We begin again around 8:15am. My Doctor stops by just as they are about to start the Pitocin. She checks and I am at 4cm which is progress from Monday. She breaks the water and they start the Pitocin. We joke about having the baby around noon when she is due back from her teaching rounds.
The pain begins pretty quickly and, as last time, the intensity and frequency of contractions ramps up rather quickly. They increase the Pitocin each half hour incrementally. By about 9:15 or so I've pretty much had it with contractions and ask for the Epidural. It takes about another hour, as I expected, before it is in and starting to take effect. I think that it was possibly the Doctor's first epidural as he was getting very detailed instructions from the other two anesthesiologists. It still went better than it did with B. They checked me at 10:15 or so and I was only at 5cm which was disappointing given two hours of pain. We decided that 4pm might be more reasonable than noon.
I began to notice that while I was numb on the right side I was still feeling contractions on the left. They were less intense, somewhat, than pre-epi, but still very uncomfortable. They have me turn on my side to try and redistribute the drug and I push the button to self-administer a bit more. Somewhere in here Brent's mom arrives and lots of updating the family is going on. We get calls from Audra en route to the Bahamas and keep the various men-folk updated. Bill has taken B to MDO for the end of summer swimming and sundaes party which seems like a pretty good place to be around this time.
The primary anesthesiologist comes back, tests the numbness and gives me a bit more of a stronger drug to try and even things out with some discussion of "replacing" it which doesn't sound fun. Luckily, the drug starts to work and I feel this sensation like a ballon being inflated and then deflated, but no real pain. Meanwhile, the nurse is having quite a bit of trouble keeping the baby's heartrate on the monitor. She is calm about it, but comes in frequently to try to readjust. We all try to be calm too. Brent starts giving my mom lessons on Excel Pivot Tables (one of his favorite things and biggest take away from grad school). Just about then things start moving very very fast and pivot tables are forgotten...
It is 11:59 and the nurse decides to check my progress to see if that would explain the heart monitor issues. My legs are so numb I can't move them. As she checks I think she asks me to move my legs, but when I protest that I can't possibly. She says I not to move at all as the baby would come right out. I think she's kidding, but then she walks to the door and calls for a cart. She calls the Doctor and the team assembles quickly. My Doctor walks in and starts covering up. She takes a peek and asks if anyone has gloves on with continued mention of how she'd really like to have gloves on first. Brent takes a look and says, ummm she's coming. Just in time everyone is suited up and the appropriate small crew assembled. I push maybe once, which Brent isn't even sure is necessary and our baby girl arrives at 12:05--- yes, just 6 minutes later and about 4 hours from start to finish pretty much as with B once the Pitocin arrived. I have this vague theory that my body functions more efficiently in labor once the Epi arrives as in both cases I make very little progress before drugs and very very speedy progress after. Think my attempts at pain management may interfere? Who knows, but it works.
Moments later, they lay her on my chest and Brent and I marvel at the wonder of this purple little one before he cuts the cord and she is whisked away. Somewhere in here I swore I heard the Doctor refer to her as a "he" and had a moment of panic, but all was as expected as she cried her way into the world. Oddly, one of my first thoughts is that she didn't look at all like I expected, but then I couldn't have possibly said what I expected her to look like. My Doctor guessed 9lbs 5 oz and as they began to work through the stats it was clear that was a low estimate - 9 lb 15 oz and 21.5 inches long. Who would have imagined we could have a nearly 10 pound baby!
My Doctor sewed up the second degree tear while Brent and the Grandmothers watched the baby progress. Finally, our little one came back to me and we snuggled and nursed for a bit before the next round of tests pondering name options and marveling at how different she was from B and how chubby her cheeks were.
The next round of tests were blood sugar tests done on very big and very small babies. She did not pass the first round so they had to get blood from her heal to test. This was about 40 excruciating minutes as they tried to get enough drop by drop and she cried and cried. They asked that we give her some formula to help right the blood sugar issues and we agreed. She drank two full ounces faster than B did at several weeks old and luckily the next rounds of test showed her blood sugar level doubled and well into the appropriate levels.
Overall, this was a much faster, easier and positive experience than B's delivery and everyone breathed a satisfied sigh of relief. Now, just time to ponder the name and recover a bit... but that will be the next episode in our saga.
(Yes, she is sleeping TONS today so lots of time to work on this it seems).