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WARNING: Very long. It's like a book. You can add it to your summer reading list if you'd like. I'm almost positive it would count.
I believe our birth story started on Monday, July 2. I didn't have a doctor's appointment scheduled until that Thursday, but upon waking Monday morning I went in anyways with hopes to be seen. I hadn't been sleeping well (or at all really) and I was at my whit's end with my restlessness. I was hoping to leave the appointment with a new prescription for Ambien. The nurse practitioner who saw me decided instead to induce the following Tuesday (July 10) after checking to see that I was 1.5cm dilated. She also stripped my membranes, which I think set off my body to go into labor- albeit days later.
All day Monday and most of the day Tuesday I had on and off cramping and lost bits of my mucous plug. I didn't think much of it as I was only 37 weeks and some change.
Wednesday and early Thursday passed without any contractions, cramping or losing any more of my plug. I was preparing myself for an induction on Tuesday and I didn't give a single thought to having her any earlier than that.
I started feeling a little sick/feverish on Thursday evening so I went to bed around 8. I had recently been falling asleep around 4 or so in the morning, so this was extremely unusual for me. I woke up around 12am because DH wasn't yet in bed with me and I knew he had to wake up at 4:45 to go to work. I went downstairs and he was playing a video game (go figure ). I joined him on the couch and we both ended up falling asleep down there. I slept on and off all night because I started having small pains in my lower stomach. They weren't regular pains or even timeable. They were basically a dull, consistent, period-like cramp. It was mostly just annoying and again, I didn't think anything of it.
Friday morning I woke when DH did at 4:45 and decided I couldn't sleep any longer. The pains continued and I started noticing a pattern. I still wasn't timing them, but I don't know if it was because I still couldn't, at this point, or because it didn't cross my mind to. After DH left for work I bounced on my birthing ball for awhile because I was bored and then decided to take a bath to see if the annoying cramps would go away. I *almost* decided to forgo washing my hair and shaving my legs because I was feeling lazy and assumed I could do it later in the day. THANK GOD I made myself do it when I was already in the tub.
At around 6:00am I got out of the bathtub, went downstairs and saw that DH was home from work. We talked about our plans for the day. I told him I wanted him to finish cleaning our bedroom and bathroom as those were the only big things on our list before our company was to get there on Monday. I also had planned a play date with a friend and her daughters for later that day and wanted these things done before they came. I had plans to go and get my car washed and car seats installed with my mom before heading to the hospital to pre-register (yes, I waited four days days before my scheduled induction to register ).
My mom, DS and I left the house around 12:30 to go and run errands. Being the lazy bum that I am I left the house with no make-up on, I didn't bother straightening my hair after getting out of the shower (hello, frizz city!), and I ran out of finger nail polish remover on my third to last nail so 3 of my fingers were still sporting bright pink nail polish. Whatever! I'm 9 months pregnant, who cares what I look like when I go to the car wash??
We went to lunch before starting errands and I decided now that I was sitting I had time to time my "contractions" to see if they were following any pattern. They were:
My mom kept telling me I should go the hospital to get checked because I was "probably a 6 by now". I laughed it off and told her they would laugh me out of the hospital because the pain was pushing a 2 on a 1-10 scale. Throughout lunch they picked up in pain the tiniest amount and I decided that since we were going to the hospital later that day anyway, I would go ahead and get checked while there and that we would go there first.
We arrived at the hospital at 2:30 and I was dropped off at the Emergency Room exit by my mom (). I was asked by the valet and several attendants inside if I needed a wheelchair. I politely said no and gave them my best "do I look like a woman who is in labor?" eye roll and continued to the labor and delivery floor.
I was set up in a room and I sent my mom and son to the gift shop while I got checked. Yup. I was a whopping 1.5cm dilated...still...from MONDAY. I was surprised at that, really. I was expecting to be a 3 because I was having these annoying pains. My contractions were picking up on the machine and the doctor asked several times if I wanted pain medicine. I declined all times because I'm so super hardcore like that.
Fast forward 30 minutes to 3:00 and my pain had increased from a 1-2 to a 3. I wussed out and asked for a shot. I figured since they were keeping me here to monitor me for an hour (which is standard) that I could at least do so loopily. I got my shot and the pain all but went away. The nurse told me she was glad I finally asked for some medication because that would determine whether or not I was in real labor. If my contractions died off that meant I wasn't ready, but if the medications relaxed my body enough to where I could dilate I was probably in labor. I would have bet every cent in my bank account that my contractions would die off. The nurse informed me she would be back to check me in an hour.
I took this time to call my husband and tell him what was going on. I also sent my mother in law a text to let her know I was in the hospital getting monitored. This was the exact text I sent her at 3:50: I am in labor & delivery bc I've been having consistent contractions since last night so I came in a few minutes ago to get checked. They are monitoring me and should let me go home soon. Contractions are every 3 minutes, but not long or too terribly painful so they say I am in early labor. I am only dilated to a 2. Delivery is probably still a few days out, but I wanted to keep you guys updated in case anything changes. Love you!!
30 minutes later I got checked, was told I was a 3, was getting admitted and that I would have a baby that night ......
I was shocked. Completely and utterly shocked. That is really the only word for it. I called my husband and told him what was going on. He told me he would finish packing our bags and head to the hospital. I wasn't expecting to have a baby this soon so I of course had a ton of stuff I still hadn't packed. Typical me, really.
At 5:00 the shot I had received earlier had worn off so I decided I wanted to walk around the hospital a bit to see if the contractions would pick up. My mom, DS and I took a walk to the gift shop and around some other floors of the hospital.
5:50 I decided to get in the jacuzzi. This was a fantastic decision on my part! It was heavenly. The labor & delivery section of the hospital I was at is being newly renovated and my nurse told me I was the first person to ever use the tub. I felt like it was made especially for me I labored in the tub until DH got there at 6:20- if you want to call relaxing in a bubbly tub playing bingo on your phone laboring
Immediately after getting out the pain increased to a 5-6. Still not unbearable, but enough to ask about an epidural. I had to get one bag of IV meds through me before an epidural and that took until 7:30. The pain never got any worse in between that time and my labor was going perfectly smooth.
I got my epidural placed by an anesthesiologist who was all of about 12 years old. He did a great job though so I can't complain. I felt the little sting of the numbing medicine and that was it.
At 8:00, after the epidural was finished being placed the doctor came in to check me and to break my waters. She determined that I was 5cm and a 0 station. She broke my waters and there was meconium in my fluid. I was saddened by this because I really wanted to delay cord clamping, but knew this was no longer possible as a NICU team would take her right away.
At 9:00 I began to feel intense pressure and knew I was in transition. I told DH during one contraction that I thought I was nearing transition and during the next contraction a minute later I was yelling at him to get the nurse. She runs in checks me and tells me I'm complete and that baby's head is "right there".
The delivery team arrived at 9:05 and NICU set up an area in the corner of the room to assess baby as soon as she is delivered. At this time I was in an extreme amount of pain. I had no choice but to push as my body could not help itself. Apparently my mouth could not help itself either and I let out sounds I didn't know I had in me. I am positive I scared off any prospective mothers in the rest of the hospital from ever giving birth because I sounded like a dying pterodactyl.
These minutes were the longest of my life. My delivering doctor was in the ER delivering premature twins at this point so we were waiting for her so that I could push. I was angry. I was so angry. I cried. I yelled. I wanted my baby out. I told the nurses that I was about to deliver her. I asked them why they couldn't do it. I am pretty sure I asked my husband if he could. I didn't understand why I had to wait for one doctor to get there when there was a room full of qualified people there to facilitate her being born.
9:35 the doctor races into the room....and then proceeds to take her sweet time washing her hands. Putting her gloves on. Adjusting her tools. I almost expected her to get out an iron and ironing board with which to press her delivery gown.
FINALLY, it was time to push. One single push and my baby girl's head was out and with another out slithered the slimiest, most adorable little baby I had ever seen (I can say this because my son wasn't slimy). I immediately started crying and I believe the first words I said were, "Isn't she beautiful?". She was so perfect and I was so happy. I couldn't wait to hold her!! The NICU team assessed her and vacuumed up all of the meconium. She really was perfect
The moment I put her on my chest was complete and pure bliss. It was such a different birth experience from my son's and for that I am forever grateful.
Ariella Elise was born at 9:38pm at 37 weeks, 6 days gestation. She weighed 6 pounds and 11 ounces and was 20 1/4 inches long. She was covered with tons of vernix and I suspect that is because she was only 37w6d gestated. She promptly got the name "cheeseball" by the nurses.
One of my labor and delivery nurses told me that the next time I had a child to come to the hospital as soon as I think I may be in labor because generally, the more children you have the faster you push them out. My first son came after 8 hours of real labor and this one came after only 5 All in all I am very, very blessed with her delivery. I wanted more than anything to be able to go into labor on my own and I am so very blessed that it happened the way it did.
Me. No makeup, hair not done and absolutely no manicure to speak of. Still so incredibly happy
I am sorry for the novel, but I wanted to remember every single moment.
What a beautiful story. I'm so over the moon excited for you that you got the birth experience you wanted. I know things didn't go as you would have liked with G so it's great to hear that your little girl listened to her momma's pleas. Maybe she'll be an easy baby after all? I hope you're having a smooth recovery. You know you can always call me if you ever need a thing!