"Layla" actually means "dark beauty" or "night" so it made perfect sense that her mom and dad had to stay up all night for her big arrival. The following is the story of her birth. It's not graphic. It was actually only about 10% horrible, 70% totally fun, and a HUGE relief after waiting and worrying about it for so long!!
At 10 days past due, we went in for our weekly doc appointment and found yet again that I was having regular contractions that I couldn't feel (every two minutes) and the baby was very low. The doctor checked her out with an ultrasound, and saw that her amniotic fluid was almost gone (they gave it a value of '3') - a sign that the placenta was petering out - so they decided to induce right away. There was a bed open in Labor and Delivery so they sent me straight up there to start a Pitocin IV. Derek jetted home to grab our bags and I updated my Facebook status on my iPhone.
Up in Labor and Delivery, they did another exam before we got started and the baby seemed to know the gig was up because she was even lower and I was already starting to dilate a little (2 cm, baby was at +2 which is where babies usually are at the END of labor). They started the drip anyway to make sure things got going and told me I would probably sleep through the night and start labor the next morning. They gave me a benedryl and tucked me in, but then I started feeling my contractions.
They were only mildly uncomfortable and I was still hoping to get some sleep so I got up and got in the bathtub and chilled out for a while. The contractions stayed manageable but were getting progressively stronger so we called the doula and told her to come over but to take her time. This was about midnight. They did another exam and I was at 4 cm and everyone was thrilled that I was clearly moving right along. Then between 1 am and 2 am, the contractions suddenly progressed to full-strength, which was FULL STRENGTH. I was getting the shakes and decided to get an epidural. The doula and the anesthesiologist showed up right at about the same time, which was 2 am. The epidural was wonderful, although when the epidural was going in was the only moment of weakness the Studly Hubby had (he almost passed out - but he was a trooper for the rest of it). After that they did another exam and I was at 9.5 cm. So I had gone from 4 to 9.5 cm in 2 hrs, which would explain why the contractions had gotten so bad so fast. After the chaos of the past two hours we decided we should all have some quiet time so we turned out the lights and took a little break before the pushing stage.
That's when things got really fun. The baby's water still hadn't broken, and if a baby comes out still in her amniotic sac it is extremely rare and considered a big event at the hospital - the attendings all have to buy the resident a bottle of champaigne and our doc had never had that happen before. So we decided to go for it, and not break my water before pushing. Everyone in the room put on plastic masks just in case and made their bets and then I started. Pushing was kind of like those sit-up tests you do in P.E. class, it starts out feeling easy, rapidly gets tiring, then becomes impossible before you are finished with your goal. Plus I have a low back injury, so they had me in some strange positions that made my arms and upper back REALLY sore the next day - that was actually my biggest complaint afterwards - although I avoided re-injury so I guess it was worth it.
I ended up pushing for 3 hours. The first hour was easy and mellow. The second hour we got more serious. The doctors were changing shifts and didn't want to miss it if she came out inside the amniotic sac, so they stayed a little late and cheered me on. At the end of the 2nd hour the amniotic sac broke, the doctors decided to switch their shifts, and a new shift came on that wanted me to get even more serious and push her out. We all got serious, and I pushed her out. It was painful (the epidural was wearing off) and it was a lot of work, but there was a pretty awesome reward at the end.
The baby had shown some signs of stress (there was myconium, aka pre-birth poopy, in her amniotic sac) so the Newborn ICU team had to stop by and do their thing before I could see her. They had warned me about this but it was still pretty weird. As I was in the final stages of pushing, about 30 people showed up and set up the room, and right after she fell out they whisked her off and did a bunch of things (I found out later they aspirated her lungs, gave her some oxygen, measured her vitals, and wiped her off). Then they wrapped her up, handed her to Derek, and Derek brought her over to me to see her for the first time. I cried. I think I held her. We took some pictures. She screamed bloody murder at us the whole time, but we thought it was adorable.
Then Derek helped bathe her, measure weight, length, etc, and I got some sitches and after-birth care, and they took us down to Recovery around noon. We immediately started on the Recovery circus - nurses and doctors stopped by every hour or so to check on me, the baby, our progress nursing (it progressed, but not without help), our diaper supply (always low), and go over important matters of baby care with us. We were recovering well and ready to go by noon the next day,so we were discharged and sent home.