B is for Birth Story
We had done everything we could think of to help get the party started. We went hiking in the local park. I ate spicy food. I ate pineapples. Daryl and I even went walking around the galleria on Thursday in hopes that something would happen. It didn't. We went home tired and exhausted from walking, with no hint of a baby coming any time soon.
Fast foward to Friday morning.
Since I was going to be induced, our morning was fairly laid back. We got up and out of bed at 4:00. We got dressed and I straightened my hair. We woke Madeline up, and got her dressed and ready to go. We were trying to get out of the house on time to be able to drop Madeline off at her grandparents' house. We were almost out the door, and I stopped Daryl and said we had to take pictures, as this would be the last time we were a family of 3.
We took our pictures and headed out the door. We got Madeline off to her grandparents' house, and we headed to the hospital.
When we got to the hospital, I told the nurse at the counter that we were going to be induced, and were "here to have a baby." She gave me a clipboard and a pen, and walked me through the double doors into the waiting area. I filled out the paperwork, and Daryl and I were having a great conversation, laughing and joking about this and that. I finally finished and the nurse reviewed my medical history with me, and then walked us back to our room.
We walked around the corner to our room, and the nurse handed me a gown and told me to change so she could check me. I know the gowns are washed and reused, but the one she gave me had a huge, blood like stain on the front of it. I looked at Daryl with a disgusted look on my face, and was hesitant to ask for another one, because I didn't want to come across as being rude. Thankfully Daryl asked for me. I mean it was possibly blood. Gross.
I got another gown, and hopped into the bed so she could check me. She said I was only 2 cm! I was disappointed. How could I go from 4 to 2?? She said my doctor was probably "very thorough" in his exam. She got me hooked up to all the monitors and said my doctor would be in to break my water at 7 am.
It was shift change somewhere between me getting checked and having my water broken, and Dana was going to be my nurse during labor and delivery. She was extremely nice, and we chatted and joked for awhile. The doctor (not my doctor, but another one in the practice) came in at about 8 am to break my water. It was really painful! I told Daryl and Dana that it was really uncomfortable, and I didn't remember it being that painful. Dana assured me that it was painful, and that he broke her water, and it was really uncomfortable for her too. I was then hooked up to the Pitocin and waited for things to get moving.
I was able to get up and down and go to the restroom as I needed, but was reminded that once I got the epidural, I would not be able to get out of bed. I went to the restroom, carting my IV tree with me, and I looked at Daryl and said don't watch me walk to the bathroom Daryl, my gown doesn't have a back. I made it to the restroom, and then he called out to me "I can see your butt." It was funny, but still, it was embarrassing, even if it was only the two of us in the room.
I told Daryl at one point that I didn't think I was going to get one. I told Dana of my failed epidural with Madeline, and she suggested that I wait until the contractions were stronger to decide if I wanted to get it. I was doing pretty well, and was able to make it a few hours without any pain medicine. I decided around 10 or so that I did want to have an epidural.
The anesthesiologist came in and I explained that the epidural failed last time, and I didn't want that to happen again. She said she was going to give me something else, and to think of it as the "Mercedes Benz" of epidurals. So here I was, in the middle of really strong contractions, hunched over in a ball, while the anesthesiologist stuck a huge needle in my back, and told me not to move. Definitely, not as easy as it sounded, but I made it through.
My in-laws came up to the hospital with Madeline. My parents showed up, and we all visited and had a good time. We took pictures, and my mom checked the monitors and told me when I was having contractions. They were kicked out of the room so Dana could check me again.
Dana then said that the baby wasn't turned correctly, and was "sunny side up." He was in the correct head down position, but was face up. She said that was one of the most difficult positions to deliver a baby.
I was making it through contractions OK, but Dana had me get up on my hands and knees and sway back and forth to try and get him to turn and make it easier for me. So I did. I rocked back and forth and all I could think was 1. I feel like a cow swaying back and forth like this and 2. the "I like it when she rock her hips" lyrics were running through my head. I remember laughing at myself, thinking who thinks that when they're having a baby?
A little while later, I told Dana I was having some pain. She asked me if it was pain or pressure. I couldn't tell. She checked me and said I was at 10 cm, and that it was probably pressure. This was awesome! I wasn't really in that much pain, I was breathing through the contractions, and was excited to meet my little guy. Daryl and I asked her how long she thought I would be pushing, and she responded with a quick " 20 minutes. You will probably have a baby before noon." Heck yes! I was really excited, as 20 minutes sounded like a piece of cake.
So the pushing phase began. The pushing was not effective at the beginning, I could tell they didn't feel right. Dana coached me and helped me focus. 12 o'clock came around, and I was still pushing. Dana called my doctor to give him a heads up on my progress. The room started to get extremely hot, and I didn't think I was going to be able to push this baby out of my body.
Dana asked me if I wanted her to get he mirror. Umm sure, I guess. So off she went to get the mirror so I could watch. I pushed and pushed and pushed. It was hot, and sweat was dripping down my face, and the rest of my body. The mirror was set up and she showed me that his head was "right there," and that "I was so close." She encouraged me to keep at it.
My doctor was finally called in to deliver my little guy. Because he was "sunny side up," the doctor got out the vacuum to help guide him out, but told me I would still have to push.
I pushed, but did not feel a thing. He said I was having really strong contractions, and then looked up at me and asked me if I felt it. Nope. Not at all! Oh my gosh, this was amazing... the baby was crowning, and I was not feeling a thing. The next thing I knew, my doctor said "he's here, oh he's big! Wow he's really long." His head was swollen from the vacuum, and he had a bruise on his left eyebrow and a little on his forehead from being pushed up against my pelvic bone. We each had our own battle scars, as it was tough for both of us.
On December 30, 2011 at 1:04 pm, baby Nolan entered the world. He was the most handsome little guy I had ever seen.
* Note: if you ask Daryl about Nolan's birth story, I'm sure it is a completely different story, from a father's perspective anyway.