happy 0th birthday olivia!

So my original plan for this whole "birth story" post was to have a birth photographer and just post a ton of pictures (that's mostly what everyone looks at anyway, right?), but James couldn't get over the "weirdness" of having a photographer in the labor & delivery room, sooo now I get to write the whole thing with a few pictures in between. ;-) I told him if I didn't think it was weird (it was my lady parts up in the air after all), then he shouldn't think it was weird. But since we have no professional pictures you can tell who won that argument. :-p 

But given how sleep deprived I currently am, I hereby excuse myself from any typos, poor grammar, or things in a little too much detail- like I said, when your morning glory is on display for a room full of nurses, and a resident along with your doctor is staring down into the belly of the beast, shame is something you quickly loose (never really to regain). 

Tuesday, April 29th 3:45am

I gotta pee. 
Hmm...was I just having a dream about labor? Weird...
I really gotta pee- totally just leaked on myself.
Did I just...full-on PEE MYSELF?!
Scoot to the edge of the bed trying to keep the mystery pee/fluid trapped between my legs, then proceed to run to the bathroom.
"JAMES! I either just straight up peed myself or my water just broke."
"I don't know! I had to pee, but this stuff is a LOT of pee...wait...they said amniotic fluid doesn't have a smell...go smell that spot on the bed and see if it smells like pee."
"Okay...I dunno...my sense of smell isn't that good..."
"Well, look at my underwear (holding them over the bathtub while sitting on the toilet)...they're literally DRIPPING with water...that's not pee right? That's too much to be pee. Look up on your phone about when your water breaks- I'm going to call the hospital and talk to a nurse."
"Hi..sooo I'm 38 weeks pregnant, I think my water just broke, but I'm not sure..."
"So it can be like a gush or a trickle right?"
This is the least helpful nurse in the history of ever. 
"If you think your water broke you should come to the hospital."
"Okay, thanks." ...for nothing. 

How is this my second child and I'm still googling what it's like when your water breaks?! 
"James, I'm going to lay back down and see if it keeps coming out or if I really did just pee..."
This ain't no pee. 
"Whelp, guess we need to go to the hospital."
"Okay, start getting your stuff ready. I guess I should pack a bag too."
Well, this wasn't supposed to happen two weeks early. I had a plan, a very detailed schedule of where Jillian would be when, and how she'd get from point A to point B, and my sister was going to be here and clean my house before baby day...guess not anymore. 
What do I even need? Where are those black sweatpants? I'm so confused...what is happening right now?
"Do I have time to take a shower?"
"I dunno. Online it said you can if you want to...do you want to?"
"Ehh...maybe we should just go..."
"Good thing I shaved last night."

We take Jillian next door to my neighbor's house and she sleeps on their couch. Never in a million years did I think I'd need to take her up on her offer to watch Jillian should something happen in the middle of the night. 
And we're off to the hospital.
"You don't have to drive so fast, it's not like I'm having contractions or anything...shoot. I want breakfast..."

"Do you want me to drop you off at the front and I'll go park?"
"Ummm...yes. But I'll wait for you here before I go up."
I waddle into the main entrance of the hospital where there is one security guard at the front desk, and a woman just coming in from a smoke break. I stand awkwardly in front of the elevators with a towel between my legs.
I wonder how often the guard sees this scenario.

"Are you waiting for your husband?"
"Uhm..you can go ahead and go up if you want, I'll tell him where you went." 
"Mmm...okay. Okay, yeah. Good idea." 

I waddle to the elevator and get in with the lady now done with her smoke break and headed back up to somewhere. She makes small-talk with me. It's awkward. I still have a towel between my legs.
James catches up with me while I'm checking in at the front desk to labor and delivery- which takes unusually long, again, considering I'm literally leaking all over a straddled towel. 

Once we get in the room things are very calm, no one is rushed. The nurse calls my doctor and starts an IV. Within about 45 minutes I'm getting Pytocin and just waiting for the impending awfulness that are contractions. 
They start slowly- crampy like, but nothing too big. I put makeup on inbetween them, because really...what else is there to do? 

"James...seriously I can't believe we're here right now. This is CRAZY!"
"I know..."
James starts notifying people at work he won't be coming in and sends off some documents on a project he was supposed to be finishing today.

"Whhoaa these contractions are starting to get more intense."
Nurse: "Let's check you to see how far you're dilated.
Looks like you're about 3 and a half."
"What?! That is IT?!"
Mother !@)#(*!@.
"Can I get my epidural now?"
 "Okay, well the anesthesiologist is currently in surgery, so it will be about another 20-30 minutes before he can get here to give you your epidural, but we can give you something to take the edge off."
20 minutes?! AAAGGGHHHH. 
"Okay, yes let's take the edge off. Take it freaking off."

Again- I'm reminded why in the world anyone would ever choose to feel this terrible, awful, no good very bad pain- and for like...hours and hours! Not my cup 'o tea. 
Give me all the drugs.

Within about 45 minutes to an hour the epidural is in- PRAISE! Though it isn't very effective on the right side of my body, so I keep turning from side to side to spread it back out- which is kind of annoying. It's really difficult to roll when you can't feel anything from the waist down. 

Now it's a waiting game.
Up goes the Pytocin. 
And unfortunately, down goes Olivia's heart rate. 
Nurse: "That is okay, as long as it bounces back up after the contraction is over, but what we don't like to see are these consistent decels (decelerations). The contractions are stressing out the baby, so we're going to turn the Pytocin off and see if she responds better."
A previously unstressful situation has now just turned into a very stressful one (for me anyway- the nurse seemed totally calm about it- unless that was on purpose to make me not freak out- mission not accomplished). 
"Can you turn the heart monitor sound off? It will stress me out just sitting here listening to it go up and down for the next few hours."
"Sure! We'll just watch it on the monitors outside." 
Several hours pass. My contractions spread out just a bit without the Pytocin and I don't dilate as quickly, but her heart rate did improve so what did I care? They decide to keep the Pytocin off and let my body do it's thang. 

I'm also ready to get this baby out because I'm literally about to starve to death. Later, my mom said she could tell I wasn't as freaked out this time as I was when I was in labor with Jillian because I kept texting her telling her how much I just wanted food. :-p
But seriously, I just wanted a bacon cheeseburger. 

1:38 pm
Time to start pushing! 
A resident is actually in the "end zone" and my doctor stands right behind him. He seems pretty confident, so I'm not worried about it.
I must say, they were very encouraging. I felt like I was at a pep rally. A birthing pep rally. 

"There's her head! Wow she has a head full of dark hair!"
"What?! Seriously?!"
That couldn't have been more opposite than how Jillian was at birth. Plus, each time I pictured what this baby would look like a head full of dark hair is exactly what came to mind. 
After a few minutes, her heart rate reealllyyy started dropping with each contraction. 
"She's getting stuck under your pubic bone, Whitney you really have to push! Give it everything you have!"
I have never pushed SO hard in my life. Way harder than I remember needing to push with Jillian (which took 40 minutes). 
"Okay Whitney, her heart rate is dropping with every contraction. You need to get her out NOW. THIS contraction. PUSH." I could tell the tone in my doctor's voice had changed.
Well if that's not motivating...

The cord was wrapped around her neck once. James watched the resident quickly unloop it before Olivia came out all of the way. He said it was kind of cool to see. 

Fifteen minutes later at 1:53 pm our sweet girl came into the world, screaming. :-) 
7 lbs. 1 oz and 20 inches long.
And relieved. I was relieved. 
(And starving, still totally starving). 

 All dressed up and no place to go- but home!

She was covered in a lot of "baby cheese" as I call it (vernix), since she was two weeks early. 

Even though there were a few tense moments for me, it otherwise was incredibly relaxed. There was so much that was familiar about it all, being my second delivery. We made small talk with the doctors between contractions, even joked a little. 

As with Jillian, that night we read her The Night You Were Born by Nancy Tillman- such a sweet story! 
"On the night you were born, the moon shone with such wonder that the stars peeked in to see you and the night wind whispered, 'Life will never be the same.'
Because there had never been anyone like you...ever in the world.

The rest of our hospital stay was very routine. By the second night I was soo ready to check-out and go home, but decided to go ahead and stay to take advantage of the nurses bringing me fresh ice water and letting Olivia sleep in the nursery. :-)

First bath in the hospital! She fell asleep when they started washing her hair...

When Jillian came to visit her, she was overall pretty uninterested (she was also extremely tired) and more interested in seeing James and myself and asking about my IV and hospital bands. But she totally accepted that the "baby in mommy's tummy" was out and that this baby was her- her baby sister, Olivia. 

The days since her birth have been tired, but overall not too bad. I've decided I can totally do two kids...(as long as I have a full-time live-in nanny, which my sister is currently playing the role of). Our little Olivia is SO sweet and a big-time sleeper...which Jillian definitely was NOT so that's been nice (though at times worrisome...I called her pediatrician because I thought she was sleeping TOO much- she wasn't). 

Jillian shows more interest in her each day. The other day she wanted to hold her and likes to give her "knuckles" (fist bump). Today she wanted to help swaddle her and anytime she cries she starts "shhsh"-ing her from whenever she is in relation to us- it's pretty adorable.

It's also crazy to see Jillian and Olivia next to each other...Jillian is HUGE! Definitely not a baby anymore and is truly a little girl! 

Here's to life with TWO! A toast to myself for delivering a beautiful, healthy baby girl. May I have many naps in my future and a magically shrinking lower abdomen. ;-)

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