On this day (December 22) last year I had just finished a semester of nursing school a few days prior, obstetrics no less. Was really pregnant and tired of having preterm labor. I was already 5cm dilated and taking was finally allowed to stop taking Procardia. I really don't remember much of the day, but I remember the evening and night very well. My brother, Chuck, was home from Japan and wanted to get some gifts from his friends to take back when he returned. He, my parents, Riley, and I ventured to Jungle Jim's. I really don't remember at all why Brandon didn't come with us and neither does he, but he was at home. Jungle Jim's is a huge international food market that has imports from all over the world. It's a very large store and requires lots of walking and is about 45 minutes north of our house.
About halfway through the store I started to have contractions.
No biggie, I had been having contractions for weeks.
Getting closer to the checkout I needed to lean on the cart a little with each contraction, still no biggie.
We finished our shopping, I had bought some hazelnut spread from Ireland, miniature plantains, organic cous cous, and a few other random things. I think it's interesting that I remember what I bought but not why Brandon stayed home. I think maybe he just knew that he should rest because the baby was coming. Or maybe it was because he took care of Riley and I for months while I wasn't supposed to do anything because of preterm labor and just needed to rest.
Walking out to the car the contractions started to hurt a little more.We stopped at White Castle, gross haha. and my dad took over driving because I was having contractions. Which again, was no big deal since I drove myself to the hospital while in labor with Riley and very far along and could have done it this time, but he offered, so I let him.
On the 45ish minute drive home the contractions got stronger, but nothing I couldn't handle and I called Brandon. My mom suggested I go to the hospital and get checked out. I didn't want to go because I had been about 20 times before and the previous Friday was having contractions that I couldn't breathe through and they sent me home because I wasn't progressing. That's when I told them they would have to call psych for me haha. My midwife didn't think it was too funny and gave me some medicine to help me sleep and sent me on my way.
So the contractions I was having were really no big deal.
My dad dropped my mom and Riley off at the house and Brandon and I went to the hospital. I went into to be checked and didn't call anyone because I thought for sure I was going to be sent home.
It was the two days before Christmas Eve after all. I did have all the Christmas presents bought and wrapped just in case something crazy would happen.
I went to the hospital and got checked, I was now 6cm. My midwife told me to hang out there for another hour and we'd see what would happen.
I walked the halls with my sweet super supportive husband that had stood by our daughter and I through this rough pregnancy. He loved me every day of it when I was miserable and complaining. He took on the parenting role that I couldn't fully share since I wasn't even able to lift our little 2 year old. He did dishes and laundry while I was on bed rest and only allowed to attend class. He supported me and helped me through another semester of school (that looking back I have no idea how I made it through!).
We walked the halls for an hour and I distinctly remember a Christmas tree that was decorated with skeleton ornaments and thinking how inappropriate for a hospital....haha but after our 20th lap around the hospital we realized it was the radiology department, which made it a little less morbid I guess.. haha
I cherished those last few minutes I had with my husband and our sweet second born inside my belly. We walked and laughed and I leaned up against the wall with each contraction as the hour reached its end. I remember getting a little desperate to see my midwife at the nurse's station so I could ask her to let me know that I wasn't doing all this walking and suffering for no reason and that I was going to have my baby finally. I finally asked one of the nurses to go find her, and when she did finally check me I was at 7cm.
She said, "Well, we're going to keep you."
and I remember saying, "Like keep me to monitor me? or keep me to have the baby?" which I thought was a totally legitimate question, because if they had sent me home the previous Friday, they would send me home again.
She laughed and said, "We're not going to send you home 7cm dilated." I was relived none the less.Finally, we were going to meet our daughter.
They put me in a room and we called our moms. My mom, Brandon's mom, and my brother Chuck came to the hospital. It was nearly midnight at this time. My dad stayed at our house with Riley who had already been in bed for hours. I'm so glad that my brother was home and got to experience Raigan's birth with us and he took some really awesome photographs of the whole experience.
I did want to call our friends or other family because it was so late and who knew how much longer I'd be in labor. I didn't really want to have everyone there either as horrible as that sounds. I just wanted it to be intimate and truth be told, I didn't want anyone to steal my time or snuggles with my second daughter. There would be plenty of time for everyone to see her and love her, I wanted those first few hours of life with her to myself.
I also wanted to have the time and space for nursing her. Having lots of family and friends in the room isn't very conducive to a mother and baby learning to nurse. I struggled greatly with nursing Riley and I didn't want the same this time around. I wanted it to be relaxed and enjoyable and it's hard to whip it out with a room full of people that don't feel comfortable seeing your breasts.
I asked for an epidural and let me tell you, after getting one the second time and having something to compare it to, I can confidently say that my epidural with Riley did not work. I honestly think I could have done without the epidural as I had already gotten to 8cm without it but was just tired and wanted to be able to sleep, it was now around 4 in the morning.
This time though, I was totally numb, something I hadn't experienced with Riley. My midwife came in and broke my water and I could feel nothing, it was bliss (I felt the surge of contractions when my water was broke with Riley).
I was able to rest and Brandon, our moms, and my brother talked about the next hour.
I woke up started feeling pressure and I knew she was coming and fast. I mean, she had been trying to get out for the past few months after all. I remember the nurse coming into the room, me telling her that I felt a lot of pressure and her saying, "Ok, I'm going to page your midwife." and she walked out of the room before I could stop her. I yelled for Brandon to go her!
This baby was coming and now!
The nurse quickly returned and my midwife entered the room but looked as though she had just fallen asleep in one of the on call beds. There was hardly time for her to gown and put on gloves and felt like screaming HURRY UP! haha
She sat down asked me if I was ready to push and literally seconds later yelled for me to stop pushing and Raigan was born half a push later on a Wednesday at 5:18am . My midwife literally caught her it happened so very quickly. I remember her being placed on my chest and I was instantly in love.
She was beautiful and made from love.
I instantly switched into nurse mode when they took her away from me and kept asking for her apgar scores and if she breathing fine. At one point my midwife while stitching me she told me I need to lay back, relax, and be the patient. ha. She was beautiful, healthy, and 6lbs 15 ounces and 20 inches long.