It all started Friday morning, January 13th. I had a regularly scheduled Non Stress Test around 11am at the hospital. Usually I just go by myself, because all I have to do there is lay there while they monitor the baby for about 40 minutes. I just had a feeling though, that Neil should go with me this time. I was almost 39 weeks (38w6d) and had been having borderline Amionic Fluid for the last few times I had gone in. They had said if I went below 5 cm of AF, I would most likely be admitted and induced.
So we went in and my AFI (Amionic Fluid Index) was only 2.7 cm. Way below 5 cm. Basically meant she was swimming around in nothing. Not very safe. They called up to Labor and Delivery and the Dr. said I would be induced! Little bit of a shock there. I thought maybe they would bring me upstairs and do further monitoring or something, but I didn't think I would immediately be getting a room and getting induced. It threw up for a loop, we didn't have the carseat in the car (we did have the base in there), we didn't have the bags (Arya's was packed, but not mine or Neil's) and mom was flying in that day!
Once upstairs, we got checked in and we got Room #3, a big one! We had done the maternity tour a few days before and the room we saw was much smaller than #3. We also were told then that it had been really busy lately, so I was worried about our privacy and room sharing, but thankfully it didn't seem all that busy that day. On a side note, Neil and I decided we have a new favorite number. The number 3. We both have it in our birthdays (3rd and the 23rd), we went into labor on the 13th (would have been sweet to have had her on that day) and we got room #3. Not to mention all the 13th in our immediate family, Vanessa, Leta, Bridget's anniversary) and I think maybe Gary has a 3 in his birthday???
Anyways, we checked in around noon. Neil left to pack everything up. He later told me that he had a minor (maybe major) freakout when he got home! A shower helped him calm down a bit. Around 2pm things got going. They started to ripen the cervix with a little pill and it seemed to work well enough. Every few hours they would come back around and put in another pill. When I started I was 0 cm and 0 effaced. I would have a little cramping, but nothing too bad (at least what I can remember). Around 10:30-12:30am, things started to hurt. Because I had been induced my contractions weren't like normal contractions. Instead of starting out slowing every 5-10 minutes and gradually getting closer and closer together, mine were about 1.5-2 minutes apart from the get go. By the time 10:30pm rolled around, they were getting big enough that it was making me uncomfortable. Unfortunately, by the time one started and started to let go, another one was starting, so I wasn't getting any breaks. I honestly don't remember the pain, but I do remember crying on Neil's arm as he looked on at the side of the bed and I remember going to the restroom and having to sit there awhile, because I could honestly not get up. Because I was induced, I had to be monitored more and that meant laying in the bed. Every once in a while, I could get out of bed. Standing up and sitting down was way more comfortable than laying in the bed. I was able to get a chair close enough to the monitors, so I could sit and still be on the screen.
I had 2 doses of an IV drug that was a narcotic (feel bad about using that now, didn't really do much). Basically it knocked me out almost immediately in between contractions. After those, I requested the epidural. Before going into labor, I was a little scared about the huge needle that would go in my back, but when it was actually getting done, it wasn't bad AT ALL! I remember the numbing feeling that they did first and that burned for a little bit, but after that I just knew that much, if not all of my pain would be disappearing soon after it was in and I was excited! (As much as I could be with being in pain and not being able to move through 2-3 contractions). After that was put in, they taped the epidural to my back. I think they went through an entire roll! and was asked to lay on one side for a half hour. After that, I moved to the other side. I had an awesome epidural! I had heard you get itchy, cold, shaky, completely numb from the waist down, etc. but I had a different experience. I could still move my feet and lift my legs, got only minor itches, which I just rubbed away instead of scratching and actually got hot and had to take my socks off. In retrospect, I would have been feeling hot because of the infection I go and the temperature I was getting. The only pain I felt was down there on the right side by the sit bone. It was kind of painful, so I had another person come in to see if they could adjust the epidural. She tested where I could feel and I was pretty numb up to my rib cage (which may explain why my legs weren't numb, the epidural was just higher in my spine maybe?) The pain down there remained. By pain, I mean a burning sensation that came with every contraction. I learned to live with it.
In the middle of the night, they woke me up to take my temperature and I was over 101 degrees. The baby's heartbeat had gone up into the 160-170s (normally it was around 135). Signs of infection. I got some IV antibiotics for that and went back to bed. The next morning, someone brought me in a plate of food. I was about to eat it, when I thought I should probably ask, because I don't think I'm supposed to be eating. I shouldn't have asked, because they told Neil to eat it instead of me. Little did they know that I had been eating little bits all night. I had Cheezits and Granola bars. Highly recommend bringing in little snacks to eat (without the nurses knowing). Otherwise, I would have been eating only ice chips and I would have been hungry, tired and irritable.
Every 4 hours or so, they would check me. I progressed everytime, so that was nice. Around 1pm-2pm on the 14th, they checked me and I was 9.5 cm dilated. She came back in the half hour and it was time to push. Around this time, mom showed up. We had a little obstacle there because we had written in our birth plan to have only me and Neil in the room (mom's suggestion, I didn't really care). So when mom came in, one of the nurses took her out to get ice chips, while the other nurse said sorry. I said it was alright that she was there, but I couldn't have her up by me while I was pushing, because it made me want to burst into happy tears having my mom there with me. So she thankfully left it to the nurse and Neil to help.
The nurse said first time moms can take anywhere on average from 1-3 hours to push the baby out. I felt pretty confident I would be a good pusher. But I ended up being a great pusher! Having that little pain down there was actually a good thing, because I could push through that pain and it meant I could actually feel a little bit of what was going on. After a few pushes, the nurse could feel the baby's head. I could literally feel her head shifting down. One time in particular, I swear she moved a whole inch in 1 second. I requested a mirror to see what was going on down there, but quickly decided against that once I saw what was going on. I could see the top of her little head but I could also see the skin stretching down there and I knew there was still a whole more of her head that had to come out and I didn't want to see me tear or anything. Soon the nurse was calling the midwife in for delivery. Honestly, I was most scared about tearing and being able to feel it. I did tear, and I'm pretty sure I felt it, but as soon as it happened it was gone and her head was out and the pressure and stretching was instantly gone.
I have one vivid memory from the pushing event. I didn't realize how well I was doing. The midwife came and within a few contractions, her head popped out and I looked down and saw it! My eyes got huge, I was in shock that her head was already out. The cord was wrapped around her neck, so the doctor got that out of the way. The rest of her body came out fast and they put her on my chest. She was gorgeous! and yucky! Her arms were sprawled out and her long fingers were outstretched. She wasn't crying so they had me put my oxygen mask on her face. She still wasn't very responsive, so they took her to the warmer and Neil got to go over there to be with here. While I lay there the midwife pushed on my stomach (not pleasant, but don't remember the pain now) to get the placenta out. Neil was bummed he missed that part.
They asked if it was ok to weigh her and she came in 6lb. 8oz. TEENY!! I wasn't expecting that. She almost a month old now and she's probably just around 8 lbs now. Still so tiny!
First impressions: She had light colored hair! She had her daddy's chin, pretty eyes and what looked to be 2 different looking ears. They have since changed and they look the same now. She also had a little swirl of hair on the top of her forehead from the pretty big colic she has. Second impressions: she looked like Mike and Bridget.