I can’t believe our little miss is almost two months old already! These last few weeks have been such a blur of holiday festivities, showing off baby to family and friends, and lots of night feedings. Oh, the night feedings.
Anyway, before my baby brain forgets all of the details, I figure I’d better get the baby story out of the way.
On my last doctor’s appointment, I was three days overdue. My doctor was concerned that since this baby was larger, she didn’t want me to go much past one week overdue. And I was very, very done with being pregnant (if you haven’t been able to tell from my lack of positive posting as of late) so an induction sounded fantastic. I was a little nervous about it because I would have preferred to go into labor naturally, but since it was my second baby and things have been going well, I was relatively low-risk for complications. So I planned on heading to the hospital Saturday for an induction.
I was a bit of a train wreck come Saturday morning. First of all, I was super “frexcited” (frightened + excited) so I had a difficult time sleeping on my last baby-free night of sleep. Then my doctor gave me some specific instructions on how to go about arriving at the hospital for the induction. Because mothers in active labor are given precedence over inductions for beds, I was told that if Saturday morning ended up to be a busy morning and if I didn’t get a bed by 7:00 am to not bother coming in at all, but wait until Monday. I was to call the hospital at 5:00 a.m. to confirm bed availability and show up by 6:00 so I can get in right away. Well, I woke up at 4:30 a.m. on my last baby-free night of sleep so I could down a hearty breakfast and call the hospital. They told me to come in at 8:00. In my anxious, tired, sleep-deprived state I couldn’t figure out what exactly that meant compared to my doctor’s instructions. Does it mean they have beds available but want me to come in later, even though my doctor told me to be there at 6:00? Or does that mean if I go in I won’t get a bed by 7:00 and I should just wait until Monday? I was so confused and totally overly emotional (which bodes well for the sleep-deprived near future where I have a small human dependent on my sanity). So Hulk had to step in and make an executive decision to just go in at 6:00 as planned and see what the deal is.
I also slept horribly because I was unusually achy all night. Normally I would go to bed achy, but after a couple hours of sleep I would feel normal again. Not this night; my back and hips were just as achy in the morning as when I went to bed. And on the way to the hospital, I was noticing some slight cramping. So I have a feeling that if I wasn’t on my way to an induction that I may have gone into labor sometime that weekend anyway.
We got to the hospital, and it turns out that it was a slow night on the labor and delivery floor and I was the only planned induction there, so I was shown to a bed right away. Score, and all my anxiety and panic was, as usual, unnecessary.
Waiting room selfie!
I was in a room by 6:30, and strapped to an I.V. by 7:00. At 7:15, they broke my waters and started the Pitocin. And good times were had by all.
I told the nurse that I wanted a pain med free labor. Yup, I was going to rock this au naturale like I did with Squish. Because I’m nuts. The nurse was great and brought in a rocking chair, and a birthing ball and helped arrange the fetal monitor and IV so I could move a bit more freely about the room. At first the contractions were pretty manageable and I just chilled out in the bed and breathed through them while Hulk made a Starbucks run.
The nurse brought me some chicken broth, crackers, and juice to snack on but after a few bites I quickly realized things were getting very real very fast and I was worried about keeping everything down. Around 9:30 I was in full-blown labor. Hulk was a champ at keeping me moving as much as possible. I started out in the rocking chair, and every other contraction or so would stand and sway through the contraction as Hulk supported me, or leaned on the bed. That worked pretty well for a while and when they checked me I was at 4 cm. My contractions were starting to come too close together, so they reduced my Pitocin.
By 10:15 I was really starting to cave. The pain was getting really intense and my mind kept screaming at me through every contraction, “Ask for drugs, you idiot! We don’t have to do it this way!” Holy hell was that tough. I ended up on my hands and knees on the floor for the contractions, then back in the rocking chair to recover for the next one, sweating like crazy. But in the end I didn’t request drugs because I was worried about it being too late for drugs, and didn’t want to ask only to be turned down. That would suck. So I kept on plowing through, focusing on each contraction as it came, talking positive talk out loud about how productive and good this contraction is, and trying not to think about how much longer this was gonna be.
At some point the nurse suggested I labor in bed on my side, since that may help put the baby in the right position. Laying down sounded awesome at the time because I was exhausted, so I climbed in bed and tried it. This was around 10:30, I think, and I was starting the transition phase, which is the toughest phase of labor. It was so, so hard. I was on my side for a couple of transactions and then would flip on my hands and knees and moan into a pillow. The intensity was unreal, I was doing everything I could to keep calm and relaxed. The nurse kept asking if I felt “pushy,” and soon I felt the urge to push. She checked me and I was at 9 cm, so, so close. All I could think about is what I could do to make each contraction more effective, which really translates to me as what can make them suck more. So I alternated between laying on my side (sucked) to hands and knees (still sucked) to laying on my back so the nurse could check me (sucky suck). The whole time I was trying to be calm and work with the the contractions and not thrash around, and Hulk was still by my side like a rock star, squeezing my hand and rubbing my shoulders.
Here’s a super TMI part, so feel free to skip ahead if you’re already squeamish and another dose of childbirth crazy will send you over the edge. Let’s just catalogue this next experience as “things you would never, ever be comfortable with unless you’re in the final stages of labor.” Yes, this is the Poop Story part. Anyway, I hadn’t pooped yet that morning, and I guess I was, um, full. So the nurse told me to try and poop, since it would make more space for baby to come out and be easier. So here I am, sitting on a toilet moaning loudly through contractions with the bathroom door wide open to a room full of nurses and hospital staff prepping for the delivery. Besides the complete and total lack of privacy, do you have any idea how hard it is to poop when you’re 9 cm dialated and are already feeling urges to push? You have to figure out really quick what’s a baby push and what is a poop push. I really didn’t want the experience of delivering a baby in a toilet. Anyway, I successfully figured it out and she wasn’t delivered in a toilet.
Then it was time to push for real! I was so ready for this to be over and to finally have my baby, I was in full-on “warrior mode.” As I felt the contractions come, I started pushing with everything I had left. Then the doctor said, “stop pushing” right in the middle of a big one. Then everyone started telling me, “Stop pushing, stop pushing!” Let me tell you, to not push when everything in your body is telling you otherwise is slightly less than impossible. Apparently the cord was wrapped tight around the baby’s neck, and the doctor needed some slack so she could cut it off. Once I figured out what was happening I completely put the breaks on as much as I could, I was so worried I would screw this up. Quickly the cord was slipped from her neck. I gave one last push and suddenly, I had a baby in my arms.
Other than her face being a little purple and mottled from the cord, she was absolutely perfect. The doctor delivered the placenta, checked me out, and declared I didn’t have any tearing whatsoever! That was very unexpected and fantastic news. Yay, less pain!
This was such a great birth experience. It was just over four hours from when they induced me to when she was born, and I still can’t believe how perfectly everything went down. Mercedes is my “magic baby,” with the perfect combination of being a great eater, sleeper, and cuddler. I couldn’t have imagined anything better than this.
And I have no idea why I wore makeup. I must have forgot I was having a baby and not going to work or something.
Welcome to the world, baby girl!