The contractions started on the evening of Saturday, March 10th. I went to bed at 11 hoping they would just go away. I didn’t feel ready yet. I woke up at 1:15 am have strong contractions every 10-15 minutes. I woke Hank up and walked around the house. At 2 am they were closer together. We decided to go to the hospital. Swatcho was born very quickly without painful regular contractions. (please don’t hate me she made up for it later) Hank's mom came to stay with the girls.
We get to the hospital and find out I’m only dilated 2cm so we can go home. Yes! But, while we’re hanging out there they decided I needed to watch some videos. One is about shaken baby syndrome the other is about c-sections. We started to watch the first one, then I said “eff this” and shut the TV off. Since when does childbirth come with required viewing material?
I was having a lot of back labor and the contractions were pretty uncomfortable so I didn’t rest much even when we got home. By lunchtime on Sunday they were 15-30 minutes apart. At this point, I was still in denial about being in labor. I thought I had another 2 weeks to go and that the contractions would just dwindle away and I could go on being pregnant. This is strange because at this point in my other pregnancies I wanted to be done. But, this time, mentally I wasn’t ready for her to be born and couldn’t put my finger on the reason why.
Around 2pm my labor picked up again. These contractions were more intense and I needed to find some pain relief. I got in a warm bath and was able to relax. The sweetest part is that Swatcho stayed by my side the entire time. Hank was downstairs “nesting” by hanging new trim in the living room. After getting out of the tub I took a nap in Mini Me's bedroom. Swatcho played next to the bed while I rested.
I think it was around 5 pm when I went downstairs. I may have gotten something to eat. I have this huge fear of going to the hospital and being denied food and then being hungry after the baby is born, but the kitchen is closed. (Oh wait, that happened to me once, when Mini Me was born)
Anyway, I was on my knees with my head on the couch trying to deal with the pain. I ask Hank to come help by rubbing my back. He says “hold on, let me finish nailing this up” Um, NO! That was when we went to the hospital, because he would have to focus on me there.
Now, I’m at 6 cm. I have to admit I was a little disappointed, in 15 hours I dilated 4 cm. My OB gets there an hour later and I’m still 6 cm. She says she’s going to break my water. So, I clamp my legs together and tell her “No, we talked about this. I don’t want my water broken.” She says “Yes, you’re still at 6 blah blah blah I don’t think it will cause you to be in more pain blah blah blah.” Then I cave and say “o.k.”
Well, I immediately was in tremendous pain and started asking for drugs. The wonderful nurse tried to talk me out of it. Then said she would just give me a little bit because she really thought I could make it without anything. Looking back, I know I was in transition, but at the time I thought it was too soon. Now it’s been less than 10 minutes since the OB broke my water and I feel the urge to push. (I just went from 6 cm to 10 cm in like 8 minutes!) Then I can feel Goldie crowning and I tell them I need to push. The OB says “don’t let her push, she can’t be dilated enough,” I yell “it’s too late” Then she lifts up the sheet and says, “oh, yeah, well go ahead then” A couple pushes later Golden Marie joined our lives in a new way.
The first thing they notice is her short umbilical cord. They had to cut it before I could hold her. They laid her on my stomach. She was just screaming and kicking with black hair just like her sisters as babies. But, I noticed right away her skin was saggy. Her knees were baggy like an elephant. I asked them why and no one answered. They weighed her and did her apgar scores. Goldie was 6 lbs 1 oz and 18 inches long; much smaller than my other two. Her apgars were 8 and 10; this made me feel better.
While the OB is delivering the placenta she remarks on how quickly everything went. I remind her that I told her not to break my water.
Afterwards, while I’m holding her again, my right hand keeps going numb and contracting in toward my arm. The blood pressure cuff would tighten and this would happen over and over. I kept telling the nurse and all they did was stare at my arm. So, finally I throw the blood pressure cuff on the floor and tell them they will have to take my bp the old fashioned way. The nurse isn’t making eye contact with me anymore and she’s biting her lip. I figure I must have pissed her off.
I try nursing Goldie for the first time, but she doesn’t seem interested. Hank takes a picture of me trying to feed her anyway. I figure, no big deal, Swatcho wouldn’t nurse right after she was born either.
They take Goldie to the nursery for footprints and I make Hank follow them. The nurse helps me get a shower, but she’s very quiet now. My OB is gone.
Goldie comes back with her Daddy and gets to meet her sisters, grandparents, aunts and uncles.
As I type this I realize I still have a lot of emotions surrounding Goldie's birth. Mother's intuition is strong and I could tell something was not right after she was born. It kept me from relaxing and enjoying the moment. I just realized I have no pictures of us as a family from that night or of Hank with his newest daughter. I want to look back on it as a joyous time, but I still feel all the uncertainty. Maybe I should stop now and post the heavy stuff another time.