I gave birth last week. Did I tell you?!
This is our last photo as a family of three! We took it right before Sean and I left for the hospital. Birth stories are such tempting reads! At least they are for me. Since I wrote about Javi’s birth day, I want to make sure I do the same for Lola. So, here goes —
Lola’s Birth Story:
A few weeks ago, doctors decided that I should be induced at 39 weeks. Unfortunately, that fell on Christmas Eve and I didn’t want that so I chose the 26th for her birth. Originally, the doctor had mentioned beginning Cervidil at 7PM on Tuesday night and assured me that I would be ready to deliver when she arrived to the hospital at 8:30AM the next day. Well, that’s, of course, not how it happened!
We got to the hospital and all checked in and they made me change right away. I got hooked up to the monitors so they could watch for contractions to give the doctor that was there an idea of where I was in the process. They said I was too far along to begin Cervidil. Typically, this means that they would send me home and I would return in the morning but since they didn’t need the room for anyone else, I got to stay. I would have preferred to go home and sleep in my bed for one more night! But the doctor decided that I could rest, and they would start an IV at 3AM and Pitocin at 4AM. They told me to eat around 3AM because it would be the last time I’d be able to — but, they brought me chicken salad and I just couldn’t do it. So I, very stupidly, didn’t eat anything…
Around 3:30AM, a nurse came in to start my IV (my least favorite part of this whole process, by the way). She missed (isn’t that always the way!?) and had to call in another nurse to start one on my other wrist so both of my wrist hurt and were bleeding. They started Pitocin at 4AM, and I went back to sleep. During the day I tried to hang out, we watched Friends (the episode where everyone has their baby before Rachel), shuffled around the room with travel monitors and pushed around my IV stand very carefully because I was certain it would pull right out of my wrist. I tried to move around as much as possible, and used the birthing ball a bit but otherwise stayed in bed. That wasn’t very comfortable because they made me wear compression boots that kept squeezing my legs. Not comfy.
Around 12:30, the doctor checked my “progress” and I say that super sarcastically, because there was barely progress made. But she said I was far enough along to get an epidural if I wanted. I said yes and soon, the anesthesiologist arrived and tried his best to take my mind off what he was about to do. It didn’t work. I remember this epidural a lot more than I remember the one I got with Javi. I think it’s because during Javi’s birth I waited so long to get the epidural and I was in so much pain from contractions that I didn’t care about the epidural. This time, I wasn’t in terrible pain — so the epidural was terribly painful. Though I did say, through tears “when are you putting it in?” and his response was “oh, it’s been in — you’re all done!” — so my mind clearly thought it would be worse.
Eventually I asked the nurse if I could eat and she said I could as long as it was from the “clear liquid diets” side of the menu. So I survived on chicken broth and jello and it was not filling or tasty or comforting. I was starving. By mid-afternoon, I had made 0 progress but around 7PM, when the doctor checked me (I was still only 5cm) she apparently hit a membrane (it hurt — even with the epidural) but for the next 2 hours I had intense contractions and that’s really when “labor” started and my water broke on its own. I couldn’t open my eyes, or move, or talk. Until — they told me that I had control over my epidural and could hit the button anytime I wanted! Well, what a difference.
At 9PM, I told the nurse I thought it was time to push and she told me it probably wasn’t if I wasn’t sure. So I laid there a bit longer and the doctor came in around 9:15 to check me and to her surprise it was absolutely time and they had to quickly call nurses and other doctors, and the pediatrician (who was supposed to be there to watch and check Lola’s heart) and suddenly all these machines started rolling in and people were getting dressed up and it was all a bit overwhelming. I looked at Sean and decided “yup, I’m not doing this”.
I pushed for about 20 minutes (not for 4 hours like with Javi!), and to my surprise — she arrived! She cried the second she came out, and they immediately put her on my chest and she was such a little babe! I quickly did a count of her fingers and toes and I was pretty shocked to see her dark, wavy hair and her blue eyes (what are the chances of both our kids having blue eyes?!). I held her and stared at her for about two hours while they looked her over, and wiped her down, listened to her heart, checked her eyes and did everything else they need to do. Around 11PM, I let her go (ha!) and Sean held her. I tried to breastfeed (nope, not for me), and decided to give her a bottle since she appeared hungry. While Sean held her, I ate (thanks to my parents who had brought me pasta earlier in the evening) and it was literally one of those things where I fell asleep with the bowl of pasta on my stomach. I was so tired.
But it’s the hospital — so you never sleep for long! The nurses came in around 3:30AM and told us we were moving rooms. So we got carted down the hall to a recovery room (Lola slept through the transition) but it was at this time that they weighed her and measured her. She was 8 pounds 2 ounces and 20.5 inches long.
She slept through the night (traumatic and exhausting entry to the world I guess). When she woke up, she kept throwing up (I guess she swallowed some stuff on the way out). Doctors and nurses started arriving around 7AM to run tests, give shots, check me — the works. She got an EKG (it was normal), she did her hearing test (she passed), they gave her 2 shots and some eye stuff. Around 11AM, she got her first bath from the nurses and she seemed to like it (no crying).
Javi, my parents and aunt arrived around noon to meet Lola! It was so special to see how excited he was (more on the introduction between siblings in a future post), and we made sure to take pictures and videos of their meeting. They left after a bit, but returned in the evening. We also got another visit from another one of my aunts in the evening, had a great hospital dinner (ha) and then went to bed.
Of course, the second night.. wasn’t as successful with the sleeping thing but luckily for us the nurses needed to do more tests on Lola in the middle of the night (I think the jaundice test and some blood test — poor girl, got pricked on the bottom of her foot) so she left the room for a few hours and we got some sleep. She came back to us around 5AM (sleeping very peacefully).
By now, it was Friday morning and I had asked to go home. A lot of the morning was filled with doctors coming in just to ask how I was, paperwork, signing out and we, thankfully, got discharged around 11AM. All in all, we were in the hospital from Tuesday night at 7PM to Friday morning at 11AM.