Sorry for the long breaks between blog posts but I’m sure you all understand how difficult it is to blog with a newborn. Actually – I tried to blog from my iPad but it was a pain in the ass (as you can see it posted twice) and I can’t upload pictures since I don’t have pictures on it and blah blah blah… so getting to an actual PC (or laptop) hasn’t been easy.
But enough excuses, right? Now onto the birth story.
I will say that I was very scared of labor & delivery. I was terrified of the “aftermath” too. But in actuality, it all wasn’t that bad. And if I can survive it thinking it wasn’t that bad, I’m pretty sure anyone can survive it. Or I just lucked out and had a really good delivery.
If you follow me on Twitter, you may recall how I tweeted on Friday, February 4th that I was being sent to labor & delivery at my hospital. I had been spotting for 24 hours and since I was almost 40 weeks – my doc wanted me to go get checked out.
When I told my co-workers that I was leaving for the hospital, they all swore that it was it and that I’d have the baby that day. Jeremy and I knew better but it was better to be safe than sorry. I had been saying for weeks that I was afraid I wouldn’t know what labor felt like and that I hadn’t had a single contraction to date.
We got to the hospital and they hooked me up to all of the usual hospital gadgets. On Monday, January 30th – I was still only 1 cm dilated and was 25% effaced. When I was checked at the hospital, I was 2 cm dilated and 60% effaced. This explained the spotting (my cervix was dilating) but they wanted to make sure I wasn’t leaking amniotic fluid.
Then at one point, the nurse asked, “Did you feel that?” I had no idea what she was talking about and she said that I was having some small contractions. Ooooooohhh… so that’s what those are!
Not surprisingly, we got sent home but Jeremy and I knew that I was probably going to go into labor that weekend. So we ran some quick errands and relaxed at home. Throughout the rest of the day, the contractions were coming in steadily (but like 10-15 minutes apart) and were getting a little stronger.
I went to bed that night around 10:30pm but woke up at 11:30pm with strong contractions. I downloaded a contraction tracking app on the iPad and starting timing my contractions. After about an hour – I was averaging contractions between 4-5 minutes that lasted about 50 seconds. It was go time!
Jeremy and I both took a quick shower, Jeremy made me a PB&J sandwich and we grabbed the hospital bags. We go to the hospital around 1:30am on Saturday, February 5th. They determined that I was 4 cm dilated and 90% effaced. Holy cannoli! I was officially admitted around 2am.
I think my nerves started to get to me and I started shaking uncontrollably. Holy shit – I was going to be a MOM very soon. I had no idea what to expect with the labor and was freaking out about EVERYTHING. The nurse jacked up the room temp so I could stop shaking (and later it would become unbearably hot for everyone else in the room).
The nurses and physician’s assistant all asked me about my “birth plan”. I said I just wanted an epidural… otherwise, I trusted that they’d all talk to me about any medical procedures that would be performed.
After I was hooked up to everything, my contractions started to slow down. This was really annoying. Around 5 am, the physician’s assistant said that they wanted to break my water and start me on a low dose of Pitocin. I panicked. I said I didn’t want my water broken and shared all of my fears associated with it. The PA and nurse were fantastic in addressing all of my fears and I went ahead with the water breaking.
I have seen what is used to break a woman’s water and it looks like a knitting needle! I was terrified that it would hurt but it really didn’t. The only thing that was uncomfortable was having the PA shove her hand up my hoo-ha to hold the baby’s head back after the water was broken. And I felt like I pissed all over the table.
Jeremy got a little faint witnessing all of this. And just because he gets a wee bit defensive when I tell people he almost passed out – it was incredibly hot in the room, Jeremy hadn’t eaten anything and he was EXHAUSTED. It was still hilarious.
Around 7 am, the on-call OB/GYN checked me and I was 6 cm dilated. He said that if I was going to get an epidural, NOW was the time I should get it. He also “recommended” it to help my body relax. I was just hoping I could maybe get some sleep but here is where I learned a valuable lesson. Don’t allow visitors. While I appreciated the visitors that came and I know they meant well – I felt like I couldn’t go to sleep because they were there. I was deliriously tired.
I was afraid of the epidural as well but was surprised that it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought. It probably helped that the anethesiologist was AWESOME and had the most soothing voice. It was kind of creepy to feel the little “pop” of the needle going into my spine AND it was also creepy to know that something was IN my spine… but it was worth it.
I stopped feeling my contractions but still couldn’t sleep. At one point, I started to feel this immense pressure building in my pelvis. I thought that the epidural wasn’t “taking” and sort of freaked. I had always heard that you go numb from the waist down but I was able to feel my feet and wiggle my toes. The anethesiologist came back to give me another “boost” but I still felt that pressure. It was getting worse and worse.
The OB/GYN came in around 10 am to check me and I was fully dilated. Then he said, “You’re ready to push.”
And OHMYGOD I freaked out again. I started shaking uncontrollably. Everyone told me I’d be fine (oh – I forgot to mention that we had a room full of hospital staff because we allowed nursing students in the room. And if I had to do it all over again, I’d do the same thing. The nursing students were a fantastic support as were their teachers that were also in the room!).
The staff broke down the bed and set up the room and I sat there terrified staring at Jeremy like, “holy shit – this is it!”
I started pushing at 10:30am. It was such a bizarre setup. I was laying on my back and there was a nursing student holding each of my legs up. I was told to push like I was pooping. NO joke. And that’s exactly what it felt like. My OB/GYN told me to push like I was angry. Not sure what that meant but I definitely pooped on the table. Kudos to the staff because they discreetly cleaned it up.
At one point, they all told me they could see my baby’s “beautiful dark hair” and that I was getting close. Then the OB/GYN asked if he could perform an episiotomy (another one of my fears after pooping) and I was getting so tired that I just yelled, “SURE!”. Jeremy said the episiotomy was gross and that it sounded like cutting a very stretched out rubber band. You’re welcome for that sound/image.
At 11:11am she was born. That’s right, I only pushed for 41 minutes. It was ridiculously exhausting and I didn’t think I could continue much longer. I was started to contemplate asking for a c-section. I STILL don’t know how some women push for several hours. I would die.
I wasn’t prepared for the overwhelming sense of relief I felt when she came out of my body. It was like I hadn’t pooped in years and I took the biggest poop of my life. They quickly placed her on my chest but I was so overwhelmed by EVERYTHING that I didn’t really get a chance to look at my daughter.
Oh – and we were still between names when she was born! So when one of the nurses asked what her name was, I responded with, “Crap! I don’t know!!” We actually didn’t name her for another 36 hours or so… and I’ll share that name later.
The staff whisked her away to do the usual cleaning, testing, etc. Jeremy ran over to snap some photos and count her fingers & toes.
I’m not sure if Jeremy will be happy that I wrote this but he cried when she was born. And it was the sweetest thing I had ever seen. I was still feeling overwhelmed so I didn’t really cry – but seeing him cry and declare how perfect she was got me all emotional.
I am apologizing now if this was the most poorly written post of my life. I’m sure it is filled with run-on sentences, typos, grammatical errors, etc. because I am TIRED!
Coming up next… the “aftermath” or “post-delivery vagina care”. Let’s just say that my relationship with Jeremy has gotten a lot stronger…