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Warning - very long I just can't seem to condense, read at your own risk
We arrived at the hospital at about 5:45a.m. after dropping off Olivia. I nervously waddled up to the registration desk. I gave my name and expected them to tell me L&D was full and to go home. It was after all the morning after the full moon. The clerk picked up the phone to dial the floor and let them know I was here. She proceeded to register me & told me to head on up. I breathed a sigh of relief but still thought once I got up there they might not keep me.
I was quickly ushered into a room and told to put on a gown, give a urine sample and crawl into bed for some monitoring. Yay – it was baby day!
When they hooked me up they saw that I was having contractions every 1-7 minutes apart. I had been having them for a good two weeks now and was relieved to hear that they were at least registering. Josiah was very active – they had to keep coming in to move the monitor as he didn’t like it. He never did like any pressure against his back.
They checked me and I was 3cm and 80% effaced but baby’s head was still high which it always had been. They started an IV and left me to be monitored for a half hour or so. I continued to have contractions but nothing different than what I had been having for awhile now. They also drew labs and waited for the results. Hubby and I settled in for a long day.
A friend of ours that is a nurse was just getting off night shift so she stopped in for awhile and chatted with us. It was nice as it kept me occupied and my mind off being nervous about everything that might lay ahead.
The pit was started & they let my doctor know I was there and at 8am she came in (her office was across the street and connected via a walkway) and decided to break my water. There was a TON of water. When they broke it with Olivia it filled up one of their big pads. This time around it filled up the pad, went all the way down the bed and was going on the floor. My bed was absolutely soaked. The nurse left and came back and apologized – she didn’t realize I had so much water (she said it was the most water she had seen in years). It continued to flow out. It’s such a strange feeling – like someone put a garden hose filled with warm water between your legs and turned it on full force. It felt like I was peeing but I knew I couldn’t possibly be peeing THAT much. The flow never seemed to stop. The good thing was the water was clear. The nurse changed all my bed linens with the help of my friend and all was set.
I was ready for the contractions to start picking up as the pit was started and with the water broken I figured they would start to get painful but they really didn’t. If anything they felt less intense than the ones I’d been feeling before on my own. They checked me again at 8:30 at my doctor’s request and I was 3-4 cm. Not much change. When my doctor was there she asked if I was going to get an epidural. I told her that I would probably end up with one due to the pit and that I got one during transition with Olivia (she was not induced). The doctor said if I was going to get one she recommended getting one right away. I hesitated at this. The contractions weren’t painful yet (although they were registering at 75%) and it was possible (unlikely but possible) that I wouldn’t need one. However, the nurse anesthetist (sp) was there on the floor now and if I didn’t get it while he was up there it could be an hour or more after I requested it before I could get it later on. Since I was on pitocin and couldn’t predict how strong or painful the contractions would get when they upped it I agreed to the epidural.
The epidural was placed at around 9am. The nurse anesthetist was joking that I didn’t look like I was in enough pain to need it. I told him honestly I wasn’t. Despite the contractions being at 75% I didn’t even need to breathe through them yet. My nurse friend continued to stay and she carefully watched him place the epidural. She later told me he used excellent sterile technique and did a great job. I am glad that she stayed. She let him know she was a nurse and talked to him about what he was doing.
Hubby came and stood in front of me and supported me while I bent over so they could place the epidural. A few times what they were doing hurt and I would whimper and clutch at him (doing that helped me not to jump or move). He was really good about being supportive and helping me. As soon as they were done he went and sat in his chair. I heard the nurses ask him if he was okay and I turned and looked and he was white as a sheet! He has passed out in the past and felt like he was about to this time. Something about placing the epidural combined with not eating got to him. He soldiered through and was there when I needed him which I was very grateful for. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him that pale though. My nurse friend ran and got him some breakfast and he was fine after that. Once I got the epidural my friend went home to get some sleep.
The epidural kicked in quickly.
Soon my legs and feet started to feel a little tingly but I still had full movement in them. I soon felt, very, very good better than I had in about a month or so. Not because the contractions were taken care of with the epidural but because all the pelvic pain and pressure I had been feeling (from spd) was suddenly and instantly gone. I had no pain!! I felt sooo relaxed and was so ecstatic to not have all that pelvic pain. I got a little too relaxed. I would drift off to sleep and forget to breath deeply. My oxygen level would drop just enough (94%) to set off the alarms. I would wake up take a couple deep breaths and fall asleep again. Only to have it repeated. Ha ha. I just couldn’t help it – I felt so good!
By around 10am I started to feel very itchy all over – a common side effect from the epidural. It wasn’t enough to bother me though. It was just strange as I would reach to itch and couldn’t feel myself scratching the area. Ha ha
At 10:40 they checked me again. I was 4-5cm and the head was starting to come down. At this point I really figured the day would be a long one as I was dilating VERY SLOWLY. I drifted back off to sleep.
At one point I asked if I could lie slightly on my right side just to have a change of position. But apparently that caused Josiah’s heart rate to dip down a little bit. So back on my back I went and baby boy was happy again.
At 11:40 I started to feel a lot of pressure. I could feel my contractions – they weren’t painful exactly but a lot of pressure and I could feel pressure in my back. I could have hit the bolus button on the epidural but I didn’t want to. I liked being able to feel so much – just the edge of pain was taken off and I liked it that way. The pressure in my back felt very familiar – I remember feeling that way when I was ready to start pushing with Olivia. I almost didn’t mention it to the nurse as I knew it couldn’t mean much other than that the head might be a little lower. After all I was only 4-5cm an hour ago.
However, I did mention feeling more pressure and she checked me at 11:50. I saw a look of surprise and she announced that I was 9.5 cm – she only felt a slight lip of cervix! Wow, I was so shocked! I told hubby to call his mom or she might miss the birth. She had been on her way anyway but I didn’t want her to miss it – we all thought we had lots of time yet.
We waited for my doctor to come over. She had said if I hadn’t had the epidural she would have rushed right over but knowing that I was not in pain she finished up with her last patient for the morning and came over.
The doctor came over about 10 minutes after 12pm. My inlaws walked in around the same time. My father-in-law came in too. He said no one stopped him so he just walked in with his wife. I didn’t really mind. I was too excited! My husband started messing with his camera – it wasn’t quite ready – we didn’t think to do it ahead of time since we had so much time while waiting for Olivia to be born (22 ˝ hours – 1 ˝ hours pushing).
The doctor examined me. She asked me to give a little push – but quickly told me to stop as they weren’t ready yet. lol She said “the head’s right there.” I kind of smiled and she said, “no, the head’s RIGHT there.” She then quickly got her gown on. I asked for a mirror as I really wanted to see him born. I hated when Olivia was born and everyone in the room got to see it but me. She told me “there’s no time for that, by the time they come back with the mirror he will be here.” I was in shock and didn’t really believe her – she didn’t understand how long it took me to push last time! There’s no way I would have a baby that fast! Luckily one of the nurses already had a mirror in the room and she quickly set it up for me. I took one look. Yes, the head was right there. Not a little part of it showing but the ENTIRE head was clearly visible and starting to come out. She asked if I wanted anyone to leave the room, clearly referring to my father in law. He didn’t look like he wanted to leave and I told her it was okay that everyone stayed. My husband was trying to show his father in law how to take pictures and I had to quickly motion him to come over or he would miss the birth. He rushed over. The doctor told me that I had started to tear internally along my old scar and told me she was going to cut the skin. She said she normally wouldn’t do that but since I had already tore inside she cut the skin. Said he was a very big baby. Then doctor asked me to push. My legs were in stirrups but relaxed to the side, I didn’t have to put my chin to my chest and no one had to count to ten. I looked at the mirror and started to give a little push – not much effort in it at all. I watched as his head just popped out. Before I knew it his whole body was out followed by a huge gush of water. The doctor was very glad she had taken the time to cover up her shoes. As soon as he was out he peed all over the doctor. Ha ha
They immediately placed him on my belly and hubby cut the cord. I was amazed at this little bundle and couldn’t believe this was the baby that was inside of me! They took him over to the warmer which was only feet away and cleaned him up and checked him over. His agpars were 8 & 9. The doctor quickly stitched me up and the nurse came and washed me up which was nice as last time I had to wash myself up on my own and it was pretty difficult.
They then weighed him – 9lbs 1oz and 20.5 inches long. The doctor was joking that he would have been 9lbs 2oz if he hadn’t of peed on her. Soon he was in my arms again and I attempted to breastfeed him. I was nervous as getting Olivia latched on in the early days was so hard but Josiah latched right on like a pro.
My doctor was surprised that he was born that quickly – especially since he was so big. She also said I had a very, very adequate pelvis. Guess I don’t have to worry about my babies being too big!
I am still in disbelief at how amazing this birth experience was. My recovery has been pretty quick so far also. If it wasn’t for the lingering pelvic pain (from the SPD which should go away soon) I wouldn’t even know that I had just given birth.
Josiah had a lot of mucous and was congested. The doctor said this was because he was born so fast that none of the fluid got squeezed out (he was also born with a perfectly round head because of this). For a good 24 hours he would cough up mucous and fluid. It made breastfeeding difficult at times as he couldn't get a good latch but we made it through.
Anyway, the whole thing was an absolutely wonderful experience that I will never forget. Josiah is such a blessing. It is amazing to think we now have two children.