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Let me start off by saying that my entire labor with Lily took 8 hours. I was expecting a shorter labor with Abrielle, but was completely taken off guard by what actually happened.
On Thursday April 22nd, I had my 39 week appointment (I was 39w 4d) in the mid morning. I was 4 cm dilated and about 80-90% effaced. I had been having several contractions every hour since the night before but they weren't intense at all and never increased. My midwife and I decided that we would try stripping my membranes to see what would happen. She said she'd alert the midwives on call about my appointment and remind them that I lived about 45 minutes away from the hospital so they would know to instruct me to come in immediately if I went into labor. As Thursday afternoon and evening went on, my contractions tapered off until I wasn't having any at all. By 11pm, I went to bed thinking that I would definitely have a few more days before baby came.
At midnight on April 23rd, I woke up to horrible gas type pain that felt like I was going to be sick. I tried going to the bathroom but that wasn't what it was. The pain passed so I went back to bed. About 15 minutes later the pain came back. I have a very sensitive stomach anyway so I was used to this gas pain. I went back to the bathroom and had diarrhea and bloody show (sorry TMI!) and felt lots better. About 10 minutes went by and I was still in the bathroom so I wouldn't wake up DH and I had another pain. This time I knew it was labor and realized that it was around 12:25 am. It took me a few minutes to wake up DH (poor guy hadn't slept in days because of my contractions the night before!) and then asked him to call my mom to come over to watch Lily. It took him several tries to wake my mom up too!
Around 12:35am I was definitely having contractions about 8 minutes apart and was humming through them. I decided to get in the shower to see if that would help relax me. DH called my midwife's office to have her paged. She called back around 12:45am. DH came into the bathroom and found me on my hands and knees in the bathtub, still humming and breathing through the contractions. He relayed all the info about my contractions starting at midnight, bloody show, no water breaking, and now the contractions were 5 minutes apart. She said to come in so DH went to get the car ready and find some clothes for me to put on. I managed to turn around in the tub and turn off the shower water before I realized transition was about to start.
DH came back and found me just laying there crying about how I didn't want to do it anymore. I heard my mom come in the house at that point too. DH handed me a towel and helped me get out of the tub. All of a sudden I felt like I needed to have diarrhea again so I sat back down on the toilet. At this point, it was a few minutes after 1am. I was able to go to the bathroom again and DH brought in my clothes. I stood up to put them on and had a weird sensation pass over me. I felt like I was going to pass out, I was sweating, and felt a wave of nausea. I'm pretty sure I yelled to DH "I'm going to throw up! I don't know what to do!" I sat back down and then felt a pop and heard a gush. My water had just broken, and luckily it was in the toilet instead of all over my bathroom. I didn't even look at it so I had no idea at that point that there was meconium in it.
As soon as my water broke I had an overwhelming urge to push. It was 1:15am at this point. I couldn't help but start pushing. My mom heard all the commotion in the bathroom and came in to help. She pretty much had to grab me and shake some sense into me. She kept screaming "Don't push! Just breath!" DH left the room to call the midwife and said that we weren't going to make the 45 minute drive to the hospital. She knew that we lived about 10 minutes away from a different hospital in the same healthcare system (where I delivered Lily) and asked DH if he thought we could make it there. I found out later that he told her that he wasn't sure, and she told him to call 911. My contractions were coming about a minute apart and was having a heck of a time breathing through them. My mom was trying to throw some clothes on me in between contractions. She helped me walk through the house having to stop every few steps so I could focus on breathing and not pushing.
At 1:25am I got in the car sitting on towels, while DH was on the phone with the 911 operator. They told him the ambulance would take a few minutes to get to me and that DH had a better chance of getting me to the hospital quicker. He told them what kind of car we drove so that law enforcement would be notified about him driving like a mad man through town. At least there was no traffic in the middle of the night. We pulled up to the ER entrance at 1:30 am and DH ran to grab a wheelchair. He pushed me in and I yelled "I have to push!" Some guy ran out from behind the desk and pretty much sprinted me through the halls to L&D. The 911 operator had called ahead so they would be prepared for me. I got into a delivery room, got into the bed, and the nurses pulled off my pants. One nurse checked me and said "You're complete, the head is right there, and there's meconium." Another nurse is asking me if I'd had prenatal care and started saying something about getting an iv started. I said "I've had care, I'm GBS negative, I don't want an iv and I have to push!"
I couldn't tell if I was having separate contractions, so I just started pushing. I think with two little pushes the head was out. The nurse told me to stop so she could unwrap the cord from her neck. Then she told me to push again. I think another two little pushes and her body just popped right out. Abrielle was born at 1:35am. She was pretty grey when she was born, and they whisked her over to the table to suction the meconium before she could breathe it in. It seemed like forever before I finally heard a little whimper from her. The nurses assured me she was fine, they just didn't want her crying until they got her cleaned out.
The hospitalist finally showed up at this point (the hospital employs a few OBs unaffiliated with a private practice to work in the ER or L&D for women like me who come in without an assigned doctor) to deliver the placenta. He checked me over and said that I had a very small tear but it wasn't big enough to worry about stitches.
The nurses brought Abrielle over to me for skin to skin contact while they checked my bleeding. They were having a bit of a problem getting that under control so I agreed to let them give me a pitocin injection in my leg to help. I was really glad to be able to hold Abrielle the whole time. After they decided I was fine, I got to sit up and start nursing. Abrielle latched on immediately and perfectly! They also checked her over again while she was nursing. I was finally able to really relax and realized that pretty much every L&D nurse was in my room because they thought it was so cool that I came rushing in and pushed a baby out in mere minutes. Glad I could bring in some excitement!
Abrielle's apgars were 6 and 9. She scored so low on the first because of the meconium, but the nurse said that was normal in that situation. She weighed 7lbs 9oz and was 19.5 inches long. Around 5 am we headed to recovery, and finally at 6:30 am we were able to get an hour of sleep. I think that was the best hour of sleep I've had in my life! Even though I didn't have the exact labor and delivery that I had anticipated, I am so proud of myself for having a drug free childbirth. Abrielle's delivery certainly makes for a great story!
And a few pics (no pics of her delivery because DH didn't have a chance to grab the camera in all the craziness). She looks nothing like big sister Lily and we're still trying to decide who she looks like.
And the whole family just a few hours after delivery: