I wanted to get London's birth story written out before I forgot too many of the details. (Sorry it's so long!) Her story is so much different from Maggie's! With my first daughter my labor was very long, so I expected this one to be about at long or maybe just a little bit shorter. Man, was I wrong!!
This may be a little too detailed for some people but that's just how I roll. It all started at my 39 week check up. My midwife checked me & gave me a sweep in hopes to get things going. I was about 2 cm dilated and not effaced. A few days after that I did have some pretty strong contractions for awhile that ultimately went away. I had some other signs that labor could be getting closer but I will spare you the details. ;) Even though I didn't go into labor that week I was hoping at my 40 week appointment that I would have made some progression. So when the midwife told me I hadn't progressed at all & that the baby wasn't in the ideal position, I was pretty crushed. Baby girl was head down by laying on my right side facing my left side. (She needed to by facing my back so that her head would be pushing more on my cervix.) She went on to do another sweep and proceeded to tell me that she would see me in a week for another sweep. At that point she would go ahead and schedule an induction date for the following week (42 weeks). The last thing she said to me was, "You are no were close to going into labor". Luckily, my husband was with me, and I kept my stuff together until we left. I broke down and started crying in the car. I was a week late with Maggie and I thought surely I wouldn't be a week late (or more!) with my second! Plus, my mom was only here for two weeks and if I went to 42 weeks she would miss the birth. Looking back, I've read that emotional breakdowns could be a sign that labor is coming. If that is true, then that was my breakdown right before labor started. Ha!
So all that happened on a Wednesday. The next day was my due date, January 22nd. I didn't feel any different that day and was feeling sorry for myself so I decided to take advantage of my mom to babysit Maggie while I went to get a manicure. While I was there I started to feel stronger Braxton Hicks that were coming pretty regularly. I didn't take that much notice because that had been happening for weeks. Well, they didn't go away all evening or throughout the night. I should also mention that I was also doing exercises to try and get baby sister to move into the right position throughout the day. The contractions didn't hurt but they did feel a little stronger than normal Braxton Hicks. The next day (Friday) I kind of monitored them throughout the day. I also had some more signs that labor could be close (but again I'll spare you the details). That morning I went for a long walk and pretty much stayed on my hands & knees the rest of the day to try & get baby girl into the right position. I was doing every exercise I could think of that would get her to move! I was starting to get pretty tired of the contractions by late afternoon. I wanted them to either go away or kick into active labor. I called the midwives at the hospital for advice, and they said just to take it easy & come in once they were stronger, and I needed their assistance to get through them. Ok, that's fine but I want to know how to kick myself into labor!! I reached out to my amazing doula that I had with Maggie to see if she had any tips. She told me to try pressing on pressure points in my ankle. I pressed on my ankles until it seemed like I would get a bruise. Ha! Still nothing.
I was so hoping that I would get to call Ryan and tell him he needed to get home from work because I was in labor (like you see in the movies). Unfortunately, that didn't happen. He got home from work around 6pm and that is when things started to change. I don't know if him being home made me relax more or what, but all of a sudden my contractions started to get stronger. Again, I had had false labor before so I wasn't convinced that this was the real thing. Plus, my midwife said I was weeks away still! By 7:30 I told Ryan he needed to put Maggie down to sleep, and I was going to hop into the bath to time the contractions. They seemed to just keep getting stronger and closer together. Some of them were right on top of each other, and I was starting to have to breath through them. They were anywhere from 2.5 to 5 minutes apart. I knew that the hospital pretty much shut down at 8:30 and you would have to go to a special door to be buzzed in after hours, so I told Ryan we should go ahead and pack up to at least get checked at the hospital. I wanted to know how far along I was, and if I was really in labor I didn't want to have to deal with the after hours stuff. Ryan was trying to get spicy chicken nuggets down me so that I would have some food in my belly before we left. Bad idea.
We finally made it out the door and to the hospital (that's just around the corner from us) by 8:40pm. I told Ryan to leave all our bags in the car because I wasn't entirely sure they were going to let me stay. The chicken nuggets came back up while I was trying to walk from the car to the hospital. I think I scarred a couple of people for life, but I could have cared less in that moment. We made it just in time before the doors were locked. Unfortunately, we came during shift change. Plus, there were no rooms available!! They were completely full. They sent us back into the triage room where there were a bunch of beds lined up with just a thin sheet separately everyone. I know there were other women there but this was when things started to get really painful for me so I didn't care that I was starting to moan through the contractions. I was on all four in the bed and asking when I was going to get checked. It felt like forever before someone finally came to speak with us. While I was waiting I ended up losing what was left of my dinner over the side of the bed. I think this was when Ryan started to get nervous, and he tried to hunt someone down. A lady finally came to ask me a few questions. She found out that this was my second baby, and I think she triaged me to the front of the line at that point. I remember her telling me that they were mopping up a room for me and then they could get me back. I didn't even blink an eye when she said that. In a normal situation I probably would have asked Ryan to take me to another hospital. Ha!
They finally got me back to my labor room and checked me around 9:15pm. I was so afraid she would tell me that I was only 2 cm dilated and send me home. She told me I was 4 cm dilated and 90 percent effaced. That was about what I was with Maggie when I went to the hospital with her. That is when I started to panic. At that point I thought I was in for another long labor and started asking for an epidural. I could tell that the midwife was disappointed with me but again I could care less. I had done the natural labor before and I wasn't about to be in that pain again for 12 hours! She told my that since this was my second baby that I would probably progress a lot faster but I did not believe her. I started to realize how unprepared I felt for this and was really wishing my doula was there. I was hoping that the midwife would act as one but she was doing nothing to help me. I was demanding the epidural at that point and she told me that I was third in line, and it would take up to an hour & a half before he would be there. I'm pretty sure I lost my mind at this point. She tried giving me gas & air but I hated it and asked Ryan to get rid of it for me. The midwife did end up giving me a shot of something to help me relax between contractions. I think it did help me between contractions but it did nothing for the pain. This is when I transitioned to the bathtub to try and see if I could get any relief. It was a pretty jankity bathtub and tiny. I didn't stay in there for long. As soon as I stood up to get out I started yelling for Ryan to get the midwife to see how much longer the epidural was going to be. I was convinced that I was going to get one and needed some reassurance that it was getting close. The one saving grace was that I was not having back labor this time around, but the contractions were still excruciating.
I got back into bed on all fours and was moaning so loud through the contractions I'm pretty sure the whole hospital heard me. Finally the midwife came back in, and I started yelling at her to check me. (Like I said, I was out of my mind at this point.) I felt like something was coming. Ryan said he saw her face drop and she started yelling for more midwives and a delivery kit. When I heard this I was in complete shock. At this point it had only been an hour since I had gotten into my room. My bag of waters came out but didn't break which really freaked me out, and I was yelling at her to tell me if I was a 10 or not. She was like, "oh honey, the baby's head is right there. You are at a 10 so go ahead and push!". I don't remember how many pushes it took, maybe 10 minutes of pushing? My water broke the push before London was born at 10:31pm. I went from being 4 cm dilated at 9:15 to having London in my arms by 10:31pm. No wonder I was out of my mind!! It was absolutely surreal that it happened so fast. The midwives do not consider you in labor until your 4 cm so they said I was only in labor for an hour and 15 minutes! I think I was their fastest labor & delivery of the night. Ryan told me later that he could tell the midwife had no intention of giving me that epidural. I guess she was right but I don't think she even thought it would be that fast. Afterwards they asked us if we had any clothes to put her in. We had never made it back out to the car to get our bags! Ryan had to run out to get them so that London would have something to be wrapped in. I had packed all these things to help me through labor, and I didn't even use a single thing. We had no clue at the time that Ryan wouldn't be able to make it back to the car to get them!
I'm so thankful that London was healthy and there were no complications. I feel like I've been recovering so much faster this time around as well. We are so in love with her. She is just the perfect addition to our family.
Tea & Toast from the NHS after delivery. :)
She was so alert!
She's in there somewhere.
And she's home!