I'm mostly putting this on the blog for my own documentation, but thought someone out there may be interested in reading it too...so here goes!
Thursday, September 8, 2011
So, we were scheduled for a 10:00 induction, but received a call at 7:45 saying they were full and had no nurses. She asked me to call and check in with her at 10:00 and she was hoping to tell me I could come in at 1:00. I was 100% fine with this, b/c it meant I got to be the one to pick Juliet up from her first day of preschool. I called back at 10:00 and learned that they were even busier and I would not be able to come in at 1:00. She asked me to call back again at 1:00. I spent the morning doing all the things you are supposed to do if you are trying to get labor started at home. I worked a few accupressure points while Aidric watched a show and definitely got some contractions going. After we picked up Juliet, my mom, Aidric, Jules and I went for a walk. I was having decent contractions, but knew they'd likely go away when we stopped walking.
Around 12:30, my phone rang and it was the hospital saying to go ahead and come in at 1:00! We walked back home, took a quick shower and grabbed our bags. Our last picture as a family of 4.
By the time we got to the hospital and were checked in, it was almost 2:00. They had just started the IV for fluids and were still doing intake information when my doctor came in. She checked my cervix to get a starting point of reference. I was 4 cm dilated; 85% effaced and baby at -1 station. She needed to get back into the office, so she broke my water before we had even started pitocin! That was at 2:12, the official start of my labor. 10 minutes later they started the pitocin and I'm not kidding you, by 2:25 I was asking for an epidural. My labors with Aidric and Juliet were both fast, but I was in no way prepared for things to move as quickly as they did. The nurse left the room and 5 minutes later the anesthesiologist walked in. The contractions were already coming less than 2 minutes apart and they were STRONG! She turned off the pit so that she could get the epidural in. (They never turned it back on b/c my contractions were coming so fast and strong w/o it, there was no need.)
The epidural was not easy. Worth it in the end, but not easy. First, there were the normal aches and pains of the lidocaine needle and the insertion of the epidural needle itself. There was a little cursing and moaning on my end and several pauses in the process to get through a few contractions. Just when I thought the worst was behind me (b/c she TOLD me it was), I relaxed and said with relief how that wasn't as bad as the epidural process with Juliet. Oh, how I would eat those words. Immediately after that, she was inserting the actual catheter and I felt a stinging/electric sensation jolt through my left leg and lower back. She continued to work on it and then said it had popped out!! She told me she'd have to start over and do it again. Pretty much repeat above, including the jolting pain at the end. (2nd epidural was in at 2:45) Wouldn't have been so horrible if that was the end of it. But it was unfortunately not over. I can't even describe how quickly this happened, but as I sat there with her finishing the epidural, I had a horrible stabbing pain in my head. I couldn't call it a headache as much as just an intense stabbing. I've never felt anything like it. She checked for a leakage of something or other and confirmed that wasn't a problem. First thing they tried to relieve it was a diet pepsi (for the caffeine) and a tylenol. In addition to the head pain at this time, I was still feeling intense contractions b/c I hadn't even finished the first bag of IV fluids and the anesthesiologist didn't want to up the epidural meds until I had finished those b/c of some other possible complication if she did.
My head pain had subsided a little and my nurse decided to check for progress. At 3:10, one hour into the process, I was 100% effaced and 5-6 cm dilated. She started to insert a catheter when the head pain just completely overwhelmed me. It was definitely scary to experience something like that..just so strange and unexplained. It was obviously related to the epidural but the anesthesiologist couldn't say WHY it was there. She explained a treatment she could try called a blood patch. W/o even fully understanding it, I agreed to have her do it. Weirdest thing - she took about 20 ML of blood from my arm, apparently from a very specific blood vessel there, and then inserted that same blood into the epidural. I can't say I understand the process and she even said they don't know WHY it works. She acted as though it was going to be an instant 100% cure and I wanted that to be true, but while it wasn't, it helped tremendously. And thank God it did, b/c I can't even imagine going through labor with that pain!
Over the next 20 minutes, the contractions got less and less painful as she was able to increase my epidural up to the normal amount. I could still feel them and I could even move my legs and lift my body up when the nurse needed me to. This surprised me as I remember being completely numb with Juliet. I voiced this concern several times =) (not b/c I was in pain, just b/c I was so worried I would feel baby coming out and I am all about avoiding pain- heck, I'd gone through all of the pain to GET the epidural, I wanted to put it to good use!) The anesthesiologist informed me that the new standard of practice is use a lower level epidural b/c in the past women weren't pushing effectively with the amounts they were using. I tried to promise her I would be a good pusher, but she held her ground. It was fine though and even w/o her increasing it, the pain was mostly gone and we enjoyed the next hour of hanging out and waiting to be ready. Yes, I said hour. That's how long it took before I felt pressure and let my nurse know she should probably check me.
She checked me at 4:15 and basically said, "I'm going to call your doctor, please don't have the baby while I'm gone. Call me if you hear crying from under the blanket." Baby was already at +2 station!!! 100% effaced and 10 cm dilated- very much ready to be born! My doctor was there within minutes and got everything set up for delivery.
(right before pushing)
I started pushing at 4:35 and our little boy was born at 4:39. Even for me, that was fast. His birth was absolutely incredible. My mom and my sister-in-law Sarah were both here and I had requested a mirror. We all watched his amazing entry into the world. I think it was the 2nd contraction of pushing that his head came out. We were talking and laughing and when I laughed, the pressure pushed him out just a little more. My doctor basically said, "let's go with that...don't push anymore, just laugh." So, I did and he pretty much slid the rest of the way out on his own. SOOOOOOOO cool!! As she was sliding him out, Dr. Richey turned his body towards Chris and I so we would have the first view of the privates. Immediately, I could see he was a boy and I have to say I was shocked! My intuition from day 1 was that he was a boy, but soooo many people were guessing girl that I let myself be convinced it would be a girl. Not knowing the gender ahead of time was a pretty awesome experience. It was just sooo exciting to have that surprise to look forward to at the end of labor. Sarah took some great pictures and the looks on Chris and my faces say it all. Just soooo happy and excited to be meeting our little boy.
She put him right on my belly/chest and he seemed to snuggle right in. My mom cut the cord and he just chilled. I love that the policies at this hospital did not require that he be taken from me at any exact time. I got to hold and cuddle with him for quite awhile before I handed him over to be weighed/cleaned off and checked out. He got 9/9 on his apgars and weighed in at 7 lbs. 13 oz. He was 20" long with a head circumference of 14".
When the nurse was finished with him, Chris held him and within just a few minutes, Grandma Porras showed up with Aidric and Juliet, who were ecstatic to meet him. They ran over to the chair and just dove right in. Juliet kept exclaiming, "oooooh, baby, baby, baby- look at the teeny, tiny, little baby!!" and then, "Can I hold it??". So cute! Aidric started rubbing his head and then sang him a song. They were both so sweet. Juliet got to hold him first and she probably kept him for almost 5 minutes before deciding she was done. Aidric was next and almost immediately, Juliet wanted another turn. That went on for about 20 minutes or so and then they went for a walk with my mom so everyone else could get a turn.
I was a little worried about the kids' reaction to my holding him and nursing him for the first time. I remember Aidric really didn't like seeing me with Juliet when he first came to the hospital to meet her. It didn't phase them a bit though! They just wanted to be a part of it, and kept reaching out to touch him.
All in all, it was an amazing day. How could it be anything less considering it's the day we were blessed with this absolutely amazing little boy!