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I first have to warn you that I'm not sparing any details here, so parts of this do get pretty disgusting (moreso than most birth stories). It's totally embarrassing for me, but giving birth is all about throwing modesty out the window, so here goes...
From 35 weeks on my OB's and I had agreed that after 3 inductions, my body did not know how to go into labor, and I would require another induction this time. The earliest they could do it was at 39 weeks, so we anticipated an induction on November 20th, exactly one week early. I was thrilled to have the end in sight, though hoped my water would break earlier than that so we could get it over with that much sooner. At my 38 week appointment, however, the induction had to be pushed back to November 23rd, which devastated me, but I was so miserable at that point, there was no going any lower. Unfortunately, those final weeks were plagued with an awful illness. After months of horrendous constipation, I was now suffering from diarrhea multiple times a day. No one knew why it was happening, they just had me try to cope as best as I could thinking it would go away on its own.
But it would not go away...it only got worse. The evening of November 19th I had dh take me to L&D for dehydration and decreased fetal movement -- I was afraid the amniotic fluid was getting low and she was in danger. They ran some tests but were unable to find a cause for the diarrhea, so they pumped a bag of IV fluids into me and sent me on my way. I was furious, not to mention scared for my baby. I couldn't sleep at all that night because I was so worried.
At around 6am on November 20th I started to notice contractions. I didn't think much of them at first because my contractions never went anywhere, but something about these was different. There seemed to be some pressure with each one...and they were somewhat close together too. So I broke out the contraction website and began to time them. Much to my surprise, they were 6 minutes apart and 30 seconds long! Still, I was certain they would die off. Even after getting out of bed for a little while and returning to find them 5 minutes apart didn't sway me from thinking it would die off soon. I closed my laptop and laid back down in bed to try and go to sleep.
The contractions kept coming though, and seemed to be getting more intense, so there wouldn't be any sleep for me. I opened up my computer again and continued to time them. It was about 7am and they were about 4 minutes apart. I still didn't believe it was real. But they were getting stronger and closer together. At 7:30 they were 3 minutes apart and 45 seconds long. That's the point where I started to consider the possibility that maybe I was going into labor on my own for the first time ever. But I couldn't fight the doubt and disbelief. Sure, they were close together and getting closer, but they weren't lasting that long and though uncomfortable, they really weren't all that painful. For real labor with contractions 3 minutes apart, certainly I would KNOW I was in labor, right?!?
The last contraction I timed was at 8am...they were 2 minutes apart. DH had just woken up and I made the announcement, both to him and myself, that I was in labor. He immediately jumped out of bed, ready to grab my bags and rush us off to the hospital. But I told him to relax, that we probably had hours until we needed to leave, and I encouraged him to take a shower and go get his hair cut (as he had planned to do that morning). He trusted me, as I'm the experienced one in this department, and went into the bathroom. 5 minutes later he exited and I told him to get everything together, I was calling the doctor and we were going in! Don't ask me what happened in that short amount of time, but suddenly my contractions were right on top of each other and PAINFUL. We rushed out to the car in between my moans and groans, suddenly realizing that we were about to try to drive into the city during morning rush hour traffic. At that point I was scared that I would be giving birth on the side of the highway!
The ride was AWFUL! First, as my husband sped through a school zone, he spotted a cop and slammed on his brakes, prompting me to scream at him because we could've used the escort. Then, we got stuck behind construction vehicles traveling VERY slowly. But finally we made it onto the parkway and thankfully traffic wasn't that bad...dh was able to speed all the way into the hospital. He dropped me off in front and went to park the car. I waddled my way up to the front desk, in so much pain I could barely get out the words "I'm in labor!" He grabbed a wheelchair and yelled for someone to hold the elevator, then took me up to the second floor. They quickly checked me in (thankfully it was the same girl that I had seen the night before) and took me back to triage.
By this point I was screaming through the contractions. Honestly, I could not manage them at all. I was not prepared to go into labor on my own. I expected a nice, peaceful induction, where I would be given the epidural at the same time as Pitocin, and never have to feel the labor pains. The absolute shock of the morning's events had left me feeling so out of control, I just couldn't get a handle on the situation. So as I flailed all over the bed, the nurses tried to take down my information and start an IV. My dh finally arrived to help them undress me and put on a gown. I couldn't take the pain and began screaming for something...anything to help me. I wanted the epidural, but Nubain would've sufficed just to calm me down a bit. I hated feeling the way I did...I needed something to help me take a step back and get a grip. They said they couldn't do anything until the OB had seen me though. Seriously? There was doubt as to whether or not I'd be admitted?
At 9am the OB finally arrived to check me and proclaim "6cm...you're in labor!" No kidding!!! She did a quick ultrasound to make sure the baby was head down and then I was wheeled off to a delivery room. The pain kept getting worse and worse and I was screaming for Nubain, but they refused because the epidural was on its way. It felt like an eternity, but the anesthesiologist finally arrived. The epidural took much longer to kick in than I remember, but around 10am I could finally breathe a sigh of relief. Sadly, I was experiencing a minor allergic reaction to it, like I did with my ds. I was itching all over and it drove me crazy. Worse yet, the numbing made me lose all control over my bowels, and my diarrhea problems soon became my nurse's problem. I was humiliated and felt so sorry for her, but she was completely professional and helped me through it. But for the remainder of my labor I had to continually be cleaned, and I truly hated life. And as if that wasn't enough, there was a lot of concern over my health. While Gabby looked great on the monitor, my heart rate was in the 150's and they couldn't get it to come down. I think it was a combination of the dehydration and the shock of sudden labor that caused it.
A little before noon my OB came in to check me and said I was fully dilated with a bulging bag. However, she had to go do a c-section, so I was asked to wait patiently...but if the pressure was too much, another doctor was available. I happened to love this OB, so I fought the pressure until she came back. First thing she did when she returned was break my water, and it seems poor Gabby was suffering with similar issues as me, because there was meconium in the fluid. She was also very anxious to be born, because she slid right on down the birth canal and was crowning with absolutely no effort on my part. The OB stared at her exiting head with frightened eyes as she tried to get ready and catch the baby! Fortunately she made it just in time! She asked me to give a push...I mentally prepared myself and took a deep breath...then began to push. About halfway through my push I was told to stop, and a few seconds later my baby girl was laying on top of me, screaming her lungs out!
They took her over to be checked out while I delivered the placenta and got stitched up. I watched as dh held his daughter for the first time, and it was the sweetest sight I've ever seen! He was instantly head over heels in love with her, and that made me love the both of them so much more. And then it was my turn to hold her, and I couldn't believe how much she didn't look like her brother and sisters!! She is ALL dh, you'd never guess she was my kid!
We were eventually moved up to our recovery room where Gabby was put in an incubator to try and dry out the fluid in her lungs. That was really the only problem she encountered, besides some mild jaundice upon discharge. She was a great eater right from the start, and slept pretty well too. Couldn't have asked for a better baby! She even let her Mommy and Daddy have a romantic candlelight dinner in the hospital without interruption! We came home two days later and I can't believe she's 10 days old already! Furthermore, no explanation was ever found for my intestinal issues, so they think my body just didn't tolerate the pregnancy hormones all that well. I've been back to normal for about a week now, and it's so nice to be able to eat real food again!! We're loving life with our new baby girl, and the kids love their new baby sister too! Now I'm just trying to recover from pregnancy-induced carpal tunnel which has completely numbed both of my hands and made taking care of Gabby nearly impossible. Typing this was pretty difficult!! Thanks for reading though!!