The big day finally arrived! Baby girl made her forced appearance into the world starting on Saturday, August, 3rd. Don't read on if you don't want to know all of the details...I'm not going to tell everything though! We called the hospital that night to see if they could take us to start being induced (see previous post). They said they could not but that we should come in for a non-stress test just to make sure she was doing well and that I was doing well. The non-stress test was perfectly fine, but my blood pressure was slightly elevated. I wonder why?!?!...4 days of thinking we were going in to have a baby only to be told no over and over again. The doctor came back in to check my blood pressure later and it was normal but she said they were going to keep me because if she let me go home, she didn't know when I would get to return!
I began cervidil around 10PM Saturday night and attempted to go to sleep. I watched FRIENDS on TV for awhile to drown out all of the beeping on the labor and delivery floor. Sunday morning I got to eat breakfast, take a shower, and then, begin the pitocin. We started pitocin around 8AM and between 10AM and 11AM, my water broke. Holy contractions! The pitocin on its own had been fine as the contractions were gradually increasing, but once my water broke, it went from 0 to 60 in record time. They checked me in the early afternoon and I was still only 1 cm dilated. The nurses originally thought that baby girl would make her entrance by dinner time; they were sadly mistaken! By that point, I felt like a sissy, but the pain was getting a lot worse and I was having intense back labor since baby girl was facing the wrong way. The nurses gave me an injection of nubain to try to relax me and get me through the pain. I was instantly groggy and able to take a nap for a couple of hours. It did actually numb my back labor as well for awhile.
After a brief respite from the pain, it was back in full force in the early evening. I couldn't take it any more, and my doctor suggested an epidural even though I was still only 1 cm dilated. They made Steve leave the room which terrified me, but getting the epidural wasn't nearly as bad as I had thought it would be. The only problem...it didn't work! I was numb only in my legs for a few hours. My back labor was still intense and my labor was not progressing like it should have. Around midnight they tried a second epidural, but that one also failed and only numbed my legs for a matter of minutes. I think one of the nurses thought I was kidding about all of the pain but later realized how intense everything was. I have no idea what time it was when I was 3 cm dilated, but the doctor said she would come back to check on me in a couple of hours to see how I was doing. I could not have made it through those last few hours (2 turned into 3 since the doctor had another delivery!) without my amazing husband coaching me. He kept trying to get me to relax through the contractions and just breathe. I know many women say that you forget your labor and delivery, but that is a pain that I am not sure that I can never forget. I was absolutely miserable and have never felt pain like that in my entire life. If that's what having a kidney stone feels like, I am truly sorry for those who have gone through that experience!
A little before 3AM, I was fully dilated (thank you Lord!); if I was not, I was going to beg them to take her out of me! I found out later that I would have had a C-Section had I not been fully dilated. The pushing began, and that was actually much easier than I expected it to be. Looking back, delivery seemed like a breeze in comparison to labor because I actually got to do something about the contractions. Two hours into pushing, I was exhausted so the doctor suggested using a vacuum to help her along. I guess this is where taking a childbirth class could have helped because I expected an electronic-like device that would suck her out...I didn't know that I was still going to have to do all of the work! That being said, the
vacuum suction cup helped get her over that last hurdle to make it easier for the final few pushes. It was immediate relief as soon as she was out; all of the pain and contractions seemed to disappear!
Baby girl entered the world at 5:18AM on Monday morning. She didn't cry immediately, but once she did, it was the best sound in the whole world. Another nurse and the on-call pediatrician were there to check her out, and then, Steve was able to spend some time with her while I was stitched up a bit (that may have hurt worse than the delivery!). Once they were finished with me, I got to hold her for a bit. An hour later her birth, we were hanging out in the delivery room with my parents and Steve's dad. It was really nice to just have that family time without a bunch of people in the waiting room expecting to see us right away.
By 8 or 9AM, we were moved to the postpartum floor and awaiting her return from the nursery for her first real check-up. It felt like we had already been awake for all of Monday at that point, but I guess that's what happens when you have already been awake for 48 hours! Although both epidurals failed, I guess it was an all around positive birthing experience. My actual delivery seemed easy and I suppose I earned my merit badge for a "natural" birth (at least a semi drug-free one anyway). Either way, baby girl arrived healthy and loved!