Wednesday night, October 21, we went to dinner with our friends and neighbors Matt & Monica. Before going, Mark joked that after having the chicken fried steak and a slice of pie for dessert that I would definitely go into labor around 3AM that night. Well, as you know, I didn't have the chicken fried steak (I had that the last time I was at this restaurant *_*). Regardless, we were pooped that night and by 10PM, were crashed out dead to the world.
I was rudely awaken at 11:30PM to gushing warm water. My water had broken! For about 2 weeks before this event, I had wondered, repeatedly, how I would know when my water broke. I mean, what if I was going to the bathroom and my water broke then? How would I differentiate pee from amniotic fluid? Luckily for me, there was NO doubt about it. I was surrounded by about a liter of warm water and it just kept coming after I woke up.
I reached over to wake Mark up. "Honey! My water broke!" To which, Mark immediately jumped out of bed. He ran over the light switch as I waited to get some light. When nothing happened, I asked, "What are you doing over there?" His answer? "I don't know."
After we finally illuminated the room, I asked him to please bring me towels to get this mess cleaned up. His reaction was to run to the bathroom, grab the towels and hand them to me. Now mind you, I'm over 38 weeks pregnant, rolled over on my back like a turtle on its shell. And he hands me towels like I can clean up this mess in my current position. "Get me out of this mess!!!" hahaha... he was so out of it.
Once we got me out of bed, I was much better. I was still gushing liquid, so I told him that since I was going to get admitted tonight, I wanted to go ahead and get a shower in case the labor process was going to go long. That warm shower felt SOOOO good. My back, my breasts, my everything felt wonderfully relaxed under that warm water. In the meantime, I asked Mark to call the doctor's night line and let them know that my water had broken. We had calmed down now and they told us to go ahead down to the hospital. They would call ahead to get our paperwork processed.
While I got cleaned up, dressed and finished packing, Mark woke Stoli up, called our neighbors Jim & Natalie and took Stoli over to their place. We then called Tommy & Stephanie and our parents. Tommy & Steph said they would meet us at the hospital. Both our parents told us that they would be at the hospital in the morning. I guess everyone realized that it would be mid morning, early afternoon before I would have this baby.
We checked into the hospital around 12:30AM and were quickly admitted. I hated that they were putting the IV's into me, but was happy that they didn't bother me too much. I was also feeling pretty good that even though my water had broken, my contractions were really no worse than they had been in the past few weeks. Tommy & Steph showed up and the atmosphere was light and excitable. None of us knew what to expect and what type of timeline we were on. Tommy set up the laptop so that I could talk to Cathy in Mississippi. Around 1:30, we decided that we all needed to get some sleep. Tommy & Steph headed out to the lobby sofas. Mark set up on the sleeper sofa for the night. Around 3AM, my contractions started kicking in. Which meant that I could no longer sleep and bathroom breaks were very much necessary. Thank goodness for that nurse button because there was no waking up Mark from his slumber!
About 6AM, Mark finally woke up. My contractions were getting more intense. I was having to breathe through them. By 7:30AM, I had been at this for 8 hours. And only about 3 1/2 cm dilated. Boy, I had 3x more to go and if the first 8 hours were telling, it was going to be a LONG day. I was annoyed with everything. At one point, I yelled at Mark because the beeping from his text messaging was annoying me to no end.
Concerned that I would be too exhausted getting to 10 cm and have nothing left in the tank when it finally came time to push... I gave in and ordered the epidural. The basis of my decision? I would rather have the epidural and push through a vaginal birth than to stay natural, not be able to endure the pain and proceed to a c-section.
So by about 8:30AM, I was happy as a clam and was finally able to rest and nap. My parents arrived around 11:30AM and I was still knocked out. I believe there was some discussions about lunch and then they left, which was just fine with me. I couldn't keep my lids open (not from the epidural, but from the pain killers).
Around 2pm, they ordered the petosin to help along the contractions and dilation I was having. They were respectful of my wishes and kept it to the lowest dosage possible. But they were concerned about risks of infection since it had been so long since my water broke. By 5pm, there was only a little bit of my cervix left and the nurse thought that I could start pushing. I was so excited. Really? Is it time to start???
False alarm. That little bit of cervix left was not going to allow me to push through. A call from my OB told the nurse to just let me rest and allow my body to do what it needed to do. I was happy to hear that and crashed back out.
6:20pm. We are finally ready to start. Push, push push! hahaha... jokes on them. I had no idea what I was doing. I was totally numb from the ribs down to my toes. I was telling my brain to push, but I had no idea if it was being executed or not. About 10 minutes into it, I started noticing that Mark was being awfully quiet. One look at his face told me that he might not make it through to the end... or even through the hour. I told him it might be a good idea to go get some back up. In the form of either mothers. He agreed that was probably a good idea in the event he needed to rest. He came back a few minutes later with my mom.
From 6:20pm to 8:30pm, things progressed steadily. 2 steps forward, 1 step back. Every 30 minutes, we kept thinking that we would be done in the next hour or so. But it just wasn't the case. I had wonderful coaches. My mom had my left leg and was my cheer leader. Nurse Emily had my right leg and kept up with the stats and progress. Mark had my back (literally) and rubbed my upper back when it started spasms.
Around 8:30pm, the nurse said that it would be soon. They could visibly see the very top of the baby's head and if it wasn't coming very soon, they might need to consider foreceps to help with the delivery. I told her I really didn't want it to come to that. By 9pm, I was pretty sure that if this baby didn't come by 10pm, I was going to have to throw in the towel. I had been pushing for over 2 1/2 hours and my back (and the rest) of me was ready to collapse. Minutes later, the nurse told me that I could literally touch my child now. If I just reached down, I could feel the top of its head. Once I did that, I got a 2nd (or 8th) wind. I was ready to finish this. She ran off to gather the team for an imminent delivery. I was soooo excited. By 9:30, we were well on our way. The baby was slightly facing to my right so after the head popped out, they had to stall pushing for a second as they dislogded the baby's shoulders from behind my pelvic bone (it shoulders were perpendicular to my pelvic). I didn't realize this, but it could have been a huge emergency had it not been for the swift actions of the doctor. She quickly twisted and turned the baby to pop it out and allow it to finally get air.
When the baby came out, there was absolutely no sound. I was so exhausted, I didn't even realize that we were through! Apparently the last few seconds of delivery had left baby slightly stunned. The nurses quickly took to reviving baby and within seconds, I heard that first wail.
What the on-call doctor didn't realize was that the baby's gender was a surprise to us. So it wasn't until I asked what it was that I finally learned we had a brand new baby girl.