*************WARNING, ESPECIALLY TO ANY MALE FAMILY MEMBERS WHO MAY BE READING...you probably just want to stop here.
October 30th 2012 - 36 weeks pregnant with Emeric, bambino #3. I'm having sort of painful contractions again, which has been happening on and off this pregnancy but is not something that I ever experienced with my girls until it was < 3 hours until baby time. The pain is easy to deal with, but since the girls were extremely hasty in making their entrance into the world, it makes me nervous.
I've already been to the hospital twice with fits of contractions coming every 2-3 minutes - once at 30 weeks when we were in Outer Banks. At 34 weeks I had a fetal fibronectin test which was negative. It's the morning after hurricane Sandy rolled over us, but remarkably it was completely anticlimactic in our Baltimore suburb. Still, I have no idea what roads may be closed on the way to the hospital due to downed trees or flooding, so late that afternoon when I experience a little gush of blood and possibly fluid I decide I should go to the hospital ASAP just in case it takes us a while to get there. My awesome sisters had been staying with us to help out with the girls, so Stephen and I were able to just head right out the door.
I try calling L&D on the way, but nobody called back. We checked in at the ER and I was wheeled upstairs and I saw my FAV midwife Janine who delivered Ava sitting at the phone muttering about the huge list of people who had called while she was in her last delivery. Apparently the hurricane + full moon that had just happened was sending L&D into spasmodics. As I wait for Janine in triage, I'm having serious doubts - my contractions are only coming every 5 minutes or so and most of them aren't even painful. But Janine checks me and proclaims I'm 5cm dilated so I'm staying!
Because I hadn't had my group B strep test yet, they hooked me up to a penicillin drip and let me wander the halls. Stephen and I did lap after lap for about 45 minutes. It was such a strange feeling - walking the halls calmly, knowing I'd be having this baby tonight - usually I'm lucky if I can get checked in before the baby comes out :)
After 45 minutes of laps it was time for 15 minutes of monitor time, which was fine with me - I was getting pretty sleepy. I got into my hospital bed and was excited to see I was in time to catch the new Covert Affairs. After they had finished with the monitors, the nurse got me a birthing ball to roll around on for a bit and told me to call when I started to feel pressure. I sat for a few more minutes and by this time the contractions were picking up. I was still feeling pretty sleepy though, so I got back in bed.
I rest for a while, just waiting for that "it feels good to bear down but it's not time to push yet" feeling. Contractions were strong, but still only coming every 5 minutes so I felt like I had a ton of recovery time in between. Finally I had a contraction that felt a little different...I was pretty sure this was it, but gave it another contraction just to be sure - yep, I was definitely bearing down. I asked Stephen to call the nurse.
Stephen picked up the phone and said to the nurse "she feels like she needs to bear down..." and the nurse said she'd be there in a few minutes. Glad Stephen can read me so well, because he insisted "nope, you need to come now." I'm also glad Janine was the one on call tonight - she had delivered Ava and was familiar with my quick deliveries. Janine walked in a minute later and took a look at me - "well, let's break this big bag of water, and you'll have a baby!" She must have tempt fate - as she was saying this I had another contraction and my water finally breaks. "Nevermind!" Stephen chimes in :)
I pushed on the next contraction, and I thought I felt his head come out - but there was no relief, there was still more to push. I heard Janine say "Oh...ok..." with a bit of surprise in her voice, but I didn't stop to chat. There was work to be done. Another big push and finally I was done - 3 minutes after Janine walked into the room. Stephen had been at my side holding my hand and as soon as he was out we heard Janine say "well, that was a surprise!" I tried to sit up more to see - surpise?? What did she mean - did our little boy turn out to be a girl?? Stephen finally verbalized for us - what surprise? Janine said "he came out backwards...he was breech!" I looked at the clock - after midnight, so he was a halloween baby. Our little treat came with a few tricks up his sleeve. :) (Side note, my feelings won't be hurt if you'd like to roll your eyes at my ridiculous puns...)
There was a NICU nurse attending since he was 36 weeks. He had a little trouble with his breathing, but after a bit of time with the CPAP machine he was doing ok and was cleared for the regular nursery. He had some pretty amazing bruises on his rear end and legs thanks to his backwards entrance. Later Janine informed me that if they would have known that he was breech, they would have done a C-Section...very glad I avoided that. Looking back I could definitely match up the sensations with how he came out, but honestly - I would never have known if they didn't tell me. It wasn't much different than the normal way...natural childbirth isn't really a fun time either way :) He was a whopping 6lbs 8oz - my biggest ever. (Can you imagine if he had gone to term and was trying to come out backwards?? Mama mia!!)
This was actually a ton of fun to write and probably wouldn't have gotten around to it if not for the link up...so thanks again, Grace!! And somebody let me know if you figure out why on earth these birth stories are so darn addicting...