So, for any of you who wanted more details (I'm probably just speaking to other moms out there who have been through labor & delivery & know what it's like), here is a run down of my experience last Monday...
I had known from the beginning of this pregnancy that I wanted the birth to be as natural as possible. I wanted Oaklee's to be natural, too, and had tried to do it without an epidural, but wasn't prepared for the pain of the pitocin contractions. So this time around, I really did my research and prepared for a natural birth as much as possible. Some very wise friends shared their advice with me, which helped so much in knowing how to handle the pain of contractions. So I was expecting to go into labor on my own this time, but for whatever reason, things did not work out that way and I had to be induced again. I tried not to be disappointed about it, but in my mind, being induced was equivalent with getting an epidural, b/c I didn't see how anyone could stand those contractions without it. So, I was pretty much preparing to get one that day and had given up my desire for a natural birth.
So we get to the hospital around 8:30a, pitocin got started around 10a (after 4 tries of getting a stinkin IV in my arm! good heavens! they said my veins were 'lovely but deceiving'.) I wasn't feeling many contractions for several hours, so Jason & I walked the halls awhile, my parents came and hung out, I made 3 colorful pot-holders, tried to play some Scrabble with my mom but could only come up with 3-letter words so we quit that after awhile. Then things got rolling around 1:30p when my dr. broke my water. I think I was dilated to a 4 at that point, and my dr. thought I would be 'quick' after my water broke. She was right, thank goodness! Contractions gradually but quickly became faster & stronger, and my main way of staying relaxed through them was breathing & putting hot cloth diapers on my stomach (we had a crockpot of them in the room with us). I just stayed on my side and tried not to move, and I did ok for about an hour or so. Then as they became stronger, it got harder & harder to stay relaxed and I started losing the mental battle, b/c I was thinking, "How long can I do this? This is really hard!" So I asked for some Demerol, and that definitely helped me relax, but I still felt a LOT of pressure and was having a hard time finding a position to stay in. Then the nurse says I'm at an 8, which in my mind meant I still had a little ways to go, and I just couldn't bear the thought of being so uncomfortable for any longer than I had to. I realize now that I was in the classic 'transition' phase of labor, which is when you transition from stage 1 to stage 2...stage 2 being when you deliver. I was closer than I realized to delivery, b/c when I asked for an epidural, my nurse & doctor said I was ready to push, and if I were to get an epidural, then I'd probably have the baby while the epidural was being put in. So with that in perspective, I was glad to know I could push and that it would be over soon! That gave me strength to keep going and endure the pain I was feeling. So they had me start pushing with each contraction...and I think within 30 minutes or so (I really have no clue), I gave one final push that felt like I was pushing out a bowling ball, and then all I felt was huge RELIEF and I saw Olivia right in front of me. It was incredible. There are no words to express what I felt in that moment. It was different from Oaklee's delivery b/c I felt so much more of it this time, and I guess it made me feel more engaged with the whole process and soooooo thankful when it was over & this precious baby was in front of me. I really felt like Superwoman when it was all over, kinda like "if I can do this, then I can do anything!". It was just a good experience overall. I really can't explain how I felt different, but even though I was induced and had one dose of pain meds, I still felt like I had a pretty natural childbirth and my desires were satisfied for wanting to experience that.
I've had a good recovery, for the most part. I tore just a little bit, but not nearly as bad as with Oaklee. The afterbirth pains while I nurse have been pretty terrible at times, but I think I'm over the worst of those. The most sleep I'm getting in one stretch is 2 hrs, so that's definitely catching up with me. Olivia's not doing well at night as far as sleeping goes, but hopefully we'll get in a rhythm pretty soon. Anyway, there is your detailed report of the delivery of Miss Olivia! It was awesome. I definitely don't want to do it again anytime soon, but I am really thankful for how it worked out. I wanted to type it out before I forgot. Can't believe it'll be a week ago tomorrow!