Thursday, January 16, 2014
I don't know if anyone actually reads this anymore, but at least I'll write it down so I don't forget the details!
On December 23rd, I got up in the morning and noticed that I had some bleeding going on, and I was pretty sure that my mucus plug came out (P.S. There may be some details you don't want to know, but you're the one reading a birth story, so you put yourself at risk). So basically I was sure I was going into labor that day. I started having contractions, but nothing was steady. I'd have them every ten minutes for an hour, and then nothing for a couple hours, and they never got incredibly strong. So December 24th rolled around and I still wasn't in labor. I had a Dr.'s appointment that morning and said I was 2 cm dilated (which I had been for about five days at that point) and that the baby wasn't coming any time soon. At that point I figured that if he wasn't going to be born the 24th, I sure as heck wasn't going to let this kid be born on Christmas. So I decided on some self-appointed bed rest until the 26th. I had zero contractions on the 24th, so I was positive it was going to work. Well, sure enough, I wake up at 6:30 am on the 25th with a contraction. I told myself it was nothing and let myself go back to sleep. I woke up to another contraction, so I looked at the clock, and it was 6:40 am. Then I fell back asleep. Had another contraction, looked at the clock, and it was 6:50 am. This went on every ten minutes, with the contractions getting stronger and stronger, until at 7:30 am, I had to admit defeat. I woke up Zach and said, "I hate to say it... but I think we need to go to the hospital."
As we were waiting for my mom to come over to get Evie, we woke Evie up and showed her the presents Santa brought her. Then off to the hospital we went! The whole time driving there, I kept thinking that maybe I wasn't in labor because I really had no idea what to expect. With Evie, I had to be induced, so I really didn't know what it was like to go into labor on my own. And I got an epidural pretty early on, so I never felt it get "really bad". Anyway, so we get to the hospital at about 8:00 am (and it was a total ghost town. I guess no one wants to get sick on Christmas.) and Zach asked if I wanted a wheelchair. I was feeling good at the moment, so I said no, took about three steps, and had a huge contraction to where I couldn't walk. Then I had to backtrack and say, "Okay, I guess I do need a wheelchair..." Then we get to labor and delivery, and at this point the contractions are getting stronger and are about seven minutes apart. They take me into an exam room to check how dilated I was, but before I could even get out of the wheelchair, I had a really strong contraction. The nurse changed her mind and went ahead and admitted me before even checking me out. So I had to be taken to a delivery room and put on my awesome hospital gown.
In the delivery room, the nurse then told me that since I was already 2 cm dilated before I got there, I had to be at least 3 cm dilated or else they would send me home. The doctor came in to check, and she told me that I was 6 cm dilated! Basically I had slept through the first half of labor and didn't even know it. I told them right away that I wanted an epidural. They of course had to get an IV going first and make sure everything didn't progress too quickly, and that they'd get someone in. At this point, the contractions were getting pretty terrible, to the point where I actually threw up (there wasn't much to it, though, I hadn't eaten since the night before). They told me that was a sign that labor was moving fast, and they checked me again, and I was 8 cm dilated. They went to get the anesthesiologist to do the epidural. They came back in and broke the news: they had two anesthesiologists there and one on call, and they were ALL busy in emergency situations they couldn't get away from, and that this never happens, but there just wasn't anyone available to give me an epidural. I just about cried. I was in so much pain and it just stunk that relief was so close and yet so far. I knew that I could give birth without an epidural (ha, not that I had much choice at this point) but I REALLY didn't want to.
They checked me again, and at this point I was 9 cm dilated, so they start getting everything ready to deliver the baby. Then the anesthesiologist comes in and says she's ready to give the epidural! The nurse looks at me and says, "It's up to you, you're already 9 cm dilated, do you want the epidural?" And I answered with a big, resounding "YES!" So they gave me the epidural, and at that point I felt like I could conquer anything! I just remember turning to Zach and saying, "Seriously, why would anyone NOT get an epidural?!" (And don't think I'm judging you if you decide not to, it's totally a personal choice.) Relief was immediate, and the rest of the delivery was a painless process. When the nurse was checking my dilation for the last time, she thought the head was crowning, but it turned out that my bag of water was coming out, completely intact. The midwife was concerned because the water was really dark which meant it was full of meconium, so she went ahead and broke it. Then after that, it was pushing time! I couldn't feel a thing, thanks to my handy epidural, so the midwife watched the monitor, and when she saw that my body was contracting, she would tell me to push. I couldn't even feel whether I was pushing or not, but I just tried, and sure enough, after about four pushes, Desmond was out! He was born December 25th at 11:33 am, 8 lbs 5 oz and 20 inches long. When the midwife pulled him out to put him on my chest, she told me that the umbilical cord was very short, and when she stretched it to put him on my chest, it ended up tearing. She was also concerned that he had swallowed meconium, because when he came out, he wasn't crying, and it sounded like he was struggling to breathe. So the nurse took him and suctioned out his mouth and nose over and over again. He still wasn't crying, so they were going to take him for observation. Right when they were about the leave, he let out the most ear piercing shriek, so that was enough reassurance for them that he was okay. After that, he didn't have any more problems.
I had to stay in the hospital for at least 48 hours because I had tested positive for group B strep, and since my labor went so fast, I didn't get enough antibiotics in to completely protect him from it. So they wanted to monitor Desmond to make sure he didn't have anything (it can cause pneumonia and meningitis in babies). I was so ready to go home by the end of it!
I know every baby is different, but it's interesting to me to even compare the deliveries of my two babies. With Evie, I was in labor for 21 hours before she was born, and pushed for about an hour. With Desmond, I got admitted about 8:30 am and he was born 11:33 am. I'm not sure how long I pushed, but I don't think it was more than ten or fifteen minutes.
So far Desmond has been a pretty easy baby. He usually only cries when he's hungry, and I can leave the room without him freaking out, so that's a big plus. I'm still a little sleep-deprived, so I apologize if anything I wrote turned out incoherent.