It's been a long while since I've blogged. Things have been crazy over here as I went into the last trimester while teaching. Let me say it was a totally different experience than the third trimester while on summer break. I was exhausted but it's all worth it.
Keith has become a little man. He is so grown up but still a baby in so many ways. Pictures will come in the next post. Right now I want to share some about Carmen.
I had no idea that labor could last a month, however, mine did! I went into this determined to not have an epidural after what happened with Keith and the NICU. Luckily, I know an amazing doula :) Echo is the mom of one of my sweet students, and I knew the only way I would make it through this labor would be with her. We hit it off right away which helped immensely. So I felt pretty confident going into this whole thing even knowing my hospital this time would be about 45 minutes away. My husband wasn't thrilled about my choice but he understood my reasons and went along with it.
Christmas Eve I started getting some contractions that sure weren't Braxton Hicks. Talk about scary since my due date was about a month away. And Keith isn't a calm quiet 17 month old so very little resting to be done there! They stopped thank goodness but I had them off and on for several weeks.
Finally, the week before her due date (as I was pondering how I could make it through two more weeks of teaching) I had horrible contractions 20 minutes apart for almost the entire day. That Thursday I went to the midwives to get checked and discover I'm at 3 cm. Now, with Keith my water broke and I was still at 0! So this was quite the surprise to me. That night, even more contractions and my husband took off work to go with me. Still at 3 cm. I think both of us wanted to cry at that point. The midwives told me to walk so walk we did for the entire weekend and nothing. I was frustrated and confused but Echo reminded me that everything would be ok.
I went back to school that week to everyone's shock. Not in the classroom cause I was too afraid of going into labor there but I spent the week testing students. Had my appoint in the middle of the week and I'm at 5cm. Ummmm honestly I didn't know it was possible to be at 5 cm and still walking around functioning. Silly me. Carmen certainly wanted to take her time. Saturday morning we kept pretty busy and that afternoon my husband left to run some errands while Keith and I took naps. I felt really off and assumed I just didn't feel good (lesson: my assumptions are always right). However I got a few really bad contractions that made me wonder if I was getting close to actual labor. We decided to go in when I couldn't walk up the basement stairs during and after several of them.
Echo came with us to the hospital thank goodness. We get there and yep I'm having contractions but I'm still at 5 cm. We walked around for a bit and the midwife there offered to give me pitocin to get things moving. Now, pitocin with Keith was the most painful experience of my life.I wanted to die. Not to mention I couldn't get out of bed. Echo and the midwife promised me it wouldn't be like that. Apparently I'm a very trusting person because I went along with them. We went to grab something to eat and come back. That's when I started to get really nervous. I was super afraid of the pitocin and not being able to get through the pain and needing to ask for an epidural. I should have known better. Echo was determined to help me stay strong. And looking back, it wasn't as hard as I thought. I'm sure I was lucky honestly because I remember how painful labor was with Keith. We started the pictocin and I felt more contractions. We ended up walking around, talking and joking. They upped the pitocin several times and I felt the contractions getting stronger but nothing I couldn't handle. Mainly due to walking, using the birth ball and rocking in the rocking chair. This started about 4:30 pm. Around 11:30 I think, they checked me again because the contractions had really picked up. I was still at 5 cm. I seriously lost it at that point. I couldn't believe the pitocin was doing nothing.
The most shocking thing to me through all of it was how supportive Echo and Julie were. After using an OB for Keith, I was so surprised that the midwife stayed as much as possible. Plus having Echo there was a big help to stop us from going insane.
I had a really good cry when I realized that even with pitocin nothing was happening. I didn't realize it until Echo told me but they upped the pictocin to 10 before they left the room. Suddenly I was getting contractions that took my breath away. And lots of them. I panicked because I remembered how it felt with Keith. Thankfully, Echo sat with me as my husband had started to fall asleep at that point. He was exhausted. I realized I couldn't sit in the bed any longer with the contractions the way they were or I was going to go crazy. I remember asking someone to fill up the tub and telling them I needed to use the bathroom. What I neglected to tell anyone (mainly because I was in denial and afraid if they knew I wouldn't be allowed in the tub) is that I was starting to feel an urge to push. I got in the tub at that point and felt so much better. I don't know how long it took but I realize it had to have been maybe 30 minutes or less and suddenly I had to use the bathroom. Well, Carmen decided she was ready and again I was still in denial. I remember the nurse pulling a cord, and she and Echo told me I needed to get out of the tub now. Yeah I really didn't want that to happen. I wanted them to let me out and then leave me alone in the bathroom. Next thing I know there are lots of people in the room and they are moving me out of the bathroom over by the bed. I saw my husband run out of the room (that's what happens when you're sound asleep and wake up to random people running around the room) and sent Echo after him. My water broke as soon as I got to the bed and I think it was 4 or 5 pushes and there she was. At the time, I thought I was going to die from all the pain but looking back it wasn't that bad at all. That's surprising to me because it truly was painful with Keith. I was so grateful Echo was there to bring my husband back and to help me. I know if it had just been the two of us, things probably would have gone much differently. Instead Carmen came out happy and alert. Best part of all: no NICU stay this time despite being jaundice and she nursed! And is still nursing.
So now Keith is a big brother and Carmen is fitting into our lives. He isn't super excited about it but he will get there :)