WARNING--this post contains details of my labor and delivery and might be a bit TMI for some.
As of Tuesday (10/9, the day after my due date) my cervix was still long and closed. I left the doctor's office discouraged and fully expecting to come back in a week to make a final decision between induction and c-section.
I felt completely normal Wednesday and Thursday, so imagine my surprise when I woke up at 2:30 am on Friday, rolled over, and felt a gush. Then another. I got up and went to the bathroom. My underwear were soaked with fluid. I was pretty sure it wasn't urine, it seems thicker somehow. There was a tiny bit of blood on the TP as well. I sat there for several minutes, unsure somehow of what I should do! I felt crampy, but I didn't think I was having contractions. I cleaned up and went back into the bedroom and woke up Adam. I told him what was going on and we lay there for a few minutes until I realized I was having some small contractions and we should probably start timing them. Adam got my phone for me and I started to try to track my contractions. They were very mild, but coming about every 3-4 minutes and lasting 45-60 seconds each. Adam started googling labor facts on his phone while I timed for about an hour. It seems like this was the real deal, so I called my doctor's office to have the OB paged. There are three doctors in the practice and one of the two I don't know well (Dr. B) was on call. She called me and said I should definitely head to the hospital and they could check me out and make sure it was my water that had broken and see if my cervix was changing.
It was strange. I don't know why, but I just never though my water would break, much less at home without any warning signs before. But we pulled ourselves together, got dressed and threw a few extra things in my suitcase. We went downstairs and woke up my mom so she could keep an ear out for Tyler. We said we'd call when we knew if it was real or not and off we went.
On the drive to the hospital, I was getting more sure that this was really happening. I had a few contractions that in my words "weren't fooling around". We got to the hospital about 4:00-4:30 and filled out some forms and then they took me to the triage room. I changed into a gown and the nurse did a quick check. She said it was definitely my water that had broken and I was 1 cm dilated, so I was definitely being admitted and we would have our baby definitely within 24 hours!
They moved us to our own room and got me all hooked up. AJ was looking good, so they said they'd let us sit tight and see if I could make progress on my own. I would have liked to be able to get up and walk to help the progress along, but Dr. B said no because my water had already broken. Apparently when the water has broken there is risk of the cord prolapsing if you're up and moving too much. So at about 6:00 am the checked me again and I was 2-3 cm. I was happy because that meant no pitocen yet! They waited a few more hours and while my contractions were good I hadn't progressed, so pitocen was started. I really hate that stuff! After a few hours I'd progressed to 3-4 and the contractions were getting really painful. I decided to go ahead and get my epidural. Everyone was sent out but my nurse April (who was awesome) and the anesthesiologist. He placed my epidural and my heartrate went up and my blood pressure went down. I could feel my heart racing but I felt okay otherwise. The doctor said it was possible that the needle hit a blood vessel, so to be safe they wanted to take it out and redo it. The second time I started to feel lightheaded and faint. They put me on oxygen and after a few minutes I felt a little better. The doctor said the first epi didn't hit a vessel (no blood when he removed it) so it probably had something to do with the baby's position in the uterus. I didn't seem to "like" being on my left side and the doctor said that could effect the epidurals effectiveness on my left side, but we'd see what happened. Things calmed down a little after that and my family came back. Tyler was even there, he was so excited that "his" baby was coming! For awhile, the epidural worked well and I felt okay. My cervix was progressing but baby wasn't coming down very quickly. After awhile I started having pain low down on the left side, so they decided to let me try to lay on the left for awhile. Then I ended up laying too flat for awhile and my left arm and upper back were getting numb, so they sat up up and turned me over again. The nurse checked me and thought I was probably about 7 cm, but she couldn't feel my cervix on the right, so she had another nurse come in to check and she said I was completely dilated! They had turned down my epi a bit because of the extra numbness up high, so I was starting to get more uncomfortable again. The anesthesiologist and I had a few words about pain vs. pressure, to which I assured him I knew the difference. Dr. A was on by then (still not my usual doctor, but very nice. She was on all weekend so I knew she'd end up delivering AJ) so she came in and we got set up to start pushing. I noticed right away that pushing wasn't bringing the relief I remembered from my labor with Tyler. When I was in labor with Tyler, it felt so much better to push with the contractions. This time I didn't feel better at all, in fact it seemed to hurt more. They were also having some trouble keeping track of AJ. Sometimes they thought they might be getting my heartbeat instead of his (because mine was still high) but they weren't sure, so they put an internal monitor on his head, but they were still getting some low numbers they were a little concerned about. I pushed for about 2 hours total, and we tried to labor down for awhile, which sucked because by then I was feeling a lot of pain and the contractions were really close together.
We pushed awhile longer and Dr. A told me that I was pushing really well, but the baby wasn't coming down and they were pretty sure he had turned face up. Babies are usually face down, which allows them to pass under the pelvic bone more easily. AJ was getting caught on mine, making my contractions more uncomfortable and causing him some stress. Dr. A tried to turn him while I pushed (OW) but it just wouldn't work. I finally took a moment and came to the tearful decision that the risks to the baby and me were too great at this point to continue. Dr. A asked if I wanted to keep going or switch to a C-section and I agreed to have the surgery. I was scared that something was going to go really wrong. Once the decision was made I just wanted it to be over! It took awhile to get everything set up though. By then I was feeling every contraction, one on top of the other. I was scared and in a lot of pain. It felt like ages before the took me back to the OR. I'd been sweating and terribly hot all day and the OR was, of course, freezing. I was shaking too, from the medications. A new anesthesiologist was on by then (thankfully) and he was amazing! While they got me prepped and everything he talked to me about what was happening and assured me they were going to make sure I was good and comfortable very soon. We'd been worried that since I didn't seem to react quite right with epidurals that it might be a problem for a csection. He assured me that it's a different kind of medication and they'd be very sure it worked before they started. Fairly soon after that the medication kicked in and I couldn't feel the contractions much anymore. Adam came in, all garbed up and he and the anesthesiologist were up near my head reassuring me and comforting me. I can't say enough about how awesome the anesthesiologist was. It was such a blur during the surgery. It took longer than I though, really. But at 5:05, AJ's arrival was announced! He was brought to a warmer up in corner of the room. I could see him a little (his feet) and Adam could see him pretty well. His first cry brought tears to my eyes. I was so relieved it was over and he was safe! They held him up and at very first glance he looked just like Tyler, although strangely that's the only time I thought so. Now he just looks like AJ, to me. They cleaned him up and weighed and measured him. I was shocked he was so much smaller than Tyler was and WAY smaller than the 8 lbs 14 oz that I'd been told 10 days before he was born. He'd had meconium like his brother too, but luckily they think it was after I had stopped pushing, so he didn't breathe or swallow any. His first APGAR was 8 followed by a 9, both great numbers. Before long, Adam was holding him and showing him to me. He was perfect and his hair was sooooo dark! Even darker than Adam's!
After that, we just waited while they stitched me up and all that. They got me some warm blankets because by then I was like ice. Then they took us back to our room and got us settled. My mom and sisters and Tyler got to come back for a few minutes before they needed to get Tyler home to eat some dinner and get some rest--it had been a long hard day for all of them. Tyler's face was PRICELESS when he saw his brother! I'll never forget it! He just lit up!
We stayed in the hospital until Sunday night. They gave me the option to stay until Monday or go home Sunday. I wanted to be home with both of my boys and it was easier when no one had to split time between home and the hospital.
AJ is now two weeks old and we are starting to get settled into something resembling a routine. He likes to fight sleep, like his brother. He likes his bottles and his paci and being swaddled (sometimes, though he likes to wriggle his arms free so he can use them to keep himself awake). While Tyler was always a little heater, AJ seems to be more apt to get cold. We visited our doctors office last week and he was up to 8 lbs 6 oz already! Our PA, Amber (who I adore) said he looks wonderful. I'm healing up pretty well after my c-section, although I'm still pretty sore. The first few days were rough but after that I actually found the recovery easier than I had with Tyler when I had the fourth degree tearing!
And that's the big story! I'm officially a proud mommy of two boys!
Oh and here's a few pictures!