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On Wednesday, 12/5 I had my 39 week appointment. I had decided to allow my OB to do a membrane sweep IF conditions were favorable; mostly due in part to the fact that he was only on call certain days, and I thought that if the sweep worked, it would allow him to deliver. He checked me and said that I was dilated to 3-4 and 75-80% effaced, so he thought I was definitely favorable. He then told me that if it were to work, it would work within 24 hours. I was counting on this...he came on call at 6 a.m. on Thursday, and then would be off until Monday. As it turns out, we may have made a slight miscalculation...
So we went home, and I was having some mild bleeding and contractions, but I assumed that this was as a result of the S/S. We had dinner, and around 9p.m. I started having what I thought were probably real contractions. I still didn't place TOO much stock in it - because with my first labor my water broke. This was such a clear "labor sign" for me...It sounds weird to say, but I had no idea if I was truly in labor without that water breakage. The one thing that I didn't want to happen is that I didn't want to drive all the way to the hospital, only for them to tell me, "Well, I know you've already pushed one of these things out...but you're not actually in labor!" and to instruct me to go home. It's like the pregnancy walk of shame, and I did NOT want to be that guy.
I put DD to bed, got myself ready for bed and then attempted to lay down for some sleep. Attempted...but it quickly became clear that there was no way I could sleep through these contractions. Alas....I woke DH up, who started timing contractions, and we found that they were already coming 3-5 minutes apart, and lasting anywhere from 30 - 50 seconds. After about 15 minutes of this...DH finally convinced me that we probably needed to head to the hospital. (Thank goodness.)
So we got to the hospital at about 12:00 a.m. only to be told that they were pretty much booked solid and only had ONE labor and delivery room left. In other words, we didn't get that room unless we were checked and FULLY in labor. So they triaged me, and checked me. The nurse's words upon checking me were (and I quote)..."Oh girl...you are SO in labor!" Apparently, I was already dilated to 7, and 90% effaced. Suffice it to say, the last L&D room was totally mine.
They made me get a prophylactic IV lock, due to some bleeding issues with my first delivery, so that if the proverbial fit hit the shan, I'd have the IV in place. This was not a huge deal to me...I wasn't thrilled, but at least they didn't make me have the IV bag attached or anything. And I truly did understand that it was a safety issue for them.
You know the one thing that I really looked forward to with labor and delivery #2? Doing all the things that I never did with #1. Like using the ball...standing in the shower, using my oils...all of those things. Can you guess how many of those labor and delivery tools I actually got to use this time around? Exactly none. As the OB told me...it's a good thing that I wanted a natural delivery, because THIS girl wouldn't have had time to have an epi. No way. From the time that I was officially "checked in" to my room (12:30 a.m.) - it took me exactly one hour and 12 minutes to deliver my daughter.
During that time, I spent the vast majority trying to fight my way into my favorite (and only) laboring position - sitting on the side of my hospital bed. The nurses needed to monitor me for a half an hour (which all things told was a fairly large portion of my time there) and wanted me to lay down for that monitoring, but this was like the worst position possible for my contractions. They did end up breaking my water, and if it were possible, labor went even faster after that.
The one thing that I was really concerned about was pushing. It took me 2 and a half hours and the use of a vacuum to push out my first daughter. I expressed this concern to my heavenly nurse, who explained to me the following: Just because you are "fully effaced" and CAN push...doesn't mean that you HAVE to push. Your body may not be ready to push at that point, and so you are physically doing all of the work of moving that baby down the birth canal yourself - so that when it reaches crunch time and your body IS ready to deliver - you are already completely exhausted. She told me that it was better for my body to wait until I felt that urge to bear down, and THEN to push- but not to rush the pushing.
Oh ladies...did that urge to bear down come quickly. In fact, the urge came when neither a nurse nor the OB was in the room and I sent my mother running out of the room in search of them, as I was yelling, "GET SOMEONE...THIS BABY IS COMING!!!" They ran into the room and broke that bed down in record time.
Honestly, I had forgotten how hard pushing is. Weird to think of when you look back at that paragraph about what "I was really concerned about was pushing" right? But seriously, I think that I had focused for so long on HOW long that I had to push with my first labor that I had totally and completely forgotten how difficult the ACTUAL act of pushing is. Or rather, how ouchy it is. That waiting time in between contractions/pushes is really a beeeyotch...But I did it. It took me three pushes, and a little oxygen in between (due to heart decelerations while I was pushing) and Willamina Jo was welcomed into the world at 1:42 am.
The doctor apparently did a small episiotomy, but it was nothing compared to my first delivery, and I could tell the difference in the stitching time. (One hour versus about 15 minutes this time.) And once again, I was completely clueless that this had taken place until well after the stitching was under way. (In fact, I asked the doctor if I had torn badly, and that was when she sheepishly told me that she had snuck in an episiotomy; but since this wasn't an issue in my birth plan, I didn't care.) Obviously, everything happened so quickly, my OB was not able to deliver Ms. Willamina. But honestly, it wasn't a huge deal since all the OB really did in this situation was to literally catch this kid as she squirted out of me.
Since everything went so well, we ended up going home the very next day. (12/7) I have no idea how many people missed us at the hospital - but I imagine quite a few well wishers were sent away. In fact, we left later than we had intended because of last minute visitors. (We were literally packing up.)
Now that we're home, I'm still amazed by how quickly it went.I feel like it's a dream.I've done it. I managed 2 natural deliveries in the manner that I intended (no pain killers whatsoever - no induction required), and the second of which was in completely record time. Clearly, I must have done something right in a former life.
Here's me mid labor - in my preferred (and really only) laboring position. This was about 15 minutes before they broke my water. My favorite part of this photo is the part you really can't see unless you zoom in...the contractions on the paper readout...They're crazy maxed out...and I'm still smiling! Yay me!
Maggie - Mommy to Marlowe & Willamina
Last edited by MarlowesMum; December 27th, 2012 at 08:03 AM.