Happy New Year and welcome 2014! I don't think I did much blogging at all in 2013, so it's time to start fresh. I'm still not promising a whole lot, but I'll aim for one update a month, and then maybe semi-monthly.
As most of you know, our second precious girl arrived Thanksgiving eve 2013 - Zoey Meiyin. A few friends have asked about her birth story, so I decided to finally put it "down in ink". Honestly, it was probably as far from Olivia's birth as possible (35+ hours, epidural, vacuum-extraction, exhaustion, etc).
I honestly thought we would have a peaceful Thanksgiving and Zoey would arrive near her "due date" of 1 Dec. Instead I felt mild contractions early morning on Thanksgiving eve, 27 Nov. Now, knowing what happened the last time I thought I had plenty of time. So I went to work as usual, and around lunch time I was experiencing more contractions, but nothing regular. Things started to get a little more intense during my boss's Wed afternoon meeting. He decided to move the meeting up since it was Thanksgiving eve. After I let the office go in a staggered-fashion, I made sure everything was locked up and proceeded to the commissary to pick up a few last items for Thanksgiving. My contractions started to get more intense but I was still able to be somewhat distracted and I would have to stop and work through them at times. I'm sure people were wondering what was wrong with me. I called Nick (who was already home with Olivia) and told him what was going on. I got home around 5 pm and called my mom in Lincoln and let her know. But I told her, "I'm sure it's still going to take forever so if you, Dad and Elizabeth can start driving up sometime tonight I'm sure it'll be fine". Around 6 pm I was starting to get some powerful contractions and asked Nick to start timing them. They were fairly long, around sixty to ninety seconds, sometimes lasting two minutes. Although to me they felt like fifteen seconds had gone by, it was very strange, this time distortion. We asked to see if my parents can come up earlier, but since I told my mom to take her time she had rescheduled her dental appointment and was now at the dentist's! They said they would start driving up as soon as she was done. Oye...I drew myself a bath and decided to use some peppermint essential to calm myself. It did the trick, and I was using the warm water to try to relax. Now...this is kind of gross, but I lost my mucus plug in the bath. After about 45 minutes I got out and cleaned up. By now I was really having a hard time staying relaxed through my contractions. I told Nick I'm not sure how much longer I can hang on. Out of desperation we asked our neighbor to watch Olivia until my parents can get into town. (Remember, we just moved here in September so we really didn't know many people yet). We got to Bellevue hospital around 7:30, luckily only about 8 minutes away. By this time I could barely walk. I was powering through contractions and taking them on one at a time, trying to stay focused. There were times I wanted to scream, and did yell, but they didn't help much. If I can breathe through them I found that easier on the body and required less energy.
I was triaged around 7:45, I think. I was 8 cm dilated!!! I had no idea I had gone through transition probably on the car ride over to the hospital. My water broke as the nurse checked me. I was quickly transferred over to the birthing room. I "wanted a little help", probably not a epidural but a little bit of something. I was told, "sorry, it's too late". ARGH! OH NO! With Olivia I was insistent on a natural birth that did not work out at all, and now I'm a bit scared to go through everything "naturally". But there was no choice. Nick and the nurse held my hands as I worked through contractions. Oh yes, I forgot to mention, the OB was en route but did not make it to the hospital yet. She bursted through the door and started putting on scrubs and gloves. Before I knew it they said I was complete and was ready to push! I think I had wanted to push earlier but was told to hold off. I tried pushing for about five minutes on my back but found it ineffective. I couldn't get power behind it pushing that way. I requested to push on my arms and legs. The OB was fine with that. I turned over, and in about three pushes Zoey was out. It was a miracle!!! It was painful but it wasn't all that horrible. I think deep down I knew the better I pushed (hold my breath instead of yelling out), the quicker the baby would come and the faster it would all be over. So I did just that. Zoey was born at 8:36 pm, less than an hour after we got to the hospital. I was thankful it was all over so quickly. I did have to have some local anesthetic for a little bit of repair work but it wasn't too bad. Zoey was a bit smaller than Olivia (7 lbs 11 oz) at 6 lbs and 15 oz. They were about the same length. I suppose this did help me push her out faster. :-) Either way I was grateful.
I did not have a birth plan, I went into this birth with an open mind to stay flexible. I wanted the least amount of intervention but knew I may need medication. I think a few things helped me out with this natural birth: lots of time spent on my hands and knees throughout pregnancy, especially in the third trimester, staying active and fit with running, yoga, and aerobic classes (for baby's optimal positioning), Zoey's smaller size, always sitting up with my pelvis out and my hips higher than my knees, this being my second baby, great support and counter-pressue on my back from Nick while I labored. and a good hospital staff.
Whew! We're all so glad, blessed, and thankful for Zoey. What a wonderful Thanksgiving gift!
Here are two quick snapshots after Zoey's birth. :-)