I really dislike reading other people's 'birth stories' because they are not pleasant and they freak me out and are often way too detailed. Maybe I won't mind after I've given birth for the last time, but while I know I've got several ahead of me, they're like horror stories that could quite possibly happen to me, so I'd rather not entertain thinking about them. If you're anything like me in this regard, stop reading now! (Although this was a pretty awesome labour...) I'm probably not going to read back on this too often, but I found with Maggie that when I wrote out my labour experience in my journal, it was like therapy, and then I didn't have to think about it anymore, but typing's faster, and I'm going to write about what happened, here.
***TO SKIP THE BIRTH PART AND JUST GET TO THE BABY BIT, STOP READING NOW, AND FIND ANOTHER BIT LIKE THIS FURTHER DOWN!!***
So at 32 weeks I was sent to get a growth scan because the doctor wasn't sure the baby was as big as she 'should be'. When I got the scan, they said she was in the 3rd percentile for size, and was about 2 weeks behind in growth. At 20 weeks she had been kind of average, so they decided to do weekly scans and make sure baby was still growing. By 36 weeks (going to the hospital twice a week for scans and appointments) she had reached the 19th percentile in size, so they stopped scanning me, although I still had weekly doctors appointments at the hospital. They decided to do a final scan just before my due date, because if she was still small they didn't want me to go too far past my due date without being induced.
I was due on Monday 9th May, and on Friday 6th I went in for my scan. James had been to I think every appointment until that one, but he had a prac lead-in day, so he didn't make it. In the scan I noticed that baby was measuring about 35 weeks, and then when I saw the doctor and he graphed her growth, he looked alarmed, and said she'd barely grown since the previous scans, and that he wanted to induce me as soon as possible. He went to check with 'the bosses' when they could book me in, and I sat there freaking out and thinking how much I wished James had come with me!! When the doctor came back he booked me to come in on the Sunday night, to be induced then/Monday morning. He told me all about being induced and then sent me on my freaking out little way.
It was kind of good in one sense being booked in, because James was starting his big teaching prac on Monday 9th, my due date, so at least he could tell the school for sure which days he needed off, instead of being on call for the first part of his prac, which may have been distracting.
I spend the weekend freaking out, then on Sunday night James gave me a blessing, we dropped our precious Maggie girl at Mum and Dad's for her first ever sleepover (she loved it of course!), and headed up to the hospital.
They began inducing me Sunday night with the gel, which some women go into labour from, but I didn't (I couldn't stop shaking all night I was so scared - my labour with Maggie was a little tiny bit awful and long, and just sitting there waiting for it to 'kick in' was terrifying for me!). Just after 6am they took me into the birthing suite, and broke my waters. By 7:30am I was starting to have some real contractions, and at 7:50 they started me on 'Synto' which is a hormone I think, which makes your body really go into labour. At least it did with me! The midwife started me on a dose of 3ml/hr, then went up to 6ml/hr at 8:20, then turned it off completely at 9:05 because my contractions were going insane. He said though, that he had a lady at 72ml/hr the other day, so those were pretty low doses. Apparently each labour, you need less, because your body makes more, so if I ever get induced again, I'll ask for none!! :)
Anyway, I don't know what time, and I can't remember whether or not I already had the Synto in me, we were sitting there having a nice old chat with the midwife. I had just found out I was 4cm dilated and was ecstatic, because with Maggie it took me 2 days of waaaaaay worse contractions than I was having to get me to 4cm, and I was totally handling it, thinking 'Heck! I won't need any drugs if this keeps up!'.
[Side story: We actually noticed the midwife's surname was Allred, and he had a pretty religious first name too, and he was from America (everyone from America seems like a church member... plus he was clean cut and wearing a wedding ring lol), so we asked him if he was any relation to Sylvia Allred. He leaned back and said 'Noooooo.. but I enjoyed her last talk at General Conference' lol. So we asked what ward he was in, and he's in the next Stake over, and we told him our ward and he mentioned he was the Stake Executive Secretary in his stake, so he had wondered how we were members whose names he didn't know cause he knows most of the names in his Stake, and then James said 'Hey Abby's uncle is Stake President of that stake' and I clicked, and it turns out he works with my uncle a lot, and he said he actually met Dad the other day, and I had a moment of 'Oh no, I could see this guy again one day and I have to give birth in front of him! And it's a him!' but don't worry - by the time I was giving birth I was dying so much I didn't care, plus he was an awesome midwife, so it was great, and just nice to know he knew where we were coming from a bit. And he was totally not weird. Plus he was like a buddy for James - they enjoyed laughing at me together when I got really high on the gas..]
ANYWAY, so there we are having our chat, and he was asking about my previous labour, and he asked at what stage of the labour I had the drugs (I had a lot of everything), and I told him how long I'd been in labour and yadiyada. The contractions were getting worse quickly, and then I went to the bathroom, and I had 4 death to the world contractions, and came out begging for the epidural.
At this point I kind of felt like I'd failed, because I needed it already - it had come on soooo fast!! But the midwife was like 'I'll send for it right away, it's okay Abby we're all about helping you with the pain here!' but I kept apologising but begging for it too lol. They put me on the gas right away while I was waiting. I didn't like the gas at all when I was in labour with Maggie, but the epidural this time seemed to be taking ages, and my contractions were going nuts and I was sitting on the edge of the bed ready for when the epidural came, and I heard Israel say 'Take a deep breath now, Abby... and another... and another', and it was like a little thing I could concentrate on, so I suddenly got super high, and clung to the gas like crazy. Apparently I was saying a lot of pretty crazy things to everyone in the room. The midwife said 'Do you know what planet you're on, Abby?' and I remember thinking 'Is he stupid?' So I told him I was on Earth, duh.
A doctor came to tell me risks or whatever and I told him in no uncertain terms that I wanted it, no matter what, now. Then finally (after lots of desperate begging on my part, - they had to call him twice) the anaesthetist came but it seemed to be taking forever for him to get ready. My room was being renovated, and a couple of things he needed were missing and they had to send down to the pharmacy for something, and then it seemed to take forever for him to put it in! So I was sitting on the edge of the bed, trying to hold still, while I was going through awful contractions, and I kept thinking surely it would be the last contraction I'd feel! The epidural with Maggie seemed to take 2 seconds - it was all done between 2 contractions I think, so this was agony!! I was dying. And James said I was very blunt, and kept calling out 'Epi Man! What's the problem?!! Why can I still feel everything! I can still feel everything, please hurry up Epi Man, please hurry up, hurry up!!' Which probably didn't help the poor guy!! :S When he first arrived I told him I loved him though. I also, in my very high state, told one of the midwifes who came while my midwife was on a break and was telling me to 'breathe' to 'Shush!!', I told the other two that I liked them a lot. I told them I loved Maggie and the baby, but 'James the most!', and apparently I got very protective of the gas and wouldn't let anyone touch it even though I kept declaring I hated it and couldn't imagine why people got high because I felt awful and like I was going to be sick. Apparently I also made James hold my feet, and then kept kicking him in the face during contractions and a bunch of other weird stuff.
Anyway, when the guy finally got the epidural in my back (second time lucky apparently - he put it in once and it wasn't right so he did it again, eek! And I was having crazy contractions so I was moving a tiny bit, as hard as I was trying not to, I feel so blessed I had no bad effects!!), they all helped me turn so they could hook it up to the machine, and then the head midwife lady (who James thinks our midwife called because he was worried I was going to get paralysed by the epidural guy) said to our midwife 'She's pushing!!' and then they ran around and threw a couple of things to each other and the head was out, and then they said to push, and I could hear James saying the head was out, and I said 'Are you sure?! Am I dilated?' and they said 'Yes, push!' and then the whole baby was suddenly out!!!! (I gotta say, 3 and a half hours, even without the epidural, TOTALLY rocks compared to 3 days with all the drugs!! Posterior babies are awful to give birth to, I'm going to be a crazy sit forward person every pregnancy from now on)
And then they put her on my chest and I burst into tears and for the next 5 minutes I kept saying "Oh I love her so much! Where's the epidural?! She's so beautiful, but I can still feel everything! Where's the epidural!!" and I think it took a few minutes for the gas to get out of my system and for me to get over the fact that the epidural never got hooked up, and to realise that my wonderful, perfect, beautiful daughter was really there, all born, finished!!! Also, the horrible pain was gone, because I was no longer in labour lol.
***YOU CAN START READING NOW, I'VE HAD THE BABY...***
She was born at 10:52am, and we named her Anamaria Sophia. We named her Anamaria because James wanted a Maori name, and I don't know the language or anything, but most of the names were difficult to pronounce, and I didn't want her to have to repeat it for everyone a million times her whole life, I wanted people to be able to say it. Anyway, the name is used by Maoris, and it's the exotic pronounciation, although already most people call her Anna instead of Ana, which I guess she'll get her whole life after all :P And Sophia is James' Mum's name. Everyone thinks we're into Spanish names lol! :) But there it is.
Ana was 6 pounds 13 (only half an ounce less than Maggie - so not underweight!) and healthy and strong. I remember James crying out to me "She's crying right away! Abby, she's crying!!" which is exciting because Maggie had to be resuscitated, so it was awesome that she was all good :) Her head circumference was 34cm, and she was 49cm long (2 and a half shorter than Maggie). Although Ana's not as startlingly like James, she looks a lot like Maggie, so we think people will definitely be able to tell that they're sisters, lucky because I think they're both beautiful :)
I don't usually put photos on this blog (I can invite you to my private blog for further viewing if you let me know!! I will soon be flooding it with Ana pictures :)), but here's our new little family:
We were so fortunate in our midwife! At the end he even pulled a few strings to let us stay in the birth suite for an extra hour so Mum could bring Maggie up to meet her little sister, because visiting hours in the wards were over. Maggie was wonderful, and she adored Ana from the start. She's uber over-protective, and the first one to make a move if Ana starts crying! The only problem is that Ana needs to be subtlety rescued from being completely smothered quite often, because Maggie just wants to lie with/on her and cuddle and kiss her.
I can't even tell you how happy we are to have little Ana join our family - we really, really love her :) How awesome is having a family?!! :)
I'm worried this entry is jumbled and I may come back and edit it later but I just wanted to finally get it up. We are so happy and we love our little baby girls so much!! :)