Well, there's nothing like being a day behind... I can claim forgetfulness due to a head cold though I suppose. Yes, I caught whatever it was that had my girls coughing last week. Yuck...
But I still want to participate in this, so here goes! I talked a bit about Abby's birth story once before, so I thought I'd go with Hannah's this time. Especially considering that her birthday is coming up in just a couple of weeks, and I was planning on posting it then anyway.
A few points to remember from Abby's labor and delivery, just so you have a frame of reference - remember 13 hours of labor, pitocin, iv drugs, episiotomy, vacuum, 4th degree tear... And one exhausted, sore, begging for a break from the 3 hours of pushing mommy. Got it? :)
Well, my labor and delivery with Hannah could not have been much more different. For one thing, my doctor was worried that she might be bigger than Abby's 9 pounds 2 ounces (as subsequent babies often are), so it was recommended that I be induced a bit early, just in case. I didn't have any argument! Ron and I picked the first possible date that we were offered - November 29th (this was in 2002), the day after Thanksgiving. Yes, no Black Friday shopping for me that year...
(Belly shot - at 38 weeks, right before Hannah was born)
I was scheduled to be induced with cytotec at 8:30 am. We went into the birth center and were taken to a testing room. They hooked me up to the monitors and monitored me for about 20 minutes. After that, the resident came in and checked to see if I had dilated any since my last appt. (I’d been 2cm). I was still 2cm, but 70% effaced and he said that another woman had been sent home who’d been scheduled to be induced, so there was an opening and my doctor had said that if I was inducible, to go ahead and induce. He said that he felt I was inducible, so we would go ahead with pitocin. I had Ron with me and also my sister-in-law, Terri, for extra moral support - and also to videotape after the baby was born.
I was moved to a regular room, they hooked me back up to the monitor and we waited for a while. The nurse came in and started an IV and then the pitocin. It was now 10:30am.
I started feeling contractions after a short while. Nothing too bad though. Ron and Terri played cribbage while we were waiting. Every 15 minutes the nurse came back and turned up the pitocin. After an hour, she checked me (very painful - she was not gentle about it at all, I’ve never had it hurt like that when anyone else has ever checked cervical progress), and I was 2 to 3cm dilated. The contractions started to get stronger and very close together - about a minute between, so the nurse turned the pitocin back down some to establish a good 3 to 5 minute pattern. I walked a couple of laps around the halls with Ron and Terri and then sat in the glide rocker for a while. Played some cards (war) with Ron when Terri went for some lunch. The contractions were fairly regular at about 3 min. apart and painful, but bearable.
At 1pm, the resident came back in and checked me. I was 4cm, and he then broke my water, which was clear. My doctor came in shortly afterward to see how things were going and had the nurse also turn the pitocin back up. I was 5 to 6 cm dilated then. Ron mentioned to her that I was going to want an epidural and she said she’d see about getting that for me. The contractions started getting stronger and I felt them mostly in my back now. The nurse asked if I wanted the epidural then, and I said let’s try the Jacuzzi tub first (didn’t have one in my room the first time around and was curious how much it would help). I sat in the tub for a few minutes, but it didn’t really help at all, so I got out and asked for the epidural.
The nurse said they would find out if the anesthesiologist was in or not - with it being a holiday weekend they weren’t sure but would track him down. I decided to stand while waiting, and leaned on Ron and rocked on my feet during the contractions, which were becoming much stronger yet and unbearable. After just 5 or 10 minutes, I began feeling pressure so Ron went to get the nurse. She got me back in bed, checked me and said I was still 5 to 6 cm. I don’t think the monitor was placed correctly on my stomach though because the contractions didn’t show up on there nearly as strongly as I seemed to be feeling them. Up until now, I’d been able to breathe through them pretty well, but now they were getting so strong that I kept asking about the epidural and tensing up more.
At this point, I also was feeling like I had to push. The nurse asked if I wanted something for the pain until I could get the epidural. I said yes, anything. Just then the resident came in and checked me again because I was still feeling like I had to push. He said I was complete and called for my doctor to come in. She came in, still in street clothes since she hadn't expected to be needed quite so soon - thank goodness she was in the building at the time!
I was already pushing while the doctors were getting ready and they were getting my feet in the stirrups and such. My body wouldn't let me do otherwise - I HAD to push. When the doctors looked, her head was right there, and it only took about 3 more contractions and she was born. No episiotomy needed this time, and I only tore slightly as her shoulders came out - only 2 stitches needed. I still can't believe how fast it happened at the end - so much different from the first time when I pushed for 3 hours. They put her on my stomach and I held her until they needed to weigh and measure her and such. She latched on great when I got to hold and breastfeed her a few minutes later.
Hannah was (only!) 7 pounds 6 ounces and 20 inches long. So much for worrying that she'd be larger than Abby - she was almost 2 complete pounds smaller... And she's always been on the small side for her age - always my little 'peanut', but I wouldn't have it any other way! :)
(Our first photo as a family of four)