I woke up Sunday night, at about 12:45 with pain. I figured at first it was the normal Braxton Hicks contractions (I'd had similar pains before). However, they didn't go away. I quickly gave up on going back to sleep. At this point, the contractions were 10-15 minutes apart. After a while of this, and realizing that the contractions were stronger than the "practice" ones I'd felt throughout the pregnancy, Daniel and I decided to start getting things ready, knowing we'd be going to the hospital sometime within the day. As we prepared, the contractions grew stronger and more frequent (6-9 minutes apart). However, they were nothing unbearable. We finally called the doctor at about 3:30, and based on the factors, the doctor agreed that we should come in right away. (Factors being: this was a second child, the hospital was almost an hour away, and he wanted to monitor me since I'd had a previous c-section)
So, we called Leslie, a missionary here who is a pediatrician and was present for Jer's birth too, asked if she could come with us, and then called Becky, another good friend and asked if she could come and watch Jer. Yay for friends! Soon, we were on our way to the hospital. We arrived, checked in, and went up to the birthing wing, where I was connected to the monitor. My contractions seemed to level out for a time, at about 5 minutes apart. However, I was only dilated 2, and then 3 cm. The baby had still not moved into the birth canal. The doctor wanted to give us time, figuring the contractions would force the baby into the right position and that I would continue to dilate. He said the baby's head was too far in one direction and having difficulty entering the canal. The contractions became increasingly painful and frequent, and it felt to me like the baby was trying to force it's way out the front. Around 8 or 8:30, the doctor came in and verified that the baby was pressing towards the front and still had not entered the birth canal (and I was still only dilated to 3 cm). He was concerned because all the pressure of the contractions was directed at my previous incision. If it continued, there was a risk that the incision would rupture (this is why it's extremely rare, unfortunately, that doctors here even let women try a vaginal birth after a cesarean). The doctor told me he would like to go ahead and do the c-section, and Leslie confirmed that it was a wise decision, given the circumstances. I was disappointed, but had prepared myself for the possibility. I was also grateful that the doctor had been so willing to help me try to have the baby naturally.
So, an hour later they prepared me for the c-section. That hour before, however, was unbearable, as the contractions continued coming with strength and frequency, and I didn't have the satisfaction of knowing that they were leading me towards a higher goal!
Finally, everything was ready and they began the c-section. This time, I was much more aware of what was going on. Unfortunately, that meant I felt all the uncomfortable, painful pressure that I did not realized accompanied a c-section. Out came Timothy, and they brought him over so I could give him lots of little kisses. Then they wheeled me to the "recovery" area, which was an open room off the main hall of the birthing ward (essentially I was in a hallway). I slept for about an hour, then couldn't sleep any more due to the lights and noise. Eventually they brought Timothy to me for nursing, and a little later (though it seemed like forever), they finally moved me to a room and brought back Timothy.
All together, it was a much better experience than the first c-section, due to the cleaner, nicer, more professional hospital and staff. The only complaint I had was the wait for my room and the fact that they forgot to bring me my breakfast (liquid diet) the morning after the c-section (I couldn't have anything before that time), even though the doctor, and others put in the request for it. I didn't get my soap and jello until lunch! But, the nurses were very helpful and professional (and even wore gloves!). I recovered much more quickly than I did the first time. The pediatrician spoke English and we were very impressed by her (she actually ran blood tests, etc. on Timothy, noticed he was Jaundiced and talked to us about it, etc.). The pediatrician there for Jer's birth really didn't say much of anything.
So, overall we are extremely satisfied with the hospital, doctors, and staff.
Since being home, it's been a crazy transition. We were so glad that Daniel's dad was able to fly in on Tuesday to help out. Jeremiah did very well the first few days of us being gone. However, he didn't sleep very well Tuesday night and caught a cold from school. Wednesday evening (the day we arrived home) he was extremely cranky and somehow bit or cut his tongue. So that's added to his fussiness; every time he tried to eat he says "hurt" and starts to cry. Poor boy; it's been a tough transition and he has a cold and hurt tongue on top of it all.
Okay, now to the good part; the pictures:
Leslie, Me, and Timmy
First family photo (Jer came to visit Tues)
Finding his hands
Beautiful flowers from JCS
And for comparison, big brother Jeremiah in the same homecoming outfit, 2 years ago:
(I love how different they look in spite of the same outfit; to my eyes anyway!)