Friday, August 21, 2015

Jayne: A Birth Story, Part II

I'm sharing Jayne's birth story this week. 
Part I
Part III
Part IV

{In the hospital waiting room}

Kate came two days early; Jayne came three days late. On the morning of August 19th, I lay half asleep in bed around seven in the morning when I felt a surge of wetness, not unlike the sensation I'd had when my water broke and labor initiated with Kate. My doctor had told me that if my water broke, I needed to go to the hospital right away because the polyhydramnios presented a risk of cord prolapse. So even though I wasn't sure my water had broken, we secured care for Kate and headed across the street to the hospital.

After a couple hours in triage, they determined my water hadn't broken, and I was cleared to go home (the nurse had the audacity to suggest that I had peed my pants, even when I insisted the sensation was completely different). All the while, though, my contractions were winding increasingly tighter and with consistent frequency. My back and thighs ached. I'd had an appointment with my midwife the day before, and I'd been dilated to a loose one and 60% effaced. That morning in the hospital, I was three centimeters and 90% effaced. The nurse attending me (who I really didn't care for) breezily discharged me with a sheaf of care instructions.

{Waiting for the epidural}

"How will I know when to come back?" I asked.

"When your contractions are consistently 5-10 minutes apart."

"And how far apart are they now?"

She consulted the long, curling readout and counted the distance between the steady, rounded rise and fall of contractions. "About six minutes."

I knew I was in labor, but I preferred to labor at home anyway, so I doffed my hospital robe and headed back to the car with Jay. We arrived home at around 10:30. All I really remember of the ensuing hours was increasing crankiness as I became increasingly uncomfortable. Finally, while Kate took a nap, Jay and I lay down. He curled behind me and slept as I willed my body to relax and breathed through my contractions.

{I'm pretty sure my abdomen was breaking at least two laws of physics.}

I was irrationally afraid of arriving at the hospital without having made any significant "progress," so I was determined to weather it out myself until I was absolutely certain they wouldn't send me home from the hospital again.

Finally, I told Jay I was ready to go. Not because I couldn't stand the pain--I was still managing it and could talk through my contractions with some effort--but because I was afraid that if I waited too much longer, the pain would become too great and I'd be that crazy pregnant lady screaming in the waiting room. We called Jay's cousin, and she headed over. After about five minutes, I realized I didn't want to wait the remaining 15 minutes of her drive, so I had a friend come over to sit for a few minutes while Kate napped until Jenna arrived, and Jay and I hopped in the car and drove across the street (seriously, it's less than a quarter mile away from our house--I used to walk to my doctor appointments) to the hospital. My mom began her two hour drive from St. George, and we walked in and made our way to the maternity ward.

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