Saturday, I crossed every last thing off of my Pre-Baby To Do list, took Gabe to a birthday party, double checked our hospital bags, and firmed up plans for the nugget while we were away having the baby. At the end of the day, utterly exhausted, I took in a warm bath and had a half a glass of wine. I knew that sleep would be elusive that night, as I was too anxious and excited to meet our little lady, so I was trying to relax as much as possible before bed.
Amazingly, I managed to fall asleep with relative ease. At 1:30, I got up to use the bathroom, and at that point, realized that my sleep for the night had probably come to an end. The excitement hit, and I COULD NOT fall back asleep. So I laid there. And tried to think sleepy thoughts. And I laid there some more. And I tried to get comfortable. And then around 2:40, I felt what I can only describe as a POP inside my belly.
This was not a kick- no. This was something I hadn't felt before. I wondered vaguely to myself if it could possibly be my water breaking. So I got out of bed and headed to the bathroom. With a gush it became very obvious, very quickly, that yes, indeed, my water had broken.
When I came out of the bathroom, I informed J that the baby couldn't wait until morning. It was go time!
We very calmly got ready to go. Second baby syndrome! I curled my hair, J showered and shaved. I made the bed, and gathered the last minute suitcase additions. Once I felt like I had myself completely together, I called the doctor to let her know the situation, at which point she told us to head on into the hospital. We called a neighbor to come sleep at our house until J's mom could arrive. Contractions started up, and quickly settled into a pattern about three minutes apart and a minute long.
Man, does my body know how to contract.
By the time we made it to the hospital, the contractions were pretty painful, but not unbearable. We got registration and paperwork handled, and got settled in our labor & delivery room. I answered about a million questions for our nurse, went over my birth plan (get drugs, have a baby), and had my IV placed. I was still doing okay at this point, and was managing to breathe through increasingly painful contractions.
Once all of this was taken care of, the nurse got around to checking me. I was dilated 4 centimeters. I was so encouraged by this. It took hours and hours for me to reach 4 cm with Gabe. 18 hours, to be exact. Things were obviously moving more quickly with this baby.
It was around this time that contractions kicked it up a notch. As in, shit just got real. Less than a minute apart, and INTENSE. I got a dose of narcotic in my IV to take the edge off while I waited for my epidural. I had to receive a certain amount of IV fluids before they could place the epidural- I remember this excruciating wait with Gabe, too. All in all, about two hours of the real deal, killmenow kind of pain. Then, sweet relief.
By 7 am, I was no longer feeling much pain. This epidural was much lighter than the one I had with Gabe. I could feel and move my legs, and could still feel plenty of pressure with each contraction. But the excruciating pain was no longer. My blood pressure dropped quite a bit with the drugs, but we soon had that under control, as well, and it became a waiting game. The next time the nurse checked me, I was A WHOPPING 8 CM and the baby had moved down nicely!
I was absolutely shocked and amazed at the speed with which all of this was happening. These contractions were doing their job without the help of any pitocin. Again, so different than with Gabe, whose 25 hour labor was pitocin assisted.
By 9:30, I was past 9 cm and it was pretty clear that we had very little time left before we'd be meeting our baby. I had told the nurse that I pushed for less than 15 minutes with my first baby, and was hoping to be that lucky again (I'd soon find out that she thought I'd said 45 minutes.) A few minutes later I felt an enormous pressure and knew that it was time to push. The nurse had me do a "practice" push to see what kind of progress I could make. She told me how well I had moved the baby down, and decided to have me really push through the next contraction.
She didn't believe me when I said I was a good pusher.
After that one contraction, she very lightheartedly joked about how haha-isn't-it-the-craziest-thing-when-someone-tells-you-to-stop-pushing-but-yeah-I-really-need-you-to-stop-pushing-because-the-baby-is-coming-but-the-doctor-went-home. She then stuck her head out the door and yelled at another nurse to call the doctor and tell her to step on the gas because the baby is coming.
So I waited an extremely uncomfortable five minutes for the doctor to arrive- all the while with a baby in the birth canal.
The doctor arrived, and with two more contractions, our sweet girl was here. Margot was born at 10:10 am. It had been only 7 1/2 hours since my water had broken.
She was placed immediately on my chest and examined there. She passed all of her initial assessments with perfect scores. After a bit, they took her to be weighed and measured. My little chunk weighed in at 9 pounds even and was 19 3/4" long. Her head circumference was 14 1/2", which by the nurse's reaction is on the larger side. I hear all of these stats and I am uber-impressed with my birthing skills. I rock at pushing out babies.
A couple hours later we moved over into our postpartum room and spent the rest of our two day stay resting and bonding. The little lady latched right on and is nursing like a champ. I was up and about by Sunday afternoon with shockingly little pain. Recovery thus far has been a breeze. Gabe has remained largely unaffected by the new addition, and is just loving having both his parents at home with him. Life is carrying on oh-so-sweetly now that we are a family of four.
Our sweet Margot Claire is just perfection, and we could not possibly be more in love.