Please note: This is the birth story of my daughter--raw, and true. I'm a detail-giver (although you'll be happy to know I did leave out some of the not-so-pleasant details). Please remember that everyone has completely different labor and delivery stories. This just happens to be ours. Oh, and I'm going to show you a few more 'intimate' shots (taken by my SIL, Lyryn), they're so special to me, and I'm so glad I have them.
I was officially 'admitted' to the hospital. I
The baby was coming!
But holy cow....WHEN!?
I figured at this point I wouldn't make the mothers day cut-off. I didn't care anymore. I just couldn't believe that I was going to meet this little joy that will make us a little family.
I sent the necessary texts to a few family members that just said, "Admitted". They were thrilled! I had missed all the birthday/mothers day meal gatherings that day for my own Mommy, which, had me a little bummed. But, my mom didn't care one bit. She was just thrilled that her 3rd little granddaughter was going to make her debut somewhere in the near future.
[My mom, my sister Susan, and Declan's sister, Lyryn were all invited to be part of the whole delivery, by the way (in fact, I wouldn't have minded a whole 'nother slew of people, honestly...)--I just didn't want anyone coming too early, you know, during all the boring parts.]
The nurse-shifts had changed, and my new nurse who was assigned to me from 7pm-7am was named Lauren. She was young, and so so sweet. She was gorgeous, too. I remember asking her when she thought I'd have this baby---and her reply was, "My guess would be in the morning---first time moms often take a while to progress." I remember feeling slightly bummed and saying something like, "Well, I hope it's before you go off your shift." (Because how not cool to switch nurses a billion times....), and she said--"Yea, I'm hoping so, too."
By this point I was having some seriously intense pain...so the nurse offered me something to drip in my IV (that I had to have pre-epidural anyway) if I wanted it.
I really, truly thought about it--and said...."No...I think I'll walk again." I have no idea why I chose to walk--they were absolutely GRUELING at this point--but I knew it would help me progress and not slow things down, which the meds could potentially do.
Off we went for another walk. This time, I only made it half hour before I needed to sit down again. I can't lie--that walk was torrrrture. But, having Declan by my side made me love him even more (if that's even possible)--because he was so strong for me.
At this point, I used the bathroom and emptied it all out. [Holy cow--going to the bathroom while having contractions like WHOA=not cool....not at all.] Like every pregnant woman, I had that fear of pooping on the delivery bed--so I wanted to limit my chances.
I got hooked back up onto the monitors--and I noticed my husband getting his very-hungry-might-pass-out look. I needed him badddd. But, I needed him more in a few hours. So, I told him to go-go-go, and get some food in his system because he would need the energy to help me through having this baby. At this point, it was almost 9pm.
During this time, I was getting the bag of fluids in me so I could get my heavenly epidural. I've always had this in the plans, because I'm NOT fun when I'm in the pain...heck, I'm freaking rude when I feel like crap--and I'm irritable as all get-out. So, I knew going the epi-route was the way for me.
Contractions still coming...but oh so much faster...and more painful. I had to bare them myself, and try to work through them without Declan there to help. I sort of went within myself to deal with the pain. I made no noise at all. I knew that each contraction brought me closer to meeting my daughter.
Truth be told: I couldn't wait to have that needle put in my back and get some sense of relief.
The nurse came in and told me that the doctors had changed shifts--and as soon as my doctor got here, the anesthesiologist could administer my epidural. By this point, Declan had returned and looked fully satisfied. Although my rumbling belly was jealous, I was happy he now had some energy, and you know, not pass out.
At 10pm that amazing man of an-anesthesiologist came walking through the door. He rambled on for a few minutes and I pretended to listen. I signed a bunch of papers and I just kept thinking, "Let's do this, already!"
The whole process of it was absolutely no.big.deal.---and within 5 minutes or so....I could literally feel my body going into relaxation. The contraction pains were getting more intense, but I couldn't feel them....oh hallelujah, after all those hours of pain---this was heaven. The doctor broke my water at this point, too--to help speed things up, because often an epidural can slow down the natural labor process. They also decided to put a little pitocin in my IV to off-set things slowing down. They gave it to me at the smallest dose (and never ended up having to up the drip).
My mom and sister came at this point. It was so nice to have some fresh faces, and catch them up on all that's been happening. I think I even remembered to tell my Mom "Happy Birthday" and that I was sorry I missed all the get-togethers today. She chuckled at me for being so silly.
My doctor and nurse both told me to get some rest...and they dimmed the lights. My body was in such a state of relaxation--I thought it would be easy to sleep. Notsomuch. The anticipation was killer. I just wanted to stay up and talk. It was like a little slumber-party in there, anyway. Finally, though--I drifted off into semi-dreamland and got a little sleep.
I woke up around midnight and I told my mom that I felt like I had this urge to poop (TMI, no?)--but that I KNEW I didn't need to poop. She said all giddy, "Oooo! Thats a great sign! Tell Lauren when she comes back in!"
A few minutes later when she came back in, I told her--and she said, "Well, let me check you and see, then."
She poked around and then goes, "Oh! Awesome...! You're 100% thinned and 6cm dilated. That's great progression."
The room started awakening a little bit--
"Why don't I get you a popsicle so that you have a little sugar in you to give you some energy when it comes time to push in a few hours.....okay? What color to do you prefer?"
I asked for red. I'd had orange earlier and it was Nasty with a capital N.
She'd left the room for maybe 20mins-half hour....and while she was gone something crazzzzy started going on. I felt this INTENSE urge to push....but I knew...I just knew it was bad to push when you're not fully dilated. But why the heck was I feeling this?!
By the time Lauren came back in with my red popsicle, I had both hands on the bed railings and was practically crawling up the back of the bed to resist the urge to push. It was the craziest, most uncomfortable feeling ever.
She seemed confused. "Well...I hate to check you after only this short time...we don't like to do it that often for risk of infection---but....I think I'm going too...."
(This time, now 2am) "Okay---you're a 10 and ready to push!"
The red popsicle got thrown in the trash.
Holy crap. This was it. I knew it. I'd had some super-speedy progression and I wasn't complaining.
Before I knew it, the bed was reassembled for delivery, my nurse was directly in front of me, I had my legs up in supports (I'm SO glad I used them vs people holding--will explain), and Declan was by my head counting to 10 while I took a deep breath, then held it---pushing with everything.in.me. The urge to push was so strong, it was the craziest, most intense URGE I've ever felt. It was painful, too. I remember thinking, "Wait...I had an epidural....I don't think I'm supposed to feel all this..." and, "if women get epi's all the time and say they didn't feel a thing--why the heck am I in such agony?!", but because of being so intent on the goal, I shut my mouth and kept pushing.
[Because of how fast everything had progressed, Lyryn made it in the knick-of-time, and walked in while I was pushing, camera in hand--ready to document this for me.]
After about 20 minutes of pushing, my doctor came in. My mom excitedly said, "This is all going so much faster then expected!" (afterall--they didn't expect this baby to come until breakfast!) My doctor (who are buzz-kills, lemme tell you) says, "Well, it's not over yet." [Afterall--haven't you heard that "first time moms can push up to 3 hours". Sigh.]
Once she got down there and started really seeing the progression I'd made with my first 20 minutes of pushing, I see her entire demeanor change into rush-mode. She starts to gear up, I see the delivery cart wheel in out of the corner of my eye, and things are starting to buzz around the room. Meanwhile, I'm still pushing...with Declan holding my head, counting along for me.
It turns out that during all the pushing, it had made Emeline's heartrate drop a bit--so my Doctor told me to hold out and push every-OTHER contraction. Everything in my body told me that was physically IMPOSSIBLE. How do you resist the most intense urge you've ever felt?! (Well, since they assumed my epidural was alive and kicking--they didn't realize it was such a problem because many women can't feel anything at all!) But, since I was feeling literally feeling e v e r y t h i n g, and they wouldn't let me push, I was grateful for the stirrups, because I kicked my legs around like a freak and panted like a dog. There are no words to describe how crazzzy it felt. They were trying to pump a little oxygen into me (for the baby's sake) at this point, too---and it only ticked me off more. In fact, I flung it off my face multiple times (almost hitting poor Lauren) because who wants that god-awful thing around your face when you're trying to focus on getting your baby out?
"Give another push like that, Katie....She's almost here...."
Declan leans down by my face and says, "Babe! She has hair!"
He could see her hair?? She's almost here!"
I hear the doctor say, "Katie, if we don't get her out in the next few pushes--I need to use the vacuum to give you a little help because her heartrate isn't looking so great."
I decided to try for a few more pushes, and I pushed like no other using every muscle in my body because who wants to use a little vacuum to suck your kid out?!
Well--during those intense pushes, I literally FELT in detail myself tearing down there....and it was the most cringe-worthy, grueling, disgusting and painful thing I've ever felt.
AND so quickly the girl (ahem, me) who just thought, "Who the heck wants to use a vacuum on their kid?" yells to the doctor, "Just suck her out already!!"
Within seconds she was here.
This photo says 1,000 words.
40 total minutes of pushing, and at 2:40am...our beautiful little girl came into the world and made us parents.
I know this was not glamorous in any way.shape.or.form. I'm a teeny bit sorry for my brutal honesty about the pain (because I don't want to scare anyone...). The truth is, (after talking to my l&d nurse friend who came on shift later that night), what I felt was NOT normal. Since I wasn't vocal enough about my pain, they didn't realize how low my epidural was running, which ultimately--left me feeling virtually everything. Little did I know that had I said something, with a click of the button I could have had more meds pumping through me to ease the pain. See? Things you don't know when you're a first-timer. I'll tell you this---even after all that, it was so very worth it---and within a day or two I was already talking about how excited I was to do this all again. I'm crazy...no?