Labor + Delivery
So - here's my story of bringing our first child into the world! I did it!!
Wednesday evening I ran a little over 5 miles on the treadmill. Running now seems foreign right? I was having back pain midway through the run, but just kept on running. I showered and still had pain in my back, got Bill to massage it a bit, ate scoops of almost every flavor that I had of Naturally Nutty out of the jar, and went to bed. I was up at 2am with cramps and felt like I was constipated. I tried to go to the bathroom, I can't remember if I was able to or not, and went back to bed. I was up 20 minutes later with the same cramps, followed the same routine, went back to bed and it was unrelenting. Finally at 4 a.m, thinking the Naturally Nutty was tainted and did me in and that I needed some fiber, I went downstairs and made oatmeal and tea. I ate that and went back to bed, and I think I may have slept until it was time to wake up at 6.
Bill and I carpooled to work and I still just wasn't feeling well. I had the first two periods of the day as prep periods, so I was trying to time to see if there was any pattern to the pain. It was somewhat erratic and by the time I had to teach, I wasn't able to time it anymore. While teaching, I was still getting pains and my demeanor would change or I would sit down if I was in the middle of teaching. Like I wrote when I was questioning if they were contractions I wanted to shout out curses when I was getting pains. By the afternoon, I was sitting down for most of my classes and they were working. I told my second to last period class that I really was not feeling well and this might be it. My last class had a test.
I called the doctor's office and they told me to stay off my feet and come in Friday a.m. Since I carpooled with Bill, I was already staying at school later than usual, and realized that this might be it, and made sure my final stuff was together for my sub and gave my department chair a tour of where everything was. I left school around 5:15 and picked up Bill. I had changed into sweats and my phone was dead so I had to go into his office to get him. I looked homeless!
On the way home, I decided I was STARVING. I made Bill stop and get me pizza. Normally I would say I want pizza and decide otherwise, but I really needed pizza. I am not usually a huge eater and a slice usually is good enough and I save one for the next day,but Bill got me 2 slices, and one was consumed within 2 minutes of him passing it to me in the car! I started eating the other one and finished it when I got home. Then I continued to eat more food because I was still hungry!
I called the doula to see if she had any advice and she said to call the doctor if the pains get more rhythmic and to try to sit in different positions, walk around ,etc. I sat down on the couch with some papers to grade but the pains were getting stronger. The class that had a test was just finishing a unit and I wanted to get in the grades before I never looked at the stack again! I found a website that times contractions and still they were not rhymic, but I realized that they were pretty close together, 4-8 minutes apart. The only thing I was getting up for was to eat or crawl on the floor. At one point I was grading papers on my stairs between contractions and curling up into a ball and/or wincing on the floor. Bill was trying to help me but there was nothing he could do. Finally around 10pm, we decided to go to bed, but I knew I wasn't sleeping. I think Bill was convinced the pains might go away. I got in bed and it was horrible pain - like an innertube around my front and back. My back hurting was probably the worst. I called the doctor and she said to go in if the contractions were 3 min apart, if I had any blood or my water broke. So I continued to deal with the pain and we tried to track the contractions but they were all over the place: 4, 5, 3, 7, 10, Finally went to the bathroom and had blood, and this is when (I was on all fours on the bathroom floor) I said, "Bill, I think we need to go."
My bag was packed, but Bill hadn't packed so he was putting things together and we headed to the hospital (a 1 minute drive away). We had to go through the ER entrance since it was around midnight by this time and I think it was probably about 5 degrees outside. We were walked up to Labor and Delivery, checked in and brought to our room. At this point I was 3 cm dilated ( I was pretty disappointed because with the pain I was having I felt like I was 25 cm dilated!) We called the doula(who then informed us she was with another client and would send her backup), they hooked the baby up to the monitor and I mostly just sat there in bed. I curled into a ball whenever I was having bad ones and they started getting progressively worse. I was horrible at dealing with the pain and just squeezed Bill's hand and moaned. My body was shaking - that part was really weird. There were alot of times that I was saying "I CAN'T DO THIS ANYMORE!" or "I need the drugs! " I also told Bill when he was leaning in to kiss or massage me that he needed to brush his teeth. Hehe. Also used a few choice words in there. Finally like 3am I decided I wanted drugs. I was 5 cm dilated and that wasn't enough progression for me.
As they are giving me the epi, the stupid backup doula shows up. I was kinda pissed off but couldn't even care enough. Got the epi, and at 3:30 had 30 minutes of this great peace, no contractions. I thought I was going to sleep until 8am, they dimmed the lights, Bill got into his bed chair and I was thinking, what was I waiting for? We sent the doula out to the waiting room
4:00 am - Contractions again?? They were back to how they were an hour before, around my back and lower abdomen. The nurse told me to push a button if I wanted more of the drugs to go through so I was pushing it a little bit at first and then I was basically holding my hand on it and pumping the button. The contractions got progressively worse. I was shouting, moaning, and breathing like an idiot. The whole relaxing breaths or trying to relax your breathing - it did not help me AT all. I was trying to visualize heartbreak hill, but all I was really doing was focusing on the pain.
The anesthegeolist got called back because they said I shouldn't have been in that much pain. I could move my legs and felt like I could have gone for a walk or anything. They upped my dosage several times and still I was writhing. I was freaking out because I couldn't get up or crawl or turn onto one side or anything with the epi. I had jumped from 5 to 8cm really quickly. I feel like then it was already time to push - the time flew by. The doula came back and tried to help with the breathing and brought cool washcloths and filled up my ice chips. Bill held my hand and kept cheering me on. I feel like I was totally exhausted and my eyes were half open and I was half awake.
Pushing didn't seem that bad, it was all in my face I felt like. I couldn't feel any progression, so the epidural definitely did something? I felt like it was alot of pushing but getting no where. I think I'd say it was like 5 sessions of contractions with 3 pushes in each. It didn't seem like that long and wasn't horrible. Definitely couldn't picture though, how anyone not in shape could go through that though without tiring out! When I felt the urge to push at the end and it was time, the doctor wasn't ready!!! I was flipping out and cursing. They set up quickly and it was time for one final push. I was completely kind of out of it and feel like I didn't know what was going on around me. Bill was checking out the baby coming out and cut the cord! I felt a sense of relief and confusion I think! They put the baby on my chest and it was surreal. Then they warmed him up and stitched me up - they said I did great and had minor tears on the inside so that was great!
They let me get up at 8:00 but I was asking to get up at 7:15 to shower and move around.
I felt great after! And so excited.
Overall, I think the epidural kind of gets a bad rap. I was picturing not having any feelings in my legs and the baby ripping through and not knowing when to push. I thought it would slow down the labor - definitely didn't. I'd totally get it again, just earlier!
And now - we're just in a state of total love. Last night was our first night home. I couldn't bear to keep him in his basinet, I had to know he was breathing so he was sleeping next to me in the bed. Despite my initial feelings about nursing, I am trying it and it seems to be going well! He did great! He slept for 3-4 hours at a stretch. Is it surreal and when I look at him sometimes I just get all emotional and want to cry with happiness!