Tuesday afternoon (8/24) Eric got home from work and took Micah to the store and I passed out on the couch, letting Cara watch tv. This isn't uncommon, but I could NOT wake myself up. So he made dinner for everyone and I went and laid down in our room in front of the fan. Anna started going CRAZY moving and it just felt a little weird to me. I started praying, Lord, if there's something wrong and we need to go in, please send me a sign so I know for sure. It was as soon as I finished praying that I started having contractions. They weren't extremely strong, but were fairly close together. That's when I started having to use the restroom....like 4 times. Just like I did right before I had Micah. I also had my 'bloody show,' so I felt confident this was the day to go to the hospital. We called some people, and decided we'd get the kids in bed before we went. Eric's mom and sister came over because they were closer to sit with the kids. I called my sister and she was going to come stay the night at our house with the kids and watch them the next day. (note--she had never babysat for us before or spent a night away from Jack since he's been home from the hospital! Big props to my little sis!).
We went in around 8 and I gave them my birth plan and told them that if I was not currently in active labor, or farther than 3 cm (which I was last Friday in the office), I'd prefer to go home. So, they hooked me up to the monitors to monitor baby's heart rate and contractions. I preferred to stand up because as long as I was swaying or walking, they'd keep coming. It was right after shift change, and there were others there in labor (full moon!), so I didn't get checked for awhile. When I did, I was still a 3 and 50% effaced (same as Friday). So, my nurse (I had AWESOME nurses the whole time I was there) went to call my doctor's partner, who was on call, to show her my chart and see if I could go home. I was still having contractions, but I could tell they weren't the real thing, and weren't very close together. I was a little bummed because I felt confident we were supposed to go in (and I was 39w5d and felt very done) :) after my prayer. I got in bed at this point to watch tv and we just waited for the nurse to come back. She took a little longer than I expected, and when she did (probably by 11 pm at this point) she said she talked to my doctor and I was all set to go home, but as soon as she hung up, Anna's heart rate had a few decellerations during contractions. It was nothing to be too concerned about, but she called the doctor back and the doctor wanted me to stay overnight for observation to make sure the baby stayed ok. I was ok with that, and started praying about if should I just induce in the morning. I hated to waste all our babysitter plans ;) and I still felt that God had led me to the hospital that night. So the night wore on, and I got more and more uncomfortable. I was able to sleep from about 1-3, but then she started decell'ing again. So they put me on oxygen and saline again, and I got really upset. I started crying and told Eric that I just didn't know what to do. I felt like this was exactly what I didn't want---to be hooked up to monitors, an IV, oxygen, trying to 'sleep' in a hospital bed just waiting on morning. I was frustrated and didn't know what to do. My nurse was amazing and kept working with me every time I rolled over to try to get comfortable to get the monitors on the baby. At this point my contractions were non-existant.
I was able to sleep a little from 4:30-6, but then I just gave up. Eric and I talked and prayed, and we decided if the doctors would let us do it how we'd like, we'd start pitocin that morning to see if we could get the contractions going well and me progressing, and if I did, that then we could turn it off and let me finish drug free. This proved to be a good choice since it was Wednesday; both the doctors in our practice don't see patients on Wednesdays so they can be at the hospital for births and scheduled surgeries. This obviously wasn't my first choice, but it was what we felt at peace with doing that morning. The doctor came in around 7 and she was completely fine with our choice. She offered water breaking vs. the pitocin, but we chose the pit. With Cara (which I was induced), my water broke on it's own right as they started the pit and my contractions became unbearable almost immediately. Micah's water didn't break until I was pushing at 9 cm and I thought maybe I was able to make it through drug free because of that. (Side Note--I keep saying drug free like it is the only way I am willing to have a baby. I have had both and my main reason for wanting no epidural is the recovery! I know pitocin is also a drug, and it was a choice we made this time. I am by no means trying to sound high and mighty for doing it the way I did, just telling it how it happened). Anyways, so around 7:30 we got started. The contractions started right away, but they were ok and not close together. Bailey brought the kids up for about 20-30 minutes so I could see them, and of course they had a blast playing on the bed and couch :).
This is getting long, SORRY! So I was checked around 9:30 or 10 and I was only a 4, about 75% effaced. That's not good, not progressing very fast, but I still felt I was handling the contractions well. My doctor came in and I asked his opinion about if I should break my water, and told him my theory about Cara's birth vs. Micah's. His wonderful advice was, "It's your choice, every birth is different." Gee, thanks. So he left, Eric and I talked and we decided to have the doctor break my water. Right before his partner (Dr. L from now on, Dr. E is my doctor) came in to break it (around 10:45), I started crying again. I was emotional ALL day! Eric said he knew it wasn't how I wanted it to happen, but that it would be just fine. Anna being healthy was all we cared about. He said he knew we were supposed to go in last night. I kept saying, I just feel like if we had just stayed home, that I would still be pregnant and wouldn't be hooked up to things and having to make these decisions. Also, thinking back, I think I was 'mourning' the end of my pregnancy, not sure if it's our last or not. I felt disappointed in how this birth was going, and like I had disobeyed and took things into my own hands. He said, but God told us to come last night. I said, then why, every time I try to pray during a contraction, do I start crying and feel bad??? Can you imagine being poor Eric? Such a patient, sweet husband I have. So Dr. L and the nurse came in to break my water and I was crying and still trying to relax during contractions. The doctor did her thing and left and the nurse tried to comfort me. I just laid on my side and continued to labor (when I didn't have to get up and pee because of the saline!) slowly. I cried on and off (which doesn't bode well for relaxing!) for awhile and just tried to focus on seeing Anna and praying. Around 11:45 I was checked and I was a 5, 90%. Still not much progress for 4 hours of pit and my water broke. The contractions were every 2-3 minutes at this point (I only know because I asked the nurse, they felt much closer) and I could tell I was getting to where I wasn't handling things as well. My legs were starting to shake in between contractions (they did this with Micah too) and things were very painful At 12:15 pm (yes, 56 minutes before she was born!), I told the nurse things just felt weird and she checked me again. I was still a 5 (though later she said I was a 6, all I heard was there wasn't much change). At this point I threw in the towel and told Eric to call for the epidural, and thus started my panic attack---SERIOUSLY. I didn't think I could make it through 2 more contractions, much less wait what I'm sure would be another 30 minutes before the doctor got there to give me some drugs. Then the thought of having to sit still while I was having the contractions to get the epidural sent me into more panic. I begged her to turn the pit off, but she couldn't (she later did, about mid-way through the next paragraph) since the epidural would slow us down. The nurse said I had to complete a bulbous of fluids before they could even do this (and I knew from the night before that was 30 minutes) and the doctor had one more patient before me. I was really starting to panic and definitely not relaxing during contractions. Eric said, are you sure you want the drugs, maybe you're in transition and I basically said shut up, I can't do this. Probably 10 minutes later I asked how much longer and she just said he's still with the other patient. I threw what was a 30 year old's version of a hissy fit. It was not pretty, just be glad you weren't there :).
I said, I can't lie here, the pain was awful, so I got up to try to pee again (never had to do this with Micah, but was on saline the whole time this time and wow is that annoying having to pee during labor!). From here on out, I have no recollection of time, I wasn't watching the clock if you know what I mean. I was sitting on the toilet, and as a contraction hit, I had to push. And I did. I tried not to, but I couldn't stop it. Thank the Lord the nurse was still in the room. I told her I am all of a sudden having the urge to push and she said, ok, let me check you. I laid down and she went to check me and the look on her face was basically, you're not going anywhere, then she said, 'let me check you during a contraction.' Wow, that sounds like fun. All that was going through my head was I'm still a 5 or 6 and I'm going to RIP MYSELF UP (sorry, I know it's graphic). I couldn't imagine it was actually time to push, so needless to say, my panic level AGAIN skyrocketed, as calm as I tried to stay. So she did and she said, yeah, you're a 9 during contractions, as I PUSHED her hand out of me. There was no stopping this train, so she called for the doctor as I continued to push through all my contractions on the bed. It sounds like it was a long time, but thinking back, I probably only pushed 10 good times, maybe 20 minutes?? We're guessing here. Again, thank the Lord the doctor was in the building (in the OR). They called and I heard my nurse kinda get URGENT and then a BUNCH of nurses showed up in my room. She made me lie back a bit because I was crowning and she said "you're sitting on your baby's head!" She told me later she called down the hall and said we're having a baby in here and the doctor isn't here yet, so all the nurses came. They all did what they do, and I kept pushing. What was nice about this was that I actually had a break during contractions! A good break. With Micah, I'd push, then I'd convulse (my legs would shake and I wouldn't be able to calm down), so there was no break. With Anna, I'd push really hard (again, with no doctor to be seen, and the bed not even broken down yet), and then I'd be able to just sit there for 2-3 minutes! It wasn't pleasant, but it wasn't awfully painful. The nurse was ready to catch, when all of a sudden Dr. E walked in. Eric and I didn't even see him, I just felt him!! He started pouring stuff on me and doing his (painful) thing and I think I pushed 3 times before she was born! There are more details, but no one needs to read all that :). I remember hearing, 'just one more good push and she'll be here.' I was think, yeah, right, but OK and gave it a go and she was born (at 1:11 pm)! I was literally still in shock when she came out. They put her on me and I could see the light red tinge to her hair :). Everyone kept saying how big she was. I had guessed 9 pounds before she was born, but she ended up being smaller than Micah :). I was happy to see her, but I was not having the high I did after Micah. I was still contracting and in pain.
The nurse said, 'oh, I thought putting her on you would distract you.' I said nope, it still hurts, so they took her to clean her off, etc. Dr. E was lightly pulling on my cord, and I asked if I could push, he said, YES! so I did and had the placenta. Eric said Dr. E and the nurse were going on and on about how big my afterbirth was. Lovely, although the idea of losing even more baby weight with a big placenta isn't a bad thing :). Then I felt much better. He cleaned me up, said I had the tiniest of tear that didn't even require a stitch, and then I was able to focus on Anna! I just kept watching her, and made Eric get the camera out! I think we were both still in shock at how quick it happened. 56 minutes from being 5 cm to a birth! And that right there is one of the reasons I think God led us to the hospital. What if I had waited that long at home? I'd probably had had the baby waiting to get admitted!!!! I was an emotional wreck all day. I hugged my nurse and told her thanks for putting up with me. Bailey came to sit with me while Anna was in the nursery and Eric went home to get the kids. I felt very humble. Nothing went according to (my) plan. I kept telling myself this the last few weeks of pregnancy. God knew His plans for her. Knew when she'd come and how she'd come. It wasn't what I wanted, but the outcome was amazing. I ended up with no epidural, not because I didn't want it :), but because I was pushing by the time the doctor got there. And that was God's plan too. My recovery has again been amazing, and I am in awe of God for blessing me with that twice in a row!
We keep praying for growth for Anna, like we did for all our babies! She was 8 pounds 3 ounces at birth. She was 7 pounds 12 ounces Thursday night I think (minimal loss, I know). My milk finally came in in the middle of the night/early this morning. She is finally having consistent wet and dirty diapers. She only had ONE wet diaper from around noon yesterday until around 11 am today. Since then, she's blessed us with many more :). She did amazing last night! Fed her around 8:30 and laid her down around 9. She didn't wake until 1:30 (don't freak out, I think it was what my milk needed, and what I needed!) this am. She didn't want to eat right away, so it took a good hour to feed her, but then she went right back to sleep (around 2:30) until 5:15. Ate and stayed up until around 6, then back to sleep, then I went and got her to hold her around 8 and she fed around 8:30. She's been more hungry today, now that she's getting milk, and she seems to be working out the poop, and has spit up once or twice (C & M both did that, a lot, for months, though no reflux). But she's doing amazing. I felt awesome after sleeping so well last night (you must remember how awful I slept while pregnant with her!), so the 3 kids, Eric, my mom and myself went on a big outing! We went to a big kids consignment sale up at the Barry Center (We--tot2tot--were a goody bag vendor) and it was fun. Well for me, I got some vendors for t2t and my mom ordered a new lunch bag thing. Eric had to run the 2 big kids in the double stroller up and down a hall (they had a blast, he was exhausted) :) to keep them happy! While there, she nursed, and then went through 2 diapers pooping and peeing :). We then grabbed some chick-fil-a for lunch and headed to Nurtured Family. I had been a few weeks ago, and had settled on 2 ring slings, but I wanted to try them out with her in them. I ended up getting the Stella colored Hava ring sling. It's just so pretty :). I will be putting it to use this next week as we have meet the teacher for Cara's preschool Wednesday and a birthday party on Friday for Micah's best friend.
On a funny side note, Micah's best bud, Reagan, has a 3 month old little sister. Baby Ginny. Micah calls Anna baby Ginny 95% of the time. We tell him it's baby Anna, and then occasionally he's say baby Nana (how he says anna), but forgets by the next time he talks to/about her. Silly boy. I have more pictures, but haven't uploaded them to flickr yet. I will post more soon. My mom keeps getting onto me to go to bed. But I wanted to get this all typed up before I forgot more details! I know this is a book, but I hope if you made it this far, it was worth your while :).