Disclaimer: This is a very detailed account of how Genevieve came into the world. I wanted to remember it all, so I recorded it all. I don’t think it’s one of those “too much information” things, but you might. So read with caution… 🙂
Well let’s see. I guess I’ve got to start on Friday morning. My mom flew in from seeing my sister in Vegas, so Gunnar and I headed out to pick her up from the airport. We spent a fun day together, then in the afternoon went to my doctor appointment. I saw Dr. H. Lee and she stripped my membranes. She also told me I was a solid 3cm, almost 4! I was loaded with anticipation that this would surely be the weekend I’d go into labor!
Saturday morning I woke up and was still pregnant. I didn’t have any contractions and my water was still intact. Booo. But right around 10am that all started to change. I began having some fairly regular contractions. They started at around 8 minutes apart and quickly moved closer to the 5 minute apart mark. I was about to call my doctor and head to the hospital when my contractions suddenly slowed. Major booooo. I was really looking forward to getting this process underway.
Even though my labor had slowed we decided to call up our wonderful friends Judah and Candace to see if they could take Gunnar for the day and possibly the night. Candace came right over and picked him up, so Mom, J, and I decided to head out to the mall to see if my labor would pick up.
I was secretly hoping my water would suddenly break in the middle of the food court at the mall. What a story! And kinda gross. No such luck. My contractions were a steady 6 minutes apart, but weren’t getting any faster or harder. I was getting tired after two hours of walking so we headed back home for a nap.
My contractions slowed considerably during nap time. They were around 10 minutes apart, but they were also really, really hard. I couldn’t talk through them and really had to concentrate on my breathing. I had a stretch of about 30-40 minutes where I didn’t have any contractions, so I actually slept during that time. I decided to get up again after a couple really hard contractions. I needed to get my mind off of the whole labor thing.
After sitting on the couch for a while, my contractions picked up, then slowed, then picked up, then slowed. It was so frustrating! I just wanted something to happen! So we went on another walk around the neighborhood to see if they’d get more regular or if my water would break. Again, no such luck.
It was around 8pm when we got back home from the walk and boy was I discouraged. I hadn’t been able to eat hardly anything all day because of all the contracting (it really doesn’t make for a good appetite) and I was super grumpy. We watched a few episodes of America’s Funniest Videos on Netflix to get my mind off things. It actually helped. And the laughter made me feel a lot better.
I called the doctor to let her know what was going on and see what her advice was. She said I could come into the hospital if I wanted and they could check me and monitor me, or I could stay home and that was fine too. I opted to stay home for a bit longer because I was afraid I’d be put on some sort of countdown if I went into the hospital.
Around 10pm J and I headed up to bed to see if we could sleep at all. J had no problem sleeping, but I was having a really rough time. My contractions were still 8-10 minutes apart, but they were really, really, really hard, the worst I’d had all day. There were a couple times where I grabbed J’s arm and woke him up so I could at least have a witness to the craziness in my belly.
Around midnight, after a couple hours of no sleep for me, I finally decided that I wanted to go to the hospital. Either I was going to get an epidural so I could sleep, or I was going to have them break my water and get this thing over with!!
I called two of my close girlfriends and asked if they wanted to come along for moral support. They had been on call during the previous week just in case my mom didn’t make it in time to be with me for the birth, but I decided to ask them along anyway. Both Jonelle and Ashleigh hopped right out of bed and got ready to meet us at the hospital.
Well wouldn’t ya know it, as we were getting on the entrance ramp to the freeway, we saw flashing blue and red lights behind us. Yes, we were being pulled over by the police. J wasn’t speeding, so we knew immediately that the problem was our broken headlight that J hadn’t had a chance to replace yet. When the officer walked up to the car, J speedily announced that his wife was in labor. The officer responded that he certainly wasn’t going to keep us for a broken headlight in that case, and asked if we needed an escort or an ambulance. We said we didn’t and he wished us luck and sent us on our way. This was J’s first time getting out of a ticket! Woohoo!
We got to the hospital around 12:30 or 1am and Jonelle and Ashleigh arrived shortly thereafter. I never really thought I’d want other people at my birth, but it was actually awesome to have them there. I had been awake pretty much all day and was exhausted by this time, and it was just so nice to have their extra energy in the room to encourage me, pray for me, and spur me on.
The nurse got me into a room and checked me and I was already 5-6 cm dilated without any consistent labor! Woohoo! I waited for about an hour and huffed and puffed through some more contractions, and I decided I needed to go potty so J helped me up to go. The nurse warned us that if I felt any pressure while going potty I needed to let her know right away. Well wouldn’t ya know I felt immediate pressure right when I sat down. She sternly told me to get right back in bed. Didn’t even get to go. She checked me and I was 6-7 cm dilated. Wowza! So this thing was really going!
I decided to get an epidural at this time. I was totally exhausted from laboring all day and needed some relief. The anesthesiologist came in and everyone except for J had to leave the room. It took the doc a long while to get the epidural in. I felt like I was sitting there forever! And J almost passed out. He’s still not sure why, but he just got really light headed all of a sudden. Weird. Anyway, so the epidural kicked in and I felt much better.
Then I got the shakes. Oh, the shakes. It’s a lot like the shakes you get when you go into shock. I guess it’s a normal side effect, but I don’t remember getting that with my last epidural. Then my blood pressure started to drop. What the what? At one point I was 94/36. Seriously?! I was scared so J came back to hold my hand. And then I got nauseous. Oh my word at the side effects!
When the doc and nurse finally got everything in balance I felt much better. My mom and Jonelle and Ashleigh got to come back in the room after that. They prayed for me, then turned out all the lights and I rested for about an hour or so. The nurse came back in because I was feeling a lot of pressure. She checked me and I was 8 cm dilated. Then she helped me turn from lying on my left side to lying on my right side and I immediately felt A LOT MORE pressure. So she checked me again and… BOOM I was 10 cm dilated just from turning over!
Nurses started running everywhere to get things ready. My water was still intact so they were waiting for my doctor to get there to pop it. Well, that didn’t happen. I had about four contractions after I was 10 cm and my water broke. And WHOA DANG did I feel the pressure then! My epidural had worn off a little and I hadn’t pushed the pain button in time, so I really felt it! I announced to the room, “My water just broke!… Or… I just pooped.” To which everyone responded, “No, it was your water.” Oh thank God. I really couldn’t tell.
My nurse had stepped out of the room for a moment and was nowhere to be found. And neither was my doctor. J ran out into the hall and yelled for someone to come. It was a funny scene and I totally would have laughed if I wasn’t in so much pain.
So my nurse finally came in and said the doctor was on her way. She got me into the leg supports on the bed and had me scoot down into the birthing position. She very sternly told me not to push and I very sternly told her that I wasn’t but the baby was coming out on her own! She was already crowning without a single push from me.
FINALLY my doctor showed up. She asked how I was doing and I replied, “Dr. Woodman, we gotta make this fast.” She got ready and at the next contraction she said, “Ok, you can push now.” So I pushed once and Genevieve’s head came out. I pushed once more and her shoulders were out. Then I gave a half push and the rest of her was out! Praise the Lord it was a super easy delivery!
Genevieve Elaine was born on April 22 at 5:03am. She was 7lbs 15oz and 21 inches long. My mom said she screamed just like me. Good set of lungs!
Genevieve shares a birthday with her Grandpa Les and her Great Grandma June. So far she’s been a pretty easy baby. She’s sleeping a lot, like newborns do. I usually get a 4-5 hour stretch of sleep at night, which is awesome. And she has a sweet little cry. I’ve found that I’ve bonded with her faster than with Gunnar because I know what it means to have a baby this time. Gunnar opened our eyes to the awesome meaning of the parent-child relationship, so we’re so much more prepared this time. I also feel a lot better with this recovery so that certainly makes things easier.
I’m doing my best to give as many hugs and kisses to Gunnar as I can so he doesn’t feel left out. Hopefully he will see Genevieve as a fun addition to our family, not a threat to his time with mama. I think he’s adjusting really well so far. He thinks she’s pretty cool. He likes to point at her and poke her in the forehead. He calls her “stah,” as in “si-stah” or sister. He’s even shared his toys with her a few times, putting them in her bouncy seat. This makes my mama heart totally happy! I love my two babes so much!