So, I thought that this time around would be the same as when Yianna was born, only faster. But as life would have it, that was not the case.
I woke up Friday morning (November 19th), and it was business as usual. I went to the office to help Nick with clinic – which I LOVE – but at some point in the day I realized that my water might have broken. There wasn’t much fluid at all and I really wanted to just ignore it. If it was my water that was broken, I was not going to be happy. I had yet to have a single contraction, and because I was GBS positive, I knew that if my water was broken, I’d have to head into the hospital for IV antibiotics. So, I tried to employ the “denial” method for a little bit. I didn’t say anything for a while, but when I needed to ask Nick for a pad, he got a little suspicious. Around 4:00pm, Nick called me out on my denial and we decided to find out if it was in fact amniotic fluid. So we did a litmus paper test- which is a little strip of paper that turns blue if it comes in contact with amniotic fluid. I really did not want the paper to be blue. My water couldn’t have broken, I hadn’t even had a single twinge of a contraction. I just assumed that my water would break right before I delivered because that is what happened when I had Yianna. Throughout my entire pregnancy I envisioned that I would start contracting, labor at home, show up at the hospital complete, my water would break and 5 minutes later, I’d be holding our newest little angel. But life had other plans … the paper was blue.Here I was, at 38 weeks, with “broken water” and GBS positive. I couldn’t just sit at home and wait for contractions. I needed IV antibiotics, and as much as I wanted to just stay home, I knew that even with the slightest chance of the baby getting sick, I had to go in and do what was best for the baby. So, I took a shower and tried to stall as much as I could, but we finally made our way into the hospital around 7pm Friday night. I was seriously annoyed at Nick for “making” me go to the hospital, but really, I was frustrated that I was not contracting. I was convinced that the baby wasn’t coming and that I was going to end up with a c/section. If you want to talk about having a bad attitude, I certainly had one going into the hospital that evening. But I trusted my husband and I knew that I had to stop being selfish and do what was best for the baby. In my heart, I knew he was right, but that doesn’t mean I couldn’t complain about it. 🙂 My notion of hanging out in the bathtub and going for walks on the beach etc. while in labor were all going out the door… and I had every right to throw myself a little pity party, of which I took full advantage.
We checked into the hospital and everyone was super nice. Magda was our nurse, and she was great; she put the hep-lock in the side of my wrist so I really couldn’t even feel that it was there. I got the first dose of antibiotics around 8 pm. It took less than five minutes and was so not a big deal. Don’t get me wrong, I was still mad, but I was at least a little more optimistic and was determined to get this baby moving. Nick and I started doing laps around the hospital. Poor guy; he was such a good sport; walking laps with his pregnant pissy wife. We walked for an hour, but I still wasn’t contracting.
Around 10pm I was still only 2cm and we talked about what to do next. The OBs at PCWH were my doctors of record; they are all wonderful. Dr. Rambur happened to be on call for PCWH that night. She called and asked if I wanted her to break my water, but I didn’t want to make her come in so late at night. I felt bad. Besides, as wonderful as Dr. Rambur is, I trust my husband more than anyone, and I really just wanted him to do everything. We talked about it, and Nick said it might be a good idea to break my water because this usually will trigger your body to start contracting. (even though my water was “broken” it was really just leaking). So, Nick full on broke my water. I was afraid this would hurt, but I literally couldn’t feel it. I was starting to get more hopeful that contractions would come soon and this baby would be born.Okay, so my water is officially and fully broken, I’ve walked miles inside the hospital, and *insert disappointing music here* I’m still not contracting!! I decided that it was time for more drastic measures! So, we … okay just me … started running the halls of the hospital. Well, there was one hallway in particular that was all windows on one side and artwork of hearts by little kids on the other side that was a dead end into an emergency exit. There was no one around and just I started running up and down that corridor. Nick was cheering me on. It was hysterical. We were laughing the entire time… it must have been a sight to see. I was finally starting to get over myself and just appreciate this experience for what it was. I ran for about 45 minutes, but still didn’t have a single contraction. I just kept thinking, “how is this possible??”
Around 11pm we went back to the room. Nick saw that I was still sad and frustrated and I asked what else we could do to try to get these contractions started. He asked if I wanted him to strip my membranes. I was worried that this baby wasn’t coming, so I was all for it if it would help get contractions going. He went in and did his thing; this time I could feel it, and it was uncomfortable. It was definitely tolerable, but not something I’d like to do all the time. But, he was able to tell that my cervix was dilated to about 4 cm and he adjusted baby’s head to a better position. This did the trick! I finally started to contract!!
I was so happy. I got on the big exercise ball (yes, we brought one to the hospital) and we got caught up on all of the episodes of Grey’s Anatomy that we missed. The hospital has wireless internet, so we were able to just watch them on my laptop. I got my second dose of antibiotics around midnight. We watched some more Grey’s (I really think that being distracted is my best tool for ignoring the contractions). Then I got bored with that, so we went and walked around the hospital a little more. The contractions felt much stronger when I was walking than sitting on the ball so I wanted to walk more. I figured the stronger the contractions, the more effective… right?? Who knows, but I went with it. It made me excited that the contractions were getting more intense. I thought there might be a baby yet! The contractions didn’t really bother me; I was able to talk through them and keep walking. It wasn’t until the last few contractions that I actually felt like I wanted to sit down. It’s strange, when I contract towards the end, I feel like I want to pee. And since at that point, I’m not sure if I have to pee or if it’s just a contraction, I feel most comfortable sitting on the toilet. That way if I pee, fantastic, otherwise, who cares. Magda was great, and she checked my vitals even when I was just sitting in the bathroom. I sat there for about 10 minutes and then I wanted to walk again. We didn’t make it very far that time, because I felt the contractions get even more intense. Now I was really getting excited. The stronger the contraction, the happier I got. It was awesome. I sat down again to pee, and I think from already having had a baby, I was able to recognize that it was time to push. So, I told Nick that I wanted to push. He said, okay, and I jumped up on the bed. We turned on our favorite Greek CD (the same one from when Yianna was born), and they called Dr. Rambur – I felt so bad… by this point, it was about 4:30 in the morning.Again, when I lay down, my contractions get way less intense, but I tried to really focus and listen to my body and try to push when I felt like there was a contraction. At that point, I couldn’t even really feel the contractions. I didn’t want to push too hard or too fast because I was afraid that I might tear. So I listened to Nick; he is an awesome coach, and pushed when he told me and also when I could feel a contraction. I almost wish that I could have felt the contractions at that point, so I would have known exactly when to push, but I did my best. I only pushed a few times over the course of about 10 minutes and then I remember them saying, the baby has a lot of hair! I finally started thinking, oh my gosh, there really is a baby coming! I was so excited. I remember reaching down because I wanted to see if I could feel the baby’s hair. I could feel the baby moving down, and I felt pressure and stretching, but it didn’t hurt. I was relaxed and I knew that everything was going to be okay. Then it was time to push again, and with that last push, I remember Nick saying, good job, the baby’s head is out, just push a little harder and let’s get the shoulders out. Without even thinking, I reached down and Nick says that I delivered her the rest of the way. I really didn’t realize that I did this, but I remember he said, hold up the baby and tell us if it’s a boy or a girl!! It was funny, because at that point, I really didn’t even care, I just wanted to hold that little baby. It took me a second, but I finally looked past the umbilical cord and announced that it was a little girl! I put her on my chest and Nick and I just got to stare into her eyes. (In case anyone is wondering, I was wearing Nick’s USCB sweatshirt the whole time, because it’s huge and comfy (and because I happened to have it on for Yianna’s delivery – and since Yianna’s delivery was awesome, I figured it would be good luck to wear it again – so I just lifted the sweatshirt up so I could warm her up on my chest and have that skin to skin contact).
She was amazing. She nursed about one minute later and we just held her and got to know her. After about a half hour, they finally convinced me to let them weigh her – ah, how I hated to let her out of my arms… but I was curious as to how big she was! She was six pounds, fourteen ounces and was 19 inches long. Then Nick held her for a few minutes, and I thought this would be a good opportunity to jump into the shower. I felt great, but it was strange that I just couldn’t get warm. I took the hottest shower I could and even still was shivering so badly I almost had to sit down. I guess Nick said this has to do with a rush of hormones. Then I put on some clean warm clothes and jumped back in bed with my baby and my amazing husband! I felt better than ever.
From the time of my first contraction around 11 pm, it was less than 6 hours until Victoria came into our world. She was bright eyed, alert, and perfectly healthy. I was fortunate enough to have another pain free delivery without any tears or complications.