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Monday, December 6, 2010

Labor and Delivery

(DISCLAIMER: This is long and boring unless you like L&D stories...so bear with me or skip this post :o) I was at a loss for how to keep it a) short and sweet and b) how to break it into smaller parts...so I just basically vomited it all out in raw detail for all y'all curious ladies!)

Wednesday morning: It was a busy week for us (getting ready for the Airman of the Month interview, which Jesse didn't get this time by the way. Boo.) but I was finally able to take the car and get some groceries during LJ's nap. The fridge was pretty bare...with labor imminent I knew this was probably not a good thing.

As I was walking around the BX (Base Exchange - like a Walmart) and Commissary (Grocery store) I was noticing contractions...they weren't doosies yet, but I could tell they were coming closer together. Hmmmm thought I, is this it?

I gave Jesse the status update before he left: keep your phone close tonight. I don't know if this is the real deal or not, but we'll see!

When LJ woke up, we went for a walk. I walked hard to see if they'd stop (apparently walking gets rid of false labor contractions) and was pleasantly surprised that they continued.

We both took naps around 3. I woke up before 5...either from a contraction, a full bladder, or because I was sweating (forgot to turn on the ceiling fan and Jess had jacked the heat up the night before). So I took care of the last two and laid back down to see what was up with the former.

From 5-5:30pm I timed pretty decent contractions at about 5 minutes apart. I wasn't sure if they were the real deal yet, but they were at least pretty strong and regular.

LJ got up and I got us some dinner. It's hard to actually pay attention to times when you're busy taking care of someone else...but I knew they were still coming strong and steady. I got a start packing her bag just in case.

I texted Jesse a status update. I didn't want him to get excited, but wanted him to be ready in case. Turned out to be a good call cause his instructor had him take his test that they were all taking the next day to finish up the block and he aced it! So he won't be leaving any loose ends at school.

Bethanne showed up to get something after LJ was in bed. She came in to check out my tree and ended up staying till 10:30! She helped me wrap some more presents that had just arrived. And we chatted and caught up and got excited about what the next night/day might bring!

She was hoping for a "snow day" :o) (Alas, our hopes were a little premature!)

Also, I find it very hard to accurately describe what a contraction feels like to someone. Especially the difference between the early ones and later ones. To first time preggos everywhere: I think God did this on purpose ;o) So you would still want to get pregnant!

Jesse kept texting to see how I was. I thought it was cause he was getting excited to come home early...turns out everyone kept asking him how things were going! :o)

10:30pm: hot bath, contractions kept coming.

Stayed busy catching up on some online blog reading. Did one last coat of nail polish.

Played some Halo Reach with Jesse when he got home.

Napped from 2-4am Thursday morning and woke up to a whopper contraction and another full bladder. I couldn't get back to sleep...they were still every 5 but getting stronger.

It was getting to the point where I needed to purposefully breathe through them. From what I remembered of LJ's labor (why, oh why, can't I remember something that happened just over a year ago? God's wisdom again...Mommy Amnesia.) this was a good sign.

So I came downstairs for a small bowl of soup. I unloaded the dishwasher. I enjoyed the tree lights. I decided my iPod needed charging. I took another hot bath.

I breathed through each contraction but I wasn't convinced I was anywhere near going in to the hospital.

6:30am: texted Bethanne that I wouldn't be needing her just yet, but hopefully at some point later in the day. Poor girl had to go to work after all.

I slept a little but they started hurting around 8:30. I was starting to remember how it was gonna go...painfully...

Thurs am: Jesse made LJ and I eggs for breakfast. After which I thanked him profusely for the breakfast and then grounded him from my cast iron skillet, because he didn't use oil and made a big old mess in it ;o)

We all went for a short walk.

I took another bath. (For anyone interested in "how" I do natural L&D...the primary way I take the edge off the pain is a soak in a hot bath...and breath deep...and whine and whimper ;o) )

Shaved my legs...just killing time here... :o) I was able to nap a little during LJ's nap.

I downloaded a cool contraction counter app to my iPod. Technology can be so fun! And make life easier! :o) Best feature: it timed from one to the next and then gave you the average for the last hour. Less thinking and keeping track for me!

2pm-ish...I got nervous that the intensity was increasing but not the frequency. Seemed to be up closer to 7-9 mins apart. Was this okay? They were strong, but was it strong enough?

So I took a walk at 3:30. They bunched up to 4-5 minutes during walk. Good sign.

I finished getting Lily's bag and food packed. Gave her a bath and ate a simple dinner.

We took her and all her gear to Bethanne's around 7pm. I didn't know when/if we'd even go in during the night, but we didn't want to have to wake up the kid or our friends.

I had crazy mommy heartache as I left her...I wished I could take care of this without leaving her for who knows how long. But you can't be with your big baby while having your little one.

I alerted the family of the current status :o)

Took another walk and bath. I decided to stop counting contractions and just relax...counting was making me stressed since they weren't getting closer together. I figured they'd get closer together whenever and I'd know...no need to be timing them constantly.

So we watched the newest episode of Lie to Me on Hulu.

Fri am: 10:30-1:30am on and off sleep. Contractions were consistent and hard. Baths. Potty breaks.

They were getting harder to breathe through...the first few seconds always bring a moment of panic...but two deep breaths (counting to about 20 up and down) usually get me through. I find that if I get tense, hold my breath, freak out, or anything else of that nature, they hurt a lot more.

3:30am: those puppies were hurting! I was glad to feel progress but whew...I started asking myself: can I do this? How much longer, Lord? When should I go to the hospital? Am I progressed enough?

Side note: I was definitely glad I waited as long as I did. Because of the fetal monitoring, I was a little bit less comfortable than at home, obviously. While I was hooked up, I had to sit in bed. And lean to my left side a bit, since SJ seemed to tolerate the contractions better that way. Then again, I was getting curious to see how I was progressing, and since I'd been in at least early labor for awhile at that point, I wasn't too upset to have them monitoring her. I wanted to be sure she was okay, after all.

4:30am: Woke Jesse up to pack and go. Got to the hospital around 5 and was 5/6cms.

Staff was great, room was big and comfy...lots of room to walk around. Walking was nice this time...I liked to lean against a wall or the window sill and sway during the contractions. (except for when I had to sit in the bed with the monitor. Then I had a staring contest with Jesse...)

Progressed pretty quickly, but contractions were hard hard hard. If I didn't breathe slow, deep, and controlled, I started to panic.

Toni describes it best: you start to want to crawl out of your skin towards the end! :o)

This might have been to the point I was "in transition". Having been through it before, I was a little more aware of what was going on with my body this time. The contractions of early labor are different from the end because at the end I could actually feel my uterus working to move her down. (Lots of pelvic pressure with each contraction, etc.)

It's weird to me that I was totally calm and collected in between contractions, but a complete "I gotta breath deep and slow or I'm gonna die" spaz during. Hmmm. Labor...weird. For the record, just cause I deliver naturally doesn't mean my labors are peaceful, calm events. I've read they can be, but I don't have that kind of self control ;o) I mean, I don't scream and cry...but I get suuuuper focused during each contraction on just getting through. And I kinda whimper and whine about it, as Jesse can bear witness to. And I'm not calm during the pushing stage. Not. at. all.

Jesse was a huge help in reminding me to be calm. I especially asked him to remind me that it's just one contraction at a time. I got through each one by looking into his eyes, holding his hand, and breathing...I don't know how I could do it without him. He jokingly complained that our little stare-downs during each contraction were making his eyes dry ;o)

Contractions started to be really really strong after 8cms. It took less than an hour for me to start pushing (the nurse didn't even bother checking me again to see if I was fully dilated cause I told her I was already kinda pushing gently with each contraction)...my water broke on it's own...which didn't happen with LJ. It scared the crap out of me and sounded like a shotgun! "Gross" was the first word that popped out of my mouth! Jesse and the nurse laughed. I still say it was gross :o)

But it was good...she had pooped (why do my kids like to poop inside me?) so a pediatrician was called to asses her upon birth.

I pushed hard, but it was thankfully only for twenty minutes this time! :o) It still hurt like hades, but at least I wasn't tortured long.

I did tear again...cause I wasn't patient and just popped her right out :o) Ow. Oh well. (Jesse says it's my fault cause the doctor was trying to get me to relax and go slower at the end...but I don't even remember that part...all I remember is that she was crowning and I was kicking her out of hotel uterus as fast as I possibly could! Again...ow. Oh well!)

She was a little blue and not making much noise at first but they took care of her and soon her cries joined mine...except mine were happy tears and hers were annoyed ones...but we were done! She was okay! Hallelujah!

She then proceeded to latch on and nurse like a pro for 40 mins!

She's beautiful. Tiny. Healthy. Ours. The end.


  1. Love it! I'm so glad everything went so well for you :D

  2. Yay! The story!! Now I have to email you all my questions... which hopefully you'll get a free sec to answer before I have to head to the hospital - but if not, I totally understand, lol ;) Glad it was a good delivery!

  3. Thanks for sharing! Praise God things went well and pushing didn't last as long! :o)

  4. Nope...not the end...just the beginning of being a mommy of 2 little girls. One of the most beautiful relationships to witness as they form and bond. I just sit back and watch while Giovanna and Lucia watch each other, learn from/about each other, and get closer and closer. Congratulations on another great labor. So amazing!