Actually, he's been here for nearly 2 weeks, but this is the first chance I've had to sit down and write about it (well, not much of a chance; it's time for him to wake up and eat soon).
*possible trigger for a scary situation, which turned out ok*
I went to see my sister last Saturday and she told me she hoped I would go into labour that night. I didn't hope so; I was determined to have a March baby. But I guess the Hobgoblin listened to his auntie, because sometime after midnight, I started getting woken up by what I thought was an extreme need to pee.
At about 3, it occurred to me that I was likely experiencing contractions and downloaded a contraction tracking app to see how long they were and how frequent. At that point, they were about 8 minutes apart and one minute long. The app grew more and more aggressive as I progressed, first telling me I should get my hospital bag ready in the car (6 minutes apart) and eventually giving me the all-caps message "GO TO THE HOSPITAL NOW" (4 minutes apart). Since said hospital was 45+ minutes away, it really was time to go.
Mr. Wolfman was very good about not telling me that he couldn't see a damn thing on the drive there. It was (of course) very dark; the road is not lit at all - and it was snowing very hard and it was also extremely windy. The contractions were at yelling on the pain scale, so I wasn't really paying attention. I did take a picture when he asked me to, because he said it was like Star Wars with the snow, but I still didn't realize we were driving blind.
Despite the crazy snow and my ever-more-frequent shouts of pain, Mr. Wolfman got us to the hospital in one piece in just over 55 minutes. The contractions were so close together by that point that I didn't even make it across the parking lot before another one hit.
The admissions nurse took one look at me, asked my last name and called an L&D nurse.
I progressed for a bit without pain meds, and it was awful and I wanted to die*. Eventually, I gave in and asked for fentanyl, which worked extremely well for a while, and then stopped working and I gave in again and asked for an epidural. The anesthesiologist had to come from home and (it seemed to me) took his sweet time getting there. By the time he arrived, I was getting an extremely strong urge to push with every contraction. When I mentioned this to the nurse, the anesthesiologist got wide eyes and wordlessly left the room. Apparently he was afraid he would have to deliver me if he stuck around.
OB showed up, anesthesiologist came back and after they determined I was at 7cm, I spent about 15/20 minutes getting an epidural. Sitting still through contractions was not easy, especially since I couldn't even scream at that point, because I had to keep my back really, really still. But I managed that, and after 5 attempts, they got the epi set and put the drugs in and then I was a happy camper. I think the nurses mentioned to the anesthesiologist that I'd been complaining about him yelling at me when I had the monster, because he was overly nice. He told me before he left that I have scoliosis, so that's fun.
I'd been really worried about the epidural because of the thing where the monster's heart rate had dropped off when I got the epi with him. But they were really good about monitoring the hobgoblin and his heart rate stayed totally fine throughout.
Everything after the epidural was super smooth and really relaxed. I only used the button once for some extra meds, so I could feel all my contractions still. They hurt, but I could breathe through them, and talk if I really needed to. When it came time to push, I had enough energy and my OB (the one I had never met until that point) talked me through everything. If we planned on having more kids, I would definitely request her again.
At the last minute, the hobgoblin decided to pull a Superman and his head and one arm came out first, the other shoulder got stuck. It went from "you're doing great" to "Get help in here now!" and I couldn't see anything, so of course I was freaking out. I kept asking what I should be doing, should I be pushing, should I wait, etc. Dr? stayed really calm and answered me when she could and between her and I, we got him out.
Before pushing, they'd told me how they delayed cord clamping, how they'd take him out and put him on my chest (or belly, depending on the length of the cord) and we'd do an hour of skin-to-skin. That didn't exactly work out. They pulled him out and put him on me, but he wasn't breathing. DH and the nurses kept trying to tell me he was ok, but I was screaming that he wasn't breathing and they cut the cord and took him away to a table to work on him.
Brilliantly, he started breathing and crying on his own. I've never been so relieved in my entire life. They gave him back to me and he was and is just perfect.
I think because I waited so long for the epi and didn't press the button for extra, I didn't end up needing a catheter and they discharged me just over 24 hours after the hobgoblin made his appearance. He's a giant, over a pound heavier at birth than his big brother.
We're at home, getting into the swing of things. It's not exactly easy with 2, but we're slowly figuring it out.
*I have a very ranty rant about one of the nurses, but I'll save it for another day.