So this is labor...a birth story.

You know I have to write about this because I did for O here and because I want to remember the details so we can re-read this one day. Five weeks in already and I am mad at myself for not jotting down notes as my memory is a bit weak these days. So here it goes...

When I had Olivia, the experience was surreal, spontaneous and scary. Luckily, I had a completely normal pregnancy and birth with Lola. The funny thing is, because I was induced with O, I really had no clue what to expect, what the signs were or how it would feel. Let's face it...pushing a 3.5 lb baby out is a lot different than a 7 lb baby. Like a whole lot. Like your body is opening up and exploding a lot. Anyhoo, on with the story.

For the last month I had been feeling all sorts of Braxton Hicks and uncomfortable shooting pains. Pain that took my breath away because truly, I had never made it full term so this was all new to me. But I had a feeling she was-a-coming because two days before I gave birth, I got my hair touched up. Ya know..I wanted to attempt to look somewhat pretty after labor. {if there is such a thing}

Friday, 8.24.12 | 8:30am
It was a normal, 3rd trimester kinda morning. I felt large and uncomfortable but had plans with Tab and Jen to meet at the mall with the kiddos partly because I really wanted to see them but also partly because I wanted to get O out of the house and not lay around like a beached whale. 

I remember waking up and feeling some strong{er} contractions as my husband left for work but nothing to require him to stay home and they started to subside so what the heck. I fed O, watched a little Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and put her down for her morning nap.

I picked up the house a bit, drank my usual coffee and got in the shower. Damn those pesky contractions. I distinctly remember conditioning my hair thinking...oww. Is this it? Nah, this can't be it. I shaved my arm pits just in case.

Dressed and taking a seat in between blow drying my bangs and brushing my teeth. OK, these are not going away. Should I call him or should I wait? Oww.

Sonofa...this hurts. And Olivia is up and starting to cry in her crib. Crap. Crap. Crap. I grab her, dress her, cuss and bring her into our master bedroom and shut the door so she doesn't crawl out. I ain't movin fast at this point. I call my husband repeatedly {you have 3 phones - answer one!!!!} and finally leave a message on his office phone breathless and unabashedly short -

I toss my hospital bag over the railing and throw a makeup case downstairs while wincing in pain as I carry a 22 lb toddler down with me so that I can strategically place her right back in front of that TV except she really wanted to play so I then place her in the high chair with a snack because that's the only place she really won't move. I call my mom. She picks up the phone in her sunny disposition and starts telling me a story. I stop her rudely and tell her - NOT have to come here. I am in labor.

Meanwhile my husband calls and is cabbing it home from the city. He asks if I called the doctor? Had I? No! Novel idea., I need to call my friends and cancel our play date. Hello! Luckily they are plenty understanding and even cheer leaded a bit. {read: super cute}

I call my doctor, forgive me because I really love my physician's group and hospital, but the nurse asks me if I am sure I am in labor? She told me to take two Tylenol and eat something just in case it's because I haven't eaten yet. Uh....yeah, last time I checked my stomach was as hard as a rock and my handy iPad indicated that my contractions were two minutes apart. Pretty sure this is not a dress rehearsal, lady. Still, I listened and did what she said. Eating = gross and I am in severe pain. Like doubled over and can't breath.

My husband comes running through the back door looking like a super hero. It was cute. Why he came in the back door...I'll never know but grateful would be a word that came to mind. Meanwhile my mom rushed over, thank goodness she lives close by, and was handling Liv. I felt the urge to apply makeup. You just never know, people. That hurt but I looked semi-decent before I left the house. I kiss Liv, wincing, and limp to the car. We're leaving!

We're on the road and traffic is looking good on the highway. Good thing because I am speechless. My husband is trying to be helpful, coach me and even make me laugh. Not happening buddy. Holy crap...what was I giving birth to...Frankenstein? And then...the tollway and traffic were dead stopped. Panic and the thought of not getting an epidural enter my mind and I consider crying. Traffic is touch and go the rest of the time. I quietly ask him to take the shoulder. We manage without and then get to Michigan Avenue at lunch time. Awesome  not awesome! I consider reaching over and laying on the horn but think better. We finally turn onto Superior and I see the hospital in sight. I am counting...breathing...swearing. 

We're here and I can't even walk. My husband grabs our bags and throws the car into valet. We check into Triage and all is quiet. Except me. Two women are in front of me...they look like they are out to tea and I am dying. I register and splay myself out on the couch. Probably about three minutes pass before I look at my husband and tell him I can't wait...they need to come get me. This is the funny part. He walks up to the receptionist ever so politely and remarks, "Hi. Yeah, you probably get this a lot but my wife is in some serious pain. Do you know when the nurse is going to get here?" 

Jesus H...the nurse is here! She requests us to follow her and walks BRISKLY to the room. I am in disbelief. 98 year old women could pass me and run circles around me at this point. After several death-gripping steps and a couple long pauses; we get to our temp room. The nurse checks my vitals and tells us it will only be a few...they're waiting for a room to open up. Remember that panic I mentioned earlier about the epidural? It's back! I start whimpering and she checks my, I'm dilated to an 8. Do you know when you deliver? 10! Friggin 10! The irony is that the day before I had my weekly check up and I was a 2 so something serious happened overnight.

...and this is where I enter the vortex of time, labor and delivery. More whimpering and finally the DRUGS come. Never been so happy in all my life. I stop whining, a rush of cool fluid spreads throughout my back and and I smile for the first time since 9:30am. Huzzah! Husband comes back in and remarks that it's nice to hear me talk again. Agreed! 

Lots of time passes, or so it feels like, and we talk and meet several shifts of docs as well as a total of three rounds of epidurals. Dang! They tell me to take a nap...sure. Whaaa? Not so much.

My doc comes in and asks me if I'm ready to push. Yes sir may I have another! Let's go! Ironically it's the very same doc who delivered O which is not common in a big practice of physicians. I rejoice and marvel that I won't have to expose my lady parts to 86 doctors this time around. Bonus. 

We push...and push...every two minutes while taking breaks to chat about everything from the latest movie releases to my daughter. Not gonna lie...I pushed O for 30 minutes so this is getting old. 

...still pushing. Wow is all I have to say. She was stuck under my pelvic bone for two hours with little to no movement. I was getting tired and my new doc asked if I wanted to push for another hour or consider using the vacuum. I asked him what he would do and he said the vacuum. Vacuum it is!! In a nutshell, with one more push, Lola would be out and labor would be over. A little prep work, a scary looking apparatus and we're in business. 

She's here! She came out crying but healthy at a whopping 7 lbs., 7 oz. This must be the reason I felt like my body was turning inside out. Regardless, I held my daughter for the first time, unlike my first delivery, and it was pretty spectacular. She was sweet and easy to nuzzle on. I still felt like a brand, new mom because I didn't know what came next or that it was normal for them to cry quite a bit as they try to clear their little lungs but it didn't matter much. We were a family of FOUR and this pregnancy was over and out.

...and now I type this as she is laying on my chest sleeping. xo