yup, i obviously spoke too soon with my last post. shut up.
and just a warning: i'm about to give you [almost] a blow-by-blow account of monday morning's events. don't say i didn't tell you so. i'll try not to gross you out or freak you out, though. >:) i really want to see y'all spring forth from your loins someday too.
and really, this post is meant for me to tell my birth story while i still remember it in detail. it'll be fun to read it later on, should baby fever hit again or the bean does something to piss me off. heh. i swear to you, i had no warning that anything was going to happen. i really thought the bean wasn't going to make her grand entrance into the world for DAYS, like her sister, who took her sweet time and had to practically be dragged out of the womb.
so there i was, just kicking it in our new bed with the hub quietly snoring away. it'd been quite a weekend - all the furniture had arrived and the ikea dude had come and gone, leaving behind a fully assembled wall unit in the nursery. seriously, i should've taken it as a sign - all of a sudden, our house was all ready and furnished, and all that was needed was a baby!
i wasn't really sleepy, so i pulled up the tivo and started watching the season premiere of "desperate housewives". i'd just gotten to the part where bree's not-so-pregnant belly was getting repeatedly jabbed with a BBQ fork when i felt it - a strange little trickle coming from the nether regions. i hit "pause", laid perfectly still for a moment, and brushed it off - until it happened again. i shot straight up and accidentally flung the damn remote across the room, and the poor dog jumped about a foot up in the air when it came crashing onto the floor next to her bed. oops. sorry, molly. the hub blinked a couple of times and i blurted out "um, i think my water just broke."
the smile that came to that man's face lit up the room.
he jumped right up, got dressed, and promptly began to organize the rest of the stuff that was still sitting in boxes on the floor in the nursery. and when the contractions began around half an hour later, he was right there making a list of the time each began and ended and how long they lasted. awww, he DID listen during childbirth prep class!
so, yeah - i finished watching "desperate housewives". and i was damn near all caught up on "general hospital" when we realized that the contractions were getting closer and longer. it was almost 3am by this time, and after making molly comfy in the sun room (her usual hangout when we aren't home), off we went. believe it or not, the stupid freeway was CLOSED.
we ended up going down some janky ass sidestreets, with me hee-hee-hee-hoo-ing all the way. those contractions were getting stronger and stronger, and i wondered if i'd be one of those women on the morning news, giving birth in their car on the way to the hospital.
but we made it - the hub circled the half-full parking lot at least once before i snarled "JUST PARRRRRRRK IT!" heh. and then it was fun trying to walk my ass from the car to the entrance to the ER. i had to stop and pant my way through the pain a few times before we finally made it in there.
"wheelchair!" the hub barked at the first orderly we came across. poor guy - he was loaded down with my two hospital bags, plus my snoogle pillow AND trying to get me situated. all without panicking himself. finally we were in an elevator, headed up to the third floor - the labor & delivery department. the nurse on duty had my paperwork ready fairly quickly (all the while carrying on a conversation with another nurse about somebody's stupid fundraiser and their upcoming halloween shindig) and sent me to the potty for a urine sample.
[gross tidbit alert]
i hauled my ass outta that wheelchair and locked the door behind me and another wave of pain hit. a few more hee-hee-hee-hoos, and i was good to go. i remember looking in the toilet and saying out loud "huh. so that's what a mucous plug looks like." bahahaha!
the nurse tried to settle me into a labor observation room first, getting a fetal monitor hooked up and handing me a lovely blue hospital gown (haute couture, lemme tell ya). but when i sat down to wait out yet another contraction, my water broke fo' real (i guess what i'd felt at home wasn't the real thing). she took one look and put me back in the wheelchair to take me into a birthing room. "this one's water just grossly ruptured. she hasn't got long to go" she said to a nurse in the hall.
"no, no, i don't mean 'gross' like THAT. i just meant, you're a lot farther along than i thought", she explained to me. well hell, i feel much better. thanks, nurse wench.
so maybe you've seen those posters during health class or in the OB/GYN's office that show you the different stages of dilation - like, 2 cm looks like a bottle cap, 10 is like a bagel? no? well, when you get to 10 cm, that means you're ready to start pushin'. and when that nurse did an internal exam (oh, so fun), she announced that i was already at a 7-8.
WHAT?? where the hell is my anesthesiologist? i want AN EPIDURAL, dammit! give me some effing drugs!!
but nooooo. that process would take another hour or some crap like that, and according to nurse wench, "my guess is that you aren't going to be pregnant for another hour!"
i. got. no. drugs. sonofamonkey.
i was going to FEEL every damn thing. good god a'mighty. now, the rest of the story is somewhat of a blur. after the nurse said that, the hub looked at me with the biggest, most excited eyes i've ever seen. "she's coming! can you believe it? we're finally going to get to meet her!!" i WAS excited. and terrified. because i knew what i was about to go through, and it wasn't gonna be pretty. and i wasn't gonna be medicated!
one more internal exam by the midwife, and i heard little bits and pieces of conversation:
"she's at 10."
"let's get everything set up."
"we're ready whenever you are."
"okay, hon (i HATE being called "hon"), on your next contraction, let's try a push."
i peeked at the clock and it was five minutes to four. and then that next contraction hit, and so it began. at one point, i heard someone say "the heartbeat's dropped." and all of a sudden the midwife was gone and a doctor took her place. i looked up and realized there was a whole team of folks (men and women) sitting there waiting, while i was laying there spread-eagled for all the world to see. oh, joy. i didn't have much time to be mortified, though, because the next contraction came and i was pushing again.
"put your hands under your knees and pull back, it'll help" the nurse told me. you want me to WHAT?? please, heffa. i can hardly breathe over here, let alone do fucking calisthenics.
and soon the happy sound of a steady, regular heartbeat came over the monitors and the team was dismissed. it was back to the hub, the doctor, and a couple of nurses. phew. i was a little freaked out at the idea of anything going wrong.
and through it all, the hub was at my side, encouraging, supportive, the best cheerleader i could have asked for. they'd put a mask on me to help send the bean lots of oxygen during the pushing, and i was so hot (not in the fun, sexy way) and sweaty (surprise, surprise). and he dove into that fully packed labor bag and found the little handheld fan - remember, the one that saved me during the labor day power outage? it helped so much, and he was so patient with my whimpering and whining. "WHY did we do this again?" i asked between panting, and he just cracked up.
so a few more contractions, a few more pushing sessions, and amazingly enough, out she came. they picked her right up and placed her on my tummy and the hub and i gazed at her in absolute awe. she took a breath and in an instant, we heard the proof of a very healthy set of lungs. we were both so overwhelmed at the rush of emotions, and the hub leaned over and gave me a kiss. "she's here!" he said, and we both sniffled and watched that gorgeous baby wiggle and wail. he got to cut the cord, and then they took her for weighing, measuring, cleaning, all the fun stuff.
time of birth: 4:17 a.m.
weight: 7 pounds, 6 ounces
length: 19 1/4 inches
apgar score: 8
yup, less than half an hour of pushing. this is drastically different from my birthing experience with the kid, who was a week late and had to be induced. labor with her was a total of about 10 hours, with 2 of that being pushing time. just incredible.
while the doctor tended to my...uh...clean-up, i watched as the nurse gave the bean her first bath, with the hub snapping away with both his cell and the camera. he started on our extensive call list and around 5:00, the visitors started to arrive. first was his grandparents and his brother, followed soon after by his parents. his folks KILLED me - they walked in and came right over to me, tears rolling down both their faces, and giving me hugs, saying "thank you so much, you look wonderful, we are so proud of you all."
soon afterwards, we were moved to a private postpartum room, where we stayed for the next day and a half. we were visited by my parents, my gram, and my good friend A and baby nathan.
the rest of the week was quite a whirlwind - trying to establish a routine, waiting for milk to come in, showing her off to visitors, and on friday getting to introduce her to her sister for the first time. it was the kid's week with her dad, and unfortunately she'd managed to catch a cold, so she didn't want to spread her germs until absolutely necessary.
and how is the kid doing with the bean? i'm happy to say that she seems to be getting closer and closer to being as in love with this baby as we are. as i predicted, once she got to see and hold her, her attitude changed and now she's always taking charge of the stroller when we go out, watching her little facial expressions, and enjoying being a big sister (although she won't admit it unless you hold a gun to her head). but don't tell her "you're gonna be doing a lot of babysitting!" or "wow, you'll be doing a lot of work from now on", because she hates that. as do i. i mean, i may ask her to do something now and then, but it's certainly not her job to be the designated babysitter.
and as i sat in church yesterday, with my wonderful husband on one side, my beautiful firstborn on the other, and holding my newborn daughter, i had to hold back tears of happiness more than once.
life is good, my friends. life is good.