Oh, Miss. We waited SO long for you. So long - as in 41 weeks and 1 day - but really our whole life to meet you sweet, daughter of ours. Although our birth 'plan' didn't go exactly how I would have liked, we couldn't have asked for a better 'ending' to this chapter in our book of life.
Banks' birth story is HERE, for those of you who would like to read or re-read it. Our plan was to have another completely natural labor with baby #2, and this is our how our story went:
Frustrated. This explained my attitude for the 2 weeks before I went into labor. I don't know why, as I was 'late' with Banks and I know that to be up to 10 days late is actually completely normal. I think I was just so ready to meet this baby, that my patience was at 0% by the time July 17 rolled around. We were also told at our 40 week appointment that our beloved Dr. was going to be out of town the entire next week. I went into full panic mode. For me to endure the amount of pain a natural birth provides, I needed to fully trust the person who was going to be 'in charge' and making the calls. I immediately started to panic and wanted the baby to come out while Dr. was still in town. We discussed lining up another Dr to be 'on call' for our labor if I was to go into labor during the 41st week. We ended up meeting with this Dr. 2 days before I was 41 weeks and loved her. I felt completely comfortable with her and we gave her our birth plan and discussed how we wanted everything handled when I went into labor. She even cancelled the induction that was set up for the 42nd week and agreed to do a bio physical to see how big baby was/ how much fluid he/she had before setting up a firm induction date, as we were avoiding an induction for as long as we were 'allowed'. I joked that I just wouldn't go to the induction if they set one - ya, know you can't get in trouble for that. Oh, geez, I'm such a rebel.
I continued to work up until I had Hollis. I woke up Thursday AM, and honestly just felt EXHAUSTED. I was tired and I wanted to sleep - NOT work. So I called in, with full expectations of returning to work on Friday. I took a couple of naps during the day, designed some birth announcements, answered work emails and watched TV. One email I received that day was from Grandma Kathy and Papa Steve saying they wanted to see if they could take Banks that evening to let us 'rest'. I agreed, and Steve made plans to pick Banks up after 5.
At 4PM i started having contractions like I had had for the past 3+ weeks - except they were coming about every 10 minutes, for the first time - rather than 20-40 minutes apart. I, of course, had little hope that it was labor, and left to get Banks from daycare about 45 minutes after this started.
I got home with B, texted Garrett and told him not to work overtime (just in case) and Steve showed up to take Banks to their house. By the time Steve left the contractions were definitely 10 minutes apart and getting more painful, but I still didn't tell anyone I thought we might be in labor.....
I took a bath. Still 10 minutes apart.
But, entirely more painful.
I had the weirdest contraction pattern of 10, 10, 5, 15, 5, 10, 10, 5, 15, 5 - minutes apart. Odd, but it was consistent. I talked about going for a walk to see if that would speed things up, but told Garrett we had to wait until it was dark outside because i didn't want to look like a fool in front of the neighborhood. At this time I texted Stacey and my Mom to tell them I thought it was the REAL DEAL. Ahhh!
We went for a 1+ mile walk and I was contracting every 6 minutes and had to stop along the walk to get through the contractions. Although they were still further apart, the pain was worse than with Banks at this time during labor. We got back to the house and I took another bath - the contractions went up to 8 minutes apart, but still VERY painful. I had been visiting the restroom in between every contraction since about 7PM because I had to pee like crazy - I had told myself to keep more hydrated this time than I did with B - I barely drank anything during the 17 hours I was in labor with him. G even went to Sonic and got me a ice water with lemon - he thought I was crazy because I couldn't have water from the fridge without the lemon - but, at this time I was all about being selfish and requesting exactly what I thought I needed. Ha!
At this point I could no longer talk, walk or lay down between contractions, but was squatting, rolling on the ground, swaying back and forth and moaning.
at 11PM I went to the rest room and I couldn't get up off the toilet. I contracted 5 times before making it out of the restroom. From the time I left the toilet to wash my hands I contracted, from the time I had soap on my hands to the time the water was on, i contracted... it was AWFUL. there were about 10 seconds in between and more painful than ever. I crawled to the living room and found Garrett asleep on the couch and David Letterman's annoying jokes blaring in the living room. I yelled "IT'S TIME TO GO!!!"
Garrett woke up, startled, and said "Are you sure?" I said YESSSS!!! NOWW!!!
He grabbed a few items we still hadn't put in the car and i continued to have contractions to the car, while getting in and the entire 30 minute drive to the hospital. I was in pure, evil pain and couldn't believe there was no time in between the contractions to rest. It was a constant contraction - ongoing, for almost an hour now. We carried nothing into the hospital and I groaned and moaned til I got to the restroom in the Birthcare Center. Then, we filled out paperwork - or I screamed the answers - as I was completely annoyed and hunched over while they asked me what my freakin' weight was - before and after getting pregnant.... Seriously??
Stacey showed up at the hospital and G and I went to the room at midnight.
The nurse we met first was great and she said we needed to get checked immediately to see where I was at - she checked and i was dilated to 8CM. I couldn't believe it. I thought we would be at 4 or 5 like last time and still had 10 hours of labor. Excited explained everyone's emotion, because shortly after that about 7 people rushed int he room, set up the delivery table, asked me one million questions and I was being stuck in both arms for blood. G and I were thrilled we were going to be able to use our cord blood donation kit, but I had no idea that they needed 5 viles of blood from me before I delivered. Needless to say, a nurse on both sides of me drawing blood while in constant painful contractions is NOT FUN. It's also not fun when they can't seem to get the blood they need and you are stuck 3 different times in each arm.
Meanwhile, meet nurse Kate. Worst nurse ever.
Kate was apparently in charge now and nurse Kate couldn't stop saying how excited she was because this was her FIRST time to be in a room they didn't know the sex and her FIRST time for a natural delivery. Oh, that's great Kate.... I'm really glad I can be your first.
The nurse continued to ask me 100 questions per minute, while they could't find our birth plan. Our birth plan specifically states not to talk to me AT ALL during labor, and that if any questions need answered to ask Garrett outside of the room. This was ignored and in all honestly ( LOVE YOU TO DEATH ) I could tell Garrett wasn't ready for 'game time' just yet, and was a little panicked himself. They were asking him to get the cord blood kit out and ready and he was trying to figure out where our 2nd choice Dr was because the resident showed up ready to deliver baby. Also, specifically in the birth plan - no residents or students to perform delivery/surgery. Picky, maybe?, but did I mention that during this entire time I'm in excruciating pain??? They hooked me up to the monitor and I told them I wanted it off... it stayed on... the 7 people in the room were all talking and it was pure CHAOS. No one was calm. Oh, and there was a miscommunication from the front desk to the nurse to the resident about our Dr., so they had already called in the other on-call Dr. to help the resident deliver. NOT HAPPY.
Kate is still so excited.
They said that if they broke my water we could get the process going quicker, and I immediately denied. It also states this in the birth plan. I wanted to progress at the rate my body preferred rather than do anything that would force quicker, harder contractions.
Kate checks Tessa. Kate breaks Tessa's water and Kate looks terrified. Kate literally looked around the room and I thought she was going to cry.
'I'm so sorry, I just broke your water.'
My attitude at this point was awful because I felt like everything was going against our plan and I had the team of 'newbies' on staff that were more excited to just watch this unfold, rather than follow directions that I had put so much effort into.
The contractions immediately were stronger and I was feeling the urge to push. My back was in full on cramp mode and nurse #2 pulled out some awful smelling oil and rubbed it into my back - I was going to puke because of the smell - no one told me the oil was going to be rubbed on my back and if SOMEONE had the birth plan they would know it says not to use any oils unless I was asked. Needless to say I was now contracting and gagging and I was still tied down to the monitor and bed -with Banks I walked and stood the entire time and was 'free'. I felt like i had 7 people circling my bed at this point just staring at me, talking and smiling while I wanted to scream.
I requested the epi. Ah. Stupid.
They said they would check me first. I was at 9.75CM and the head was right there. The resident told me i was ready to push in 5 minutes and the baby would be here soon. I panicked and completely lost all faith in every person in the room. I felt like nothing was going as planned and envisioned the worst of worst tearing with Banks and the sewing up afterward. My legs wouldn't move. I didn't want to push. I didn't want any of them in the room. And I told Garrett there was no way I could let them deliver this baby and feel the pain I was about to endure. I wanted to be numb.
Yes, I regret this, but when I look back, I still didn't trust anyone in the room and I don't know if I would have ever opened up my legs to have a baby.
After 2 failed attempts at an epidural - I was at a full 10CM and still feeling every contraction when the 3rd attempt numbed just the one area it needed to. I could still feel the contractions, my legs and had full control of my body - but the edge was taken off and 6 pushes and 15 minutes after I got the partial epidural I was a balling mess because I watched my first daughter enter the world. The chaos was OVER. I could finally just relax and enjoy what was happening rather than worrying about what everyone was NOT doing correctly (according to my plan).
Hollis Nova Roux Konen
Born 7.25.14 at 3:11 AM
9 LBS - 1 OZ
Although, I'm not happy I got the epidural, I still feel like I experienced what true labor and delivery feels like minus the final rip and tear. Agh. I'm also grateful that Miss Hollis didn't endure hours of medication - but 100% disappointed in the way our birth plan was not used. Baby #3 will have an on-call staff :)
Oddly enough, I feel one million times better than I did with Banks afterward. I honestly feel on day 4 postpartum with Hollis like I did month 6 with Banks. No joke. This gives me SO much hope, and if I had known that was going to be the case I probably wouldn't have freaked out so much. I don't know if it's because it's baby #2 or what the deal is, but it's a WORLD of difference. Thank goodness, because I have a crazy Banks to chase after. At 3 -4 months with Banks I was struggling to walk at the grocery store because i was still so sore. I've already taken walks to the park, shopped at Target for an hour and I'm more than willing to get up off the couch to do laundry, clean house, etc.... and it's day 5!!! This is entirely way too exciting for me. I feel like it's a breeze compared to Banks.
My mom, best friend and Serena were all in the room during the birth of Hollis and for that I'm so thankful. Last time, my mom was supposed to be told to come in the room when I was ready to deliver, but that never happened. I'm so glad she was able to be there this time. Words cannot express my gratitude for Serena taking the photos she did during Hollis' labor and birth. I will truly cherish these photos forever, and hope that we can do the same thing with our future children. The photos make me tear up with happiness every time I look at them. She captured the pure pain I was in, the tears of joy the moment I saw SHE was a GIRL and everything in between. I may be a little obsessed with taking photos and capturing every life moment, but I know that now and 10, 20, 30+ years from now I will never regret taking too many photos of our life as a family. If you don't know Serena already, I more than highly recommend her - she is not a photographer that takes photos and sends them to you. She is a photographer that cares about you, your family, has a heart of gold and goes above and beyond every.single.time she sees you to make sure that she is capturing moments that are important to you and YOUR family. I could never thank her enough for being there during Hollis' birth.