We had a major snowstorm all day Sunday, December 12, so when I woke up with contractions 5 minutes apart at 2:00 am Monday morning, I was a little panicky to think we'd be driving to the hospital in the snow. Well, they continued and got closer as a few hours passed, so we headed to the hospital in our old 4wd jeep. We were still uncertain what our plan would be since I was diagnosed with polyhydramnios, so we thought we should err on the side of caution. The roads were TERRIBLE ~ super icy and snowy, but there was hardly anyone on the road, so we made it within 15 minutes. Got to triage, hooked up to the NST and within an hour, the contractions just petered out. Tried going for a walk to pick them back up again and nothing. We were sent home, and of course they picked back up again. I continued to have contractions off and on, with them getting stronger every time I wanted to try and sleep. I could only sleep in 15 minute increments, getting rocketed out of sleep every time with a contraction. While walking around they got closer together and stronger. A little after midnight I was getting more and more uncomfortable, so we decided to head back to the hospital on technically Monday, December 13th. I was 2 cm dilated at that point and 70% effaced, so it was still early. A few hours later I had progressed to 3 and they admitted me. The midwife/ob team decided it was fine for me to continue laboring and plan for the VBAC as long as the baby looked fine and no other complications arose. The midwives and nurses were absolutely wonderful through the whole experience. No one ever questioned or doubted anything I requested. We were never hassled or pushed into any decision. It was amazing. Everyone was on my side and wanted me to succeed. Completely different than my first experience with Eleanore.
I labored and labored and labored. Walked the halls, took baths, walked the room. With my daughter's labor I never progressed past 4 cm, so when they checked me later that afternoon and I was a 5, I was elated. The nurses and midwife were so supportive of me, and I knew at that point I could do it. It was slowwww going. When the baby's head had come all the way down blocking the cervix (preventing any cord issues because of my polyhydramnios), we decided to have my water broken around 7 am on Wednesday to try and get things moving more quickly. My belly reduced in size so much! lol It worked and my contractions got more and more painful as the hours ticked by. However, I had also not gotten any sleep since Sunday night, and it was now Wednesday. I was starting to feel crazy and losing faith that I could do it. Later that afternoon I decided to get an epidural as a kind of last resort. I really felt at that point that I was going to end up with a c-section. I was able to sleep for an hour or so after the epidural and a few hours later, I had progressed to a 10! I was in shock.
The midwife decided it would be easier if I labored down rather than immediately start pushing as it seemed as though the baby was posterior. I did lots of pelvic rocks and other exercises to get her to turn and oh how my hips were hurting, even with the epidural, but she was turning! The pressure started to get intense around 8 pm, so it was time to start pushing. My dh was such a nut that we decided to listen to Johnny Cash (hello "Ring of Fire") and we joked off and on with the midwife and nurse between contractions and pushing. It was insane. We joked about toilets, cloth diapers and anything and everything under the sun. Finally, after pushing for almost 6 hours, it was determined I needed an episiotomy to get her out, and with the next push at 2:12 am, much to my huge surprise, she was born! I couldn't believe it! I had *birthed* my baby.
I later found out that every other l&d nurse was cheering me on through the whole process. Labor for three days, "active" labor for two and pushing for six hours, I sincerely could not have done it without the awesome team of midwives and nurses in l&d at Henry Ford. They were amazing.
Later that day, after some sleep, she had a small choking episode where she turned blue, so she was admitted to the special care nursery, where I stayed with her for 4 days, nursing her on demand even after I was discharged. I think they were more cautious with her because of my long labor and pushing, but she is fine except for being diagnosed with reflux. We came home yesterday and it was so wonderful being in bed with my whole family. Nursing is going great, and at least at this point, she actually seems to be a sleeper, unlike Eleanore.