We have now known Elliot for five days. Of five days he has probably been awake for about 20 hours. He wakes, eats, stares at us, and falls back asleep. This has come as a little bit of a surprise given how very active he was in utero, and how involved he was during labor.
Real labor started at midnight's stroke to welcome in Father's Day. My tired husband had been awake keeping track of the time between contractions for a couple of hours as I did my best to sleep in between, but come midnight that was no longer a real option as I knew we would be headed to the hospital soon.
We waited the extra half hour to insure that there was enough momentum to wake everyone who needed to be involved. Thus we roused our dear friend and acting doula, Summer, from the room next door and told her it was time. We called my mother who was sleeping in her clothes at home with the cell by her head so she could come stay with Søren while we worked to introduce Elliot into the world of the breathing. We paged our midwife and told her we were headed to the hospital so that she could make the necessary arrangements and meet us there.
Upon arriving at the hospital we were informed that they did not think they would be able to admit us (due to staffing) and that we could labor a bit in a triage room while they figured out if they needed to transfer us down the road. While this could have been discouraging, it forced us to try to make as much progress as possible in a short amount of time so that they would feel good about admitting us. Due to the supplications of a nurse named Lynelle, we were admitted and she became a lovely addition to our labor team.
This labor was quite different than my first. It was far more intense because things were actually progressing. Also, I wasn't alone. Words cannot describe the difference I felt in having the devoted attention of my dear friend Summer. This was a group effort. She could tell me when the contraction was coming, peaking, and leaving. She rubbed my legs and helped remind me to breath and relax. It was actually almost fun. That might not make sense, and I'm not even sure I can really leave the word "fun" there. My husband would know a more fitting word. But for now, that's all I have.
For some unknown reason, much like with Søren, right on the brink of push labor my body started slowing down and labor began to stall. We tried things I will not describe to push me over the edge and, just as with Søren, it did not work. At this point it had been all night and into the morning and I knew Elliot and I were done. I requested a c-section. Because it was not an emergency of any sort, we then had to wait about two hours for the doctor to be available. Those hours could be a blog in itself, as I had to continue physically what I was done with mentally. I did request something to take the edge off the continuing contractions, and this is perhaps the only thing I wish would have gone differently, but I did not feel I would make it. Who knows.
My midwife was concerned I would be disappointed that it wasn't a successful vbac, or that I would regret not having just scheduled a c-section from the beginning. I am not disappointed, and have no regrets. I would make all the same decisions that led up to that moment. This time I can embrace the c-section...and in fact, don't really even think of it as I hold my dear new son.
There is more to write, but for now that's all. I am so grateful and encouraged by the community I have here in you, my readers and fellow mothers. Thank you for making me feel so loved and supported. You were in the labor room too.