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18 October 2011

La La La Labor Story {and a little something extra}

Sydney turned seven weeks old on Thursday and I am just getting around to typing up her my our labor story.  This may be long and it may be too much information so bear with me.

Sydney was due on Monday, August 22nd, but just like with her sister, the due date came and went without any kind of action.  On Tuesday night I started having a few cramps, but it was nothing that I couldn't sleep through.  I had my weekly appointment with my doctor on Wednesday afternoon and I made David go with me just in case.  I truly had a feeling that she would say, "Oh, you are just 1 centimeter dilated," but she actually told me that I was between 3 and 4 cm.  She gave us the option of going into the hospital and getting a contraction assessment done or going back home and waiting until my contractions were regularly coming at 5 minutes apart.

We ended up staying in San Luis and walking around Costco for awhile.  I downloaded a contraction timer app on my phone and began timing my contractions.  They were really sporadic and occurring about every ten to twelve minutes.  We headed home to have some dinner and wait for the contractions to pick up.  Of course, the minute we pulled into the driveway, my every five minute contractions began.

We managed to make it through dinner, but you know I was {mentally} freaking out the whole time worrying that we wouldn't get to the hospital in time.  Everyone kept telling me that second deliveries were much shorter.  I should have known better.

We got to French around 7:30 and got settled into our room.  They strapped me up to the monitors and we proceeded to go through the multiple pages of paperwork.  Wouldn't you know that it took an entire 19 minutes for me to have a contraction?  The nurse also started setting me up for my IV.  I really did not want to get one - I remembered it being such a bother when I was in labor with Olivia - but my doctor really prefers that all of her patients get one just in case.  Again, it was one of the most annoying parts of my labor having that IV hooked up to my arm.

Once I had been monitored for at least 30 minutes, David pulled out his laptop and we started watching Happy Endings while I worked through the contractions on the birthing ball.   At this point, I was at about 5cm and working through the contractions was fairly easy.  I used the breathing techniques that I had read about in my HypnoBirthing book and after each one had passed, we went right back to watching our show.  I kept thinking to myself, And, why was this so painful with Olivia?

After a few episodes, our labor nurse Zabrina, came in to check on me.  I may have been at a 6 or 7 "with a bulging bag of waters."  Well, it didn't take but about 2 or 3 more contractions before that bulging bag broke.  It was at this point that I really appreciated my labor nurse.  I mean, all modesty goes out the window when you are in labor, and the many labor nurses that I worked with were all so great.  Zabrina helped get me cleaned up and I quickly began to have more intense contractions.

The contractions that I had prior to my water breaking were very manageable, but the ones after?  OhDearGod.  They were not easy.  For me, there was a huge difference in pain.  The first were more like cramping types of pain and the ones after were more of an intense pressure.  INTENSE.

I did my best to work through the contractions as calmly as possible.  David was amazing at helping me.  He breathed through every contraction with me and rubbed my back non-stop.  I moved from the birthing ball to a couple different positions on the bed.  It truly felt like I was in this transition stage for an eternity.  I remember my body shaking uncontrollably - a common occurrence during this phase of labor.  I remember feeling so out of it and out of control.  And, I still remember the pain.

Zabrina checked me again and said that I was almost to a 10.  Best news.  Only it wasn't.  The next time she checked me, she had a panicked sort of look to her face and immediately called in another nurse.  Zabrina thought that she felt the umbilical cord, but when the other nurse checked me, she found that it wasn't the cord, but my cervix, and I was only at an 8, "a stretchy 8," but an 8 no less.

Worst news.  And, that's when this Mama fuh-reaked out.  How can you say that I was almost a 10 and now I'm just an 8?!  How did I move backwards?!  That's not fair! I can't do this anymore!

After what seemed like an endless amount of contractions, I was finally ready to push.  I wanted to cry.  I remember watching the clock and thinking that I'd pretty much been in labor the same amount of time I had been in with Olivia.  So much for a fast labor.  I also kept thinking about how I pushed for over an hour with Olivia and I just couldn't imagine another hour of hard work.  I was physically drained.

With the help of David and my two labor nurses, I was able to deliver Sydney with only about 10 to 15 minutes of pushing.  And, let me tell you, it was physically and emotionally the best feeling ever once she was placed on my chest at 3:50 the morning of the 25th.  Turns out, Sydney was "sunny side up" which is why the labor was a bit more painful for me.

The next couple hours were a blur with the doctor and nurses taking care of me and Sydney.  She latched on almost immediately and we did our best to take in as much of her as we could.  Around 6, we decided to try and get a little bit of sleep.  I am pretty sure David was able to sleep a lot better than I was - it seemed like every fifteen minutes someone was in to check on us.

We decided to wait until Mom and Olivia were there before she had her first bath, and so around 10 or so, David went to pick them up.  I took advantage of a sleeping baby and some eager nurses to take a shower.  Our Friday nurse had come in about 3 times sort of "encouraging" us to be in a commercial they were filming for the CHW hospitals that afternoon.  Apparently they needed a mom and baby for the last scene and she thought we would be perfect.  After a little cajoling, I finally agreed.  {More to come on the commercial at a later date.}  Filming the commercial took up most of the afternoon, but luckily my only job was to hold my sweet, sleeping Sydney.

Olivia was SO excited to meet her sister!  She was so sweet with her and just wanted to hold her the whole time.  She sang Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and Jesus Loves Me to her while we gave her the bath.

So, even though the delivery was painful, it was obviously worth it.  Sydney is such a sweet baby and she is the perfect addition to our family.

We are blessed!


Jillian said...

FINALLY!!! JK, thanks for that. I still wonder what it would be like to go into labor spontaneously. You're lucky. Love this pics and so glad you all made it and are doing well.

Irma said...

Love this post! Thanks for sharing the birth of our little Sydney. Please send me soft copies of these photos! XOXO

Mom Cooper said...

Without rain there would be no rainbow.....without your intense labor, there would be no Sydney. Well anyway you get my point. Thank you for going through such pain to give us such an adorable precious granddaughter.

We are indeed blessed grandparents.
Love, love, love our baby girls (and their Momma too)!

Marissa said...

Well, I have no frame of reference since my water was broken from the beginning, before labor even started with ALL my boys. But yeah, the pain was awful! So worth it in the end though! :) Thanks for sharing your labor story!