Tuesday July 19th
I went to work with a full mind – I needed to train (two people), I needed to find a house, I needed to pack, but most importantly I needed to go to the doctor. Our next scheduled doctor’s appointment was Tuesday so all day I worked towards that 3:30pm appointment. Luckily work went fast – training two people at once definitely makes the time fly. Before I knew it Michael was downstairs, waiting on me to head to Dr. Taylor’s office.
We got there right on time, met with the ultrasound tech first. She took a gander inside my stomach, and we got to see our beautiful little girl’s face (little did we know we’d see her live and in living color about that same time the next day). The ultrasound tech estimated her weight, and saw that her lengths were looking good. We weren’t supposed to receive any more ultrasound pictures but the nice tech ended up saving them all to a disc, and printing some out for us. She was so sweet.
Next we went on to see the doctor and I had my second vaginal exam. The doctor told us that I had already lost my mucus plug (which I had no idea!), I was 1 cm dilated, and was 50% effaced! He scheduled the next round of visits, but told us he didn’t think we’d make it. He guessed we’d go into labor that upcoming weekend.
Michael and I left the doctor’s office excited and ready. We ran a few errands after the doctor and eventually made it to his dad’s house – we had been staying there for two weeks packing for the upcoming move.
I went to sleep with the normal Braxton hicks contractions – nothing serious and nothing to make me think labor was just around the corner.
Wednesday July 20th – 4am
I woke up because I felt wet. After my exam the day before I had been wearing a feminine pad and it felt like it was about time for a new one. I went to the rest room and realized that I shouldn’t need a new pad. I realized the wetness was probably my water…….. which meant it had broken! I cleaned up and paced the bathroom, trying to figure out what to do. The Braxton hicks I had felt the night before were still coming on but they felt different this time. More intense. Because I didn’t know what the heck to do, and I really didn’t want to show up at the hospital only to be turned away with false labor contractions, I decided to call the nurse line and ask a professional. I described to her what I woke up to and how I was feeling. She told me to ahead, get ready, and come in.
I got dressed and laid back in bed. Michael was groggy but awake by now and was concerned. I told him to go back to sleep for a little while, but when we woke back up we should go to the hospital.
Wednesday July 20th – 8am
We woke up, grabbed our hospital bag, and let Michael’s dad know we were headed to the hospital. He offered to drive us (the sleepy couple), and off we went. The contractions were about steady; they were uncomfortable but they were easily talked thru and I didn’t miss a beat. We checked into the hospital and were admitted to a labor and delivery room. We met my nurse, Katy – and I gave her my premade gift basket. She was already a cool girl but the gift basket may have helped. Either way, she took it away and I was informed later that all of the l&d nurses were very appreciative.
Katy did my first exam. She told me that no, my water had not broken, like I believed it had. At that point I’m thinking we’re headed back home in a few minutes… I jumped the gun. But then she tells me I am four and a half centimeters dilated! FOUR AND A HALF CENTIMETERS?! I had gone from 1 cm to 4.5 in less than 24 hours. Katy nods her head and looks to Michael – “Looks like we’re gonna have a baby today”!
At this point we start making phone calls – we call my mom, Michael’s mom. I text my bosses. Katy starts plugging me in – I have a heart monitor, they wrap Brianna’s heart monitor around my belly, and they give me pitocin. Pitocin is used to induce or speed labor along so Katy warns me that as my pitocin increases my contractions will begin to increase. She says once my water breaks the contractions will be even stronger. I buckle down for a long day.
Doctor Taylor is called but in the meantime the OB on staff stops by. Michael’s dad waits with us in the room and my mom finally makes it. I update my facebook status, and I start getting texts and fb well-wishes. All the while my contractions start increasing – now I KNOW I’m in labor.
The time, and the centimeters go by. My contractions get worse; Now I need to stop talking, concentrate on breathing, and wait for them to pass. I can’t talk thru them anymore. When a contraction starts everyone in the room goes quiet – to let me concentrate on breathing and getting thru the pain. For the longest time the contractions are manageable; they are painful but they come and then they go. I know they have an ending and I am feeling pretty good about going natural. When the anesthesiologist comes into the room I tell him I may not need him afterall. He gives me a “yeah right” look and tells me to call him when I want him (he knows the name of the game). My mom encourages me to go natural and so far I was feeling confident. Michael was supportive of whatever option I chose, and when I went thru the contractions he would hold my hand and help me thru.
Katy checks on me often, Doctor Taylor makes a visit, contractions come and go. Eventually Katy tells me its time to break my water bag, and she warns me again that the contractions will become worse afterwards. So, she does the deed, and within five minutes the contractions are drastically different. I am still breathing thru the pain, not talking and just concentrating on the light at the end of the tunnel… but now I arch my back and I can’t help but moan and groan. I never wanted to be the type of lady to give birth and cuss out her loved ones, so instead of saying anything at all I was quiet, except for those moans. Michael holds my hand; the contractions not only getting more intense but lasting longer. When they end there isn’t much relief – the pain is still faintly there and now I am started to get tired. In between contractions all I want to do is sleep. I squeeze Michael’s hand so hard that later he tells me that he didn’t realize I had that much strength in me.
Finally, I realize that dealing with the contractions is do-able, but its wearing me out. I was worried I wouldn’t have the energy to push if I didn’t get pain relief soon. So, I requested the epidural. The anesthesiologist came to the room with her rolling station of supplies(a different lady than whom I had met before). Her and Katy get me into position (my back arched out, my shoulders rolled forward, my head hanging down – aka very uncomfortable position for a pregnant lady to be in)… and the ane. Begins to stick me.
And she misses. So she sticks me again.
This goes on for 45 minutes before she finally the right space for inject the meds. Michael and Katy were both getting frustrated with the anesthesiologist and at one point Katy says “Wow, even I’m getting tired here…”, with her foot tapping, showing signs of disbelief. I remained quiet and didn’t realize how much time had passed – the entire awkward time I was still having contractions so I concentrated on breathing.
After the epidural is injected my body started to shake. My legs, my arms, my hands – due to the medicine – but the relief came. I was able to rest and for that I’m so glad I chose to get the epi.
Soon I was ready to push. Because I had an epidural I couldn’t quite my move my legs freely so the nurse (Stephanie at this point; Katy’s shift was over) had to help me into the stirrups on one side; Michael helped on the other. Dr. Taylor was paged, and the baby nurse was set up in the corner, waiting to grab Bria and get her cleaned up. I felt my body want to push; vaguely I felt the pressure but it was almost like I couldn’t help it. My body was doing what it needed to do. Stephanie had done two practice pushes with me, to see if the epidural was too strong and I would need help, but that wasn’t the case. She told me to stop pushing or else Bria would be here before the doctor arrived. Finally he showed up. The extra people in the room were asked to leave (Michael’s dad and my mom) and we were ready to push.
At that point things went quickly. I pushed three times – maybe because of the epidural but the pushing was easy. I focused all of my energy on my nether regions and made sure to push that direction. Michael was on my left, my nurse was on my right, doctor Taylor in the business end, baby nurse standing back, and Doctor Taylor’s nurse at his side assisting him however she could.
Finally I felt relief and the doctor held my little baby up. She was blue and covered in nastiness, the cord still attached to me. The doctor and his nurse worked quickly to get the chord ready to snip; they handed Michael the scissors so he could the honors. Mike was so astounded by A) seeing all of the gloriousness of my womanhood and the disturbing event that took place and B) seeing Bria for the first time ever. When they were ready for him to snip he was in such a trance, looking at her and at me, that he didn’t hear them at first. They spoke up and he made the cut. The baby nurse took her to get clean – my eyes following her everywhere. It was like a spell was put on me. I couldn’t look away, except to look at Michael who seemed to have the same spell on him.
She was born at 3:49pm, weighing in at 6lbs and 14 oz. She was 19.75 inches long. And she was beautiful.
Time after that was blurry. I know that I had an episiotomy, and that I needed to be cleaned up. I know that Bria was weighed and cleaned, and Michael held her first until I was ready. I know that she was put into my arms and then the rest of the time is lost to me. I don’t know how long we sat there, and in what order things happened next. I do know that eventually my mom came in, my brother came in, Mickey came in… and that eventually I was wheeled up to post partum (I had another premade basket for the pp nurses and they also seemed to appreciate the gesture).
We stayed in the hospital for the next 24 hours until we were finally ready and released to go home.
It’s been three weeks today that Brianna was born and it feels like I’ve known her all my life. We’re learning about each other as we go and I can’t wait to see how things progress. She is the most beautiful creature I’ve ever seen! The love I feel for her (and for Michael) is sometimes so overwhelming that I can’t help but cry it out a little. I know it’s the hormones but it’s also the overflowing mom love that you always hear about, but never really know until it happens. I wouldn’t change a single thing about my family members. I’m excited about my family and about it growing and changing. I’m the luckiest girl in the world <3