Facing an induction Monday night, I attempted to begin my birthing time for several days. Friday I spent a nice long day with my breast pump, which had seemed to be successful at starting things with Kismet. I got some good contractions going, but they'd taper off once I stopped pumping. Saturday I broke down and tried Castor Oil, against my better judgment. :-) At 3:30ish, I took 2 tablespoons blended with orange juice and ice cream, which I drank with a straw (so too much nastiness wouldn't hit my tongue). It wasn't too bad, and once I was sure I could stomach it, I took 2 more tablespoons blended with root beer and ice cream. Should have stuck with the orange juice. :-p
I went back to the pump off and on for the rest of the day. The castor oil was mostly disappointing. I got some burps that tasted like I had eaten a tube of chapstick, a mild upset tummy and about an hour of good contractions, but they petered just as I was starting to get excited. I got back on the pump and got some more good contractions going, but nothing to write home about. During the night I woke up about 3 times to a heavy contraction, but nothing else. I woke up around 7:00 Sunday morning, and I felt like something had changed. At that moment, my water started dribbling. After getting up, a few gushes and a couple of pairs of pants later, I confirmed that my water had, in fact, broken and I hadn't developed sudden incontinence.
I woke up Tony, and then text the Intended Fathers (IFs), my mom and my sister, and called the hospital to confirm that they wanted me to come right in. Fortunately my mother-in-law had spent the night, and was able to take the kids, which included taking them to an out of town birthday party and bringing them back (I am ridiculously lucky to be surrounded by so many supportive people).
Tony and I headed to the hospital, and my mom and my IFs (and Big Brother) met us there shortly after we were put into a room. I was 2.5cm dilated, which surprised me since my water had broken and all. Because I was GBS positive, and only had the opportunity to get the first round of antibiotics before he was born, we decided the best course would be for me to relax and not encourage the contractions (which were starting up, slowly) until I could get at least 2 rounds of antibiotics in me, which would take at least 5 hours.
So, we all hung out for a few hours, IFs and Tony running out for some food (nurse initially said I could only have clear liquids, but doctor came by and said I could eat more or less whatever I wanted, with the idea that I might be seeing it all again (so he suggested I keep it light), so I was thrilled because it was early and I was already starving). The first attempt to start my IV resulted in a blown out vein (still sore) and my almost passing out/puking (I'm fine now if you can get the needle right, but if you mess it up, it's no good). So then they insisted on putting it in my hand instead of my arm, which I think is such a hassle, but they placed it. And then they had to stick me yet again because something happened with one of the tubes of blood they drew. But it eventually got all squared away, and the antibiotics were started and we were on the road.
My mother-in-law brought Kismet (DD) by around 2:00, where she settled in with the rest of us for the long haul. Around 3:00 we finished the second round of meds, and I got started with the breast pump to try and get some contractions going, since being in bed for so long had stalled them. Did that for about an hour. Nothing. Walked the halls like crazed speed walkers. Nothing. More pumping, more walking. A few contractions here and there, but nothing at all consistent. What the hell? The pump had been at least getting them going for the past few days, but now that it counted, nothing. I had only dilated to a 3. :-/
I knew that, because my water was broken, I was on a bit of a time crunch, and that pitocin was imminent. And sure enough, doctor said 7pm, 12 hours after my water broke, we should start the pit. I wasn't happy about it, but I knew that I was making my best efforts, and they weren't working, so something had to happen. Shortly after 7, they started the pit at a 1, and turned it up by 2 every 30 minutes. I continued to walk the halls with various members of my entourage, to the constant comments of the nursing staff (positive comments, but seriously, does nobody else walk here?). We put Kismet to sleep on my hospital bed and one IF took Big Brother back to the hotel room to sleep for a bit, and it wasn't until almost 10:00 and several dosing increases that the contractions started getting regular at 5 minute intervals. Like with the birth of my son, the nurses had a consistently hard time tracking the contractions on the monitor, and were constantly trying to adjust my sensor. For the most part, I tracked the contractions on my app and they took my word for it. They were regular, but still easy to walk and talk through, so they continued to up my pitocin, up to 13.
Around 11:15, the contractions started getting a tiny bit heavier, so I decided to take a break and listen to my HypnoBabies track, which helped a bit. By the time I was done, around 12:15, the contractions were about 2.5-3 minutes apart, and I was no longer able to walk or talk through them. And still they were not showing up on the monitors. I had to ensure my nurse things were really getting going at this point. She checked me and I was a 5. I walked a little more between contractions, but after a few laps, I decided it was time to find a good position in the room. The contractions started coming significantly harder. We decided it was time for the other IF and Big Brother to come on back. Tony and my mom were invaluable in their support, and Tony got a great workout doing counter pressure on my back during the contractions.
With the pitocin, the contractions soon became more than I was willing to deal with. I first request the pitocin be turned down a bit, but I should have done that a lot earlier, because I was too tired to deal with much more of that intensity, and soon I requested some fentynal, which I knew would just take the edge off, and that was significantly quicker acting and exactly what I needed. I knew I was in transition, but I was too tired to wait it out. I was checked again and was at an 8. I think it was at this point I asked the nurse if she'd called the doctor yet.
The timeline gets a tiny bit fuzzy at this point (and I'm hoping to get my hands on my medical records to get the exact times down), but I'm fairly certain not more than a half hour passed before she was born. I know there were a few more contractions that the fentynal helped with, and the nurse asked if I was feeling pressure yet, because Baby Girl's heartrate was showing slight decelerations, indicating she was moving lower. I misinterpreted this question, thinking she was asking if I felt the urge to push. I told her no, I wasn't feeling pressure, when I realized later that I had been. Oops. :) This might have contributed to her thinking I wasn't as close as I was. Not one or two contractions later I told her I was feeling pushy. She checked me and I was at a 9. She told me to breathe through the pushing feeling. I did it easily through the next contraction, and not so easily through the following contraction. I knew that I was not going to be able to not push during the next contraction. I asked if the doctor was there yet. He was "on his way." I told the nurse I was going to have to push. We had a very brief negotiation, as I'd been on my hands and knees for my contractions, and the nurse asked me to lay on my back, because she'd never delivered hands and knees. We compromised with me being on my side. We finished the conversation as my contraction began. I'm not sure the nurse quite realized exactly what would be going on in the next minute yet, but I had a pretty good idea. As the contraction took hold, I believe I yelled for somebody to grab my leg. I swear that I tried to push softly and evenly, but my efforts, my body took over, and Baby Girl's head was out within, I'm guessing, 20 seconds. The nurse asked me to push again, and I asked if I could rest for a minute (I wasn't clear exactly what was going on at this point, except that I felt like resting). She told me no, I had to get the shoulders out. So I obliged, and Baby Girl was officially born at 1:59a.m. on September 23, 2013, 7 pounds 12 ounces, 19.25 inches. The doctor walked in in time to clamp the cord and clean me up (no stitches again, score!). It took a little effort to stop my bleeding but the doctor didn't seem too concerned. After Daddy and Papa got to snuggle their beautiful new daughter, I held her for a short time before we all headed off to our new rooms, where we collapsed from exhaustion (after all the after birth going-ons, it was close to 5:30/6:00 before we finally got to sleep).
The newly expanded family is doing very well, despite baby-mandated lack of sleep. Big Brother is very adoring and protective of his sweet Little Sister, and I don't think Daddy and Papa would put her down even if she let them. :-) We visited at their hotel one last time today; tomorrow they'll be spending the night near the airport and heading home early Saturday morning. I got some good baby snuggle time in, and lots of hugs from Daddy and Papa as we left, and we all managed to keep it together through the goodbyes. We talked about maybe visiting them next year, and in the meantime, I'm looking forward to watching Baby Girl grow on Facebook and the like.
I'm currently doing good. Physically recovering pretty well. My biggest physical complaint at this point is my big bruise on my arm where a nurse blew out my vein. I certainly don't wish Baby Girl was ours, and I don't really specifically miss being pregnant either. If I get down about anything, I'd say I'm occasionally a little sad the journey and excitement are over. All in all, it's been an overwhelmingly positive experience, and I really hope I can do it again. And while I totally feel like a rock star myself, I just don't feel like all the praise is warranted. I don't know, to me, it's just something I can do. So I do it. :)