Whew. Pop a squat and grab some coffee because this post is WAY longer than I thought it would be. (And it could be longer if I actually wrote out EVERY.LITTLE.DETAIL. that sticks out to me as I reread this, but then this post would seriously be 100 times longer than it already is.)
On Monday morning (1/6/2014), I woke up around 5 AM and thought my water had broken. My pants felt wet but it wasn’t a lot – definitely not like the mad gush of water you see on TV. Since it wasn’t a lot of fluid I really wasn’t sure, but of course I didn’t want to think I peed on myself either! I ended up waking Hubs up because I didn’t want it to actually be my water and not go into the hospital, so we got ready and headed out. Better safe than sorry. After I got checked in, the nurse did an exam and we found out that my water did not break, but I was having contractions (that I wasn’t feeling at all). The nurse hooked me up to some monitors to track baby’s heart beat and my contractions. The monitor was showing that I was having Braxton Hicks contractions (false labor contractions). (When the nurse showed the doctor my chart she couldn’t believe that I wasn’t feeling the Braxton Hicks – I know, I’m so tough.) After my exam (I was 1 cm. dilated) the nurse had me walk around the labor area for a while to see if my water would go ahead and break. (Picture me in my plush-y purple bathrobe with black leather biker boots on walking around the hospital – hahaha. I forgot to pack my house slippers…) Hubs and I walked around for about 45 minutes and my water didn’t break. Since everything else seemed fine, after a few hours at the hospital we were sent home. (Before we left I asked the nurse if I had peed myself since it wasn’t my water and she basically said yes. LOL! I couldn’t help but laugh. She said that baby was really low and he basically just put too much pressure on me which made me “leak”.)
My mom, who lives four hours away, met us at our house when we got home. She wanted to be there for my labor and was scheduled to come down the next day, but when she got the “I think my water broke so we’re headed to the hospital, but I’m really not sure if it’s my water so I will let you know as soon I know” text, I immediately got the, “I’m on my way NOW” text back. =] Later that day, I started actually feeling the contractions. When Hubs and I got home, my mom and I made a quick trip to Walmart to grab some things that she had forgotten in her mad rush to get to my house, and for any last minute things Hubs and I needed. I remember walking through Walmart, hands gripping the cart, knuckles turning white, trying to hurry, but trying to walk slowly at the same time. (Side note: When they discharged me from the hospital earlier that morning, the nurse told me that if I started feeling the contractions, to count them and if they were 5-7 minutes a part to call the doctor. Since I didn’t feel any of my contractions until that night, I think the exam I got at the hospital kind of kick started my labor.)
Overnight my contractions started coming closer and closer so I started timing them. I didn’t sleep all night (1/6 going into 1/7) because I kept trying to time my contractions but kept dozing off so I had to start all over. I ended up using the timer on my phone to count my contractions and they were between 4-6 minutes apart. By this time it was Tuesday early morning and I didn’t want to go back into the hospital just to be sent home again, so I called the doctor on call around 6 AM and told her my situation – I was just in the hospital the morning before, that I had a regular checkup appointment scheduled for later that same day at 2 PM, but since my contractions were pretty close together I wondered if I could just change my 2 PM appointment to first thing that morning instead of going back into the hospital just to get sent home. The doctor told me that was the best idea, to call the OB office first thing in the morning and tell them I needed to come in for a labor check. (My due date was also this day – 1/7.) So, at 8 AM I called my OB and told them what the doctor said and they told me to come on in. (They were just going to squeeze me into the schedule.) It took me a while to get ready because my contractions were feeling pretty bad by then. I had to keep stopping in the middle of getting ready to stand still and try not to tense during a contraction. My mom and I left my house around 9 AM and got to the OB office around 9:30. I checked in and waited to be seen. After a little while the doctor came in, gave me an exam (which told me that now I was dilated to about 1.5-2 cm. dilated) and then they did a “non-stress test” to monitor my contractions and see how they were affecting baby. We found out that my contractions had picked up and were actually now 2-3 minutes a part, so the doctor went ahead and sent me over to Labor and Delivery at the hospital. (Another side note – I seriously had not eaten anything since Monday when I got home from the hospital because with having the contractions I just didn’t feel like I could eat. Before we went over to the hospital the second time, Hubs ((who had met us at the OB)) asked the doctor if I could eat something before we went to the hospital. The doctor said I could but not to “sit down” and have a meal because I would just regret it later. ((Hubs asked in the first place because I had heard that once you go into Labor and Delivery, they won’t let you eat anything at the hospital.)) Well, we went straight to the hospital and asked the nurse if I could have a muffin and she said no! Hubs had to argue with her a little stating that the doctor said I could, the nurse said they don’t allow it, Hubs asked her to ask the doctor because I hadn’t eaten anything in almost a whole day, the nurse asked, and came back with two muffins that I ended up not even eating because I wasn’t feeling well… Our ((first)) nurse was an older lady who had the “I’ve done this a million times” demeanor and we really didn’t think we were going to like her because she was a little too direct and “matter of factly”, but we ended up loving her.) So, I got to the hospital, checked in, and got hooked to the monitors again. I got another exam done and I hadn’t progressed anymore dilation wise, so the nurse had me walk around. I couldn’t walk for more than 10 minutes though because my contractions were really painful. The nurse told me I could have my water broken for me or be sent home because I wouldn’t progress anymore without my water breaking. I was scared to get my water broken because I was afraid it would hurt, but I went through with it and it didn’t hurt at all! About thirty minutes after my water was broken my contractions started getting REALLY bad. I had opted not to get the pain reliever that’s injected into my IV. I can’t remember what it was called but it was basically just to take the edge off the pain and would possibly make me and baby drowsy. I did want the epidural, but I had to request it and it would take an hour to receive. I requested the epidural as soon as my water broke because the doctor said it was best to just go ahead and order it and if I decided later that I didn’t want it then I didn’t have to get it, but at least this way it was ordered and ready. Since I had found out earlier in pregnancy that I tested positive for Group B Strep I had to have an antibiotic in my IV and the nurse couldn’t order my epidural until the antibiotic was done dripping into the IV, so I had an additional 20 minutes or so to wait on top of the hour wait for the epidural. When I had about 15 minutes left to wait for the epidural my contractions were so bad that I didn’t think I could take it anymore. The nurse came in and asked me if I wanted that initial pain reliever (the one that I opted out of at first) and I nodded my head yes because I was in so much pain. It actually didn’t do anything for me because I got my epidural soon after. Fifteen minutes seemed like forever when they told me that’s how much longer I had to wait. My father in law was watching my contractions on the chart and told me later on that they were spiking well over 100 and only going down to about 50, instead of 0. That would explain why I felt like I was having one long continuous contraction that never went away (until the epidural). At one point I remember saying, “Why isn’t it going away?!” and I just heard a chuckle from my father in law and ignored it. That explains the chuckle. Meanie. =] To give you an idea of the pressure and pain, I went from being 3 cm. dilated to being 9 cm. dilated in about an hour. That’s fast! (And painful!) When it was time for the epidural, I was terrified because needles just aren’t my thing and getting one in my spine sounded HORRIBLE! (Plus I had heard all the scary stories about how big the needle was.) I am happy to say that my epidural didn’t hurt AT ALL. I didn’t even feel it. I don’t know if it’s because I had built it up so much in my head, if it’s because I was having a contraction at the time, or if it’s because the anesthesiologist was great, but either way, I didn’t feel it and I’m glad. (The anesthesiologist talked me through the whole thing and I kept trying not to tense but failing, and one point I had a tiny hiccup as he was getting the needle into my spine and he said, “don’t move, don’t move” and I said, “I had to burp” and there was a pause and then he just laughed – LOL!) The epidural provided SO MUCH relief. I was able to just lay back and could relax a little. It was night and day with and without the epidural. I got to 10 cm. dilated just a few minutes later, did some pushing to try to get baby to crown, sat up in bed to labor down (allow baby to come farther down my birthing canal), pushed some more (after some talks of maybe having to do a c-section because baby wouldn’t pass my pelvic bone) and then I was ready for delivery. (I didn’t end up needing to get a c-section by the way. I really didn’t want to have to get one, but after talking about it I told myself that I would rather go into a c-section knowing ((hopefully)) that everything would be okay rather than trying to push, baby getting stuck, and getting an emergency c-section. But I really didn’t want to have to do a c-section at all so I think I unknowingly started pushing harder to avoid that from happening.) My doctor however, was not ready for me. He was in emergency surgery so I had to wait to actually give birth. Baby wasn’t coming “on his own” so they felt it was okay for me to wait. (If baby had kept coming then they would have just gotten another doctor, but the doctor wouldn’t have been from my OB practice.) Unfortunately after a while my contractions started slowing down and I was given some sugar water and Pitocin to get my contractions to come back. (I could have started pushing and had baby by 7 PM on 1/7, but since the doctor wasn’t ready I waited.) The doctor ended up coming in around 12:50 AM (midnight) on 1/8 and I delivered baby at 1:05 AM. I found out later that my contractions had never really come back though. With my epidural I couldn’t feel my contractions, so I just pushed when the nurse told me I was having one. Well, Hubs told me later on that I wasn’t having contractions but the nurse was telling me I was so that I would push. MEANING I pushed out my 8 lb. 5 oz. baby BY MYSELF!! (Obviously I was a little too preoccupied to notice the confused look on Hubs face when the nurse was telling me I was having a contraction when I really wasn’t – ha!)
Labor and delivery is truly an amazing thing. I know everyone says that but I don’t think you can truly understand the amazement until you actually go through it. You feel every emotion possible – happy, sad, scared, excited, worried, strong, weak, adrenaline-rushed, and exhausted.
Oh, and just to leave on a funny note – the first thing Peanut did when they put him on my chest was poop on me. Thaaaaaaanks little guy. ;]