The week leading up to Zoë’s due date, I had contractions for a couple hours every night that eventually dissipated, leaving me disappointed just like with my son, Eli. At 39 weeks, 5 days, I started having contractions at 11:00 pm that night. I decided to go to bed and try to get some sleep just in case these were the start of the real deal.
At 3:00 am I woke up with the start of contractions. Not a big deal, but enough and at a strange enough time to make me think this could possibly be it. I made sure my bag was packed and pulled out the exercise ball to labor on. My contractions continued, but didn’t increase in frequency or intensity. My husband woke up at about 6 and I told him what had been going on. I showered in the hopes of discovering if these were here to stay or Braxton-Hicks like before. No change. On my list of things to do that day was laundry so the decision was made to load up the car once Eli woke up and get the laundry done.
Once in the car, the contractions seemed to slow and taper off. Laundry was started and we decided to drive around for the half hour the washing machines take to complete their cycle, thinking this would kill the contractions. For the first 15 minutes, it worked! The contractions began to ramp up in intensity, but not frequency. Our roads are in bad shape after the exceptionally heavy snow load we got this year and driving over bumpy roads while contracting is awful. I was laughing at how painful they were, trying to lift myself off the car seat to relieve the pressure. We returned to switch the laundry and I had three quick and intense contractions within 5 minutes, signaling that it was time to drop off our boy and head to the hospital. We brought Eli to my in-laws and headed home to grab the hospital bag.
Once home, contractions slowed once again. I waited on the exercise ball, bouncing around trying to get things going. We decided to take a walk and get things going. As we were about to head out the door, three quick and intense contractions within 5 minutes once again. We headed to the hospital instead.
In the car my contractions held steady at every 5 minutes, for about 45 seconds. As we entered the hospital parking lot, I began to get nauseous and felt as though I was going to vomit. We rushed into the hospital, got checked in and immediately seen into labor and delivery. A nurse checked my cervix and I got the disappointing news that I was dilated a 1/2 centimeter. I continued to have intense contractions and asked to go to the bathroom. Once I emptied my bladder, I didn’t have the strength to get up and called for my husband to help me. After he helped me up, I immediately threw up. Our doctor came in and checked me again (which I was very unhappy about, getting my cervix checked is always excruciating).
We discussed my options. She remarked that with the intensity and frequency of my contractions, my cervix should really be opening up (no kidding!). While I had initially asked for an epidural right away, I was told that administering one this early was not advised. My main reason for wanting an epidural immediately was knowing that from my previous experience the vomiting once started would not stop. We discussed how my body would do with an epidural versus without and what my cervix could do in the epidural timeframe. We took into account that my parents were on their way, but not there yet. It was a hard decision with plenty of tears, in which my husband reminded me that I grow beautiful, healthy babies but my body doesn’t want them to leave :).
The prepping for the cesarean began! My veins were collapsing and I continued to have intense contractions making it difficult to stay still for the iv. I threw up a couple more times and finally headed to the operating room, exhausted and terrified. This time around, I was getting a spinal instead of having the epidural, and I was once again freaking out in the delivery room. My anesthesiologist was so kind and wonderful, explaining to me that I would feel quite a bit more pressure this time around. He wasn’t joking! It felt as though they were punching my stomach and pulling so much the whole time. He continued to pump me full of various meds and I tried to focus on witnessing my baby girl’s arrival. My husband tried to calm my nerves and was so gentle with my fragile emotional state.
Our little girl entered the world at 1:05pm on April 22nd. We got to do skin to skin right away and I felt much more coherent and aware this time around. She weighed 7lb 4oz and measured 19inches long. Zoë looked like a twin of Eli’s and I was just so happy to have her outside of me!
We spent a couple hours in the recovery room, snuggling up. She was just the most chill and mellow baby, not bothered by her exam and being passed around, just content to be snuggled up. We can’t wait to get to know this little one!