This post could also be titled the ‘Fast and the Furious’ – Alana waited a few extra days, but when she was ready to enter the world, she was ready! As with Nathan’s birth story, if labor and delivery is TMI, skip this post.
I passed Alana’s due date on Feb 17 and was surprised to make it to 40 weeks. I was starting to assume we might get past 41 weeks or need an induction, or that I’d be pregnant FOREVER. Earlier I’d been nervous about labor and delivery, but at this point I was just excited to meet our little lady and never be pregnant again! We only have plans for two kids. Luckily, around midnight on Feb 21 I started feeling some strong and regular cramps. I slept through them on and off until 2:45 AM and could no longer sleep. I just kept quiet until around 5 or 6 AM when the boys were up. They were painful but I could breath through them, so I just kept myself distracted and busy most of the morning. We went on a cleaning spree to get the house in order, and I baked banana muffins and OSG Glow Bars with Nathan, and chopped all our veggies. Might as well get something done rather than wallow in pain / self-pity, right?! Nathan was very sweet and wanted to help me breath through the pain as well.
Around 10 or 11 I called my aunt and uncle that were going to watch Nathan. They live an hour away, and I remember telling them that coming sooner than later is good. By the time my aunt and uncle arrived I was in moaning stages. It’s odd, but I found that doing yoga “ohms” helped through the contractions. We got my aunt and uncle set up and Nathan in bed for his nap around 1 PM and then called the hospital and they agreed it was time to come in. My contractions were 4 minutes apart and very strong. It was a 30 minute car ride – you know it’s time to go to the hospital when you’re dreading the car ride! I was also having crazy up and down emotions, maybe transitioning stages of labor?
We got to the hospital and there was no parking at the women in labor spots and the garage was full, so David dropped me at the front and I made my way to the third floor, but in the hall way had to stop for contractions. I remember a kind gentleman asking if I needed help. I got really sad (again emotions…) that I was alone for that brief period, and when David got to the third floor I told him how much I needed him. I checked in and remember the nurse called back saying she was pretty sure I’d be admitted based on the state I was in.
Right after I gave my urine sample and put on my gown my water broke. This didn’t happen with the first pregnancy so I was confused. It was good timing I suppose. They had a doctor come and check me and I was 6 cm dilated and feeling it. She said if I was interested in an epidural now would be the time to ask for it, so I said yes let’s do it. They admitted me, moved me to another room, started an IV and a bunch of paperwork as we waited for the anesthesiologist. The contractions were getting worse and worse (David kept telling me they were off the charts). I wish I could describe the pain, but it’s hard to explain; it took over my body and I recall being nauseous due to the pain. At least I knew what to expect this time around with pregnancy #2. I heard the nurse & anesthesiologist on the phone and how he had to wait for my labs and it would be 20-40 minutes. I was getting so scared, I needed that pain relief! I remember telling David “I need the epidural, do something, GO GET the anesthesiologist!!” Of course, he couldn’t do that, but it seemed logical to me at the time.
The contraction measurements look like sine waves or hills on the output graph, and during Nathan’s birth David had told me, “you’re on a bike, climb that hill” and internally I was thinking “this is NOTHING like climbing a hill on a bike!”- it became a joke for some time. I didn’t prepare for labor & delivery this time, so I’m not sure what prompted it, but this time I visualized a really difficult hill on a local bike ride – the Strava section is called “steep as sh*t” because it’s >10% grade and seems to keep going. I just kept riding up that hill on each contraction, and it helped (surprisingly!). Plus lots of moaning, and maybe some cursing..
Well as this progressed, I’d been in the hospital 1.5 hours and the nurse could tell I was in some strong pain. She asked if I felt pressure bearing down. I didn’t want to admit it because that meant I would be too far along and wouldn’t get the epidural. I reluctantly told them that yes, I was starting to feel the urge to push. They had another doctor to come in and check me and I was 10cm dilated! 10 cm I should be overjoyed, but I was NOT happy, I’d have to do this on my own, ha. A whole team of people flew in, including the anesthesiologist that said “well I guess you don’t need me” – I had some severe hatred directed at this guy at that point!
The rest is a blur; the strongest pains I’ve ever been through, but somehow a midwife flew in and directed me on what to do. I also knew from the first pregnancy what pushing should be. Two pushes later, Alana arrived and was placed on my chest immediately. She was kind of grey/purple looking and I asked if she was ok, but she quickly regained color and was fine. I was pretty much in shock, this beautiful baby girl came in to the world so quickly and was already in my arms. She amazed me and starting rooting and nursing right away. I had a couple of stitches but nothing too bad. Alana was 7lb 8oz (thank goodness I birth average size babies!) and 19.25”.
Like Nathan’s birth, meeting Alana was just the best moment, and especially surreal since it happened so fast. It’s hard to compare the birth of a child to anything, but there is a strong emotional high associated and I can’t help replaying all of it in my head. I still can’t believe I gave birth to her naturally in two hours in the hospital and two pushes – though not by choice, I’m still proud of it!
We stayed in the hospital overnight but left the following afternoon to get back to Nathan.
Nathan was excited to meet baby sister!
More to come, but recover has been much faster – I’m sure the natural birth + being the second time are huge factors. We’re loving this little lady!