|Already one week old, dressed in naomi's baby doll dress, best ever|
Chapter 1: Prodromal Labor is the Worst
I woke up that morning feeling, um, different. My typical waddle had gone from duck-like to very-very-pregnant-duck-about-ready-to-drop-a-dozen-eggs-any-day. I was feeling really yucky and my braxton hicks had kicked it up a notch. I was super glad I had an appointment that day where I knew that the Doc would be checking to see if I was dilated. I was guessing--based on how I was feeling--that I would be (at least a little), but I was also bracing myself for the reality that I may not be dilated at all and that all this "feeling different" stuff would end up being in my head. The doctor would also be doing an ultrasound that day to double check that the baby's head was down, since my last baby was a c-section due to her being very breech.
I hopped in the car sans kids (muchas gracias, Mike), excited to be out without them and excited to see little Lucy on the ultrasound. Cue the appointment: Doctor goes to check me first, then we'd do the ultrasound. Her eyes open widely and she exclaims with surprise that I am already a whopping 4 cm dilated and 70% effaced and there is no need to do an ultrasound since she can feel the head- it is right there. "4 flipping cm?!?!?! Can I just have her now??"--was the thought going through my head. I was 5 cm when I went in to give birth to Naomi. I was totally shocked and super excited, I figured the most I would have been was a 3, but FOUR?!?! This was monumental. Or so I thought.
I called Mike to share the news, then I called my doula to give her the update. I felt sure we would be having this baby by 37 weeks and that there was no way I would be going in for another doctor appointment. I was still contracting fairly regularly all day that day and feeling really gross. The next day would be Bernadette's birthday and I started getting really excited about the thought of them sharing a birthday- maybe they would! Or not.
The contractions continued, getting stronger and stronger, and woke me up around 11 the night after my appointment. I started timing them- 5 minutes apart, 1 minute each. While laying awake I timed them for about an hour, then got up to tell Mike that I thought it might be time to ask his sister and her husband to come over so that we could leave for the hospital. We called her, and I got up and started getting stuff ready to go, and just like that the contractions started spreading out and getting weaker. Great. Mike's sister and her husband got to our place around 12:30am and by then the contractions had pretty much stopped. BLURG! Since we thought that my labor might pick back up and that we might still be going to the hospital that night, we had them stay over. Long story short: no more strong labor, no trip to hospital, baby not born.
The entire next day as we celebrated Bernadette the contractions kept up, confusing the heck out of me, so I finally called the doctor who said it sounded like early labor but that they would need to pick up in intensity for me to go in to the hospital. So I did lots of squats, ran up and down the stairs as many times as I could, crawled around on the floor as much as possible, and rested a little. Nothing.
I will just say this: prodromal labor (<--read the link!) sucks. I remembered hearing about it and just hoped so hard that it would never happen to me. However, it only took a couple of these awful false alarms-- including our doula coming to our house and one hospital trip (I was told I was still just 4 cm and so was sent home)--to realize that this is exactly what were dealing with. Well, that and my doula flat out saying that is was prodromal labor during one of our false alarms.
|last preggy pic taken @ 38 weeks|
Chapter 2: Getting Things Going
Last Sunday-- one week ago yesterday-- things got real. I did not let myself think they were real; I was NOT going to be able to withstand the embarrassment of going to the hospital and getting sent home again.
As we were putting the girls to bed, my contractions finally started feeling serious. I had been timing them all day (what else was new?) but now they were finally to the point where I couldn't say nighttime prayers with Mike and the girls. I tried to go to sleep right after the girls went down, but every 5 minutes one would come and wake me up. I would breath through it and try again to sleep. This kept up until around 3 a.m. Now some were coming 3 minutes apart, but I was still sure that the second we loaded up to go to the hospital they would stop. But then one came that really hurt. So I rolled out of bed onto the floor to breathe through it and POP went my water. YAY!!!!!! I was absolutely thrilled. Thrilled and terrified.
Chapter 3: At the Hospital
As expected, the good folks at the hospital didn't initially believe that my water had broken (this had happened with Naomi too), but their doubts were soon put to rest and we got settle in to have this baby. Well, sort of.
I was on the fence about whether I wanted to try to do the natural tub-birth thing that I had done with Naomi or just get an epidural. I was leaning entirely toward the epidural route- especially after weeks of early labor and then a whole night of no sleep and labor-- but this hospital only has one tub and you have to get into that room if you want to use it. So, we went first to the tub room to play it safe. They checked me to see how far I was. STILL ONLY 4 CM?!?! What the H??!? My contractions were already feeling so strong, and I decided that I couldn't face the prospect of laboring indefinitely. So I promptly left the tub room, opting for the epidural route instead.
At this point it was about 4:30am and we were told it would be at least an hour before we would be getting the epidural. I was disappointed about this, but it was ok because I could still talk in between contractions and stay fairly relaxed during them. However, the anesthesiologist could not have come at a better time because after that hour was up this was NOT the case anymore. These contractions were getting mighty crazy, and it was quite the feat to stay still and relaxed while the nice man stuck my back with that needle. But it was oh so worth it.
The epidural was in and doing its thing by 6 a.m. and I was able to sleep-- SLEEP!-- while in active, crazy labor! I was in heaven. I was only worried that the epidural would slow things down and that they'd have to give me pitocin (we took a Bradley class during my first pregnancy and I was adequately schooled on all the many dangers and evils of the epidural). Anyways, around 7:20am Mike decided he should probably run home to give his sister the girls' car seats. I figured this was fine since I was sure we had a couple more hours of labor left and we only live 10 minutes from the hospital. I gave him the OK and he left.
Chapter 4: The Birth
I called Mike immediately to give him the deats, and luckily he was already almost back to the hospital. He made it with a few minutes to spare, so we sat together and let it sink in that we'd be seeing our new daughter within the next 10 minutes- as if it is possible for something that to actually sink in.
|About 5 minutes before little Lucy made her grand entrance into the world|
The doctor eventually walked in looking refreshed and ready to catch a baby. I am still a little confused and shocked that I could just sit there with a baby practically hanging out (sorry, that was a gross word-picture), but seriously. I got all ready to do a "practice push," but it only took the doctor one look to see I would not be needing any practice- the baby was about to come out. So I pushed once, I pushed twice, and I pushed a nice big third time, and out she came! On October 15, 2012, at 8:10 in the morning, 38 weeks 4 days -- and with 2 full weeks of early labor-- little Lucy Josephine was ready to come out.
Praise. The. Lord.
|please keep the focus on the sweet daddy staring at baby and not sleep-deprived mother's face|