Continued from part 1…you can catch up here!
It was close to 10pm by the time we got to the hospital and there must have been something in the air that night because another couple and her entourage was finishing their check-in and another couple came in right after us. So we waited and I started to feel more uncomfortable and had to close my eyes and bend over now as the contractions came on. After what seemed like forever (probably closer to 10mins) our nurse arrived and we were shuffled off to triage to see if I was making enough progress to stay. Surely I had dilated to 3 or 4cm after 9 hours of contractions right?! Nope…still hanging out at 1cm but at least I was almost fully effaced. I was discouraged but the nursed said they wanted to monitor me and keep me there since I had a prior c-section. She said she’d do another check in 2hrs.
You guys…those 2 hours were the longest 2 hours of my life I swear. The contractions had reached a point where I wanted to cry as each one came on. Nothing I did was comfortable. Forget all that crap they teach you in birthing class…bending over on the bed hurt, sitting/squatting hurt, anyone touching me or talking to me hurt.
I went to the bathroom about an hour in and was pretty sure I lost my mucus plug…I just sat there on the toilet for 2 contractions because in that moment that was all I had the strength to do. Remember that pizza I ate for dinner? Yeah that started to come back to haunt me as each contraction came on I felt nauseated and wanted to puke while burping garlic. I should have taken all that “don’t eat while in labor” advice seriously. Knowing these suckers were coming every 5 minutes or so was pure torture…then watching them on the monitor and seeing only a tiny peak was disheartening…I felt drained and tired already and just wanted the dang epidural so I could lay down and “rest” and not feel this pain any longer!
The only thing that I could do through each contraction was stand up straight with my hands on my head and attempt to breathe. I would sway back and forth between contractions and apparently that put baby girl to sleep so my nurse made me stop…I guess they needed her awake to monitor her. I just wanted it all to stop. At one point I yelled at Lance that I should have just had a C-section because even though the recovery sucked at least I wouldn’t have to go through this hell.
Finally the clock hit 12:20am and the nurse was back to check my progress. She proudly exclaimed that my hard work had paid off because I was close to 4cm now! This was sweet sweet music to my ears! We quickly gathered our stuff and made our way to the labor and delivery wing where I was promised immediate blood work and an IV so I could get that epidural ASAP.
The following 2 hours are a bit hazy because of the increasing pain and contractions but basically my body got the labor memo and decided to kick it up a notch. I was pretty dehydrated at this point so the nurse struggled to get a good vein for blood…throw in intense contractions while getting poked and you can imagine the fun I was having. After several tries they finally got an IV in my arm in the most uncomfortable spot but whatever…it worked.
As I was laying there I felt something down below and told the nurse I either just peed or my water broke. She took a look and didn’t say anything but said it wasn’t my water. Then I remember having to go to the bathroom and asking if I could go pee. She helped me into the bathroom (with a couple breaks for contractions) and as I sat there I noticed a ton of blood on my legs and in the toilet. I was scared as you can imagine and thankfully Lance was right there assuring me everything was OK. He later told me that he was scared too but the nurses told him to reassure me it was all ok.
I get back to the bed and finally the anesthesiologist showed up with my epidural. The process was long because as soon as he was ready to go I would have a contraction and we would have to wait. Finally that sucker was in and slowly but surely I started to feel relief. They positioned me on my side and for once I felt like I could open my eyes and actually talk again.
The relaxed feeling was short lived though as suddenly baby girl’s heart rate plummeted from 150 to the 60-80 range. I can’t explain how it felt to hear her heart rate suddenly slow way down. The nurse was in almost immediately and moved me to my other side…we waited and her heart rate didn’t recover. More nurses started to come in and they all tried to move me to a position that would get baby’s heart rate back up. As they were moving me it became clear that there was a lot of blood down there as well and I remember looking at Lance and him having this panic look on his face.
The attending OBGYN came in and the only thing I could think was that they were going to cut me open…get her out. I was worried and scared and couldn’t stop listening to baby girl’s slow heart rate…praying for it to go back up. They finally had me get onto my hands and knees on the bed and slowly her heart rate started to recover. I had to sit like that for several minutes as they monitored her and decided to break my water to check the color of the fluid. If it was clear we were ok. They broke my water and thankfully it was indeed clear.
Turns out I had progressed from 4cm to 7cm in about an hour and baby girl was not a fan. Also my cervix was all “wtf?!” and decided to bleed like crazy. After everything calmed down and I got to lay down again it was close to 3am. I was exhausted and struggled to keep my eyes open. At this point it was just a matter of waiting for my body to get to 10cm. I secretly hoped it would take a while because I was not ready to push and have a baby just yet…I needed to close my eyes and just relax…regroup. Thankfully that’s exactly what I got to do. Sleeping was out of the question but I do remember feeling so calm and relaxed…listening to her heart beat with the lights off…Lance sleeping on the crappy fold out couch.
Every hour or so they would come in and check me and turn me from my left to my right side. Around 7am or so the contractions started to beef up and I started to feel them again. Not as intense as pre-epidural but enough to make me wince and curse and cry a little bit. I had refrained from hitting the epidural “button” to up the juice but I gave in as I knew we were nearing the end. I could feel the pressure everyone talks about…her head was definitely “right there” and she was ready.
Lance woke up and I had him open the window shades to let the sun into our dark room…set the mood. The nurse came in soon after to check me and sure enough baby’s head was there and ready to go! Several nurses started to trickle in and prepare for the “big event”. There was a “buzz” about the room and I started to feel excited and even joked with the nurses about how I was supposed to be getting a pedicure that day and apologized for my un-polished toe nails…I guess having a baby would have to suffice. The nurses got me into push position and were so attentive to my comfort making sure I had enough pillows and what not. I’m not going to lie…I was pretty darn comfortable…legs spread for the world and all!
Then it was go time. Pushing was a lot easier than I expected. Maybe it was the epidural or the fact that every nurse was cheering me on and made me feel like a pushing super star…but I pushed like it was my sole purpose in life. The competitive side of me took over and I got really into it…closing my eyes between contractions and taking slow breaths in and out prepping for the next round. I don’t remember exactly how many pushes it took or contractions but it really didn’t take that long before they called in the OB to finish the job. Then just like that she was here! Mid push the doctor told me to open my eyes and look down and there she was! Allison Vera had arrived.
They placed her on my chest and it really was that joyful moment you imagine. I cried a little and felt a rush of love for her. She answered by pooping on me and crying a lot. I remember looking at lance and exclaiming “holy crap we have two kids!”.
I couldn’t be more thankful and happy with how Allison’s birth played out. I’m still in shock that I didn’t end up with a repeat C section…that my body did this all on it’s own. When I discussed the plan for a VBAC with my doctor she went over all the possible scenarios and in the end I got the ideal one…go into labor on my own and progress on my own enough to have her vaginally. I feel like a super mom now that I’ve gone through two very different births…both of which I feel were positive experiences.
Allison is now 3 weeks old and we’re slowly adjusting to life with a newborn and a 3yr old. So far Allison has been a great baby…she sleeps for a solid 3-4 hours between feedings at night which is so completely different than her big brother. Maybe it’s just this second time around thing but I don’t feel nearly as overwhelmed or tired this time. Dare I say I’m actually enjoying these newborn days?! Ack…don’t quote me on that! One sure thing about babies…they change daily!!