Even though I (obviously) birthed Carmen, I wasn't sure what to expect with baby #2.
Also, I am addicted to birth stories which is why I wrote this. I imagine there are other people just like me :)
Will everything go as planned?
Can I do it without drugs again?
Will it really be quicker??
(I sure hope so.)
Carmen's birth took ... a while. She was, what they call, "direct OP". Which means she came out sunny-side-up. Also means - I had a false transition period (aka what I consider to be the worst part of labor, when you feel like you have to push but you CAN'T because you aren't fully dilated). I had the midwives break my water. I was stuck in the 5-7cm period for HOURS. I was begging for drugs in between cursing and laughing - but - I trained John and my doula to tell me I didn't want that. Ha.
To be clear, I have zero issues with drugs. I'm just really (really) competitive by nature, and I wanted to see if I could do it without.
After a long, long time of laboring - I pushed for 2 hours before she popped out.
Fast-forward to Perry.
I don't really remember what "water breaking" feels like because it happened in the midst of terrible pain, manually by a midwife.
On a September Wednesday night as I was getting into bed - it kinda felt like I peed my pants.
I was about a day away from my due date. I guess this could be my water breaking? But I have ZERO contractions.
I tell you - I was way more chill and nonchalant with this baby.
I just put on a pad and went to bed.
Woke up Thursday and pretty much was leaking all day...and contractions started picking up.
I did work, sent emails, did laundry, made a post on instagram, lol - you know - the usual.
I was in contact with my doula the entire time - Debbie!! (Debbie the Doula aka an angel on earth) and we both knew that if I called the midwives, they would tell me to come in because of risk of infection (since my water technically was breaking since the night before AND I was group B strep positive).
I also knew that I was not ready to go to the hospital because I was ... doing laundry and sending emails. If I could do that - girl, it was not time to be walking around a hospital in a gown.
Finally, things started getting more unbearable and it was getting later in the day so I took a shower, packed my bag, and decided to head to the hospital (this was around 5PM for reference).
I seriously thought about walking because it was so nice out and it would be about a 20-minute walk. But, because the contractions were getting harder - I didn't want to stop in the middle of the sidewalk and have people think I was in trouble.
By the way - for Carmen, we packed the CAR with ...stuff. Everything.
Things I didn't even look at one time in the hospital. A pretty robe. LOL. A nursing pillow. Double LOL. JUST USE EVERYTHING THE HOSPITAL GIVES YOU.
For Perry - I had ONE BAG. Trust me - you need nothing.
So, John drove me to the hospital and dropped me off. I know this sounds super-casual, but, I wanted him to go pick up Carmen and put her to bed that night.
I also really like being alone. lol.
Especially in labor.
I really thought I was going to be there all night and have the baby in the morning. I was wrong! (keep reading)
Checked into the hospital around 5PM.
THERE WERE SO MANY PEOPLE HAVING BABIES and NOW I WAS UNCOMFORTABLE.
I had to wait in the waiting room for an HOUR before I could even have a room in the PETU (intake area).
Got my room around 6PM, and I honestly think I only got it because I told them my water broke and I was group B strep positive.
I was only 3cm dilated.
ARE YOU #(*&$#*$&#*$& KIDDING ME?
My doula arrived about 30 minutes later and brought me a sweetgreen salad. This is not allowed but I was HUNGRY. I snuck bites in between contractions. Sorry, not sorry.
From 6:30-8:15PM, I walked the halls of the floor because I was in a tiny ass room with someone else in there and had zero space.
Contractions suck so bad.
If you are curious what they feel like - my thought is that they feel like you have the worst period cramps (in history) mixed with really having to poo, but YOU CAN'T.
Comes on like a wave....and you ride the wave up and back down until it dissipates. For my walks in the hallway - I leaned over a handrail and my doula would massage my back. (< clutch)
Still going strong with no drugs. I just kept thinking - THIS WILL BE OVER TOMORROW (aka there was an end to the pain!).
OK, but then at 8:15 my water REALLY broke. I knew it this time. Still not sure why it was leaking - but holy shit, after this point the contractions were 10x worse!!!
I could not speak. I could not sit. I could not stand. I could not lay down.
Everything at this point was UN-bearable.
(Also, I forget when, but at some point I had advanced to 5cm)
In order to survive - I had to completely squat through contractions. Slash also kind of crawl on the floor.
It's really crazy to me that your body just totally takes over and does what needs to be done to make this shit happen.
Like, it's incredible.
Anyway, someone came to check me when I said - "I have to push" and I was at 7cm which meant TRANSITION. But apparently they saw promise in me, and said I could move to the makeshift delivery room.
Yep. No delivery rooms were open.
Was everyone having a baby at this moment?
I walked myself down the hallway in the middle of contractions to my "L+D room" set up.
I can't believe I walked at this point because after this moment, I was pretty much just crawling on the floor of that room.
Outside of me being in labor, we had a yoga event happening this night for B+YND and I was thinking - "I wonder how it's going". Why was I thinking that? Probably just to get my mind off of the pain!
I also know I tried to text Kate and Jen (my biz partners) to tell them I felt like I was dying - but I couldn't pick up my phone. HAHAHA Like I vividly remember this and being unable to grab my phone.
In this room - I knew there was progress. The progress keeps me going!
People were putting on ...things! Getting things ready! There was movement and scurrying - I knew it was going to be over soon and I would meet this baby!
John literally arrived right before I started pushing. Honestly, I didn't think I'd be getting ready to push out a baby 4 hours after I got to the hospital. That went quick! (relatively)
I pushed for 8 minutes.
A far cry from the 2 hours with Carmen.
I felt the ring of fire this time (I don't remember it with Carmen).
Yes, of course it hurts. But, dude, I've been in massive pain for hours - this is relief! I love pushing - it means you are at the finish line!
It's also the most EXHAUSTING thing I've ever done. More than running 10 miles, more than a HIIT workout... I felt like I could not catch my breath in between the sets of 4 pushes.
John told me I looked like the hulk and my veins were bulging out of my arms. tee hee. That is equally amazing as it is terrifying.
Also, I didn't know what I was having! This was exciting! I kept saying to myself "you are going to meet them soon and you have no idea what to expect!"
When they finally put Perry on my chest, we didn't have the chance to see what we had! We waited a solid 5 minutes before turning her over to see she was a girl.
We also didn't decide on a final name! That took another half hour. (this always happens to us)
THE END! ( did I forget anything? lmk!)