A Major Curveball

Hello Dear Readers,

I figured I’d start with the biggest even that’s happened in the last couple of months. I know you all probably already know this story, but I’d like to have it recorded here too.

So not long after the dust had settled from our move to Utah and we closed on our house, Chris and I decided we were “ready” (can you ever really be ready?) for another baby, and nature didn’t make us wait too long. The pregnancy was pretty uneventful, though I was more sick than I was with Lindsay. Nothing too bad though. Our due date was about a month later than I thought it was going to be, which is interesting to think about when it comes time to talk about delivery day.

So our due date was February 26, and much of the pregnancy was spent with me thinking and worrying about whether or not I should have another C-section for this baby. I went to a group practice, and got six different doctors all telling me that I could go either way and no one would blame me. A few of them said I wasn’t an ideal candidate for attempting a VBAC (a normal birth after a C-section) because I hadn’t had one before, but I could try if I wanted. As the day got closer and closer, we talked and prayed about it, and went to the temple. It made me so nervous to think about attempting a regular birth and then ending up with a C-section and that horrible double-recovery anyway, that I decided it would be easier to just schedule for the surgery. Not to mention that there’s a small risk of the incision scar from last time opening and causing major problems for me and the baby, though I wasn’t as worried about that. I’d been reassured by all the women I spoke to who had had a second C-section that the recovery was way better without all the labor beforehand. There was no way I could have kept up with my toddler with that recovery, and I felt so much peace once that decision was made. We had it scheduled for February 21 (because I didn’t want to have her any closer to my anniversary than I had to) and all was well.

This little one had other plans though. I still wonder if her due date was off, because of the way she decided to come.

I’d been having Braxton Hicks contractions since around week 20, so in January I was very aware of them, and even started writing down the times they came in the last couple weeks before she came. There were never more than three an hour though, so it wasn’t actually labor, despite me being convinced otherwise at least once.

So I had a regular appointment with my doctor, and when he checked me I was dilated to a 4 and 90% effaced. Looking back, I’m kind of surprised they didn’t send me to the hospital at that point. But apparently some women sit at that for weeks, so he wasn’t too worried.

That night I felt miserable. (This is February 9th, by the way.) Going to bed, I told Chris I wasn’t sure I could do this much longer. His reassurances of “Only two more weeks” were not helping. But I knew I wasn’t in labor because I wasn’t feeling contractions at all. When I woke up at 2:30 to use the bathroom though, I felt even worse. I thought I might be having an infection, and so I was frustrated. But as soon as I got back to bed, my water broke. That was a new feeling, because I’d already had an epidural when they broke my water with Lindsay. I actually didn’t realize that’s what had happened until I got back to the bathroom and more of it came out. As I was telling Chris I thought that’s what was happening and we needed to start getting ready to go, a contraction hit me. But this wasn’t an active labor contraction. I felt like I needed to PUSH. That was one of the scariest moments I’ve ever had, because I was not ok with having my baby in the bathtub, which is what I was afraid was going to happen at that point. The next half hour is a little hazy, because I spent a lot of it screaming and trying not to push. Poor Chris had to deal with my hysterics (those pushing contractions were 2-3 minutes apart as soon as they started), getting me dressed, calling his mom to come stay with Lindsay, and driving down to Orem. We called my parents to meet us there, and then the hospital to let them know we were on our way.

The nurses (who were all so wonderful) met us at the door with a wheelchair, and at that moment I was able to relax a little, because I knew I wasn’t going to have my baby on the side of the road somewhere. I think they had called my doctor after we called, so he was on his way. The nurses got me set up in the delivery room and checked to see where the baby was.

“Yeah, this baby is right there. You’re not having another C-section.”

“Ok. Can I get any painkillers?”

“Sorry, there’s no time.”

They didn’t even give me an IV, because things were moving so fast. I’m pretty sure I was screaming “I can’t!” most of the time, and had a death grip on Chris’s hand. They had me start pushing, and I felt like there was a ton going on in the room. At one point, they told me that they had an ER doctor in there, because if the baby was born, they didn’t have to write up an incident report because a doctor was present. At the moment I took their word for it, but looking back I wonder if they said that just so I’d feel better. My doctor arrived maybe five minutes before the baby was born; we’d only been at the hospital for 20 minutes or so. So before we even really knew what hit us, my screaming was over and I was listening to my new baby’s cry instead. There’s really nothing like that moment.

Sammy was born at 3:41 in the morning, so all told my labor was less than two hours. She beat my parents to the hospital, which was shocking to them. The desk attendant they spoke to told them she thought the baby had already come, and my mom was sure she was wrong and it was going to be a couple of hours. Surprise! There must have been something in the water, because the nurses told me all night had been like that, and there were like six other women that all delivered super fast.

I was talking to my sister-in-law a couple weeks later and she asked me if labor was really like it shows in the movies. My response was that I’m not the person to ask, because mine kinda was. And since they’ve told me that labor tends to go faster with subsequent kids, I’ve also decided I should probably start hypno-babies or something so I’m mentally prepared for natural childbirth next time, just in case we can’t get there in time for an epidural (again).

Having said that, my recovery was AMAZING, especially compared to last time. I felt good enough that they almost had me walk from the delivery room to my hospital room, if I hadn’t gotten a touch queasy when I stood up.

It was so nice to be able to sit up, stand up, and walk on my own that day, and it was so great to have family close by to visit us. Other than that, pretty uneventful hospital stay and journey home. So I’ll leave you there for today dear readers.

Love,

The Rawlins

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