Matt & I drove to Dominican, thankfully it is close and at that hour there was nobody on the 1! Miraculous! Leila came on the radio and I was singing, “Lo-la! You’ve got me on my knees Lola!” Matt started pulling into the visitor parking which was far away from the front door and I told him to go drop me off at the door. I get to the hospital door and it wouldn’t open. I ring the buzzer and say, “I’m in labor! Where do I go?!” The lady says, “Oh, hang on, just a minute…” while leaving the speaker on and carrying on a separate conversation. I was so mad! She finally buzzes the door open and says sorry. We walk into registration and it’s a ghost town. I turn around and two phlebotomists were pushing their carts our way, One says, “Ohhh mama where are you going?!” I said, “I don’t know – but I’m in labor!” She ditches her cart, grabs a wheelchair, and starts directing Matt to open doors and grab things as she runs while pushing me at lightning speed down the halls! It was awesome, she was not a small lady either! She got me to labor & delivery and I thanked her profusely.
I get into my room and the nurse hands me a lovely hospital gown to wear. I asked for an epidural right away. They checked me and I was at a 5. My contractions were getting stronger and were about 2 minutes apart. I said I was going to throw up, and my nurse kept typing into the computer. Matt said, “Can we get a bucket or something?” because he knows when I say I’m going to throw up I mean it. The nurse starting running around like a crazy person opening drawers and rummaging around the room looking for something. I see nothing is going to happen to I get up and start waddling to the bathroom. As I start to throw up on the floor, the nurse puts a teeny tiny plastic container (smaller than Matt’s tupperware) under my face. I throw up twice in it, fill it to overflowing, and she continues to hold it directly under my nose. I shove her hand away because I was done and having it right under my nose was going to make me puke again!
They get me hooked up to an IV and say that I have to have the whole bag of fluid in me before they can give me the epidural. During every contraction I was begging that bag to hurry up and get in me! If I moved my hand a certain way it would stop dripping, so I made sure to keep an eye on it. I continued laboring and a new nurse came who I loved. She talked me through the pain and was very helpful. Although I hated that she wanted me to look into Matt’s eyes during the pain…I prefer to go away to my happy place and get through it. Looking into his eyes tortures him too, he said it made him want to cry seeing me in so much pain!
By now, two hours had gone by and I wanted my epidural! A funny anesthesiologist came in and said that Matt and I need to keep having babies and populate the world with pretty people :) He was upset with the nurses that my epidural was taking so long to go through, as was I! Finally after two and a half hours, it comes. A different anesthesiologist starts putting it in, and I jumped. His voice scared me so bad, he said, “Kara, it is VERY important that you do not move!” I was trying so hard not to, but he was injecting the local anesthetic in very fast bursts and my body was just reacting, I wasn’t moving! So Matt helped hold me down and I focused on being very still. He got it in and I FINALLY had some relief! It was a very mild epidural, as I was still able to move my legs and roll over on my own. At this point I had progressed to a 6. This is where I stalled with Ada, so Matt and I were both saying silent prayers that I would continue to progress so that I could have a VBAC. I finally called my mom and let her know that I got the epidural and things were moving along. She said Ada had woken up just after we left for the hospital, so she was going on no sleep with a toddler up at 6 AM!
I continued to labor and at one point the doctor on call for mine came in and said if I don’t start progressing I might have to have another c-section. This saddened me a bit, but I was okay with it because it was an option. Lola didn’t like when I laid on my right side, so I stayed on my left. This was terrible for me because the nurse was sitting on my right, and Matt was on the other side of the room talking with her. So I was left out of the convo unless I turned my head and that got uncomfortable and old real quick! So I made Matt come sit on an uncomfortable doctor’s stool next to me so I could more easily join in on the conversation :) Some really funny, loud nurse came in and started telling stories about her giant Italian family…that was amusing until my contractions got stronger. Then her pounding on my bed was not funny anymore and I wanted her to go away. She was like a character out of a sitcom though…
The next time the doctor checked me, I was 8 cm! I was SO relieved and happy because I was so close to being able to push. They put an internal monitor on Lola to better measure her heart rate. I hadn’t had anything to eat or drink all day except for a bite of bagel at 5 AM that I threw up at the hospital. I was sipping on my water bottle before I received my epidural when the nurse told me I couldn’t have any fluids per the anesthesiologist’s orders in case I had to go into an emergency c-section. Boo :( I was SO THIRSTY! Those of you who know me know that I’m a camel and always have water within arm’s reach. So that was rough.
My contractions were becoming really uncomfortable and I had the urge to push like crazy. I was holding back, and the nurse said, “No! Use that pressure and push with it!” I was like, “Oh, okay…” I guess it didn’t really occur to me that’s how it would feel. So the doctor came and checked me and sure enough I was a 10 and ready to push! Matt and I freaked out and I called my mom in disbelief because it happened so fast! She hurried and got Ada ready and they came to the hospital. I pushed with my contractions and the nurse and my doctor really helped me through. They said I did quality pushes and did great for my first time. Matt went into Coach Miller mode during one push and I pushed his face away…the nurse told him, “Doctor Taylor is the boss here…” haha it was great. HE was great! So supportive and helpful in getting me through the labor. One of the hardest parts for me was holding my breath through the pushing. In sports and working out, you exhale on the exertion. So I was programmed to exhale on the push, and it felt foreign to hold my breath during the push. Anyway, I got the hang of it and my eyes got really puffy because of it!
After about 40 minutes of pushing, the doctor told me that if Lola didn’t come out in the next couple of pushes, she would have to get the vacuum to assist her. I did NOT want that and they were all amazed at how I got down to business right away after the threat! After 50 minutes of pushing, Lola Jennie took her first breath in this world! They handed Matt the scissors to cut the cord and he could barely see through his teary eyes. He scratched her leg a little because his vision was blurred :) Don’t hand the emotional dad scissors! They put her on my chest and I was in awe of how beautiful she was. She was looking at me, recognized my voice, grabbed my hand. It was beautiful. She was looking for food right away and her thumb found its way into her mouth. She has been a voracious nurser from the beginning…our nurse told us that her other babies were struggling that night and Lola was her champion nurser! Right now, she will nurse for hours and sleep for hours.
After I got all cleaned up, my mom brought Ada in. It was so sweet to see her react to Lola since she’d been hearing about her being in my belly for so long. She got up on the bed and leaned forward to whisper the sweetest hi you’ve ever heard! It was such a tender moment. She has been so good with her and asks about her all the time. “Baby? Lala?” And walks over and says, “Awwwwwe, baby!” She is interested in holding her, but only for a few seconds. Then it’s bye-bye.
That night, my nurse got me up to go to the bathroom and I got really lightheaded. I sat back down and they waved ammonia in my face. Then my nurse started scrubbing my face really hard with a wet washcloth. She did that once during labor and I pushed her hand away then! Not a good feeling! She kept repeating to people over and over again how she forgot that I didn’t like that, I’m thinking, “Who likes having a nasty rough hospital washcloth scrubbed on their face?!” Anyway, they all made a big deal about my lightheadedness and made me stay in that room extra long. I am convinced it’s from not eating or having anything to drink ALL day long, laboring, and blood loss…it didn’t seem in excess but I guess it’s better safe than sorry. We finally got into recovery and got a new nurse that was wonderful! Loved Val. She sounded like Ina Garten and said fabulous a lot. She was so sweet and attentive. The next day, my nurse forgot my meds TWICE after I asked for them. Yeesh. I felt like our room had a revolving door on it, people just kept coming in. Except when we needed something. One machine kept beeping like crazy so I pushed the call button. They said, “Oh okay, be right there.” Nobody came. So I pushed the call button a couple hundred times :) They laughed and finally got someone in there to turn it off. The cleaning lady came in right after Lola had nursed and fallen asleep, she was SO loud! Banging things like crazy. Another random nurse came in and was yelling to my nurse. It was like they had no respect for the fact that we had a brand new baby and needed some peace and quiet. Needless to say, we wanted to get home ASAP. It was the polar opposite of my experience at French Hospital with Ada – I never wanted to leave because they were so wonderful!
We were pushing to get everything signed and completed so that we could leave, and our nurse from the day before came back. She was so sweet and meant well, but she was a complete spaz! I can’t tell you how many times I heard, “Sorry!” and “Oh I forgot…” She came to give Lola her shot and forgot a band-aid. So blood got all over her blanket. She smashed her finger in my wheelchair the night before, and then while trying to open my ibuprofen she was complaining about her smashed finger. I said, “Oh, is that from the wheelchair?” She said no, it was from her wheelbarrow at home. Evidently she had piled her laundry up high in it and was trying to get the wheelbarrow across the yard…I don’t know. It was just so funny to me because that was just so something she would do! There was some confusion about the pediatrician, and Matt had to get firm to get them to do anything. Finally at 8 PM a doctor shows up to check Lola out and send us home. We were SO happy to be headed home!
Matt and I still keep looking at each other and saying, “We did it!” I am so happy that I accomplished my goal of a VBAC. The recovery has been so much better than a c-section! I was amazed at how I could get out of bed on my own when we got home. Lola is one week old now and I’m feeling better every day. Thank goodness for my mom being here, I’m having some anxiety about her leaving! I don’t know how I would’ve made it through this past week without her. She’s amazing. Ada has been having some major fun with her Nonnie!
Cool things: I was due on the 4th and came on the 7th. Lola did the same thing!
Matt was skateboarding home from work on Saturday night and asked if I wanted anything at 7-11. Usually I’d say no, but I said a Slurpee sounded good. So we had Slurpees from 7-11 and then Lola came on 8-7-11!
Welp, there it is. We are now a family of FOUR! And Matt is destined to be outnumbered and have little Papa’s girls :)