I found this meme over at Rocks in my Dryer, in celebration of Labor Day, and I had to play along. What woman doesn’t love to tell her stories of giving birth?
How long were your labors?
Luke: 13 hours
Bennett: almost 7 hours
Jack Henry: 10 hours
How did you know you were in labor?
Luke: awoke at 3 am, 3 days past my due date, with contractions about 8 minutes apart, and stomach upset. Went to the hospital about 8am.
Bennett and Jack Henry: induced, so I guess the way I really knew was that the Pitocin was flowing from the I.V. bag into my arm. And then, painful contractions.
(sidenote: do you know how hard it is to wait for the hospital to call you and tell you it’s time to come in for your induction? For Bennett, I was supposed to be ready any time after noon, meaning I couldn’t eat anything but clear liquids after 7am. They called at 5:45 that evening. With Jack Henry, I was first on the induction schedule, meaning they’d call anytime after 4 am…they called at 6am and said to be there at 8am. Rough, I tell ya.)
Where did you deliver?
Shannon’s answer to this one was “With all of them, at a hospital. Where the drugs are.” Amen, sister.
Yes, please, and lots of them. I literally walked into the hospital for my two inductions and declared to the nurses that I was going to need an epidural. The first time the nurse asked me, “Are you in labor?” to which I replied, “Not yet, but I don’t want you to mistake me for someone who wants to do this without drugs, so go ahead and get that I.V. hooked up.” While I was always a tiny bit afraid of getting an epidural, I’ve found that when you’re wracked with the pain of contractions, it’s really not bad at all…I don’t remember any pain from getting an epidural, just the overwhelming feeling of relief from the intense pain of contractions within about 5 minutes of getting one. I don’t like the shivering cold feeling and shaking from the epidural, but that’s a small price to pay for pain relief.
(another sidenote: twice, when I needed my epidural, the anesthesiologist was busy…I had to wait like 45 minutes with Bennett and about an hour with Jack Henry. I was ready for Matt to give me one. The night Bennett was born, there were so many babies born in the day preceding and that day that we had to spend the night in our labor and delivery room because there were no open rooms on the maternity wards. Hence the busy anesthesia department.)
No, thank goodness.
My doctor got to deliver all three of them, for which we are so grateful. She’s just so cool under pressure that she kept me focused and less scared, given the circumstances.
Luke’s delivery was probably the scariest, not only because it was our first, but because he had his umbilical cord wrapped around his neck. For the couple of hours leading up to delivery, nurses were in my room constantly, moving me from side to side (remember, I couldn’t do this myself because of the good drugs) to try and increase his oxygen supply. It was really scary. Also, for some reason, during his delivery there was something going on at the hospital where people from other departments spent a day in a different department. I swear to you, there were two or three people from accounting in my delivery room, standing off to the side (I must have consented to this somewhere along the lines). They cried when he was finally born via vacuum extractor! He had a huge hematoma on head, but it made for the perfect identifying mark when he came back to my room after being in the nursery.
Bennett’s was much faster – induced about 7 pm, and he arrived at 1:50am. I am so thankful for my nurse that night…after I got my epidural, it was deja vu. Baby’s heartrate dropping, sometimes disappearing from the monitor. However, since it was the second time we’d done this, I think overall it was less frightening. The nurse came to my bedside, telling me that my doctor was on her way, and she gave me a very straightforward pep talk, something to the effect of “you’re going to need to get this baby out soon – no messing around with little pushes.” OK, ma’am, will do. My doctor came in and said, “Didn’t we do this last time with you?”, hooked up the Hoover, and vacuummed Bennett out, too. He was a little peanut, as there was something not-quite-right with my placenta. There’s a special story about Bennett’s birth that I’ll share another time here.
Jack Henry took a lot longer to get here than I expected, given that Bennett’s was so quick with an induction. They started my Pitocin about 9am, and I didn’t really feel like I was in labor until about noon, and then he was born at 6pm. With the exception of a couple of small heartrate drops, his birth was just perfect. I actually got to help deliver him! And, thanks to the drugs, felt none of it.
If you want to do this one, too, go to Rocks in my Dryer and link up there!