Friday, March 18, 2011

I think I'm in labor...Hello, Violet!

I couldn't fall asleep at all that night. I tossed and turned until the clock went past midnight. At 1:28 I decided if I wasn't asleep by 1:30 I was going to get up and eat something. I was starving. 1:30 came so off I went to the kitchen. I ate a bowl of Grape Nuts. Headed back to bed hoping to fall asleep.

Instead, I starting feeling contractions. Just little ones, but they were very rhythmic, and uncomfortable. After about an hour, I went to the bathroom and realized I was shaking and cold. I am usually burning up all night long. It was the kind of uncontrollable shaking that I remember when I was in labor with Nola. So I woke up Ryan. Poor thing.



"I think I'm in labor..."


He was pretty awake then. I asked him to help me time the contractions with the contraction timer app I made him put on his phone. For about an hour we timed them. The app does all the work for you. You just push start and stop with your contractions. We would lay there almost asleep, then it would hit me. "Start!", I'd tell him, relax through the contraction, and then tell him, "Stop" when it was over. He was falling asleep between and during my contractions. A couple times he never heard me say stop, and once or twice he had to ask if we were stopping or starting! Such a trooper.

After an hour we were sure the contractions were about seven minutes apart, lasting about a minute. I didn't feel quite sure I should call my midwives. It was around six in the morning, so I knew on-call shifts would be changing soon anyway. I decided to wait until at least seven so I'd be talking to the same midwife through out my labor.

I did call my mom, though. Just for a heads up.

"Hey, I'm pretty sure I'm in labor."


She was planning to be with my sister that day. Serenity was having a consult with the surgeon who was going to remove cancer from her lungs in a few weeks. Mom was understandably torn. But she decided to get herself ready and packed, and talk to me after I'd talked with the midwives, before she decided to make the five hour drive to Omaha.

Around seven I was planning to call the midwives, but my contractions stopped. I only felt slight cramping. So I took a shower instead. Ryan stayed home just in case we did need to make a sudden dash to the hospital.

For a couple of hours I thought it was over. False alarm. But then around nine they started up again. Luckily I had time to get showered and put makeup on by then! Still the contractions were completely manageable. I called my midwives just to give a heads up. My labor with Nola was only seven-ish hours, so I wanted to make sure I was on their radar. When I called, my contractions were pretty serious don't-touch-me-or-talk-to-me minute long ones, but they were only coming every ten minutes. I had just been at an appointment the day before, and CeCe (one of the midwives) had checked me and I was 3 cm dilated and 80% effaced. Since I had a pelvic exam the day before, they thought maybe I was just having some cramping due to that. So I stayed home. I called Mom. She was at my grandparents helping them with their computer. She decided she better head my way. And are they sure they don't want you at the hospital?

I packed my bags. I cleaned up the house. I sat down to get through a contraction. I packed some more stuff. Cleaned up something else. Sat down for another contraction. Ryan and Nola ate lunch. I wasn't hungry. I called my friend Revonna to cancel Nola's play date. I told her I was pretty sure I was in labor and we didn't want Nola to miss meeting the baby. I said I'd let her know when we were actually headed to the hospital.

After lunch, my contractions really picked up. I was watching Dora with Nolie, and realized I was getting reeeeeally agitated with her if she touched me during a contraction. So I got up and started doing laps around the house. Walking through them seemed to make it easier than sitting through them. They got stronger and stronger. I called the midwives and kept getting the nurses voice mail. I timed it poorly once, and wasn't even able to leave a message because a contraction hit me and I couldn't talk. Ryan had called his mom to bring me some Boost. I wasn't hungry, but I knew I was in labor and needed some energy. She came while I was trying to reach the midwives. We weren't sure what the midwives would say, but we thought surely we would be going to the hospital soon. We asked her to stay with Nola while she napped. Finally, the nurse called me back. I told her my contractions were 4 to 6 minutes apart. She said, "Oh, honey, what's your date of birth? I'm gonna send you on over to the hospital."

Out the door we went. Ryan grabbed all our stuff. I just got in the car. My contractions were so close together I barely had time to get in the car before another one started. Our dog escaped while we were loading up. There was nothing we could do. He would come back. Eventually. So we just left.

I got my mom on the phone between contractions to tell her we were on our way to the hospital. Then I said a quick goodbye because another contraction came on. At 2:10 p.m. I sent Revonna a text message: Headed to hospital. Ouch.

We pulled up at the Methodist Women's Hospital. As the valet was taking our car, I ran inside to get in the door before another contraction knocked me to my knees! Luckily, there was a bench right inside the door. I barely made it to the seat.

The receptionist a few feet behind me asked, "Ma'am, are you in labor?"

I could only nod my head.

"Do you want a wheelchair?"

Again I nodded. The security guard at the door was asking me at the same time about the wheelchair so he ran and got me one.

I was definitely in the zone at this point. Ryan pushed me up to the second floor. The lovely nurses took their sweet little time deciding what room to put me in. 17 is open. Oh but there's no jacuzzi...I'll go check 15. Be right back. Then they took their sweet little time punching my info into the computer. Since I handle my pain by going inward, I guess they couldn't tell how serious my pain was.

We finally got in the room, and so begins the 20 questions and signing of a million forms. Honestly, they could've gotten me to sign anything at that point. I wasn't listening to them. I did my best to find the X and scratch my name on the paper. They put an IV in my arm. I guess my veins weren't too cooperative so they had to try both arms. The nurse apologized for the pain. Haha! Sister, that does not even hurt. My uterus is what hurts! They also filled up the jacuzzi for me, since I was planning on using it for pain management. I couldn't wait to get in the water.

The other nurse checked me and said I was "a 4, almost 5". I wanted to cry just a little bit. I could've sworn I was fully dilated and ready to push this thing out! They called Marilyn to tell her how I was doing. I love all three midwives, but I was excited to hear that Marilyn was on call, since she had delivered Nola.

When Marilyn came she agreed I was about 4 cm dilated. She asked how I felt about getting my water broken. She said it would get things over more quickly, and I said, "Yes, please!" Then she said, "After we break your water, we will probably have a baby in about 45 minutes." So Ryan called his parents to let them know to go ahead and bring Nola on up to the hospital.

When Marilyn was breaking my water she said that it was really bulging and ready to pop soon anyway. When she broke it, I felt crazy pressure and the contractions were super intense. She said the baby had come way down with the water breaking, and now I was 8 cm dilated. She told me I needed to relax through three of four contractions, and let the baby come down a little more before I started pushing. She also said I couldn't get in the jacuzzi because I was so close I might end up having the baby in there (They don't do water births at this hospital). At that point I didn't care anymore because I could feel it was so close to being over.

Wonderful Marilyn talked me through the contractions. I didn't get a break in between them. Maybe a mini breath. But she would tell me when they were at the worst part, then talk me through relaxing them through to the end.

It really was only three of four contractions before I started naturally pushing. I just couldn't stop myself. She told me to stop it, of course. She wanted to make sure I was fully dilated and the cervix was completely gone. She checked, and I was. I did my best to not push...sort of...while everyone scrambled to get ready for the delivery. I was a little at this point. I wasn't exactly screaming in pain, it was more like groaning, I guess. I wouldn't want to see video of it. Neither would you. But it was almost over. After everyone was in position, they gave me the go ahead to start pushing. As if I wasn't already. :) And then it was a blur of screamy pushing. I just barely remember the "ring of fire" people talk about when the baby is coming out. I felt a mild stinging feeling, and then I heard Marilyn say, "Well, hello, sweetheart!" I thought, "Her head is out?!" One more push and then they plopped her on my chest. Her face was towards mine and I stroked her little face and said, "I'm so glad you're here!" Then I threw my head back on my pillow and said, "Ugh! I'm so glad that's over!" Everything. The pregnancy and the labor and the delivery. I was just so happy it was over, and my beautiful baby was here.

Because the delivery was so quick after getting to the hospital, none of our family was actually there right when the baby was born. I had planned for my mom to be in the delivery room with me, but she was still two hours away when the baby came. It turned out to be a nice, intimate time for just me and Ryan to welcome the baby into the world. We had a minute just to ourselves to decide her name. I was pretty set on Violet, but Ryan wanted to check her out and make sure it matched. Violet she became. We decided to pick her middle name later. We had nothin' in the middle name department.

A few minutes later Ryan's parents came in with Nola. They let Nola come in by herself first, if I remember right. Nola really liked Violet. Then everyone came in to see her. Ry's parents and his sister. A while later our friends Liz and Andrew came in to say hi. Everyone said they were a little disappointed everything went so fast. They had brought books and homework and toys for Nola to wait it out. I, on the other hand, was not sorry they didn't get a study hall! I was so thankful things had gone so fast.

The next day Ryan found the middle name Emery. Violet Emery. I had heard it before, but never considered it for a middle name. Now the girls' names rhyme a little. Nola Serenity and Violet Emery.

My recovery with a second baby has been way better than I would've imagined. I'm enjoying these first few weeks a lot more this time around. (Sorry, Nola. I was totally freaked out when you were born. The first few weeks were HARD!) Adding a second baby to the mix is a milder life change than when you have your first. I feel like I could add five more now! We'll see...


  1. I have really scolded myself a number of times for not just trusting your first phone call and getting on the road! But I think it worked out nicely for your family time alone. And, when you called to say she was born, you really did sound like you'd just been out shopping at Old Navy or something. You continue to amaze me.

  2. Okay, I'll try to limit myself to just two comments here because, you are right, women love labor stories, and I could comment the heck out of this. :)
    First of all, I'm a little jealous that you had time to get ready and put make-up on before you went to the hospital. With Maureen, my water broke at 4am, and I still had the previous day's make-up on. Is it shallow to think of something like that in light of new life coming into the world? Well... there it is.
    Secondly, Maureen was my first baby without an epidural. Wanna know the first thing I said to her when they handed her to me? Not hi, not I love you. I said, "It's ok. We're both gonna be okay now." Ha!

  3. Eleanor!!!! You're hilarious. Do you have your birth stories on your blog?

  4. Is she smiling at you in that one picture? The way you smiled at your dad minutes after I birthed you????