The Big Day finally arrived on Thursday, January 2nd, 2014! It was a scheduled induction and we were hoping and praying that it did not get bumped again.
When I woke up in the morning, I did my normal routine and hoped that my phone did not ring. I got everything ready for our big morning and as I was in the shower, low and behold, I get a phone call. (No, I didn't jump out of the shower to get the phone - I was VERY pregnant… I did hurry the shower up a bit, though.) As soon as I was out, I immediately checked my phone. PHEW! It was not the hospital; only a friend who was coordinating our morning arrangements for childcare since the weather was not at all good and we were pretty much in the middle of a blizzard here in the northeast.
After everyone was packed up and ready to go, we headed out the door and on our way to the hospital. The roads were pretty tricky so we decided that we would leave relatively early so we wouldn't be late. Good thing, too, because there were several cars off the road and a couple of accidents. My husband and I joked that we were lucky to not actually be in labor and have to drive "faster" to the hospital in the yucky weather. We also agreed that it was a bit weird to be driving to the hospital to have a baby, but not be in labor yet. This is something that we had never experienced before -- and during the day, too! A friend joked that it's not a typical G labor story if it doesn't start super early in the morning! Always happened in the middle of the night…
Anyway, back to the good stuff.
We arrived at the hospital a little bit early, but were taken into Labor and Delivery right away. Our nurse, Michelle, got us settled into our room and had me change up and get "comfy". She put my IV in (right in the crevice of my elbow - YUCK) to start my antibiotic drip for the GBS. I asked if they would be starting the Pitocin at that time, too, and she said that it would also start then, but a very low dose. I asked how long it will take to start taking affect and the nurse said, "well…it can take up to 3 days." Umm…WHAT?! I looked at my husband at that time and all he could do was laugh at me. Blatantly laugh. Right in my face. What a guy! Okay… All for a great cause. I was ready.
I was determined that this induction was not going to take 3 days. The nurse left the room to get the bags for my IV drip. She was gone for what felt like a very long time. I'm not kidding; I think it was like an hour. LOL! When she returned, she had my bags of meds and got me all hooked up. After I was hooked up, I asked what I could do to potentially greaten the odds that I will be in labor that day. Michelle said that walking around helps a lot. So, that is what I was going to do.
Before I could begin my trek around the Labor and Delivery floor, a doctor came in to give me a cervical exam. She was very gentle, but seemed very nervous. She left to have my nurse double-check and verify her findings. Michelle came in and I asked if that doctor was new. She explained that she was a 1st-year resident doctor and is still learning. Oh joy. The perks of delivering at a teaching hospital -- if one cervical exam wasn't bad enough, I was lucky enough to have two every time! The nurse did warn me that she would not be as gentle as the doctor. And, she was right! Holy hang on for dear life Batman!! Results turned out to be the same as my exam the Friday before: 2+cm, 50% effaced.
As I was getting up to begin my attempt at kickstarting labor, K&J arrived!! They had quite the drive up from Boston. The weather was terrible. As I was standing there talking with them and giving them hugs, I had several contractions; not painful contractions, but contractions nonetheless! I attributed them to the massive cervical exam I just experienced. I told K&J my plan to walk until I could walk no more and they were right there with me. K even offered to walk the IV pole for me! I stopped only for pee breaks and lunch.
After lunch, I had an increase in Pitocin and yet another wonderfully pleasant cervical exam. Hey, 3cm and 70% effaced? Okay, a little progress!! I'll take it. From there, I was right back to trekking the halls. This time, however, my walking was at a slower pace with some stronger contractions. K&J returned from lunch as well and then joined our race around the halls. Some time later, I decided that I needed a little break. The nurse came in and we chatted about how I was feeling. I explained that my contractions were, in fact, the real deal contractions and that I know there has been more progress. She asked if I wanted her to check my cervix and I said, "yes please!" -- 6cm! Woot!
At that time, I requested the epidural. I was in a lot of pain. (Or, I thought I was at that point…) I had every intention of getting the epidural as soon as I needed it. I needed it then. I patiently waited for the anesthesiologist to make his way to my room to give me the drugs.
*Side note: why is it that every anesthesiologist that I have had has been a man who thinks that holding a conversation while prepping for the procedure is okay? This guy was asking questions that he actually wanted answers to (okay, I know he needs to, but when the pain is bad enough for the epidural, can't you just look at my chart? It's hard enough to concentrate on sitting up, never mind actually THINK). He was commenting on the music playing in the background (at which point I could no longer even hear because of the pain) and other irrelevant stuff. Come on, guy! Just do your job and make the pain go away!!
The epidural was finally in. I asked him when it would start to work. (I hadn't remembered it ever really needing "some time" to kick in… I was worried.) He said to give it a couple contractions to work it's way to where it needed to be. He asked where the pain was located. (It was hard for me to answer -- umm, everywhere??) I told him that it was primarily in the lower back, but also in the front and mostly to the left. He then had the nerve to say, "I don't want you to make things up, I just need to know where the pain is located because that will indicate what I need to do next." I told him that I was not making it up and that is where the dang pain was! Jerk.
He had me flip to one side and he moved the catheter a little bit. He asked if that made a difference. I said, "no." He then informed me that back labor was tricky and that he had to go, but he'd be back to fix it and tapped my foot apologetically as he left.
I continued to cringe through the contractions as everyone around me was doing what they had to do. At one point, I opened my eyes (because having them closed "helped" me for some reason??) to see if anyone was in the room with me - it was so quiet that I thought everyone had left me to wither away all by myself! Haha!
After more excruciatingly intense contractions, I felt a big, warm gush. I told them, "I think my water just broke." Again, something I had never experienced spontaneously before. From there, the contractions gained intensity and seemed to never end. I don't think people expected things to progress as quickly as they did because I was like, "umm…I think I need to start pushing……."
Well, that seemed to get their attention because a doctor immediately checked my cervix and said, "yep, you're at 10! You need to start pushing at your next contraction! Do you remember how to push?" Umm, yeah, I do. Thanks.
I pull my legs back and try to push the baby out as hard as I can. This is the worst pain ever.
Push contraction 1: not completely successful, but progress made.
I prepare for the next contraction. PUUUUUUUUSSSSSSSSHHHHHH! Puuusshh!
Push contraction 2: more progress, but he's still not out. Half of his face and arm
are stuck there. I ask them to "please just take him out! It hurts so bad!" They tell
me that they can't right now and that I will need to push more. So, I did. I just kept
pushing. And pushing. They told me to wait for the next contraction. LOL!
The next contraction comes. PUSH! PUSH! The pain subsided. The boy was out. He was perfect. Gorgeous. I looked at K&J. They were crying. The doctors asked who was cutting the cord. It was the plan for J to do it, but he was just a bit queasy so K stepped up. (The doctors explained that J would have an opportunity to cut the cord shorter afterwards.)
Charlie was born at 4:26pm. He was 8lbs, 14oz and 20.5 inches long. (WHAT?! Another 9lb baby? What the heck? The ultrasound 2 days before said he would be 6lbs, 13oz. LIES!)
I looked over to where the nursing staff was working on him and that is where I got emotional. I saw the brand-new parents with their brand-new baby. I saw the love in their eyes. I saw their appreciation. K kept coming over to me to see how I was doing. I kept telling her to go be with her baby -- I was fine!! Although I'm not entirely sure who held Charlie first, I think it may have been J. He was in his element! Charlie is the luckiest baby boy in the world to have such loving, kind, gentle and amazing parents. A perfect family.
When everyone was done fixing things up on me down below (it again took about 30 minutes…), I was able to hold the precious miracle. What a blessing he is.
And now onto the next chapter of this journey… The legal and postpartum stuff. Stay tuned!