Cecilia's Birth Story

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

I'm going to preface this with the fact that somehow I remember veeeeery little of Cecilia's birth.  I have NO idea why - I think because it was just pretty darned uneventful!

6 months pregnant with Cecilia

John Paul was 18 months old and Cecilia's due date was approaching at the end of January.  The weather hadn't been too snowy that winter, so when a huge ice storm hit on her due date, we were pretty worried!  I was convinced I'd be having the baby any day, since John Paul was pretty much on time, and 2nd babies supposedly come earlier.  The power was out for more than a day, and I remember burying our perishables in the snow on the patio so that they'd stay frozen!  My mom called the power company several times for me to complain about her daughter who was due to give birth any day and had a toddler at home to take care of!

2 days before I gave birth.

The plan was for us to call my mom when I went into labor so that she could make the drive from her house, which is about 2 hours away, to our house.  But then it snowed AGAIN!  At this point we were a few days past my due date and getting antsy...  I hadn't been to a doctor's appointment on my due date with John Paul, since I was in labor.  So this appointment was rather disconcerting, since they asked me to schedule an induction "just in case" - since two weeks past due date was on a Friday, we scheduled an induction for the following Monday to give a little extra cushion.

Still no signs of labor 4 days past my due date, but my mom suddenly felt the need to come to our house IMMEDIATELY.  She was convinced that I was going to go into labor THAT DAY, so she packed up her things and headed out in the snow.

Well, long story short, she actually ended up getting in a pretty serious car accident, but somehow made her way to our house late that night...  And thank goodness she did!!!

I had been having signs that labor would begin soon (I'm pretty sure my mom asked if I had been pooping a lot, and when I told her I had, she knew I was going into labor and that's why she came), but I really wanted to finish the book I was reading.  So I stayed up until midnight reading and when I STILL wasn't in labor, I went to lie down and try to sleep.

Well, I didn't fall asleep for long - I woke up around 2 feeling some contractions, looked at the clock to time them, and went back downstairs with my book to read and bounce on the exercise ball.  At about 3 AM Andrew noticed that I hadn't come to bed, and came downstairs to check on me.  Luckily I had finished my book, so I was willing to go to the hospital!  Contractions at this point were about 5 minutes apart, so we called the hospital and headed in at around 5 AM.

I was terrified that this would end up being an incredibly long labor, like mine with John Paul.  So I was ecstatic when we went to triage and I had actually started dilating!!!  I think I was only 2 or 3 cm, but it was more than 1 and that was AWESOME in my book!  The doctor suggested breaking my water to speed things along and avoid a long labor, but I really wanted to try this one intervention-free.

Things were pretty uneventful for a while - we got up and walked around, I made sure to ask for anti-nausea medication IMMEDIATELY so that my constant puking that tired me out during labor with John Paul wouldn't be an issue, and things were progressing pretty well.  But they were progressing SLOWLY and I was really worried about another long labor, so I asked the doctor to break my water when I was only dilated 5 cm after about 7 hours in the hospital.

Does anyone else think it feels really cool when your water breaks?  Just me?  I don't know what my problem is... Anyway, there was meconium in it but it didn't look like there was a lot, they were just glad to know that so they could have extra people on hand for the delivery in case of complications.

At this point, things got REALLY intense for me.  The pain was suddenly a whole lot worse, and I was still only dilated about 6 cm.  The contractions were very close together and I couldn't get a handle on things -  I spent quite a while trying to convince Andrew it would be okay for me to get an epidural.  I thought I couldn't possibly be in transition because I wasn't to 7 cm yet and things had been really hard for longer than an hour (note to self:  IT IS POSSIBLE TO BE AN OUTLIER).  So I gave up my plans for a drug-free birth and got an epidural.  But I got a really crappy anesthesiologist who placed it too low, so I had the joy of ALL the pain of the contractions WITH TOTALLY NUMB LEGS!  GREAT JOB!!!

It took a while for them to get the anesthesiologist to come back and fix it, but it was fiiiinally working and I lay down to rest for a bit.  After about 30 minutes the doctor came to check me and said, "OH!  DON'T PUSH!  This is the baby's head right here - she's already crowning!!!"

Huh?  30 minutes and the baby managed to almost push herself out without me feeling it?  This was clearly an epidural that was far too strong and poorly administered...  So the doctor and nurse rounded up the delivery team and came back - I gave a half-push, and Cecilia was born!

7 lbs 13 oz, 14-inch head (HALLELUJAH!!!), and 20 inches long.  She latched on immediately and nursed for an HOUR before I finally unlatched her so we could head to the recovery room!

We have a whole series of family photos in which John Paul is crying because he's being asked to sit still.  Not much has changed...


  1. You don't even look like you just had a baby. Perfect hair and no tired eyes! Definitely can tell you weren't as exhausted this time around.

  2. I don't remember calling the power company, but if you say so, then I did.

    And here's the part that I remember best: I had a *second* interview at a company I really liked on the day that you wanted me to come to your house to babysit John Paul so that you'd be clear to give birth. So I went to the interview even though it was snowing. My bag was all packed and in the car, and I was set to head to your house right after the interview.

    The interview took way too long. By the time it was over, it was snowing hard. I wouldn't have come to your house, but you were so far along! I had to get there!!!

    The snow got worse and worse. Even on 66, it got to the point where we were all going about 30 mph. Then somebody veered in front of me. I tried not to crash into that car, and I braked, and whee! The car did a 360, bouncing off both guide rails (thank God they were there!) as if I were in a pinball machine. I remember thinking how cool it was that the car was absorbing the force so well that I wasn't hurt.

    Then, of course, the car was in such bad shape that I couldn't drive. Fortunately, it would start, so I had heat. Unfortunately, I couldn't get good cell reception; my calls to AAA kept cutting out. But! I could get text messages through to Andrew, who is a hero and called AAA for me! I waited for a few hours, and a tow truck came. It took me and the car to a body shop, and I hung out in my car, staying warm Then Joe and Vicki (that's Rosie's father-in-law and his girlfriend, soon to be wife, next month!) came and picked me up from the body shop. By that time, it was evening, and I spent the night at Joe's house, 20 miles or so from your house.

    The next day, Joe took me to your house. And early the next morning, you went into labor! I remember waking up in the middle of the night feeling that something was going on; probably you and Andrew woke me, because you were up timing contractions. After I realized that you were up, I went upstairs and saw you on the contraction ball or whatever it's called. And the rest is history!

    1. Oh, and the company for which I was interviewing? It told me a month or so later that it had decided not to hire anybody. Just as well. I hear that it has changed a lot and is now a terrible place to work. It just laid off a whole lot of people, too.

  3. I think it feels really cool when my water pops too! I just found your blog by way of Like Mother Like Daughter and I'm having fun reading your birth stories. :)

  4. I'm dying about 1) your mom asking you if you've been pooping a lot, and 2) your comments about the epidural. Great birth story!!!!


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