I am going to write out my birth story mostly for my own personal use, but some people (myself included!) like to read birth stories so Im going to share it with everyone. I'll try to make it short! :)
I guess I have to start on Friday, Nov 26. I was 39w 4d at this point. It was Black Friday, and we had had a busy day. We did a bit of shopping that morning and then relaxed that afternoon and watched the Iron Bowl game (Auburn won, War Eagle!). I had been debating on trying castor oil, but I know it is controversial so I did a bit of research on it on the internet. Most of the sites I found said to take 2-4oz of castor oil. I didnt feel comfortable taking that much, so I decided to only take 1 oz and see what happened. I took it at about 3pm that day. I decided I would use the breastpump for a bit (supposedly it can bring on labor in some people), so I did that for about 15 mins. Then I bounced on my yoga ball while watching TV. My mother-in-law was in town visiting for Thanksgiving so we all decided to do a bit of shopping that evening. Right before leaving the apartment at about 5:30pm, I realized that I was having contractions about 5 mins apart. I figured I would just "keep an eye" on them and see what happened.
We went to Hobby Lobby and walked around, and the contractions kept coming, 3-5 mins apart at this time and they were getting a little more stronger and painful. We then went to Target and walked around a bit, hoping to stimulate labor a bit more. Then we thought, Hmmm maybe its a good idea to go home? (Note: My labor with Charlotte was 27 hrs long from first timeable contraction until birth. The contractions with her stayed at 7-10 mins apart for 20 HOURS.. So I wasnt used to contractions 3-5 mins apart!) :)
So we got home and kept timing them, and they just weren't going away and were getting more painful. We decided at about 9pm that we were going to go to the hospital, so we packed up our things and went. Could this be it?
When we got to the hospital, they were anywhere from 2-5mins apart and getting pretty strong. I had to really breathe through them to tolerate it. We got in our room and they hooked me up to the monitor, and my contractions were showing up pretty strong. I was only 1cm still at this point, though, which was a bit disappointing (Note: I had been 1cm for a week at this point, and 50% effaced) after having such pain for the last 4 hours or so! Im not really sure why the hospital decided to keep me since I wasnt progressed, but I wish they would have. To make a long story short... The contractions kept coming until about 3am at which point I decided to try Stadol for pain relief. All that stuff did was make me very drowsy but still feel the contractions! I wouldnt recommend it. So I basically passed in and out of consciosness for a few hours until I realized my contractions had slowed waaaay down and were about 15 mins apart. And then soon after, they stopped completely. What!? They checked me and I was 4cm dilated. I was completely confused. How does labor just STOP like that???
At this point it was 7am and I was completely exhausted. The nurse mentioned the doctor was going to be there soon and that she could break my water or try pitocin to get things going again, but I didnt want to do that. I couldnt imagine laboring for several more hours on no sleep, and then taking care of a newborn! No thank you. So I decided to leave the hospital and go home.
I went home and slept for 5 hours. After that, I didnt really feel any more contractions. I had a few, but they were erratic, even though they were still at the same pain level as the night before... More painful than Braxton Hicks contractions. Thomas mentioned that maybe I should try another ounce of castor oil. (BTW, when I took it on Friday night, I had no side effects, no diarrhea or nothing) So I took another ounce at about 5pm that evening. We played with Charlotte and hung out with his mom for a bit, then decided to go walking around the mall for an hour or so at about 9pm. While walking around I got a few contractions, but nothing regular. *sigh* I was really starting to get discouraged from the night before.
We went home and for SOME reason stayed up until midnight. Before going to bed, my random painful contractions continued, but they were only about 15 mins apart. I took a Unisom and went to bed.
Sometime between 2:30am-3:00am Sunday morning I woke up with pain. I went in and out of sleep for the next 2 hours or so until I just couldnt sleep anymore because of the pain. I wasnt timing them because I was so groggy due to the Unisom. At about 4am I woke Thomas up with all of my moaning and groaning and he suggest I bounced or lay across my yoga ball. So I bounced and swayed on the ball for awhile. Contractions were about 4-6 mins apart at this point and over the next 2 hours, got stronger and more painful. I didnt want to go to the hospital too soon and have a repeat of Friday night, so I continued to just bounce on the ball and walk around to tolerate the painful contractions. At about 7:00am we called the dr's office hotline and told them I was in labor and they told us to come right in. We took our time gathering our things (remember, my first labor was 27 hrs, I thought I had plenty of time ;) ) and at about 7:45am we headed over to the hospital at got there at about 8am.
By this point, the contractions were extremely painful and it was hard to "just breathe" through them. I figured I was at least 5 or 6cm at this point. So we got a room and they hooked me up to that blasted monitor, and checked me. 4cm. ARE. YOU. KIDDING ME? I think I could have slapped someone at that point. I had been wanting to go pain med-free for this labor and birth but after realizing that I was going to be in so much pain for so long again, I wanted an epi. The nurses tried to talk me out of it somewhat, knowing that what I wanted was a natural birth, but I insisted. They called the OB on call and the anesthesiologist, telling me they each had a 20 minute drive.
After this point, the contractions all of a sudden became extremely painful, but still only about 3 mins apart. I didnt want Thomas to touch me, I didnt want to lay in bed, so I told the nurses I HAD to get out of bed, so I did and walked around. I wanted to jump out the window, it hurt so bad! When was the anesthesiologist going to get here?! (It was about 8:30am by this point)
The contractions got more and more painful and just made me nauseous. I thought it was because I was so hungry! I was begging Thomas to give me some of his crackers! :) After one contraction, I threw up and got really dizzy. I didnt realize it at the time, but I was hitting the Transition period of labor. Right after this, the OB on call walked in and introduced herself and I was just asking where the anesthesiologist was at! She was super nice, though, and told me she had to break my water first before I could get an epidural. WHAT? I had always heard that breaking the water makes contractionsn 10x worse so this brought me to tears and I was just so scared of the pain that was about to come.
So, she broke my water and checked me, it was about 8:50 at this point. 7cm! I was shocked I had dilated so fast. The doctors and nurses left after this, and I just tried to deal with the horrendous after-breaking-the-water-pain. I was moaning so loud, Thomas was telling me to be quiet, LOL! I tried breathing, I tried telling myself it was "good pain", and I tried counting, but nothing helped. FINALLY, at about 9am the anesthesiologist came in, tried to make small talk but I wanted that needle in my back and NOW!!! I was TERRIFIED that he was going to stick me when I was having a contraction because that happened when I was in labor with Charlotte. But, he waited til one was over, then numbed the area up. I didnt even feel the needle go in. Phew! Now I was just waiting for it to take effect. He was finished at about 9:10am. I asked when the epi was going to take effect, and the nurse told me, "A good 20-25 minutes." OMG what?!
At this point I stood up and had two more contractions. The nurse tried to get me to sway with her, but I told her to get her hands off me!! After the second one, I felt a lot of pressure. Looking back, I think I felt the baby drop right into position. The nurse didnt believe me so she made me just get back in the bed but I started screaming at her, "I FEEL PRESSURE! OMG!!!" so she reached in and yelled into the hall, "Dr. Moses!!!" The nurse got me to lay on my right side. All these people started rushing into the room and they got my legs in the stirrups. I was screaming during the contractions and the nurses were trying to get me to breathe. I yelled, "Please stop talking to me!!!!!!!!"
At this point, the doctor was "in position" and I started to feel a burning sensation. They told me that it was gonna "hurt like hell" and I would feel a "burning ring of fire." Well yes, that is exactly what I felt. Can I just say that my desire to ever birth naturally ever again went totally away?
They told me I was going to push at the next contraction. So that's exactly what I did, and out popped her head! And yes, it did hurt like hell! A few seconds later they told me to push again, and I did, and out popped her body. Two pushes and she was out! It's true that after the baby is out, you feel no more pain. THANK GOD! It was over. I did it! I didnt want to, but I did it! LOL About 5 mins after the was born, the epidural started to take effect. Go figure!!! My legs were totally numb for 5 hrs after that.
And there she was. Clara Grace Hill. 7lb 10oz, 19.5 inches long. She came out pink and healthy, breathing just fine, with APGARs of 9 and 10. I was so happy she was healthy!
We are both doing just fine. Nursing is going MUCH better than it did with Charlotte (let me spare you the horrible details on that one). She is also just so alert! She'll just lay there and look around the room for an hour. Hopefully the sleepy bug bites her soon! ;)
Here are a few pics...
She weighed exactly as much as Charlotte did! And also arrived 1 day before her due date, just like her big sister! :)
Hey everybody! I'm the one who made my mama sick for 6 months and helped her gain 65 lbs (again!)
Mama and Baby. I was determined to have a "decent" picture after this baby's birth because after Charlotte was born I looked like a hot mess! This was about 15 mins after she was born. :)
This child, once again, looks just like her Daddy. She has his nose and pointy chin!
Big Sister Charlotte and Grandma Susan come to visit the baby. Charlotte wasn't too impressed...
Daddy holding his two babies :)
Charlotte has come to visit a few times and has reacted... as expected. :) She has been a little stand offish towards me, probably because I had an IV in my hand and was in a strange bed in strange clothes. She did show interest in the baby and patted her head and kissed her. Oh, and tried to give her her "sassy." :) (pacifier) Hopefully over the next few weeks we will all adjust to being a family of four!