There is so much to write about Penelope's entry into the world. Truthfully, most of what I want to write is about the wait. I expected to be overdue, but not this overdue. There were lots of emotions and thoughts worth sharing.
But Sweet P was born today (now yesterday) and I'm tired and don't have any stamina to share those right now (but soon!). Still, I thought I would put a few details of her birth out there for all those curious moms and friends. So here is the quick timeline of the day.
-Woke up at 5:00 still pregnant and slowly but surely headed to the hospital.
-Arrived at 6:40 and was taken immediately to our room.
-Met our doctor for the first time at 7:45. We shook hands and then she checked my cervix. Typical first meeting activities. She broke my water.
-I walked around the halls trying to engage labor and instead just leaked (gushed) water.
-Around 9ish my mom and D'arcy arrived. I laid on the bed and tried to get some rest.
-The doctor came back in at 10. She noted that I was not contracting, and we agreed she should not check me. She said I could wait another couple hours before I started pitocin.
-My awesome friend Falynn arrived to photograph the birth. I initially felt bad that I wasn't anywhere close to giving birth. I got up from the bed and sat on one of those exercise balls. She ended up helping me clear my mind and making me laugh.
-Around 11, I was still not experiencing contractions. I called the nurse in to say maybe I was ready to get this thing going. I explained that I would totally want an epidural if we did start pitocin. I was almost apologetic and defensive about why I would need it which is silly because she considers it routine. She told me the doctor had just left the building and we would need to wait for her to call in about an hour. Fine.
-Nurse came in at 11:45 to say doctor had called and based on my lack of contractions wanted to start pitocin. I had just begun to feel some contractions that I thought might be doing something. I asked if she would check me. She reluctantly stopped fixing the pitocin machine and came to check me. I had changed from 3 to 4.5cm dilated. I asked if she would give me another hour before they started pitocin to see if these contractions would continue. She agreed.
- Within the hour, my contractions escalated. My doctor's partner came to check me around 12:45. Another first hand shake and then completely appropriate check of the cervix. I was at 7.
-Peeps came in to prepare for baby's delivery. I was asked who I wanted in the room during delivery; my mom, Stephen's mom, D'arcy, and our photographer Falynn. This activity got me excited. Everyone thought I would be done soon, but I still had ALL the hard work to do. Crap.
-I decided I needed an epidural around 1:15. Thus far, I hadn't even been hooked up to fluids. They told me that I would need to have a full bag of fluid before I could be given an epidural. I cried that would take forever!!!! Doctor said, "Yep, baby will already be here before that happens because you are at 8."
-I struggled with when I should start pushing. At 1:30ish, I was only dilated to nine, but the doctor let me push a little anyway. Then I got super frustrated when baby's head wasn't coming down.
-I quickly cascaded into crazy over the next 30 minutes. I refused to stop pushing. I refused to lay in the position that the doctor recommended. I demanded to stand up. I asked why the head was not coming down. I complained that I needed to pee and then totally projectile peed on the doctor. I explained that I didn't want to do this anymore and they needed to find another plan. They were pulling back my legs, but I was getting cramps and would straighten a leg out before I was able to verbalize why. They would push back and then I would scream at them to let me work the cramp out.
The doctor initially was saying things like"Melissa, you are doing great. You are almost done." Then I could tell she was starting to get annoyed with me and my crazy. Her responses became sort of a shrug and a "Get it together Melissa because you have no other option."
-At 2pm, I laid back and just rested through a less intense contraction. The doctor looked at the monitor and said, "Are you having a contraction." I said I was but wasn't planning on doing anything about it. I'm sure this was an eye roll moment for her considering I had been refusing to do anything but push despite her suggestions for the last twenty minutes. I think whatever lip of my cervix was still there melted away because I pushed baby out on the next contraction.
-At 2:05pm, Penelope was born. I was so thrilled and relieved to be done. Because I was laying so flat on the bed I didn't even have the energy to pick my head up and look at her. Stephen did mention she was a she which was no big surprise.
-Because she took a second to cry and because there was the tiniest amount of meconium in my water, they had D'arcy cut her cord (pretty awesome) immediately and took her over to the NICU team. I wasn't disappointed because I needed a minute. Within a minute or two, though, she was wrapped up and placed in my arms. I announced that she looked just like Schroeder.
They waited to weigh and measure her for about a half hour. When they did we found out she was 8 pounds 9 ounces and 21 inches long. Her placenta was delivered and confirmed that she was indeed overdue. D'arcy received a nice lesson in placenta anatomy.
I began to apologize to everyone for my crazy behavior and also to thank everyone for their willingness to take me on as a surprise patient and really adhere to my wishes. We ended up having an induction that only included getting my water broken and did not include pitocin, IV fluid, pain relief drugs (which I'm thankful for now that it's over), stitches, etc.
My thirty minutes of going to crazy labor town will comfort me when Stephen has surgery later this year.
Now we get the privilege of getting to know our little girl and helping her become one of Those Williams Kids. Her siblings came to see her last night. They feigned disinterest but everyone decided to hold her twice. They love her.
I'll leave you with a Kids Say the Darndest things moment. I changed a meconium diaper while they were in the room. Schroeder yelled and pointed from across the room, "She does have a penis!!!! and something is hurting it!!!" He was pointing at Penelope's rather long umbilical cord with the clamp on. It seemed obvious to him that her crying stemmed from what would be to him a very painful situation. I reminded him of his words from a few months ago that girls just have butts and asked him where her belly button was. When he left he still mentioned that we should take the clamp off as it was probably hurting her belly button.