|Mommy and Louis in recovery|
My mother-in-law was originally going to drive up from LA to stay in the area and watch Gabby on Monday, November 10. After my last few OB visits, we called and asked her to come up on Friday, November 7 instead. On that Saturday, I was 39 weeks pregnant and getting to the point where I was just done. I was very uncomfortable, large, and short-tempered. On Sunday, we went to the Sacramento Railroad Museum in Old Sac and walked around for a bit. After dinner that night, I started feeling a bit off. Like indigestion and gas but worse. I didn't think anything of it and went through my evening. I gave Gabby a bath, and realized that I was actually feeling some rhythmic, timeable pains. They were just uncomfortable at that point, but I decided to start timing them with the contraction tracker app on my phone. By Gabby's bedtime at 8:00, they were getting stronger and were around 10 minutes apart. I got Gabby to bed and came downstairs to rest on the couch. I didn't say anything to Brian or Anne because I didn't know if they were going to continue or peter out (I had several nights of false labor with Gabby, and I still thought that's what this was--remember I was induced with her, so I had no experience with actually going into labor).
By 10:00, they were getting closer together and more intense, so I told Brian that I'd been timing contractions for a few hours. I was calm about it, and said they could still go to nothing and that we should just go to bed and get some sleep. I got into bed, and immediately started feeling them not just in my abdomen but also in my back. I laid there for around a half hour, and decided that I needed to just get up, since I was super uncomfortable and was afraid I was keeping Brian awake. Around 11:30, I started to think that this was the real thing. The contractions were 6-7 minutes apart, and the pain wrapped around my back. I gave up trying to rest and walked around the house, still timing. At 1:00, the pain was so intense during the contractions that I couldn't walk or talk through them. However, they were still 6-7 minutes apart when I was sitting. If I walked around constantly, they went to 4-5 minutes apart. The rule is 5 minutes apart, 1 minute in duration for 1 hour (5-1-1) before going to labor and delivery, so I decided to wait a little bit longer. Mainly, I was worried that this was still not real, and I didn't want to make an early morning trip to L&D for nothing!
Finally, at 2:00 am, I decided I just couldn't take it anymore and went upstairs to wake up Brian. He got up, packed his camera, and woke his mom up to tell her we were leaving. We were in the car on the way by 2:15. I kept apologizing, and was still worried that this wasn't real and that I was making a big deal out of nothing. We got to the hospital at 2:45 and were in L&D by 3:00. The nurse got me changed, did a check, and told me I was at 4 cm. She hooked me up to a monitor and was able to clearly track the contractions. She said she'd call Dr. Nutter (the OB on call that night) and talk to her, but that I was not going home. I was really relieved that I hadn't wasted anyone's time, and that I'd decided to go in!
They wanted to monitor me for an hour, but after that hour, I was allowed to get up and walk around the ward. That was completely different from being induced with Gabby, in which I had to be on the monitor at all times and couldn't walk around! I walked from about 4:00-5:00, and then went back to bed because I was tired (remember, I haven't had any sleep at all!). The nurse checked me again, and I was 5-6 cm, and Artoo was sunny-side up (she asked if I'd had back labor, which made sense with the back pain I felt at home). I labored in bed for about an hour, having contractions around 6-8 minutes apart. I was making progress, but my contractions really weren't picking up in frequency. I decided around 6:00 that I wanted the epidural. I was exhausted, the contractions were far apart but getting really intense, and I just wanted a break. I got the epi around 6:30.
Brian scored a pull-out bed chair, and I think he managed to sleep. I didn't. The epi took forever to go into effect (although the contraction pain went away right away), and then when it did, I was a little freaked out to not be able to feel my feet. I rested a bit, and it was leaps and bounds better than feeling those contractions!
At around 9:30, the nurse came back in and said she was going to check me. She said that the OB had ordered pitocin if I was still at 6 cm, since the contractions were only 6 minutes apart. She checked me, and in a completely shocked voice said, "you're at 9!" I got a high five for that! Apparently, my contractions were doing something, even if they were really far apart! Like Gabby, my water still hadn't broken, so she decided to call the OB and see if she wanted to break my water to speed things up. The OB came in and broke it...which did nothing. I dilated to 10 cm pretty quickly, and the contractions got to about 3 minutes apart, but I wasn't feeling any need to push. There was meconium in the fluid like with Gabby, but no one was too concerned (including me, since I'd been through that before).
Finally, around 11:00, the urge came and the nurse called the OB back in. And then we waited. The contractions were still only 3 minutes apart, and they only want you to push during contractions, so there were times when we were all just sitting there staring at the monitor, waiting for a contraction to come so that I could push. I felt terrible, since I was keeping all of these people occupied, and kept apologizing for my uterus. Everyone was really nice about it, and said that he was going to come when he wanted to!
Finally, I was able to get enough contractions in to get him down the birth canal. Unfortunately, he then got stuck. My perineum just wasn't opening enough to let him out. This also happened with Gabby and resulted in an episiotomy, which I really wanted to avoid this time. To complicate matters, my heart rate was about the same as Artoo's (in the 130s), which was really dangerous for me. So Dr. Nutter finally just said that she was going to have to give me an episiotomy. Brian was great at calming me down, and at that point, I just wanted to be done! She cut me, we waited 2 minutes for the next contraction, and I pushed Louis Carl Romo out at noon on the dot. He was 8 lbs 1 oz, and 20 inches long. He also won the OB's award for "most round head," which probably had something to do with him being stuck and me needing the episiotomy.
Even with the meconium, they were able to clean him up on me, and Brian got to cut the cord this time (with Gabby, they took her over to the respiratory therapist right away and Brian didn't get to cut it). He pinked up right away, and scored 9's on the Apgar (10 is tops, and no one gets a 10). He did so well that they were able to just leave him on me for our skin-to-skin time. It was pretty awesome.
So overall, from when I knew I was in labor to having Louie was 13 hours, including 50 minutes of pushing. Louie had really good timing--he waited for Grandma to get here (thank goodness we asked her to come up early!) and let us have a few days with her so Gabby could remember how cool she is before deciding to come. The only thing I would have changed is to go into labor in the morning rather than late at night! Gabby has been a great big sister--she always wants to hold him and kiss him. She has had a return of separation anxiety, but that's something that we expected to happen. It's been really cool to see her interact with him, and to enjoy him ourselves.
As a really cool aside, Gabby's birthday is February 10, and Louie's is November 10. Brian's is January 19, and mine is September 19. I was kind of hoping the kids would end up with the same day as their birthday!