This is the story of two very different labor experiences. Luckily, together they led to one birth: the birth of one beautiful and healthy baby girl! Sweet Wendy Christine Stryker, welcome to the world.
Chapter 1: Frustration and Jokes
Monday evening (5/17) I started having contractions. They were nothing really, but they got me excited and kept me up more than I'd like to be. By 2 a.m. Tuesday morning, I lost my mucus plug and I was sure active labor was coming soon... at least, that's how it worked with the boys. But by 6 a.m. all contractions had completely stopped and I headed to my 8 a.m. doctors appointment.
D: How are you feeling?
M: Well, I had a bit of an eventful night and lost my mucus plug early this morning.
D: Great! Lets get you checked and see how you are coming along.
D: Well, you are 2 cm dilated and maybe 60% effaced. She's still sitting pretty high as well. You have another appointment scheduled for next week, right?
Just what every pregnant women who spent a restless night with weak contractions wants to hear. Yes, I had an appointment scheduled for AFTER my due date; don't remind me.
The rest of the day, Ace and I tried walking a ton and playing with the boys, but I was just slightly sore and really tired and that's about as far as we got. Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning brought much of the same thing. The contractions were getting a bit stronger; some of them I had to sit up to get through, but they came like every 30 minutes and by 6 a.m., they were gone.
Again, there was lots of walking Wednesday. We took the boys for a lengthy walk through Sapsucker Woods and looked for frogs. I napped and wondered what the heck was happening to my body. I was still leaking from losing my mucus plug, but how long should that go on? I even started wearing a pad. I was pretty sure it couldn't be my water because with Reid I had a slow leak and there was the occasional small gush feeling. But with this, it was just constantly a wet feeling. Melody suggested I go and get checked out. Ace was taking the boys to Syracuse that evening to pick up his mom at the airport, so I decided that worst case scenario, I'd go in Thursday.
Christine got here at 8 p.m. At 1:30 a.m. the next morning (6/19), Ace and I knocked on her door to say we were heading to the hospital. I was so so anxious about going to the hospital. I know this anxiety stemmed from pride. I was worried about them sending me home but I was so so FRUSTRATED with laboring each nigh and leaking all day. I don't know how I got Ace to convince me to go, but luckily we did because I had indeed sprung a small leak, yet again, and luckily all those evenings of inconsistent contractions had done something. When the doctor checked me he said I was a "roomie 5" and that it would take very little to get this going. Hurray! However, my contractions weren't doing it. We were admitted into the hospital by 3am and by 7am we were still just hanging out.
I took a picture, got in the tub. Don't worry I covered my top and bottom with a towel so as to remain maintain my dignity. The nurse made JOKES about Dad's getting into the tub too and how one time she was the nurse for a women who had her entire family naked in the tub with her while she labored and then delivered her baby. Her oldest son was 10. We laughed, told more jokes and Ace even dozed off for a few minutes. All these things never ever happened during any of my other labors. I felt like there was not way I was actually getting ready to have a baby.
(this picture was actually taken during one of my contractions, hence the slightly hunched over pose. But still nothing much, hence the smile)
I had texted Dr. Baclawski because she wanted to do our delivery. (she was the dr who handled our miscarriage) She had been texting with Dr. Gelber who was the dr who had checked me. He had taken off to do a C-section and when he returned at 7am. He informed us that he had told Dr. Baclawski she wouldn't be there to "catch" this baby. She had to work at the clinic and this was going slower than expected so he was just going to officially break my water and Dr. Gardner would be the one to deliver our baby. Around 7 am is when our story changed dramatically.
Chapter 2: "Im Sorry for my Behavior and for all the Nudity"
Dr. Gelber broke the rest of my water around 7am and in about 15 minutes the contractions started picking up. I quickly sat up and tried to rock my way through each one. Ace asked our new nurse if I should get in the tub. She said she didn't think that would be a good idea yet, because sometimes the water lifts the pressure and slows labor down. But 20 minutes later she was filling up the tub and suggesting we get in. I don't know if it was because I was so tired and hadn't really eaten since lunch the day before, or if it was because my body went for 0-60 in 15 minutes, but I got sick and threw-up. Since I didn't have anything in my stomach it was just bile. It burned my throat, it burned my nose and between each retch and contraction I honestly thought, I'm too tired to do this today. It will be a miracle if I can do this without some serious medical intervention.
Ace and the Sue (our nurse) got me into the tub with a cranberry juice to sip on to alleviate the taste and burning throat. This time I was in the tub, on my knees, completely naked and still rocking. I could see my reflection in the tub and wondered, who is this crazy naked women? I started feeling the urge to push, but the midwife Maurie (apparently things were going too fast and Dr. Gardner wouln't make it....the irony) suggested we try to get to the bed. So now Im walking completely naked and wet back to the bed with Sue and Ace helping me. I was having pretty good back labor so Maurie suggested I get on all fours on the bed and not lay on my back.
My head was facing off the foot of the bed and as I tried to rock I thought, I'm going to fall right off this bed and land on my face. "This position sucks!" I was tired and losing control of my mind and body with every passing second. The last position I was in was again naked, on all fours with my head pressed into the inclined bed. The contractions were crazy and I was losing it and starting climbing up the head of the bed. Maurie kept saying "Stay low, it will be much easier." "Come back down." I started pushing but it felt like I was driving a manual. The body never took over. I felt like I had to push the entire time and it was so so painful. Maurie explained it was because the contractions weren't stretching me, baby girl was actually doing all the stretching. I started screaming through the pushing and after what felt like years (and I was sure lots of damage) sweet baby girl was born at 8:49am.
Ace was crying, which is sweet and pretty normal for one of our delievers; baby girl was crying (again pretty normal); and I was sobbing! I just laid with my face in the bed and cried and cried. I was so happy and so so tired. I couldn't believe what had just happened after completely zero sleep. Maurie and Sue encourage me to flip around so I could meet my daughter.
I held my sweet daughter and felt no pain and such relief that it was all over. "I'm sorry for my behavior and for all the nudity. I kind of went crazy." Sue was sweet and told me the nudity comes with the territory and that she thought my behavior was great. The screaming was only in my head...right.
Baby girl got cleaned up a bit so she could meet her brothers, but not before Ace and I passed out!
Wendy Darling and the Lost Boys
Laboring all night, led to lots and lots of napping.
I love this man! He is one of the very best. He is our absolute FAVORITE. Definitely one of the greats.
Love these three faces
Wendy Christine spending some quality snuggle time with G'ma (Christine)