may 15, 2012

"Just don't come until Monday's over, any day after that," was my personal mantra to my unborn daughter as my son's birthday approached. When I'd learned that their due dates were only one day apart (my son's had been May 28th, my daughter's was May 27th) I knew things could be really close and I just didn't want to be in the hospital for my son's birthday, or have them share a birthday. 
I actually had my 38 week appointment on the morning of my son's birthday on May 14th and my doctor told me she hoped I would have my baby sometime that week, but confirmed my "just in case" induction date for the day after my due date. I decided to just focus on having fun on my son's birthday, the baby would come when she was ready.

All that day I had some contractions, but they were so far apart I wasn't bothering keeping track of them. By the time I went to bed they were slightly stronger, and slightly closer together but I still wasn't timing them yet.
Fast forward to just before 2:00 in the morning when I woke up to stronger contractions that were 3-5 minutes apart. I couldn't sleep through them and I sat in the tub for a long time trying to relax, but finally around 6:00 am I decided to wake Mike up because the pain was getting pretty intense and I was pretty sure "this was it"...
I should probably pause here and mention that I had been in the hospital the week before for a "false alarm", regular contractions that had landed me in the hospital for eight hours one long night but then stalled out, blah. So, I was really paranoid about having another false alarm and kept second guessing myself.

There was no need to worry though because just a couple hours later I was settled into Labor & Delivery and was at 6.5 centimeters! Whoop whoop! (At my appointment the day before I had been at 3.5 cm.) By 10:00 am my contractions were regularly 3-4 minutes apart and I was at 8 cm. I couldn't believe how different this experience was going compared to my first labor. I was so excited that it looked like I was going to be able to do it with any IV drugs this time around! My nurse was really great and supportive, she suggested some counter-pressure techniques for Mike to use to help me out during the bad contractions and they helped so much! I was able to spend a lot of time up and swaying back and forth next to the bed, instead of being stuck and feeling guilty anytime I moved. I also kept reminding myself to relax and breath slowly and deeply, just trying to help my body stay relaxed so I could make some good progress, I had definitely learned a thing or two since my last time.

My doctor came in to check me at 1:00 pm and I was basically at 10 cm, so she broke my water and it was time to push! At 1:34 pm, after pushing through 4 or 5 contractions (and only having a small tear) my beautiful little girl was born, with a gorgeous head of blonde hair which all the doctors and nurses would refer to as "Rapunzel hair" for the rest of our hospital stay.

We were able to bring baby girl home after only one day; one day! Again, SO different from our experience the first time around. All my fears of how our son would react about not being the only child anymore flew out the window as soon as I saw them together, it was love at first sight.

My labor and delivery this time was such a positive experience, so much better then it had been two years earlier (Only 12 hours instead of 19! No Pitocin! More supportive nurses and staff! No epidural again, but no IV drug either!), that for days afterwards I was afraid that it had all a been a dream and I would wake up, still pregnant.
Spoiler alert, that didn't happen. ;)
This labor really cemented in my mind that every labor and delivery is so different, and babies pretty much come whenever they want.
Luckily, she hadn't wanted to come on her brother's birthday.

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