(WARNING: This is long; mostly for my benefit - posterity and all.)
Yes, I'm a slacker.
It was the night of 12/23. I was 39w2d. I had had one round of minor contractions earlier in the week that warranted a call to our doula - which did not amount to any progress. Once contractions started this go-round, I wasn't sure if this was go-time. My in laws were in town and Berilac and I decided to take advantage of our more-than-likely last date night in awhile. We were seated, enjoying a DELICIOUS Vietnamese-fusion restaurant when I started feeling tightening in my abdomen. At this point, I had had so much discomfort in my pregnancy that this wasn't registering as anything of note for me. We finished dinner and decided to walk the local indoor mall (oooooh, hot night on the town). On our drive there (I was driving - the belly was too big to fit in the passenger seat, in front of Dru's rear facing car seat) I started experiencing some pretty intense contractions. Oh course, I didn't tell Berilac. I just breathed through them. We got to the mall and briskly indoors (it WAS almost Christmas and a chilly 32 degrees outside). I didn't even make it to the mall interior from the department store, when I sat on a bed and finally revealed to Berilac that I thought we needed to get home - that things were getting intense. (Honestly, we were both relieved as this was not turning into the epic night we had hoped for.) Of course, after getting home, the contractions stopped and I fell asleep (around 12:30, I'm a night owl).
I was awoken at 3:30AM with painful contractions. I tried going back to sleep - with no success. I "rested" until 7:00AM when I finally felt like I could courteously call my doula. We had the in laws take Dru next door to our neighbors house (who conveniently were traveling for the holiday and left us the keys to their place! We couldn't have planned that better!) All morning, I was walking the house, groaning, resting, eating bites of food, hydrating, and groaning some more. By 11:00AM we had the doula come over. It seemed as though anytime we spoke, and when she arrived, everything slowed down (I guess this is normal). But by 1:30PM, I was starting to feel an urge to push with contractions 2-3 mins apart - so we headed to the hospital. I did NOT know how I was going to make the 30 minute car ride to the hospital without having the baby in the car. In spite of the pain, I was with it enough to request that the hubby drive and the doula sit with me in the back of the car ... you know, in case we needed to deliver a baby back there! I like to call this next portion of my story - my kung fu panda maneuver ... I could hardly handle the pain at home, with all the freedom I wanted, how on Earth was I going to stand the pain while having to be sitting on my butt, confined to the back seat? I got into the car, I sat with my head down, and I willed the pain to go away. I was silent for 30 mins - not one cry, groan, or scream.
We arrived to the hospital and I was still pulling out the relaxation up the elevator and into my L&D room. Although the nurses worked as quickly as they could, it wasn't until 3:30PM that I was done being admitted and was finally checked. It was our goal to arrive to the hospital at 7cm dilated - in order to hopefully avoid the epidural. They checked me, I was 4.5cm dilated. I would say that I was disappointed, but instead I was relieved to be in the hospital and no longer en route. I remember one of the nurses saying - we need to staff here, this one's coming soon. And I was thinking ... what gives you this idea? The fact that I'm less than 1/2 way there? or the fact that my last active labor took over 24 hours and we were only a couple of hours into active labor? (I was entitled to my attitude - I was in labor!) I labored as best I could for an hour - the hospital smells were really bothering me. I progressed to 5.5cm. Thirty minutes later, at 5PM I was in serious pain. They checked me again and I was 6-7cm (the same place I stalled last time). I was having so much back labor that I couldn't imagine hours more of labor followed by birthing a posterior baby! (All late term ultrasounds showed a posterior presentation.) I demanded the epidural.
Because we were at a teaching hospital, we were all waiting for the attending doctor to arrive. I didn't get my epidural until 5:30 and because I told them that I had experienced a drop in blood pressure during my last epidural (at Dru's birth) they decided to start with a low and slow dose. I.was.freaking.out. The pain was incredible and having to labor on my back in a bed was NOT OK. I could feel the baby making it's way to the light, trying to escape through the exit. The pain relief did not come until 6:00PM a full HOUR after I demanded an epidural ... perhaps I should have planned better? At 6:10PM my OB encouraged me to start pushing. I pushed for less than 15 mins and at 6:24PM on Christmas Eve our beautiful daughter Dimple (not her real name but her LOTR name, like the rest of us have) was born. She was 8lbs 3oz. and 20.5 inches long. (Just shy of her brother's measurements.)
We spent Christmas Eve and Christmas in the hospital, struggling with recovery and breastfeeding. Dru did not come down and meet his sister, as he had a runny nose and they wouldn't let him in. He stayed with Nana and Papa at home and called us to check in. Dru and Dimple are 2 years and 5 days apart.
Recovery was pretty brutal - with everything that can happen down there. But I will say that recovery this time was MUCH quicker and more tolerable. I felt back to normal by 3 weeks. I was able to lift her while moving in and out of a chair (like I wasn't able to with him 2 years prior). My milk came in earlier. Breastfeeding stopped hurting MUCH earlier (a few weeks vs. 2 months with Dru) and overall, I did not experience PPD like I had with Dru. But it didn't stop there! Dimple started sleeping 9 hours a night by 5 weeks. At almost 6 weeks we found ourselves back in the NICU with RSV (same thing happened with Dru at 7 weeks!). She was admitted for 3 days and upon release, because she dropped from 60% to 40% in weight, they asked us to wake her at 6 hrs. So she would go to bed around 5P, we'd wake her at 11P, and she'd sleep until 5A for a quick meal and then back to bed until 8A ... AND she napped 2 out of every 3 hours during the day (similar to Dru, but better) ... I'll say, I believe God knew what we could handle and based on how easy both of our kids were - the answer is - not much! So because prior to going into the hospital she was sleeping 5P-2A and then again at 5A ... we thought that perhaps it would be better for her if we just let her wake on her own in the 12 hour window between 5P and 5A ... knowing she would only get one feed, we stopped waking her at the 6 hour mark - assuming she'd wake at the 9 hr mark ... well, she didn't and that girl was sleeping 9-12 hours a night between 5-11weeks, if we didn't wake her.
2-2.5 hr nap