November 14, 2008, It started like any other day:
It was the day after my due date, and I finally decided to stop waiting on the edge of my seat. I was going to get out with my mother-in-law (who had flown in on my due date to stay a week) and go shopping for more baby items. You know, to get my mind off of the impending labor. Shortly after we left the house, I started noticing some trickling feelings but I figured pregnancy was bound to change past 40 weeks, maybe I was finally experiencing some of that urinary incontinence everyone else complained about. Except…it went on for hours, even after I peed, it just never stopped.
I finally told my mother-in-law and we went back to the house-because at that point I had leaked enough to need to change. I called my husband and picked him up from work an hour later to head over to triage. I was so nervous the entire car ride there. I mean, my mom had two very quick labors…what if that’s me? What if I’m already really far along and we don’t have time to make the 30 minute drive to the hospital? What if…what if…what if…
At the hospital:
So, we finally make it to the parking garage and find a spot. I open the door to get out of the car and…POP!! My water actually breaks. Like full on, messes-up-the-clothes-makes-a-huge-mess breaks. Thank goodness I was out of the car first. Now the only problem is that I’m soaked and I had to walk through the lobby, down the hallway, up the elevator, and down another hallway to find Triage. Walking. I looked like I peed myself! It was such an embarrassing walk!
The nurse got me settled into a room and gave me a minute to change and calm my nerves. Then she came in and did an exam to see how far along I was. This is where things got interesting! First, she told me that I was only 1.5 cm dilated, 50% effaced, and the baby had moved from -1 to +1 position. Yeah, apparently you can digress as well as you can progress! But that’s not all…
…”I don’t think I’m feeling her head. It’s either a hand or a foot. I can’t tell which right now. I’m going to get the doctor in to take a feel and see what’s going on, but I’m pretty sure she’s not head-down, she must have moved since yesterday.” Wait…what?!
The doctor came in shortly after and told me that yes, my daughter was head down, but somehow when my water broke, she got her hand down below her head, and that my labor was going to be a bit interesting. I immediately had to give up my idea of a natural labor at this point, because I was not having contractions and my water had already been broke for several hours. Also, they were worried about a pro-lapsed cord if I started walking to induce contractions, since she’d already moved so much since the day before.
November 15, 2008. Oh, it hurts!
Well, the good news was even with the pit, I could still get up and walk around with the portable monitor, and I could even labor in the tub. So I hung out and waited for things to start hurting. I guess around midnight the contractions were hard enough that I was starting to have trouble breathing through them, so I asked if I could get an internal and see where I was, b/c I wasn’t sure how long I was allowed in the tub since my water broke so I was trying to hold out for 5 cm before I got in. I was at 4.5 so I told the nurse I would get in the tub and see if that helped. They got me situated and I labored in there for awhile and started feeling sick. These contractions HURT! I don’t honestly know how long I stayed in there, about an hour or so I think, then I got out and started walking around the room until contractions would hit and they would stop me in my tracks! I got back in bed for a bit because I just felt I could concentrate better there, and was able to breathe through a few more hours of contractions. I was starting to get nauseous and trembling so I asked if I could do the tub again now that I was in a lot more pain I thought it would relax me. While I was in the tub that time I started pretty much shaking uncontrollably, and I couldn’t focus through these for anything! I still really didn’t want the epidural, and since it had been so long since my last internal I was thinking “maybe this is it maybe I’m almost done!” so I asked for another internal. 5.5 cm. I almost started crying. Actually, I think I did start crying.
At this point I knew I pretty much had to get an epidural. If I couldn’t stop shaking, I definitely wasn’t surrendering to the pain to let the contractions work effectively. I was TERRIFIED! Willie was even crying with me b/c he knew how much I didn’t want it, but he knew also how much pain I was in and he just couldn’t stand it. So they called in the guy to do the epidural, and by this point, I’m balling my eyes out. I really didn’t want this and didn’t know if I could do it. They had Willie pretty much hugging me and he talked me through the whole thing. I was paranoid the whole time he was doing it that something was just going to go terribly wrong and I’d have awful side effects from it, or worse (at this point) it wouldn’t work! They laid me back down into bed and told me the contractions should gradually get less intense over the next 10-15 minutes. She was right, and I actually started to doze off finally and from there a lot of my details get really fuzzy b/c I would only remember some of the contractions. I guess they gave me the epidural that wasn’t too strong so I could still feel b/c as the contractions got stronger I could start to feel a little pain again but it was NOTHING compared to what it was before.
Once I got the epidural, my labor did in fact speed up. By 11 am I was 10 cm but b/c of the pressure of Addison’s hand I still had one side of my cervix that wouldn’t soften so I had to lay on my right side until it thinned out. They decided to let me labor down as much as I could because they still weren’t positive if because of her position she would fit and they didn’t want me pushing too long and putting extra stress on Addison and myself if it wasn’t going to work anyways. Well, around 2 they did an internal and she was at +3 and my husband said you could see her fingers! So I did a few practice pushes with the nurse and then the doc came in when they knew I was ready. I pushed for 2 hours.
I really started going unconscious in between contractions while I was pushing and would only wake up when I felt pain and I would push. Eventually I woke up with an oxygen mask coming down over my face and the doc saying “When I tell you to stop pushing, I need you to stop, then I’ll let you know when and I’ll want just a little push from you” so I knew it was either the end or there was something wrong. It was the end, thank goodness.
Meeting my Daughter:
At 4:03 p.m. Addie was born and placed on my stomach. I couldn’t pull myself up to see her and I still had the mask on so I yanked it off so I could see her a little because I knew at that point they weren’t going to let me hold her for long before they took her to the warming table to get her to cry (she was coughing and breathing on me but not crying and her color wasn’t great) and to look over her hand and arm since there was some pretty bad swelling and bruising and she wouldn’t move it. Finally after 40 long minutes of me crying to hold my baby, they brought her to me and she was just perfect! We got to start nursing right away and I wouldn’t let her out of my sight for the rest of our hospital stay.
Angie is a writer and crafster at heart. She started her blog, Twenty Something, last May to share with the world her steady trek through motherhood and all of the obstacles we face as new moms. This past November she opened her Etsy store, CUTEureCreations, selling children’s accessories. She specializes in crochet-wear for children including crochet hats and booties, and girls hair clips.
She is also the wife to an amazing husband getting a late start in his career after serving in the military for 6 years. The past couple of years have been full of struggles and sacrifices while “waiting for their lives to start”, but they’ve also been full of amazing adventures, including a cross country trek with a beat up old Mazda, 2 cats, and 1 pregnant lady.
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