So, this post is mostly for me. Let's be honest, being that Rose is the 5th child the likely-hood of me getting around to putting together a baby book before she is 30 is slim to none (I just made a photo book of Jude's birth and he is almost 4!). I've decided I'll blog Rose's birth story and one day we can put it in her baby book. So here goes....
I was due with Rose on March 30, but that date was "chosen" based on my 7 week ultrasound and not my cycle. My whole pregnancy I was convinced the date was wrong and my first due date of March 18 was the correct due date. Rose's pregnancy was, by far, my most challenging. I had morning sickness (mine usually came in the afternoon throughout the evening) for 16 solid weeks, I had horrible food aversion and random nausea the whole pregnancy, and never got the second trimester burst of energy. That coupled with raising and homeschooling 4 other kids definitely was "character building."
Three weeks leading up to Rose's birth I had been having contractions, as soon as I was about to call my Dr they would stop or lessen significantly. They often happened at night which did not help the already existing pregnancy induced insomnia. So, Tuesday night , March 24, I laid in bed at 9:30 and started having pretty painful, consistent contractions. At this point I was convinced I was never going to go into labor and the plan was I would just be induced that Saturday. So, I laid in bed...annoyed! I fell asleep about 10:30 and woke up to very painful contractions at 12:30. At 2:30, still having contractions 3-5 minutes apart I decided finding a babysitter at 3 am would be so annoying I would just try to go to sleep and deal with it in the morning. I woke up again at 5:30 with more contractions until 6:30, went back to sleep till 7:30 waking up with contractions that felt like braxton hicks contractions, still regular, but not strong. I was irritated, but this had been happening for weeks. I got up and got ready for the day. That particular day our cleaning lady was coming (I'd gladly skip a meal a day so I can pay someone to clean my house every other week!). The only problem was I have to get all the kids out of the house until 2, because it's pointless to have the mess makers hang around while the house cleaner is here.....as effective as brushing your teeth while eating oreos. So, I sat on the couch to make a plan while Clay loaded the car. I must have looked like death warmed over because Clay walked in and said, "I'm texting Davis (my Dr. who is also a family friend which sounds weird, but is actually awesome!). I said no way! The contractions aren't bad anymore and I don't want to use up all our childcare (my parents live 2 hours away and my Mother in law was in Israel) only to get sent home. Clay insisted and texted our Dr. He called back immediately, I told him about my night and he said that I was clearly in early labor and since I was planning my third VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) he'd rather me come in and be monitored than continue at home uncertain of my progress. I was SHOCKED! I have always gone in for inductions because my kids won't come out (I wouldn't either if I heard the craziness I was about to enter). I didn't have anything set up, I hadn't even finished packing my hospital bag! But to the hospital we headed.
So we pull up to the hospital. At this point we hadn't secured babysitters and I didn't want to use up all our help if I was just going it get sent home. You know you are having your fifth when your husband drops you off at the hospital curb and drives away. When I got to L&D the nurses asked me who was with me. I responded "nobody" not realizing how crazy that sounded. I then said, people are coming, just later...that didn't really change the shocked look on their face. I got hooked up in triage and was still having fairly consistent contractions. My Dr called and said to admit me and we were going to have a baby! Again, I was shocked! Clay dispersed children and came up a few hours later. I also called my mom and my best friend who both lived in Orlando, but were going to be with me for the birth.
At about 1pm they hooked me up to pitocin and told me to walk because somehow the little stinker had "disengaged" and Davis didn't want to break my water until she had re-engaged. Now, my plan was, if I went into labor naturally I would try to have her without drugs (because at my ultrasound 5 days prior they said she was no more that 7 pounds 11 ounces). If I had to be induced I would get an epidural...well, I went into labor naturally, but needed to be helped along. Now, I had a c-section with Cole and epidurals with BK and Jude, I think they are AMAZING! You don't get a medal for having a baby without drugs, and as long as you get that human out of your body you have done your job and are an awesome mama! I just decided that because we aren't planning on having any more kids I wanted to give it a shot. And since she was supposed to be my smallest she was a good one to try for! Well, my mom knew (being that she has done this 5 times naturally) that if I really wanted to do this I needed a plan and a code word if I REALLY was serious and wanted an epidural. I had done crossfit until I was 8 months pregnant and one of the biggest things I learned was when heading into a really challenging WOD the only way to be successful was to have a plan, so, as crazy as it sounds I approached my labor as the worst WOD I'd ever do. My plan was once Davis broke my water I would labor for 2 hours with the hellish pitocin contractions and if I was 8 cm I would continue. If I was less I would get an epidural. Well, Davis broke my water, I labored for an hour and a half with the help of my mom, Melanie and my sweet husband (who was completely against me doing this naturally because he can't stand to see me in pain). I got checked and was 7cm so I decided to keep going. That's when it got real. Holy cow, the contractions I had ever felt before were nothing compared to these. I found that the louder I got the less in control I felt (I love control) so ended up laboring sitting Indian style, rocking back and forth, and counting silently in my head until each torturous contraction was over. At about 6:30 I was convinced I needed to push, they checked me and I was only 8.5 cm. I labored for what felt like 10 hours (15 min) and I felt pressure so I called them back in...9cm. At this point I was done! I remember yelling "this hurts so effing bad!" Poor Clay was pacing and Melanie and mom were at either side gently coaching me through. I remember talking to myself in my head (after my mom said it) that holding still for an epidural at this point would be almost impossible and it probably wouldn't work, so I buckled down. I called one more time thinking I needed to push...nope, 9.5 cm.
After, I have no idea how long, I all of the sudden had the uncontrollable urge to push, when I say uncontrollable I mean I had no control and I started pulling my moms arm off as I pushed. Clay ran and got Davis and the nurse. At this point I had "cried wolf" 3 times so they kind of mosied on in, the nurse checked me and yelled to Davis "the head is coming out!" Oops. Davis looked at me and said "stop pushing!" He was feverishly throwing on is gown and gloving up, but I couldn't stop! He finally got dressed and sat down, I pushed through one more contraction and Rose's head came out. At this point Davis must have realized she was huge because he made me stop pushing and wait for the next contraction to push the rest of her out. Let me just say, I have a new appreciation for Johnny Cash's song Ring of Fire. I remember thinking, "you are a grown-ass man (excuse my french) pull her OUT!" My next contraction came, he had to flip her and she was out. I remember hearing "She is HUGE!" I also remember looking up and realizing my room was full of people, like at least 10 medical staff. The saying is true, in the throws of labor you could walk a marching band through my room and I could care less as long as you get that baby out. They laid Rose on my chest and I got to do skin to skin for a good hour. She was perfect! Tiny button nose, white hair, and FAT!
Geneva Rose Nettles entered the world on March 25 at 7:38pm weighing in at 9 pounds 8 ounces and 21 3/4 inches...like I said, I'm pretty sure she we was 1 week late based on those stats. All in all, that was BY FAR the hardest and most painful thing I have EVER done, but I'm so glad I did it....though I never want to do it again =)