Sunday, September 5, 2010

Labor Day Birth Stories: Baby Girl #2

Note to my male readers (assuming I have any): this might be a good time to go read a blog about sports or politics or something. All you need to know is that we were expecting Baby #2, she came, she was healthy, and we lived happily every after.

Well, if you read my first story, you know that things didn't exactly go as planned during our first baby's birth. I ended up with just about every intervention you can imagine, short of a c-section. And we were thisclose to that.

Two and a half years later, it was time for Round 2. I felt more confident this time. I mean, I'd already given birth once, right? I knew how our hospital worked, I liked (and trusted) my doctor - this time I'd been able to see the same doctor almost every visit.

The baby was due October 2nd.I really liked this due date because both of my grandmas and my mom have birthdays in October. I thought the baby might even come on one grandma's birthday (October 3). Wouldn't that be neat?

However, Baby had her own ideas about when she would like her birthday. The night / morning of September 28 I woke up about 4 A.M and sat straight up in bed. Had I just heard a "pop"? And what was that wet sensation? Um, yeah, that would be amniotic fluid. Leaking. Just like all those dumb t.v. shows and movies where the woman's water breaks or she leans over and shakes her husband, "Honey, it's time."

Real labor isn't like that, of course. Except when it is.

I woke up Prince Charming and asked him what I should do. He suggested (logically) that I should call the hospital and ask them. But I didn't want to. They would just tell me to come in and I knew - from my experience with Polly - that the hospital wasn't where I wanted to be just yet. So I waited at home for a little while. The other consideration was that Little Polly was going to be staying with her Gram and Granddad while we went to the hospital for Baby Sister. And since they were already expecting her that morning, since I had a non-stress test and ultrasound scheduled for that day, maybe we could just wait and not call them in the wee sma's.

Between the irregular contractions and leaking fluid, I decided to call the hospital around 6:30 that morning. And, as predicted, they told me to come in. I think we ended up dropping Polly off at her grandparents' somewhere after 7.

We went straight to maternity triage where they gave me an ultrasound to be sure my water had actually broken. Which, um, yes it had. (Duh) Then they moved me to a labor / delivery room and hooked me up to the fetal monitor and all the other stuff (i.v., blood pressure cuff, etc.) My contractions weren't too bad but the baby didn't seem to tolerate them very well. Any time I moved her heart rate would go down and, as you know, that's not good. In order to keep her stable, I could only lay on my left side. Not the most comfortable way to labor, to say the least. Hence, the anesthesiologist was called and yes, I had an epidural. Again. And, once Baby seemed "happy", Pitocin. Again.

So I was more comfortable, the baby was more stable and things seemed to be moving along (no stalled labor this time). I rested, Prince Charming and I talked and I think I remember playing cards at one point but since I was still on my left side it was hard to hold the cards and I suspect he was cheating anyway (not really, but it makes a better story), that didn't last long.

Labor was progressing well but soon enough, Baby's numbers were dropping again. They turned me on my right side - small improvement. They started running water up toward the baby, which was new to me. That seemed to help Baby along, too, though I didn't think much of it at the time.

The afternoon passed quickly and soon, it was time to push. This part terrified me because I remembered how awful it had been with Polly. I hadn't been able to feel anything and it had lasted forever. Not so this time, the doctor and the nurse got everything ready, the doctor told Prince Charming to be ready (to cut the cord) and, despite my apprehension, I was able to feel the need to push and still experience some relief from the pain. Less than an hour later, at 6:39 p.m, Baby Tigger was born.

The doctor ended up cutting the cord as soon as Tigger's head emerged because it was wrapped around her little neck. Prince Charming was invited to do a ceremonial cut a few seconds later. We were both just so relieved to see her - they tossed her up on me (what is with the doctors and that "toss the baby" thing they do?) and I spoke to her and kissed her.

The doctor said I wouldn't have needed any stitches except for the fact that I tore where I had been stitched before (thanks to that traumatic labor with Polly). For whatever reason, they had me fixed up and ready before the nurses had even finished weighing Tigger.

"I need my baby," I told them. So Prince Charming brought her over to me. She nursed - almost immediately - like a champ and she didn't show any ill effects from her ordeal with the cord. That was the moment I decided that (controversial statement ahead!) I'll  most likely always choose to give birth in a hospital. Maybe some of the interventions are unnecessary, but I believe God had us in the right place with the right doctor in order to keep Tigger safe.

Also different from my first birth, I felt like a million bucks. I could walk almost immediately after the labor, I was starving and ate a huge meal, and I felt just generally terrific. A very nice way to end a very strange birth experience!

Lessons learned: 1.) Babies have their own ideas of when they should come and sharing a birth stone with their grandmas and great-grandmas might not figure into their calculations. 2.) Even a low-stress, no-complication, "easy" pregnancy might not translate into an easy or completely non-scary labor.

This post is linked to the Labor Day Link Up over at Amy's Finer Things.

1 comment:

Amy said...

I completely agree about always giving birth at the hospital. As much as I love home and the idea of the freedom and privacy to labor however feels best instead of being prisoner to monitors, we have benefited so much from medical intervention the last 4 years, I can't imagine delivering a baby without it.

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