I’ve been off-line for a while because my baby girl, Abigail Teresa, was born late Saturday night!! She is just too precious. She was due to arrive on Friday and since I had no feelings that she would be coming any time soon, my husband and I took a nice, long walk Friday evening.
Around 7pm Friday night I told my husband that I felt some mild cramps. He started to get anxious and said “this could be it!!!” I still didn’t believe it – they were just mild cramps. It should have clicked for me sooner because the cramps would come and go in a regular pattern :O) Finally, around 11pm I had some spotting and decided I needed to get some sleep if this was really labor. At 12:45 I woke up to my water breaking in bed. I woke up my husband and we called the OB-Gyn who confirmed that we should head to the hospital.
We took our time, showered, packed the car, and headed to the emergency triage room (since it was after-hours). They determined that since I had “ruptured” I needed to stay there and wait for my doctor to arrive in the morning. The nurse told us to walk the halls to get labor going faster – she knew I was trying to have a natural, drug-free, vaginal childbirth. My doctor had already expressed an interest in pushing Pitocin when she planned to examine me. So off we went, walking the halls.
By the time the doctor came to see me, I was still at 1cm dilation. However, she manually expanded me to 3cm. OUCH!! I am so glad she didn’t tell me she was doing that before she did it. This was around 9am and she informed me that since this was my first child, I was not going to progress quickly enough. Having a ruptured bag of waters for a long period of time is not safe for the baby.
Well of course once I knew it wasn’t safe for my little one I agreed to it. The Pitocin made my contractions stronger and closer together. I LOVED my nurses. They were very professional, attentive, and light-hearted. They joked along with me (I made quite a few jokes through the contractions) but were able to spit out risks, benefits, and facts when I asked. I was starving and tired all day as I quickly progressed to 5cm. At this point, I was miserable… my husband and I decided it was time for the epidural. I wanted to avoid it, but when they increased my Pitocin again and I could not stand through my contractions long enough to use the bathroom (my body was cleansing itself all day), I knew I had to get the epidural.
My doctor was fantastic. She knew my desire to go drug-free so she talked me through the risks and benefits again. I politely said “I know, I know, just get the anesthesiologist”. About 15 LONG, PAINFUL minutes later the anesthesiologist arrived. This woman had no personality, but she worked quickly. I appreciated her desire to get that IV drip inside my back as soon as possible. Once she started inserting the needle, I started to panic. Not only was a simultaneously having an awful contraction, but I was having flashes of being permanently paralyzed. I made it through the process and was able to relax, but those few minutes of panic are still very vivid in my mind.
The epi allowed me to progress to 8cm and then 9.5cm VERY quickly. However, I sat at 9.5cm for quite a while. It was kind of nice because my parents were able to arrive from out of state in time for my calm moments. If they had seen me without that epi I think my father would have gotten me the drugs himself. It was so nice to have them in the hospital while I pushed. Knowing that they were waiting in the other room to meet their granddaughter helped me get her out.
I pushed for 2 hours. It was bearable until she was stuck on her way out and the nurse told me to just leave her there for a moment to stretch me out. WHAT?! Do you know how unnatural that feels?! I vomited at that moment. It’s funny how excited my doctor and nurse got when I threw up. They said the force would help the baby drop lower. I think they were right because after that I cold feel her starting to emerge. The head was a bad feeling, but the shoulders were AWFUL!!! I think I even yelled at the nurse to “just pull her out”. HAHAHA
Oh that wonderful feeling when the baby slips out and you see your husband tear up and look at you like you have just done something amazing… what a powerful feeling (even with the drugs).
Nobody told me how long the afterbirth process would take. I appreciate my doctor taking her time to get the placenta out and stitch me up, but as the epi wore off and I wanted to bring in my parents, I was getting antsy.
Once I was able to latch Abigail, get cleaned up, and bring in my parents, it was such a feeling of relief, power, exhaustion, and anxiety. It was now almost midnight and I was wiped out from the past 24 hours. Don’t think you get to sleep at this point though… oh no… they moved me to the recovery room, reviewed a TON of procedures and paperwork, let me eat something, and then left me to nap. That quiet time while my husband was with Abigail in the nursery was precious – more than I knew at the time.
She got all cleaned up and then moved into our room with us. I was and continue to be in awe of this little girl. She is adorable and perfect in every way.