26 June 2019

I Bleeping Did It!

Classy title for a birth story post, right? Well, I did it, I gave birth and survived!

Here's how it all went down: Saturday, June 22nd Matt and I took Natalie to his mom's house to spend the night since I was scheduled to be induced at the hospital at midnight. She was nervous and sad for us to leave and I was too. At one point she said, "I can't do this, it's too overwhelming." and I totally understood. She calmed down and we left.

I don't like to be late for things so I wanted to arrive at the hospital early to process our pre filled paperwork and be sure once 12 am rolled around we were ready to get started. We got there at 11:30 p.m. but I was told they couldn't even enter me in the system until midnight or we would pay out of pocket for an entire day. We waited in the amazingly lavish lobby. Seriously, it had a grand piano and waterfalls and sculptures that looked like something from an art museum.

We went back up at 12:00 a.m. on the dot and were told my room wasn't ready just yet. We sat in the waiting area upstairs that was full of people when we arrived and there was no one but a very tired looking elderly couple sitting out there. They were nice and started chatting with us and revealed their daughter was also being induced but had been in labor since 3 p.m. the previous day. They said once she started dilating it took an hour per centimeter, but she was at 9 cm and going to start pushing soon, which they were told would take another 2 hours for pushing alone. I felt bad for her and wished them luck as the receptionist came and got us.

They got me set up in my room, room 7. The room was bigger than the entire first floor of my house, I was so dumbfounded at how nice this hospital was. It had a pull out day bed for Matt to sleep on too. They hooked me up to monitors to measure contractions and the baby's heart rate. I was feeling some cramps and the nurse said my contractions were coming every 5 minutes but I certainly did not feel them that often and the ones I did feel were pretty mild. I was surprised at how close they were.

The doctor came in, though I'm not sure what time it was. She chatted with me briefly and told me they would give me a cervix ripening agent every 4 hours and in the morning I would be given an IV of medication to start contractions. She also checked to see if I had dilated at all, and I had not. She said I was about 40-50% effaced and it was possible there was scar tissue form a surgery I had several years ago and that could be why I hadn't dilated.

I was asked questions and given an IV of fluid. Once all was said and done I was given a vaginal pill insert at about 1:40/1:45. I only remember because I asked how long it usually takes to begin working and the doctor told me about 20 minutes. I looked at the clock and did the math and expected something to happen around 2:05 a.m. I was told I could expect some cramps but sometimes the first dose doesn't work for everyone.

My contractions did begin to get stronger but I don't remember how soon after. The nurse asked me if I wanted a Benedryl to sleep. I initially said no, figuring it wouldn't help because the contractions would get too strong to sleep through but then I reminded myself that these medications take time, hence why they start them the night before, so I agreed to take one. My mind was racing and I hoped it would allow me to relax.

I was left alone to try and sleep. Matt was already doing his best to get some rest but I could not. Between the anxiety of it all and the need to get up and pee and unhook my monitors I just couldn't. The nurse had to keep coming to check on me because the baby wasn't picking up on the monitor well at times due to changing positions (from her and I I'm sure).

After one trip to the bathroom the nurse came in to ask if I was okay. I told her I was and apologized that the monitors kept coming off me. I lied back down and she adjusted the monitors around my belly. Then I felt my water break. I calmly told her, "I think my water just broke." Even though I was really exited and hopeful I still felt slightly skeptical about it. Despite just using the bathroom did I accidentally pee myself? I remembered how long it took me with Natalie to finally stop being in denial about my water breaking and I knew now it really did happen. The nurse said, "You think so?" and I justified it to her with, "Yeah, I mean, I just used the bathroom and I don't think I peed myself." She told me the doctor used a lot of gel when inserting my pill so it could be that. I felt even more seep out and I told her I was pretty sure. She checked me by asking me to cough and confirmed it had broken. I was so happy. I knew this meant I most likely wouldn't have to be give more drugs to artificially start labor, even though that was the plan.

I had been told once your water breaks is when things really start to progress and the doctor already told me I could get the epidural whenever I want since I have a history of quick labor. I felt so relieved by that but the idea that things would take a long long time still lingered in my head. I didn't want to get it too soon and it wear off by push time. I talked to the nurse and she said maybe wait an hour. I agreed with her.

The nurses switched shifts and 30 minutes later things started to pick up in intensity so I asked for the epidural. At some point my new nurse checked me and told me I was dilated to 2 cm. I said, "That's it?" and she said, "Yeah but it will progress quickly," I laughed a little and said, "You're right. I really shouldn't complain, this is already happening a lot faster than I expected." I was told I had to have a full bag of IV fluid in me before I could get it and that concerned me. What if now I wasn't able to get it because things moved too fast? I was all over the place.

They increased the speed of the IV pumping into me and called the anesthesiologist. I don't even know what time it was. I think around 4 a.m. I got the epidural. My legs pretty quickly started to feel numb. Maybe 5-10 minutes later. My right leg was more numb than the left and they told me to lie on my back and let gravity help distribute it. They kept asking me how my contractions felt and I told them they were still pretty painful.

Again the baby kept moving from the monitors and they kept having to adjust things. When everything finally settled down around what I think was close to 5 a.m. I felt so sleepy. I lied on my left side and was in between being awake and asleep. Then the pain got so unbearable. I would cry out in pain and remind myself to breathe. I had to tell myself out loud, "You can do this. You can do this." Matt woke up and I told him I wanted help. He asked if he should call the nurse. I said I didn't know, and then no because she couldn't do anything to keep me from being in pain. Maybe 15 minutes later I changed my mind and told him to call her. I wasn't sure what I wanted her to do but when she came in I asked if my epidural had come out. She checked and said no then told me she would check me. I hoped so badly that I was pretty far along dilated.

She checked and said, "Her head is right here." What? All that pain was for a purpose! She called the doctor. I told Matt, "I don't want you in the room when I push. You can come right after but I have to focus." Not that I thought he would distract me from doing my job per se, but I just wanted privacy and to be alone with the medical staff for it. He didn't question me and asked the nurses where to wait before he gave me a kiss and told me he loves me then headed out to the waiting area.

The nurse told me not to push until the doctor came. I wasn't having any urge or desire too so that was easy for me. The doctor came in quickly and got prepared. They told me on the next contraction to push. I was still waiting for it to come along so to get my mind off things I made small talk. "Today's actually my husband's birthday," and they smiled and said "Really?" and I said, "Yeah, it's his 40th too, so a big one." then along came a contraction almost before I could finish my sentence and I told them.

They said to push. I still had no urge and said, "Okay, like this?" as I sat up and they said yes. I held it for maybe 30 seconds. I remember asking if the baby was okay and they told me yes and showed me the top of her head. Then she was out. I said right after, "Holy shit that was easy!" in amazement at how fast and easy it was. They laughed and my main nurse replied, "Said no one ever!" They put her on my chest. She cried a lot. I remember blood getting smeared on my arm from her body and wondering when they would clean her up.

They took her after a minute or two and began to work on me. One nurse asked if I wanted her to take pictures of the baby on my phone. I said sure and she tried but it's such a crappy phone and didn't work out. I told her no to worry about it . I was told I had a 2nd degree tear. I'm not sure how bad that is or not and that's one thing I don't want to Google. Finally I called Matt to come back in the room. He was surprised at how fast it went and I had to tell them it was faster than he thought, they were just busy doing other things after she was born.

The entire day felt surreal. I couldn't believe it. I was so proud even though I had absolutely no control over how things went and had no choice but to get this baby out of me at some point. It went so amazingly that I just couldn't wrap my head around it.

Vanessa Nicole was born on June 23rd, 2019 at 6:12 a.m. weighing 8 lbs 4 ozs and 21 inches long. She is absolutely perfect from head to toe and I couldn't be more in love.

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