Here we go!
It went like this:
I was scheduled to be the charge nurse on the Mother Baby Unit on the night of September 30th. I spend my time about half and half either there or on Labor & Delivery, but I rarely get to charge since I'm often the float nurse (the float is the gopher who works both floors at once depending on who has the greater need. We affectionately call the float nurse "The Turd," because you effectively get crapped on when you float- that's just how it works.) Thus far, I'd had a completely uneventful day, so was looking forward to an uneventful night with that added bonus of an extra dollar and some change per hour for charging.
The walk from the employee parking lot, although probably only a tenth of a mile or so, was what started it. From the time I walked onto the unit at 1800, I started contracting about every 10 minutes. They kind of hurt, but not enough that I was worried about it. I was already walking around dilated to 4 cm at this point, but I didn't think they were doing anything, so I kept working.
By around 2200 they were starting to bug me, so I waddled down the hall to the labor unit and asked Steph to check and see if my cervix had changed. I figured if it hadn't, I could suck it up and get back to work. I was secretly hoping it hadn't changed, because I wanted Jana to wait a little longer. The monitors showed me contracting every 8-10 minutes, but I was still 4 cm and 80% effaced. Good. I went back to MBU.
They kept coming a little stronger and a little closer, but I kept telling myself I just had to make it to 0600 and then I could go home and lay down and live to work another night.
I went to check on all my patients at about 0130. The little gal in 3019 was awake and had some questions, and I think I actually managed to hide my grimace from the contraction while I talked with her. I remember walking out her door, shutting it, and gripping the door frame tight to get through the next contraction. That probably should have tipped me off that things were starting to move.
By 0200 they were every 5 minutes and really hurt. I told myself I was being a wimp, but I couldn't help but stop whatever I was doing and just breathe through them. My tummy was hard as a rock with each one. The funny part is, I KNOW THIS STUFF. These are signs of labor. I was pretty tired by this time, so in my cloudy mind, I figured I could just hang on and think myself out of labor. Ha.
By around 0330 the people I work with were getting a little nervous- I was clenching my fists and my jaws every few minutes. Then it came-the contraction so strong, I just wanted to scream. So I gave up. I called Lee and said those fateful words: "It's time!" He called Karen to come rescue Wyatt, and he packed the rest of my bag to bring with him to the hospital.
Bless Amanda for giving me a wheelchair ride down the hall to labor, I honestly don't think I could have walked! I got in the exam room and got changed, and Nancy checked me. I was almost 5 cm, and the contractions were every 3-5 minutes apart. At 0409 (I am privy to all the exact times now) they moved me to room 3003 (where I had Wyatt!) and Nancy got my IV started while Robyn did all my admission stuff at the speed of light. I am so glad they were so quick! They paged anesthesia, and as luck would have it, Tony the Anesthetist was already in the hospital from an appendectomy case. YAY!
I had my epidural in by 0420- Lee walked in just as they were finishing up. The timing could not have been better, because by this time I was almost out of control. I know sometimes it can't be helped, but I don't particularly care for it when my labor patients scream and cry and stuff, so I chose not to do it to my friends and coworkers either. I was doing my best to turn it inward, but by so doing, I was shaking so hard I was afraid I was going to fall out of bed. However, by 0430 I couldn't feel a thing and was loving life again.
It was the best I'd felt in about four months.
Nancy checked me again at 0438- I was 6 and 90, and what do you know? My water broke! Things usually go quickly after the rupture of membranes, so she said she'd come check again in 20 minutes or so. I remember I asked everyone (repeatedly) to remind me to fill out a Variance Request sheet so I could explain that I stopped working at 0330 and couldn't clock out because I was in bed with an epidural. It's funny how silly little things tend to dominate your thinking when you are overwhelmed with bigger stuff- like impending birth.
So about 0505 Nancy checked me again and I was "nine and a half." She had me push once to see if I could sneak Jana past the last little bit of cervix, and mid-push Nancy said, "Ok, stop. You're complete and she's +1." That means she's just short of crowning, so I stopped pushing and they called the doctor.
Dr. Allred walked in at about 0513, set up, and I pushed two whole times (the sum of about 20 seconds). Jana came at 0516 the morning of October 1st, and that was the end of my pregnancy! Woo hoo! I heard her apgars were 9 and 9, but later heard they were 9 and 10. Either way, she was doing fantastic from the first minute of her life, and now she's a whole week old and is still just ...fantastic!
And that's the end of my labor story.
Life with my two little ones is just fun. Jana reminds me so much of Wyatt! I spend a LOT of time around newborns, so I feel like I can say with some authority that the expressions she makes and the way she cries are exclusive to our family- they are just like Wyatt when he was tiny.
Wyatt is adjusting fairly well. He hears "NO!" far more often than he used to, but is taking it all in stride. I even walked in the front room yesterday to see him trying to give Jana her pacifier. It was so sweet- although she was dead asleep and he was poking her in the eye with it- but it's the thought that counts, right?
Skeeter knows how to handle new babies- all he does is look curiously at the bassinet when it starts squawking, and sniffs and sniffs and sniffs her, her clothes, her blankets, and most especially her used diapers. He already senses she's one of us, I think, since I laid her down on a blanket to take some pictures today, and he immediately came and laid protectively next to her- honestly I had to shoo him away so I could get some pictures of her alone. Good boy, Skeeter!
Daddy got to spend a few days home with us, and that was so nice. He is back to work and we are all trying to settle into a modified routine now, and so far we are doing all right! Grandma Anderson came and stayed with us for a few days, and she helped SO MUCH! She left me with my laundry all done and put away, my kitchen and bathrooms clean, and about a week's worth of meals in the fridge and freezer. What a wonderful blessing!
As for me, I almost feel guilty because I feel SO good. By this time with Wyatt, I was just thinking I might be able to put together a normal life again. This time around though, things are going really well. I have no complaints (not even the standards you'd expect being a week postpartum), and since I only tore a little bit, I'm not even in much pain at at all. All in all, we are pretty happy!
Here's the gazillion pictures I mentioned:
Daddy has already nicknamed her "JanaBean." Since her name is Jana Kay, I quickly turned that into JanaCake. Wyatt is my Muffin Man, and Skeeter is my SkeeterPie (derived from Scooter Pie, I think). It would seem I have an unhealthy obsession with bakery goods...
Mommy and her babies
Wyatt wouldn't hold still, so Daddy tried a different tactic.
Jana and her Guardian Dog
*sniff sniff sniff*
You don't get to accessorize with little boys, so I've had some fun!
Jana at 6 days old
I love this outfit- little strawberries on the bottom of each foot!
She looks so much like Wyatt to me, except I think her hair will probably turn out about the same color as mine.
Wyatt found some mischief when Mommy was otherwise occupied.
Thankfully, Grandma Anderson saved the day with a new firetruck!
I caught this just as Skeeter was stretching, and I laughed so hard it made my stitches hurt!
Jana's first manicure.
Wyatt's other mischief- crawling through the coffee table to get to things I wanted him not to!
We found out Wyatt really likes corn dogs. He says, "Yum-mah!"
I think that new baby smell is what heaven must smell like.
Daddy, Jana, and Skeeter snuggle during conference.
The harvest! Most of the pumkins are all orange now, and it seems I'll have enough spaghetti squash to last me...forever...
The garden all empty and cleaned out!
Wyatt helping Daddy and Grandma with the tomatoes and little cantalopes.
We got a new couch cover, and Daddy had some fun sticking the labels on the kids.