Chaz = Hubby
Pell = mutual friend
Kelly = my best friend, just had a baby last week
Felt achy Thursday evening around 5:30pm ish- legs and lower back just kinda had a dull ache. So I put Hades on the leash and took him for a walk around the high school. Got back from that and sat on the couch, and realized that what I thought might be contractions were happening. I wasn't sure though, so I just monitored them and kept going. Around 6:45 or so I started timing them. They ranged from 10-20 min apart and lasted about 48 seconds, on average. It felt like an ache in my back, then my belly would get really tight and I'd feel pretty intense, mildly painful pressure down low, kind of under the main part of my baby bump. Chaz got home around 6, but got called back in until nearly 7:30 b/c his unit is dumb. I sat outside with my Kindle and Hades and kept timing. When he got home we finally got to eat, and I mentioned to him that I *thought* I might be having contractions, but I wasn't completely positive about it. I don't think he took me that seriously at that point, lol. Around 8 I called Kelly and described what I was feeling, and she said that's what hers had started off like. By now, I'm still only half-convinced that things are starting "for real", but I'm starting to believe it. I relaxed on the couch watching some TV with Chaz for a bit. Things were still mostly ignorable- uncomfortable and somewhat painful, but nothing really bad.
Around 9:30pm we go to bed, and I warned Chaz again that things might be starting. I tossed and turned for a while before I was finally able to fall asleep- partly b/c of the discomfort of contractions, partly b/c my mind was in overdrive, lol. Around 1am I woke up and had to pee. When I wiped, I saw a little bit of blood and mucous. I remember thinking, "Hey, maybe this is actually gonna happen after all!" I got up several more times in the night to go to the bathroom, and each time there was some blood/mucous. The contractions also started getting more painful, especially in my back. Around 4:30am, Chaz's alarm went off. I told him that by now I was convinced that things were going, that I was contracting pretty regularly with about 8min in between and that I'd been seeing my bloody show since 1am. BUT, that I was told not to bother going in to L&D until they were 3-5 min apart for an hour or more, OR until my water broke, whichever came first. So he called his NCO and told him what was going on, and was told he had to come in for morning PT and formation, but then he'd get released. Several snooze buttons later, we both got up (around 5:15). I was too uncomfortable to sleep anymore, so while he went in to work, I took a shower, then lay on the couch just trying to relax and let things progress. The contractions were definitely more painful, and now mostly in the front, in that area below my belly but above my lady parts.
Chaz got home around 7:30, and we watched some ‘Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ for a while before I called the Women’s Health Clinic at the hospital to find out if they wanted me to come in for my appointment that day or whether I should wait and just go to Labor and Delivery when things were farther along. They told me to come in anyway, so at 9:30 we left for my appointment. I really thought I’d be back home to wait some more, so I didn’t bother to grab anything. At my appointment, the nurse/midwife checked me and found out I was 80% effaced and 2.5 cm dilated. She offered to sweep my membranes to get things going, and I agreed. This was around 10:45am or so. Chaz and I decided to walk around the hospital for a bit to see if anything happened before deciding if we were going to go home or stay. So we walked to the coffeeshop and got some cookies. By now my contractions had dropped from 7-10 min apart to 3-5 min apart (I was timing them on my Droid), and were getting pretty painful. So by 11:45, we were up at Labor and Delivery. They put me in a triage bed and put on monitors for baby’s heartbeat and my contractions to watch me for a while to see if they were going to admit me or not. I started throwing up at one point, and really regretted eating those chocolate chip cookies earlier. My contractions were really quite painful at this point and all I wanted was some pain meds. Around 12:30 they decided to admit me, and Chaz left to go home and get all our stuff and make sure the dog was situated. By 2pm I was in my own room in L&D and was getting an epidural. I felt better for a while, and was just chilling in bed for an hour or two. Chaz returned and said Pell was gonna stop by to see how things were going. I kept throwing up off and on, usually provoked by a contraction, and around 4:15 or 4:30 pm, the combination of throwing up and a contraction literally popped my water and it practically exploded all over my legs and the sheet. Pell had just gotten there, but after that happened, I started really feeling the pain and was quite unhappy, so he didn’t stay long, lol.
After that, things get kind
of blurry- I was in a huge deal of pain constantly, not just when my contractions were happening, because it felt like my entire back had seized up and it hurt so bad. I think it was close to 6 when the midwife came in and checked me and decided I could start pushing. So Lt. Stone (the awesome nurse who had been with me practically all day) and Chaz
helped get me set up to push. I pushed for about an hour and a half- Lt.Stone kept coming up with different ideas to get my pushes to be more effective. He knotted the end of the sheet and held the other end and had me pulling on the sheet while I was pushing and that seemed to help a bit. But in the end, baby hadn’t dropped far enough and was stuck behind my pelvis- his head would start to come out to the point where Chaz said he could see it, but when the contraction passed and I stopped pushing, it would slide back to where it was. By this point, I was hurting so much I wanted to cry when Lt. Stone told me what was happening- I felt like I wasn’t making any progress, and I was about ready to volunteer for a C-section if it meant that he would just COME OUT.
The midwife came back in and took a look and decided I should rest for a little while and then try to push again later. They did start me on Pitocin (sp?) to get my contractions to drop the baby down further. They got me to shift onto my side and the LT massaged my back a little while I just tried to breathe through the contractions. He said my muscles were like slabs of steel, they were so tight- seemed almost surprised and here I am thinking “That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you! Why do you think I’m over here crying about being in pain??” He kept asking me what my pain level was on a scale of 1-10 and I kept telling him about an 8.5. So he worked with another nurse to try to figure out what pain meds would get me to feel better. I don’t know what they finally hit on, but they pushed something else through the epidural and suddenly I felt less like I wanted to die and more like I could actually get through this. Around 9-something, I started pushing again, and this time things were actually progressing. I was feeling a LOT better and so was more relaxed, plus baby had dropped further, so it only took maybe 40ish minutes to finally get him out. At 10:30pm on Friday, October 21, James was born! Seeing him come out looking so perfect and feeling that immense sense of relief from the massive amount of pain I had been in was such an amazing feeling.
Chaz cut the cord and went with him as he got his first check up/cleanup, and
I hardly even noticed as I delivered the placenta and the midwife and one of the residents got started cleaning me up and stitching me up, because I kept on watching what was going on across the room. I do remember them asking me if I wanted to see the placenta, and I was like,
“No. Definitely not. No.” They laughed at me and joked, “Think she’s
serious?” lol. At 10:40 I held my baby boy for the first time and was just in awe at how precious he was and how strongly I already felt about him.
Born Friday, October 21, 2011, weighing 7lbs, 11oz, 20.5 in long.
Mommy and James later that night