Well, I always had the feeling that our little bean was never going to wait until May 15th. Just like her sister before her, she was eager and ready to see the world!
The day started normally enough. I knew it was going to be a busy one. It was a Thursday, so I was up early moving the car (fie on those street cleaning mornings!) And then I was cleaning the house. Just a bit of sweeping and organizing, since we were going to be visiting with Brian's Grandma Lou and Great Grandma Ellie that afternoon. Lorelei and I hit the farmer's market, then headed down to Foster City for a prenatal massage. It was a full hour of heaven. I may or may not have fallen asleep for part of it! The night before had been rough. Miss Amelia had kept me up kicking until about 1 am, and I woke at 6 to move the car. We got home with enough time for Lorelei to take a short nap before our guests arrived.
Much to our surprise, it wasn't just BeeBee, Grandma Lou and Aunt Ellie, but Melissa, Logi and Edson as well! Suddenly, our house was filled with toddlers running around and causing mayhem and a whole bunch of us adults there to watch them do it! It was as if someone was looking down on me and saying "Are you ready for this!?!"
That night, after dinner, I wasn't feeling too awesome. I chalked it up to a long day, and a lot of french fries (we took the kids to The Habit for dinner). So I went to bed with the plan to wake up, take Lorelei to school, go swimming and finish up some work I had to do. Clearly, Amelia had a different plan.
I woke up at 1 am feeling like I had to pee. I got up and peed on the floor. Not normal. I went to the bathroom, cleaned up the bedroom floor and walked around a bit. No contractions. So I went back to bed. About 20 minutes later, the same thing happened. Had to pee and dripped all over the floor. Now while my bladder control hasn't been fantastic lately, that is not my normal thing. But still no contractions. So I put on my robe and walked around a bit more. Packed Lorelei's lunch. Emptied the dishwasher. Folded some clothes. And then the contractions started. I called in to Kaiser and they wanted us to head in. So...I called in the team!
Mom hopped in the car and headed in from Sacramento to be with Lorelei. Bonnie hopped in an Uber to join us at the hospital. Albert knew he was on call for Lorelei in case she woke up. We let Lorelei know that we were going to the hospital because the baby was ready to come, and we were on our way.
By the time we got to the hospital and got ourselves all checked in to our room, it was almost 4:30 am. I'd been in labor for about three and a half hours, and the contractions were very manageable. Just breathe through them. Since I had GBS, I needed to have an IV and antibiotics right away. They plugged me in (after considerable effort, I might add. They had to put the IV into the top of my hand instead of my arm, which was uncomfortable at best.) Then they hooked me up to the fetal monitoring. We had requested intermittent fetal monitoring--which means two very different things to us and the hospital staff. To them, intermittent fetal monitoring means 20 minutes on, 40 minutes off. During which I needed to be lying down. Not ideal for laboring. Anyway, the point was moot, since I also needed to be in the bed to get the antibiotics which would take an hour to administer the first dose. Brian and Bonnie stretched out on the pull out couch, and we all fell asleep for about two hours.
We woke around 8, and we all had some snacks. The nurse came in and disconnected me, which was great because A) I had to pee, and B) the contractions were getting stronger and I really wanted to be out of the bed. Over the course of the next few hours, the contractions went from every 5 minutes to almost on top of each other. I labored on my yoga ball and I labored while hanging on to Brian, with Bonnie rubbing my back (which was awesome). I really wanted to get in the shower, but just as we were about to do that, the nurse came back in for more fetal monitoring and my next dose of antibiotics--which was only supposed to take 30 minutes.
Those were the longest 30 minutes ever.
By the time I was done with the antibiotics, I was swearing and I felt like I was frothing at the mouth. I needed to get OFF the IV and I needed to get OFF the monitoring. Luckily my midwife (who was fantastic) told them to get me off of them and to use the biometric monitoring instead--which we had requested initially, a request which had been ignored by the first nurse. I was ready to get in the shower, when I felt like I needed to push. Somewhere amid the grunting and the swearing, I found the serenity to calmly state "I would like to be checked. I feel like I need to push." My midwife came in, took a look and said (against our request to not let me know how far along I was ) "You're at a 9, but the cervix is really soft. Listen to your body and push if you need to." Then she told the nurse to get everyone in the room. Now.
And so...I pushed. I was on the very edge of the bed on my side, clinging to Brian's neck and grabbing him for every contraction and every push. It was hard and it hurt. And I wanted to be DONE. Since Brian was occupied supporting the rest of me, Bonnie grabbed my leg and held it high (and pretty much got a front row seat for the rest of the show). After two rounds of pushing I heard them say "she's crowning" and I reached down and felt the head. Knowing I was so close, I pushed as hard as I could and I was finally done! All said and done, it took 9 hours. It was 10:15 am. She weighed 7 pounds, 14 ounces, and was 21 inches long.
They put Amelia on my tummy and with the help of our midwife and the nurse, the cord was clamped and cut (by Brian) and I pushed the placenta out. I don't really remember that hurting as much as it did!
We were transferred to the Mother and Baby rooms and had visits from Grandma Chris and Lorelei, Poppy Jeff, BeeBee and even Auntie Mel, Logan and Edson! My required food of choice for admission: a Lobster Roll from the Lobster Shack across the street. After 9 hours of labor, it was the MOST delicious thing ever! They even tossed in a free pink strawberry soda, when they heard that I had just given birth to a baby girl!
The next step--and probably the most difficult one, outside of actually giving birth--was getting out of the hospital! While our midwife was fine with us leaving after 6 to 8 hours, the pediatrician on staff...not so much. She wanted to observe Amelia for the next 15 hours. Hourly checks all night, uncomfortable beds, plus hospital food? No thanks. After many dire warnings about checking out AMA, and promises to come back in the morning for a pediatrician appointment (with OUR pediatrician) and the heel stick test, plus a full two hours to get all the paperwork done, and we were out of there!
Our first night was pretty fantastic. During the day, Amelia slept most of the time and wasn't too interested in nursing. When we got home, she continued to sleep. We set up the Rock and Play next to our bed, strapped Amelia into a swaddle and set the timer for 3 hours. Every 3 hours, I would get her up, nurse her, then strap her back in. I think I got more sleep that first night than I had for the entire two weeks before!
So far, Lorelei seems pretty enamored with her little sister. She wants to hold her all the time and loves singing to her. She's also a little jealous, which is natural. We're making sure to give her lots of mommy and daddy time, but it's still a lot of changes for her, which is hard...for everyone!
It was an amazing, long day and it is still a little surreal not to be pregnant any more!
Pictures from our first two days: