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On Sunday afternoon, i was super tired, so I took a 3 hour nap. That evening around dinner time, I started to have pretty uncomfortable contractions. I started timing them, and they were about 6 minutes apart. So we called my SIL and asked if she could come over in case we needed her to stay the night with Jim, and we explained to Jim that he might wake up with Aunt Mandy here with him instead of Mom and Dad. He was cool with that. Then we texted the doula, and told her it might be go time. The contractions got closer together, so they were closer to 3 to 4 minutes apart, so we called the doc and they said to come in. The doula arrived at our house and we caravanned to the hospital.
When we arrived, which was at about 9ish, they checked me in, had me give a urine sample, and hooked me to the monitors. Then the on call doc, Dr. Eastwood, came in to check me. She is cool so I was glad she was on duty. Anyway, she discovered I was at 4 and pretty well effaced, so she said, "Let's get you admitted and get some pitocin. Do you want an epidural?" At this point I can hear a hallelujah chorus in my head because I am so so tired of being pregnant!
They took me to a labor room, where we met our night nurse. She was strange and didn't have a great bedside manner, and at one point she told me that I would probably push for 2 hours. (Later on, you will see that she had no idea what she was talking about.) She got me hooked to an IV and got the pitocin going, and then the anesthesiologist came in. Nice guy from England, made very dry British jokes to break up the tension of me being moderately freaked out by giant needles. The epi worked well at that point, and we all got some rest that night between checks of my cervix.
At 6AM the overnight fellow came in (again a nice guy) and discovered I was at 7 cm. He said baby still wasn't fully engaged, so he wanted to wait another hour to break my water, which I said was fine. At 7AM, Dr. Eastwood came in and said baby was engaged enough to break the waters, so she did. Then my cervix shrank down to a 6 again, so they started the pit back up again (they turned it off sometime in the night).
At that point, the day team came on. There was a super nice resident and an even nicer fellow, and the day nurse was way cooler than the night nurse. She also had a really cool nursing student with her. And best of all for my doula, Dr. Gopalani came on as attending. (My doula thought he was HAWT. ) I really like Dr. Gopalani too, so it was nice having him be the one there for the birth.
Things started to get interesting about an hour later, because that's when the epi started to not be strong enough. The daytime anesthesiologist came in and upped the dose, but that didn't help, so she came back and switched the meds to lidocaine and that did the trick.
This would also be about the time that the nurse spotted some meconium in the amniotic fluid that by this time was gushing out with every other contractin. Did I mention that I had a lot of fluid? Anyway, this meant that the NICU team had to be there for the birth and they wouldn't be able to put Maggie on my chest right away after birth. I was marginally freaked out by that, given our history with Jim, but they promised me a couple of times that she would come to me as soon as the NICU team cleared her. Of course, it also meant there would once again be a bazillion people in the room for the birth, which was something I had hoped to avoid this time around...but, what are you going to do...
By about 9AM I was complete, but they let me labor down for a couple of hours before I started pushing. That's when the whole gang of medical staff came in. It included: the hottie attending, the nice fellow, the nice resident, the nice nurse, the nice nursing student, the charge nurse, and the three members of the NICU team. Plus DH and the doula. We had Frank Sinatra playing on the iPod at that point, and Dr. Gopalani said, "Wow, it's a party in here! All we need is some martinis!"
I am really glad I labored down for so long because the pushing only took half an hour. It didn't get hairy until the very end, when I really had to rest and skip a contraction to catch my breath...but then out came Maggie, all 9 lbs. 0.7 ounces of her! The NICU team quickly assessed her and found she was fine, and then DH brought her over to me. She immediately wanted to go to breast, which was AWESOME after my horrible experience trying to nurse Jim. I had a bit of a tear, but not a bad one, so they stitched it up...and a few hours later after the epi wore off, up we all went to a recovery room.
Overall, it was pretty darn close to a picture perfect birth, minus the visit from the NICU team and the slightly unpleasant over it nurse. I really couldn't have asked for it to go much better than it did!