Funny how much something can change so much in 48 hours, isn’t it? Be warned, this is a lengthy post!
I know in Monday’s post I commented on how I was still pregnant but I had a doctor’s appointment in the afternoon. I’ll start Norah’s birth story there and will say now that there may be a little bit of TMI, but nothing any woman who’s given birth shouldn’t already know about ;)
My appointment on Monday (June 22) was at 1:30 p.m., and my doctor had already told me during my last appointment that he would do a membrane sweep to get things rolling along as far as labour goes. I was both nervous and excited, but during my appointment he checked everything over and said that I was already 4cm dilated! He did the sweep and told me to go home and stay moving! I picked Isla up from Kyle’s mom’s place, and we headed home. I decided to take one last bump photo as well ;)
Kyle called from work around 2:30 p.m. and asked how things went, so I told him the details but didn’t think he needed to come home early. He was going to finish out his shift, but opted to come home early, so by 4 p.m. he was back and I was walking on the treadmill with mild contractions. We took a break for dinner and around 6:45 p.m. I called my mom to come pick up Isla because I felt we would be heading to the hospital later that night. By 7:30 p.m. Isla was on her way to my mom’s, and around 8:30 p.m. we were at the hospital getting assessed!
As it turns out, my contractions had slowed down and was only about 4-5cms, but since I was GBS+ the nurses called my doctor to see if I should be admitted to get antibiotics going or if I should go home. Of course, he said the choice was mine, so we headed home to let things progress more. I had a shower and we headed to bed around 10:30 p.m., but I couldn’t fall asleep as the contractions kept coming and the pain was getting stronger. At 1 a.m. (June 23) we were back at the hospital and I was admitted right away. The nurse did an assessment but I was still only about 5cm dilated, but they let me stay and started my antibiotics via IV.
My contractions kept coming along and I eventually asked for something to take the edge off, so I had fentanyl and was able to rest/be stoned between contractions. (Seriously – Kyle said that as soon as the drugs hit I instantly looked stoned, haha.)
Unfortunately, I wasn’t really progressing with dilation but around 8 a.m. my doctor happened to arrive to check on a couple of his other maternity patients who were also in labour, so after he talked to the nurses about my “situation” he decided to break my water.
Side story: He didn’t even ask me if I wanted him to break my water. I was in the middle of going pee and he kind of just bursted into the room and announced that he was going to break my water and make things happen. Eek!
This is where everything became a whirlwind. Almost immediately after he broke my water the contractions started getting REALLY intense and I was having a hard time just breathing through them. I was maxed out on fentanyl and wasn’t allowed to have more, but the nurse gave me an extra dose because she felt bad. I was asked if I wanted oxytocin or an epidural to help move the contractions along, and I went with the epidural right away because my nurse figured I’d need/want the epidural after the oxytocin anyway.
I’ll be completely honest, I felt defeated when I said I wanted the epidural. I went all through Isla’s labour without needing one until it was medically necessary, but Kyle was so supportive and reassuring that I made the right decision. Now that it’s all over and done, I’m SO glad I got the epidural.
Anyway – the anesthesiologist eventually arrived around 9 a.m. and got my epidural going right away. TMI warning: As I was sitting on the edge of the bed having it put in, Norah must have turned into the “birthing” position because suddenly I just started leaking fluid. Like, non-stop leaking. I said to the anesthesiologist, “I’m leaking something and I’m not sure if it’s amniotic fluid or pee …” He didn’t say much but the fluid kept coming. My nurse came it and it was as if a dam had spilled over – there was water EVERYWHERE. She started cleaning it up while the anesthesiologist finished the epidural.
My nurse said I could now relax for a bit since I was numb from the waist down, but when she came back into the room she noticed some blood, did a cervix check and said I was fully dilated! (I pretty much went from 5cm dilated to 10cm in an hour.) She called out to another nurse to tell my doctor to come back to the hospital, and by 9:15 he was back and Iwas instructed on how to recognize the “urge” to push with an epidural. (Contractions felt like intense Braxton Hicks.)
So – long story short – after about 6 contractions, Norah was born at 9:41 a.m., weighing 8lbs 4oz and was 20.5″ long! She was brought up to my chest right away and I don’t think I could’ve been any happier. After Isla was born she was whisked away because I had a lot of bleeding, but with Norah, she got to hang out on my chest while Kyle cut the cord. We did some skin-to-skin before putting her on the scale to be weighed and measured, and then she was brought back to my chest to attempt to nurse.
Top left: Snoozing after we relocated to the recover ward. Top right: Isla holding her new baby sister. Bottom: Ready to go home!
I ended up not needing any stitches with only some “road rash” as far as tearing goes, or at least that’s how my doctor described it! Honestly, aside from the stalled early labour, I couldn’t be happier with how everything panned out in the end.
Around 11 a.m. my nurse got me into the shower to freshen up and then I was moved to the recovery ward where I got to enjoy my own, private room! (That was the only good thing about it, the beds still suck.)
I ended up only having to spend one night in the hospital and when my doctor came to see how I was doing Wednesday morning he asked if I wanted to go home, and I immediately said “Yes.” Around 4 p.m. I was discharged and we were home! My mom brought Isla home and we’ve been adjusting to life as a family of four ever since!
This birth experience compared to Isla’s was SO amazingly different, not that Isla’s was awful; Norah’s delivery just went so much smoother and I felt like a regular human again almost instantly after she was born. I’m still shocked at how much Norah weighed – she was a born a day before her due date and 5oz heavier than Isla, who was 4 days overdue. I can’t imagine how big Norah would’ve been if I went over again!