So we got to the hospital around 3 p.m. on Sunday, May 16th. We got checked in, and I still hadn't progressed any. At 4 p.m. they put the first dose of Cytotech in. It didn't do much of anything, so they did another dose around 9 p.m. This started some very mild contractions, which was at least something, so we were thankful for that. At 1 a.m. they put the final dose of it in and my contractions started picking up, but not super painful. I had told my mom & sister to go home for the night and get some rest because nothing was going to be happening anytime soon. I continued to have contractions throughout the night. They weren't unbearable, but made it where I couldn't sleep. It was still very early on and nothing compared to what was to come. :)
Seven a.m. finally rolls around, and when they came to check me I had made no progress. Boo. So moving right along, my doctor ordered Cervidil. A side story I must include for documentation purposes: my doctor had told the nurse to just put the Cervidil in herself. She was kind of new to the hospital at the time, so Patrick said - "Hey, do you mind if I show you how I like it done so you know for my patients in the future?" So suddenly we're in a teaching moment, with me as the "visual aid", if you will. He's down there explaining everything under the sun to her, and I'm up there barking to just get it over with already. It was pretty funny, and the nurse got a big kick out of it. Hope that story wasn't TMI for anyone - I had to include it though just because it's so typical Patrick - he loves teaching. :)
It wasn't long before I felt the Cervidil working it's magic. Yes, it most certainly was bringing on the contractions, and when they checked me at 10 a.m. I had progressed to 2 cm. Woohoo! I'll take any progress I can get. My contractions continued to pick up, and about 10:45 a.m. my water broke. That was such an exciting moment for me because I knew at that point - one way or another I'd get to meet my baby within 24 hours!
After my water broke, my doctor had them turn the pitocin on. And let me tell you friends, Pitocin contractions ain't no joke. I'm pretty sure at that point was when I was telling Patrick I couldn't do this...I would need pain meds and/or the epidural NOW, thankyouverymuch. My mom & sister showed up right about then, gave me a pep talk, and my sister suggested I get out of bed and labor on the stability ball. (She is a total rock star at labor, by the way. She had a vaginal birth after cesarean naturally...no pain meds, no epidural, nothing...so she had LOTS of great advice for helping me...I couldn't have made it without you Rachie.)
I cannot begin to tell you how big of a difference it made once I got on the ball! Yes, the contractions were still tough, but it was nothing like being in bed during them. The movement on the ball eased a lot of the pressure while they talked me through them. My contractions were every 2 minutes at this point, but I was feeling pretty good. I had waited for this forever and I was finally experiencing it! Around 1:15 p.m. we decided to play a game of Phase 10 to pass the time and keep my mind off things. Yes, we had to take little breaks to get through the contractions, but it was a lot of fun and a special memory I'll always have! For the record, I won, even though I think they might have let some things slide. :)
When they checked me at 2:30 p.m., I was dilated to a 3. Again, not big progress, but hey - progress is progress, and I was happy with that. The contractions continued to intensify, and by this point we definitely were not playing any card games. :)
So 4 p.m. rolls around, and I'm dilated to a 4! Still making slow, but steady progress. They turned the pitocin up at that point to try to help things along. By 4:45, I had progressed to a 5. I was definitely hurting at this point, but was able to manage by changing positions, looking at my focus object, and listening to some calming music.
Around 5 o'clock, I started having back labor. Now that is some serious pain, my friends. Very different than anything I'd experienced thus far. I had the shakes, going from hot to cold, and throwing up. All not fun - but also typical signs of progression and being closer to the end, so I hung in there. My contractions were off the charts by this point so I had no doubt I was making good progress. So 7:15 rolls around, and they check me...and I had not progressed any. Zero. Zilch. Nada. I was still at a 5. Are you kidding me?! How is that possible with what I'd been experiencing for the last couple of hours?!
At that point I said to bring on the epidural. Patrick and I had talked about it, and sometimes women will stall out at a certain point, and I think that's what happened with me. Additionally, Emanuel's heart rate started dropping occasionally so it appeared he was not tolerating labor well. So by about 7:45 p.m., I was getting my epidural and life was good. I was SO tired since I hadn't slept the night before so I tried to get some rest. I didn't get to rest much though because the nurses kept having me change positions to see if that would help with his heart rate dropping.
They checked me around 8:30, and I had progressed to a 6! Again, not big - but progress. Unfortunately shortly thereafter is when things started to go downhill quickly. E was consistently having late decels, and they continued to get worse. My doctor came in and immediately called for an emergency c-section.
Everything was happening so fast, and I was doing my best to stay strong. A c-section was not the end of the world - all that mattered was getting E here safe and sound. I had got to experience labor, and we gave it the best shot we could but there was nothing we could do at this point, and we needed to get that baby out. :)
I'll admit, I was very scared. But I didn't let it show. I will never forget the look on Patrick's face. He looked so nervous, which is not like him at all. He's always the one to calm me down. After the fact he explained to me that it was just scary all of the sudden - being on the patient side but knowing everything you do as a doctor, and trying not to think of all the potential bad outcomes when it's your wife and baby there on the table. Definitely gave him a new perspective.
So everything's happening so fast now. They were pulling my hair back and told me I had to take my contacts out. I was disappointed just because I can't see a thing without them, but they said I could wear my glasses so that made it okay. I told Patrick to get them out of my bag, but he couldn't find them. That's when I almost started crying. I was trying not to get caught up in the fact that I wasn't going to get to deliver as I wanted and hold him right after he was born, but the thought of not being able to even see him when they did bring him to me almost pushed me over the edge. Luckily my mom saved the day and found my glasses! :)
At first my doctor wasn't aware I'd already had the epidural as he'd just come in, so he said I was going to have to go under general anesthesia since there wasn't time and we had to get the baby out STAT. At this point I was so beyond thankful that we made the decision to get the epidural when we did. I would have been devastated if I wouldn't have been able to be awake for his birth.
So off to the OR we go! My mom scrubbed in also because at first, Patrick was going to assist with the c-section. Fortunately another doctor got there in time to assist so Patrick got to just be dad. We still had my mom come in though and I'm so glad she got to - she means so much to me and it was so special to have her by my side; plus it was her birthday!
I was talking 90 miles an hour to anyone who would listen...just trying to keep myself distracted and not get scared and/or dwell on my disappointment of not being able to deliver vag.inally. I'll be honest - it was hard; it really was. But as I laid there on the table, I thought of many people - many of you specifically - who I know would give anything to just be able to get pregnant and give birth to a child, no matter how that happened. I thought of the miracle that Emanuel was, and just thanked the Lord for all He'd done. There was no way satan was going to steal my joy of what was about to come.
And then at 9:56 p.m, I heard the most beautiful noise ever when Emanuel let out his first cry. I in turn started crying, and I'm not sure which of us was crying harder. I just couldn't believe that was my baby I was hearing. Finally. Here are daddy & son shortly after he was born.He weighed 7 lbs, 9 oz, and was 20.5 inches long, which was MUCH smaller than we expected! He pooped all over the hospital paperwork, which was hilarious because Patrick was like, "That's how I feel about hospital paperwork, too, son!"
This was the first time I got to see him, and I was still trying to stop crying. I look a little rough. :)
Kissing his sweet cheeks for the very first time. :)I told Patrick to go with him to the nursery because I didn't want him to be alone. :) My mom stayed with me until I went to recovery, then I sent her down so she could be taking pictures, too. I LOVE this picture...he is holding on to my mom's finger...isn't it so sweet?!
Of course he was already chewing on his hand, just like he always was in ultrasounds.
He had low blood sugar, so ended up having to have IV fluids. Fortunately he responded well and it was no time before he was eating well on his own and able to have the IV removed, so it was no big deal in the grand scheme of things.
So there you have it...my very detailed & long birth story. Was I disappointed I didn't get to have the delivery I wanted, and not hold him right away? Sure. Was recovering from a c-section fun? No, but it wasn't near as bad as I anticipated. Bottom line is: it could've been much worse, and I have no regrets whatsoever and am simply very thankful that I have my happy, healthy baby boy in my arms. The Lord was with us every step of the way, and I will forever be in awe when I look at this precious face. :)