This turned into a novel as I tried to write down all the details I could remember so for those who don?t want to read the whole thing, here is a summary:
Went into labor around 6am on April 8, labored in the comfort of my own home until just after 2pm. Contractions were still 5 minutes apart when we left for the hospital at my mom?s urging. I was convinced we were going in too early, however my water broke when I used the restroom at the hospital before checking into LDR. Walked through the doors to LDR at 3:00 p.m., barely made it to the nurses station where I dropped down on all fours and yelled that I was pushing. Was quickly assessed, found to have an anterior lip I could push past, was rapidly admitted without any preliminary monitoring or IV. I was moaning and yelling the whole time once I was admitted as the urge to push, pushing, and delivery was really painful. I had the baby at 3:22 p.m., 22 minutes after walking through the doors, baby was put on my chest and cord cutting was delayed, also refused Hep. B and eye drops. I had a 3rd degree tear again but was able to be repaired without an epidural this time and the recovery from it has been much easier this time. Liliana started nursing well by the second night and has been nursing like a champ, also sleeps on her own without having to be held which is great.
The Long Version:
I had been focused on getting everything done at work for the last few weeks and stressed about my work to-do list. My goal was to get everything done by Friday, April 5 as I had reason to believe I would have my daughter early, although I was hoping to stay pregnant until at least April 12 and ideally until a day or two before my due date on the 22nd. I made arrangements with DH to pick up DD from daycare so I was able to work late on Thursday and Friday that week and when I left work on Friday, I felt like I had checked off all of the big things on my to do list. I was still fully planning on being at work for at least another few days to finish some training with the person covering during my absence, but instead of feeling stressed, I now started feeling an impending sense of calm. That should have been my first clue as I had the same sense of calm a few days before DD1 was born. I had also finally picked up the snacks and juice I wanted for the hospital plus breast pads at my weekly shopping trip Thursday night after putting it off for the last few shopping trips.
Saturday we went to a friend?s baby dedication lunch (coincidentally, we also attended a baby dedication lunch the weekend that DD1 was born) and Sunday I spent the day moving DD1?s clothes out of the nursery and into her big girl room and working on a baby carrier I was sewing. When I went to bed Sunday night, I had a lot of gas pains which I blamed on the beans we had for dinner and I noticed the baby was super active after having been rather quiet the last couple of days. In fact, she was so active that it was hard to sleep between her and the gas pains.
I woke sometime between 1-3am to use the restroom and again around 5:30 am at which point I wasn?t able to fall back asleep. I kept feeling super gassy and constipated. My alarm goes off at 6:30 am so around 6am I went ahead and got up to see if I could get things moving so I wouldn?t be so uncomfortable at work. I got up and drank some water and ate some oatmeal, then was finally able to have a bowel movement. When I wiped, there was a bit of pink mucus and I then had a contraction. I was like crap, I do NOT want to be going into labor today, it is too early, I will have to go back to work before the 4th of July so I won?t be able to visit my family for the holiday. I was hoping the contraction was a fluke one from having the BM, but I had a couple more so I went upstairs and told DH that I had started having contractions and thought I was going into labor. He was supposed to go to class and teach a class that day, both two hours from home. He didn?t have to leave until 8:30am so we started making plans for what we would do if my contractions didn?t stop soon and DH got up and started getting dressed and packing stuff for the hospital.. I decided to go ahead and shower to see if that had any effect. I had DH time contractions as I was showering and they were about 4 min apart but not very long or strong. Since they didn?t stop while I was showering, I figured this was it and went ahead and called my mom to let her know. I had promised her that I would give her plenty of warning this time around as last time, I was in denial that I was in labor for several hours so they only made it to the hospital about 15 minutes before DD1 was born. My mom was supposed to teach classes that day as well, so she decided she would go ahead and let them know to get a sub since she had to drive 3 hours to get to my house and she wouldn?t get off work until 1p.m. if she went in. DD1 was scheduled to go to daycare that day, so the plan was that DH would drop her to daycare and we would stay at home until my parents got to our house (unless things started going too fast), then we would all go to the hospital together and hopefully I would deliver before 5p.m. which was when either my mom or dad would have to leave to pick up DD1 from daycare. I got dressed and started packing stuff for the hospital and DH was supposed to be getting DD1 ready for daycare but he kept doing other stuff. We have an old dresser we are trying to fix up for DD1?s big girl room and a friend was supposed to stop by that morning with a piece of wood we needed to try and fix one of the drawers. DH was telling him to wait while he tried to screw the wood in and then he went back and asked the guy if he had a drill with him. I kept yelling at DH from upstairs not to worry about that it wasn?t the priority right now. DH finally stopped messing with that and we did finally get DD1 out the door to daycare which was a relief to me because she would try to play with me when I was dropping down on the floor during contractions when I just wanted to be left alone. I kissed her goodbye when DH left with her and told her to have a good day at daycare and that little sister would be coming soon.
I called in to work at 8:30 a.m. to let them know I wouldn?t be coming in and went over some last minute stuff with my assistant. I also went into my email and set up my auto response for my maternity leave. I also posted at various points on pregnancy.org and facebook that I was having contractions.
I spent the morning packing which seemed to take forever, lurking on the internet and dealing with contractions. I would usually either get down in a squatting position on all fours during contractions, or grabbing the stairpost and dropping down kind of hanging from it and making noises. Sometimes I would lean against a wall in the position you use to stretch your leg muscles before and after a workout. I also made sure to drink liquids in great quantities as I didn?t want to be dehydrated like I was with my first labor. I also ate when I felt like it, I had several bowls of cereal with milk throughout the morning. With my first labor, I didn?t want to eat or drink anything and actually threw up at one point, probably because I went into labor in the middle of the night after not going to bed-lack of sleep has always made me nauseous. This time I was able to eat and drink frequently which was good, except I had to pee a lot which was uncomfortable because I would usually have a contraction when I was sitting on the toilet which felt worse than being able to squat through them.
At one point, I realized that DH and I had never discussed how we wanted to spell Liliana?s name, so I wrote the spelling I wanted on a piece of paper and showed him which he agreed that that spelling was fine (whew cause sometimes he wants to get creative and I am not a big fan of really unique spelling for names!)
DH went to lie down for a while and then my parents arrived around 12:30 p.m.
My mom kept asking if I was ready to go to the hospital and I kept saying we had plenty of time, since I hadn?t thrown up yet and my contractions were now around 7-8 minutes apart. I was hungry again and made some peanut butter toast which I had to have a couple of BM?s part way through. After the BMs I finished the toast and my contractions started getting more painful to the point where I was vocalizing pretty loudly through them-before that I had been able to breath and not be loud if I wanted to, now I felt like I had to be loud. I also had 3 that were fairly close together. My mom strongly suggested that now might be the time to start leaving and since we had a 30 minute drive and I was worried about them getting too strong to sit through in the car, I agreed that we should probably go ahead and go, although I was sure we were probably leaving too soon and I would end up spending a lot of time hooked up to monitors and crap, especially if it turned out I had Pre-e again as I had last time upon going into labor. It still took us a while to get out the door as DH had to finish loading everything into the car, I had to find a towel to sit on in case my water broke, and I had to call the hospital and page the midwives so one would be available for me to deliver with.
We finally pulled out of the driveway around 2:12 p.m. My contractions were 5 minutes after the end of one to the start of the next the whole way to the hospital and were quite strong and painful-I would hit the window during them and at first I tried making noise though them but that made me feel like I was going to hyperventilate so I started doing breathing, focusing on breathing in and out through them. They probably lasted about a minute at this point. It was raining that day, but traffic was light, even through the construction zone so we made it to the hospital by around 2:40 p.m. but we had to find a place to park in the parking structure which seriously took forever (they do have valet parking but for some reason, I didn?t think of that in the moment and was just thinking we had to all park together and be able to walk in together). DH also wanted to ask the parking attendant about the amount and when you pay (they changed the way you paid from last time I gave birth there so he was asking about that) and like last time, I was yelling at him that it didn?t matter, just pay and go find a place to park (seriously dude, now is NOT the time to worry about those kinds of details, you think he?d have learned after last time haha)
Once we found a place to park, I was making sure we had all the stuff I wanted for the delivery room and telling DH to leave anything we wanted for afterward so we wouldn?t have too much stuff in the delivery room. I hid a couple of juice packs in my pillowcase in case I ended up risking out of the midwives and having to go with an OB which would mean I wouldn?t be allowed to drink. I told both my Mom and DH to ask for a restroom when we checked in at the entrance desk because if I asked, they would tell me to hold it for LDR in case they wanted a urine sample and I both really needed to pee and was still planning to hide in the bathroom and labor a bit until I was ready to check into LDR (Labor and Delivery).
We had to walk to the elevator in the parking structure and then across the driveway to the hospital entrance. My contractions were very strong and walking made them worse so I had to stop and lean against a wall when they hit. When I got off the elevator, someone asked if I needed a wheelchair while I was having a contraction and I kind of snapped ?no that will make it worse? My mom added ?no thank you, but thanks for offering? I guess she was afraid I sounded too curt lol!
We got to the entrance desk and checked in-I had a contraction during check in and had to lean against a chair until it passed. My mom asked about the restroom and was told it was down the hall on the first floor-LDR is on the 3rd floor. I made my way slowly down the hall to the restroom (it was quite a ways down) and found that it was a single stall so it wouldn?t really work for me to stay in there and labor for any length of time as other people might be waiting to use it. I decided I would go ahead and pee and then go up to the 3rd floor-there is a waiting room outside LDR where partners have to wait until you are admitted so the nurses can ask you your history in private-so I was going to go in there and labor for a bit. As soon as I sat down to pee, I felt a pop and my water broke and gushed into the toilet. I went ahead and peed then checked to make sure the water didn?t look like it had meconium in it-it was just a bit bloody from my mucus plug and yellow from the pee so I figured it was good but had my mom take a look for a second opinion. We then made our way back to the elevator and waited for what seemed like forever for it to arrive. At some point here, I decided I was going straight into LDR instead of to the waiting room-my contractions were even stronger and I started feeling like I needed to have another BM so while my thinking at this point starts getting blurred, once my water broke, I decided to go straight to LDR. I drank another sip of water in the elevator and made a comment to my family about drinking now before they cut me off. When we got to the 3rd floor you have to call on a phone outside of LDR for them to open the doors. This was at 3:00 p.m. I was feeling a sense of urgency at this point and I had to call twice before someone picked up. When the doors opened I walked through but I was having trouble walking. I should have had DH help me, but I wasn?t thinking clearly and since I knew they would make DH leave until I was admitted, in my mind he wasn?t allowed in there until they admitted me so I didn?t have him help me walk in. you have to walk down a short hallway and around a corner to get to where they admit you. I had to stop twice as I was walking from the contractions and was really having a strong BM feeling. I remember thinking I HAD to make it around the corner so they would be able to see me. As soon as I made it around the corner I had a super strong BM feeling and fell down on my hands and knees and yelled something like ?I?m pushing,help me!? This is where my body took over and my brain shut off so I don?t remember all the details or specific order of things but this is what I recall.
There were a couple of midwives I recognized from my office visits, including the one I preferred to see and some other personnel, I assume nurses. Someone said ?Oh no you don?t, let?s get up? and helped pull me to my feet and into one of the assessment rooms. I started frantically kicking off my shoes and pulling my pants and underware off then I lay down on the bed. Some of the nurses/midwives helped pull off my sweater and shirt which was hard because I couldn?t really sit up to get them off. I was not able to sit up to get my bra off and I told them ?I don?t need a gown, I don?t care, I can just wear my bra? as there was no way I could have sat up to get a gown on ( and I could have been stark naked in front of the world and not cared at that point!) They quickly checked me and said ?She has a bit of anterior lip which she could push over. I remember I kept saying over and over?I?m so sorry I didn?t mean to cut it this close, I?m sorry? and they kept saying its ok. They quickly helped me onto a stretcher and I was yelling please bring in my DH I don?t want him to miss it? I remember being rolled quickly down the hall and my parents and DH joined me at some point. I kept having to push and yelling ?I ?m pushing I can?t help it? The midwife told me to do the blowing breathing they tell you to do when you aren?t supposed to push and I did then yelled ?its not working? She said ?You can?t push when you are blowing? so I thought, well she should know and kept blowing for all I was worth even though I felt like I was still pushing at the same time. I remember making all kinds of noise as well and saying how horrible it felt and I was never having more kids and I don?t know what all. I have to say that with DD1 I never had an urge to push and when I did push, it felt yucky but not painful. This time it was incredibly painful and I now know what others mean when they say they couldn?t help pushing, it was an urge that was not to be resisted, like having the most awful BM of your life! I also felt the crowning this time which I didn?t with DD1 and it was really painful.
We got to the delivery room and they wanted my parents to wait outside while they set up or something. I yelled please don?t send them away, I don?t want them to miss it. They assured me they were just waiting out in the hall. I was helped onto another bed and was lying flat on my back. I remember thinking that I was in a lousy position for pushing but that there was no way I could possibly move or handle being in another position. And while I have no recollection of this, in watching a video clip my dad took, one of the midwives asked me if I wanted to lie on my side and I responded ?No, I can?t move?. I remember thinking that there were a lot of people in the room and I had been undecided if I wanted students in the room and wanted to know everyone?s name and title. I thought ?I don?t care who is in here and there is no way I would be able to remember anything if people introduced themselves to me at this point so forget about that?. The midwife who would be catching the baby asked about if they had gotten a heart rate in the admitting room and I told her they didn?t, they hadn?t had time. One of the nurses held a monitor to my belly and they picked up the heart rate right away which was reassuring to me. One nurse was on my left side and my mom was on my right side and I think they held my hands during contractions, I also kept wiping my face with my hands and moaning and groaning and running my mouth about how horrible it was this time and I didn?t want to do it, was never having more kids, etc! The nurse put a cool wet rag on my face which felt good. I remember my mouth was super dry and I wondered how it could be so dry when I had drunk so much liquid all day. I kept asking if I had to hurry to push the baby out or if I could take some time and they kept assuring me I could take as long as I needed. I asked them to help me not to tear badly if possible as well. At one point they lost the heart rate on the monitor and I freaked out thinking I had to get the baby out now. I tried pushing really hard when I wasn?t having a contraction which didn?t really do much and the midwife asked me if I was having one. I said no and she told me to wait until I was having one and that the baby was fine, they just didn?t have the monitor on her at the moment.
Everyone was commenting on how the baby had a lot of hair. I remembered that I had wanted to either touch the baby?s head or see it in a mirror in my birth plan, but it hurt so bad that I didn?t want to touch down there or even see it so I didn?t ask to. One of those things that sounded good in theory, but in the moment not so much. As I pushed the baby?s head out, it hurt worse and worse, at one point I made the comment that it felt like my clitoris was tearing, not sure if that is actually possible but it wasn?t a pleasant thought or feeling at the time. I asked if I could let her go back in (no, not all they way back in, haha but just let the head slide back in a bit between pushes) but I wanted her out so bad that I tried not to let her slide back in even though it hurt. Finally I pushed her head out and then her body. She was born at 3:22 p.m. so I only pushed for a total of 22 minutes, although it hurt so bad that it felt like an hour or longer at the time. Baby was 7 lbs. 6 oz and 20.5 inches long-not a record by any means, but compared to DD1 who was 5 lb.s 11 oz., this baby was a fatty! (Now I know where all that chocolate I had been eating during pregnancy was going, haha!)
She cried right away so I knew she was ok. The midwife put her on my chest so I could hold her and meet her. They also delayed clamping the cord. (these were all things in my birth plan, but I hadn?t had time to even give them a copy so I was happy that these things were done as standard practice with the midwives). The cord felt kind of uncomfortable between my legs as I could feel it kind of pulling on the placenta and everything down there and in my abdomen hurt at the least touch.
I asked if she was a girl (yes) and asked if I had torn. They had to clean me up before they could check but I did end up with what they first thought was a 2nd degree tear but then decided was a 3rd degree. I still had to deliver the afterbirth which also was painful and I moaned and complained about that loudly as well (this was not a quiet birth experience on my part, lol!) The midwife was like ?the afterbirth is nothing!? They had to push on my abdomen to help my uterus contract (ow) and they were discussing whether I needed Pitocin. I was like go ahead and give me the Pitocin, she?s out of me now so give me whatever I need, I don?t care. They also asked if they could start an IV to give me fluids since I had lost a lot of blood which I agreed to.
My DH cut the cord and they started cleaning up the baby in the room-they checked with us on what we wanted and we declined the eye drops and Hep. B but had them give the Vitamin K.
Meanwhile the midwife worked on cleaning me up and stitching me. She gave me numbing shots and offered Demerol but I declined the Demerol since I had that with DD1 for the stitching and it didn?t do squat in the way of pain relief but just made me feel loopy. Although I did have a 3rd degree tear again, it was not as bad as the 3rd degree I had with DD1- the midwife was able to stich me up without giving me an epidural this time. It took a while and I moaned the whole time-my mom laughed because I was going ?ohhhhhh? ?Ohhhhh? Ohhhhh? but changing the tone with each ?Ohhhhh? so it sounded like I was singing scales, haha! Glad that wasn?t captured on video!
Once they had me fixed up, and the baby cleaned up, they brought her back to me to nurse. I was still wearing my bra which had an underwire and it was a pain in the butt to try to pull it out of the way to nurse-I was tempted to ask them to cut it off, but I didn?t want to ruin a perfectly good bra! The baby latched on and nursed for a few minutes then fell asleep.
My parents left at 5pm to pick up DD1 from daycare and DH and I had to stay in the room until they had a postpartum room available. I was still feeling painful contractions and I had to pee really bad-a nurse gave me a bedpan but I couldn?t pee lying down. She wanted me to drink some juice before I stood up so I wouldn?t faint so I did, then I finally was able to get up and go to the bathroom where I peed right away which immediately relived the painful contractions I had been having. She then helped me into the shower where I was able to clean up-that warm water on my sore parts was the best feeling ever, I didn?t want to get out and stayed in there for a long time just enjoying the pain relief. I also had dinner while we were waiting for a room-hospital food so not that great, but I was starving and cleaned my plate.
My recovery went much faster this time and nursing went even easier than last time. I didn?t have nearly as much pain or swelling down below as with my first birth, even though I tore again. Liliana started nursing well by the second night (DD1 refused to nurse after the initial nursing until we left the hospital and I had ended up giving her a small cup of formula in the hospital so she would have a wet diaper). She has also been lower maintenance and will actually nap in her own bed unlike DD1 who had to be held 24/7. This has been a big relief as I was wondering how I would handle a baby plus take care of a toddler. I was very happy with my birth experience this time, last time went well and I did deliver without pain meds with DD1, but I had the pre-eclampsia in labor last time so I ended up delivering with an OB vs. the midwives which meant I had continuous monitoring and they didn?t put the baby on my chest when I had her, plus with the worse tearing and having an epidural for the repair , we had ended up being separated for a few hours. This time, everything went according to how I wanted it too, other than tearing again, which still was a lot better than last time. Although I would not have intentionally arrived at the hospital quite so close to the end, it was nice in that I didn?t have time to be hooked up to the monitoring at all, or even have an IV put in during labor, so I was able to push the baby out with nothing hooked onto me-it was as close to a home birth experience as I think one could have in a hospital setting.