Monday, August 25, 2014

The Birth of Alice Ruth

You would think giving birth once makes you some kind of pro, yeah… I don’t think so. So how did my labor go? Well, it was very different from when I had Christian, sort of. See, with Christian I wanted to go natural. I had this idea in my head about how it was going to go. I thought, “Hey! I can do this… I WILL do this!” Unfortunately, that is NOT how it went. I was hooked up to machines as soon as I got there and left to deal with the pain. Of course, with the occasional visit from nurses asking if I needed pain relief. I felt like I was taking too long, when in reality Christian’s birth was anything but long. It was relatively fast for a first time mom. Long story short, I gave in and got the epidural. It wasn’t this AMAZING feeling either, I was shaky and nauseous. I was admitted at 7:30am and had Christian at 1:55pm. I’d say thats pretty fast! 

Second time around I was dead set on going natural. If Alice’s birth was anything like Christian’s… fast… I COULD do this! I was about 4 days from my due date and had been having pain here and there. These had to be Braxton Hicks I thought. For those of you who do not know, Braxton Hicks Contractions are “practice contractions”. I never felt them with Christian and was excited! Maybe I won’t go overdue like with Christian! At my prenatal appointment, I was checked for dilation. Now, I know this isn’t an indication of when you will go into labor but I was super curious! Could all these Braxton Hicks help with dilation? At 39 weeks 4 days, I was only 1cm dilated. What?! I thought for sure as a second time mom, I’d be further dilated. I had the practice contractions, plus all the pressure. None of which I had with Christian. Comparison… not a good idea!

Membrane Sweep. What is that exactly? Oh… its a PAINFUL procedure, for some anyway. Basically, your doctor will sweep a finger around the cervix to separate the membranes of your amniotic sac that surround the baby from the cervix. This action releases hormones and may, MAY start labor. Out of my excitement for her birth to happen, I agreed to it. I was nearly 40 weeks and it could take up to 48 hours, if it happened. I got it done at noon on a Friday, then waited. The Braxton Hicks definitely got stronger after this. I started to lose my mucus plug, the “plug” at the opening of the cervix that basically keeps everything in there. We are talking about fluids AND the baby. It also prevents bacteria from getting in the uterus. Still nothing, just waiting.

Saturday was filled with irregular contractions while I continued to lose my mucus plug. Was it even my mucus plug? How much of it was there to lose? The pain on a scale from 1-10 was maybe a 4. It was tolerable. Usually, the pains got stronger at night. Would I have another Sunday baby?!? I took this time to sand and prime kitchen cabinets… I know crazy! Still having random contractions here and there but again nothing consistent. Went to bed, uncomfortably with pain getting stronger but still not consistent. No sleep for me. Having her on Sunday seemed less and less likely. The next day we went to church and Greg (the husband) and I decided to take Christian to the park, reminiscing the past in which we walked to the park expecting our first born. I took a deep breath and sat on the swings, observing Christian and Greg playing. Thinking, soon we will have another wonderful addition to our family. A little girl named Alice.

It was Sunday night. There goes the Sunday birth I wanted. Why did I want it? Christian was born on a Sunday as well as I. Oh well. It was about 7:30pm, when the contractions got closer and closer together. Oh… as well as WAY more painful. These were NOT Braxton Hicks! These were, NOBODY TALK TO ME BECAUSE I CAN’T THINK, SPEAK, OR HAVE ANY PATIENCE FOR YOU!!! They were only about 30 seconds long averaging about every 7 minutes. As soon as the pain would subside, I’d feel awesome again and was able to re-enter a conversation with ease. These didn’t stop. Could this be it? We put Christian to bed and texted my sister Joanna. While, my older sister, Elizabeth was staying with us from Arizona, she was out with friends at the time, so we reached out to Joanna. She got to our house around 10pm, while I continued to contract. They were finally a little over a minute long, averaging every 5 minutes, consistently for over and hour. We called the hospital and they said to come right in. Could this be it? We waited a little longer and then made out way to the hospital.

We got our stuff in the car and headed to the hospital. We got there a little after midnight. I was checked and was 3cm and about 50% effaced. You need to be 4cm to be admitted. Effacement is the thinning of your cervix. In order to give birth you need to be 10cm and 100% thinned out. At 3cm, I couldn’t be admitted but was excited! 3cm!! Almost there! They had me walk for an hour. It was 12:30 and Greg and I walked. The hospital had 4 floors so I decided to climb up and down for 45 minutes, stopping at contractions while Greg applied pressure to my lower back. After an hour we made it back for another check. 1:30am… still at 3cm. What?! Why?! I was being sent home. Home?! With THIS pain?! I can’t sleep, I can’t do this! I was offered morphine to help me sleep. I declined. Still set on doing it med-free. 

We got home at about 2:45am. Greg went right to sleep. While I tossed and turned in agony. I was shaking in pain. Contractions came every 4-5minutes, lasting 1m+. We were told to come in when they were 3 minutes apart. I tried to time them but couldn’t even remember the time. I couldn’t think, sleep, or relax, even in between them. This was PAINFUL. Two hours passed and the pain didn’t stop. I decided to get in the shower in hopes that the pain would ease. It didn’t. I got out and laid down on the floor in the fetal position. Crying. Waiting. An hour passed and Greg woke up, the pain was still strong an constant, I then realized it was every 3 minutes. Time for a trip back to the hospital. 

We were on the road with… TRAFFIC. All the way there, 25 miles. Finally got there and got checked… 3 CENTIMETERS dilated. What?! You have got to be kidding me!! At that point, the morphine was sounding more and more appealing. I decided I had to sleep, so I agreed. They kept me monitored while the midwife came by to talk to me. About 30 minutes in I told Greg I wasn’t going to take the morphine. I should push through it. Before I even told them I would not take it, another nurse checked the fetal monitor and saw 2 irregularities. Honestly, I don’t remember what she saw I was having contractions and couldn’t pay much attention to anything she was saying. This meant I had to stay monitored for another 20 minutes before they could discharge me and send me home. So we waited some more. Everything looked good so again, I was all set to go home. Awesome… The nurse offered to check me again. I thought sure why not and guess what… 5CM 75% effaced. Oh, Thank God! Progress!!!

From then on I was admitted. It was about the same time I was admitted with Christian. 7:30am. Second time deliveries should be faster!! I was going to meet little Alice soon! I had a room with an awesome tub that I got in to right away! I opted out of the IV so I had to sign a paper stating so. With the relief of being admitted, I was finally able to relax. Now it was just a matter of time and pain for Alice to get here. I sat in the tub, trying to get comfortable. Yeah, it didn’t help with the pain. Bummer. I decided to get out and walk around the room. Hours passed and eventually my sisters made it out to the hospital with Christian. I vaguely remember him being there, I was in so much pain it was hard to concentrate. I remember him being there happy as ever and then him kissing my forehead goodbye. I was checked about an hour after being admitted, roughly 8-9am. 6 Centimeters. Progress. nice. Then again hours later. 6 Centimeters. I remember passing Christian’s birth time and thinking, I held out this long, I could have had him naturally. The pain was intense. All I could do is cringe in agony, shaking and crying. I was checked again and remained at a 6cm. I couldn’t take it. I hadn’t slept in so long. A medal to all the mothers that did it naturally, I admire you, I really do. But I am sorry to say that I didn’t join that club. I had enough, I requested the epidural.

More fetal monitoring had to be done as well as an IV prepared for me due to me requesting not to have one upon arrival. The wait for pain relief seemed like forever! Finally, I got it. I thought I would feel like I failed myself. I didn’t. I was proud of myself for going that long. Even if I didn’t make it til the end, I was proud that I was able to push myself that far. Again, for me the epidural wasn’t this feeling of bliss. I was again nauseous and shaky and did not feel great. I still felt the immense pressure and discomfort of the contractions but not anywhere near the pain of them without pain relief. Now, it was wait time. Greg and I took short naps here and there. 3pm…4pm…5pm…6pm… and STILL 6 Centimeters. It felt like it was never going to happen. 

At 7:30pm I was checked again. looks like 9CM and 100% effaced!! YES!! The time is nearing. Oh, and thats when I got the call. Greg picked up, my older sister crying frantically on the phone, they had JUST been in an accident. A huge tow truck rear ended them as they were making their way to the hospital. WHAT!?! Thank God they were okay but not something you want to hear when you are so close to giving birth. My mom and my older sister are my rocks, they were there for the birth of Christian. I wanted them there and now that didn’t seem like it was going to be possible. About half an hour later I was checked and was 10cm, it was time to push. So many thoughts of that day just seemed to disappear from my head. All that was left was the thought of our daughter being welcomed into this world. 

I pushed for about half and hour and our little girl Alice was born… posterior may I add!! Babies in a posterior position are said to cause longer labors and tremendous back pain. Oh Alice! Would it had made a difference if she wasn’t posterior, I don’t know. All I know, is that I don’t regret anything about her birth. Of course, the car accident I could have done without! Oh and finding out Robin Williams passed was also something that I wish hadn’t happened. But other than that I was happy. She was healthy and here and that’s all that mattered. Alice was born at 8:47pm weighing 6lbs 12oz, 20 inches long. She was born with dark gray eyes and a head full of the darkest hair I’ve ever seen. She was beautiful, she is beautiful. 

The next day it was time to bring Alice home where she would meet her older brother Christian. But before that we had to deal with insurance, car rentals and car seats. Our car was totaled and our car seats unusable. All I wanted to do is go home. After figuring all that stressful stuff out we were on our way home. Finally, our little family was together again.
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