To catch up on where we are: Part 1
OK, so when we left off it was about 11:45 am on Monday.
We left feeling excited/nervous and a little in disbelief that this was really happenings (at least I was) and made our way over for some lunch at Whole Foods.
Let me tell you, walking around Whole Foods while having contractions., not the ideal place to be laboring, but as I'm sure you know, Whole Foods is pretty liberal in their "laboring in store" policy, so we went with it. I made a salad from the hot/cold bar area while the non-laboring family member got pizza and a soda, which I stole at least a 1/4 of, because... well I could.
Side note: As we are walking out the door that morning, Charlie said I have a 24 hour grace period to say/do/react however I pleased... and stealing food, although not an uncommon occurrence, was going to be one of those things.
OK, made it through lunch while timing contractions and under the complete delusion that the whole store was looking at me, knowing I:
1) looked like a hot mess with only maternity leggings and a ribbed tank on;
2) must be in labor because I keeps stopping, putting her hands over my eyes and doing deep breathing.
Post-lunch we went over to our very dear and understanding friend's house to labor/drink-eat their food/prevent them from packing (they are moving on July 29th). We, coincidentally, watched a few episodes of The Duggars who know a thing or 20 about birthing babies. The contractions were coming about every 4 minutes and lasting a little over 45-50 seconds at that point, and weren't unmanageable but getting obviously stronger and I wasn't able to speak when they were happening. Once I made my way up the stairs to see their little jewel I had one contraction that told me (who then gave a very telling look to Charlie) that it was time to make our way to the hospital.
We called ahead, as instructed, to make sure there was a room with a tub. They told us to come on up and there was one at the moment but to make it snappy because it might not be there in a little. As we were making the < 1/4-mile journey to the floor I had no less than four contractions that made me stop walking.
Once we got into the room, the made me get on the monitors, answer questions, sign things, etc. All the while I was stopping every now and again to have a contraction.
Note: For those of you that come screaming into the hospital at 9.5 cm.. HOW.. HOW are you getting all this mess done? You must do it after you deliver because there is NO WAY.
4:45 - 5:00-ish: Ok, so we're set and our wonderful back-up doula, Andrea, is there (why the main doula wasn't there is for another time, but we knew it was a possibility) and we were kinda standing around talking between contractions. I tried sitting on the exercise ball, but the contractions weren't nearly as effective (translation: painful) on the ball so we started walking the halls. Things start really getting "effective" at that point. Lots of breathing through contractions and back massage... ohh yea, I had back labor... AGAIN. We did this routine for around 1.5 hours before I was asking for the tub. Last time, the tub was MY. JAM. and I was back and forth from the tub to the bed for massage for 5 hours. This time I was trying to hold out for the tub, until I knew I couldn't handle it without water.
I get into the tub, lights off, electric candles going. Andrea has the beyond brilliant idea to pour water for my belly. Not only is this taking some of the pain away, but also inducing contractions because I'm so relaxed. Double Edged sword if you will. So for the next 2.5 hours that is what we do. Charlie and Andrea take turns pouring water over my stomach and re-filling the tub with hot water. I was able to, surprisingly keep up a decent conversation with both of them between contractions which is quite the change from last time where I was in MONSTER status for all of the labor.
Around 8:25, things change. I had just had a contraction that had double peaks (normal contractions have a ramping up, then a peak, then a downward slope, this one ramped up went down a little, then right back up) and I knew things were about to get real.
At one point I new I needed to change the sounds I was making to be more effective. Instead of a sound like you're blowing out candles really hard, it was more moan/screaming and the contractions were less than 15 second apart. That is when it HAD gotten real. About 3 to 5 of those later Andrea had gotten the Midwife and I was ready to be checked. (I hadn't been checked since 11:00 AM because she knew I "wasn't ready to push" when I got to the hospital, so it would have been just a numbers game had she checked me when I'd gotten there).
I made my way to the bed, kneeling, with the back raised. The second she went to check, my water broke and V's head was in the birth canal and it felt like I needed to push.
I knew I couldn't stay with her head there for much longer because every contraction I felt like I was going to push her out without even really trying.
Here is how the conversation went from there:
Midwife: Well, I can't tell if there is any cervix left.
Me: WHAT NUMBER AM I??
Doula Andrea: You're doing great!
MW: I'm going to say an 8.5
Me: COME ON!?!?!?!
MW: I'll need you to turn over on your back to get a full check.
DA: You're doing awesome!
Charlie: You need to turn over.
Me: I want to puuuuuuush!!! (crying/complaining)
MW: I could put my hand up there and hold back the cervix if you wanted.
DA: You're doing great!
Me: WHATEVER, I'M GOING TO PUSH. Can I push?????
Midwife: OK, do you want to push in this position?
Midwife: OK, go ahead
From there it took 3 maybe 4 pushes and she was out.
8:45 PM: Virginia Mae McCants makes her entrance/exit.
Me upon pushing her out: THANK THE LORD!!
Her cries sounded just like MM's and they were able to hand her to me through my legs. Apparently she was a tad stunned when she came out so the midwife had to do some quick cleaning to make sure things were good so she wasn't quite as gooey as I'd liked, but whatever.
From here the story gets a little more roller-coaster-y
Part 3 coming soon!