Unlike with any of my previous birth experiences, I felt scared and unready this time, and I had a panic attack when I went into labor the first time (the false alarm on Tuesday 9/10). I was mostly dreading the pain but also partly feeling unready to have another baby. I finally ended up deciding that I wanted to get the epidural this time around because I didn't feel like I could really handle labor on my own.
After a few more days with no real signs of labor, I started having some bloody show on Friday, but I had hardly any contractions until the evening. After getting the kids to bed, I was feeling pretty tired and took a shower, hoping it would slow things down so I could get some rest. Once I got out of the shower and lay down, I started having frequent contractions again, so we went into the hospital.
I got to the hospital dilated to 3-4 cm and having contractions every 4-5 minutes. The triage nurse spoke to my doctor on the phone and then told me to go walk around the halls for an hour. Afterwards, I was still about the same, but I got sent to a labor and delivery room anyhow. IV fluids, lots of questions, and then finally the question about what my pain level was on a scale of 1-10. Oh, and did I want medication? Yes! So the nurse gave me some Fentanyl and it did take the edge off. I felt a bit dizzy, but it was much easier to relax. After about 20 minutes, it no longer felt like it was doing much - the contractions were getting really intense, and I mentioned that I thought I was going to have this baby really soon.
My doctor hadn't gotten to the hospital yet, so the nurse was trying to find someone to deliver the baby. She called in another nurse, and then a doctor came in a few minutes later. And everything suddenly went from being, "Don't push yet! Just breathe. Try not to push." to "Push, push, push! Don't breathe, push! Harder! That baby needs to come out! Give another good push, right now!" Grrrr!!! At the time, I was terrified that there was something wrong with the baby, and after he was out, I kept asking if he was okay and what happened and was he all right and what was going on. In hindsight, what was going on was that 17 babies were born that night and the doctor was probably just in a hurry. But still, being in horrible pain and hearing that you're not doing it right, so something terrible is going to happen to your baby and it's all your fault is AWFUL.
Rigel's face was bruised and both of his eyes had broken blood vessels because he came out so fast.
Ben stayed the night with us in the hospital and then went home to be with the kids (and his mom) the next day. They all came in to visit, which was very nice. Wendell had suddenly gotten HUGE! He has actually taken very well to having a new brother. What surprised me though was how sad and clingy he got this week, when Iris, Zinnia, and Neil were gone for a few days. I couldn't believe how happy he was to see them again. I think I had been feeling bad that he didn't get nearly as much one-on-one time with me as Iris had when she was a toddler without realizing how much he benefited from having older siblings.
I spent 1 day in the hospital plus 2.5 more days at home in bed. After that, I was going to go crazy if I spent any more time resting, so I've been up doing the usual since then.
The contractors finally finished up at our house earlier this week. Hooray for having a second bathroom! Yay for grounded 3-prong outlets in our living room! Three cheers for a working microwave/hood above our stove! Huzzah for a back door that actually closes! I got one more wall of the living room painted, and we got our electronics all hooked up and mounted on the wall. I also painted the ceiling, walls, and floor of the basement room. Once the floor paint finishes drying, we're moving Iris down there into her own room. The plan is that in about a year, Zinnia will join her downstairs and Rigel will move into the kids' bedroom with Neil and Wendell.