Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A completely different experience

Since 36 weeks, I had been 3-4 cm dilated and 70% effaced. Everyone, including the midwives and doctors, thought I'd go into labor any day. They encouraged me to make my way to the hospital after an hour of strong, regular contractions because I'd likely go pretty quick. The one midwife would tell me who was on call every time I went in! So on Thursday night I had been cramping and contracting all evening. Nothing real painful but it was sort of regular. I even cried putting Joey to bed because I figured this would be our last night together. I decided to go to bed and see what happened; if they got worse, I'd wake up; if they went away, I'd sleep. Well I woke up in the morning very depressed. Nothing.

Joey and I had a good day and nothing exciting happened. We all went to Chick fil A and shopping after Joe got home from work that night. After Joey went to bed we watched some of our shows and then went to bed. Must have been the calm before the storm. 

I woke up at 1:30 with a contraction and went to the bathroom and it didn't go away, which was strange. I walked it off and when I laid back down, I had another one. Then 10 minutes later as I was dozing off, another one. So I got up and started timing them while watching TV. During that time they became really intense and were 6-8 minutes apart. I figured I would let Joe sleep as long as possible and wake him up just in time to shower and leave. I was having to stand and sway and started moaning when I decided I better call the doctor at 3 am. They didn't call back for 40 minutes and in that time I woke up Joe and told him it was time when the midwife, Ann, called back and said to come in to triage. Next I called mom and asked her to come over but not to rush. Then I realized I was having contractions every two to three minutes and I decided Joe didn't have time to shower and my mom needed to hurry up. What if she wanted to pack a suitcase or something? I was pacing up and down the driveway when she showed up because the house wasn't big enough for me to pace  during a contraction. 

Joe drove to the hospital and I told him it was okay to speed this time. We got there a little before 4:30 after doing 80 mph down Rt. 8! I even asked Joe to drop me off at the door even though the parking space was just feet away. During the hospital tour I made the comment that triage and the parking lot were so close but the walk seemed to take forever now that I was in labor! The resident checked me and said I was 5 cm but I was unable to sit still and I just couldn't believe it. After weeks of being nearly 4 cm and laboring so strongly at home, I was only 5 cm?! I didn't have pants on but I needed to stand and sway to tolerate the pain. It was awkward! The nurse said my room wasn't ready yet and then confirmed I wanted I go natural. I was like "No. I'd really like an epidural as soon as I can. Please." In my head, my answer was a lot less polite. So she attempted to start my IV. She blew one site and completely missed another before calling in anesthesia. It took four tries to get my IV started and they even used lido to numb my hand before digging around. I was near tears at this point. My room still wasn't ready yet; apparently the unit was very busy and the anesthesiologist said she'd just do the epidural in triage but the time it took to get the IV, my room opened up and she physically followed me down the hall. As soon as I sat down on the bed she got to work. It was funny though because there was no one else in the room but Joe, her and I and a nurse to hang my antibiotic. They made Joe sit on a stool at my feet and hold my hands and told me to just be still. No nurse, no midwife, no one to hold me! I kept thinking "Only one more contraction and then I can rest. Okay maybe this is the last one. No, okay, maybe this is the last one..." It took a few minutes longer than I expected but I was gloriously numb by 6 am or so when the midwife walked in. It was then that I realized I hadn't showered or shaved my legs like I wanted and was pretty embarrassed. It's the little things...

As I was laying down and getting covered up with a thousand blankets (between the pain and the labor process and the epidural, I was shaking and shivering right off the bed), she checked me and I said I was almost 10 cm and we could start pushing very soon! It had only been an hour and a half since I was only 5 cm! She asked me to let her know when I felt the urge to push. We were talking and she said her shift was over at 8 am and we'd for sure have a baby before that when I got suddenly nauseous and then my water broke. I looked around and told her that I thought I just peed myself (I was worried that meant I pooped too but it was just my water, thank goodness). She checked me one more time and said it was time to push, the baby was coming! I didn't even feel the pressure yet though. I was so nervous; I didn't feel like I had enough time to prepare. John would be here in less than hour?! I would be a mother of two in just a few minutes! I told Joe there is no one else here to take pictures so it's up to you. Make sure you get some good ones. Luckily things were happening so fast, I didn't even have time to dwell on it because Ann got gowned up and uncovered the warmer and I started pushing! The nurses were changing shifts so there happened to be two nurses in the room and they were giving report while one of them held my leg, During the first push, I looked at Joe and saw his eyes get real wide and he excitedly told me he could see the head! I really couldn't even feel it but apparently I was doing a good job of pushing! Two more pushes in, I could feel the pressure of the baby's head and with one last push he was out! I was so confused because it wasn't even painful. I asked, "Was that him?!" and she held up John and gave him to me to hold on my chest. It was 7:13 am.

It was so quiet and so calm in the room. There were just a handful of people, me, Joe, Ann, and a nurse. No doctor with multiple residents, no nursing students, and only one nurse. It was awesome. John only cried for a few minutes when he started squirming and Joe pointed out that he looked like he was trying to find some food! I had read that babies will root to find the breast and it really did happen! He latched easily and sucked away. Because the IV antibiotics didn't finish infusing before John was born, he had to go to the Special Care Nursery and have his blood drawn to be cultured. They let me hold him for a long time before taking him away and offered to let Joe go with him.
So at just after 8 am, I was sitting in the room all by myself and eating breakfast, Just as I was starting to feel pretty sad, my boys came back and we got moved to a postpartum room. My grandparents came to visit by 11 am with my dad shortly after that and my mom and Maggie brought Joey to meet his brother around 2 pm. 

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