Look who decided to show up only 4 days late!! I'd like you all to meet Ms. Natalie Aurelia Lauro. Born 9/24/2013 at 2:18 am, 8 lbs 15.5 oz (let's just say 9, shall we), and 21 inches long.
(For reference Miles was born 7/31/2010 at 12:54 am, 7 lbs 12 oz, 21.5 inches.)
Everyone told me that things would go much faster the second time around. But I think I became skeptical once I passed my due date. Not that 41 weeks isn't better than 42, I guess I was being a diva.
But, man I am still in shock at just how fast things went Monday night!
I had been having contractions off an on for a week. They had been getting stronger over the weekend-- but I'd have 3 strong ones in 30 minutes, and then nothing. Then on Saturday night I passed my mucus plug. (Gross, I know. Sorry, should have warned you!) I knew it could still be a few days, so I didn't let myself get too excited. Sunday more contractions, but only a few.
In the meantime we were trying everything possible to get labor started. Walking, foot rubs, acupressure points, wine... along with (ahem) other things. On Monday we went for Eggplant Parmesan at Sal's in hopes that the stories were true! (Christine - you are a genius!)
Then we went to the old apartment to finish up what we could and start cleaning. At around 4, I started getting some pretty consistent contractions that didn't seem to be letting up. I wasn't timing them yet, because I didn't want to get too excited too soon. But by the time we left at 5:30 I started to look at the clock. Every 6 minutes!
When we got home I started really feeling the contractions and by 6:30 I texted Tony (teaching Pilates) that this might be it. They were not letting up and seemed to be getting closer and I didn't want to sit down, I felt like I needed to stand up through them.
When he got home at 8, I called the birthing center and they suggested a shower to make sure things were gonna stick. I showered, did my hair and makeup and still felt like we should go. So we put Miles to bed, packed up all our bags and left.
Because of how things went with Miles, I just wasn't at all prepared to have a baby within a few hours.
We got to the birth center at 10 and I was dilated to a 3/4. They suggested that we walk outside and Power Walk through contractions. Which we did. For 2 hours.
We came in at midnight and I was about a 4/5. But the contractions were about 2 to 3 minutes apart and very strong. So we headed upstairs to labor in (thanks to my awesome Midwife Leslie) the same room Miles was born. (And the same dress!)
At 12:30 am, as I was having a contraction at that post, Tony and I heard a pop and a gush. My water broke. And I freaked out. That didn't happen before so I just had no clue what to do. Then the contractions got worse, so I begged to get in the tub.
Once in the tub, the water immediately felt AMAZING. But the contractions picked up even more. They started getting so intense, so fast that I was freaking out. Then I felt like I needed to push. And it scared me. There was no way I was a 4/5 last time I was checked and already ready to push!
At that point I got overwhelmed and just thought I couldn't do it. Up until then I had been laboring very quietly, breathing through contractions. But now I was screaming. I pushed a couple of times and then the midwives asked me if I wanted to get out, and I did. But before I could even make it to the bed I had to push through another contraction - they were so fast.
Once on the bed I didn't understand that this was it, she was coming in a matter of minutes. I pushed through 2 or 3 contractions, but was getting bad leg cramps. I just really expected to have more time and I was overwhelmed by how fast it was all happening.
Leslie and Terry, the Midwives helping me, explained that if I followed their pushing instructions I could have Natalie out after the next push. I just remember thinking - no way. So I made them clarify - Really, one more push? They both assured me yes, so I gave it everything I had and she was out and on my chest in seconds.
She was warm and pink and beautiful!
But I was shaking so bad I could hardly hold her. Things went so shockingly fast I just could not control my arms and legs anymore. So I asked Tony to take her as I labored out my placenta. Which was scary because it had gotten stuck last time. This time things went perfectly though!
I know it sounds hooky and hippie to say - but I followed all the advice of mind over matter. I told myself the whole time that "I have done this before and I can do it again". I repeated "this contraction isn't any worse than the last and it's opening my cervix". "I'm going to labor out my placenta just fine this time." And it absolutely sounds crazy, but I'm sure that's why this time was so much faster. I just new I could do it. And by the time I did get scared and let the pain overwhelm me, it was too late - my body was on a roll to get her out.
If I would have known the second labor and delivery would be so much better I probably would have had a baby years ago! Don't get me wrong, it was scary and painful and scary still. But 8 hours instead of 36 is so much more bearable!
Leslie and Terry were so amazing! I didn't think I would like it, but Terry talking me through contractions with positive words and rubbing my back helped so much. And Leslie taking control of every situation and then holding my leg and letting me push her through contractions - I will forever think of her as my pillar of strength for this birth. Even Debbie, our nurse, was perfect. With her soft voice and helping me pee after - I'll forever love her.
All in all, this birth went perfectly. And I couldn't have asked for a better prize to take home with us!