Today Mama M. is hosting a Blog Hop for birth stories. Emersyn's birth story was so perfect, I thought it would be fun to re-read and then re-post!
From the beginning....
On Wednesday, 8/27, I was scheduled to be induced at noon. I had chosen an induction for mainly elective reasons but also because I had the gestational diabetes and was on insulin, which made me a candidate for having a bigger baby. However, at my 36 week ultrasound, the baby was perfectly average so my dr. was skeptical about me truly needing an induction but said if my cervix was favorable, I could do it. At my dr. appt. at 38 weeks, I was dilated to 3 so my dr. agreed to induce me the following week.
On Wednesday, I woke up and it was so surreal. I took my last shower pregnant, knowing that the next time I took a shower, my belly would be empty of a baby and I would be able to hold her in my arms. It was too surreal. My mom and I had manicures and pedicures scheduled for 9am. It was a nice time to get pampered, for sure. I had been told to call St.Vincent's just to make sure that they were running on schedule. Well, when I called at 11am, they were running late and asked if I could come in at 1 instead. This worked out for me because I hadn't eaten lunch yet. We went to Applebees and had a nice leisurely lunch, then headed to the hospital.
Upon checking in, I was led to my labor and delivery room. I got undressed and they wanted me to put on a hospital gown. I put it on but it was super uncomfortable and I felt really exposed in it. I had brought a tank top/nightshirt thingy that I preferred to wear and they said that was fine, just to know that it was going to get blood on it and might get stained. That was fine with me. I got situated in the bed in my own clothes, which was nice, and the nurse basically interviewed me and asked me a billion questions. Gradually, I got hooked up to the monitors, got my IV put in, which hurt really really bad by the way, and that whole process took almost two hours. It was about 3:45 before I got started on the pitocin. The pitocin was definitely no fun, it it everything they say it is, makes the contractions come harder and faster but I was fine, my mom, brother and husband were doing a good job at keeping me distracted and entertained. Having them there was such a blessing because I felt surrounded by people that loved me and it was great. The hardest part was getting comfortable on the bed and dealing with the constant desire to go to the bathroom. Everytime I had to go to the bathroom, I had to get unhooked from the monitors and get out of bed, take my IV over to the bathroom, and then go potty, which usually was like three drops. Every pregnant/formerly pregnant person knows what I am talking about. :) That was no fun. I tried to change positions to get more comfortable. I tried sitting on the birth ball but it was too low to the ground. I sat in a rocking glider thingy and that was a little more comfortable. I don't know if I was having "back labor" per say, but I was definitely feeling the contractions in my back. The contractions were not what I expected, they felt like the braxton hicks contractions that I had been having, only a little more crampy.
My dr. started her shift at 6pm and she came and checked me. I was 3 1/2 cm dilated but 90% effaced which was progress. She said that she was going to wait a bit to break my water and she advised me to get my epidural before she broke it because once the water was broken, things were going to get more painful. I wanted to hold out as long as I could but she said that I was doing really well and there was no point in delaying the epidural, it would have no effect on the baby and I may as well get comfortable.
At about 8pm, I got my epidural, which I have to say was the scariest part of the whole birthing process for me. At this point, Brett's parents had gotten here and so the room was pretty full. For the epidural, they cleared out the entire room except for Brett. They lifted the bed really high and had me sit on the edge of the bed with me hugging a pillow and my feet resting on Brett's knees. They did the numbing shot, which felt like a bee sting, just a sharp pain and then some burning. I felt the big needle go in, but I didn't know that is what it was, it hurt pretty bad and I cried a little bit. The whole thing was scary because of the risks associated with the epidural but about 10 minutes later, it was done and I didn't even know that she had already done the big needle, so that was a relief. They had me lay back down and I slowly started to feel my feet get tingly like they were falling asleep. They let the meds work for awhile and then through some testing (using alcohol wipes so I could measure how cold they were on my lower body versus upper body), they realized that the epidural hadn't taken as much on the right side. They propped me up on the left side to see if the meds would kind of drip their way to the right side and said to give it 15 minutes or so. If that didn't work, they were going to have to do the epidural ALL OVER. This was not what I wanted to hear!!! I stayed propped up for the 15 minutes and it didn't seem to be working. The nurse went to tell the anesthist (have no idea how to spell that) and she said it would be about another 30 minutes before she could get back to me. Well, 30 minutes later, the propping had worked and I was pretty equally numb on both sides, praise the Lord! At that point I was a happy girl, I was still having steady contractions and could see and feel my belly getting tighter with each contraction but my back pain had stopped and the contractions were a breeze. The dr. came back at about 9ish, maybe a little later and broke my water. That was an interesting sensation, just tons of warm liquid coming out. Then the nurse put in a catheter which honestly was a relief, now I didn't have to get up to go to the bathroom all the time or feel the sensation of having to go potty all the time!!
It was really special having my brother there. He is a pretty entertaining person and this was a tremendous bonding experience for us. I had joked around about him filming the birth and he has been horrified at the thought. However, when I was in labor, he was growing more intrigued and there was a great spot in the delivery room where he could stand and not actually see anything "inappropriate" :) , but still film the birth. He agreed and I was SO happy about that. He had filmed a lot of the labor and is working on a movie for us which is really really fun.
At about 10, Brett went out to get my family and Brett's family so they could come back in the room. We hung out until about midnight, when my dr. came back in to check me. I had only dilated to a 4 and was a little disappointed. The dr. said that I was probably not going to have this baby before morning so we may as well try to get some sleep. Brett layed down on the couch thingy, my mom and brother were on their laptops and Brett's family were napping out in the waiting room on couches. Brett totally passed out for a good hour I would say, maybe more. He was even snoring, it was too funny. At about 1:30 he woke up and him and my brother went to go get coffee from the cafeteria. Meanwhile, at about 12:30 I had started feeling tremendous pressure down low, I guess in my pelvic bone. I was not expecting that, I thought the epidural would kind of take care of all that pain. I asked the nurse and she said that the baby's head was making it's way through my pelvic bone. It was really painful and uncomfortable. Right when Brett left to get coffee, the nurse had went to look for my dr. because the pressure was becoming more frequent and consistent. The nurse came back and said that my dr. was in surgery but that she could actually check me. I was dilated to a 9+ and 10% effaced. The time was getting closer!!! Brett came back from getting coffee and was told to drink up because it wouldn't be long before I started pushing. They said that I should wait about an hour to start pushing because I should let my uterus do the hard work at this point and get the baby down as far as possible before I start having to do the hard work. At about 2:45 my nurse said it was time to start pushing and we asked my in-laws to wait outside. They brought in a mirror so that I could see what was happening. My mom and Brett were on either side of me, holding my legs and cheering me on as I pushed. It was an interesting sensation, the pushing, because my lower half was somewhat numb, so I had to make sure that I was actually pushing her out, not just having this tremendous pressure in my face. The hospital bed had these two bars on either side, and they said for me to grab them and act like I was rowing and use them to help me push. I had thought I would be more upright during the pushing but the labor nurse said that it wasn't the optimal position for me so I was more laying down, not entirely flat but more flat then I thought. It was great though, honestly, it was a fairly easy experience. The pushing wasn't a breeze but it was really rewarding being able to see what was happening in the mirror and see the progress that each push making. As her little head peeked out, we could definitely see hair which was exciting!!!! I never dreamed we would have a baby with hair, for some reasy I just imagined her coming out pretty fair skinned and blonde, mostly a baldy. :) With each push, my family got more and more involved. Pretty soon, everyone in the room was counting down with the nurse to push and at some points when the nurse was getting ready for the dr. to come in, Brett would even just do the countdown. I liked that I felt like I was in charge of the pushing too. I got to say when they started as I felt the contractions start and we did three sets of 10. I got to the point where we were starting to see her head that I got excited for the next contraction to start and even a little impatient!! Finally, my dr. came in and at that point I couldn't see much because she was kind of in the way of the mirror. I was okay with that though because I was starting to get worried about the logistics of the baby actually coming out. I mean, I could see the physics of the area and wasn't sure how it was all going to fit. The dr. used a warm compress on me to help me stretch and with each push was massaging the area to make the skin more loose. As her head got closer to coming out, the delivery nurse pushed the call button and said "stand by for delivery", which brought a couple more nurses into the room to get ready for the baby. I did a really long and strong push and her little head came out and everyone said, "keep pushing" and that was pretty painful, in the video I am like, "OW OW OW OW", and then the nurse laid my bed down a little flatter and out came my baby girl and her EXTREME cone head!!!!! Emersyn was born at 3:45am, about one hour after I started pushing which isn't much time at all for a first time Mom. They put her on my chest and cleaned her off and it was such a surreal moment in my life. I cried like a baby and just loved her. She was so beautiful and the moment was more then I could ever describe. I did tear a little bit but it was no big deal. While the baby was on me, they massaged my stomach to get the placenta out. I felt it come out which was strange but not painful. Then the dr. stitched me up, I have no idea how many, it was almost like they didn't want to let me know, kind of an out of sight, out of mind thing but I was fine with that. I tore a little on the top and bottom but it has been no big deal. I am a little sore still but it isn't a big deal. The tearing was a big fear of mine but turned out to be no big deal.
The baby's color wasn't great so she only got an 8 for her apgar. She wasn't warming up very well so they gave her a warm bath and then wrapped her up and stuck her on the warmer. She nursed within the first hour and she latched on right away, it was great. She was very alert and sweet, hard to believe that she was just inside of me hours earlier.
I have to say that giving birth was the most tiring thing I have ever done. About 30 minutes after she was born, I could hardly keep my eyes open, seriously. In fact, when they wheeled me to my recovery room, I couldn't even hold the baby because I was afraid of dropping her from falling asleep. Once in the recovery room, the baby was asleep so we took a nap, only to be woken up by dr.'s like an hour later. We asked them to come back, we were SO tired and the baby was asleep and we really needed to get some sleep.
Overall, I think I had the BEST possible birth experience that I could think of. I honestly could not imagine a better experience. I feel so blessed and know that God was watching over me and my baby during this whole time.
Our day at the hospital went by really fast, we had some visitor's, not too many but enough to make the day go by fast. That night was really rough at the hospital, the baby wouldn't sleep much and seemed gassy and Brett was super uncomfortable in his bed and I was uncomfortable in mine and we couldn't wait to go home! We didn't get discharged until 2, which was a little irritating, I think our nurse forgot about us, but it was fine. We got her all ready to go in her darling go home outfit and put her in her car seat for the first time and headed home.
That was so fun to re-live....can't wait for the next time around! :)