Last week it looked like I had gotten my wish... I returned to the doctor last Thursday afternoon for a non-stress test and ultrasound. Both babies were still head-down, still growing, and their heartbeats and things were just fine. I was also not having contractions during the non-stress test, which happened at about 2:30 pm. So we scheduled an induction date for the next Thursday morning. I got my plan after all! For the right day and everything!
And then about two hours later, I thought my sore back was getting awfully rhythmic with its pain. I started paying more attention, and I was pretty sure I was having regular contractions.
This was NOT in the plan. My last day of work was supposed to be Friday, and I still had things to wrap up! Especially a report that needed to be done, and pretty much needed to be done by me. So, pretty much in denial, I set about finishing my report, though I did start timing the contractions with a little online dealie.
... and about two hours after THAT, I finally finished the report and could no longer deny the fact that I was having regular contractions, about every 4 and a half minutes. (For the uninitiated, that's pretty dern fast.) I still was wary though--I did NOT want to drive all the way to the hospital for them to spend 3 hours figuring out that I was having false labor pains, only to drive back and have an extremely groggy last day of work.
And, you know, I was still in denial. Because -really! Babies? Today? No way. It was going to be next Thursday!
But we scurried around the house anyway, doing some last-minute cleanup and bag-packing. Because we were probably coming back, but JUST in case we didn't. We left for the hospital, with me still feeling pretty skeptical even as my back hurt worse and worse (denial is a powerful thing!).
Annndd, as by now you probably know, I was really in labor. Things went fairly well from that point on. I had an epidural and some pitocin about halfway through Thursday night, and never felt another contraction. Lillian Grace was born at 8:45 on Friday, May 22 after about half an hour of pushing. She weighed 5 lbs, 5 oz. She was very white and greasy-looking, and had a conehead, but not too bad of one. Once they wrapped her up in her baby burrito, she looked like an angry little munchkin (with greasy eyes):
Then the next battle was getting Baby B out. His job was to stay head-down and move into the birth canal without turning sideways or letting his cord get out ahead of him. He did that, but once he got his head about halfway into my pelvis he just quit moving. We tried pitocin, me pushing, and a couple periods of rest to see if he would make his way down, but nothing worked. After a couple of hours my doctor said there was no point waiting anymore--he was stuck, and even though his heartrate was fine, he just wasn't coming out on his own. She called a c-section.
An AMAZING amount of activity ensued. All of a sudden a blue screen was being put up in front of my face, and about 8 people were asking me questions at once. Can I feel that poking? How about that? What am I allergic to? Can I feel that? How about now? In my exhausted, emotional state, it was a bit overwhelming. My arms were held straight out to the sides (not sure why), and they started shaking really hard from the extra epidural medicine they were pumping in. Scott watched the whole bloody, gory mess--even got it on tape. All I really remember was shaking and chattering my teeth so hard that I had a headache, and being very confused about what was going on down there. And then they pushed and they pulled really hard in my stomach, and there was a very bloody baby with a very swollen forehead, and I was still really shaky and just wanted my head to stop hurting.
So Noah Taylor was born at 10:51 am and weighed 5 lbs, 2 oz. He wasn't any bigger than his sister, but he attacked my pelvis forehead-first and got stuck. (Hence the swollen forehead.)
It's amazing to think about how many updates and changes there have been since then. Basically, the babies are doing great--especially Noah. He's happy and nursing well, and stays in the room with us most of the time. Lillian developed "retractions"--basically her diaphragm and lungs were a little underdeveloped, and she kept breathing way too shallow and fast. So she has spent the last couple days in the NICU, mostly for monitoring and some antibiotics to ward off the possibility of pneumonia. It actually hasn't been too bad to have her in there, because we know she's not very sick and it's nice to have the chance to adjust to one baby at a time. But she gets out of there soon--either tonight or tomorrow morning--and it will be VERY nice to have everybody together for the first time. And it will be even nicer to get home, and begin a whole new kind of normal.