Even though it was my longest labor, it was probably my easiest labor. I arrived at the hospital promptly at 6 am as instructed, but the orders from the doctor hadn't arrived. This didn't really surprise me as I have seen my OB's nurse enter blood work orders walked down to the lab and had them disappear somewhere into the void and Q has commented on every birth about the poor design of the hospital's computer system. They put me in a room anyway, did the calibrated finger test, and got me hooked up to the machine. I was 70% effaced and still only around 2 cm dilated, but the machine showed that I was having regular contractions. The nurse asked me didn't I feel the tightening and I had, but I had dismissed them as contractions as there was really no pain to them. My doctor arrived at 8:30 am and got the orders in the system. It took a little while from then to put in the IV and get the pitocin started, but I was finally started on pitocin at 9:45. The OB said he was going to let me progress a little before breaking my water and left. I asked for an epidural around noon. I have been through one labor with and one without and already knew that I had no pride regarding having the pain reduced for an induction, which I feel is at least 10 times more painful than natural labor. The anesthesiologist was great, but he ended up cutting off all feeling and I had to ask him to back off because I was worried about pushing. With the nerdlet, I had had an epidural, but it hadn't cut off the feeling or the pain, just the edge. The OB finally returned to break my water at 12:30 pm. The nurse proclaimed me close to fully dilated just before 3 pm and started to set up the room. By the time the room was set up, she said I was ready and called the OB and asked me to start pushing with the next contraction. After two contractions, she told me not to push so hard until the OB got there or I would deliver, and after the next push, she told me to stop pushing altogether. It seemed pretty funny to me that I was expected not to push and I started laughing. She then told me that I was going to laugh the baby out if I didn't stop and the OB walked in glanced at me and practically sprung into the chair, told me to push again, and caught Darth Baby as she came out at 3:39 pm. So four contractions was much nicer than the hours of pushing it took for the nerdlet's giant head, but not as nice as the single contraction for the bear cub.
They immediately handed her to me, which was really nice. They hadn't done that with my first two. Even though she was the largest of the three at 7 pounds 4 ounces and 19 1/2 inches, she looks much smaller to me. She curls herself up more and her head is smaller than her sisters. She isn't anywhere near as alert as I am used to and she sleeps all the time as long as someone is holding her. It is so different for me to experience a baby that fits the descriptions you read in books.
I really dislike lactation consultants, but the one that I saw immediately after the birth took the cake. She started handling me and the baby right off without giving me time at all to get comfortable. Then she kept commenting on how heavy my breasts were and actually said that she didn't understand how I could even stand up. What??? Darth Baby had a great latch and took to feeding right off, but in the few days since the birth my breasts have gotten bigger and heavier and don't squish enough to feed after all. I was really looking forward to being able to breast feed directly with this one, but it looks like I'm going to have to exclusively pump again. She eats like a champ though and it likely going to be like the nerdlet when it comes to food. She is already eating close to 20 ounces/day and my milk is still mostly colostrum. I'm great with this though as I had a really hard time with the fact that the bear cub never seemed interested in eating. I also think that Darth Baby has already regained her birth weight as she is heavier weighed with diaper and onesie, but I haven't weighed her naked yet.
They released us both Friday evening and Q and I were so glad to be leaving. They call it cabin fever and I really felt like I had been trapped in a small cruise cabin for the time I was there. The hospital is really luxurious and the rooms are so nice and clean, but I definitely felt more trapped than I had in the past. I also missed my girls terribly. The nerdlet has taken really well to Darth Baby and she is constantly telling us to be careful and gentle with her, and whenever the baby is in her reach, she brings a blanket to put over her and gives her kisses and hugs. The bear cub has moments of excitement over her and moments of disdain, but for the most part, she seems indifferent. I think she mostly just wishes the baby would stay out of daddy's arms.