Short version: Had some contractions (for awhile). Went to the hospital. After a spectacular water break, I had a baby verrrrry quickly. And it was awesome. Super duper awesome. Times a zillion.
Fresh baby. About 7 minutes old. And still screaming...
I keep a journal for my kids to read when they get older, and to record the crazy stuff they say and do (and how I feel along the way). It's really fun to go back and read these little anecdotes!
I actually journalled during labor. I would say that my labor and delivery was really fairly easy with Squeak - a very far cry from a long, difficult, and terrifying labor and delivery the first time around.
So, here is what I journalled during and after labor. It's slightly edited and commentary will be in purple (red looks too angry!). It's a birth story so, ya know, I suppose there's a little bit of a "graphic" nature to it.
Grandma and Grandpa C. have been here since the 25th and Bean has had a fabulous time!
Today was his 1/2 birthday, and I started having contractions. Unfortunately, it's now 11PM and I'm still in early labor.
Contractions started around 4 or 5. I taught a 4:30-5 lesson and had a few.
Timed them starting at 5:15 and they've been 50 seconds long and 5 minutes apart ever since. 6 hrs!
They've gotten more intense (by a lot), but they're not longer or closer together.
G, our [very beloved] doula, thinks it's probably taking awhile because I had my membranes stripped yesterday - I've been worrying about my blood pressure, and have an induction scheduled for Monday (10/4), so we decided to see if we could encourage you to come out, Thing :)
So, if you come tonight or tomorrow morning, that'd be awesome. Otherwise, we're stripping membranes in the morning. But, by G-d, if I'm' still laboring tomorrow morning??? [Reading this now is cracking me up. I was probably not in early labor...]
So, it's now 11:15. Dad went to bed at about 10:45. I'm watching videos and waiting until I feel like I want G here or Dad back with me.
Starting to wonder how I did this for 20 hrs w/ Bean!
And on Pitocin!
I'm mean, I'm fine between contractions, but the contractions are currently INTENSE!
Also, how did I do this in a bed?!? I keep flinging myself onto all fours during contractions. Really - HOW did I do all this???
[That's the end of what I wrote before Squeak's birth. It's humorous to point out that before I started writing this in the journal, I was chatting with a friend on Facebook and was saying things like "I'm still thinking this is going to peter out..." And I was posting on Facebook between contractions until after G arrived. I was convinced for awhile that I was going to have the longest, slowest labor ever recorded. Or that it was soon going to just stop!]
I called G around midnight on 9/30. We were just in the living room, laughing because every time I had a contraction (& flung myself down and moaned), Pepper [our wonderfully neurotic dachshund] would run to G and require comforting. [G remarked that she'd never seen a labor ritual that involved a dog!]
At some point I needed a little pressure on my hips [or maybe a lot of pressure?], and G applied that.
At 12:45PM I woke up Dad, wanting him to videotape a little. [I'd really wanted to videotape Squeak's birth, but...uh...that didn't end up working out!] Then a little later I stopped wanting to be on all fours and was sort of hanging on Dad's neck.
Still was fine between contractions. Chipper, even.
At probably 1:30, I told G that warm water sounded good, but I didn't want to sit in the bath. I wondered if she thought we could get me comfortable. [This, I think, was the beginning of a pretty serious aversion to being anything but upright for the rest of my labor.]
She said she thought so, but was concerned we wouldn't be able to get me out.
So we decided to go to the hospital. [As the hippy I am, I would love to have a homebirth, but with my underlying condition and my wonky blood pressure during pregnancy it would be downright irresponsible...] We called Grandma and Grandpa C. to come over from their hotel, & called Dr. L. to let him know we were on our way. Contractions were probably 3 minutes apart? Maybe?
When Grandma and Grandpa got here, we were ready to head to the hospital. I wanted to wait until right after a contraction so I might minimize the seated contractions in the car.
I had a contraction in the driveway - moaning loudly, & I'm sure neighbors could hear!
We got in the car with G following. I had one contraction & afterward I was chatting w/ Dad again. I told him I couldn't believe how manageable it felt - that I hoped I wasn't only at a 3 or 5 because I could only handle another notch or two in intensity, but WOW! I couldn't believe I was just chatty & fine between contractions!
As we pulled into the hospital parking lot, I had a contraction that I could not handle sitting down. It was BRUTAL. I arched my back & tried to get my hips more in line. Dad let me out and parked (I needed OUT - he parked very nearby).
He & G came over to me, & G looked at me w/ bemusement. I was clearly not as with it as I had been.
I had a contraction in the ER parking garage - my moans echoing all over the place.
We headed up the elevator to Labor and Delivery and I had a contraction in there - we almost rode back down!
We got checked in. I think, somehow, I didn't have any more contractions until I was in the room.
Then the nurse - the poor nurse - had to figure out how to get a trace on the baby's heartbeat. I refused to get in the bed. I just couldn't! Between the intensity of contractions and the memory of being stuck in bed for Bean's birth...I couldn't!
They got me on the bed to check my cervix - I insisted we wait until after a contraction so I might avoid contracting while laying down.
I was at a 7!
Oh - and it was sometime after 2AM. We arrived at the hospital at about 2:15AM.
After the check began the attempts to trace The Thing's heartbeat. I was hanging off Dad's neck during contractions while our 2nd doula, K (who had met us at the hospital), held the fetal monitor on my belly. They lost the heartrate (well, found MINE) every contraction. Finally, Dr. L said they could stop. (He also suggested breaking my water, but I wasn't up for increased intensity...) I asked again for the bathtub and they said they had to check me - if I was at 8, maybe I could go get in the shower. (During this, I had a couple contractions that had me POUNDING on Dad with my fist. G was impressed that Dad didn't flinch :))
The nurse checked me and I was at 9! I had a contraction then and said I thought I might push. She came to check again and said she couldn't be SURE I was at 10 because my bag of waters was so bulging and she would pop it if she tried to check me too much!
G just said to listen to my body. Nurse put down another cloth at the end of my bed and suggested everyone not be there because my bag was going to break in a river.
Next contraction I had an urge to push - and my water exploded and shot about 5 feet. [That's The Beast's estimate - it did look pretty impressive from my perspective on my back, though!]
Dr. L came in just then and noted meconium [on the floor]. They started to call for the pediatrician from Special Care. No time, though.
I was rolled on my side and had a contraction - I truly thought [felt] I needed to poop before I could push the baby out, so I guess that's why I clamped my legs together and pushed.
G was saying "B, listen to me, this isn't going to work. You need to relax and open your legs." I yelled "I CAN'T HEAR YOU!" [This still cracks me up!] Obviously I could, but I meant I couldn't listen or comply. [Also going through my head at this point was, "this is the stupidest possible position for me to be in. My legs are clamped closed...what am I DOING???" But I just couldn't release my legs!]
Then she said, "Never mind...your baby's coming." [G has since said, chuckling, that she hadn't thought a baby could be born that way - mom's legs closed and straight out. It does sound pretty ridiculous!]
Baby was crowning! Burrrrrrrn...I pushed again and most of the head was out. The burning and the pressure were unbearable. I screamed "GET IT OUT!" and G told me I could just push and the baby would be out. I pushed and Dad says I "rocketed" the whole baby out. Not even head, then shoulders....whole baby :)
So, 3 real pushes (plus the one that broke my water) and Dad thinks it was about 3 minutes.
Baby was born screaming, which was a relief - Bean only coughed at birth and didn't cry for a bit.
I asked whether it was a boy or girl - BOY!
Squeak was born 9/30/10 at 3:06AM
7lbs, 2oz and 20 inches long
Squeak, you screamed for 40 minutes straight! ...and spit up in there somewhere.
Oh, and you startled to a noise very soon after birth. Dr. L commented that your ears work :)
There is more to the journal entry, but it's all about breastfeeding. And poop (poop is very exciting to a new mom and of paramount concern to pediatricians!).
Breastfeeding is going better and better. I mostly feel bad for Squeak, who needs so much help to latch and stay latched...and has a lot of trouble comfort nursing. My nipples are sore, but his latch is improving little by little (after his first session of craniosacral therapy, it was improved by leaps and bounds!), so they seem to be getting a little less sore. I'm at this point really hoping to avoid surgery (for posterior tongue-tie he would have to go under general anesthesia for a little while, unless we drive 4+ hours to see a doctor who can do it with an awake baby...). Craniosacral therapy has been very effective - I just worry that the last little bit won't be resolved without surgery.
I still can't believe I avoided any interventions. I didn't have so much as an IV. I was hardly on the contraction and fetal monitors. I LEFT THE HOSPITAL AFTER JUST OVER 24 HOURS. (I was kept in the OB ICU for longer than normal with Bean, and almost stayed an extra day in recovery.)
This is a pretty good representation of the interventions with Bean:
Note that they taped the IV so that THREE ports ran through my palm. I was like, "um...can we change this so I will be able to hold my baby???"
This time, rather than feel like my husband and I have to overcome a trauma, every time I think about my baby's birth I am giddy!