The morning of April 1, I woke up at 4:45 am with reflux. Nothing abnormal for me. The dog actually woke me up digging in her blankets and I couldn't get back to sleep so I decided to move to the living room and watch some tv. After a few minutes of watching QVC I felt very nauseated and that started it...4 hours of nausea, vomiting and unfortunately, diarrhea. I didn't wake my husband, it was super early and there was nothing he could do, so I let him sleep. I knew though...before the cramps started around 6am, I knew I was going into labor. When he woke up he wished me a happy birthday and I told him I thought we would be wishing our daughter a happy birthday by day's end and he looked shocked. We already had an OB appointment later in the morning so I thought I could hold off until then. At my 39 week appointment I was 60% effaced but hadn't dilated at all.
I noticed that my water broke around 8 am, with all the fun I was having, I'm not really sure when it happened. It wasn't a dramatic, made for tv event -only a slight trickle. My baby was pressing on my bladder so I thought it was urine at first...then I noticed that the fluid was green. My husband called the OB office and they told me to come in when I was ready. After a quick shower we were out the door with our hospital bags.
I felt like poop. Absolute poop. By the time we got to the office I was still nauseated and so dehydrated. My contractions were spaced fairly far apart (I didn't keep track, honestly I was just trying not to vomit on myself). We had to park on the street and I had to ask my husband to slow down because it was difficult to walk; he had offered to drop me off at the door but I didn't want to be by myself. Sure enough they took me back as soon as I got there and my blood pressure was low - I would have given any amount of money for a bag of saline at that point. The doctor performed a cervical check and I was only 2 cm dilated but he admitted me to the hospital immediately because my membrane was broken and the baby had a bowel movement in the amniotic fluid. He wasn't overly concerned about it, but he did mention that there may be some extra precautions when she was born to make sure none of it was inhaled.
We arrived at the hospital and they had my labor room ready for me after a short wait. An IV bag and some phenergan had me feeling much better...then they started the pitocin. Apparently they don't want labor to stall and more than 6 hours to pass between your membrane breaking and initiating pitocin. By noon I was feeling those contractions! They were more frequent and much stronger. My labor felt NOTHING like what anyone else had described to me from their experience - mine wasn't in my back and felt nothing like period cramps x100. Mine felt like my hips were breaking, shattering, like an 18 wheeler had just mauled me. It's possible that sitting or walking could have offered some relief but when I attempted it, the pain was worse. It helped to lay on my side while my husband pressed my hips into the bed. By 2 pm I gave narcotics a try, it felt like a night of too much cheap wine. I was a chatterbox but I'm not sure if I was holding an intelligent conversation, my mom said she couldn't get a word in. Those meds helped me quite a bit but didn't last long enough before the effect disappeared and the pain was back with vengeance. Some time after 3 pm nurse M did another cervical check, 4 cm. Dang it! I notified my husband that I wanted an epidural, I was running on fumes - about 4 hours of sleep from the night before, a whole morning of stomach issues, and I hadn't eaten anything since dinner the evening before.
Blessed relief, the anesthesiologist arrived shortly after I decided I needed him. The epidural was no more painful than a bee sting and he waited until I was between contractions to give it to me. My husband made sure I was super still and the whole procedure took about 10 minutes from start to finish. My blood pressure dropped immediately after the medication started and the nurse had to put me in a different position and give more fluids to correct it. But I was finally able to get a break. The feeling from an epidural is difficult to describe, I could feel pressure but not pain. Most of the pressure was in my hips and my rear during the contractions but I was able to watch tv, hold a conversation, and even rest a bit.
At 7 pm there was an nursing shift change, nurse M came in for another cervical check, 7 cm! Nurse J took over...I loved loved loved nurse J. She increased my pitocin and half an hour later my body took over, I felt the need to push...like an intense need to push. My husband tried to get me to breathe through it but I wanted a nurse because I couldn't control it. Nurse J came in for another check, 10 cm, 100% effaced, and the baby was in position, it was go time! She pulled up the stirrups and gave me a lesson in effective pushing. She also warned me that a first time mom can push for three hours and I was determined that it would not take me that long. Every contraction I tried to focus and push with every ounce of strength I had. And those people who say pushing feels like having a bowel movement? Yea, no - unless your bowel movements feel like hot lava coming out of your bottom. My husband offered encouragement through the process, he was my number 1 cheerleader. My mom was there for support as well and she was amazed to see a live birth. My nurse...best coach eva! I focused on her counting and she let me lead when the contraction told me to push. After an hour the doctor came in and the nursery staff started setting up the warmer, my baby was almost out! Fifteen minutes later, she arrived - tiny but healthy. She was wide eyed and alert when they put her on my chest and I stared at her in disbelief and amazement. Single, best moment of my life. For the first time all day I recognized that it was my birthday and now, it also belonged to her.
The moment I became Mom.
The first night.
The hospital onesie was too big for our tiny nugget.
Our favorite girl!
Back from the nursery after passing her hearing test.
Good Friday, getting ready to go home.
First time in her carseat! Ready to make her world debut!