Wow. So this birthing experience was a complete 180 from the last. A week ago on Thursday, I went in for my 40-week OB check up. When I got in there, the doctor said I was dilated 1 centimeter so she would be able to strip my membranes. It wasn't even really uncomfortable, which was weird since all the previous visits it actually hurt for her to check me for dilation. After she finished, she told me she had accidentally torn the outer sac of the placenta. I did not know this, but apparently there are two layers to the placenta. I suppose the good news is she didn't break both!
After my appointment I drove back to Galveston to pick up Aiden and we went to Kemah to meet the Ramby's for an outdoor concert and so the boys could run in the water play area. My contractions were a little stronger that night, but the doctor told me to expect that whether I went into labor or not.
That night, I went to bed and slept through the night without a hiccup. When my alarm went off the next morning, I decided to time my contractions all day. They were stronger than they had been before and I wanted to be sure to keep an eye on it. I got ready for work, Travis got Aiden ready for daycare and we all left the house. By the time I got to Aiden's daycare, the contractions had started to get strong enough that I had to breath and focus my way through them. But they were irregular and far enough apart that I wasn't too concerned. I decided I would take the day off. It was supposed to be my last day of work before my maternity leave started. I knew even if I went in and never went into labor, I would not be able to concentrate with those contractions.
I dropped Aiden off at daycare and drove over to work. I was responsible for letting a guy into work that morning and I didn't want to leave him hanging. I took care of that and drove straight over to Ariel and Robert's house. At this point, my contractions were anywhere between 4 and 10 minutes apart. Ariel was still asleep, so Robert agreed to drive me home. I didn't think it was smart to drive any more with that level of contractions. Robert drove me back in my car so he could drive it back to Galveston. My dad was on the road to Texas, but wasn't supposed to arrive until around 2pm. Ariel and Robert said they would pick up Aiden for me, so I had to leave a car with a car seat.
My plan was to go home and wait for the contractions to become regularly spaced. By the time I got home, the contractions were 2-4 minutes apart. I decided it would be best to have Travis come home from work since thing seemed to be moving right along.
Travis got home about 30 minutes later and packed his hospital bag. I tried to get some of the basics done before he got home. I couldn't stop moving. I had to keep walking. Sitting on the birthing ball actually seemed to relieve some of the pressure during the contractions, so I used that a lot. I was at 2 minutes apart when we got in the truck to go to the hospital. I was starting to get nervous that I would not make it to the hospital in time to get an epidural. I know what it's like to push out a kid without an epidural and I really did not want to relive that if at all possible.
Our hospital has valet parking. VERY handy when a woman is in labor. We walked to the elevators inside and sure enough, they weren't working properly. I was walking in circles trying to focus on my breathing while five other people stood around holding various items that showed they were visiting others (flowers, balloons, teddy bears, fast food bags, etc). I think they were all a little skeptical about getting on the elevator with me when it finally started working again. I had flashes of giving birth to my daughter while locked in that tiny compartment with five strangers. At least Travis would be there.
Thankfully, the elevator got us to the third floor without any further problems. We walked up to the nurses station at 11 am and they took me to a birthing room right away. The nurse started checking me in and I told her right off the bat I wanted an epidural. She checked me first to make sure I was "actually in labor". Ha. I was 90% effaced and dilated 4.5 cm.
I was wishing I had come in earlier because the process of getting an epidural is an excruciatingly loooonnnnggg process. First, I had to be admitted. This proved to be a trying situation since the second nurse that came in to do that for me was from Africa. Her accent was so strong that I had trouble understanding her and she had trouble understanding me. Oh and she had the same problem with all the other nurses that came in periodically.
Second, I had to receive a liter of IV fluids. An epidural can cause low blood pressure. To counteract that, they pump you full of fluids. Third, I had to drink some really nasty antacid crap. BLECH. Fourth, I had to sign consent forms for the analgesia. Fifth, I had to wait for the anesthesiologist to have time for me.
After I got the epidural, it took about 10 minutes for it to start working. The nurse checked me again while we waited for the epidural to work it's magic. I was 7 cm dilated. As soon as the anesthesiologist left, the nurse realized the baby's heart monitor had lost it's signal. Instead of readjusting the band, she started having me flip from side to side. It was really difficult to move quickly during the contractions. I was still feeling the pain, not to mention it was just difficult to move with that giant belly. Travis had to leave while I got the epidural. A nurse came in at that point to see if Travis could come back in the room. My nurse (who I had lost any confidence in) said "no not yet" and asked that nurse for help. She walked up to me, readjusted the heart monitor and it was fine.
I am pretty sure that Idiot Nurse had no idea what she was doing. She had me flipping all over the place just because she couldn't find Mila's heartbeat. I was really annoyed when she made me stay lying on my right side. She thought that was why the nurse was able to find her heart beat again. So that meant my right leg was completely non-functional. The epidural pools with gravity. Weirdest feeling ever.
They let Travis back into the room and I sent him back out to get me more ice chips. I was SO THIRSTY. At 1:45, while he and the nurse were out of the room, my water broke. I couldn't reach the nurse's call button because it was on the left side of the bed. I just waited for Travis to get back and he pressed the button for me.
At 2:20, the doctor came in to check me. I was a little bummed my doctor was not working that weekend, but this doctor turned out to be just as great. After he checked me, he asked if I was having the urge to push at all. I told him I didn't think so. He said I was complete (10 cm) and the head had started to come down into the birth canal, but he wanted me to feel that urge before we got the show on the road. He had the nurses hook me up to Pitocin.
By 2:45 I was having a severe urge to push. It was so intense that I actually had Travis check me to see if the head was already coming out. The Idiot Nurse came over to check me at that point. She had me push as she checked and said I was ready. I was hungry and worried about hours of pushing on an empty stomach, so she ran to grab me a Popsicle.
She gave it to me and then asked me to push again. While I was holding the Popsicle. Soooo I grabbed my left leg with one hand, held onto the Popsicle with the other hand and pushed.
The nurse yells, "Stop, stop, stop!" So I stopped. She was doing something so I went back to eating the Popsicle.
Then the nurse mumbles something in her hard-to-understand accent that sounded like push again. But then she seemed to stop paying attention to me.
I said, "Push? Right now?" When she didn't respond, I just said, "Eh," and went back to eating the Popsicle.
Travis started laughing so hard. So then I started laughing. This whole thing was totally different than our last experience.
I finally finished the Popsicle and the nurse asked me to push one more time. "Stop, stop, stop!" she said again. "I don't want you to have this baby before the doctor comes in here. Better safe than sorry!" Ugh, she was the worst.
The doctor came in and all the nurses set up their stations (one for me, one for Mila). The doctor gave me some tips on pushing and then we gave it a go. I pushed three times in a row, then I rested until the next contraction. I pushed again and then on the fifth push, out came Mila's head! No pain. Just pressure. It was perfect. The doctor suctioned then asked me to push again, out came the rest of Mila! The doctor held her up, pronounced her a girl and laid her on my belly. Travis and I were both crying. Then Travis got to cut the cord. I was so excited he got to do that since he didn't get to with Aiden (umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck twice).
Travis went over to the warmer with Mila while I took care of the afterbirth. I had instant relief once the placenta was out. I felt like I could breathe again. The doctor held it up for me to see as he inspected it. So funny. Then he goes, "Hey Dad! Get over here and take a picture of this." Oh man the look on Travis's face. "Really?" he asked. He so did not want to get near that thing. I told Travis to just come over and take a picture of it really quick. That way I could look at it afterward. I think it's interesting.
When I had Aiden I had to get a local anesthetic to numb the area for stitching afterward. The epidural was still in full force this time around so I didn't need anything for the stitching.
After I was finished and cleaned up I got to hold Mila. I attempted nursing her for the first time and it went really well. She was wide awake.
|Mila's first photo|
When they brought in my dinner, Travis took her. Soon after that my family arrived with Aiden (Dad, Ariel and Robert).
|Aiden meets Mila for the first time|
Mila gave her big brother a gift when he arrived. He LOVES his Hulk action figure. Aiden did so good with her. He was really sweet and gentle. He was also REALLY excited to have all his favorite people together.
As soon as my epidural had begun to wear off, they took Mila to the transitional nursery, my family went out for dinner and they wheeled me to the room I would be staying in for the weekend.
I was super stoked when they brought in another tray of food for me. I was insanely hungry. My family came back after dinner to visit a little more.
I will try to blog more soon. I'm working on figuring out how to take care of two kids right now, so I am not sure when the blogging will happen. Travis was off all week and he goes back to work Tuesday. My dad has been here all week and he will be for another week. So I've had lots of help. It's still been a learning process!