I think all three Agents' personalities are a bit like their births. Agent E: Ahead of the game with everything. Agent J: A little crazy and waiting for no one. Agent A: Sweet and patient and calm. Following is a bit more of their stories.
Baby #1: The Early One
Baby #1: The Early One
While pregnant Agent E, I worked as a copyeditor (from home) forty hours a week. On a Wednesday afternoon about 3.5 weeks from my "due date" I made plans to wrap up all the projects I was currently involved in, pass them off to my boss, and tie up any loose ends with invoicing, paperwork, etc. before that weekend. I wanted to be able to completely relax and enjoy those last few weeks of pregnancy, and I knew I had no intention of working again for at least several months after the baby arrived.
That night (well, technically the next morning) my water broke at 2:00 a.m. After contemplating waiting for contractions to start vs. just going to the hospital to have things checked out, Hubby and I determined that we better make the drive now rather than waiting a few hours and risk getting stuck in traffic. ("Rush hour" near a Navy base can be as early as 5:00-6:00 a.m.)
I was leaking amniotic fluid but having no contractions and only dialated two centimeters. After several hours of "wait and see" we started an induction. I asked for an epidural after the contractions started to kick it up a notch, but I think it was a bit too much, because I basically felt nothing through the remaining labor, including 2.5 hours of pushing.
I hemorrhaged immediately following her delivery, had the placenta removed manually, received more drugs to control the bleeding, and ended up with a D and C. Oh, and as a bonus, the meds they gave me to control the bleeding have the awesome side affect of causing almost instantaneous vomiting and diarrhea. Because what’s more fun after 20 hours of labor, right?
I was pretty much completely wigged out, in fact I think I passed out at some point while they were working on me to control the bleeding. I don’t even remember hearing her first cry. Luckily my husband was with her. The time just after her birth is a blur for me, and I don’t think I stopped shaking enough to hold her for at least two hours.
Overall, it was not a great experience. (Well, except for that whole getting to meet Agent E part. That part was pretty cool.) I could go on and on about how mean the nurses were and how the lactation consultant quit that week and they had no one to help me breastfeed, but let's just move on to the next story, shall we?
|Agent E, thrilled to be heading home|
Baby #2: The Fast One
With Agent J, I had my bag packed about ten minutes after I peed on the stick, hence we have another 36 week, 6 day arrival. This time I was going to be prepared. Labor with J started at exactly 39 weeks. Of course, I had no idea I was actually in labor, although I had some cramps and didn’t feel great earlier that day.
I remember feeling kind of silly calling my friend who was coming over to watch Agent E, thinking I’m going to get to the hospital and they’re going to tell me to go home. I honestly wasn’t sure those twinges meant anything or not. I was under the assumption that (1) contractions should be closer together before you go to the hospital, and (2) they should hurt, which at that point they did not. Good thing my also currently pregnant friend convinced me that she would just come over and pick me up and drive me to the hospital “just to be sure.” She also helped me get a hold of Hubby, whom I was having difficulty reaching at work. (He met us at the hospital; he was just a few minutes away.)
So, yes; by the time I made it into a room I was in excruciating pain and ready to have a baby. (Side note: I would not recommend unintentional natural childbirth. I was completely overwhelmed with pain to the point of not being able to think straight or be present with what was happening.) With only a few pushes, Agent J appeared. This time definitely heard the first cry (well, screaming).
Agent J's delivery also ended with me hemorrhaging, and they did another manual removal of the placenta. However, time I had no anesthesia. Just in case you need a visual, removing the placenta manually involves a doctor sticking his/her hand up inside of you and detaching an internal organ. It would have been nice to not feel this part.
Unfortunately, this didn’t completely “work” and a piece of the placenta remained inside. I ended up hemorrhaging again, but not until two weeks later, at home. This was probably the single scariest experience of my life. Imagine being home alone with a two-year-old and a two-week-old, suddenly feeling something gushing out of you (like when your water breaks) but looking down and realizing it's blood. Long story short: Momma goes into shock, some very disoriented phone calls, a little ambulance ride, and an overnight in the hospital.
Baby #3: The Relaxed One
Then came my third pregnancy, Agent A. I opted to have an induction for several reasons: First, given my history of excess bleeding during and after delivery, I wanted to be extra cautious. I also tested positive for Group B, and wanted to have the antibiotics started prior to labor beginning. Also, after Agent J's birth, I knew I wanted to have some pain relief during labor so I could enjoy being in the moment.
Because of these factors, I scheduled an induction for 39 weeks. I was able to receive the entire course of antibiotics, as well as have an epidural in place before breaking my water to begin the induction. (I was already having contractions according to the monitor, but still couldn’t feel them.) It only took a short while and minimal drugs to jumpstart labor, and I was thrilled to be able to communicate with the doctors and nurses and my husband instead of being doubled over in pain.
For me, having a planned induction was a fabulous decision that resulted in the labor and delivery I truly wanted. And if there were to be more Agents I would totally consider it again. (There won't be, BTW. We covered that here.)