The past 48 hours have been quite the whirlwind, but it has been amazing. We are officially a family of four! With the help of J and my nurses, I've pieced together G's crazy birth story.
On Tuesday evening, I was feeling a bit defeated. You know, that feeling that you will never not be pregnant. Little did I know, Ginny had other plans in store.
I had been getting random contractions at night for a few days, but was woken up around 5:00 am on Wednesday morning by a very hard and fast contraction. It was very different from the contractions I'd been feeling, so I figured I'd start counting them since I was up anyway. Before I could get my iPad turned on and the contraction app loaded, another one hit - this time with a fun addition. My water broke!
How can you pick out second time parents? When my water broke with Charlie, I yelled for Jeff in a panic. This time? "Well, there goes that..." as I waddled to the bathroom. Jeff looked at the clock and groaned his way out of bed and into the shower. We got ready, made all of our phone calls, packed up our stuff, and were in the car by 5:30 am.
The ride to the hospital is only about 15 miles, but contractions getting closer and closer together made it seem like an 1,500. As we drove down the highway, I shook my fist at the huge full moon - surely this was its doing.
By the time we arrived at the hospital, the contractions were about 3 1/2 minutes apart and I could hardly walk through them. I hadn't had contractions like this with Charlie until they started pitocin, so I didn't realize just how fast things were progressing. We checked in at labor and delivery, got registered, and made it to my room by around 6:00 am. After checking that my water did indeed break, the nurse said I was at about 4cm.
The contractions were getting ridiculous and the spaces between them were useless. Was this normal? I had absolutely no idea, but knew I wanted medication....like now. I asked for an epidural to be ordered, which was fine, but first needed to receive at least one bag of saline to help keep my blood pressure up to prep for the epi. Between the saline requirement and the epi order - it would be an hour. At that point, an hour felt like it would be an eternity and the contractions were getting harder and faster. A quick check around 6:30 am revealed that I had progressed to 7cm in just the half hour since checking in. I really didn't want IV drugs because I hate how they make me feel, but I needed something. Stadol it was.
The Stadol helped take the contractions from writhing pain to don't talk and breathe slowly pain. The only problem was that it also made me completely loopy and groggy. The next 45 minutes passed by in what felt like a blink. In between contractions I closed my eyes to keep from getting dizzy, leaving me to catch random glimpses of the nurses prepping the room. I was so confused; why were they bringing in a baby warmer already? Why were they setting up drapes and supplies? In what probably sounded like a garbled mess, I asked what was going on and my nurse said, "We're having a baby soon!" J and just looked at each other. What?! We just got here! How is this possible?!
By now it was a bit before 7:30 am; two and a half hours since labor first began. I opened my eyes to find the anesthesiologist and my nurse standing around my bed. J was helping me through contractions and I had hardly noticed them trying to get my attention. The nurse checked me again and I was 10cm and Ginny was almost crowning. Excuse me? Yeah, I understand that women have been having babies for thousands of years without drugs, but that was not for me. The anesthesiologist left.
I hadn't planned this. I didn't have some hypno-magic breathing technique in my back pocket. I was terrified. I wanted to cry.
My midwife came in and I don't even remember what I said or did, but I'm sure I looked scared out of my mind. In the most calming, confident voice told me that I COULD do this and WAS going to do this. The Stadol was still making me slightly uncoordinated and my eyes very heavy, but as pain control it was completely useless. She was coming so fast that the slightest movement hurt from head to toe, yet when I pushed I felt like nothing was happening. Just when the moment of panic came over me that I could be at this for hours, my midwife told me that her head was on its way. Everyone, with a much better view than me, coached me to hang in there and keep pushing. In one more push, her head. In another, the rest of her. At 7:50 am, she was on my chest; purple and screaming.
There she was and no one tried to take her. The nurses bustled around, but Ginny stayed right there in my arms. I had surprisingly minimal tearing, but Ginny did end up with a bit of bruising on her face from her wild ride. She pinked up quickly and boy, does she have a set of lungs.
Eventually, she was taken to be weighed and cleaned up a bit, but was returned quickly to nurse and snuggle. It was amazing. She came in at 7 lbs. 6 oz. and 20" long.
Today was full of family, good reports from the doctors, and lots of squishy baby cuddling. Now that we're home, its been fun introducing Ginny to our little family. Charlie is still unsure of what he thinks of her, but likes to talk about "his baby." After a nice long nap in my own bed, I'm feeling much better and am looking forward to the next few months at home with my squishy.
Back to the time where day and night don't mean much, meals are eaten with one hand, and everything seems to be measured in ounces. I feel so incredibly blessed.