I woke up the morning of 8/15/16 filled with anxiety. Not my usual fear-based anxiety, but anxious in wondering how this day would turn out. If baby was going to be born today, how my labor was going to go...anxiety of the unknown, but a good anxiety. Anxious to finally meet my baby boy, whom I had waited 9 long months to finally meet.
I didn't get much sleep the night before, but managed to get a few hours in there somewhere. Sleep had already become a thing of the past as I had become so uncomfortable in my pregnant body physically that I could hardly go another day being pregnant. As much as I had hoped for a "natural" progression of labor, I was equally as happy to go ahead with the induction since I had made it 39 1/2 weeks. 4 days away from my official due date of 8/19.
My daughter drove me to the hospital and we arrived and checked in just before 8am. I was scheduled to be induced at 8:30am.
We got checked in and settled into the delivery room where my nurse went over the process and what to expect. My nurse was super awesome by the way. I loved her. She went over the plan with me. She examined me and I was between 40-50% effaced and 2-3 centimeters dilated with no other signs of labor. My doctor had sent the plan in, so she went over it with me. They were going to start me with a pill (Cytotec I believe it was) to get labor started and contractions going and see how things progressed for the first 3-4 hours, then if no significant changes, they were going to go ahead with the Pitocin to really throw me into labor.
Bottoms up. She gave me the pill at 8:30am. I thought to myself it's really happening. We are going to have a baby today. I'm going to finally get to meet my son and hold him for the first time.
My parents arrived shortly after and soon after that my super awesome best friend (designated labor coach) arrived. I started feeling contractions very soon after taking the pill, but they were bearable. I was able to get up and walk around since they hadn't started Pitocin, so that was a blessing. I wasn't confined to the bed. We got up for a couple of walks around the hallways and over the course of the next couple of hours, I could really feel the contractions getting stronger and closer together. I was really going to try and get through this labor without an epidural. At this point, I was thinking maybe I could do it.
I took a really long walk with my best friend down to the cafeteria area to get some lemonade (I was only allowed water and clear liquids at this point). While we were down there, I felt a lot of moisture between my legs starting to drip and run down my legs...I thought it was my water starting to break, so I quickly made it back up to the room. The nurse checked me and checked the fluid and it wasn't amniotic fluid. I had effaced only slightly more and dilated only 1 more centimeter. So she talked to me about breaking my water to really get things going. This was somewhere between 11am-12pm. My daughter had already left - she had to get her Senior portraits done this day at 1, so we were cutting it close. I was nervous that the baby was going to be born before she got back. But we went ahead and broke my water. Almost immediately afterwards, the contractions really started coming on strong. After they broke my water, this is when things started happening super fast and it's hard to remember exact timelines. Obviously I did not have to have the Pitocin because now at this point, I was in full on active labor.
Now I was facing my biggest decision. The contractions were starting to become unbearable at this point and I was getting nervous that I wasn't going to be able to do it without the epidural. I had always remained open to getting one, I was only TRYING not to. Key word is trying. Between this time and around 1, the contractions got so bad that I finally gave in and decided to get the epidural. They let the anesthesiologist know right away so that I could get in line....he had a couple ahead of me to do. By this time, my daughter had made it back and we were all in the room. I was trying to focus on breathing through the contractions, but they were really becoming excruciating.
So I would like to say for all you women out there that have gone through labor and given birth without epidurals, I salute you and bow down to you wholeheartedly because it's the worst pain I've ever felt. And I know I have a pretty high tolerance for pain. I know I could have done it if I had to, but I made the decision and knew it was best for me.
It was just a bit after 2pm I believe when he finally arrived. I was so nervous, but I knew I had to endure it to get through the labor pain. My mom and my daughter were sitting behind me and I had my nurse and best friend in front of me holding my hands while I was hunched over the pillow for him to insert the epidural into my spine. He was trying to joke and make light of everything, but while we were sitting there, I knew something was wrong...I felt liquid run down my back. I asked what was wrong and he just assured me that everything was ok and that he had to try again. 2nd time, I finally felt the medication kick in and my legs started to go numb. It took a while, but he finally finished up and the tensions subsided. The epidural was in and successful. I hated the feeling I had for the first several minutes of having the epidural done, but slowly I started to relax a bit and was more at ease. (*side note, I later found out that somehow he had missed something and what I felt run down my back was blood. This is when my daughter had gotten up and left the room because she saw this happening behind me*)
My mom and daughter had left the room at this time to go get something to eat....my dad had been out of the room already, so it was just me and my best friend. The nurse came in to check on me and I guess bebe's heart rate had dropped. She had to turn me on my side and give me oxygen. I was really scared there for a few minutes. I thought something was wrong with the baby, but the nurse assured me that she had it under control, that she wasn't worried....so after what seemed like forever, she finally got his heart rate back up and I finally started to relax into the medication of the epidural and everything was fine. Contractions were super strong and not far apart by now, but I was completely relaxed and could only feel slight pressure.
So I laid there for a while talking to my best friend and my daughter, mom and dad came back in to visit. I started feeling a lot of pressure on my bottom and knew that things were starting to progress as I started feeling the sensation that I needed to push. I called the nurse in and she checked me and sure enough I was minus 2 effacement and 10cm dilated. This was around 3:30ish I believe. She rushed to call my doctor to get her to the hospital for delivery. (her office was only 5 minutes up the road).
I started panicking because I didn't think I was going to be able to hold the baby in. I now was trying my hardest to hold him in even though everything in me was telling me to push!
My doctor finally got there and they got everything prepped. My dad and daughter had left the room as soon as she got there and my mom really wanted to stay in the room, so I agreed to let her stay. I had her and my best friend there. They got me all ready to start pushing.
Here we go!
I tried to push and nothing happened. I kept pushing with my legs and it seemed like I forgot how to push for the baby to come out. Nothing was happening. I was starting to get worried and panicking that I wasn't going to be able to get the baby out. They gave me oxygen again, which made me nervous again. After a few rounds of trying to push but not being successful, my doctor said "ok, we have a full head of dark hair down here...you gotta push Laura!"....I guess something in me finally clicked and that final push, I pushed as hard as I could and he came FLYING out - everyone told me to stop and slow down and I couldn't. I felt like he flew out of me with full force. All I remember were tears of joy, gasps of WOW and excitement and my sweet baby boy's first cries.
Welcome baby. Born 4:35pm. 7 lbs 4 ozs, 21" long.
I couldn't believe it. He was finally here and he was beautiful and he was PERFECT.
Doctor spent quite a bit of time stitching me up - apparently that amount of force that I did finally found really got me. :/
It's already been 2 months and I can already feel the memory of that day starting to fade. So much has happened since that day and it's changed my life in ways I never would have imagined.
Overall I was in labor for a total of 8 hours, which definitely wasn't too bad...considering if you look at it from a normal 8 hour work day perspective. Ha! Although the comparison is quite drastic.
The memories of the day may fade but I will never forget that day. Just as I will never forget that Monday 3/15/1999.
So here I am with 2 babies and my heart is overflowing. I am so abundantly blessed. My little family of 3.