The second pregnancy seemed to go so much smoother than the first one. Probably because I was a lot more relaxed and my body already understood what it had to do. That being said, I had so many Braxton Hicks contractions the last three months that I felt so immune to them by the time my due date rolled around. For the last three to four weeks I was getting contractions several times a day and usually a few every hour.
My Due Date this time was March 26th, per my ‘last menstrual period’, and April 1st per the ultrasound and my ovulation date. With my first pregnancy, it was about the same timeline (they were about a week apart) but since I was two days after my first due date with Samantha, I was expecting it to go along the same lines with Griffin. Obviously, keeping in mind that things are rarely the same. J But still.
March 26th rolled around and nothing. On March 27th, which was a Thursday, I had my 40 week appointment with the nurse and found out I was 2cm and about halfway effaced. One week earlier I had been halfway effaced and about 1cm dilated, so not to much progress. I also found out that my Dr went on vacation for the weekend thinking she didn’t have any more patients to deliver for March! So that was amusing. I was perfectly fine with waiting then. I didn’t want to schedule and induction, I wanted to keep delaying things for as long as I could.
What was also amusing was that Justin had an awful cold. He got sick on Monday and by Thursday (when I was overdue!) he was convinced it was the flu and went in to the Doctors. He was seriously dying and just kept sleeping and resting and actually took off Friday from work. This was highly amusing to me because I was just imagining me in horrible labor pains and him passed out on the couch sleeping. Every day, Justin kept saying ‘one more day’ for Griffin to stay in my tummy.
Thursday night I had the worst labor pains in bed. Nothing was time-able but my back was killing me and the waves of pain were really awful. I told Justin that I thought I might be in ‘early labor’ and he better get as much sleep as he could! Sadly, nothing happened that night or Friday except for the fact that I went CRAZY staying at home all day and wondering when this was going to happen.
Saturday, March 29th, and I was dying to get out of the house and in the worst mood. I left Justin sleeping and went to Target and the park with Sam. We had a really nice day out and then I just sat on my ‘birthing’ ball in front of the computer and rediscovered ‘WebSudoku’. Mindlessly playing games on the computer satisfied my anxiety a bit and that killed a whole bunch of time. J
Sunday came around and again Justin said, ‘one more day, please!’ at which point I snapped at him and said, ‘you’ve been telling me that for a week, I’m sick of hearing it!’. Around 11am I started having time-able contractions every 3-4 minutes apart. I was so over it at that point though. I went over to my ball and played on the computer for about two hours keeping track of them at which point I stopped because it was annoying me and went and took a nap. The contractions stopped as I went to sleep. They came back later that night but again stopped as I went to sleep.
Monday, March 31st, I woke up at 7am to Justin’s alarm. He was finally feeling slightly better and was getting ready to head into work. As I woke up my contractions started up again. I noticed them in the shower and they were really present when Sam and I were downstairs having breakfast. Again, they were just contractions and while I noticed them, they did not hurt. I was walking and talking through them. Being that I was 5 days overdue, I was not staying at home again to sit and wonder when my body was going to get going. Sharon usually sees Samantha on Monday’s but I told her to go into work and to save her days off for when we needed her to watch Sam. I knew it had to be sometime this week because if Griffin didn’t come soon I was going to be evaluating my ‘no induction’ policy because this was just ridiculous. Since it was just Sam and I, I called Krysta and told her we were heading over to Chuck E Cheese over in her neck of the woods in Foothill Ranch and to come join us! I had a few thoughts at the wisdom of going over the toll roads with no cell phone service but I decided that my mental health was more important that day and we had to get out.
As I was driving over the toll roads my contractions were starting to be felt a little more. I was tired and irritable, although I had been that way for the past few days, but I was determined to keep going. We played at Chuck E Cheese for an hour or two until about 11:30 at which point I told Krysta I had to go home. I knew Justin would be home for lunch and these contractions were not going away and were slowly getting worse. I jumped in the car with Samantha and headed home. I figured that, worst case, I would only have about four contractions in the car anyway.
On the way home the contractions got worse. I had a really bad one getting off the freeway by our house and was feeling very grateful that home was close by. Justin was at home having lunch and I sat down at the table. Again, I had a very bad contraction that was extremely painful and I asked Justin to put Sam down for her nap while I went upstairs to lie down. I went upstairs at around 12:30.
I laid down on the bed for about 20 minutes and each contraction got worse and worse as I was starting to cry through them. Even though my water hadn’t broken and these were just painful contractions, I knew I would want to go to the hospital soon to get checked out and make sure everything was ok. I walked out to tell Justin that and tell him that once he put Sam down he would want to go back to the office for a short while and get everything ready and come back home because in the next few hours, I wanted to go in. I didn’t see these contractions stopping since they had been going on for the past five hours and were only getting worse. He told me that we should probably just call a Grandma and have them watch Sam if I thought I would be wanting to go to the hospital soon. So I called my Mom since Sharon was still at work. I figured Sharon could go get Sam after work and then my Mom could come to the hospital later to help Justin and me.
Once I called my Mom, she immediately flew to our house to come get Sam. In-between contractions, I was packing Sam’s stuff and calling out instructions to Justin on what else to pack. That was the funny thing about the contractions was that they were so painful the 30-45 seconds I was in the middle of them but the other three minutes I was walking around, talking, and feeling completely normal! So that was a little frustrating as I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do.
My Mom arrived around 1:15 and took Sam while I decided to take a shower. Oh my gosh, a hot shower aimed right at your back makes the contractions feel sooo much better! I think I stayed in there for 20 minutes. When I got out, they felt worse so I was tempted to get back in but since things just kept getting faster and harder I decided to get dressed instead.
During this time Justin was downstairs emailing, talking to his Mom giving her instructions, and apparently getting locked out of the house… So he had to break in through the screen door, haha. I guess he knocked on the backdoor and he panicked a bit and broke in and rushed upstairs to make sure I was ok. LOL
As I was getting dressed and making sure I had everything, Justin kept asking me if I was sure I wanted to go. I was sure. I really didn’t care at that point, I was hurting so bad. I wanted to hear Griffin’s heartbeat and make sure everything was ok. I was halfway convinced that we may get sent home but I wanted to go in. Now that I think about it, there was probably no way they would be sending me home as I was five days overdue.
The drive to the hospital was different than the last midnight run with Sam. I was doing a blog post and texting my family and friends to give them a quick update. St. Joe’s was very fancy with their valet parking and they got me in a wheelchair immediately to be wheeled inside. I told Justin to leave our things in the car as I was still thinking we might not stay! I did however bring my polka-dot pillow in which I’m convinced a couple sitting in the waiting room was laughing at me for. They obviously have never rested on the flat hospital pillows!
We went upstairs to the admitting room, they checked me in, and then we went to the nurses station. We got ourselves a nurse (who sadly I’m forgetting her name right now – I will call her Lisa) and rolled ourselves into the birthing suite. She started asking all her questions and checked me out. After she checked me, she kept asking me questions and I had to ask her what I was dilated to. I was 4cm dilated! So, I said, ‘Well that was progress from last week!’. She continued asking me routine questions about the pregnancy and I had to ask how effaced I was. I was completely effaced. So then I asked, well am I staying then? She seemed surprised. LOL – Of course I was staying! Wow! I don’t know why but I was still shocked even though I was five days overdue. Justin looked shocked too and then he went down to get our bags. I think we were both shocked because last time was so expected with my water breaking and this was just so different. During this time we were also having the fetal monitoring going on. Lisa asked if I would want an epidural now. Surprising! They would give it to me now? She said it looked like I was in a lot of pain. Well, I was during the contractions but again when they were not going on, I felt fine. I had big issues with sticking a huge needle into my back when I was feeling fine so I wasn’t quite ready. I said not at this time, we wanted to walk around for a bit but I would want one later. She explained that I would need an IV for about thirty minutes and I would need to be worked into the c-sections happening that day so I needed to be aware of that. I knew how it worked and thanked her. She asked if I was feeling any pressure at all? Nope, just horrible contractions. She then sent us on our way, without putting a heplock or an IV in! Score! We proceeded to start our walk around the maternity ward.
The time was about 3:30 or 4:00pm when we started our walk. We only made it once around before we had to do the fetal monitoring again. The contractions got worse and I felt so awkward moving around with all these wires connected to me. Who wouldn’t, right? At least this time I realized I could actually stand up on the bed, or next to the bed when I had them on. I think last time I was under the impression I had to lay on the bed the whole time so at least that was a little better. As the fetal monitoring was ending, I told Justin that I wanted the epidural. I knew it would be at least another hour before I could get it and I knew I wanted it and was going to get it at some point, so why not right now. The only thing I was worried about is that Justin has a needle phobia and last time he was supporting me but had to sit down and my Mom took over during the epidural. So I asked him if he wanted to wait for my Mom to get there. He assured me he was fine and this time he really WASN’T going to look at the needle. So that settled that. When Lisa came in we told her of our decision so she got the IV ready. This was probably around 5:00pm.
I have a needle phobia basically from the fact my veins are extremely tiny (along with my teeth and fingernails, kind of strange actually). Almost every single time I get blood taken I either get a nurse who doesn’t believe me, or doesn’t really care and blows out my veins. I made sure to warn Lisa about this before but I’m sure you can assume where this went. She tried the vein that runs by my left thumb. Why my thumb, I have no idea, but she must have hit a nerve because I could swear I felt that needle go through my ENTIRE thumb it hurt so bad. For the next week and a half my entire left hand was bruised as well as the area on my inner arm by my hand. It was truly an amazing bruise. I took a picture of it. J The IV finally got put in and had problems with it dripping which she told me I had to hold my hand a certain way to make sure it continued. There was no way I was holding my hand a certain way through all of my contractions so I pretty much ignored her and things just progressed. She wandered around the room fixing things up and told me that it would be 45 minutes before the anesthesiologist came in because they had to fit me in between two surgeries. She kept asking me if I was feeling any pressure and I wasn’t. She told us to press the nurses button if I had any pressure or needed anything. I asked about other pain medication because I was feeling awful and she offered morphine. I said YES give it to me but then Justin asked about how it would affect Griffin. Apparently morphine can make babies a bit sleepy when they came out. I didn’t want that so I said I would just wait for the epidural. She walked out the door around 5:30.
About three minutes after she walked out the door, I got hit with a contraction that was so awful my body decided to convulse. I realized that this was the pressure she was talking about. My body wanted to push. It was pushing. It was awful! I felt so out of control! This is where the ‘Evil Kristi’ took over as I was snapping at Justin to hit the nurses button and get Lisa back in the room. I was on my side clutching at the side of the bed and he hit the nurses button. I kept ordering him to hit the button and he didn’t sound too sure of himself because the nurses were not calling back over the speaker. I couldn’t turn around and look at the partition that held the buttons so finally I snapped, hand it to me and I will push it myself! His response was, ‘Oh THAT thing?’ at which point I think I screamed at him to PUSH THAT BUTTON and get her back in the room RIGHT NOW! LOL – Later he was explaining to me that there were multiple nurses buttons and he was pushing a different one and they just weren’t responding but I was too freaked out at the possibility that my body was taking over and I didn’t have any pain medication yet.
Miraculously a VERY nice Doctor came strolling in the room. Justin thought it was because of the button he had been pushing (they still hadn’t called our room in response to it!) but no, it was the anesthesiologist who was here in 20 minutes instead of 45! Yes! We got that show on the road thankfully. Putting the epidural in was awful but I was so thankful we were getting it in. I had a really bad contraction (again, where my body was taking over and bearing down) but the nurse and Justin kept my head down and back curved and talked me through it. When I laid down, I could still really move my legs which was different from last time but the medicine was taking effect quickly and the contractions were already a lot more bearable. I told Lisa that I had incredible pressure so she checked me quickly. I was 10cm and ready to go. At that point my room got really busy. It also started to hit me that we were ready to have this baby! It was probably nearing 6:00pm by this point but I was so confused by the time, I didn’t know this. The clock was above my head so when I tilted my head back to look at the time I kept thinking it was later than it was (when it was 5pm, I thought it was 7pm – hehe). I started wondering where my Mom was! I knew they were switching off with Sam and Sharon. I think Justin tried calling them in the room but my hopes of ‘live blogging’ (haha) my labor earlier in the afternoon was dashed when we had no cell service at all. He went out of the room and came back shortly. When he came back in, he was pretty shocked to see me almost prepared to start pushing.
As everyone was running around the room getting things ready, I got the predictable ‘epidural shakes’ where my whole body was shaking uncontrollably. Fun! I could hear the nurses talking back and forth, apparently my nurse had to go oversee a c-section so I got another nurse. We will call her Karin. It was funny to hear the nurses talk about which patient they wanted and barter back and forth. I barely heard it. They were attempting to hunt down a doctor though. Dr Fee was apparently ‘on her way’ but I was ready to go!
At that point my water broke! Woo, that was fun. Having water pour out of me while just lying there feels extremely weird. I told the nurses and they said not to worry about it unless I was feeling pressure. Well, yes I WAS feeling pressure! They peeked in and checked me and said they couldn’t see a head yet so keep my legs closed! Haha! The main nurse said she did see meconium though. Again, the nurses got busy and alerted the pediatric staff so they could be on hand in case anything was wrong. That was a little worrisome but I just felt so out of it, shaking uncontrollably and I knew with all the doctors around we would be fine. I do remember telling Justin that if anything was wrong he had to follow the baby. I think he told me that he would follow the baby as long as everything was ok with me and I said, NO if they take the baby anywhere you are following that baby no matter what!
I still heard the nurses talking about finding me a doctor. Apparently, Dr Fee was not going to get here in time so they were alerting her backup, Dr Lee. As a few more minutes passed by, Dr Lee also would not get here in time so I heard one of the nurses tell another to just ‘go grab someone!’. They were able to grab Dr Villa, whom was actually a previous associate of Dr Fee and someone who I had had an appointment with a few years back so that was really nice. She recognized me as well and sat down to deliver Griffin.
I was all ready to go and they told me to start pushing any time. I felt so out of it and not ready to push, even though I felt pressure. It was a lot different this time, it didn’t have the intimacy of last time, where we waited so long and formed the attachment with our nurse and them all encouraging me and talking me through the process. There were so many people in the room (even though I really wasn’t aware or worried about it at the time) and I wasn’t quite ready so I just laid back and breathed for a few minutes. Finally, I think I felt a contraction and the urge to push so I went ahead with that. J Luckily I remembered the process and the feelings from last time so I think I did a lot better at it this time around, especially with Justin counting down and encouraging me.
After a few pushes, Dr Fee came running in the room! We were so happy to see her! She delivered Sam and I was really happy she was in the room to deliver Griffin as well. Dr Villa stood up and wished us luck and Dr Fee sat down. Immediately, Dr Fee got down to business. Where Dr Villa was sort of waiting for me, Dr Fee was pushing and massaging and it really seemed like she was the one going to take the baby out and I better start pushing if I wanted to help!
Not long, probably 10 or 15 minutes later I was pushing Griffin’s head out! As Justin was watching Griffin come out, he was shocked to see a thick line at the top of the head. He said it looked so odd that he looked around at everyone but no one seemed to be worried. Later, we found out that it was his skull compressing together and he was seeing the skin on his head and hair compressed so hard as he came out of the birthing canal. Justin was so impressed and freaked out by this, apparently it looked really odd. Dr Fee told me to hold on, as the cord was wrapped around his head, although not tightly as it was with Sam. I pushed again and Griffin just popped out! She grabbed him and held him over me and he didn’t cry right away. They warned us that he probably would not because of the meconium. After a long minute, he finally did cry. They put him on my chest as Justin got to cut the cord, which he was not able to do last time! It was amazing to see him.
Griffin Scott was born at 6:30pm on March 31, 2008. He weighed in at 7lbs, 6oz and was 20 inches long. After a minute or two, they took him across the room where the pediatric staff was waiting to examine him to make sure everything was ok. Luckily it was so they left the room and brought Griffin back to me after I was stitched up by Dr Fee. She did not cut me this time but I did have quite a few stitches, as she said she just wanted to make sure I would heal correctly.
I got to hold Griffin for the next hour on my chest and start nursing. After about 15 minutes, Jerra & John came through the door expecting to see me still in labor. They were absolutely shocked to see us with a baby instead. We also called Sharon and Truck and had them bring Sam down to meet her new little brother. She seemed a bit overwhelmed but knew it was ‘Baby G’ that she was meeting and that he used to be in Momma’s tummy.
It was a wonderful second birthing experience and we are so lucky to have two beautiful children now. Recovery seemed to be much faster than the first time and we are all having a great time getting to know the new family member.
Kristi, Justin, Sammie, & Baby G