It occurred to me this morning that I may want to record the birth stories of my children so that one day they can read them. I know that day is far off but I'm trying to think ahead. This may get long-winded. I know, shocker.
I'll start with Josh since his is the most fresh in my memory. I was due on September 16 and that day had come and gone. I'd had a couple of false labor scares, one of which I was actually convinced that it could be it and went to the hospital. No such luck. Not being patient by nature, it was very difficult to keep waiting and waiting. I had expected to go a little early based on my experience with Nicholas but I should have known by then that no two births are the same.
My labour started in the evening on Sunday the 20th. I didn't say anything to anyone because I'd been having contractions for weeks and I didn't want to make a big deal out of something that could possibly turn out to be nothing. They were about every 10-15 minutes so I decided to go to bed and see how long I could sleep through them. They were waking me up every so often but I didn't actually get out of bed until around 4:30 to start timing. At that point they were every 5 or so minutes and starting to get super painful so I told Jeff to call his mom to come over. She got to the house at 5:30 and we got things together to get out the door.
What I remember most about this part was me standing in the bedroom clinging to the dresser as I breathed through a contraction, and Diane standing there asking me a question. I felt bad after, but I held up my hand to stop her from talking because I just couldn't concentrate on what she was saying.
Anyway, we got to the hospital just before 6 am. Got up to L&D and they got us into the labour ward. I was walking/talking just fine so they didn't see any urgency in the situation but my contractions were pretty much one on top of another. After they hooked me up to the monitors and I went through a few contractions, they realised that the baby's heart rate was decelerating during them. We tried switching sides, laying down, sitting up, oxygen, but it was still happening. That's when the nurses and doc's started crowding around my bed. Jeff's face was pretty worried but I couldn't focus on much else besides the pain. They got an IV in and then decided they needed an internal monitor on the baby but there was no change and I could feel the atmosphere getting tense.
I was vaguely aware of the on-call doctor introducing himself to me and then talking with the nurses. Then one of the nurses got right down in my face and told me that they needed to get the baby out now and that they would have to give me a c-section. I started crying but, trusting what they were telling me, I agreed. They said there wasn't time for an epidural so they would have to knock me out and the nurse looked so apologetic.
Right then another doctor was just strolling past the ward with nothing to do (lol). She poked her head in when she heard the commotion and came to see what was going on and if she could help at all. She immediately took over and gave me another internal check to see where I was dilation-wise. Since I was fully dilated she asked me if I wanted to try pushing and I swear I could have kissed her right there. The last thing I wanted was surgery but the last 45 minutes had really brought home how easy it is for doctors to take the easy way out. Then came this woman who was giving me an option that the other doctor and nurses had made me feel wasn't there. In that moment I felt kind of betrayed.
As quickly as possible they wheeled me to a delivery room and I hefted myself off the stretcher and onto the bed. Not easy! I held in the pushes while they were getting things set up and I went into some sort of zone. I have no idea how long that lasted but finally they said I could push if I wanted to.
I wasn't really feeling a huge urge to push but I knew it was important to try to do this as quickly as I could so I gave it all I had. This birth was so different from the other ones when it came to pushing. With Liam I had an epidural so while I could feel the urge to push I was kind of numb otherwise. With Nicholas he was so close to out by the time I got into the delivery room that I only had a little half-push. With Josh...I could feel every move as he descended down. It was the freakiest feeling and I started getting a little panicked like I couldn't do it. It took 6 good pushes and then he was out and we could see why his heart rate kept dipping; he had the cord wrapped around his neck. After the unwrapped it they plopped him on my stomach and that's when I thought to ask the most important questions of all, boy or girl? And somebody said it was a boy and then took him to the isolette to do all those things they do to new babies.
Josh's time of birth was 7:02 am. Barely an hour after we got to the hospital and he was with us, in the most dramatic way I could think of. No drugs, all natural, and I was feeling awesome. Tired, but awesome. I was able to get out of bed after they stitched me all up and walk on my own to the bathroom and then to the wheelchair. They wheeled us first to the nursery to drop Josh off for some testing, and then to the recovery room. Jeff, Josh, and I hung out just the 3 of us for a little bit, and then Jeff took off home to see Nick and Liam, and to pick up the car seat. He already knew that I would be itching to get out of there as soon as possible.
And he was right, I think I lasted about 6 hours and then I started to get restless. Around 2 in the afternoon I told the nurse that I wanted to go home if at all possible, and could she make sure a doctor came around to see me soon instead of in the morning. Josh had already been cleared by his pediatrician to go home and by sheer luck my OB was on call and would come as soon as he could to check me out. Jeff got back to the hospital at 5, my doc gave me the clear to go at 5:15, and we were headed back home by 5:30. Less than 12 hours after giving birth!
Out of the 3 this was by far the most painful and scary. Thankfully everything worked out and we're all safe and healthy. And now I must go and tend to my crying infant :)