Monday, August 10, 2015

Laura Kathleen's Birth Story: The Second

This story is also called, The Girl Who Cried Induction...!

In the beginning was the Due Date

The difference between our first baby and our second baby was scheduling. In New Orleans, Will skipped class when I was in labor. His teachers knew I was due and all was fine.

In Bethlehem, we had a very specific window of time because of Will's job and my limited maternity leave with school. This caused a lot of stress on my end, alleviated partially by the presence of my wonderful, helpful mother-in-law (who arrived a week before my due date and stayed a few days after Laura's birth).

Grace came at 40 weeks, 2 days, so I wasn't necessarily in a rush to have this baby. Actually, I remember specifically praying that she would come after my Thursday classes, because then I would be mostly done and my Friday class could watch Thursday's lecture. (Priorities!) I was convinced she would come that weekend...

Bye, bye weekend. Hello, last week of February.

Will had this week off, and BOTH my in-laws were in town to spend time with the new baby. Bebe Deux, however, was quite comfy inside and I don't blame her. It's cold here in February.

Fine, whatever. Monday. Tuesday? WEDNESDAY. I had an appointment with the OB and I discussed induction. It wasn't my preferred plan but March was approaching and March meant Will's SICU. I was super nervous it was going to be as bad busy as January's MICU rotation. In January, Will left around 4:30-5 a.m. and got home after 8 p.m. Another ICU month also meant he would not have any more time off, and could not wait around for the birth to happen. We decided to induce on Friday evening, if she didn't arrive earlier.

Wednesday, Thursday, Friday... I wasn't teaching class this week. I was off and uncomfortable. I kept having pains, but nothing consistent. For dinner that night, I barely finished my sushi roll. I finished packing and gave Gracie kisses ta-ta.

Since we live within walking distance to the hospital, we walked there in the cold and entered the ER, where triage checked me in, and we were paraded around the Emergency Department, with everyone not with a patient cheered us on. It was pretty awesome. We went up to OB, got settled into another triage room and a resident came in to check me. She and Will knew each other from his OB rotation, and it is always fun watching him interact with the other doctors.

She then told me I had advanced from 1 cm to 3 cm in two days, and when she consulted with the attending, they sent me home. I was too far along.


The part where I went home and contracted

We understand: induce a girl at 8 p.m. and she could be having a baby in the wee hours of the morning... so, no sleep. Still ready, and sadly, I walked home with Will. My in-laws were deciding which movie they wanted to watch on Netflix and YAY! We were home in time to watch it with them. They decided to watch The Terminator, a Baldwin family favorite that I had yet to see.

Yeah. Not my first choice for films to contract to... About halfway through, we take a break for popcorn. I am now regularly contracting, but I had an OB on hand (thanks, FIL!) and he didn't think I was in a rush-back-to-the-hospital situation; my MIL was giddy-excited. Will tried to help me feel more comfortable, and then asked why I did not seem to be enjoying the film.

BECAUSE I AM CONTRACTING. And because I don't get it. (Arnold: why is it so scary?!)

Movie over. I appreciate it more and think how this movie would tie into a post. Go to bed. Contractions.

Wake up at 5:45 a.m. to a phone call from the hospital telling me they are too full and will not be inducing me this morning; they will call me when they're able. NOPE I'VE CONTRACTED ALL NIGHT. Oh, says the nurse. Then come on in!

Hospital, here to stay

Let me begin by being upfront with you: I was in triage for six hours. Apparently everyone in the area decided to go into labor and filled up the previously empty wing. I was hooked up to a monitor, in pain, 100% effaced and...

We both needed coffee BADLY.
The Good:
  • Will had a really good month in the OB back in October and so we became a floor favorite of people stopping in to say hi! That's always fun. 
  • painting my nails (please see exhibit A)
  • hope eternal
exhibit A, in all its glory
The Bad:
  • could not sleep (contractions)
  • uncomfortable
  • no coffee, hungry 
The Horrible:
  • lots of contractions, still 3 cm
  • waiting
Around 12:30, we arrive in a delivery room. It is large, spacious and fabulous. It was the only room available and I loved it! I promptly got my pitocin. The contractions got worse and really started to hurt. A few hours later, the anesthesiologist came to give me my epidural. This doctor was highly competent and extremely professional, and I have never been in so much pain.

I do not know if the spot did not accept the numbing medication or what, but Will stood in front of me and held me steady as I silently cried into him as the needle went into my back. I am so glad Will was allowed to stay in the room (definite doctor privileges - too much liability otherwise). He was my rock during that time, and helped me relax so as to finish the procedure.

Meanwhile, that epidural was total liquid gold. It was amazing once the line was in; made the rest of the evening much more bearable.

Around 5 o'clock, another resident came to check on me. Even with all the contractions, I was not moving along. They decided to break my water. After that, it was downhill skiing. Every time they checked me, I was closer and closer to 10 cm! Finally. My in-laws had checked in earlier with Grace, and all were waiting!

The last hiccup in waiting for Laura was my blood sugar. In all this time, I hadn't eaten anything since the night before. I had been given water and weak broth, and I was fading.

This is not a meal.
I felt silly, but talked to the nurse about it anyways. She checked my blood sugar and it was super low. She followed up with my attending, who ordered full-fat beef broth, jello, ginger ale and tea. I devoured it all. I watched Mulan with Will (who was studying), and texted my sister (who saved the screenshot):

Eventually, I ended up falling asleep after a boost of pain meds. My first real rest - and that felt good. Then, Will woke me up. He was positive that I was 10 cm by now and found the attending. He was right! It was time to push!

I had a full-troop in my room: my attending, a resident, a nurse and a nursing student (and Will!). The nursing student and I had bonded earlier, and now she was holding my hand and encouraging me. It was such a positive environment and I am so grateful for that. 18 minutes later, at 9:33 p.m., Laura Kathleen was born.

APGAR: 9 and 9.

8 lbs, 5 oz. and 20 inches long.

It was all very surreal. My parents were having a dinner party with their college friends, and when I texted my sister the news, everyone started celebrating and drinking to Laura. My MIL was in the waiting room, and got to meet her a few minutes later.

Will stayed for a bit, brought me flowers (tulips!!!) and then went home to sleep. Just Laura and mama time. I could tell this was the beginning of a beautiful adventure together, my Bebe Deux and me.

Grace's Birth Story

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  1. Aw Laura took her sweet sweet time! I feel like this will be true for her whole life - she will always be patient and never in a hurry ;)

  2. Beautiful story of two beautiful ladies! And surprisingly similar to my own experience. I'll be having that epidural much sooner next time, thank you.