By June 21st I was two days past my due date and 9 days past the time I gave birth to my first daughter. I was entering into a phase of, "I'll be pregnant forever," because I never mentally prepared myself for going that long. I had a 1:00 appointment with my OB and a 2:15 NST scheduled. At my appointment the doctor separated my membranes and we also scheduled an induction date. I decided to schedule the induction because my ob was going on vacation the following week and I didn't want the luck of the draw for the medical resident who takes an extremely hands-on approach to birth (like I had for my first, thank God my doctor showed up in time to save me from that guy).
I had driven dh to work that day so I had the car. After my appointments I stopped by my office (I work at a medical school) to say, "Hi," and to see if they had any questions. I was officially 3 days into my maternity leave and really had nothing better to do. As I was there, I began to feel really crampy but hungry too. I called dh to find out if he wanted a ride home. He said yes, but could I take my time getting the car and picking him up? No problem. I went to the cafe, got a snack and sat outside on a park bench to have my snack. I started walking to the parking garage at 4:30. At this point the cramps are becoming downright uncomfortable but I couldn't say they were organized. After so many false alarms during this pregnancy I wasn't about to say, "This is it."
As I was making the drive to dh's office. The cramps became verifiable contractions that could be timed: 5-8 minutes apart. Again, I'm dubious thinking they would go away by the time I got home and laid down. By the time I got to dh's office, it took all my concentration to pay attention to the road. This is city driving and I was afraid of hitting something or somebody while I was having a contraction. I made Mark drive, telling him that he would not FEEL SAFE if I continued driving LOL.
We're now into full rush hour. And the contractions were getting stronger. To go home, we have to go back past the hospital. Mark asked if I wanted to be dropped off so he could continue on to pick up Rhiannon from daycare. Silly me was still in denial. "Naahhhhh. Let's go pick up Rhiannon." As we got into the tunnel under Boston Harbor (with no mobile phone service by the way), I came to the conclusion that I really was in labor. And contractions were now 4 minutes apart. The moment we got out of the tunnel. We called Rhiannon's godmother to come and take care of her, we called our neighbor because we couldn't raise the godmother, we called the doctor and my doula to say this is it. A final call was made to the daycare to make sure dd was packed and ready to go. Dh dropped me off at the house because I couldn't stand sitting in the car anymore. I started running around getting dd a little activity and overnight bag packed in case her godmother didn't come, fed the dog and made sure I located everything for my overnight bag. Dh finally came home saying they had Rhiannon all packed and standing at the door :-)
Then dh wanted to change his clothes, use the bathroom, etc., etc. I started getting frantic because contractions were now 2 minutes apart and dh was saying, "I'll be ready in a minute!" It got to the point that I threatened to leave and drive myself there. (Dh's minute was really 7 minutes in total. Still, too long for my own comfort.)
On our way to the hospital (only 25 minutes away), dh suggested that we flag the police car that is stationed at the light out of East Boston down. I told him no, as it would only slow us down. The contractions were now real hard and fast. As we re-entered the tunnel, dh then suggested that we speed through the Fast Lane toll both so we could get pulled over there, I then reminded him that we would be slowed down by stopping. I didn't want to have the baby in the car, I was way too uncomfortable in there LOL. As it was rush hour, we couldn't go our usual route and had to go through the very rough and bumpy city streets to the hospital.
We got to the hospital somewhere around 6:30 or 6:45 pm. When we got to L&D they wanted to hook me up to lay down and stay hooked up to a monitor for 20 minutes. I asked the nurse if she was kidding, I couldn't last laying down without moving for that long. I have just spent my entire afternoon in the car! We then compromised: 5 minutes on laying on the table to get a quick reading while she gets me one of the L&D rooms with the wireless monitor. Deal!
My Birth Sister (aka doula) Nadine showed up just a few minutes after we did. Thank Goodness! By the time they checked me I was 6 cm and almost fully effaced. I was pacing back and forth like a madwoman while sweet Mark and Nadine massaged my back and applied hot and cold packs. As I was entering into transition my spirit was really flagging. What were my pain options? I heard myself asking. Nadine was great. She started reminding me of the whole list of reasons of why I wanted to tough it out. It was a real great delaying tactic because by the time they checked me I was 8 cm. I still felt like I was going to be laboring like that for another hour and didn't want to do that so the OB suggested that if she broke my water, the contractions would be more concentrated and further apart. The keyword that I heard was "further" apart. All I wanted was a 5 minute break to gather myself :-)
Turned out I had an iron bag of water LOL. Despite all those contractions, it took a couple tries to get it to break. After they broke my water, I think I had only 5 or 6 big pushes and out she came! Astrid Justine. 8 lbs 6 oz and 20 1/2 inches long at 7:53 PM.
I gave myself an L2 tear. But today, one week later, I don't feel quite as sore as I did with my first. I had a smaller tear that time. All in all I was in the hospital for not more than an hour of labor. Just what I wanted. However, I didn't plan to spend most of my labor in the car!
We didn't name her right away. Both dh and I are pretty adamant about giving a name that fits. Turned out all the names we had for her were way too hard. She's not the fiery, athletic and cantankerous baby I thought she'd be. Despite how she behaved in utero. But rather a real sweet and easygoing baby. So for the next 24 hours we scoured our baby name books. We chose Astrid because it sounds so sweet, like a flower, it also means divine strength, and it's Scandanavian (and she has Swedish blood). Justine is the name of my maternal grandmother, who is still living. I didn't learn until later that Astrid shares a birthday with my paternal grandmother.
Astrid had her follow up appointment at the pediatrician yesterday. Before going home, I wanted to nurse her so we could have a quiet ride home. While in the breastfeeding room at the office, I sat next to another mother, from Guinea, nursing her newborn. We started chatting and comparing notes. Both of us lamented how we needed to be hooked up before anything else. Turned out her daughter was born the same day. In fact, our daughters were born 15 minutes apart! I told her how I didn't realize how fast this labor was going to be and that I spent only an hour in the hospital before dd was born. She responded that she was afraid she was going to have her dd in the car and that she spent only 15 minutes in L&D before hers was born! LOL.
I feel so thankful to have her. She is such a dream. I guess I got broken in by Rhiannon. I'm so in love with her. Rhiannon is taking her role as big sister rather well. Despite having been potty trained about 2 weeks ago. We had only one day where she requested that she wear a Pull-Up. She's also taken to being "wrapped like a burrito," like her little sister. Otherwise, all she wants to do is hold Astrid.