That's right. SHE arrived 3 days early, much to my surprise. True, I'd had 2 nights of cramping (the menstrual type that doesn't really correspond to contractions). And since the cramping would last all night long, I figured maybe the lead-up to labor had begun. But when I really started having contractions at 10pm on Saturday night, I still couldn't quite believe that this was the main event. Peanut was born 8 days late, so I was certain I'd not see baby #2 until at least our due date (6/16). Boy were we wrong!
After laying in bed for about an hour of infrequent contractions, at 11pm, I gave up on the idea of sleep and Gboy and I headed upstairs to our living room to watch a movie. During the course of the nearly 2 hour film, my contractions got as close together as 6 minutes apart before spreading out again to 10 minutes apart (although more intense). At around 1 am we headed downstairs and I thought I'd go back to bed, but after another 30 minutes or so, with quite intense contractions that were suddenly 5 min. apart, (perhaps as a result of walking down the stairs?) we called the birth center and explained our situation. Our doctor had advised us that since the baby was positioned incredibly low, we shouldn't waste any time once the contractions were about 5 min. apart. The birth center staff told us that we could come in for evaluation.
In triage they hooked me up to some monitors and sure enough we could see my contractions while varying in intensity were about 5 minutes apart, baby's heart rate looked great, and when the nurse checked me, she said I was dilated to 5 cm. already and not going anywhere! I said, "Amen" as the last time I was admitted to the hospital, to have Peanut, the resident assessed me at 8 cm and we were told later that I was probably only 2 cm. dilated and she hadn't measured me correctly. What a blow. This time around, we were right on track at 5 cm. dilated after only about 5 hours of laboring.
I was tired and wanted to sleep (by now it was 3am), but I labored for another couple of hours in our room. At 5am I was seriously considering that epidural which had allowed me to sleep during my first labor. But the staff respected our birth plan and our wishes to try the minimal interventions as we progressed and they advised us that I could try the bath, and IV pain medications all before going to the epidural and that there was still plenty of time to move through those options. I got in the tub and immediately felt better. After about 45 minutes in the tub I opted for some further pain relief. They checked me again and assessed me at 7 cm. dilated assuring me that the likelihood of contractions intensifying wasn't great. I opted for the IV pain medication which enabled me to relax (it really felt like a good buzz - one that I don't remember from Peanut's birth even though I had IV pain medications with her too). After about an hour I suddenly grabbed for the call button and told the nurses I *really* felt like I had to push. My husband woke from his nap, surprised to hear this already. :)
I started to feel that urge to push and after three good pushes, my doctor told me the next push would give me a baby. I almost couldn't believe it, but I trusted her and after two more pushes, (a grand total of 5!) our little girl made her way into the world and my arms. What a different experience from the 3 hours of pushing with my first daughter!
I'm totally in love with little Sweet Pea. A pair of girls. I cannot tell you how happy I am. I am torn between both my girls - in the best possible way. I adore them each for different reasons and I love having them both near me. It's not easy by any stretch of the imagination. But it is absolutely perfect.