Here is Avery’s birth story.
October 15, 2011
Brooke came down to visit for the weekend. We went out to lunch, and did a little shopping. I started noticing contractions about 4pm, but didn’t think too much of it. I’d been having contractions on and off for about 3 weeks already.
The contractions continued all evening, and were pretty strong. The strongest I’d had, even going into my back, but they weren’t consistently getting closer together. They were anywhere from 3-8 minutes apart. I knew I wasn’t supposed to call the doctor until they were 1 minute long, 5 minutes apart, for at least an hour. I was very uncomfortable though, and kept timing them.
About 9pm they slowed down to about 15-20 minutes apart, but were still really strong. I was frustrated, but figured this was another false alarm and went to bed. All night long, I woke up with really strong contractions about once an hour. Thankfully, I slept pretty well in between them.
5am: I wake up to another really strong contraction. They started coming about 10 minutes apart. I laid there for a while trying to rest. Brooke was sleeping on the couch and Garrett was still in bed. I didn’t want to wake anyone up and I wanted Mike to get as much rest as he could too, just in case this actually ended up being it.
I continued to time the contractions all morning. They were very strong still, and were as close as 3 minutes apart at times and then they would go to 12 minutes apart. I was very confused. With Garrett, I never really had any contractions of my own. My water broke, and we waited at home for 12 hours, but contractions never started. They started pitocin, when we got to the hospital. So even though this was my second time, I still didn’t really know what to expect. They were starting to remind me of the contractions I’d had with pitocin.
8:30 am: We decided to call Dr. Taylor. They had been averaging about 5 minutes apart for over an hour, and I was in quite a bit of pain. Dr. Taylor said, to come in whenever we were ready. I was past ready. Garrett was taking a nap, but Brooke was still here to stay with him, and my mom was on her way down. After Mike got out of the shower, I got everything else we needed together and we left for the hospital. I wasn’t convinced I was really in labor, and was very worried that I would still be dilated to 2cm and be sent back home.
9:20 am: We arrive at the hospital. I’d had about 3 really strong contractions since we left the house (5 miles away) but still wasn’t convinced this was it. We go upstairs and I get changed into a gown. Our nurse, Micki, was the same nurse we had when Garrett was born. She was also there on Friday when I went in for my non-stress test. She checks me and tells me I’m at 6 cm. I was so happy! I immediately ask for an epidural. I actually started crying, because I was so glad all that pain wasn’t for nothing and we weren’t going to be sent home. We were really going to have our baby today! I was also very thankful she was coming on her own, and I didn’t have to be induced. We call everyone and tell them she’s coming today.
Dr. Taylor came in shortly after to see how I was doing. He said he wasn’t planning on breaking my water or starting pitocin unless things slowed down. He said either of those things can put stress on the baby so we’d just wait and see how things went.
10:30 am: Dr. Duncan (I had Dr. Waters last time) comes in to give me an epidural. It took a little longer than I remembered it taking with Garrett, but it started working immediately and I felt so much better. Micki checked me again and I was almost to 7 cm.
12:25 pm: Dr. Taylor comes back in to check me. He said that my contractions aren’t very close together (still following the 3-8 minute pattern they had been) and that if I wasn’t progressing very well, he would start pitocin. He checks, and I’m at 9 cm! We were all surprised. I dilated so slowly with Garrett that I figured it would be the same this time, too. He leaves to get lunch and doesn’t think it will be too much longer.
1:05 pm: Micki checks me again and I’m still at 9cm. I’m feeling some tightness with most of my contractions but no pain. I love my epidural!
3:15 pm: I ask Micki to check me again. I’m at 10cm, but there is still a little ridge, and we are going to wait until she moves down some on her own. So we’re planning on waiting another hour or so. Mike goes to tell everyone in the waiting room, and get something to drink. He comes back in the room and I notice my bag of water is poking out. We call the nurse and Micki comes in and breaks my water. It is clear, no meconium.
3:3o pm: They start taking the bed apart and getting everything ready. Dr. Taylor walks in and gets all of his stuff ready to go. When I feel the next contraction, I start to push. We can see her head, one more push and her head is out. The cord is wrapped around her neck three times, so Dr. Taylor unwraps it.
3:42 pm: One last push and she’s out, Avery Ann Stephenson! She’s dark purple but starts crying right away so they aren’t worried about her. She even had a mark on the back of her neck from the cord being so tight. She’s doing great though! Her Apgar’s are 8 and 9. She weighed 7lbs 14oz, was 20 inches long, and completely perfect!
I am very happy with how my labor went. It was very different from last time, but I learned a lot. I don’t think med-free childbirth is for me. I would rather be relaxed and enjoy labor. After almost 18 hours of contractions, I was more than ready for an epidural. I’ve been fortunate, both times, to have a great epidural that has worked perfectly. My epidural this time actually worked better than last time. With Garrett I could feel a lot of stretching from his shoulders, and I also could feel Dr. Taylor stitching me back up when everything was over. I had a small tear this time, but couldn’t feel him fixing it at all, but I was still able to feel tightness in my uterus with contractions. I’m glad I got to experience some real contractions of my own. I’m glad that we didn’t wait any longer to go to the hospital. I’m also very glad that I didn’t need pitocin and my body did the whole thing on its own!
Breastfeeding has been going great! Avery has been interested in nursing from the very beginning, while Garrett wasn’t very interested the first day. She’s had a great latch from the very beginning, and no signs of jaundice. I forgot how sore it can be! Hopefully I won’t be sore for 6 weeks like I was with Garrett.
We are very thankful for a healthy delivery and a beautiful, healthy baby girl! We are so blessed!