One week past my due date and I was sitting in the doctor's office hooked up to the fetal monitor. I wanted to see how much longer we could wait before getting induced. Baby was doing great and the doctor saw no problem in waiting longer. I went home feeling happy that there was no hurry but frustrated because I was only dilated to a 3 and I had been at a 2.5 for the last 3 weeks. John was back at work after all of his time off and I was just ready to get Myla down for a nap so I could take one myself.
That morning I had been feeling some contractions but they just felt like the usual Braxton Hicks contractions. It wasn't until I laid down for my nap that I realized they were actual contractions. I could tell because they were accompanied with the awful lower back pain I experienced when I was in labor with Myla. Luckily at this point they were weak enough that I was still able to get some rest. After my nap I called John and told him that things were happening and that this was it. Although I knew it would probably still be a long time before my body kicked into active labor, John came home from work and we spent the rest of the day "nesting."
I have seriously been waiting all of my pregnancy for my nesting instincts to kick in. I was so exhausted all the time and the last thing I wanted to do was clean. If I would have known that it would kick in the day of, then I would have spent less time worrying about a messy house and more time resting. Seriously though. Nesting is real. With John's help I was able to scrub all of our floors, vacuum all of the carpet, catch up on laundry, and get the kitchen looking spotless.
We did get a chance to go out to Applebee's to eat. It was like our last meal together as a family of 3. The waiter asked us if we were out for anything special. I told him that I was actually in early labor so we're just getting something to eat before the baby comes. I think it kind of freaked him out haha. He was so surprised that we were sitting so casually just enjoying our time while I was having contractions. It was the perfect way to pass some time and just relax together.
Contractions weren't really getting closer together or stronger. I wasn't surprised. I was in early labor with Myla for the longest time. I was fine with not being in pain but also worried about things progressing too slowly. I didn't want to be in labor for 20 hours like the first time. I stayed busy and on my feet for the rest of the day. By the end of the day I was looking forward to getting in bed and resting. Because of how irregular my contractions still were I was anticipating being able to sleep some before going into active labor. We decided to get all of our last minute things gathered up and load everything into the car in case we needed to leave suddenly in the middle of the night. We called my niece who was going to stay with Myla and let her know that things were happening but progressing really slowly. We told her to have her volume turned up all the way in case we needed her to come over in the middle of the night but I was pretty confident that we wouldn't be heading to the hospital until morning time.
It wasn't until midnight that we headed upstairs to go to sleep. We just finished getting all of our last minute things rounded up. 10 minutes after crawling into bed I felt my first intense contraction. After it finished I woke up John and told him I might need his help during the next one. Maybe we wouldn't be able to make it through the night after all. It took about 9 minutes for it to come. He helped me into a more comfortable position on my hands and knees while he put pressure on my lower back. We laid back down and waited for the next one. 10 minutes later we did the same thing. My contractions were super irregular. They would go from 10 minutes apart to 3 minutes, to 5, to 2, to 7. It was pointless to track them. The only sign that was telling me when it was time to go to the hospital was how painful they were getting.
This lasted for just an hour before we decided it was time to go to the hospital. We called my niece and she was over within 10 minutes. As I was giving her a few last minute instructions for Myla I had to stop talking so I could breathe through a contraction. I knew we were getting really close. I decided I'd better eat some cereal before we leave to give me some last minute energy. I could only eat a few bites before wanting to throw it up. Nausea. Could I be in transition already? When I was in transition with Myla it was 15+ hours into labor and I was at an 8. Was I already there? I guess there was one way to find out. I dumped my cereal down the sink and John helped me into the car.
Thankfully we are just blocks away from the hospital so it was a short drive. As we were walking up to triage I remember having to stop for a few contractions. This was a good sign! John asked me how far along he thought I was. I was hoping I was at least at a 6. It was a little before 2am when the nurse checked me and I was dilated to an 8. I was so happy I cried! Things were progressing so quickly. It seemed like things took forever in triage. There were so many questions and I couldn't answer any of them while I was having a contraction. Luckily at this point they were still 4-5 minutes apart that I had enough of a break between each one. They were getting so strong but I was completely fine in between. It was nice to hear that the nurse thought I was handling the pain like a champ. That was exactly the encouragement I needed. She did give me a bag of IV fluids and it's exactly what I needed. I was still feeling nauseous and light headed from being in transition and that all went away.
I was so excited to get into our labor and delivery room. It made all of it seem more real. John was so great. He plugged in the oil diffuser my mom lent us and suddenly the room was filled with doTerra's blend of citrus bliss. Although during each contraction I was gripping onto the squat bar with all of my strength, I was so calm and relaxed in between. Thank goodness for those breaks. I know that at this point most women are experiencing contractions one on top of the other and I honestly don't know if I could handle that.
Our doctor was really great. He was straight out of residency and it was actually his first week on the new job. I met him for the first time at my appointment earlier that day and was a little nervous that he was the doctor on call but we both really liked him. He came in and talked with us about how we wanted things to go. He even took some time to talk me through a few contractions. We hadn't been in there for very long before I had him check me to see how things were progressing. I was so close to a 10 but my water hadn't ruptured yet. At first the idea of the doctor rupturing my water scared me because I know contractions are so much more painful after that. Then the doctor told me he was confident I would be ready to push soon after. I was easily convinced, and he was right.
When the next contraction came, John helped me get into position to squeeze the life out of that squat bar and then it came. The undeniable urge to push. Once the contraction passed I told them that I was going to have to push during the next contraction. I was starting to get a little anxious because I had a difficult time getting the hang of the pushing thing when I was in labor with Myla. The anxiety went away when I started to feel every bit of my body want to push. It was a really awkward and out of control push. That was frustrating. Then John told me that she has lots of hair. What?? I couldn't believe that she was right there already! I suddenly had a clearer head and I was ready to get this baby out.
The nurse gave me some tips on how to make the next push more successful. When I felt the contraction come, the nurse and doctor coached me as I slowly eased into pushing. I kept on pushing. They had me give little tap pushes because I must have started pushing too hard. It was hard to hold back but I was somehow able to stay in control of my body. I could feel her head coming out as they told me to hold back and just push softly. The doctor told me that her arm was stuck by her shoulder so I needed to be gentle. As I eased up, he helped her tiny arm come out as it should and I felt her little body squirm out. Instant relief. That truly is the greatest feeling ever.
Her body was so warm against my skin. I just wanted to hold her and lay there. They pushed a bag of pitocin so I wouldn't hemorrhage like I did after Myla was born. I was in shock. Is that all it took? One crappy push, one good push and then she's out? Everything went so smoothly. As the doctor stitched me up, John and I fell in love with our sweet baby girl. Her bruised and swollen face made us giggle. Poor girl went through a lot on her way out. Her eyes even had some popped blood vessels. Although she was a little misshaped, she was ours and it felt so good to hold her in my arms.
After getting my small tear stitched up, the doctor gave some good pushes on my tummy and out came the placenta. Another wave of relief. The nurse helped our baby girl latch on then she went to town for the next hour! After that the nurse got her cleaned up, weighed, and measured. She handed the freshly swaddled baby to John and I showered. I was amazed that I was standing up on my own. I kept on passing out after Myla was born so this was so great. I think I must have been in the shower for 30 minutes or so. It was amazing. Getting wheeled off to recovery and settling into my bed was just as great. But the best feeling yet has been coming home and seeing Myla give her new baby sister kiss after kiss.
Everything went so smoothly. This was my ideal birthing experience. I'm so grateful that John and I were able to have this special experience together. John was so supportive of me and was so good at helping me relax and stay focused during every contraction. He was by my side the whole time and was such a good encourager. We know that Heavenly Father was watching out for our little family and are so grateful for that. We feel his hand in our lives every day as we try to raise up these two princesses of ours.
xoxo, Missy Dorius