I put the start of labour at 9 am, since that's when I started to think that these contractions might not be just Braxton-Hicks. At 10 am, I was 4 cm dilated and by the time I got into labour and delivery, I was at 5 cm. This was when I realized that my hospital bag was nicely packed in my closet at home. And that since James and I both had our keys with us, there was no way for my parents to get to the hospital. Luckily, we have an amazing contractor, and Dan came to pick up keys, twice, since James gave him the wrong keys the first time! The anesthesiologist took over an hour to arrive, despite their original assurance that he would be there within 20 minutes. Needless to say, I was a little frustrated by this, which was exacerbated by the nurse checking me right before and saying "Oh, you're at 8 cm, no wonder you're in pain!" Really, lady? My frustration turned to anger when they made James leave the room while they started the epidural. So instead of leaning on my husband's arms and having him talk and love me through my anxiety about the needle I was leaning on a nurse I'd never met.
My parents arrived after that with my hospital bag, but Mom had to leave to pick up G pretty quickly. Dad stayed until Dr Shoemaker came in to check me, when I kicked him out. I was at 10 cm, but my water hadn't broken yet, so he broke it for me. I was incredibly shocked at the results, because I wasn't really sure how he would break it, or what the result would be. Embarrassing at the time, hilarious in hindsight, it was very much like the movies and the doctor had to change his scrubs (and I hope his beeper was waterproof). James was out of the room for a few minutes (getting my dad keys and showing him to the car), so he missed the first push. Dr Shoemaker was there and James came in right after. I pushed again, and the doctor said he had to do an episiotimy (if you think you might ever want to birth children, don't Google this!!) I wasn't too hot on the idea, but he explained that I was going to tear again, and along the same line I tore last time, which would result in more painful scar tissue after I healed unless he did an episiotimy. I consented, and on my third push, Ainsley Grace Lawrence was born! We hadn't even had time to put on music!
Ainsley Grace Lawrence was born Wednesday, September 24, 2014 at 12:45 pm, less than 4 hours after labour started. She weighed 7 lbs 10 oz, and was 19.25" long.
I wanted to wait to cut the cord until it stopped pulsing this time, and they laid her on my chest while we waited. James cut the cord and she pooped on me. She had a spike in heartrate and temperature, as well as some trouble breathing. It turns out there was a little meconium in the amniotic fluid, and she inhaled a little, causing some mucus in her nose/lungs as she coughed it up. They asked me to wait on feeding her until she was breathing easier, and I asked to hold her skin to skin to help her temperature. Within a half hour, her temperature had normalized and I got the ok to feed her, because she seemed incredibly hungry. She latched on immediately and nursed on both sides for 30 minutes each! As soon as she ate, her breathing and heart rate normalized.
As soon as G woke up from his nap, Mom brought him to the hospital. He wasn't too interested in the baby, though he did give her a kiss. He wanted to sit on the hospital bed and watch "TB" and play with his new puzzle, a gift "from the baby."
Differences this time:
-3 hr 45 min vs 12+ hr
-3 pushes vs 2 hrs pushing
-The epidural kicked in within 1 contraction instead of taking 25 minutes
-I was still able to move my legs this time
-Contractions with G were front and center, but with A, they started in front and as the contraction subsided, my back would ache indescribably
-Though possibly more painful than G's contractions, I wasn't screaming myself hoarse with each contraction
-The shaking was much more pronounced this time, though that might have been because it took so long to get the epidural. In fact, I could tell when I was having a contraction because it was the only time I stopped shaking.
-The recovery was easier and I wasn't half as sore. I had more energy and wasn't as out of it. I can remember so much more about her birth than about G's.
-I didn't have to pump at the hospital at all and she was an amazing nurser!
Quick loose end points:
-She only lost 5 oz of her birth weight, and had gained it all back by her first appointment, when she was only 6 days old!
-Dad broke his foot just by walking. He said he heard a snap, but he didn't tell anyone for three hours, because "[I'd] just had a baby!"
-They did save my placenta, and my parents took it home that night. I came home from the hospital just as the encapsulation lady was finishing up. I got 194 capsules!
-The hospital and nursery protocols weren't ideal, especially compared to St. Joseph's, but I don't really feel like rehashing that. Suffice it to say they didn't bring me dinner that first night and they kept A in the nursery way too long, and she was beyond way too hungry when they finally brought her back.
|Daddy and his little girl|
|Mommy gets a snuggle before leaving the hospital|
|With Daddy's toy, sleeping peacefully|