If you missed Part I, check it out here.
Part I ended as we were leaving for the hospital. We arrived at the hospital around 12:45am Tuesday, August 14th. Mark dropped me off at the emergency room entrance and went to park the car. A worker quickly brought a wheel chair over to me and started wheeling me to labor and delivery. On the way, I got to play 20 questions while trying to breathe through contractions and refrain from punching someone, anyone in the face. "How far along are you?" "Did your water break?" "Are you having contractions?" "How far apart are they?" "Do you like butter on your toast?" You know all the normal stuff. I quickly got checked in and put in a room. The attending nurse asked me all the same questions and also did an exam. She said I was 2 cm dilated and it seemed like my water had broke. Now from what I knew, I didn't think it was possible to not know that my water broke. I mean having water gush down my leg isn't a common occurrence in my life, so I think I would have noticed. I told her I didn't think it had happened, however I was not about to argue with her because I knew that if she thought my water was broken, real or not, I would be admitted. And so began my hospital stay...
I got the IV put in, all the monitors hooked up, and she injected me with some lovely pain meds. I could still feel all the contractions, but the meds helped take the edge off a little bit. At this point it was around 2am and I decided to call my parents. I guess I could have been nice and waited, but come on "I'm about to have a baby!!!" Since I was only 2 cm still, I told them it wasn't a big rush and to just come whenever they got up.
The next five hours were pretty uneventful. Mark fell asleep in the pull out chair, while I just laid in the hospital bed trying to rest as best I could. I knew that I would need all the energy I could muster up as I was about to somehow squeeze a 7ish pound baby with a presumably huge noggin (I mean really look at Mark's Lima-bean-head) out of a 10cm hole! So although sleep was not an option for me...(come on "I'm about to have a baby!!!"), with the help of the pain meds, I was able to chill for a couple hours. Around 6am, I starting feeling the contractions in my back getting worse so I assumed the meds were starting to wear off. The nurse asked if I wanted an epidural. I was really scared to get the epidural done... I have an EXTREMELY sensitive body and was worried about how I would react to it. So I told her to hold off and give me one more dose of the pain meds. Once that wore off, I would decide if I wanted the epidural or not.
My mom, step-dad, and brother showed up around 7:30am. I was quite relieved to see them. I always feel more safe and at ease with my mom around; she looks out for me and my health issues. My step-dad always tells my mom to "cut the cord" in reference to our relationship, but who doesn't want to have someone in their life that instantly makes them feel like everything is going to be okay.
At this point I was beginning to wonder where my doctor was. When I first got admitted the on call doctor was not my doctor. I had a little bit of a freak out and may have expressed
*A little side note about my doctor*
I was VERY adamant about him being there for the delivery. When we first met he said that he is there for 90% of his patients' deliveries. I was okay with that as long as I wasn't in that 10%. I don't know how I would have handled him not being there. He is amazing at making you feel comfortable, safe, and in good hands. The first day I met him we were discussing my anxiety and medication and he said "I tried to take medication for depression/anxiety but then I couldn't get my &#*$ up!" Yes, he really said that! At first I was a little taken aback but the more I got to know him and vice versa, I quickly realized how perfect he was for me. In one of our conversations, I told him I was kind of depressed because it was summer and I wasn't able to do what I normally love to do: go to the beach. I explained that I did not like my pregnant body and did not feel comfortable being in a swimming suit in a public place. He responded with "F*#k them. Don't care about what they think. I don't like taking my shirt off at the pool, but then I look around and realize that there is always someone who looks worse than me." And you know what, I went to the pool that week!
Needless to say I was going to do everything in my power to not go into labor when he was off. At my last visit with him around 37 weeks, I told him (in my toughest Mob Wives voice) "You better deliver my baby or I'm coming for you!"Finally around 9am God blessed me with the presence of my doctor. He checked my progress and I was at 4cm :( I had only dilated 2cm in 8 hours! At that rate I wouldn't be having my baby for another 24 hours!! And at this point, I had been awake for 24 hours!!! And I hadn't eaten in 12 hours!!!! Pregnant ladies problems.. I tell ya... While being examined, the doctor also noticed that my water wasn't broke. So either my baby is a magician or my first nurse needs to go back to school... just saying. Really it was a good thing that my water wasn't broken yet because once he did it, things moved along a lot quicker than my previously calculated 24 hours ;)
Around 10am, the meds were beginning to wear off, so I had to make my choice about the epidural. Going into the labor, I didn't have strong feelings either way about the epidural. I was definitely scared to get it, but I wasn't dead set against it or anything. I wasn't able to get another dose of the pain meds as two doses was the limit, so it was either epidural or nothing from there on out. Although I was very nervous about the pain of child birth (after having to watch my mom birth my younger brother when I was 11), I felt that if I had to do it unmedicated I could. However the question was did I want to... I mean I know I would have felt very proud and accomplished if I were able to say that I labored without medicine (BTW men and non-mothers, women who do this are truly amazing... no joke!), but the thing is would I be able to say that I enjoyed my labor. So I took the cowardly (lol) route and got the epidural. Mark was able to stay in the room with me to be my squeeze toy. Mark said he did not want to look because the needle was huge (thanks for keeping me calm!), but honestly it was a breeze. Now granted I was only living off of adrenaline at this point, so I'm not sure how much truth there is in any of my feelings then.
|Enjoying my "yummy" apple juice|
At this time everyone had to leave, except Mark. We had decided before that we wanted to experience our baby's birth just the two of us. I know my mom was a little sad about this (I wanted her there, but I also agreed with Mark wanting it to be just us), but don't worry she wasn't far. My doctor loved how "crazy" my family was outside the room. There is also another picture where she is holding a cup up to the door to hear... She's the greatest!
I started pushing right around 12:30pm. At first it was hard to know how hard I was pushing because I couldn't feel much down there. The nurse monitored me to know when I was contracting and started having me push for 10 seconds, 3 times in a row for every contraction. Mark stayed right by my side helping the whole time. There were a couple of times I was so tired that I didn't want to push anymore and it felt like I wasn't making any progress, but Mark was very encouraging and surprisingly calm. The doctor came in and out a couple of times throughout the next hour and a half. At one point, he told me he could see his hair (black!) and asked if I wanted to reach down and touch it. I started to, but then I couldn't.. it freaked me out too much! He asked Mark if he wanted to see him coming out. We had discussed this before and Mark said he did NOT want to look because it would cause him to never want to venture down that way again lol. To my utter surprise, he actually said yes (childbirth does amazing things)! So technically Mark was the first to see our baby boy.
As the contractions grew stronger, it became more obvious to me when they were coming, so I started to push on my own. 1 hour and 45 minutes of pushing and 19 total hours of labor later and our world was changed forever at 2:14pm on August 14, 2012.
|7 lbs 6 oz and 19 1/2 inches|
I could just stare at these pictures all day long. I can only be so happy and thankful of how truly blessed I was with this beautiful and healthy baby boy. I am so in love. I had a perfect labor.. Perfect! I loved it. If I could relive one thing over again in my life it would be the moment he came into this world. That feeling is so amazing and I couldn't be more satisfied with the process. The hospital, nurses, doctors, family, Mark; the overall experience is something I will look back so fondly upon for the rest of my life.
Next up.... the not to fond part... the worst part of the birth process for me....