As I mentioned, Mariam decided to arrive right on her due date! Last Sunday I decided to take the girls for a walk to get out of the house. We walked about a mile (me pushing Layla in the stroller) and then we stopped back at the house so I could drop Layla off with H. Serena and I continued walking and all in all, I walked a total of 2 miles. I remember my belly tightening while walking but that was normal for me. Once I got home and for the remainder of the evening, I felt no additional contractions. I was a little bummed. So I went to sleep around 11:00 pm thinking that I was just going to have another long night of waking up to use the restroom multiple times like usual.
Around 2:00 am, I wake up to use the restroom and I realized I had my bloody show. This was new for me so I wondered if Labor was coming. I went back to bed and that's when the first contraction hit. It was like my others in the past, but I still needed to breathe through it. The next one came 12 minutes later so I started timing them with an app on my iphone. the next one came 10 minutes later, and then 5 minutes and then down to 3. Once I checked the times in between and they started getting pretty painful, I knew this was the real deal. I called my mom about 3:00 am and had her head over to stay with the girls so we could head to the hospital. By the time we arrived at the hospital it was 4:30 am and I was in a lot of pain. They got me in a room and I hated having the contraction monitor strapped to me. When I'm in labor I don't want anything restricting on me, or anybody touching me.
At that point, I was in PAIN. I can honestly say that out of my other two labors, the contractions this time around were by far the worst! I could see the peaks on the moniter and most of them were off the charts. All I could do was grip the sides of the bed and writhe around. Some of them were so bad that my midsection would literally spasm. It was unbearable! At times I would just talk to myself saying over and over again..."it's almost over, you're almost there".
I wish they could administer the epidural right away, but it doesn't happen like that. You have to answer all these questions, you have to have an internal check and your blood needs to be drawn and sent to the lab. I finally got the epidural close to 8:00 am. Let me tell you, it was heaven after that. Omg! Sweet relief. Once it kicked in, all I felt was just slight pressure when a contraction hit. After about an hour I had to wear an oxygen mask and lay on my left side because Mariam's heartrate went down with two contractions. It wasn't an issue again, but it still worried me and I had to wear it while I delivered as well. Around 11 something, I was at 10 cm and ready to push. I pushed 10 times and she was out. I felt no pain. This delivery was a far cry from Layla's. It was so much easier. She was born at 11:40.
It's been so much easier this time around, and a huge part of it is because I didn't tear or need an episiotomy. So in other words, my nether regions don't hurt. I've had cramping which is normal--especially during nursing, and I can definitely feel uncomfortable if I overdue it...oh and my back hurts here and there but that's about it. By Friday I had left the house with H to run some errands and I felt ok. I also left the house yesterday. Mariam has been waking a lot at night but for the past 2 nights she has given us a three hour stretch at one point during the night. I feel much better equipped to handle lack of sleep this time. Maybe it's because I did it not too long ago. When I had Layla, it had been almost 8 years since having a newborn so it was like a cold slap in the face. I even feel better about my appearance post partum this time. Last time I felt disconnected and like a zombie with huge bags under my eyes when I would go out in public. Right now I feel pretty much like myself, just more tired.
It's been a week and so far Mariam hasn't been too difficult. She spends most of the day sleeping and has a period in the afternoon and evening of wakefullness. She nurses all the time and it's going well, but her latch isn't the greatest. She also snacks a lot rather than get her belly full in one sitting. As far as dealing with three children in the house, and two of them being under 2 yrs old....welllll let's just say that needs it's own post and I'm sooooo glad H is home for 2 weeks.