She's here! She came Friday, July 29th at 7:42 PM, a week earlier than I'd anticipated. The night before I actually told several people she wouldn't be here for at least another week. But she had her own plans as babies usually do.
It was about 11:00 AM, and DA was happily watching a cartoon, so I jumped in the tub to try and ease my muscles. It worked. The contractions stopped, I enjoyed the warm water, showered and got myself ready for the day. I even had time to straighten my hair! DA and I had lunch, then he started begging to go outside. I still hadn't gotten to the dishes, but the contractions started again just as I was about to start my next attempt at kitchen clean-up, so I gave in to the little boy and we went outside.
I decided at about 2:00 PM to start timing my contractions and varying my activity to figure out if I really was in labor, so I started walking around the playground. My contractions were coming about every 2 minutes, but were so light for the most part I thought there was no way I was really in labor. About every 10-12 minutes I'd have a really intense contraction where I had to stop walking and concentrate on breathing. I sat down for a few minutes with the lawn moms and the light contractions stopped, but the intense contractions were still coming every 10-12 minutes. After about two hours of being miserable and hot, I decided I'd rather be miserable and cool, so I told DA it was time to go inside.
It was 4:07 when we went in and I texted Jake with the message: "I hope you come straight home today. Pretty sure I'm in labor although it isn't time to go to the hospital yet. We shall see but its been a bit miserable today." On time means between 4:30 and 5:00 so I was expecting him in about an hour. I could do another hour. I then started crawling around on the floor and doing cat/cow stretches like my midwives had told me to do along with several other exercises. Baby had originally been sitting breach. Thankfully, at 36 weeks she turned head-down spontaneously, but she was sitting sideways where her bum was on my right side, knees on the left, and face toward my left hip. She needed to turn face-down, or face toward my back in order to be birthed, so they had given me some exercises to turn her. Crawling around the floor, I felt her turn and immediately had the hardest contraction I had had yet, and it was all in the front.
I continued to time my contractions and they had sped up to about 8-10 minutes apart. I went to lie down and DA came into snuggle me. He promptly fell asleep and I was so miserable lying still I decided to get up and walk around the house instead. Jake called a little while later. I told him my contractions were about ten minutes apart, but to please come home soon. He told me he was off work but he was stopping by Wal-mart for a few snacks. This was around 5:15 PM. I said fine, go for it, and went back to pacing and timing. Not too long after my contractions were 5 minutes apart. I started packing a bag for the hospital (since I hadn't done that yet).
At 6:08 PM Jake wasn't home yet, so I sent him a text saying: "Come home now!" At that point my contractions were about 4 minutes or less apart and hurt so bad I couldn't help but cry. About 20 or 30 minutes later Jake finally go home. My contractions were 2 minutes apart at that point and I could no longer stand. We gathered the remainder of what we thought we would need, loaded DA into the car and went to the hospital. We got there sometime around 7:00 PM which is shift-change time at the hospital.
We checked in at OB Emergency Services. I was crying for an epidural at this point. The nurse convinced me to just make it through a couple more contractions until they could get me checked in, get a gown on me, and get me over to Labor & Delivery. I told her I would try but I really really wanted an epidural right now. They checked me and I was at a 6. When we went to the hospital with DA, I checked in at a "skinny 4", meaning a 3 and stayed that way for HOURS. So when they told us I was at a 6, all I could feel besides pain was unreal surprise. It was an awesome moment to realize I'd labored that far at home.
Twenty minutes later, I was in Labor & Delivery, still crying for an epidural and meeting my midwife for the first time. She was a lovely lady named Tiffany Lundeen, and she had the biggest brightest smile I've ever seen. She was pretty much awesome sauce and I loved her even though at the moment I wanted to smack her for smiling so big while I was in so much pain. They told me an anesthesiologist would be there shortly and that they were bringing in an OB for a OB VBAC consent. I was nodding a "sure whatever, I think I understand but my concentration is a little elsewhere at the moment" nod and wanting to kick someone's teeth in for bringing unnecessary concerns to my attention.
Insert: DA was born Cesarean Section due to me being scared out of my mind and not knowing how to relax during and between contractions and some lower back issues that kept me from dilating the way I should have been able to, and I really wanted to do a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean) with this one. I spent almost four years preparing for Baby #2, two of which I had been seeing a chiropractor who had helped me resolve my lower back issues. I felt pretty confident I would be able to have a VBAC even though my OB/GYN from Baby #1 had tried to warn me off several times and had told me all the risks in detail. The midwife clinic I had been seeing for Baby #2 has a success rate of over 90% for VBAC's, so I knew I was seeing the people who were going to make it happen if it was going to happen that way ever.
On with the story: Right after my midwife mentioned the OB consent thingy, my water broke...all over the floor. The loveliest thing about it was DA was standing about three feet away when it happened trying to be brave even though mommy was screaming and sobbing. Jake had called his sister to come get DA and had given the boy his Ipod to try and distract him with Angry Birds until Auntie got there, but he wasn't being distracted. He was hiding behind Dad's legs and trying to look small. Thankfully a nurse took him out and Auntie came and claimed him a few minutes later.
When my water broke they checked me really quickly and told me I was at a 10. I couldn't believe it. My reaction was something along the lines of "Huh? Is she talking about me?" Jake had the biggest grin on his face. I hadn't made it that far the first time around and suddenly I felt this intense need to push, so they got me up on the bed and I pushed. Three contractions later, my little Squeak entered the world. The official time was 7:42 PM. We had spent roughly 40 minutes at the hospital and I hadn't had any drugs! I felt fantastic. The OB and anesthesiologist never did make it to my room. Their loss!
The reason I call her Squeak here on the blog: Squeak's lungs had meconium in them when she first entered the world, so she didn't cry right away. The pediatric nurses rushed her over to the infant warming station and worked on her to clean out her lungs and airways so she could breath properly. The first I heard from her was a little wail ending in a high pitched little squeak as she tried to bring air back into her lungs after emptying them thoroughly. It made me cry with joy. It happened several more times and it sounded so much like a squeaky toy I giggled. She's been making the little squeak ever since.
Oh! and remember the first text I had sent Jake about being in labor? It's been more than three weeks, and he still hasn't gotten it. Total Sprint fail! Also, he ran into his Grandma at Wal-mart and had been chit-chatting with her thinking we'd be going to the hospital sometime later that night, like much, much later when he got my second text. Remember the HOURS spent sitting at a "skinny 4" with Baby #1? Jake did and hadn't thought Baby #2 would come that much more quickly. The poor checker didn't quite know what to do when Jake rushed through saying I was in labor and he had to check out pronto. He would have been home a bit sooner and wouldn't have been quite so confused when he talked to me after work had he known I had been in labor all day. He may not have stopped all-together if he had gotten the first text, but thus is life.
I'll post pictures tomorrow. A little Squeak is calling me away.