birthday present before LM's birth as TH knew I would want to read if my labor was long and drawn out (as I heard all first time labors usually were) and wouldn't want to pack a bunch of books (I'm a fast reader). That time, I was in too much pain until the epi to read and from epi to push time was hardly any time at all, so...alas, I didn't even break it out. This time though---I got into the book I was reading and made some good progress in it :-) It helped me take my mind off of things and the hour went faster than I thought.
At a bit before 5, my nurse came in and confirmed that PS had dropped the rest of the way. In came the pedi nurses (and an EMT student who "assisted"...which I didn't quite get but oh well) and my nurse to break down my bed, prepare the baby supplies/warmer etc. They confirmed with TH that he wanted to be up my by shoulders to help support my back while pushing and we all got ready. And then we waited.....for what I swear was FOREVER but really apparently was only a couple of minutes...for my OB.
While we all stood awkwardly about, totally out of small talk by this point, it really hit me that we were about to have another baby. Two under two. Thank goodness for the meds in my body because honestly, it kept me a bit grounded from totally freaking out.
When my OB came in, she did a quick check to see where we were at---reminded me about how to push and said that we should do a quick practice one with the next contraction. I had minimal hopes for pushing being a quick process because of how long it took with LM. So, as I did the "practice" push, and they all told me how great I was doing, I didn't really buy it. I heard that a lot last time....and it still took forever, so clearly--I wasn't doing it great! However, as soon as I was done with the push, my OB hopped up and said that she better throw on her gown etc before she had to catch her bare-handed! She hurried into her gear and sat back down. She told me it would only take a couple more pushes and she'd be out....yeah right. I can't feel anything below my belly button...sure I'll push her out easily.
The next contraction came up and I pushed until I counted (well they counted) to ten. Took another breath and pushed again. And then, suddenly, there she was. Tiny, slimy and a little bit blue. They laid her on my stomach and asked if TH wanted to cut the cord (no) and then asked me if I wanted to cut it (umm..no. I'm emotional, medicated and shaky...not a good combo!!). My doctor was pretty excited to cut it herself--she said she doesn't get to do it very much anymore. She didn't cry right away but man, when she did...she has a set of lung on her!
Three pushes....and there she was...our daughter. They let her lay there for a minute or so, then took her to the baby warmer next to my bed to clean her up and check her out. Her APGAR scores were 8/9. My doctor worked on delivering the placenta and stitching me up (small tear or re-tear rather from where I tore with LM). We chatted about how much easier this delivery was than last time. I made sure that I told her how glad I was that we went ahead with the induction and that it was her who delivered my baby and made the decisions (I'll write more about that another time). TH did a stellar job capturing PS getting all cleaned up etc on video and "film". Once again, we have amazing shots/video of the first few minutes of being in the outside world.
The rest is pretty blurry. Lots of cleaning up, snuggling and talking. There was no family waiting this time (benefit of delivering early in the morning on a workday!) so TH and I got ample time just the three of us to look at her, try nursing (she was a champ from the first latch!) and just being. We also marveled at just how much she looked like LM...and I mean, wow--we compared their birth pictures and besides being smaller...wow. We make carbon copy babies!
And, so that's how she arrived. I could follow-up with the obligaotory tales of recovery but since it seems like most of my followers already have little ones these days...I'll save those posts for requests!