On Friday, March 10th, my water broke at work right after I'd fixed myself a salad for an early lunch. This was the first time my water had broken in advance of labor (with Amelie, the doctor broke it at 9cm, and with James, it broke after Sam was on the phone with 911). I went to the bathroom to check, then came out and told our clinical director, who ran outside and shouted to my supervisor across the parking lot that "Crystal's water just broke!" It was very exciting for all of my co-workers. My supervisor drove me home and I called the hospital to ask if I could wait at home for a while or if I needed to come right in. The nurse sounded very flustered on the phone when I asked her to just go ask, and even more flustered when she got back on to tell me to come in right away. I told her that I needed to go home to collect my husband and my bag, but that I'd be there very soon. Sam met me at the house and threw his bag together and we packed a bag for the kids to leave by the door for either Sam's mom or my mom. I wish that we had stayed home for a second and cleaned up the house a little more since I still wasn't having any contractions, but Aunt Holly came over and cleaned for me while I was in the hospital.
We checked in with OB triage at 1pm and got up to the labor rooms, and I found out that my doctor was out of the country and that I wouldn't be able to use the low-intervention room. I had a good cry when it looked like I'd have to be induced, and I think I worried the resident, who went to get the on-call doctor to talk me down. The doctor told Sam to go get me something to eat (which was a welcome change from the last time we were in the hospital!) since I hadn't had anything, so he got me a smoothie and dropped off the kids' suitcase at pre-school to be picked up by his parents, since he'd accidentally put it in the trunk with our bags in the rush to get out to the hospital.
They started Pitocin at 5pm. The nurse (who was otherwise wonderful) had a hard time getting my IV going and so had to put it in the crook of my elbow instead of my hand, which was annoying when I wanted to bend my arm. Contractions still didn't start for a while. Nana Jana came to hang out with us for a bit and braided my hair. She sent updates (still not much happening) to my grandma and my aunts. I found out that Aunt Barb was at the hospital visiting another friend who'd had twins right around the time we started the induction. Finally, contractions picked up around 8pm. I was confined to about a 3-foot radius because of the IV and continuous monitoring, but I could unplug to go to the restroom, and I could move between the edge of the bed, the ball, and the stool. Sam asked if I wanted a "labor picture" and I said no, so there's no photo documentation. Ha! The nurse had asked me what kind of pain relief worked for me, and I said, "Movement ... but here we are." It helped a lot to be standing up and moving with the contractions. It seemed like every time I'd move we'd lose the heartbeat tracing, but the nurses were wonderful and told me not to worry about it and just kept coming in to readjust. The contraction monitor didn't seem to correspond to the strength of my actual contractions at all.
I asked if they could turn the Pitocin off or down at midnight, and the nurse called the doctor who said they could turn it down. I asked for some pain relief about 15 minutes after that, and she said she had to check with the doctor because she thought I was really close, maybe ready to push. I overheard her on the phone talking to the doctor, saying that I was "uncomfortable." Ha! The doctor got there right away and wanted me to get up on the bed - I was kneeling by the side of the bed - and it seemed like a monumentally impossible task. Then he wanted me to turn over, but I said that I couldn't, and then I was ready to push. After a little bit, he wanted me to move again, and I said that I thought I could get on the stool, and one of the nurses went to get it, but when they brought it to the room, I couldn't get off the bed, either. I was not very cooperative! And then Leah was born at 12:48am. I remember I said, "Help me!" like there weren't 6 people in the room.
They were passing her up to me and the doctor said, "Watch his cord," and I asked, "Is it a boy?" and the nurse said, "No..." so then the doctor said, "Let's try that again! ... It's a girl!" and everyone laughed. Sam got to cut the cord for the first time :) It was a relatively easy delivery, but unlike with James, when I was on an adrenaline high after the unmedicated labor, I felt so, so exhausted after she came out. Sam, as you can see, is thrilled. The nurse took this photo right after the birth and I told her not to, but she said, "You can delete it!" and here I am posting it on the internet.
6 pounds, 12 ounces
Another welcome change in the hospital was that they let us sleep most of the day Saturday - I remember both times before someone would come in to wake me up about every 2 hours starting at 4am!
She's got a birth mark about the size of a nickel on her back that all of the doctors were very interested in, but it's looking a lot more like a regular purplish-thumbprint now. It had a little bit of a white band around it at first. I haven't been able to get a good picture yet. One of the nurses also thought the mark on her eyelid was a birthmark, but I thought she'd just scratched her eye, and our nurse practitioner said it was more likely that she'd just gotten a little bruised during the quick delivery.
The kids popped into the hospital for 3 very brief visits. James has been very, very interested in the baby, though neither of the kids were too excited when they came to the hospital - they'd spent one night with one set of grandparents and the other night with the other and Sam took them to the Fun Day carnival/fundraiser at Amelie's school in between, so there was a lot of other exciting stuff going on.
We came home Sunday a little after 1pm. Leah has a minor tongue tie and that has made nursing a challenge, plus Sam has been sick and Amelie was sent home sick from school today, so I'm very thankful to feel physically well.
James also had a grand plan that we needed to have cake and presents (for him and Amelie) for Leah's birthday, so Grandma Mary baked a cake and Sam bought the kids a ridiculous amount of Moana-themed merchandise for Sunday evening after we got home from the hospital.