Thanks for the picture, Rita!
Alexandra Marie was born on Wednesday, January 19, 2011. Her birth story, however, begins on Tuesday. I apparently had caught a stomach bug that decided to make it’s appearance Tuesday afternoon. By Tuesday night I couldn’t even keep down sips of water. That’s also when I started noticing what appeared to be contractions. Because I was so sick, I wasn’t sure if the contractions were labor or dehydration. Laurie (the midwife on call) wasn’t sure either. Craig and I talked to her several times Tuesday night while debating what to do. I didn’t want to go in to the Birth Center for false labor and just be sent home. But I was miserable and had NO energy and just didn’t know what to do. We decided to stay home and see if I felt better after my stomach settled. But my stomach wasn’t settling. And the contractions weren’t either. So at 2am (after a failed couple of hours of sleep) we called Laurie and decided to head to the birth center. The plan was to get a shot for the stomach bug and get some fluids in me and go from there. If it was just dehydration, the contractions would stop and I would go home feeling better.
We got to the birth center around 3am and Laurie checked me. Turns out this was it! I was 5 cm dilated and having contractions every 3-4 minutes. She monitored Alex’s heart rate for 20 minutes and gave me a shot to help with the nausea. The shot worked and I started feeling better within about 30 minutes. I couldn’t sleep, so we decided to get up and try to get things moving along. We called family around 6am to let them know that today was the day. It was around this time that Craig started feeling sick. Turns out I gave him my stomach bug. Now we were both miserable.
My last pregnancy picture. Yes, I know I look terrible.
Laurie rotated off call and Lesley came on somewhere around 9am. My contractions started spacing out at this point and I was able to get in a little nap as well as some breakfast (my first thing to eat since lunch the previous day). When I woke up I was completely done being in labor and ready to get things rolling. Unfortunately, the contractions didn’t agree. They had spaced out to every 15 minutes apart. Thanks to the stomach bug, there were no nutrients left in my body and my uterus wasn’t able to contract well because of the lack of potassium. So we loaded me up with Gatorade hoping that would help things out. It helped some, but not enough. At 10:30 we decided to break my water to get things moving. Almost immediately the contractions picked up and I was asking to get back into the tub. Poor Craig was laid out on the bed trying to keep from being sick. He later told me how disappointed he was that he couldn’t help me through the contractions. Lesley, Deb (a student midwife), and Shannon (the nurse) were at my side helping me, but Craig knew that was supposed to be his job and was upset that he couldn’t be more of a participant in the labor. I was disappointed with this too because I wanted him to be a part of everything, but there’s not much we could have done about it.
Anyway. I started pushing around lunchtime and Craig got in the tub with me, nausea and all. He wasn’t about to miss being involved in her birth. Alexandra Marie was born in the tub at 1:21pm after less than an hour of pushing. (Compared to over 2 hours of pushing with Nathan.)
Thanks, Charleston Birth Place, for the picture!
After Alex’s cord stopped pulsing, Craig cut it and was helped to the bed while the nurse check over her. Alex was laid on Craig’s chest – skin to skin – while I was helped out of the tub. He got to love on our little girl while they took care of me and checked my vitals. I had a small tear, (no stitches required!) and lost more blood I think than they were expecting, but was fine. After I was cleaned up I was able to nurse Alex and she caught on pretty quickly! Craig and I talked about how different she looked from when Nathan was born and how we had quite a birth story to tell thanks to the stomach bug (which still had it’s hold on Craig).
Thanks again, Rita! 🙂
Nathan came in to meet Alex shortly after that followed by the rest of the family. He was excited to see Daddy and Mommy and didn’t even notice her at first. She eventually got a few smiles out of him before he got bored and asked to get down. 🙂
And again – thanks to Rita for the pictures.
After our families left I got a shower, we had some lunch, and the three of us settled down for a short nap. By 5:30 we were filling out paperwork and preparing to come home. Alex was still doing great and I was feeling much better than I expected. (Second babies really are easier!) Poor Craig was still under the weather and doing a great job of pretending not to be. Stubborn guy. 🙂
We were home and settled by dinner time and began our new life as a family of four. Stomach bug and all.