Tuesday, June 26, 2012

What an entrance! (Olivia's birth)

Baby number two was due on June 7. This past Tuesday (June 19) I once again went to my weekly appointment with my nurse midwife. At 41 weeks and 4 days, I was almost two weeks overdue. She told me I was in the schedule for induction at the hospital on Wednesday. I went home pretty bummed about that. I had heard that Pitocin-induced contractions were particularly painful. I'm a big wimp, so I had visions of horrible contractions followed by an epidural and another protracted labor. My nurse midwife assured me (as she had been doing for months) that this baby was going to fly out of me. While I had mixed feelings about inductions, I really do trust my nurse midwife, so I went home and made plans for my in-laws to come down in the morning and sit with my daughter.

At the same time, during my appointment my nurse midwife had "stripped my membranes" and told me to go home and " get a vibrator, read some trash, whatever it took." All of this of course being one last ditch effort at starting things naturally. So we had lunch and after I put Alessia down for a nap, I "took a nap" myself. At 1:55 contractions started every two minutes apart. I knew that things could slow down again, so I decded to wait and see where things were going. After 45 minutes of this (during which I decided to water my tomato plants, ha ha) I had Adam call his parents and ask them to drive down, just in case. Well, having been told that we were being induced the following day, they had gone outside to the garden without their cell phones. I called my doctor's office. When the nurse called me back, my water broke, and she told me that we should go ahead and head to the hospital. In the meantime the two women on the street who had said they would watch Alessia until Adam's parents arrived were not at home, and all of our friends were at work. Just as we were debating what to do, Adam's parents called and then another neighbor was seen pulling into her driveway and Adam ran down the street to talk to her. Luckily Alessia napped through all of this.

At 3:30 we got ourselves into the neighbor's car. They were away for the week, but had insisted on leaving us their keys, just in case. We headed out, hitting every red light on the way to the highway, and stopping for gas, having mistakenly read the gas meter as on empty, when in fact it was on full. Luckily traffic wasn't too bad. For those of you who aren't in the Boston area, any drive that involves Storrow Drive and the Longwood Medical Area is going to involve traffic, the question is how much traffic? Somewhere in there I realized that the nature of the contractions was changing. Just a few days before I had been reading about the stages of labor. I hadn't experienced the physical sensations of the last few stages of my first daughter's labor since I had an epidural. I realized that the change meant we were getting closer, but kept this to myself as I didn't want to alarm Adam. We got to the hospital. I eyed the emergency entrance, but decided we weren't quite at that point. The valet got me right into a wheelchair and into admitting. The person staffing admitting took one look at me and quickly pulled out the paper work and had me sign it. I laughed inside, thinking that I would have signed anything at that point. She took us up to the delivery floor and parked me in the triage area. At some point in all of that I started to feel a burning sensation which I remembered reading was the head starting it's dissent, and I started to feel a lot of downward pressure. After a few moments the triage nurse came out and after one look at me asked if this was my first or second baby. I said second and she told the staff at the desk that I was a direct admit. She skipped the triage exam and took me straight to a delivery room. The nurse and nurse midwife started to ask me the usual questions. I turned to Adam and said "hold me, I think I can feel the head." He repeated what I had said to the nurse. They sat me down and Adam helped me out of my clothes. "There's the head," he said. Technically I entered the delivery room at 4:20 and Olivia was born at 4:24. I got to hold her on my tummy while they cut the cord, and started all the post-delivery clean up.

While we of course thank God for our beautiful baby girl, we also thank God for Adam's parents finally going inside and checking their messages, our neighbors coming home when they did, our other neighbors leaving us their car, the lack of traffic, and a triage nurse who really knew her job. If any of these things had happened differently, we would have had this baby at home, on the highway, or in the triage nurse's room. I also thank God for Adam who is calm and clear-sighted in all circumstances.


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