Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Penny Lea

As Boyfriend went to bed on June 10th, I told him, "I'll wake you up at 3:00!"  Every single night (morning) I had been waking up at 3:00 to go to the bathroom so I just had this feeling that was when I was going to wake up and realize I was in labor.
Sure enough, at 3:05 a.m. I woke up feeling something and wondering if I was in labor but went back to sleep immediately.  I started to dream about being in labor and being confused as to when to call the doctor and I decided that I would call no earlier than the 5:00 hour as I wanted my doctor to be able to sleep.  

In my dream, I also felt a pop and some wetness that jolted me out awake.  I laid there for a moment and realized that it wasn't a dream and I was in fact feeling wetness.  I looked at the clock and saw that it was 3:13 and laughed to myself that I had been right all along.  I woke up Boyfriend asking him to get me a towel because I was pretty sure my water had just broken.

This began the first of three strikes I gave Boyfriend during labor.  He *slowly* got out of bed, spent what felt like five minutes in the bathroom (which is only 20 feet away) and finally brought me a baby towel.  I stood up and hardly anything leaked so I became very confused.

I went to the bathroom but I couldn't tell for sure if my water had broken.  There were obvious signs that it had, but there was no more fluids coming.  Boyfriend started yelling at me from the bedroom, "Well is it time?! Did your water break?" and so I started googling how to tell if your water broke vs peeing yourself.  Dr. Google told me to use a pad and check it in half an hour so that is what I did.

As I walked out of the bathroom to report what I was going to do to monitor the fluid situation, I had my first real contraction.  So despite that I didn't have any signs of my water breaking, I finally started to feel like this could be it.  I got my phone and decided to start timing my contractions.  I knew I was supposed to call my doctor as soon as my water broke but with not being sure, I didn't want to call her unless I was having very reliable contractions.  

While timing them, I walked puttered around the house-fixing my hair, getting the last minute items into my hospital bag.  The contractions were getting stronger and stronger, I noticed I was really having to focus during them.  At some point, Baby woke up with the commotion and became the most animated child, belting out Frozen songs and asking me a million questions.  I had to make a rule that during contractions there had to be complete silence, no talking for anyone.

When I was in labor with Baby, I had two or three moments where if I could control my mind and not let the fear of the pain take over and relax my body, it wasn't nearly as painful and completely managable.  I was determined this time that I would work through each one and relax my body through the contraction.  I was really surprised I was having to do it so early and in between contractions, I started to fear how much worse it was going to get.  
At my appointment earlier that week, my doctor told me that she usually has her patients follow the 5-1-1 rule (five minutes apart, one minute long, one hour consistent) for contractions but told me if I thought things were progressing, to not wait the hour.  After 30 of timing contractions, at 3:56 a.m. I decided that I didn't want to wait any longer.  The on call service patched me through and I had a contraction while on the phone with the doctor.  She told me that I better get myself headed to the hospital, now.
The tone of her voice put the panic in me.  I had Boyfriend call my mother to tell her that we were going to be dropping off Baby and I sent messages to my best friend, Amanda, and another dear friend, Lindsey, who agreed to take some pictures of the birth-this was at 4:07 a.m.  I warned them that I had just started having contractions so it might be a bit but it was definitely time.

At this point, I was interally feeling extremely conflicted.  I had just started having contractions so I was assuming I was only 4-5 cm along but I had this deep panic in me we had to get moving, and quickly.  I kept trying to be nice and calm when telling Boyfriend we had to go but it seemed as though he had no sense of urgency. I finally just said, "Let's go-if we forget anything we can have someone get it for us!"

As soon as I got into the car I realized there was no way I was sitting down in my seat.  I found the slightest bit of comfort facing backward on my knees with my arms around the headrest.  Boyfriend told me I had to sit on my bottom, buckled up.  I pleaded with him to just let me stay that way until we got to my moms house, I reasoned that we literally had to go only two streets over.  He buckled me up backwards, annoyed at me and drove to my mother's house.

We arrived at 4:25 a.m. and while Boyfriend was getting Baby out I texted my friends to tell them it felt like it was going to happen more quickly than I thought and encouraged them to start heading to the hospital.  I started to have another contraction and out of the corner of my eye I see my mother and waved her away.  We had no time to talk and I needed Boyfriend to leave, right then.

Boyfriend earned his second strike at this point because we sat in the driveway for what felt like several minutes and I yelled at Boyfriend, "Why aren't you driving!?"  He calmly said, you aren't sitting down.  I cried to him I couldn't, he stubbornly refused to drive.  I didn't know what to do in that moment-physically I couldn't force myself to sit but I knew we had to get going, and fast.  Finally I convinced him to let me half lie on side and my knees and we finally were off.

While driving, he turned up the music and Katy Perry's "Dark Horse" came on.  He started singing and really emphasized the lyric, "There's no going back."  Strike three.  He knew the rule about being quiet during contractions.  I just yelled at him to be quiet, he turned the music off but I told him music could stay on, he just had to be quiet.

Because of the way I was "sitting" in the car, I couldn't see how far we were from the hospital but about 15 minutes into our 20ish minute drive I felt the first urge to push. I totally ignored it and begged him to hurry.  Even though I had felt the urge, I was still petrified that I was only 4-5 cms along and my pain levels were only going to increase.  I told Boyfriend that if we got to the hospital and I wasn't that far along, I was getting an epidural.  Little did I know, I was in transition and that even if I had wanted it, there would be no time for an epidural.  

Sometime between 4:45 and 4:50 a.m. we arrived at the hospital.  Boyfriend parked in the drop off zone as I was in the middle of a contraction so I couldn't move.  He immediately jumped up and said he was going to get a wheel chair, I tried to yell at him that I didn't need one but he was too far away.

I waited until the contraction was over and power walked into the hospital, I saw Boyfriend aimlessly looking around for a wheelchair and I told him, "Don't worry about it."  I didn't mean this in a mean tone, I just simply meant I didn't need it but he thought I was upset with him.  I walked up to the check in counter and they led me to the same room I delivered Baby in.  At this point, Boyfriend asked me if it was ok to move his car.  I told him to do what he needed to do-again he took it as me being mad at him but it was simply too exhausting to talk.

Left alone in the delivery room with my nurse, I could see the monitors laid out across the bed.  She started telling me that I could change into my gown and that they had to monitor me for about 20 minutes.  I didn't mean to sound so bitchy, but I told her there was no way in hell I was going to be laying down for 20 minutes and I wasn't going to wear the gown, I wanted to wear my own clothes.  She said, "Ok...but you have to take your pants off."  

I agreed to have her monitor me while standing over the bed, and this is when Boyfriend came back in.  Suddenly the urge to push came on very, very strong.  She heard my vocalization and asked me, with panic, "Wait, wait-what is going on, tell me what you are feeling."  I told her it was time to push and I heard her page the resident doctor.

The resident came in and asked what was going on as I was trying to get comfortable laying on my side on the bed.  I told her I was needing to push and she asked me to get on my back.  I asked her why I had to be on my back, I had delivered Baby while on my side and that is what I wanted to do.  I didn't feel like fighting though and started to turn on my back and in the same moment I felt the baby move further down inside me and started pushing involuntary.  Up until this point, my eyes had been shut the entire time but I opened my eyes to look at the doctor who was giving me orders and saw her face drain total color and she told me the baby's head was crowning.  

Just one minute and one push later, at 5:05 a.m, after two hours of labor and less than 20 minutes at the hospital, my second daughter, Penny Lea was born.
I was in total surprise she was here and opened my eyes to look around me.  I saw Lindsey with her camera, she told me she had literally just run from the parking lot and walked in as I was pushing the baby out.  I saw Boyfriend looking down at me in what I can also assume was shock. We waited for the cord to stop pulsing before Boyfriend cut it, I love how you can see that he is doing his fatherly duty but still seems pretty grossed out by it.

At this point, the on call doctor came in and apologized for being still half asleep and asked, "What's up?" He asked the resident if she needed anything, she was currently working to help me deliver the placenta.  Resident doctor told him no and at this point, my own personal doctor arrived.  My fears of delivering without my own doctor came true but I was so grateful that she was there to help with everything that happens after you deliver.
Maybe it is because I have fast labors, but I honestly felt with both of them the pain of having to get stitched up in your most delicate areas without pain relief is far more painful than labor itself. My doctor had to keep reminding me to keep my hands above my belly because she was scared I would involuntarily knock her hands.  After a few minutes, the numbing shot was finally working well and I relaxed just a bit.

Approximately 20 minutes after birth, they took Penny to get her weight and measurements.  She weighed in at 7 pounds even, 21.75 inches.  
Amanda arrived shortly after and I finally told her the secret that we had been keeping all along, that we were using her middle name in honor of her.  
Next and last to arrive was my mom, brother and Baby.  We spent the next half hour passing Penny around and attempting to nurse while we waited for a room to become available for me upstairs.

It has almost been six weeks since Penny's birth.  I was prepared with how fast time flies when you have kids because of Baby but I'm still surprised that we are now a family of four.

One of my biggest fears was that I was going to have my baby in a car.  I guess instincts really will guide you because I was just minutes away from it happening.  Penny's birth made me appreciate my body all over again and made me feel incredibly strong.

Welcome to the world baby Penny.



  1. Ok I just have to say it: I'm jealous. I wish I had fast labors! Love the pictures.


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