Birth · Pregnancy

The Birth of Alice Ivy

I wasn’t sleeping. I knew I should be, after all the toddler would be up soon and being full term I was already exhausted most of the day. But my hips were killing me. The last few months of pregnancy I had been in so much pain I could barely move. If it weren’t for the toddler, who still wanted to be played with, despite mom’s grumpiness and short temper, I probably would not have moved from the bed. But there I was, awake again. 3:57 I saw the time on my Kindle and in an all too familiar rush, I felt my water break and trickle down my leg. I knew this feeling, baby was coming. My contractions were irregular and I knew from the birth of the toddler that I had some time, after all, that one was 42 hours. I texted Tim to let him know, he would be getting off work in a few hours, no need for him to rush home. I prayed this wouldn’t be 42 hours.

I was excited, but not nearly as giddy as the last time. 2nd pregnancy, especially this close to the last one, has a weird feeling of excitement, dread, and most of all boredom. Excitement because here comes a new baby. Both excitement and dread because everything was going to change, we were no longer a one kid family.Our precious daughter was going to be a big sister, a role she obviously had no idea what it meant and how this would change her life. Could we really handle two? Would she be ok? Would she love her baby sister? But oh baby, those firsts all over again. There was also a large amount of dread on the impending pain. At this early phase the contractions weren’t that painful, I knew that wouldn’t last. But with all this, there was still boredom. I knew it would be awhile and knew generally what to expect. I couldn’t start anything, but I couldn’t just expect to sit around and not do anything. Mostly, I paced around the house and watched mythbusters on the TV.

Tim came home around 7:30, I called my mom about that time too. I let her know that today was the day, but to not hurray. She had time to gather her stuff, maybe stop at the grocery store, and prepare for coming to my house to stay with the toddler. The toddler was just waking up when Tim got home. She seemed oblivious to mom stopping and whining with each contraction, she just wanted to know what was taking so long for her milk and breakfast.

When he got home, I sent Tim to bed. I was still doing well and I knew I would need him up and not grumpy and 24 hour shifts don’t do much for his disposition.

My mom arrived around 9:30. We sat and talked names, of which we still weren’t sure. Unlike last time we knew the sex of the baby, another little girl, But I still had no ideas about names. Sure we had our short list, but nothing seemed quite right.

I let Tim sleep until about 12:30 before coming in and telling him he should think about waking up. He got up took a shower and got ready. We packed everything in the car, made sure the carseat was properly installed, I ate half a leftover sweet potato from our anniversary dinner two nights before. And away we went at around 1pm. Toddler waving in the window.

The drive to the hospital was new. Since Tempest was born at home, I never experienced having to drive while in labor. It wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be. By then, contractions were about every 4 to 5 minutes apart, the drive was close to 45 minutes, and of course there was traffic and construction. Every bump felt like a crater. I kept breathing, and honestly, it wasn’t as bad as I thought. I knew I wasn’t in hard labor yet, but I also knew it was coming.

Pulling into the hospital we had to decide, do we go through the front doors, or through emergency? I figured emergency was a bigger deal, and at least through the front we were close to parking and I knew my way. So in we went. Bag in hand, stopping every little while for me to catch my breath.

We sat in the waiting room for a few minutes before someone brought us back to triage. They checked my blood pressure and had me get changed. Then hooked me up to the heart rate monitor. The midwife who came in didn’t believe me that my water had broke. She took a swab anyway and sent it off to the lab. But she was pretty sure I would be on my way home soon, I knew different. A quick ultrasound showed baby was ready to go. Everything looked good. Tim and I sat alone in the intake room for what seemed like days, it was really only about an hour. Then the midwife came in told me that my lab results did in fact show amniotic fluid and that yes, my water had broke. I tried to contain the annoyance on my face and luckily another contraction took my focus off of it.

They finally got us our room and we got settled in. I was happy to hear that the midwife who checked us in was just getting off shift and was not the midwife I was delivering with. The nurses came by checked my blood sugar, told me I couldn’t eat, but gave me the “liquid” only menu that I could order from if I wanted. There was nothing I wanted less than food.

Or so I thought. Then they started the IV. I was GBS+ and needed penicillin (which ended up giving me two weeks of hives that turned into thrush). It burned. The good news was that it took all my focus off of my contractions. The bad news is, I would have rather had the contractions.

With a dose of Penicillin in, I was able to walk around a little. Tim and I did a lap around the floor and talked. The nurses commented on how it was amazing how chipper I was. I was having a baby, not dying.

By the time we got back to the room my contractions were a little stronger and very fast. A doctor stopped by to talk about my pain management options, of which I said. I am fine. They told me I was getting close and this would be the time. She said how she could never give birth without something. I told her I already had done so before. She was impressed. I was not.

The my water, which had already broke at 3:57 am, broke again around 8pm. In one big gush on the floor. I was helped by my loving husband to the bathroom so i could change gowns, while the nurses ran around and cleaned the floor. I got back into the bed, was checked, and told this baby is coming, like soon.

I was also told they had to get the full second dose of penicillin in before baby was delivered or we would have to stay another day. So they started the IV, on full, all the way up. My husband asked if it was another contraction, but I could only point to my arm where the burning hot lava was pouring into my veins.

They weren’t kidding when they meant it would be soon. The IV stopped the same time I felt my body pushing. They told me to hold on, but I’m not capable of stopping once it decides its time. The midwife got back into the room and it seemed like more and more nurses came in. We had given consent to have students come in to observe and apparently an all natural childbirth is crazy rare, even in a hospital with a fantastic midwife service.

9:07 baby was born. Luckily it wasn’t 42 hours, only a little over 17.

I knew right away that the precious little girl I held was named Alice. What we didn’t know was a middle name. After a day of consideration, we decided.

Alice Ivy

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