As I sit here in the hospital room not yet 12 hours after her birth, I can’t believe how fast Lexi came into this world. Her labor story starts at my OB visit yesterday, which put me at 40 weeks and 5 days. I had a non-stress test, which consisted of hooking me up to the monitors for 30 minutes to assess her heart rate and my contractions. The non-stress test was followed by an ultrasound to determine her size and the quality of my placenta/amniotic fluid. These things are pretty standard procedure once you pass the 40 week mark. At that appointment, my midwife determined that I was 4-5cm dilated and that my amniotic levels were a bit on the low side, but not alarming. Those two thing combined with the fact that Lexi’s head was causing me serious back pain led us to the decision of setting an induction date for the following day. I was to check into the hospital at 7am on April 21st to get things going. I went home nervous, scared, excited and a bit disappointed that I had agreed to an induction. I had my heart set on a natural delivery
Of course, I never made it to that appointment. Around 6pm last night, I started having contractions every 15 minutes that were fairly painful. I knew that these were the real deal because while all of my previous contractions were noticeable, they were not painful. I got ready for bed and laid down at 8:30pm, but by 10pm, I knew that I wasn’t going to make it to my induction. The contractions, while remaining 12-15 minutes apart, hurt. In fact, they hurt so bad that I could no longer lay down through them and took to pacing around the bedroom instead. During one of these pacing sessions, I made a quick call to labor and delivery to ask them about if/when I should come in and they gave me the standard answer of contractions coming 5 minutes apart for 1 hour. I decided to try to stick it out as long as I could at home..which wasn’t very long at all. At 11:45pm, I knew that we needed to head in because even though my contractions were still coming 8 minutes apart, I actually heard myself whimper. A very non-Cyn thing to do.
When we arrived at labor and delivery and got checked in, it was about 12:15am. The nurse checked me and much to everyone’s surprise, I was 7cm dilated, 100% effaced and in transition. Holy moly! No wonder those contractions were dropping me to my knees. I decided to go ahead and request an epidural even though there was a good chance that the anesthesiologist wouldn’t make it in time. At about 1am, I got the epidural, but naturally, I was almost fully dilated by then and instead of giving me the regular epidural meds, the anesthesiologist gave me a shorter dose of a different medicine to “take the edge off.” By the time I started pushing at 1:30am, it was clear that the meds would not have enough time to kick in at all so even though I hadn’t planned on an entirely natural birth, that’s what was in the cards for the night. I’m not going to lie, I felt every single mind-numbing contraction and I had some very “real” moments where I couldn’t believe that I was actually in the middle of a natural childbirth. Unlike Parker’s birth, this one was not remotely surreal. I was very much present in the moment.
I pushed for (a very uncomfortable) 16 minutes and at 1:51am (a mere 90 minutes after we arrived), our sweet baby girl made her grand entrance. Holding my babies for the first time has to be one of the sweetest moments in my life and I am so blessed to add last night’s memory to the one I cherish of Parker’s birth. As you can imagine, we are incredibly in love and incredibly sleep deprived. Considering that I never went to bed last night and have only managed two 30 minute naps today, it’s been quite the deliriously happy ride.