a grand arrival
::lucy, aka baby backhoe::
The second child made an appearance two weeks ago today, so I figure this is as good a time as any to get her birth story typed up. (In other news, just writing those words makes me feel like a hippie, which apparently what I am turning into.) In other news, this post will contain the words "dilated" and "pushing" so if you're icked out by those, just glance at the pics and move along.
My official maternity leave was scheduled to begin on Monday, December 15, which was my actual due date. With Fat Toddler I delivered on my due date, which, I know, rarely happens. Since this was my second baby we knew there was a high chance of me going out early, so my boss wrote the schedule so that I worked Monday-Wednesday, used a personal day on Thursday and used a holiday benefit on Friday, and had the weekend off. Essentially I was scheduled off so that if I did go into labor it wouldn't mess everyone else up. Which ended up being a Very Good Plan.
So Wednesday was my last scheduled day at work, and the district manager was supposed to be in store for a detailed visit, which is something that happens every quarter or so. Originally I wasn't part of the visit, but he decided he wanted me there so we switched things around and planned extra coverage so I could be off the floor from 10am on. I'd been having contractions all morning, but nothing particularly strong, so it was no big deal. After all, I'd been having contractions off and on for a week and a half.
I sat down at the desk and started working through some paperwork, making sure everything was in order, and at 11:15 I stood up to grab something I needed. My water broke. Like, the big dramatic break. With FT I had a slow leak, so this was a new sensation, and may I say? HIGHLY OVERRATED. It feels disgusting to walk around in cold, clammy pants.
I walked out front and told my DM, "So my water just broke." He said, "Go. Just go. Do you need someone to drive you?" I assured him I was fine, grabbed a trash bag to put on my seat, and headed home. (I have an hour commute.)
When I got back we loaded into the husband's truck (instead of my tiny car) and headed down to drop FT off with the aunt who would keep him while we were in the hospital. My contractions still weren't bad. I wouldn't have even left work for these (they were the same strength as the Braxton hicks I had been having all week) if my water hadn't broken. As it was, FT hadn't had lunch, so we stopped to grab him some chilkfila. I assumed I was staring at several hours of labor, and you're not allowed to eat at the hospital, so I grabbed something as well.
By the time we dropped off FT and got back to the hospital it was 2:15. They were overflowing in the maternity ward and I had to wait a little while before I was admitted. When I did walk into the ward they were all "are you SURE your water broke?" I was all "oh yes."
I'm pretty sure they didn't think I could actually be in labor because I was so chill about everything. I was still walking, still breathing normally. But this was baby #2; I'd done this before, right????
Finally they got me into a room and checked me: I was at 3 cm. I verified that I wanted no drugs and I had done this once before, and asked for just the part where the IV attaches, rather than being hooked to a pole. They called the midwife who was coming on duty (who was the one I hoped I'd get! Hooray!) and she said that was fine, so they handled all their processes and left me to labor.
Le hubs and I were both very relaxed about the whole thing and sat there talking and playing with our phones. My contractions eventually got more intense and I started having to focus during them, but they still weren't unbearable.
I definitely remember explaining the whole of "serial" to him in between pauses for contractions. (He hadn't listened to any of it.)
At about 5:15 the midwife came on duty and checked me; I was at 6.5 cms. She had a couple of ideas for helping to relieve pressure/pain because contractions had gotten decidedly stronger, we talked through my desire to go med-free if possible, and she said she'd bring in the birthing ball for me.
When she left I got into the shower and le hubs used the spray head to aim the hottest possible water at my lower back. I was in there for about 20 minutes, and suddenly nothing was working, I couldn't breathe through the contractions, and I felt myself slipping into that panicked, hyperventilating mess that I was with FT. I told hubs "I've got nothing to prove, I want the meds. Get me the meds." (I knew that if I was already at 6.5 the window for an epidural was getting small.)
I then tried to head back to the bed. I sat on the birthing ball for a minute or so, but it didn't help and didn't feel right. In fact, I really felt like I needed to poop. (I was sure that chilkfila was coming back to haunt me.)
I told the husband this, and actually sat on the toilet briefly, but that didn't feel right either. Nothing felt right! I desperately wanted to push, but everyone knows if you push too soon it messes everything up, and she JUST checked me; no way was I ready to deliver.
When I said I wanted to poop, hubs went running out into the hall. "Guys, she says she wants to poop. I think you need to come check on her."
The midwife and nurses came running into the room, where he had managed to get me back on the bed. The midwife checked me and was all "we are going to have a baby. Go ahead and push on the next contraction."
I pushed once and it HURT LIKE HELL. I didn't remember it being this painful last time (and I pushed for three hours: I would remember), so I assumed it was the scar from my episiotomy, and if every push felt like this I was in for a couple of hours of hellishness. I started whimpering, "It burns, I can't do this." The midwife briskly assured me, "that's ok. That was her head."
What?????? Ok then. I pushed again and she was born.
Yep. Two pushes. 6.5 hours of labor. From 6.5 cm dilated to holding a baby in 35 minutes.
Those people who said the second baby is easier? They were right.
Obviously my sister didn't make it down for labor; it all happened too fast. And baby Backhoe was 7 pounds, 2 ounces and 20 inches long. Much smaller than her big brother!