We have finally arrived at the big day, or days I should say. Let’s start from where we left off in last week’s post…
Over the weekend of October 10th, 2009, we had attended one of our dear friends’ wedding. It was a beautiful event, but I was feeling pretty uncomfortable. Not only was my belly pretty big, but I was just feeling bloated overall.
Monday, during the day, I had cramps off and on, but I had eaten some spicy food, so I just chalked it up to that. When my husband came home, we watched the final installment of the birthing video series we had decided on instead of taking a birthing class. With all the other things we had going on that summer, I didn’t really want to go sit in a hospital room and practice my breathing.
We listened to them talk about going into labor starting with contractions, dilation, effacement, and finally your water breaking. They showed different positions you could try to give birth in, breathing/relaxation techniques, and finally talked about delivery. It was all informative, but let’s be honest, I was getting the drugs as soon as possible. I had talked it over with my doctor, and she saw no need to be in pain with all of the modern medicine we have today. I totally respect any woman who wants a natural birth, but that’s just not me.
Anyways, after the video, we were both tired, so we got ready for bed. It was about 10 pm. I went to brush my teeth and go to the bathroom, but (feel free to skip if this is too much information…) when I was going it felt like a lot of liquid was coming out. I told my husband, but he said to just lay down and wait to see how I felt.
Well, I felt like I had to pee again, so I stood up. That’s when the big gush of water soaked my sweat pants. Um honey? I’m pretty sure I didn’t pee my pants, but let’s call the doctor.
I put a call into my OB and waited for her to call back. She did right away, and told me to go to the hospital. This was not like the video at all! Where was all the time for contractions? I wasn’t due for another 2 weeks, so I didn’t have anything packed or prepared. My husband, for some strange reason, did have his own bag packed already. Weirdo.
I also called my parents. This was before they used their cell phones, so my Dad answered the home phone. I said, “Dad. I think my water just broke.” He then yells it to my mom, who says, “Well, what does she want us to do about it? Can’t he (my husband) fix it?” thinking I was talking about a water pipe. Um no, Mom. The baby is coming. Oh!!!!!!
After throwing a few things in a bag, we headed to the hospital. This is when I started to feel contractions. Hmmm. These aren’t so bad. Just like mild cramps. Actually, like the mild cramps I’d been having all day, except now closer together. Ah Ha!
We got the hospital, and they wanted to do an exam right away to see if I was leaking amniotic fluid. Luckily, I was still leaking all over the floor, so they just swabbed that, and that’s exactly what it was. I still remember the nurse telling me that we weren’t leaving without a baby from that point on. I was excited, yet still wanted to bolt out the door. I wasn’t ready!
My labor nurse was AMAZING. Seriously, she’s one of the best nurses/people I’ve ever met. She did everything she could to make me comfortable, which at this point was getting pretty hard. The contractions were getting really strong, and I was more than ready for the epidural. They had already checked to see how far dilated I was when we first got in the room, and were waiting for more of a change. Luckily, by the second check, it was epidural time.
My wonderful nurse let me hold onto her, while the Anesthesiologist put the epidural in my spine. It’s pretty hard to hold still during intensely painful contractions, but she really helped me do it.
The doctor said I should be feeling relief any minute. Any minute now. ANY. MINUTE.
Why weren’t these contractions stopping?! They felt like they were all on one side of my body now. I told the nurse, and the doctor said they must not have put the epidural in exactly the right spot. They would come give me another one, but right now the Anesthesiologist was doing an emergency c-section.
I waited not so patiently, and squeezed my husband’s hand as hard as I possibly could. That was nothing compared to the pain I was in.
Finally, the doctor, nurse, and my savior came back. Once again, I held tight to my nurse, and prayed for relief.
It worked. Aaaah…..SO. MUCH. BETTER.
Now I felt like I could do anything. Seriously. The epidural rocked.
The nurse advised me to get some sleep, but when the doctor came back and checked me, she said it was time to start pushing.
My regular doctor was on the way, so it was 2 on call doctors and the nurse in the room at that point. I was hooked up to monitors, and they wanted me to start pushing every time I saw a contraction on the monitor, since I couldn’t feel anything. They also warned me if I couldn’t push without feeling, then would have to lessen the strength of the epidural. No way was that happening, so I pushed with all my might.
They started to notice my son’s heart rate was dropping every time I pushed, so they wanted me to hold off until my doctor was there. Luckily, she got in pretty quick after that. They were guessing the umbilical cord might be wrapped around him, so they needed to get him out pretty fast. The doctor used a vacuum machine thing (yes, that’s its technical name,) to suck him out, and cut the cord off him as fast as she could.
By that time, there were about 4 nurses, the 2 on-call doctors, my labor nurse, and my doctor. Plus, my husband, and my mom had also arrived since it was about 9 am. She was video taping too. No, you will never EVER see that on here. Ever.
My doctor got my son out, clipped the cord (which was wrapped around twice,) and handed him off to be checked by another doctor and nurse right in the same room. They had a little station all set up to clean him too. Since he’d had the cord wrapped, they wanted to take him off to the NICU for a little bit to monitor him, but I wouldn’t let him leave without getting to see and hold my baby first.
It was a very surreal experience to look into his eyes for the first time and meet this little creature that had been growing inside me for so long. I told him I was his mom and that I already loved him, then they had to take him.
The rest of the hospital stay is a bit of a blur due to lack of sleep, lots of adrenaline, and just general anxiety/excitement/fear all combined. I will tell you that it takes a long time to get feeling back in your legs after an epidural, but my wonderful nurses were there to help me walk to the bathroom and waited as I showered. You also have no modesty left after giving birth in a room full of people, so I welcomed any help I could get. No one mentions the amount of blood involved in the delivery. It looked a bit like a horror movie in my room after I got to the shower, so if you’re at all squeamish don’t go into a birthing suite until many, many hours later.
My son did end up having a “choking” incident while they had him in the nursery, so he had to stay the first night in the NICU. My husband was fast asleep on the couch, and missed the whole thing, but I went down and rocked him. I also tried to start nursing him. My milk hadn’t come in quite yet, but we practiced.
Then, after another day, they gave us a bunch of information, packed us up, checked our car seat, and told us we could go. I think both me and my husband were thinking, “What the heck do we do with this baby now?”
And we’ve been trying to figure it out ever since.
My first son was born at 9:36 am on Tuesday, October 13th, 2009. He weighed 6 lbs 10 oz and was 19 and 3/4 inches long.