Major blogging fail on my part. First, I never meant to make this thing two parts. Second, I never intended for
a couple six(!) months to pass in between. So I apologize to all my readers. If you’re just coming in now, my first birth may be of interest to you. And then there’s Part I of my second birth. Even if you’ve read it already, it might be wise to remind yourself where we left off.
Dot is watching a Curious George DVD from the library. Tony is on an unusually late work call (5pm = unusually late; those were the days!). I am sitting on the couch. Contracting. And tracking them. I had a slew of pregnancy apps on my iPhone but ended up using BabyBump to track my contractions when the time came. It was super easy and provided great info. And now, as I write this, contraction information at my fingertips. One year later. Super cool.
The first contraction I timed was at 5:02pm. And, like I said, it was quite clear this was the real thing. Eventually Tony came out of his office. Dot is dancing around like crazy loving Frog and Toad episodes at the end of the DVD. I say I’m pretty sure I’m in labor. (Or not. A year later, who knows what I said. But I said something to convey my current state).
It seems like fairly quickly packing Dot up and calling my mom commenced. About 6pm or so I broiled some turkey/ham and cheese + spinach on a bagel to eat, because I knew I’d want something in me for the night ahead. My mom came and got the soon-to-be-big sister. The house was quiet. It was dark out and we had our tree and all the household trimmings up. Lights twinkled.
Tony and I ran around the house grabbing last minute items and picking up in a frenzy because “the maids” were coming the next day (so well-timed!). I remember waiting until I was sure sure before alerting the [social] media and things must have picked up pretty quick because at 7:30pm I tweeted All signs point to a baby in our near future!
If you look at the screenshot of my contractions at this time, we could have definitely headed to the hospital, per the old 5-1-1 adage. But we’d made that mistake before and the only goal we’d set in stone was to stay home as long as we were comfortable.
By this point I was laboring on an exercise ball, next to the Christmas tree in the living room. Tony and I were both busy on our iPhones and he was trying to get me to Skype with my sister in Costa Rica. I was tracking my contractions, tweeting and Facebooking in between. Tony took some pictures. We were happy, excited and calm.
I wish I could bottle that feeling. It was amazing. The anticipation of a lifetime (remember, we didn’t know if New Baby was a boy or a girl nor did we have hard expectations for how this labor was going to go). We labored at home until 9pm.
I’m not sure why we decided it was time to go. Looking back my contractions we pretty steady from 7-9pm, roughly five minutes apart and one minute long. Maybe I started to feel like I’d had enough. I know the drive to the hospital was a weight on my mind. Would I be able to make it in the car? I didn’t want to be so far gone that I couldn’t sit for the 10-15 minute hospital drive. This was definitely when we began wishing we could just have the baby at home. I also was looking forward to getting into the tub and definitely curious how far I was dilated.
Thank God for technology. As I am writing this I am able to refer to my [old] twitter stream for that night, my contraction tracking app, and the time stamp of our pictures and Tony’s facebook page (good thing he doesn’t update much and it’s didn’t take too long to go back a while year). Who needs memory?
I snapped one last belly shot as [I peed and] we walked out the door. 8:59pm. Look at that torpedo belly!
Once we get to the hospital I stopped tracking my contractions. I don’t remember much about checking in or any of that. I know I had to sit for five minutes of continuous monitoring and that I got a heplock put in (neither of which I objected to). I re-iterated that my plan was to labor naturally…basically until I couldn’t anymore.
At 9:53pm I tweeted: At the hospital: 5cm and 80% effaced. At 10pm I was still being monitored (photos prove with iPhone in hand). But 10:30 I was sitting on the birthing ball. And things were starting to get intense.
After that I moved to the tub. Immediate relief. I felt pretty damn good again. Between contractions I was chatty and relaxed. During them I got silent and still. It was night and day from my first birth experience. Before I got the epidural (at 8-9cm!) I was screaming, moaning, yelling profanities and telling the whole hospital I CAN’T! This time I was calm, still, focused, and only pissed when anyone disturbed me. Especially Tony 😉
At 11pm there’s more pictures of me on my phone. In the tub. All I know was that I did not want to get out.
At 11:54pm Tony posts to Facebook: 7-8 cm! this baby is comin! Apparently I did get out of the tub. Or checked in it?
I’m struggling. At some point I get nauseous and throw up. That helps; actually it helps a lot.
At 12:37 he posts again: sounds like I’ll be delivering this one! back in the tub, spoke with the midwife. really excited! How sweet is that?!
Then he must have grabbed the camera because there are some pictures of me, in the tub, grimacing mightily. I think this was the point I realized there was no turning back, holy shit I am having this baby naturally!
Sorry! One more “to be continued…”