I wanted my labor with Addie to be about 100% opposite from Garrett's. It didn't go that way. It was all too familiar, but at least I was confident that eventually this baby would be out of me. With Garrett, I was starting to wonder...
Early Monday morning, November 14th, I started having contractions. They started at 3:00AM, and thanks to my contraction timer app, I knew exactly how far apart, and how long they were. They were almost to the second every time, 5min. 47sec. apart, give or take a second or two. They lasted between 45 and 55 seconds. I timed them til a little after 6:00AM. (I woke Paul around 5 to warn him.) I got up around 6:15 because I was hungry. I ate a bagel and watched a little DVR . Contractions were still coming, but I'd stopped timing. Around 7:30 I took a bath. I was in there for 45 minutes and only had 3 contractions during that time. Garrett woke up when I got out and my mom took care of him so I could nap. I slept til noon and only had very sporadic contractions during that time. By the time I was up and around they had stopped. We went and played at the park, went shopping in Pasadena, then went to watch Monday night football at the in-laws. I'd have a contraction or two here and there, but nothing to get excited about. I had a massage that night, and about 30 minutes after, contractions started again. 5-7 minutes apart for 3 hours. Then nothing. On Tuesday morning at 3:00AM they started again. Every 5 minutes til 6:00. I was bleeding a bit, so I called my doctor. She told me to head in to L and D. We got there around 7:00AM. By then, they were 10 minutes apart. I was monitored for about 3 hours and there was no rhyme or reason to my contractions, but I went from 2 to 4CM's . I was SO happy to NOT hear 3 CM (!!!!!). I was stuck at three for hours, even days with Garrett. But by the time I heard 4, my contractions were 15-20 minutes apart. The nurse came in to tell me she just needed to monitor the baby for a few minutes longer and then I could go home. I responded so quickly I think she was caught off guard.
Me: "I don't wanna go home!"
Her:"You want to?"
Me: "No, I DON'T want to."
Her: Oh, umm...
Me: "I have a son at home, and I've been up for 2 nights, and I'm tired, and I can't be like this around my boy, and I need to have this baby today." (There may have been even more rambling and a few tears in there too.)
Her: "Oh, ok... Well, 4 cm is active labor, so I can let your doctor know you're here and see what we can do.
Me: Ok, thank you.
I knew staying meant pitocin, because I wasn't even having contractions, but I had fatigue flashbacks of my one night of false labor and 2 nights of real labor with Garrett, and I just couldn't do it.
My doc let me stay, and I was taken to my own room. She came in to see me. There were 3 nurses in the room at the time. The first thing my doc said was, "Ok, so you're ready to have this baby... What are you hoping for to make that happen?" A nurse chimed in before I could answer and said, "She wants the baby out. She needs some vagina-mite." My doc looked shocked, but Paul and I started laughing so hard that it got her laughing too.
Anyway, I started on the pit. I hate pitocin. I was on it for 4 and a half hours, with strength increases every 30 minutes. I only progressed *almost* 2 cm. (so, 1). I was struggling and discouraged. My doc said she wanted to break my water so I had an epidural right before that, and then she broke my water. In just over an hour I was at an 8. But still -2 station.
This is where the scary part for me began. Addie's heart rate was dropping during each contraction.
(Side note: Paul knows the L and D supervisor. Our funeral home takes all the infant death cases from this hospital and takes care of them at no cost to the family. So Paul and his Dad have met with her a few times. She told Paul to for sure let her know when we were there. She'd been in once already to see me and she was great.)
Anyway, she was watching my monitors in her office, and when she saw the drop she came right in. Within about a minute there were 5 nurses in my room. All seeming a little stressed and all working on something different. They moved me from my back to my left side, then to my right. They put me on oxygen and one nurse really worked with me on breathing. They put an internal fetal monitor (IFM) on Addie, and another nurse started pumping fluids back in me to create a cushion for Addie and hopefully get her heart rate up. They decided to check me again, hoping that all the flopping from side to side helped. It did. 9CM and +2 station. The heart rate had gotten a little better, but not good enough. (I had a friend here with almost the exact same story at this same hospital, and she had a c-section. I just knew that was coming next.) I was breathing deep on the oxygen, had my eyes closed, praying hard, and saying, "come on baby girl, come on baby girl." My nurse said, "ok, we need to get that baby out, you need to push." She called the doc who came right in with a resident doctor and another nurse. I hated how full the room was. It was a huge room. But laying there helpless watching 8 different people rushing and working and watching my monitors was a little overload for me. The IFM fell off Addie so they had to put another one on and by then I was complete and ready to push. I pushed through 3 contractions and nothing at all. Garrett was out by that point in pushing, and I reminded myself that it wasn't going to be the same and I needed to take it one at a time. But the look on my doctors face made me think this baby isn't dropping and her heart rate is. The next contraction came and I pu-ushed. She was coming down. Paul said afterwards, that on that push he thought my face was going to explode. But he saw the IFM slowly coming out, so he knew she was coming out too. On that push I felt like I finally remembered how to push. The first 3 I really felt like I had no idea how to. It was weird. The next push her head was out and the cord was double wrapped around her neck. My doctor clamped and cut, I pushed again, and she was out.
Then the next scary part began. As soon as I saw her I unsnapped my sleeves and pulled the gown down expecting to have my baby on my chest, skin to skin. But at the exact moment that I totally exposed myself, 3 men, all medic-like, and suited up with a bunch of equipment rushed in the room. A nurse took the baby from the doc and put her under a heat lamp. All the medics and several nurses surrounded her. I looked at Paul who was by my side and said, "go be with her!" My doc then told me that there was meconium staining that must have happened during pushing because my water was clear when she broke it, so it was after that. She said everything was fine but they needed to check her lungs and suction her. I got one stitch while they were working on Addie. It seemed like hours, but in less than 10 minutes the room had pretty much cleared, my baby was in my arms, and I was nursing her.
It was heaven. Paul and I spent the next couple of hours alone with Addie before her bath and heading to postpartum. And just like that, we had a daughter.