The Second Time

One day past my due date, the Doctor scheduled me for twice weekly non-stress tests, a biophysical (ultrasound) and an additional OB appointment. Because I was opting to do a water birth, they needed to make sure I was still healthy as well as the baby.

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This was Monday. Tuesday morning, contractions started but were sporadic so I called my doula to let her know. She told me to keep her informed and go to my appointment. We went my appointment where baby and I passed everything. They wanted to talk about an induction but I had to say I was already  in labor, however, the non-stress test didn’t pick up any of the contractions I was having. I wasn’t getting credit, but they were there!

While this labor was mostly different, the only thing the same was the back labor. It was just as bad as I remembered with Jules.

So we left saying we’ll probably see her – my Doctor – later that night. Contractions were still sporadic but were finally picking up intensity. I managed to nap for a bit but eventually sitting or laying down was too painful. So I spent about 2 hours pacing and hanging onto the doorway when the contractions really picked up. They’d be 5 minutes apart, then 10, then 5, then 3, etc. They were all over the place.

Eventually, I had Justin call the Doula to have her come by. The back labor was too intense and I wanted her to help me get through them or at least offer suggestions to turn the baby. At this point, the contractions were 5 minutes apart. But within a contraction or two, they went to 2-3 minutes and I said we had to go. Now.

Justin called her back to say we were heading to the hospital and for her to meet us there. He also called the hospital to let them know we were coming. Thankfully the hospital is only about 5 miles away. I had 3 contractions in the car that were extremely uncomfortable (ok, painful) that I took off my seat belt and yelled at him to run the lights and stop signs. He needed to get there FAST. But then I had to tell him to slow down, it was freaking me out.

We quickly got to the labor and delivery floor and they wanted me to fill out paperwork. I made it through one sheet before they saw the contractions were basically back to back so they took me to the room – the same room Jules was born in.

The nurses realized I was probably further along so they started filling the pool. One checked me after a painful contraction and I was at 9 cm. They quickly called my Doctor and my Doula and told everyone to hurry. I got in the pool before it was even half way filled. It was nice and calming when I didn’t have a contraction but since the baby never turned the back labor was intense and no position helped. My Doula came running in minutes before I started pushing.

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I tried to relax as much as I could and the water did help but once a contraction hit, I was doing everything to avoid the pain. I’d tense up then have to be told to relax and breath. Thankfully, I only had 3 or 4 contractions in the water before I started pushing – which honestly, didn’t make things feel better. I really, really had to focus. My Doctor, Doula and nurses were all cheering me on but I felt helpless and basically asked for guidance. They kept reassuring me I was almost done. It was hard to believe at the moment but in reality, I was only in the water for maybe 10 or 15 minutes total and I was almost done.

What I loved about the water was that it was mostly private. My business wasn’t up in the air getting poked, prodded or cut unnecessarily.  My Doctor just hung out at the end of the pool watching and cheering me on.*

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Everyone told Justin to move to the front of the pool to catch the baby. And with two contractions, I pushed Marlo Jane out. Justin grabbed her from the water and handed her to me. She was so tiny, calm and didn’t cry. The transition to the water was obviously a benefit for her. Everyone was shocked at how fast it all happened, including us. We got to the hospital around 8pm and she was born at 8:45. Talk about fast and furious!

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She and I hung out in the tub and relaxed for a while. They eventually cut the cord and handed her to Justin while I had to get out to finish up the delivery. I was amazed I was even able to walk but I felt great compared to the first time around (where I felt like I’d been hit by a truck for days afterwards).

Jules was so excited to meet his new sibling. We waited to tell him in person if it was a boy or girl. He had been saying it was a girl since the beginning. So when he walked in, we said “You have a baby sister!” After so many boys in our family, everyone was excited for a baby girl including Jules.

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She’s tiny at 6 lbs but she’s a mini Jules in looks. Everyone commented they love her name, “Oh like Marlo Thomas!” and Justin kept saying “Who’s Marlo Thomas?!” We wanted another name that wasn’t too unusual, that wasn’t common and not a “J” name. Although, we did pick a “J” for her middle name. Jules can’t remember her name. He wanted to name her Wilson. I have a feeling her nickname will be Wilson.

Afterwards, my Doula stopped by and wanted to know what I thought. She felt bad that she wasn’t there for me but really, it happened so fast that I assumed once at the hospital, I’d be laboring in the tub for hours. But I’m happy that 1) we got there in time and 2) she was able to help me cope at THE WORST point possible. She said I must have a high tolerance for pain but felt like such a wimp at some points.

In the end it made for a great birth story. Welcome baby girl, Marlo!

(*While the hospital had done a bunch of water births, Marlo and I were the first to be delivered by my practice. They were excited and plan on using some of our photos.)

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