Haha! It's looong! Although labor was rather short...Thank goodness...

Monday, July 27th was my 39 week appointment with my midwife. I was 3-4 cm dilated already and 80-90% effaced...Yikes! Jessie was pretty sure I would go in a couple days, but I was really holding out for August! Anyway, nothing happened all week...after I made poor John stay in town instead of working away from the office like he was supposed to.

A cousin of mine informed me we needed to "grease the cake pan". I'll leave the details out, but Friday evening I was having contractions again. Not anything different from the ones I'd had before. Disappointed (sort of), I went to bed. At 1:30 am, I got up with contractions that wouldn't let me sleep, and went downstairs to read and time them. I didn't want to keep John up if it wasn't time to go, and I figured he'd lose enough sleep later. My contractions were all over the boards (9 mins, 5 mins, 2 mins, 7 mins) so I thought it couldn't be time.

I started going to the bathroom between every contraction, and finally felt whiny enough at 4:30 am to crawl back in bed with John and whimper while he looked at my contraction timer and figured out whether or not we should go to the hospital. After I ran to the bathroom again, he decided he didn't want his son born in the toilet like those "I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant" people on tv. So we started getting stuff together...well...he did. I just kept asking him, "Do we have this? How about that?" And trying to breathe through contractions. He was pretty sure if I could remember all the stuff I sent him for, it wasn't time. I called the after hours service, and found out Jessie, my midwife, wasn't on call. :o( I was upset, but, hey, what can you do?

We got out the door, let the dog go to the bathroom while John called my mom from the backyard, drove up the driveway, reversed, got my purse and all my ID, and drove away again. We got to the hospital in record time, hit the registration area where we signed in at 5:32 am. I was having pretty bad contractions at this point and making some noise, so I was embarassed and hid around the corner in the registration lobby. John got me signed in with the lady (after continuous interruptions by yours truly to "COME BACK!"). She freaked when my water broke in her lobby. Anyway, I made it to L&D, where John asked if I could get a room with a tub. I did, but never got a chance to use it, because, lo and behold, I was already dilated to 10 and at a +2 station the first time they checked me.

The nurses had me lie on my side with my legs together to wait for my midwife (they phoned her anyway, instead of the doc on call). The bed rail became my best friend as nurses kept reminding me to breathe slow and deep through contractions, and I gripped John with the other, trying not to break his hand. They tried to get me to move, and another nurse informed them I was "in the zone" and not to bother me. Jessie made it (HURRAH!), throwing on scrubs while complaining that companies don't sell pink and blue emergency lights for ob/gyns and midwives...I love her!

I pushed for about 20 mins. John says. It felt like forever, trying to get Evander's head under the pubic bone. 1 step forward and 2 steps back kind of work. Apparently I cracked a joke about if the baby's ears were anything like John’s, he would get stuck. Everybody laughed. I’d really meant if I could only get the ears out, he couldn’t slip back in! But, oh, well! I knew I was wimping out on some of my pushes, because Jessie kept saying “Push down into your bottom”, but I was so tired, and kept having to readjust my grip on my legs. I think I got about 2 or 3 pushes to a contraction, but they had to remind me to
do it! I didn’t want to push ANYMORE! Finally, someone saw the head…about a silver dollar round of scalp and HAIR. LOL. We’d been sure he’d be bald! They got a mirror on a stand for me to see, and John found my glasses, but you could
still only see when I pushed, and I wasn’t paying any attention during those times!

And then, I felt his head. It was the most intense and terrifying pressure because I knew it had nowhere to go but out. I pushed, and they encouraged, and Evander’s head emerged. They made me stop pushing to suction his mouth, and then
Jessie had me push out his shoulders. I don’t remember if it hurt or not, after the head! He was purple and wet, and suddenly, lying on my stomach. I don’t even know what I said. They rubbed him and he cried a little, not much. Then they
took him quick to check his APGAR scores. He was 7lbs and 11 ozs. John snapped a pic with my i-Phone and posted it for the world to see.

I had a second degree tear, so Jessie stitched me up and John held Evander next to me. They checked my blood pressure and all that, and I could NOT stop shaking. John’s mom and sister were the first to arrive after all the frantic calling earlier. Maggie helped me while all the nurses filtered out and let me try to nurse. It wasn’t working, Evander was way too sleepy, but it was still amazing to have his little pink body cradled against me instead of inside me. Totally amazing. And that was the beginning!

Now for the next step...Evander's breakfast. LOL


For two weeks before Maia was born, I was dilated to 3 and 80% effaced.  
Nervous, I took everything as a sign of labor because Vander had been  so fast! My midwife had told me this labor was likely to be faster.  I  was horrified by imagining myself going into labor while I was at  school, or starting bad contractions while driving and delivering on the  side of the road with a state trooper, and even had a nightmare that I  was going into labor at home alone with Vander one night that John was  out of town.  The school nurse assured me she was eager and willing to  deliver me in the school nurse's office (she was an ER nurse and missed  the adrenaline!)  I stressed over every twinge and movement.  In the  end, Maia chose as convenient a time as her brother did.  She waited  until she was 39 weeks baked, and it was the night before Election Day when we had no school. 

I had had contractions all that Monday, and I was nervous about going to school, but they weren't strong, and they were about once an hour.  So I dropped Vander at school after taking pics of him eating his Poptarts  (haha, his last breakfast as an only child...sorry I didn't make waffles  or  something).  I drove to Shelbyville talking to John on the phone,  and wondering if I was going to have to make him turn around, since he  was driving an hour and a half away to Richmond for work that day.  I  got to school with nothing else exciting happening so I told him I'd  keep him posted.  My contractions hit at random times that day, never  closer than an hour apart, but we assumed it meant labor was coming  within the next couple days...My mother-in-law Maggie came up that night  just in case, and my sister-in-law Amanda had already been staying with  us in anticipation of Maia's birth...we didn't want to have to take  Vander anywhere in the event of a middle-of-the-night departure, which  is what ended up happening.  At 9, I sent out a trial mass text (I'd  never done it before) to let a few people know labor might be starting  but that I was going to bed.

That night at midnight, a contraction woke me up.  It was enough to keep  me awake, excited and waiting patiently for another one.  I Facebooked  and played  Scrabble  on my phone.  Another hit at 12:45, then 1:00, then  they jumped to
every seven minutes.  For about three whole  contractions.  Then they settled into every five minutes.  That  escalation scared me (thanks to Mom's second  labor story when she went  from ten minute contractions to one minute contractions with my younger  brother). By 2 am, they weren't strong but they were regular, and I  convinced John we needed to leave.  I really didn't want to walk into  the hospital like Mom...crowning.  It sounded very uncomfortable to me!  John was sure we'd be at the hospital forever.  I gathered up all of my things, much calmer than the previous time.  The contractions got  stronger since I was standing...good ole gravity.  I snuck in Vander's  room, covered him up, kissed his head, and snapped a pic of him sleeping  with my phone.  He was oblivious to the big changes that were on the  way! 

Maggie came with us, and we let Amanda know we were heading out.  John  and Maggie talked about the possibility that Maia would be the first  female President since she would obviously be born on Election Day.  I  hope not, for her sake!  Too much stress... I called my mom and let her  know what was up after sending out a mass text to let a select few  family and friends know that  we were on our way to the hospital.  Barry,  my brother, was the only one who  texted back immediately because he was  still up. 

The emergency room was not busy, and the nurse at the desk sent us immediately to the Non-Emergency Registration office at about 2:30 am...  I don't know what they consider labor if it's Non-Emergency.  I kind of disagreed.  The lady was nice, and she seemed understanding when I  couldn't answer questions through a contraction.  We got all our  paperwork done, and a nurse came down with one of those humongous  wheelchairs.  They're so wide, I felt I could have offered her a seat,  and we could have wheeled it upstairs together.  This time around, I got  stuck in triage.  The triage nurse had me 
pee in a cup...seriously?   During contractions?  How do people do that?  I did the best I could.   Then I got stuck on a monitor, and shortly after, moved to a delivery  suite.  It turned out to be the same one Vander was delivered in.  My 
nurse Jodi was awesome and cheerful, which was what I needed.  Someone  to joke with while I was between contractions.  John had more time to  crack jokes this  time, too, and nearly got punched a couple times for  it. 

The contractions were ramping up, and my hands were going numb in the  middle of them.  I thought, Great! I'm going to stroke out in early  labor.  When they finally got around to checking me, I was already  dilated to 8.  They rushed in
to get blood drawn and INSISTED on putting  in a HepLock.  I refused three or four times, but the nurse doing it  basically just said it was hospital policy and she HAD to.  Maybe she  did, but I avoided it with Vander (most likely because I came in dilated  to 10 and there really was NO time) and I really DID NOT want it.  She  tried, and blew out the vein on my left arm.  URGH.  I HATE NEEDLES.   Especially in the middle of contractions.  She got another nurse to come  try, and she couldn't get it on the first try either.  I was crying by this point because they were switching sides with the lady trying to  draw my
blood.  John had been pushed down to the end of the bed, but he  held onto my foot when I asked him.  I needed someone touching me who  wasn't trying to stab  me.  The second nurse finally got in a pediatric  IV needle, and they taped it
down and left me alone.  FINALLY.  I was  very unhappy with all of that. 

I think my midwife, Beth, came in about that time.  I was really glad  she made it!  She checked in with us, then went back out for a while.   Afterwards, Jodi helped me get down off the bed so I could rock back and  forth leaning on it with a couple pillows under my head.  She explained  that my numb hands were due to the fact that I was blowing out all my  air when I was breathing so deeply and that I should release in three  short puffs instead of all of it at once.  That helped a lot and I could  focus on other, more important things.  Like the fact that Maia was on  her way in a hurry!

 Jodi offered me the birthing ball, and since I hadn't had the chance to  try anything different with Vander, I said, Sure!  Why not?  She brought  it in and covered it with a giant "puppy pad".  LOL.  I don't know what  else to call them.  I sat down on it, and after it squished all the way  down into a complete squat, I bolted back up again. WAY too much  pressure!  I didn't really want to go THAT fast  But it had gotten  everything started.  Maia had dropped into position, the next  contraction was crazy, and I felt the need to push.  I thought my water  broke, a little puddle and some blood on the floor next to the bed.  How  wrong I was!  Jodi and Maggie got me up on the bed somehow, dropped the  foot and raised the head so I was basically sitting, and Beth came back  in.  I was at a funky angle on the bed, but I was ready to push.  Then  my water REALLY broke.  It shot straight across the room like a water  park attraction!  The relief of all that pressure was amazing.  After a  contraction and pushing one round in that position, they were able to  move me.  I was more present
during the labor with Maia than I had been  with Evander.  I was semi-able to think this time around, and I knew  what was happening. 

This time, I was determined not to wimp out on my pushes like I had with  Vander.  I powered through each contraction, pushing as hard and as  long as I  could.  They even had to make me stop once to breathe.  I was  determined to get
Maia out with more efficiency.  Water continued to  slosh out in front of her  head, and its warmth was soothing.  The only  thing I regret this time is that I  arched my neck during pushes instead  of tucking it.  Five days later, it's  still sore!  I remember them  telling me the head was out and to take a break  while they suctioned her  nose and mouth.  Then the shoulders.  It seemed harder this time, and I  know it hurt.  I didn't remember true pain with Vander, just pressure.   But Maia's shoulders hurt.  Maybe because I was more aware.  After that, she slid right out, and there she was on my stomach!  They wiped  her hard with a towel until she cried, and boy, did she cry!  She was  much louder than

The placenta, which I barely remember with Vander, was easily passed and  Beth showed me the "tree of life"--the web of blood vessels on the  inside where Maia had been hanging out for about 9 months.  It was very  pretty in a gross anatomy kind of way!  Then the best news of all--no  lacerations, no tears, no stitches...which had been one of my goals and  the reason I did not want to labor lying down this time.  I was able to  nurse her immediately, and she latched on like a pro.  Vander had just  gone straight to sleep when he was born, and we had struggled to keep  him awake for a feeding through our entire hospital stay.  She was alert  and had a cleft in her chin like my dad, dark hair, and while she was  swollen from birth, she looked like her brother. Absolutely amazing--after the long and stressed-out pregnancy, I was holding my daughter.



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