Here I am, home from the hospital, after working hard to bring Bucket Baby #1 into the world! And it was an intense process.
Often when I blog, I try to be witty or something. But this time, I'm just gonna tell it like it is. There will probably be some TMI, and I'm ok with this. Because, this, my friends, is the true story of how #1 came into the world. And it's a pretty long one.
Now, just some FYI, before I actually went into labor, I had been to Labor and Delivery 3 times. Once the On Call Dr told us to go because he thought my water had broke. Not true. The next time my contractions were every 5 min apart and getting closer and harder. But I wasn't progressing fast enough, nor was I full term, so they sent me home. A few days later the same thing happened. It was a bummer.
As of the last time I had gone to Labor and Delivery, I was dilated to 4 cm, and 80% effaced. And I walked around like that for over a week. Not so fun. I kept wondering how I was going to know when I was in real labor, because my contractions were just what the Dr had told me they should be to go into Labor and Delivery. But I always was sent home. I just started to wish that my water would break so I could know for sure. And I just needed something to happen. I had been having painful contractions for 3 weeks. Contractions that followed a pattern, got closer together, got harder, and then would stop after 5-6 hours. Lame!
As you know from my last post, Tues night/ early Wed morning Hod and I went to Walmart. Because of our late night excursions, I slept in a lot on Wed. When I finally did get up, I ate some cereal, and was pretty much just lazy for a few hours. Hod had gone to work, and I was just resting a bit. Just before 1:00 PM I decided to get in the shower. (Don't judge me, I woke up late.) While in the shower I had a moment where I wondered if my water had broke. Either that or I had lost all control of my urinary tract. I climbed out of the shower, and had about 1/2 C of something suddenly come out of me. But I knew if my water had "broke" it should be more than that. Wondering if I had sprung a leak I quickly dressed and called my Dr.
Oh, but wait... they are all on lunch break till 1:30. Lame! I fought with myself for a bit wondering if I should just wait it out. However, the repeat of excess liquid encouraged me to go. I called Hod's cell phone... and heard it ring in the other room. So, I called Hod's work phone... and it was busy. I wasn't having contractions yet, so I grabbed my purse, and jumped in the car. While driving myself to the hospital, I tried Hod's work number again. Success! Only he wasn't allowed to leave until another employee got there because of a company policy stating that they must always have 2 people at work. But he only had half an hour of his shift left, so I told him it would be fine. I got to the hospital and checked myself in.
Hod arrived about 10 min later.
Now, my Dr, who we shall just call Dr. K had told me that if I went into labor, he could augment it by breaking my water. Because it was regular office hours I knew that he wouldn't be sending me home. After running a few tests to make sure that my water had in fact sprung a leak, my nurse wasn't positive about it. She went to call Dr. K but ran into him instead. He told her that I had been sitting at a 4 for long enough and he would just come break my water. I was SO excited!
Around 2:30 he broke my water.
About 60 min later they started me on Pitocin because I wasn't progressing at all.
And we waited. And waited. My contractions were consistent but not progressing me enough. They kept getting harder and harder. And it hurt! Now, I know that some people are all about natural labor. And that is fine for them. I however, had no desire to go through all of that pain. Yes, Labor is supposed to hurt, but I like modern medicine and wanted to take advantage of all of it's goodness.
Just after 5:30 Dr. S came to give me an epidural. This was done with me sitting with my legs hanging over the edge of the bed, and my head on Hod's chest. For not doing well with blood, Hod did a great job of being strong as long as I needed him. And as soon as I didn't, he needed to sit in the chair. But that's ok.
Right before I had my epidural, I had a grape Popsicle. Yum!
Soon after my epidural, I lost my grape Popsicle. Gross!
Watching me lose my Popsicle while I was in a lot of pain, was hard on Hod. He left the room so he didn't join me in the losing of Popsicles, and when he came back I was in a Oxygen mask. #1 didn't react so well to me throwing up. This was even harder for Hod to watch so he called in back-up. My dear Mom was on backup for us because I didn't want to deliver alone, and knowing Hod has a hard time with bodily fluids we invited her to join us. She came for a while, and played cards with Hod. I tried to get a little bit of sleep. She stayed until just after 9:00 PM. By now I had finally progressed to a 6. Really? I had been there for over 7 hours and had only progressed 2 cm? Not cool.
The epidural was keeping me somewhat comfortable... well except for the top of my left leg. It really hurt! I don't know WHY that is where I was feeling all of my contractions, but it was, and I was not a fan. Hod was doing better with everything, so Mom decided to go home and get some rest till the real action started.
Dr. K had predicted that I would deliver somewhere between 10:00 and Midnight. This is because when I walked in the door, I was already half way there. He was wrong.
Hod and I tried to sleep some... and couldn't. The dang blood pressure cuff hated me. It was checking me every 30 min. And it never liked the answer it got. So it would beep. And beep until someone came to check it.
And #1's heart rate was a little bit off.
And I started getting a pretty high fever. (By the end, it was up to 102)
FINALLY at 1:30 AM (only 12 hours later...) I was fully dilated and effaced. They have a policy at my hospital that for first time Mom's if you have an epidural and get to this point, they give you one hour to just sleep and rest before the real action starts. That way, your body can do a lot of work and you won't get so tired.
As the nurse checked me, she tried to see what way #1 was facing. But she couldn't tell.
Hod and I tried to sleep, and failed some more. Finally around 2:00 AM I called my Mom to tell her that the action was starting in 30 min.
I had another Popsicle. (What I love them, and I was hungry and thirsty!)
2:30 we started pushing.
#1's heart rate was still being funky, so we started pushing on my side. That helped her heart rate, but didn't help me progress. But we pushed. And pushed. And pushed. And I lost my other Popsicle. Once again, lame! They normally don't let first time mom's push for more than 2 hours. So that was my goal. As I got tired, I watched the clock and knew I could go for that much longer. We ended up putting me on my back again because baby's heart rate was just being scary. I was also put on oxygen. I hated that mask. At this point, Hod was struggling with the fluids, so we called in another nurse, and he sat down to encourage me.
I also had really random but fun music playing in the background. It was a good distraction for me.
At 4:30, Dr. K showed up. Hod was holding my hand helping me along. Mom was sitting in the background trying to help Hod be ok with things. I was getting very tired, and #1 wasn't really getting all that close to coming. When Dr. K showed up we had a serious chat. He also couldn't tell what direction #1 was facing. He just knew that things weren't quite working out. Now, I have a few family members that cannot have a vaginal birth because of how their hips are. Dr. K knew this about me. And so it was a concern. He asked me what I wanted. I told him that I really didn't want a C-section but if that was the only option, then fine. He asked how I felt about the vacuum suction cup thing. I told him I was fine with it as long as it didn't put her too far down, and then she wouldn't fit and then we would have major problems. He told me that within just a few seconds of pushing with the suction cup he would be able to tell. Trusting him because he had been great so far (though all of his time estimates had been super far off) I told him to try it.
They hooked me all up to the vacuum thingy and I pushed. He pulled... and it popped off. Great. "But," said he, "it helped so I think we'll be fine."
Dr. K also knew that I was anti forceps. But we just still weren't quite going to make it. But, instead of using the forceps to grab #1, he used them to help open up the birth canal.
And I pushed. And pushed some more. I was so done. Between contractions I started crying and gasping for air. My left leg hurt SO bad, and I was just tired. I had only gotten around 5 hours of sleep the night before, and I had been in hard labor for over 10 hours. I didn't know if I could do it. People were very encouraging, but I just didn't know anymore. Hod didn't know if I could do it, and he was crying too. Mom later told me that Dr. K looked at her a few times, almost to ask her if I could make it. But I didn't know what else to do, so I just kept trying.
Because of the epidural, I couldn't really feel that my body needed to push, so I had to force myself to do it. I guess that's what you give up by deciding to go the less pain route.
Finally, at 5:06, after over 15 hours after checking myself into the hospital, and a full 2 1/2 hours of hard pushing, #1 came out. All 7 lbs, 3 oz of her. (Interesting fact, the song playing while she came out was the song I sang to Hod at our wedding.) She had been posterior. That is why labor was so hard. And long. Because of my fever, and #1's funky heart rate, I didn't get to hold her right off. That was sad. I had just worked so hard to get her out, and Hod and my Mom were over playing with her while I sat there. During this time, I found out that I had been tearing towards the front instead of the back. So, to save me a lot of grief, Dr K had given me an episiotomy. Along with that I had a bunch of little tears all around. The stitching process took quite a while. They cleaned up #1, ran a few tests, and decided she was well enough to stay with me for a bit. I finally got to meet my baby! And she was so sweet! And poofy! And had a crazy cone-head. But she was mine! And I didn't have to push anymore!
Unfortunately, because of my fever and her crazy heart rate, we had to drop her off at the NICU on our way to recovery.
And now friends, it is late. We still have more of our story, but alas it is almost midnight. I need to go to sleep so I can get up to go see my baby in the morning. More to come!