Okay, so baby girl is asleep in her car seat... don't judge. We were out doing errands and she fell asleep and the number one lesson I've learned in the 11 days of being a mother is let a sleeping baby sleep. :) So, hopefully she'll give me a few minutes to write out her birth story before I magically morph from blogger to milk maid.
So, Abs was due on the 4th. Originally we were going to be induced that day, but Monday the 3rd came and I totally freaked out about being induced. There was no medical reason and she wasn't past due yet. Although I wanted to evict her, I knew that it was okay for her to bake a little longer, with hopes that she would make her grand appearance on her own before Sunday night, when I was now scheduled to be induced. The week was dragging on and on and there was no sign of baby girl coming. I walked and walked and walked. I did squats. I visualized her coming. Nothing helped. I had mentally gotten in a good place about being induced.
On Saturday night, Tom and I decided to have one last date night as a childless couple. We got all fancy (aka, I put on my dressy maternity jeans) and went to PF Changs. The food was amazing and it was the first time in a long time that I put it back like I hadn't eaten in weeks. We had a great time. We came home and Tom crashed, which is totally not like him. He's a night owl, but by 11, he was sound asleep. Me, not so much. I was uncomfortable and restless. Around 3am, I went to the bathroom, emptied the bladder and crawled back in bed. About 5 minutes later I got this weird feeling and stood up, only to feel a proverbial "gush". I said "uh, Tom, I think my water just broke" to which he went from snoozing to hyper getting everything together hubby in about a tenth of a second. Me, well I was a little more calm... making the bed, getting some clothes put together, etc. I called the doctor and they told me to head in. By the time I got to the car, my contractions had started - ah, glorious back labor. Just what I didn't want. My mom had it with both of us and I figured if it was genetic, I was going to have it.
Contractions weren't super close together but they were intense and by the time that I got to the hospital, they were at the annoying stage. They did a test and didn't think that my water had actually broken (don't know what the "gush" was) but since I was 4cm dilated, they admitted me and said that at 7am, they would start pitocin since I was supposed to be induced that night anyway. I got settled into my delivery room and the contractions started getting worse.
The epidural was A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.
The pitocin started slowly later that morning and everything was fine. I sent Tom to get some lunch around noon and as he was gone I got a contraction that lasted about 5 minutes and wouldn't release. Abigail didn't like this and her heart rate plummeted - going from about 130 to 64 in a matter of seconds. The nurses and doctors rushed in, hooked me up to oxygen, pulled the pitocin, gave me a shot of something that stops contractions all together and we waited to see baby girl's heart rate slowly increase. Poor Tom walked in as this was going on and didn't know what was happening. Once we were all settled, we decided to just see what happened on it's own.
I was having contractions, but they weren't doing anything. I was dilating and baby was ready to come, but my body was doing nothing to help. So we tried the pitocin again. About 10 contractions later, another 5 minute one, heart rate dropping, etc. We did this one more time, starting with a VERY small dose of pitocin, but anytime they increased it, my body didn't like that and Abs didn't like it. So I laid in bed, barely contracting on my own (although I couldn't tell because of the glorious meds) and was stuck around 9cm for nearly 6 hours.
Finally, around 6:15pm, a decision needed to be made. I could wait it out and hope that my contractions would start enough to get the babe out, or I could have a c-section. It was my choice... you know, because I have a medical degree and have any clue what should be done. Tom and I consulted with a nurse who had been with me all day and she pretty much said "honey, this ain't gonna happen on your own. You are going to end up having a c-section. We don't want it to be an emergency one." Decision made.
So by 7pm, they were prepping me for a 7:30 surgery. I was kind of in a daze. This wasn't how I had thought things would go, but I was going with the flow. I had no choice - my baby's health was much more important. They gave me a bunch of new drugs, but my left side wasn't numbing. By the time they wheeled me to the OR and started "testing" my stomach to see if I could feel anything, they realized that the left wasn't numbing. They kept pumping me with more and more drugs until I finally couldn't feel the test (which I later learned was a pinch test that would have put me in a straight coat if I could have felt it without meds). They finally brought Tom in and started the section. I got the "epidural shakes" really bad - my upper body was shaking uncontrollably. They had strapped my arms down. I was crying. It was not pretty. But I had Tom by my side. At 7:37, they said "dad, if you want to take pictures, now's the time" and at 7:38, Abigail was born. I heard her glorious wail and just started sobbing. My arms were still strapped to the table so I had a great deal of snot and tears running down my face and I remember Tom wiping it all off for me, until they handed him our baby girl. Our daughter. She was finally here.
What an amazing feeling. We sat as a family while they sewed and stapled me up which seemed like 2 minutes, but I think it was more like 20 and before I knew it, we were being wheeled to the recovery room. They got us settled and just left. It was just the three of us. Alone. Together. Our family was now complete.
Abigail was born extremely healthy. I'm going to do a post about the effect that fitness had on my delivery and my recovery. It was huge... many nurses and doctors told me that I would bounce back so fast because of how healthy I stayed for the 10 months leading up to Abigail's birth. By the next morning, I was in my own clothes, walking around the hospital. Today, 11 days out, I'm almost in pre-pregnancy clothes and am down 22 of the 28 pounds that I gained. I don't feel like I had major surgery a week and a half ago. I'm blessed for that.
You know, the c-section wasn't planned, but it worked out fine. I was in labor for about 17 hours. I know what contractions feel like. I know the gloriousness of an epidural. I know what it feels like to be scared for my child's health. I will never forget the look in my husband's eyes as he presented me with our daughter. And I'll never forget the feeling I had, looking at her in the eyes, knowing that I helped create such a perfect little being. It was a great delivery story, one that I'm very proud of and will never forget!