Does the word “wonderfulest” have two L’s or just the one?
*This post contains details about labor and delivery. Nothing too graphic but if you don’t want to know, you should probably stop reading right now. Also, it’s really long and that’s mainly not because I think you all care to know every detail but because I want to write it down and keep it so I can remember it. *
Welp, our little bean has arrived. He wasn’t due to get here until August 16 so we were all pretty surprised when he decided to show up on July 28. In a way. The day he was born, I was 37 weeks and 2 days along. I think it was week 35 when I texted my mom that I didn’t think he was going to make it to his due date. Things just seemed like they were happening in there. But, I figured every pregnant lady
wishes thinks that, so I told myself to chill. Anyway, a lot of people have been asking me what exactly happened (I assume since he was early) and I want to remember what went down so that’s what this post is about.
Thursday, July 27
1:00 pm: I got an hour-long prenatal massage and it was awesome. I had a half-hour one a few months ago when my cousin bought me a gift certificate for my birthday. My back and hips (and groin-apparently the uterus is attached to some ligaments that run through the groin area) were killing me. I now wonder if the massage had anything to do with what happened next…
4:00ish pm: Nesting, apparently. I was on my hands and knees cleaning the dust off our dining room table when I felt a little squirt. I’m thinking, “Great, I peed myself.” I kept hearing this would happen so I wasn’t too surprised. I go to the bathroom and it was pretty apparent that I had not peed. My plug had come loose. I didn’t take this as a big sign of anything because you can lose your plug weeks ahead of time and it can even regenerate itself.
2:45 am: Get up to pee for the 47th time that night, as usual. Peeing felt weird like there was something else coming out at the same time. I went back to bed, but every time I took a breath, a little liquid would come out. So, I got up and called the hospital and they said it did sound like my water had broken and that I should come in. Unlike the image in my brother’s head, my bag of waters did not explode, soaking both our bed and Spencer. Unfortunately. Because that would’ve been pretty exciting, I think.
4:00 am: Arrive at hospital and am told that my water had definitely ruptured and we would be having a baby that day. I was only dilated 2cm (Out of 10. True labor is not considered to have started until you are 4cm.). I was told that they could go ahead and start labor with pitocin but since my Dr. knew I wanted to go naturally, he told me to take my time. So, I walked, bounced on a birthing ball and took a hot shower. I even used a breast pump to try to start contractions. I was having contractions but they were barely doing anything at all.
Basically, my mom and Spencer hung out with me allllll day while we waited. My sister, brother, niece, mother-in-law, two brothers-in-law and a sister-in-law were there too.
8:00 pm: I think it was around this time that the nurse came in and hooked me up to an antibiotic IV. Once your water breaks, they become concerned about infection affecting both mother and baby after about 24 hours. So, since I wasn’t progressing, they went ahead and took some preventative measures. Soon after that, I was convinced by the staff that we needed to do something to speed up labor because nothing was happening and my water had been broken for so long. So, the nurse gave me Cervadil, which is inserted and used to stimulate the cervix into contracting.
OH, MY WORD. This was terrible. I have to say, if I do this again and end up needing to be induced, I will go ahead and get the epidural at the same time. Induced contractions hurt way bad. Also, Jack was facing the wrong direction (toward my front rather than back). I was assured he could be delivered that way but they thought that the position he was in may have been one of the reasons I was not dilating and was having severe back labor.
By this point, Spencer’s fam had checked into a hotel nearby and my siblings had come to stay at our house and check on Smokey.
Friday, July 28th.
12:00 am: I *think* it was around midnight when I asked that the Cervidil be removed. I got almost instant relief. That stuff was killer. Spencer and my mom were both being really supportive but the medication had worked to put me into true labor and I did not want to be touched. It was like being stabbed when someone touched me. I think it was because it was distracting me from concentrating. Also, I couldn’t stand to be sitting or laying down during a contraction but I was sooooo exhausted that all I wanted was to lay down. I finally asked for an epidural because there was just no end in sight to this labor and we all needed a nap.
Me: “If I decide to get an epidural, when would we do that?”
Raquel the Awesome Nurse Whom I Love: “Whenever you want. Right now is fine.”
Me: “Okay. What do y’all think I should do?”
Spencer: “I think you should do whatever you want to but it’s been a long time. I say go for it.”
Mom: “Do it.”
Me: (Thank goodness for these people!) “Okay, I want an epidural, then.” (About to cry) “I’m such a failure.”
Raquel: “Girl, don’t even think that. When I was pregnant, I came in and said I was ready for my epidural and they told me to go home because I wasn’t even in labor yet!”
See why she’s awesome?
So, my nurse breathed a sigh of relief since she was on her second shift with me (she checked us in when we got to the hospital and since I hadn’t delivered when she got back for the night shift, she requested to be with us again) and was probably running out of patience. The anesthesiologist came in and explained the risks of having a mile-long needle inserted into your spine. My response: “That sounds horrible. Let’s get it going.”
The epidural was awesome. I take back anything bad I ever thought about epidurals. True conversation from the delivery room-
Nurse: “How are you feeling now?”
Me: “Like a champ. Can you go get that anesthesiologist?”
Me: “I want to make out with him.”
So, with the help of an epidural, we all got a little rest. I’m not too sure what all happened between the time of napping in the middle of the night and me becoming dilated to a nine sometime mid-morning. I can’t remember. Exhaustion plus crazy hormones plus a little bit of being in shock about having a kid put me in a daze. I stalled at 9cm for a long time. It was because of the way Jack was positioned, so the nurses were having me try some different positions, mainly laying on my sides, to try to get him to move. I began to realize that my current nurse (I went through several), an 80-year-old lady who had been doing this for 46 years, was beginning to get nervous. She never said the word “c-section,” but I know that’s what she was thinking. She told me we had to get that baby to move and she was going to call the doctor to see what she should do.
While she was gone, I found myself alone in the room (Where did everyone go? I have no clue). I prayed for God to roll my baby over to the position he should be in and to keep him safe. Immediately, I began to feel a lot of pressure downstairs. Madalene, the nurse, came back in and asked to check me again. She was literally not gone for more than five minutes. She checked me and got very excited. Madalene: “He moved! I don’t have time to explain everything but there has been a VERY big change! I’m so happy!” Her excitement got me pretty excited and I exclaimed that I had prayed for this. She patted my leg and said “Good for you, honey. So did I!” Then she scurried off to do who knows what. I mean…I just…come on! A nurse who prays for her patients? These gals helping me were utter ANGELS. I love them.
I started hurting pretty bad again because I was a lucky one who had break through pain that the epidural couldn’t kill. The anesthesiologist offered to do another one but I could tell it wouldn’t be long now so I decided to just get on with it.
Then it got crazy because it was time to push and we were waiting for the dr and some random guy in scrubs came in and started setting everything up and everyone was running around nuts. Looking back, I wish I had paid attention to Spencer right then because I bet he was super overwhelmed but I was in my own world. I never felt the urge to push I kept hearing about. I felt major pressure but it was like if you had to poop really bad and it seemed like if I just laid there, the contractions would push the baby out without me doing anything at all. The dr came in and gave me a shot of lidocaine in the birth canal. I figured why hold back on the pain meds at that point. Then he told me to push. I was like, “When?” and he said whenever I felt ready. Okaaaay… I guess now? One other question- “How?” and he said just how I thought. Great, thanks for all the guidance. So, I pushed and he said “good job.” I pushed again and he got all excited and said I was a perfect pusher and I must’ve figured it out and that we would probably have a baby within 20 minutes. He said twenty minutes like that was a good thing. I was thinking, “No, I think I will go ahead and get it out now, thankyouverymuch.” And since he had bragged on how good a pusher I was, it encouraged me and I pushed him out on the very next push. I think I made some noise on the last one. So, after all that, Jack only needed three quick pushes and here he was at 11:05am on the second day of labor.
They laid him on me and Spencer cut the cord after a little hesitation. I mean, it is disgusting, after all. The first thing I said was, “He has hair!” The second thing I said was, “He’s not the right color, somebody help him!” So, Madalene grabbed him and they gave him a little hit of oxygen and he was all good to go after a couple of minutes. The dr and the random guy were all up in my business at that point doing who knows what and Madalene was giving me a shot in the butt and I felt like I was in a weird dream. I don’t even remember when they brought Jack back to me. I don’t remember when Spencer got to hold him. I don’t remember too much of anything that happened there in the first little bit after he was born. That makes me a little sad but it’s a bit late to worry about the memories, I guess!
Okay, I think that’s the whole story of our baby-having adventure. Only a couple hours of it were terrible. It all took so long because my body and baby weren’t really ready for labor yet, but since my water had broken, we had no choice. This experience definitely reinforced my opinion on getting induced before your due date. It can obviously make you have a crazy long labor if you’re not ready. This experience totally shattered my opinion on epidurals. I do not regret that one bit. I think if I could have seen an end in sight I could’ve avoided the epidural but I was just not progressing and had no idea how much longer we were looking at. I was disappointed because I wanted to have a natural labor but one of my friends pointed out that these medications have saved a lot of lives. True. If this had happened back in the old days, would Jack or I even be alive right now? Without antibiotics or a way to induce labor after my water broke, we could have both suffered a fatal infection. This is somewhat of a blow to my ego because I wanted to believe I could do it on my own and that my body was designed to handle it. But, maybe it wasn’t. Anyway, we got our baby. BUT, I have had a headache intermittently since coming home from the hospital and since I am not one to usually have headaches, I wonder if the epidural could have anything to do with it. Or maybe it’s just the lack of sleep.
Speaking of lack of sleep, it’s pretty hardcore. Combined with the baby blues, it is not a joke. I was pretty sure I had some post-partum depression there for a couple of weeks. I was planning to call the dr when I just suddenly started feeling better. There was quite a bit of crying there at first, though. And anxiety. I have never been one to be nervous but looking back, I was pretty much on a crazy train. One moment I was panicked at the thought of how much medicine I had in me during labor and the next I was ordering a breathing monitor off Amazon at 3am because I was so paranoid one night. It was nuts. Thank goodness that’s over.
And finally, in case anyone was wondering, I gained 35lbs during my pregnancy. I have lost only about 17. So, I have some work to do there.
I think that’s it! More to come about motherhood in the near future, I’m sure. Thanks for caring. Love y’all.