WARNING: This post is really long. I took the time while I was alone in the hospital to write out the details of Madilyn's birth like I did for Mila. So this is the nitty gritty of her delivery. Feel free to just scroll down to the pictures at the end :)
When they say every labor is different they aren’t kidding. We were set to induce once again at 39 weeks to ensure I didn’t birth our baby in the car and to ensure that Chase would be present for the delivery since he was tasked to attend a training course for two weeks starting on the 16th of July. We were instructed to call the hospital at 5AM to see if there was space available. Wouldn’t you know it, after waking up at 4:15AM to get ready, the hospital was completely full and instructed us to wait for a call when a bed was available. They wouldn’t end up calling until 10:45AM.
We arrived just before noon, and I was immediately administered penicillin to treat me for strep B. The nurse on duty at this time was named Mary—a fun, sociable nurse with a Carolina accent. We loved her. She had a rough time placing my IV so I ended up being poked 3 times. The doctors came to introduce themselves and check me, and after a week of consistent Braxton Hicks I was still only dilated to a 2. For the next 4 hours we just killed time waiting for the penicillin to work into my system. Due to the quick delivery of Mila the doctors did not want to risk starting me on pitocin and having me deliver before the penicillin had been in my system for 4 hours. Little did they know, that wouldn’t be a problem.
At 4:30PM we started pitocin, but had to stop after an hour or so due to the frequency of my contractions. The staff wanted to be safe and not risk my uterus bursting. Luckily, my contractions continued on their own without the pitocin. At 6:45PM the doctors checked me and attempted to break my water, but due to my posterior cervix they couldn’t break the water. It’s at this time they decided to place a Foley balloon to help mechanically dilate me some more. Luckily, the nurse, Liz (the night shift nurse whom we also loved) allowed me to be on intermittent monitoring so I could walk around the room and sit on a medicine ball as I worked through each contraction. I passed the balloon just after 9PM and by this time was dilated to a 4. The doctors decided to start pitocin again, and so I requested an epidural to help relax me. The epidural was placed by 10PM. This is where things got exciting/fast. The doctors came in at 11:20PM to break my water, which was easy to do now that my cervix had moved a bit. The doctors believed it would be 2-3 hours before I would be complete. I was at a 5 when they broke my water and it would take just 45 minutes before I was complete! Yep, I went from a 5-10 in 45 minutes. During this time I got the shakes quite a bit and kept communicating to Liz so she would check me. I really appreciated that Liz was considering how my last delivery went and stayed in the room most of those 45 minutes in order to prep things and check me regularly.
At 12:15AM the two doctors, Dr Noss and Shaha (a new resident), as well as Liz and two midwives, Kelly and Major Peterson, were in place ready for me to push. Chase was holding my left leg and Liz was on my right. I definitely felt the urge to push and the pressure of it all. I have no idea how so many brave women push without any anesthetic, cause man even with the epidural it hurt! I also have no idea how I did not feel Mila coming out of me last time. That was one strong epidural, that’s for sure. It took just 8 minutes of pushing and Madilyn was placed on my chest. I then spent the next hour with her on my chest doing skin-to-skin, something I hadn’t been able to do with Mila. I felt bad though because Chase wasn’t able to hold Madilyn during that time and wouldn’t get a chance to hold her until the next morning since it was so late and we had already decided that Chase should drive home to be there for Mila in the morning. After the hour of skin-to-skin, Madilyn was cleaned up right there in my room after which she was weighed and measured. She weighed in at 7 lbs. 9 oz. (an ounce more than Mila) and was 19 ¾ inches (just over an inch shorter than Mila). She definitely has cheeks like Mila but possibly a rounder face. Her nose, mouth, and skin complexion also look very similar to Mila, but their eyes definitely set these two sisters apart. Madilyn has my squinty eyes. She has a little less hair than Mila did but it’s a similar shade of brown to Mila’s when she was born. So, possibly we will see it lighten up and have another blonde girl.
So my fears of a baby just falling out of me have been diminished now having gone through Madilyn’s labor. However, I am fully aware that once my water breaks and my contractions get going I progress quickly. Plus, I think epidurals really help my progression by relaxing my body a bit. Although this labor in some ways was really long, I’m grateful that the intense moments went rather quickly. I’m also grateful for the many prayers and my father’s fast that day because I definitely felt added strength to make it through the delivery. I’m also glad I had the chance this time to experience working through contractions so that Chase could be a support by lending me comfort, reassurance, and a few massages. I definitely felt our relationship become closer because of it. Plus, Chase finally got to experience seeing what really has to take place to bring life into this world. Madilyn made us work for it, and I’m glad she did.
One proud sister. She often times will say, "Look this is my baby sister" to whoever will listen.
Had to get a shot with Daddy before he took off for Charlottesville.