I've been meaning to blog about how my labor and delivery went and figured I better do it soon so I don't forget anything! So, here we go:
My pregnancies with Mollie and Delia were extremely similar. I had the same symptoms and aches/pains, and carried my belly the same way, so I wondered if my labor/delivery experience would be the same. Turns out they were pretty similar too!
On Thursday, June 16, I had a doctor appointment scheduled in the morning. My mom had said she'd watch Mollie that day so that Stu and I could get some last minute things done, so I took Mollie to my mom's house in the morning and went to my doctor appointment. My actual midwife was on vacation that week, so I met with a different doctor. Since Stu would be going back to the slope in a few weeks, we were hoping Delia would come sooner rather than later so he could spend as much time with her as possible. I asked the doctor if she'd do a membrane sweep (if you don't know what that is, you probably don't want to know!) that would hopefully speed things up if my body was ready. Once I was past my due date with Mollie, I had this done, went into labor during the night, and she was born the next day. She did the memrane sweep, and I left my appointment to go to Target, where I got a coffee from Starbucks and walked around looking at all the pretty stuff (one of my favorite things to do)! Then I came home, spent a little time at home with Stu, took a short nap, and Stu and I went to see a movie. After the movie, we had dinner at my parents house, and came back home to go to bed. Looking back, this was the perfect last day of being pregnant. I got to have some "me" time at Target, go on a date with Stu, and spend time with my family!
At about 4 a.m. the next morning, I woke up having uncomfortable cramping. I knew they were probably contractions, but they weren't painful yet and I wanted to see if they were coming in a pattern to make sure they were "real" contractions. I laid awake in bed for the next hour and a half, as they came every 10 minutes. I decided to take a shower since this was probably "the real thing". Getting up out of bed must have sped them up because all of a sudden they were coming every 6-7 minutes apart, and I worried that my water would break and I wouldn't make it to the hospital! I woke Stu up and went upstairs to lay on the couch, call my mom, and call my doctor to see when I should head to the hospital. They were becoming pretty painful at this point, and I had to breathe through them, but unlike my labor with Mollie, I was able to relax in between them, and I think it was because I was at home. The contractions slowed down to about 10-11 minutes apart, with some up to 13 minutes apart, and I was getting discouraged, thinking maybe this wasn't "the real thing" after all. Stu left to run some errands, and I played games on my phone between contractions (something I definately couldn't have done during labor with Mollie!). Soon the contractions sped up again and I had to stand up and rock side-to-side during them. My mom got to our house to watch Mollie, who was still asleep, and we left for the hospital! Having contractions in the car was definately not fun, but luckily we live only 10 minutes away.
We got to the hospital and I was put in a triage room, where they make sure you're in active labor. They checked my cervix and I think I was dilated to 6cm (I had been at 4 for the past 3-4 weeks). They put these monitors on my belly to check the baby's heartrate and monitor my contractions.
This is me in the exact same room, and exact same stage of labor with Mollie (left) and Delia (right):
Everything felt so much more relaxed this time around, despite having painful contractions. The hospital was not as busy this time, and I was able to get into a room about 20-30 minutes. I let the nurse (who I loved, and had from beginning to end) know that I was ready for my epidural as soon as possible. With Mollie, there was 2-3 hours from the time that I said I was ready for an epidural and the time I actually got it, and I didn't want that to happen again. I relaxed in my room with Stu for about an hour
while we waited. I was able to deal with my contractions so much easier this time around, and could really relax in between them. After about an hour, the anethesiologist came in and gave me my epidural. I let him know that the epidural was VERY effective last time, and that it had numbed me up all the way up to my chest at one point. He said he was glad that I told him that, and he adjusted the amount of the anesthetic for my body size. When it started working, I quickly realized that it wasn't numbing the left side of my belly nearly as much as my right, so I could still feel when I was having contractions, but it was only slightly painful, almost just annoying. They checked my cervix again, and I think I was 7 or 8 centimeters. I thought I probably had 4-5 hours left to go, since having an epidural and staying in bed can slow labor down. At this point, my mom came to the hospital and brought Mollie to see us. I thought she might be freaked out to see me laying in a hospital bed, but she seemed excited and interested. My mom had been telling her that morning as she got her ready that they were coming to see us at the hospital and that "baby sister" was going to come (Mollie still randomly talks about us being at the hospital and that baby sister "came out"!).
They hung out in our room for a little bit and I had my cervix checked again. I think I was a 9.5 then, and suprised that I was progressing so fast (It had probably only been an hour and a half since I had gotten my epidural). We had planned to have my mom in the room during the delivery, but didn't have anyone to watch Mollie. I have no idea why we didn't have a back-up person to watch Mollie, I guess we just assumed my dad would be there. We brainstormed someone who could come watch Mollie, and thought of our friends David and Jenny, who were also expecting a baby at any time. They came just in time because soon I started feeling the "urge to push". The nurse checked my cervix, said I was ready, and had me try a push. I guess she could tell that it wouldn't take too long, because she went ahead and had the doctor come in. I told her I was afraid of tearing, like I had with Mollie, especially since I had feeling down there this time. She took that to heart and told me exactly when & how much to push and talked me through it so that she could ease the baby out slowly and prevent a tear. I am so happy that she took my concern seriously and did what she could to help me. I can't even remember now how many times I pushed, but it was very short, I think through 3 contractions. I could feel exactly what I was doing, and it was an amazing feeling. I looked down and saw her come out, and they handed her to me.
It's amazing how newborn babies know their mothers from birth and how they calm down when put in the mother's arms.I love these next two pictures of me, Stu, and Delia. I thought it was really nice of the doctor to offer to get a picture of us.
Stu facebooking the news that she was born:
I ate lunch as they cleaned her up:
Stu holding Delia for the first time:
She was very interested and had to be right next to whoever was holding Delia.
The first of many times Mollie has held her baby sister:
I just love Stu in the background of this picture:
Here she is in her coming home outfit. We asked to leave the next day, and were discharged 24 hours after she was born.
All in all, it was an amazing birth experience. The whole thing was very relaxed but exciting at the same time. Because I didn't tear, I didn't have to go through any recovery or soreness. After Mollie was born, I didn't even want to think about having to go through labor and delivery again with future kids, but this time, I am already excited to experience it again someday.