I woke up about 5:20 with some painful pms-like cramps. Little did I know in almost exactly 12 hours I would be holding my baby girl! The cramps were not like the contractions I had been having for the last 2 months, and that let me know that this was probably labor. I decided after they were regular and 5 min apart for about 20 minutes that I would get a shower and see if they quit. Contractions continued through the HOT shower and I knew this was the real deal. I pittled around the house, finished some laundry, organized the hospital bag (AGAIN), made the bed, etc. About 7:00 I heard J.Tom stirring downstairs where he has been sleeping since his back surgery. I went down and peeked around the door and said, “I think we may be having a baby today!” He said, “Really? Are you sure?” Well, no I wasn’t SURE, but I was almost sure… That counts, right?
We both messed around the house, he got a shower, called a friend because he had to tell someone (and I wouldn’t let him call family yet). I made a protein smoothie and some toast but was unable to finish either, so I gave the rest to J.Tom. When my contractions were about 4 minutes apart I decided to call the doctor. We had an appointment that morning at 9:15 to check my progress and schedule an induction in case she didn’t come on her own over the weekend. The office said to go ahead and come on in. So about 8:45am we headed to the doctor with all our bags packed and in the car. The dog and cat were fed, the house was clean, organized, and ready to welcome our new addition. I still couldn’t believe it might be real and was so afraid of being sent home.. which is why I wouldn’t let J.Tom call family because that would be embarrassing for me!
We arrived at the doctor’s office and the doctor came in after about 5 min of waiting. He didn’t seem convinced that I was in labor; however you have to know my doctor. He is wonderful, calm, and does not get excited over anything, which makes him hard to read. After checking my cervix, he says (just like this was any other visit) “well, you’re 4cm and about 80% effaced.” I was astonished, “Wait, what? 4 cm? Already? Really?!” I was SO excited!!
Up until this point I kinda felt like a failure… for weeks I had been bouncing on my exercise ball, drinking red raspberry leaf tea (to prepare for contractions), taking evening primrose oil capsules to soften my cervix (which seemed to be helping a bit), and walking like a mad man at the gym. Despite my efforts, this baby was NOT coming out anytime soon, in my book. I had mentally prepared myself for an induction, petocin, and ultimately an epidural (simply because during an induction I would not be able to move with labor to ease the pain….)
So back to the labor… The doctor shook our hands and said he would see us in a bit. Turns out, it was his weekend to be on call, so not only were things going well, they were great because I would have MY doctor, which eased my mind times a zillion. A cute little nurse walked us over to labor and delivery, stopping to let me lean on the wall and sway during contractions- I am sure I looked like a crazy person although I didn’t much care, nor should I. At home contractions had been 5 min apart while sitting and 3-4 minutes while walking. I was sure they were now 3-4 minutes no matter what I was doing.
Once we got to the labor and delivery, they took us straight to our room where I put on the infamous hospital gown and got in bed. I tested positive for Group B strep at a previous appointment, this (if you google you will see) is just a bacteria found in the natural flora of the of some women. It isn’t a problem or danger to adults, but to a baby going through the birth canal it can be fatal. So, I had to have antibiotics through an IV-crappy circumstance number one.
I had 2 nurses hooking me up and entering information into the computer. The nurse hooking me up to everything tried 2 different times to get an IV in, she missed once, the vein collapsed once, and the third time the other nurse finally got it in. I was a litte frustrated by that point, but okay. Shortly after, the doctor came in to break my water, since the bag was “bulging” but not doing anything on its own any time soon. It was SUCH a relief, once they broke my water the pressure during and inbetween contractions was not as intense. However, I could not get out of bed to move with contractions either…
I was dealing really well with the contractions, tapping my hand to get though them and having J.Tom squeeze my arm. It was working great until about 6 cm, then I began having a hard time relaxing during contractions; I knew that being tense could slow or stop progress. The anesthesiologist came in just to talk to me- he said that once I get an epidural, he can stop future pains but that the contractions I was currently feeling may not subside; so if I let the pain go longer I may have to deal with that for hours to come. That scared the crap out of me.
I labored about two more hours, got to 6cm and decided to get the epidural. I was upset about it and immediately regretted getting it. The entire process was miserable-crappy circumstance number 2. How do they expect a 10 month (nearly 41 weeks) pregnant woman to sit on the side of the bed with her back curved (like a cat), chin tucked, during contractions which are 2 minutes apart and lasting at least minute, sometimes more?! I was in this position, with tears in my eyes for about 7-10 minutes, which is about 5 contractions. J.Tom was holding me trying to convince me it would be okay, while I was in pain that seemed worse than the contractions I was having to begin with!! I wanted to ask that damn anesthesiologist what the freakin point was in the epidural if I was more miserable now than before?! Grrr After I got the epidural, I immediately became cold, nauseous, and could not stop shaking. I was just about in tears asking J.Tom why I did this to myself and my baby. About an hour later, all was wonderful and I was feeling much better. No more pain, contractions were more intense, going off the chart, and I wasn’t feeling them! The nausea had mostly subsided. I did NOT like the sensation of no feeling in my legs, it was hard to sit up in bed, and J.Tom (with his back in such conditions) could not really help me much. However, despite all the negatives, I would def do the epidural again. My upset over the epidural was not that I felt weak or like a failure, I was afraid that labor would now slow down and other interventions would take place-scary thought.
After the epidural, the nurse said she would leave us to relax and have some time together. Then, the other nurse came back in. She told us I had to have a catheter since I got the epidural and could no longer feel the urge to potty- crappy circumstance number 3. I kinda freaked. I had a bad experience once in Memphis with a catheter and I was dreading it this time, too. She left the room to check on the second round of antibiotics (which she forgot about… grr again) and did not return for nearly an hour. I did not remind her or the other nurse about the catheter because I didn’t want it. However, about 2:30 pm she came in and remembered… At this point the baby had moved down so much more that when she put the catheter in, it was incredibly painful. Even with the epidural I could feel it; it was like a nonstop burning sensation. She said give it 10 minutes and if it wasn’t better she would take it out and just empty my bladder every so often. Ten minutes later it was still very uncomfortable so she took it out- aaaah sweet relief! After a few minutes the burning went away and I felt better.
Once I got to feeling better, we let some family in to visit. Initially I did not want anyone in the room, and everyone knew that. But I wanted to see my dad and in order to see him, I kinda had to see everyone (no offense everyone). So, in small groups of 2 they came in to see us, which was nice. I had learned at this point nothing was really going the way I had planned or expected, so letting family in would probably be fine, too.
About 2 more hours pass and the nurse says I am 10 cm, but she needs to move a small lip of the cervix from around the baby’s head so she can come on down into the birth canal. While she did that, she had me practice-push with contractions. Well, after that I felt the need to push every contraction, so she said we could begin but she needed to alert the doctor so he could be prepared. At about 4:55 she came back and we started pushing! At first, it was fine… I had my legs in those legs holder things (not stirrups but like things that you lay your legs in) and I had handles to hold onto-those helped A LOT.
OH YEA- I almost forgot, at 9cm I was feeling my contractions again! I could tell you when they were starting and I was feeling a lot of aching and pressure in my back, despite the freakin epi. The nurse wouldn’t call the anesthesiologist to re-administer another full dose of the epi because I “would be pushing and having the baby soon, so there was no need.” Well, let me just freakin tell you THERE WAS A NEED!!!! –crappy circumstance number 4. So, I got about 45 minutes into pushing and decided I couldn’t do it anymore. I told J.Tom I just couldn’t do it- every time I pushed she came down and then moved back some. The nurse was telling me she had hair (I started crying), then she said she “has lots of hair!!” and then it was “She has LONG hair!”. I continued to push and each time the nurse would say “you’re almost there, she is almost here!! Once more!”
After an hour and fifteen minutes of pushing I decided she was a compulsive liar and this baby was never coming. J.Tom wasn’t “watching” persay, but he could see the baby crowning from beside the bed and he was convinced she would be born just any minute, so he too was telling me “one more time!” I wanted to say “Yall are EFFING LIARS!” But couldn’t find the energy so I just kept shaking my head as if to say “no, she’s not and no, I can’t!” They had me taking a BIG deep breath, letting it out, and then taking one more to hold while they counted to ten and I pushed. But by the time we got to 8 or 9 during the count I was out of energy and couldn’t hold my breath anymore. J.Tom had been trying to help me push by holding my back up and I was holding my legs- this was just not fun, at all… but seemed to be helping some.
About 5:15 pm the doctor came in, said we were going to have a baby and was letting me tell him when I needed to push. I felt when he did the small episiotomy and when I tore-obviously I wasn’t feeling the full contractions or the full tearing sensation but it was a burning sensation that I would like to never experience again! Finally, Dr. G said “just one more time Meghan” and because he had been honest with me and had not said that the whole time, I knew he was being sincere. One more big push and Lexie Raye Wright was born kicking, screaming, and trying to nurse! This was the biggest relief in the whole world and an incredibly strange sensation at the same time.
My adrenaline was going 90 to nothing, I was shaking and exhausted but full of excitement too. J.Tom said she was beautiful, and I remember looking over at them rubbing her with that towel and said “She is SO big! How much does she weigh?!” A minute later the baby nurse had her on the scale and said she was 9lbs even. I looked at J.Tom and said “What?! How much?” He repeated what the nurse said and I was completely shocked. She was a whopping 9lbs and 20.5″. I said with a sadness in my voice, “How am I going to do this when I have a boy?!” They all laughed and said it must not have been so bad if I was already contemplating birthing my next baby… No, that is why I was contemplating it!! haha
Do you remember me mentioning that at one of my doc apointments I asked if we could find out how big she was, and Dr. G said “sure, when she’s born we’ll weigh her for yah.”? Yea, so we very unexpectedly had 9lb baby…
While they cleaned her up I asked my doctor how bad my tear was, he calmly said “oh, it wasn’t that bad, just a small tear.” He didn’t seem concerned that I knew I had a tear. The nurse said something and he replied that it was a deep second degree.. I have not yet had the nerve to google that because the thought freaks me out. Then, as he did the stitches he said “Meg, next time we won’t let you go so long, okay? Since we know you’re going to have bigger babies.” Wow, doc that helps relieve me of the burning pain I have right now! <--sarcasim (but it did make me feel better). So, that is our baby birthing experience-icky details and all but I know I won’t forget them now that it is in print. It was wonderful and considering what others have gone through it was super easy. Below is a schedule I had J.Tom write out during the day as we labored. Our teacher told us we may want to do that so we could keep up with events and times, etc and not get them all jumbled and confused later. I am SO glad we did (plus some of them are kinda cute). I am also attaching a video of J.Tom with Lexie after she was born.