This story begins on Tuesday night, December 27, 2011.
We checked into the hospital at 8 p.m. and induction took its course.
The dreaded IV
First things first, they started an IV. Ouch! I’ve only had one before in my life, getting my wisdom teeth out, but that was in the elbow, not the hand. Wow, did it hurt. I felt like such a baby (no pun intended)–crying through my first, simple procedure. I’m sure the nurse thought, ‘And how is she going to give birth if she can’t handle an IV?’ Anyway, when people are doing medical stuff to me, I hate hearing a description of what’s happening. Words like “veins, needle and blood” should not be spoken. I’d rather just close my eyes and wait for it to end. Unfortunately, I have veins of steel. One nurse poked around inside my hand for what felt like 15 minutes (I’m sure it was more like 30 seconds), before getting a second nurse, who finally got the IV into my inner mid-forearm. Ah, finally. Step one: complete.
A long, sleepless night
Because I was only 1 cm dilated, the plan was never to start pitocin immediately. Instead, I started with a ripening drug. It worked–somewhat. Contractions began, but they weren’t very intense. I also wasn’t seeing much dilation progress. The night felt both long and short. What I remember most is listening to the lady next door giving birth, while bawling my eyes out. It sounded so painful, but so beautiful at the same time. Knowing that I would be in her same shoes (err, stirrups?) so soon was enough to keep the tears flowing.
Pitocin brings new hope
By 5:30 a.m., I was only 1.5 cm dilated. It was time to start the strong stuff–the pitocin. Luckily, my nurse offered some peanut butter and jelly toast and apple juice before administering the drug. That extra burst of energy really helped. I had to check my blood sugars every two hours to make sure they were okay, which they were.
Soon after, my doctor came and broke my bag of waters. It was the strangest thing. No pain, just awkward, as I felt like I was wetting the bed for the next hour or so.
Hubs = amazing
The next part is pretty fuzzy. My contractions worsened, and all I really remember is how amazing Kelby was at comforting me. In fact, I remember apologizing to him and asking if his hands were sore from all the back massages. He even excused himself to the bathroom to pass gas (sorry, gross, but if you know my husband, you know how proud he is of his farts). And Mr. FunnyMan didn’t even try to crack a single joke–something I had warned him against doing early on. He knew better!
As I waited for the point of needing an epidural, I tried several different pain relief techniques–rocking chair, birthing ball, lower back massage, slow dancing position, etc. All felt better than simply lying in bed. (Side note: OMG, delivery beds are terribly uncomfortable! I don’t think I could lie in one that long even without the nasty contractions.) Changing it up gave me something new to focus on.
Around 2 p.m. my contractions were getting nastier. The anesthesiologist was swamped, as there were 14 births that day (average is three!), so I had to wait for my epidural. My nurse offered me the drug nubain to take the edge off in the meantime. I eagerly said yes!
However, my body did not. Instantly after the drug entered my IV, I felt weak, dizzy and the “drunkest” I’d ever felt in my life. I spoke, and I didn’t even know what I was saying. I tried to use the bathroom and felt like I was going to pass out the whole walk. Then things got kind of scary for a sec–baby’s heart rate dropped and I needed to be put on oxygen. The pitocin, which was up to an 8 by now, had to be completely shut off. I think I slept for a bit, but it’s really, really fuzzy.
I finally regained my mental clarity after getting sick… in the laundry basket… four times. Oops. I felt awful about it, but soon returned to normal.
Epidural? Yes, please
Thankfully, soon after, it was my turn with the anesthesiologist. Epidural time! I was nervous for the procedure, but five minutes of burning and pain seemed to justify overcoming future hours of intense contractions.
It. was. soooooo. worth. it.
Oh my goodness! I’m not even exaggerating when I say this: I did not feel a SPECK of pain for the entire rest of the labor and delivery. I joked and talked with Kelby during full-on contractions. In fact, he would point to the monitor showing my contraction and I would laugh and say, “Hmm, no idea!” It was pure bliss.
After a lovely, long nap, I was dilated to 8 cm by about 8 p.m. I was determined to have a baby before midnight.
By about 8:45, it was time to start pushing. The nurse gave me a pep talk about how 18-year-olds typically take a half hour, while 35-year-olds take three. They figure why waste the energy when it’s going to take time anyway. I pushed for about an hour. (Sounds about right, considering I’m 23.) I think it would’ve taken less time, had my contractions been closer together at the start of pushing (I was waiting three minutes between each).
When she said “You’re almost there–now you’re going to feel a lot of pressure and pain on this one,” I almost lost my breath from laughter when I felt absolutely no pain or pressure. I simply felt enough to know I was pushing, and that was it. Her head was 13.75″. Did I mention how amazing my epidural was?!
By the time my doc said, “One more push…,” I thought she was lying, as though she’d say “one more” twenty more times. But she wasn’t! I gave one hearty, final push and before I knew it, one adorably sticky baby was lying on my chest staring up at me, as if she had known me forever. I was so amazed; I don’t even remember if I cried. (Side note: hubs later assured me the tears were steadily flowing!)
Daddy cut the cord, and the placenta was out before I knew it. My doc stitched up one minor tear, and that was that!
Welcome to the family, baby Annistyn!
Soon, our immediate families were in the room loving on their new granddaughter/niece.
What an awesome memory!
Sadly yet beautifully, hubs’ mom broke the news to me about her dad passing away earlier that evening. (Kelby knew, he just hadn’t told me in labor.) It was a bittersweet moment.
He gives and takes away.
Joy still overflowed the room on Annistyn’s birth day!