Most of you already know that, so this post fills in the blanks about Elissa's quite dramatic arrival.
My water broke completely out of the blue at 1:00 in the morning Thursday. I wasn't having any contractions, which bummed me out since I know doctors freak out and make you go to the hospital when your water breaks. I actually didn't even call mine to let her know (something I got reprimanded for later). I knew there was nothing to be medically concerned about and since I was hoping for another natural birth (and wanted to avoid them inducing me), I tried to get a bit more sleep.
I had a doctor's appointment already scheduled for that morning, so Lauren and I went to that at 10 and got an earful of scolding. Not surprisingly, they told me to go right to the hospital. We got Brayden set up with a friend, had some lunch and took our time getting there. I still wasn't having contractions yet and my doc had already told me they wanted to give me something to speed things up. (Little did we know what was ahead of us.) I was determined to avoid that.
At the time of my appointment, I was 3cm dilated. I was 3cm with Brayden for weeks before giving birth, so that didn't mean anything. We got to the hospital shortly after 1pm. Standard procedure is to be monitored for 20 minutes before doing anything else. Thankfully, while I was being monitored, I started having regular contractions that did just enough to keep the doctor from inducing me.
Around 2:30, things started getting pretty intense. By 4:00, I was in a LOT of pain and dealing with contractions every couple minutes. Over the next hour, they became so painful and frequent that I was seriously doubting whether I would be able to avoid medication. (They were WAY worse than the ones I had with Brayden.) A new on-call doctor came in around 5:15 to check on me.
She looked down at me with this nasty look and said "You're a four." WTF?!
"Second baby? ...You're going pretty slow." Are you kidding me lady? Great bedside manner; love the pep talk. She told me she was going to be back in an hour and by then I "should be a 5." Because you know, I can control this and was clearly just taking my time to tick her off.
I was completely discouraged at this point. If this is how long and painful it was to get 1cm of progress, I couldn't even comprehend what the rest of labor was going to be like. I was dying at this point - in way more pain than I even thought was possible. I decided to give it a bit more time but was pretty pessimistic. Lauren tried to remind me that things don't progress linearly, but it was just so. hard.
After another hour, I just couldn't take the pain anymore. I was breaking down at every contraction. Lauren recommended a hot shower. Great. Let's do it. I need something. Anything. But the water wouldn't get hot - or even warm. WTF. Call the nurse. The nurse calls someone else. They'd need to send someone in to fix it. I. don't. care. Just do it. Anything that might help me escape this ridiculous pain. The guy comes in and shuts himself into the bathroom.
Meanwhile, I decide to get checked again. I know its only been a little over an hour since my wonderful "4 proclamation," but if I haven't progressed at all, I might have to change courses (which was such a disappointing thought). The nurse checks me and gives me this weird look. In less than an hour and a half, I went from 4cm to 9cm. I was NINE. Fully effaced, +2 station. I was about to have a baby. Thank goodness I had a nurse come in to check me or we would have given birth by ourselves. (Seriously)
The nurse starts scrambling to get things ready, but says they need to monitor the baby's heart rate. (When you don't get an epidural, you're not confined to a bed and only need to be monitored for 15 minutes out of every hour) She barely has enough time to get a heartbeat when I calmly and politely tell her the baby wants out.
Miss "You're-Going-too-Slow" comes running in the room to get on her gloves. She doesn't even have a chance to finish though. My tiny little baby comes out in three pushes. No one was ready. One of the nurses has to reach over and catch the baby so it doesn't fall on the ground. Elissa looks up at the doctor and asks "fast enough?" (Well, not really, but someone should have said that!)
The nurse gives me the baby and we find out we have a beautiful little girl. Lauren has a daughter. We have our baby. Our sweet and feisty little baby.
After I have her in my arms and things have settled down, one of the nurses opens the bathroom door and lets the repairman leave.
From start to finish, my labor lasted less than six hours. But don't mistakenly think I enjoyed the brevity. I liken it to running a marathon in the time it takes to run a 5K. Covering the same distance in a short period of time just killed my body. Brayden's labor lasted about ten hours - and I would do that two more times before I did this one again.
...Unless you remind me what a sweet and determined angel I got out of the deal. Then I might consider doing it again. :)