If you are a birth junkie, like me, then you are probably dying to hear about my labor and delivery of Jocelyn.
If you are a random family member, like my brother or something, you probably will just want to skip this blog post.
Just a warning :)
It all started on a Wednesday, not surprisingly at all. So far, all my labors have started on a Wednesday. I even had false labor with Jocelyn on a Wednesday.
So, on this particular Wednesday morning, I was sitting on the couch cuddling Baby H (the toddler I keep a few days a week) when she decided it was time to go eat breakfast in her high chair. I stood up and felt some... um... leakage, for lack of a better word.
Now, if you've been pregnant before, you know lots of things can be considered "leakage" at this stage in pregnancy. There's that wonderful thing called a mucous plug that is just as appetizing as it sounds. Then there is your lovely overtaxed bladder that happens to have a 8 lb head laying on it.
I ended up ignoring my leakage for now. I had a toddler to feed and a day to get on with.
By 1:00 PM, however, I couldn't ignore the "leakage" any longer. It was clear, didn't smell like urine, and was very thin and wet. My midwife happened to be in the next town over all day, but she told me I could come in and do a PH test to see if it was amniotic fluid.
Baby H and I arrived at the Birth Center around 1:30 after securing a ride home for Jaina from a friend. The test turned positive immediately. The receptionist took a cell phone pic of the test and emailed it to my midwife. "Yep! Your water has broken!" :)
I left immediately to go get Jayce from school.
Those poor teachers. I have become very close with several of my children's teachers over the years that they have attended this elementary school. Each and every one of them in car line duty that afternoon was upset to see me in line. They knew the day my mom picked up Jayce instead of me must mean I'm in labor.
I rolled down my window and told Jayce's former Kindergarten teacher that she should not despair... my water had indeed broken and I was probably going to have a baby in my arms sometime in the next 24 hours. She coincidentally had the bull horn in her hands and made the announcement through out car line that my water had broken :)
Life went on. Kids home from school, ABA therapists arriving, etc. Homework to do. Baby H was picked up at 5:30.
My contractions started somewhere between 6 and 7 PM. They were 10 minutes apart and lasting 30 seconds. I tried to lay down and get some sleep around 9 PM, but they were a little too strong for that.
So I got up and watched TV with Brian. He went to bed at 11 PM. My mom came over about this time to spend the night, too.
My contractions got up to about 1 min 15 seconds every 9 minutes. I was having to work through them. My daughter was just hilarious when she parroted me having a contraction by moaning and leaning against a wall. Just hilarious. Well, to everyone but ME who was not in the mood for such things!
By 2:30 I was exhausted. I laid down on the couch and slept from 3-6 AM. When I woke up, I realized that I had slept through most of my contractions except for about 6 or so.
Uh-oh. And I wasn't having any more.
Seriously????? I knew at that moment that the baby inside me MUST be a girl. A total drama queen girl that is enjoying the fact that her mommy has gone through one whole night of false labor and one whole night of what I thought was real labor, only to have it all stop in the morning.
I called my midwife at 8 AM. She sighed and said we needed to talk. My water had been broken 24 hours at this point. She wanted me to come in for an NST to check on the baby. (Non stress test for you newbies). However, she wasn't going to be in the office at all that day. The back up midwife was going to be. Whatever, didn't matter to me. She mentioned that I could also bring a breastpump to the center to see if some nipple stimulation would kick my contractions into high gear.
Tracking down a breastpump was a nightmare. First of all, I am the owner of THREE breastpumps. My Avent Isis manual was at my friend Tarah's house. My Medela Pump n' Style was being loaned to someone I didn't even know through my friend Angie. And I think Angie still had my single electric pumps, too.
I started texting everyone I could think of that could loan me a pump quick fast and in a hurry. I stopped by my friend's office to grab her Hygea pump only to discover that all the parts weren't there. A quick stop across the hall at another friend's office helped me grab some Medela pump parts that would work as well.
I arrived at the birth center by 1:00 PM. My mom dropped me off and then took the van to go get in line to pick up kids from school.
My NST was first. The baby sounded reactive and demonstrated some heart rate variability. But the back-up midwife wasn't quite happy with the lack of good accelerations. Not to worry or panic over, just something to keep in mind.
I pumped for an entire hour from 2:30-3:30 while sitting on a birthing ball. I had exactly 3 contractions during that time. They lasted 20 seconds long and I could talk through them just fine.
At 4:00 PM, I was on the phone with my midwife who was now STUCK in the next town over with car trouble. The back-up midwife had left the center for an appointment and it was just me and the receptionist left there. Let me just tell you how comforting she was to me. She checked on me without bothering me and let me cry and vent to her. I pretty much knew by this point that there was no way I was getting the water birth that I wanted to have so badly.
My midwife and I agreed that we had several factors working against me:
1. My pregnancy was at 41 weeks, 4 days.
2. My water has been broken for 32 hours.
3. Something was preventing my labor from kicking in.
It was time to go to the hospital.
(Part Two will happen whenever I can find time to type with two hands again!)