Sunday – 6/23/13
The house was full of in-laws, or rather the back porch was full of them. It was a reunion of sorts for them since they hadn’t all been together in no one knew how long. I socialized a bit and then sat/laid on the couch most of the evening where I eventually dozed off. I wasn’t really having contractions most of the day as much as I was just tired and easily exhausted. I also lost a big chunk of mucus plug a couple of times.
Ricardo woke me up to get in bed around midnight. We had plans to go to Ada the next morning after sleeping in, having a last breakfast with the boys and then dropping them off at the sitters. We wanted to just relax and hang out together and be in town early before checking in at the hospital at 9pm for the induction.
Monday – 6/24/13
Somewhere around 1 or 2 am I had a sharp contraction. Sharp enough to wake me up and I breathed through it. I immediately fell back to sleep though and wondered later if I had dreamed it.
Around 2:45 I woke up with another sharp contraction. It was painful enough that I knew it was the real kind but not so painful that I was paralyzed by it. I got up and went to the bathroom a little unsure of what to do. I felt like this was probably really about to happen and we had only been in bed for a little over 2 hours. I didn’t want to wake Ricardo up if it wasn’t real but I didn’t think we could afford to wait long if it was real.
I had one or two more contractions and finally at 3 am I shook him awake and told him I thought it was probably time. He was groggy and wanted to know if we needed to go. I said I’d time them for a little bit but yeah we probably needed to go soon.
I downloaded a contraction timer app and started timing them at 3:15. They were anywhere from 20-60 seconds long and coming every 3-8 minutes. Not consistent at all but strong.
I called my mom around 3:45 to come stay with the boys and then started gathering up the last minute things we needed. I was so unsure about going to the hospital. I knew I would feel really bad if we drove all the way there and then the contractions just stopped like they had on Friday. Ricardo was exhausted and I didn’t want him to have to drive like that if he didn’t have too. But on the other hand these contractions hurt and felt really familiar and I knew I was in labor. I figured it would be better to go early before I got into a consistent pattern of contractions.
Then to make matters worse when my mom got there my contractions stopped for an hour. She told me she was praying that the contractions would ease off until we got to the hospital and then start up again. I hoped that’s what was happening but worried even more that I was making the wrong decision to go.
We got out the door and on the road at 4:35 am and I started timing the contractions again about 20 minutes later. For about an hour they were coming every 4-8 minutes and lasting about 20-30 seconds. Short but strong. I was able to sleep in between and felt kinda bad that I was getting to sleep every few minutes while Ricardo was having to keep himself awake.
The last hour of the drive they were coming really consistently about every 7 minutes and were starting to last closer to 60 seconds each time. It was a relief that they were picking up, I felt good that I had decided it was time to go and that we didn’t wait.
We both needed a bathroom break when we got to the hospital. I was so excited to see my bloody show! It made it that much more real. I was really in labor and it was happening on its own!! That was a first for me. The whole thing really. Some of it was so familiar but a lot of it felt like it was happening for the first time.
We went up to triage and was hooked up to the monitors. The triage nurse told us that there was a full moon that weekend (a super moon no less) so the weekend had been crazy with lots of labors and deliveries. I guess I was another victim of the super moon. I was really hoping to have made some progress since Friday (I was 1-2 cm then) and was crossing my fingers for 3 cm. The midwife checked me and I was shocked to find out that I was 4-5 cm already! I was starting to feel confident that this would go fast. The contractions were still about 7 minutes apart and staying pretty consistent.
We got checked into a room and that’s where all the “hospital-y” things started happening. I put on a gown, hooked up to the monitor again, lab techs came and took blood, got an IV (heplocked) inserted and told I could move around after receiving some fluids and being monitored for a little bit.
Ricardo laid down on the little couch to relax while I waited to be able to move. I really liked the nurses that were taking care of me and I was happy with the midwife on duty. Because it was a weekend of a full moon L&D was hopping. Because there were so many laboring moms my nurses were taking care of two patients instead of the one they’d normally have.
The anesthesiologist came in, a really nice older man, and introduced himself. He said he knew I wasn’t planning to use any pain meds but he liked to introduce himself before things got intense just in case I changed my mind later.
When I was finally able to get up I was tired and my plan of squatting through contractions did not sound fun at all. Plus I didn’t want to do anything that would make Ricardo need to do anything extra at that point. So I went and sat on the toilet and labored there for about 30 minutes. I wasn’t timing contractions anymore so I don’t know how fast they were coming but it didn’t seem like they were coming fast at all. I was moaning though them at that point though. I heard the nurse say several times “she’s so quiet!”. I was trying really hard to relax through them all and hoping it was helping me to progress faster.
I had to be monitored again after 30-40 minutes of laboring on the toilet. The contractions were worse in bed but not a lot worse. I decided to have them break my water soon to help speed things along. I wasn’t planning to be in labor all day. No thank you!
Around 10:30 am the midwife came in to check me and I was 6-7 cm and I asked her to break my water. I expected the contractions to get worse or at least more intense immediately but they didn’t. I went back to sitting on the toilet hoping I was simulating enough of a squat that it was helping my progression. I even told the nurse that I hoped I wasn’t jinxing myself but I was waiting for it to get worse and it wasn’t.
Around 30 minutes later they were worse but it was a gradual ramp up in pain and intensity. About this time I was starting to be done with labor. Ricardo had fallen asleep since I didn’t seem to need him, (I couldn’t fault him for that), the nurses were busy with other patients and I was laboring alone. I was getting frustrated that I was even having to go through labor again…much less in an unfamiliar environment. It wasn’t that the hospital was bad it’s just that it wasn’t what I was used to in labor.
Around 11:30 I got in the shower and Ricardo came in the bathroom to stay with me. I was in a lot of pain and I was finding it really hard to relax through the contractions at that point. I was very aware of him standing there outside the shower, I knew he was exhausted and he wanted to be supportive but there wasn’t really a way for him to be. He couldn’t get in the shower and there was no where for him to sit so he was having to stand.
Thats when I started thinking about getting an epidural. I kept thinking of all the stories I’ve heard about how someone got their epidural and joked and laughed through the rest of their labor and I wanted that. I wanted to relax and not do any work. I wanted Ricardo to be able to rest so I was starting to feel like screw it, I don’t care about going natural this time. From the very beginning of this pregnancy every single thing about it had been different from the last two – why shouldn’t this be different too? I had nothing to prove, I already knew I could do it. I’d done it twice. Only pride was keeping me from getting one…pride and the fear that unnecessary interventions would cause other complications.
Around noon I asked Ricardo if I could “cheat” he tried to encourage me to stick with the plan. I finally just looked at him and pulled the nurses cord in the shower. When the nurse came in I was in the middle of a contraction and Ricardo told her “she’s wanting to change her mind”. The nurse said “oh she wants an epidural now?” and I was finally able to answer enough to say YES, I want one. She said I needed to be checked first and went to get another nurse. They helped me back into bed checked me and I was 8 cm. Since I was so close to the end I didn’t need the regular epidural so they gave me an intrathecal epidural. Basically, just one shot that would last about three hours. After deciding to get the pain meds I stopped trying to relax during the contractions and that of course made the pain worse. By the time the anesthesiologist came in I wasn’t so “quiet” anymore. I wasn’t screaming or yelling but I was noticeably in pain. At 12:35 I got the intrathecal and within two contractions it took effect. When the pain started lessening I started crying. Mostly from the relief but it was also an emotional reaction from giving up on something I strongly believe in. I told the nurse ” I feel bad but I feel so good.” And to this day I have no regrets over getting it. NONE. I’d make the same choice again.
They said it would last for about 3 hours so I nervously watched the clock hoping I’d be finished in three hours. 3 hours to progress 2 more cm. I hoped that with no pain my body would relax enough that I’d progress to 10 really quickly. I had about an hour of being pain free. During that hour I was hooked up to the monitors and the nurse told us that we could tell when I was having a contraction just by listening to the baby’s heart rate. That when it went way down I was having a contraction and that it was because the baby’s head was being compressed. She said it was fine that it would go really far down as long as it came back up.
Around 1:30 (an hour after receiving the intrathecal) I started feeling the pain again. But this time it wasn’t just in my abdomen it was in my back too. Within 15 minutes it was almost as bad as it was when I first asked for the meds. I started moaning and groaning again through each contraction and forget relaxing! I was still numb from the waist down but the pain was excruciating. And it was starting to just stay constant. I want to say around 1:50 or 1:55 I called the nurse and when they answered I was in the middle of a contraction and just groaned and they hung up and came to check on me.
I had started noticing that Lilly’s heart rate was dropping almost to stopping and staying like that awhile during each contraction and the contractions seemed to be coming close together. It didn’t scare or worry me but I was wondering if she was about to come out. I even wondered what would happen if I started pushing. If I hadn’t of been numb I probably would have tried it!
I told them that the pain was back and bad and groaned loudly. They tried telling me that the midwife was with another lady that was delivering and I had to wait for her to come check me. I didn’t say anything but I guess they decided they needed to check me themselves. I saw the look on the nurses face when she checked me and she didn’t get her hand all the way in either. She told the other nurse “she’s right there”. I knew I must have been right about Lilly being ready to come out. It was strange because I couldn’t feel a contraction because I was numb. But I was in pain. I guess because Lilly was sitting there waiting to come out the pressure of her head in the birth canal was causing the pain.
Within a few minutes the midwife finally came in, had me grab my knees and push. It was a little weird to push and not really feel anything about how I was pushing. But I only pushed three times and she was out. Ricardo caught her and put her on my chest! I was so glad the midwife was open to the idea. He had caught the boys as they were born and I really wanted him to catch Lilly too.
She seemed so tiny, completely covered in vernix and so much hair. The latest baby (39 weeks) and the one with the most vernix. They left her with us for a long time on my chest. I want to say it was at least an hour before they weighed or measured her. She nursed right away and was content just to be held.
I’m so glad she made it here safely and with that we leave our labor and delivery days behind us.
Welcome Little Lilly!