Mandy came to get us from triage and took us to our Labor/Delivery Room. Don’t you love her smile? We’ve known each other since preschool, and she and Nate have known each other since kindergarten. It’s so funny to me that she knew both of us individually long before we even knew each other! I love that she has been present for both of my children’s births. So special.
I also loved that she remembered which room we were in when we welcomed the Mini Athlete into the room and brought us to the same one. So surreal to be back!
I climbed up onto the bed, anxious to get this show on the road. This photo is further evidence of how good I felt between contractions. I certainly wasn’t smiling like this when they hit! But all in all, I still felt pretty good.
Mandy got me set up on the monitors, took my blood for the necessary lab work and started my iv. I had an epidural for my last birth and had no intention to do otherwise this time. Before you can get an epidural, however, they have to pump two bags of fluid into you via iv. So while we waited for that to happen, I kept experiencing the lovely contractions which were getting stronger and closer together by the minute.
When you’re waiting to go into labor, you wonder if every twinge is a contraction. When you’re IN labor, there is no denying them. Mandy gave me great advice for breathing through them and I’m happy to say I never reached the point where I felt I needed to scream or get all movie-dramatic. If I knew the contractions I was feeling were as bad as they would get, I would have pushed through. But I knew they would get much worse and I have NO desire to go through that!
Here’s where things really started moving along.
3:00pm - The “epidural lady” arrived and I couldn’t have been more thrilled to see her. I have some scoliosis in my back and last time it took them three tries to get the right place. OUCH. This time? One attempt is all it took. And it was perfect. Last time, my legs felt like giant weights. I couldn’t move them AT ALL. This time? I could still wiggle my toes and had some movement. Not a lot, but some. Of course I’m no expert and couldn’t say what a perfect epidural would be, but this felt pretty darn close.
3:30pm - Epidural in, stop feeling the full weight of the contractions. Whew.
Unfortunately, at this time Mandy informs me that my contractions are slowing down and aren’t doing much anymore. Dang it. I knew that could happen when you got an epidural, but I really didn’t want to have to get pitocin this time around. She said, “Let’s wait and see what happens.” I’m glad we did.
4:00pm - At exactly the time we were supposed to be arriving at my parents’ house for Thanksgiving, my water broke. Awesome. Another sign we were moving closer to delivering this baby!
At this point, Mandy checked me and told me I was 7-8cm. I was surprised! Since my contractions had slowed down since I got the epidural, that meant I made it to close to 7-8cm without any pain medicine. WHOOHOO. My mom has asked me, “Why does it matter?” I don’t know. It just does.
While I was progressing in that department, Little Miss Athlete was still WAY up there and we needed her to come down. Same thing happened with the Mini Athlete. Apparently I don’t “drop” like most pregnant women do before they go into labor. Mandy suggested I lay on my side with the top leg up in one of the stirrups. We did this last time with the Mini Athlete for a few hours, rotating every half hour from side to side. I figured we’d be doing this for a few hours this time too.
I was wrong.
4:30pm - Mandy came in to help me turn to the other side. I told her I was feeling a lot of pressure and maybe even the urge to push. She said, “Okay, well let’s try this side for 30 minutes and then I’ll check you and see where we’re at. But call me if you feel like you really need to push.”
She walked out the door and the next contraction hit.
I looked at Nate and said, “Go get Mandy. I feel like I need to push.”
She came back in, probably a little incredulous. I mean, she knew just how far our baby needed to drop before it would be time to push. That typically takes a while.
She checked me and said, “Uhhh…Callie? You’re complete. You’re 10cm and she is RIGHT there. Don’t push!”
She called the doctor at 4:40pm and told her to get there right away. The doctor said she could be there in 15 minutes.
Over the next 15 minutes, I did my best not to push. It wasn’t hard physically – I was just anxious to meet my baby! I remember looking at Nate, finding it hard to believe we were about to be parents again.
The doctor arrived and it was time! My doctor was out of town, so another doctor from the practice was on call – Dr. Dolskaya. I had met her before in some of my prenatal visits with the Mini Athlete and knew I liked her. She is a spunky Russian woman who isn’t afraid to tell you like it is. When she says push, you push!
It didn’t take long at all. It seemed like it only took about three 10 counts of pushing and she was out.
Our beautiful little girl…Grace Renee.
They put her right on my chest for “kangaroo care” – basically skin to skin contact for mom and baby right out of the womb. We were able to lay like that for quite a while. She received beautiful Apgar scores of 9/9 so there was no immediate need for the medical team to do anything. I tried to feed her and she latched right away. The doctor finished up what she needed to do, and happily informed me that I didn’t tear at all. I only had one small stitch after the Mini Athlete, but it’s amazing how much easier my recovery has been this time around with no tearing!
Before I knew it, we heard a knock on the door. Look who came to see me!
My sweet little guy had arrived with my parents. We spent some time snuggling while Little Miss Athlete finally got the official once over.
The Mini Athlete wanted to keep an eye on his sister while Mandy did her job.
Little Miss Athlete weighed in at 7 pounds, 2 ounces and measured 20 inches in length.
Once Mandy finished up, she swaddled our little girl and her big brother got to hold her!
He was pretty excited.
My mom wrote a fun recap of her side of the story (remember, we sort of interrupted their Thanksgiving plans).
I honestly thought I couldn’t have had a better birth experience than when I gave birth to the Mini Athlete a year and a half ago. But somehow I did.
And of course, I couldn’t have done it without the love of my life, a proud daddy once again. Nothing melts my heart like seeing him hold our children. Nothing. I couldn’t ask for a better teammate and friend than this amazing man. I’m one lucky girl.
And Little Miss Athlete is too.