Katelyn's had a birthday!! Here is her birth story, for any curious readers, but mostly for me. :)
Katelyn was due on September 5th, 2009. I felt she would come right around then, so I didn't let myself get too antsy as month nine wore on. The night of Sept 1st I started having some regular contractions, so Jeff and I took off on a long night walk, to time the contractions and see if this was the real thing. We packed a sleepy Jeffy in the stroller and off we went. We walked for more than two hours and I actually had a really good time. It was nice to spend some one-on-one time with Jeff and since it was dark, it wasn't too hot. Contractions kept coming, so we called our doctor who said to go ahead to the hospital. But by the time we were all packed and ready to go, the contractions stopped. I guess she wanted one more cozy night. We went to bed a little disappointed.
The next night (Sept 2nd) I woke up to contractions again at about 11:30 pm. They were coming about 3-5 minutes apart and some of them lasted a whole minute. They kept coming and I had a really hard time staying comfortable, so I woke up Jeff and we got in the car to go to the hospital. Since this was the same point I had been at when I called the doctor the night before, I assumed they would just tell me to go on in, so I didn't bother to call. Whoops.
The ride to the hospital was UNCOMFORTABLE! :) It was only a 15 minute drive, but I felt every bump, every turn very intensely. Yuck. I think it was about 2:00 am Sept 3rd at this point. Jeff dropped me off at the Emergency Entrance, and I walked in, hoping to see signs that would point me where to go, since we hadn't taken a tour or anything. Some security guard called for me to stop from the back, asking if I was lost, (I was going in a direction ER patients aren't supposed to go) but when I turned around and she saw my gigantic belly, she laughed and said that no, I was in the right place, and directed me to the maternity wing.
I got there, and got a little chiding from the nurses about not calling my doctor. Oh well. She was already there anyways. I got checked in, answered a million and one questions and waited to be checked so I could see how far I was. Jeff and Jeffy were with me now. We brought Jeffy along because we didn't want to dump him on a babysitter if I were to be sent home. A nurse checked and said I was at a 2/3. Now this was disappointing, since I felt those contractions had to be hard enough to really make some progress! She said they would give me something to help me sleep and check me in the morning to see whether they would admit me or send me home. Jeff and Jeffy went back home and we all went to sleep.
I remember slowly waking up to the contractions a few hours later. I was so tired, I held completely still during each contractions, just too tired to move. I did that for a while, and eventually the nurse came in to check me. I was at a 7! Yay! They admitted me.
I called Jeff who dropped Jeffy off at Amber's (thank you!) and came to join me. As soon as the nurse found out I was at a 7, she called for things to get moving. I had tested positive for Strep B, which meant I needed to have antibiotics in my system for four hours before giving birth. Since I was already a seven, they needed to hurry up and get that IV in. As she was fussing around me, she kept telling me how amazing it was that I was already at a 7 and that I must be relaxed. She was right. I had figured out that holding completely still and relaxing my body felt much better and helped my labor to progress much better than writhing around.
I was feeling pretty confident and wanted to keep going without an epidural, but my doctor came in and asked me to get once, since I was doing a VBAC and in case things went bad, that would already be done and an emergency c-section could go faster. I agreed. This was about 7/8 am.
We tried to take things slowly to let the antibiotics have enough time in my system and once I got the epidural, I couldn't really feel anything anyways, so it was fine. At 11:00 am I was ready to start pushing. This is where the real work began. Jeffy was born via c-section, so this was like a first birth--it took a long time. :)
I pushed and I pushed and I got very tired. My contractions kind of slowed down at this point, and sometimes there would be minutes in between them. I took those minutes as an opportunity to try to relax.
I remember being a little bit worried. Was this going to work? Was it not and I would need a c-section? I asked the doctor if she thought this was going to work, and she said yes, and that I was making progress. That was the answer I was hoping for. With her reassurance, and because of sheer exhaustion, I just did my job and pushed and let everyone else worry about the outcome. I even reached down once and felt her head right there. That was a little weird. :)
Fast forward two and a half hours. The doctor tells the nurse to go get a bunch of people to come in and help. Once they're there, she tells me that if I push really hard on the next contraction, her head should be out! That was good motivation. The room was very full--about 8 extra people were in there. I think doc was worried that her head would come but her shoulders would get stuck. I pushed with all my might and a mighty "hurray!" rang though the room as Katelyn came out all at once! In that way, it was fun to have so many people in there-- I got a booming cheer when she was born!
For a split second, I couldn't really tell what had happened. I knew some of her was out, but I didn't realize she was all the way here until they lifted her up and there she was! Yay! I actually cried. I was so happy and grateful and in love with this little one. She was placed on my chest immediately, skin-to-skin, and we got to know each other. I thought she was the most gorgeous baby girl I had ever seen. People came in and out and did their thing, but Jeff, Katelyn, and I were in a world all our own. It was heaven.
She was 7 lbs 9 oz and 19 inches long, born 1:35 pm on September 3, 2009.
I couldn't have asked for a sweeter, more beautiful baby. My birth experience this time around was so different from the first. I came away feeling confident, happy, relieved, tired, and so, so grateful that the VBAC had been successful. Katelyn has held a special place in my heart since that moment and I hope every coming year will be just as wonderful as her first!
Happy Birthday Sweetheart!