***I'm sticking with 2.0 for now since I'm not sure which nickname we'll stick with for the bloggy :) ***
At 2:39am on Saturday March 13 I woke up and had to use the restroom. I went to the bathroom and when I wiped felt something funny so I turned on the light and saw my blood-tinged mucous plug. I had woken up a few times earlier that night to pee and remember thinking each time, "Wow! I've been sleeping really well tonight." It was different because the night before I had been up off and on all night, restless and crampy. After losing my plug I had a feeling maybe there was good reason that my body was getting such good sleep.
I called Glenn to to let him know what had happened. I remember telling him it could mean nothing or it could mean something. I knew I could walk around for weeks without my plug; I was also very crampy and just had this feeling. We decided that he would call after he loaded his truck and was ready to set out on his route and we'd figure out our gameplan from there. That would be at about 4am. I ended up calling him back in about 15minutes; I was quite crampy and I just really had the feeling that he needed to be home. He called his boss and then got back to me that he would load the truck, his boss would meet him at work, and then they would switch and Glenn would head home.
About 3:45 I had some loose stools and remember thinking it was good that Glenn was headed home. After that the cramping was stronger & I had more contractions and blood-tinged mucous off and on.
I texted Glenn and asked him to pick up some eggs and stuff for breakfast. I knew that if things were going to progress from here I'd need a good breakfast. Glenn got home from work around 5am. He immediately went out and installed the infant car seat and worked on the mobile he'd been making. I got a few more things into the hospital bag, made sure the camera and cell phone was charged and paid some bills. Beanie woke up pretty early and we all ate breakfast.
By 9am the contractions had pretty much totally peetered out. Glenn asked if he should go back into work. I asked if he wanted to and and he said no, but he also didn't want to just bail out on his boss. He called, but his boss said not to worry, that by the time he got there the route would be done anyways. Glenn laid down to rest a little and I tried to, but the contractions start coming again. They were very irregular, not strong, and not regular.
I laid Beanie down for her nap about noon and tried to nap too, but as soon as I laid down I had contractions every 10-12 minutes or so. I got up and the contractions completely stopped. At about 1:45 I resigned myself to the fact that this was probably going to take days, if not weeks. I had many friends tell me they had contractions every day for a couple weeks with their second and I thought that seemed to be what was going to happen with me too. It was hard thinking that things were going to progress, only to feel like things were going absolutely nowhere.
At 2pm I went to the bathroom to urinate. After peeing I felt/heard a "pop" and a gush of fluid. It took a moment for me to realize that it was my water bag. At first I thought I was just peeing again, but then I realized that wasn't it at all. I yelled to Glenn that my water had broken and he called my sis. We had called her earlier to see if she just wanted to come over for dinner and spend the night just in case, but hadn't heard back. I told him just to have her come over now. I was nervous; my water breaking meant one thing to me -- the idea that I was "on the clock."
I called the midwife and relayed what had been happening. We decided that if the contractions hadn't picked up by 2am I would come in and get checked out. She said that most of the time contractions would start within 12hours of water breaking, but did mention the P-word -- a low dose of pitocin if things hadn't started by 2am.
I was a bit anxious. My water had never broken with Beanie (the OB broke it after I was complete). I remembered one thing about my labor after my water was broken -- the contractions were much more intense. Glenn watched a movie, my sister played with Beanie and I turned on my Ipod, listened to Damien Rice and tried to unwind. I grabbed my copy of The Thinking Woman's Guide and read up about pitocin and etc. The music helped me to relax.
About 4pm I was still having very irregular contractions, some were strong enough that I leaned over the counter and had Glenn apply counterpressure to my back, some were a lot shorter and not very strong at all. Nothing regular or progressing still.
I went outside and walked to the mailbox. I cried a little. I was frustrated that things did not seem to be progressing. I knew my frustration was only because of the anxiety I had about my water being broken. I knew I needed to meditate and focus. I listened to more music and did some breathing in the dark dining room. In kung fu there's a technique called chamber breathing, basically you take a deep breath in and then as you breath out you focus on releasing all the air downward from each pair (chamber) of abdominal muscles. There is a huge focus on the downward momentum of breathing out. Instead of focusing on releasing the air, I focused on moving 2.0 downward.
At about 5:30pm I decided that Glenn and I needed to get outside for a walk. My sister was making Beanie dinner. We walked for 30-40minutes. I had a few stronger contractions. We tried a bit of nipple stimulation when we got home. While walking we had decided that we were going to go in to the hospital before Beanie went down for bed. I knew that if she was having a difficult time lying down that it would make me anxious and unable to focus and I knew we needed to get out of the house before then. I decided to go in to the hospital and see what was going on. With Beanie my contractions were never quite regular and I was 6cm dilated when we arrived at the hospital; since this was our second and my water was also broken I wondered if things could be progressing without me really giving my body credit.
At 7pm we leave the house and I call the MW and said we were heading in in a bit. I told her about my wondering and etc and she said, "I'm not trying to talk you out of coming in." I think I was trying to talk myself into it actually. We stopped at Starbucks for Glenn and we drove around the neighborhood a bit before heading in. I told Glenn I would really need his support and help if we went in and nothing was happening. We parked on the third floor of the parking garage and took the stairs down to the hospital.
We go in to triage. I pee in a cup with great difficulty (surprisingly to me, I had been guzzling water and juice and peeing all day long), do the Amniosure (?) to test if it indeed was my water breaking and get hooked up to the monitors. I was contracting every 4 minutes. The MW was surprised when I said I hadn't been soaking through pads, but I didn't realize until much later that my water bag wasn't completely ruptured. They asked if I wanted a cervical check and I declined. I hadn't had one at all yet and knew that with my water ruptured I wanted to minimize checks as much as possible. They asked if I wanted to stay or go home. I knew I didn't want to go home. The offered to admit me or suggested walking the halls for the next couple hours. If admitted, I would have to have intermittent monitoring. We decided to get dressed and walk.
We walked. And walked. And walked. About 9pm we think of getting food delivered, but not much was still available (pretty much pizza which sounded like a gut bomb) so we pass. The nurses suggested grabbing food from the nourishment rooms (there is one on each hall of the maternity center) so we grab some sandwiches. As we're eating I feel very hot. We walk a little more and I get three contractions one on top of the other. I decide it's time to go get admitted and check things out. As we go back to triage I get the chills.
About 9:30 or 10ish I get quickly checked on the monitors. I was contracting every 3 minutes. The nurse asked if I'd like a cervical check now. I agree as I really want to know what's going on at this point. She had some difficulty checking (said something about bulging water bag but it still didn't click) and said I was about 6cm dilated and baby was at 0 station. To be honest, I was hoping to be a bit farther dilated, the hot and cold had me wondering if I was getting close to transition. But I knew 6cm was a good start, especially because, although long and somewhat frustrating, the labor had been relatively easy to this point.
We get in our room and get a longer strip on the monitors. I am totally uncomfortable lying down in the bed, so I end up standing next to the bed leaning on it with each contraction while they monitor me and baby. I express interest in getting in the tub so they start to fill it up.
We walk more. I wanted to see if I could get things to pick up even more. With Beanie we had walked a ton after I was first admitted and I thought it wouldn't be a bad idea again. Glenn and I had both been up for a very long time (him about 21 hours and me about 20) so we decided to go back to the room. I figured I could try to relax a little in the tub and maybe he could catch a quick cat nap. The contractions still seemed off and on. I talked to the MW and asked her if she thought getting in the tub would slow things down at all. She said if so she really thought they'd pick right back up again once I got out. I asked her if I was on any sort of timeline and she said no, that as long as I was progressing that she had no timeline for me.
We go back into the room and I get monitored again. I laid in the bed on my side for part of the time on this one. After having a very intese 2 minute long contractions I got up and sat on the birthing ball. I hated being in the bed. The nurse drained some of the water out of the tub as it had cooled off a bit and added more hot water. I ask to be checked again before I get in the tub. I was 8-9cm dilated. I asked if there were any popsicles and the nurse went to grab me one. I had a few licks of it and then went to get into the tub.
I get in the tub and realize instantly there is no way in hell I am going to sit in there. The nurse had said earlier that she had seen a Penny Simkin video where women were on hands and knees in the tub so we tried that. She put a towel under my knees and I grabbed the bar with my hands. Glenn held the shower head over my back and it felt so good. I later learned he was also holding my melting popsicle in the other hand until the MW asked if I still wanted it. I didn't so they threw it out and Glenn no longer had popsicle dripping all over him. Once in the tub the contractions got a lot more intense. Glenn was holding the shower head over my back, the nurse was rubbing my back with each contraction, and the MW was gently rubbing my shoulders (I had a lot of tension in them holding onto the rail) and talking to me. I stayed there on my knees for quite awhile until they started to ache. I really didn't want to get out of the tub though so the nurse suggested trying to stand up for a bit. I did that and it felt pretty good. After getting tired of standing I went back onto my knees. The nurse grabbed two or three more towels so I'd have more cushion under my knees. The whole time in the tub I was more vocal with my contractions. It was new to me; with Beanie I had pretty much been silent through all the contractions and even when pushing. It felt good to vocalize though so I just went with it.
After quite a long while I was ready to get out of the tub. I went back to sitting on the birthing ball and leaned over the bed. Glenn sat on the other side of the bed and held my hands. Again the nurse rubbed my back during each contraction (there wasn't much rest in between at all now) and the MW talked to me. I remember during one very intense contraction I let go of Glenn's hands and threw my hands up in the air....not in frustration but just that it was such an intense contraction that time. Immediately Glenn grabbed my hands and brought them back into his and back onto the bed. I did a lot more chamber breathing, envisioning 2.0 moving down the birth canal. I was feeling a little pushy but not a lot so I kept thinking of him moving lower and lower. During one contraction the MW started talking about an elevator going down each floor and to the basement. I envisioned him moving downward. During the next contraction I asked, "Can you talk about the elevator some more?" and she did. She mentioned that there was a bit of a forebag above his head and it might help to break it. I thought about it, but declined. This is when I finally realized that my water bag was still (somewhat) intact. I remembered how much more intense the contractions were with Beanie when I had my membranes ruptured and things were already very intense for me. One of the nurses was very "into" having her break my water, but I said no again. (There were 2 nurses the whole time, but only one was really with me for comfort and etc -- the other was more like the popsicle getter, etc). It was the popsicle getter who was so "into" trying to break my waters. I wasn't in a hurry now; I knew things were progressing and, at most, breaking the forebag would maybe help a little, but not much. We talked about how I was feeling and the MW asked if I wanted to be checked again. I said yes.
She checked me right about 2am. This is pretty much the only time-stamp I have after we went to the room, but I know it because we had been talking about how the clocks were all going to shift at 2am for Daylight Savings Time. We wondered about the non-digital clock with the hands on the wall. Were they going to spin around the clock right at 2? I was complete and 2.0 was at +1 station. I looked at the clock and noted that it still said 2:01 or so, so it hadn't spun around.
I had earlier asked about what position might be best for someone like me (who obviously was hating the bed) to push in. They had gotten the squatting bar out because I thought I might like that, but after the MW checked me I stayed on my side in bed. The nurse said to bear down if I felt like it. I did and it felt great to bear down with these contractions. The nurses helped hold one of my legs back and I tried to hold back the other and open up my pelvis. At this point I had to push with each contraction and it felt good. It was hard though, much harder than I remember with Beanie. I was getting tired, but everyone was so encouraging. And I was almost there, almost about to meet my son.
I think I pushed for somewhere around a half hour or so, I don't really know at all. 2.0 was born at 3:43 am on Sunday March 14, weighing 6lb 13oz and 20.5 inches long.
He was put to my chest immediately and was trying to open his eyes and was already rooting. I remember saying, "He looks tinier than I thought," and we all guessed how much we thought he would weigh.
The placenta delivered quickly without any real effort on my part. I tore slightly and the MW did a few stitches while I held my new son.
I asked the MW to see the placenta and cord and everything. I hadn't with Beanie and I was really very curious. She showed it to me and showed me the small tear in my water bag. I asked if that meant 2.0 had been born in the caul (or at least mostly so). I had always wondered if Beanie would've been if they hadn't broken my water bag and thought it was interesting that he was (sort of I guess) too.
We tried to nurse; he was very interested and alert but just sort of playful at the breast and then tried to rest.
I am so happy that everything turned out just as I had hoped. While I was surprised to have a longer, more intense and difficult labor than with my first, it really was one of the most amazing experiences ever.