With #2, I had a hard time even fathoming being early, but was constantly nervous during my last four weeks of pregnancy. Many of my friends recently delivered their second babies and MANY of them were early. Because of this I walked around for a month feeling like a ticking time bomb.
Given that it was my second baby, my OBGYN (who I adore and am basically so obsessed with, Toddler J uses her name when she plays “doctor”), told me at week 28 or so that if I wanted she would induce me early with #2 so that she could deliver me again. Thinking about the five days being late with #1, I was happy to oblige.
It couldn’t have been planned more perfectly. Five days before my due date (on a Friday) I was going to wake up, take Toddler J to school with my husband and head on down to Prentice Women’s Hospital to be induced. I had a to-do list a million miles long filled with Bump Club tasks during that last week; I made an appointment to have my hair colored and blown out that Tuesday; a manicure on Wednesday; and lunch plans with both clients and friends all week long. On Thursday night we were going to take Toddler J for dinner with mom and dad before her baby sister arrived. I even had tickets to see my beloved Bon Jovi the Wednesday night before the induction…and I planned on going come hell or high water. I didn’t care how big I got.
But as we all know, and as I knew and had been saying for weeks…nothing goes as planned. This was all too good to be true.
On Sunday morning, October 20, I woke up and thought my water was leaking. There was no gush, it didn’t “break” but I called the doctor nonetheless and they told me to come to triage. My husband took J to a birthday party and I headed down town. I wasn’t having contractions, but I wanted to make sure. They sent me home after the fluid tested negative for amniotic fluid. We went on with our day, though deep down I felt something brewing and like this was the start of what could be labor and delivery.
That night I was working on our couch, watched “Homeland,” and crawled into bed at about 12:35am to get some shut eye before the start to my busy week. (I must mention that my husband kept reminding me over and over that he too had a very busy week at work last week and we had to try to will the baby to stay in just a few more days J) As I was about to close my eyes I felt something and jumped up, walking into the bathroom right as my water gushed and broke all over my leg. Being a week early, this was much different than last time when I was five days late and willing for the baby to come out of me.
I yelled to my husband to wake up. He was basically comatose and had no idea what was going on. I told him to call our childcare for Toddler J while I called my doctor. Meanwhile, I remained nervous by all of these “fast labor” stories from my friends with baby #2. I was convinced the baby was going to fall out of me right there on my bathroom floor; in my head, time was ticking. After the doctor told me to come in, I showered and got dressed…only to have to get dressed two more times all over as my water kept gushing out of me and soaking my pants.
Being that this was baby #2—we were not really ready. The car seat was not installed (so we grabbed it from the garage and threw it in the backseat to be installed later,) our bags were not all the way packed, and we both felt like we were forgetting things when we walked out the door early that Monday morning. I was still gushing fluid and was wrapped in a towel, and barely ate a thing before I left as I just wanted to make it to the hospital. (NOTE TO EVERYONE: PLEASE LEARN FROM ME AND MAKE SURE TO EAT BEFORE YOU GO TO THE HOSPITAL.)
By the time I arrived at Prentice, I was soaked to my ankles and wrapped in a towel. They ended up taking me back before anyone else in the waiting room, which I was so relieved about as it was a very busy night in triage at Prentice.
By the time I was admitted and taken upstairs, I had barely been contracting at all and so they started me on Pitocin. I had an awesome nurse overnight, Meghan, who totally took care of me and made sure I had what I needed. When the Pitocin kicked in, it forced basically another gush of my water, which was a total mess. Both the bed linens and me had to get changed all over again. (I honestly did not know where all of this liquid was coming from!)
Meghan was MUCH nicer about my epidural than Nikki, from labor #1 three years ago. She simply told me that whenever I wanted it, I could get it. My contractions really started to kick in around 6am and with the shift change at 7am, Meghan told me it may take longer to get the epidural as people were rolling off and on to their shifts at the hospital. Ryan, from anesthesiology came in around 6:35 and I told him how amazing my epidural was with pregnancy #1 and asked him for a repeat.
Meghan held my hand and honestly, once again, it was not that bad at all. Ryan did such a great job and the epidural kicked in RIGHT away. After it started I was able to close my eyes and rest a little. Shortly thereafter, my second favorite doctor in my practice walked in, she was going to be delivering my baby girl. I knew my regular OBGYN, who had taken such good care of me for 39 weeks, was not on call and would not be delivering me this time. When I saw Dr. S, a wave of relief washed over me as she would have been my pick had my delivery not fallen on my induction date.
My new nurse also rotated on. Right away Suzy took such great care of me. When she asked what I did for work, and I told her about Bump Club, we realized we had a very good mutual friend. I felt SO LUCKY In that moment as I knew that Suzy was going to be by my side helping me throughout labor and delivery. I felt so taken care of, like I had nothing at all to worry about and I was right about that!
For the next few hours I slept on and off and dreamt about food—I was so hungry. And finally around noon, I got the urge to push. They checked me for the third time and I was fully dilated! It was go time. My husband and I were still trying to decide the spelling of Baby Girl’s name—I couldn’t believe that in a short time I was going to be a mother of two. It was time to meet our Baby Girl.
Dr. S had me push a couple of times, and then wanted me to stop for a bit to see if my contractions could push the baby down a bit more. She came back 30 minutes later and after another 30 minutes of pushing it was time for my final push. The entire delivery process was completely different than with #1. It was calm (no meconium) and just me and Daniel, Suzy, one other nurse and Dr. S. With my final push everyone suited up and out came our Baby Girl. She let out a HUGE scream and they took her to clean her up. Suzy confirmed that she looked great, while Dr. S delivered my placenta (MUCH easier than with baby #1). After taking her vitals they brought her over to me for the first time. LILA DREW was here!
I am not afraid to admit that as I prepared for number two I didn’t think I could ever love another baby as much as I love number one. But those feelings quickly diminish when they put that baby on your chest for the first time. As she stared up at me, I couldn’t believe she was here, she was ours, and after nine months I was finally meeting her. I cried and told her how much I loved her, how excited we were to meet her, and that her big sister was just as excited as we were.
My stay at Prentice was much different this time around, we really limited our visitors, took it easy, and relaxed. Last time I wanted to stay forever. It felt like I had a lot of help there—which I did. But this time around, I felt like an old pro, I knew what to expect and we didn’t have that “what comes next” feeling like we did with number one. While the help and support was still there this time around (I actually got MUCH more lactation help than three years ago), I was anxious to get home, to bring my baby to our house and start living a life as a family of four.