gwen’s birth story

Miss Guinevere wasted little time in getting here once she decided she was on her way out. My water broke around 11:30 on Tuesday night, after I’d just dozed off (of course!) Unfortunately for our home birth plans, it was tinged with meconium (baby poop) and that meant a hospital transfer. Apparently home birth is just not in the cards for us! Our midwife came over and confirmed, so we made a few calls, updated Facebook (of course!), packed Ellie into the car (Tim’s family agreed to watch her at the hospital since they live in the area) and headed to Ellsworth.

Contractions really kicked in around 12:30 and I did not handle them with grace, to say the least. Due to the last-minute change in plans and the fact that I was over-tired and anxious about Gwen’s health, I was unimpressed with this whole labor/birth business, to put it mildly. I decided that since we were going to the hospital anyway, and since I wouldn’t be able to use the birth tub for pain control, I wasn’t going to be a natural-birthing heroine.

Read: I was grumpy and I wanted drugs. Stat.

The hospital admitted us around 1:30 a.m. and checked everything out. I was dilated to 3 cm. The nurse informed us I’d need to get to at least 5 cm before they would consider an intrathecal for pain, and I was NOT a happy camper.

I begged. I was loud. I swore. I bawled like a baby. I hated every single person in that room. Every time Tim looked into my eyes and said, “you’re doing a great job, love,” I wanted to punch him.

Evelyn, our doula, really earned her keep that morning. She encouraged me to stay upright so I’d progress faster. I kept telling her, “I don’t want to do this. I just need to get to 5. Just need to get to 5 so I can sleep.”

Around 4 a.m., I asked to be checked again and I was at 4 cm. Not good enough. The nurses suggested IV pain medication and at first I declined because I didn’t want to feel loopy or drugged… but after a particularly excruciating contraction, I changed my mind. Evelyn thought the meds might be just enough to take the edge off so I could rest and let my body do its thing. I relented and they gave me Stadol–in the nurse’s words, “It will feel like you’ve had a couple shots of tequila.” And she was right! It still hurt like a bitch, but I was able to give into the pain instead of fighting it. I snoozed a little in between contractions and they eased up a bit–probably because I wasn’t so tense.

Around 6 a.m. I started to feel pressure. The nurse was hesitant to check me again until the new OB came on, so I had to wait… entirely uncool, as the Stadol had worn off and I was still focused on getting that intrathecal. Eventually the nurse checked me and said, “I have good news and bad news! The bad news is you’re not getting your intrathecal. The good news is you’re almost at 10 and you’re going to have this baby very soon.”

I was… pissed. Haha! I still wanted the drugs, but everyone kept assuring me it would be over soon. I didn’t really believe them. I was not feeling very nice. 🙂

They rushed to get the new OB on the phone and she arrived around 7 a.m. Sure enough, I was almost at 10. They had me roll over on my side to help even things out, where I had what felt like the longest contraction in human history.

When they told me I could push, I wasted no time! It took about three pushes, total, over the course of a minute… it would have been less, but they had to keep reminding me to breathe. Annoying! I was not interested in breathing–I just wanted her OUT!

She was born at 7:29 a.m. posing like Superbaby, with one little hand above her head. They put her on my belly and she squawked briefly, then just looked at me, wide awake and alert. She stayed there all warm and cozy until after they stitched me up and Tim was able to cut the cord. Her APGAR scores were 9 and 9, the little overachiever. Thankfully there were no complications as a result of the meconium! I was so relieved–both that she was healthy and that it was over.

big sister, little sister

We’re settling in nicely, with many thanks to my mom for keeping house and entertaining Miss Ellie while we adjust to living on Newborn Time once again. So far life with two is not much different from life with one, just with a bit more creative juggling. I’m sure I’ll have more to write about that later!

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