After the aunts and cousins headed home, we decided to hang out for a little while with my grandma and my mom. While doing so, I started having some contractions (around 8 pm), but I didn't think anything of it since I'd been having contractions every night for about a month. They started off around every 3 minutes and stayed that way for about an hour, and then they stopped. (Like every night.) Of course, my mom and grandma were both stressing, saying, "You better start heading to the hospital," and, "Are you sure we don't need to go on to the hospital? Better safe than sorry," and blah, blah, blah. I kept trying to convince them, no, this was not it. This happens every night. I'm fine. It's just false labor.
Then, they started up again. Now, I do have to say, they were definitely uncomfortable, but not extremely painful, so again I wasn't worried. After enough nagging, however, I finally decided we should head to the hospital, but I still didn't believe it was the real deal. My guess was I was probably a bit dehydrated, they would just give me some IV fluids and send me home like before. The contractions kept stopping and starting, but not getting any stronger, so I was positive this wasn't real labor.
We arrived at the hospital around midnight, and went through the whole checking in process, which we all know is a pain in the behind, but then she said she was going to check me for dilation. "Greeaaat," I thought. I don't know about you, but I think "getting checked" is one of the worst parts of labor. It hurts! And of course, I always get the nurse with the short, chubby fingers, so...yeah, no visual needed. Anyway, she dug around for what seemed like forever, and finally said, "Your a little over a 4."
"Um...excuse me? A 4? As in, 4 centimeters dilated?!"
"Yep, I'm going to go ahead and start your IV."
Yeah. We all were shocked. I had no idea I was dilated at all. I was not prepared for this! I didn't even have my hospital bag packed, let alone with me. I wasn't supposed to be in labor yet. I was only 35 1/2 weeks! (Fun fact: I went into labor the exact same day of the pregnancy as I did with Elena.)
We basically just hung out listening to the heart beat and watching my contractions on the monitor for a few hours, but every time the nurse came in to check me, I was still a little over a 4. My contractions were still consistent, but they were not increasing in intensity. I honestly wasn't all that uncomfortable, and I stayed that way until the next morning. My OB/GYN came in and checked me and decided that I probably wasn't going to progress any more until my water had broken. She was about to do a C-section, and gave me the amount of time it took to do the surgery to decide if I wanted an epidural, because until then I had decided to go natural since my last epidural experience was so traumatic.
At this point, I was pretty much freaking out. I hadn't slept all night, and I was questioning myself on the whole natural birth decision. I just thought after being awake for over 24 hours I wasn't going to be able to handle natural birth. I wasn't in pain, yet, but I knew how fast I tend to go after my water breaks, so after debating for several hours, and talking to the anesthesiologist THREE times, I finally sucked up the courage and went through with the epidural.
Around ten minutes later, the doctor came in a broke my water. I laid there for a few minutes waiting for the epidural to kick in, and noticed I was still feeling the contractions. They actually didn't really intensify at all, and I figured it was going to be a while before little man would actually arrive, so I just tried to relax.
15 minutes later, however, I felt different. Baby boy had decended into the birth canal and I felt EVERY bit of it.
*Yeah...after the drama of debating over the stinking epidural, it didn't even work! The only thing that went numb was my left thigh. Looks like I was getting my "natural birth" after all.*
At this point, I was getting louder with every contraction.
I admit it. No shame.
I had Jake run out for the nurse, the anesthesiologist, anyone.
I was completely consumed by the pain. I was willing every bit of myself to stay in control, to breathe through it, but I eventually gave in to the pain and exhaustion and was all out screaming by the time the nurse came in. And the 10 other nurses behind her.
The nurse kept wanting to tell me to stop screaming, it wasn't helping, blah blah blah...
I just wanted to punch her in the face.
After I finally convinced her he was coming RIGHT THEN, she went to check me, but the head was already coming out.
Let me tell you ladies, if you haven't gone natural before, the "Ring of Fire," it's VERY real. Ouch!
I couldn't stop it. I HAD to push, and after 1 big push, he was out!
The doctor missed it...again.
Yes, this is the second birth of mine that the doctor has missed. She made it just in time to deliver the placenta, again. She also did have to give me two stitches because I tore just a tiny bit, but after a natural delivery, I didn't even feel her give me the shot before she stitched me.
I kept looking over to see my little boy. I kept telling Jake, "I'm fine. Check on him. Is he ok?"
He only cried for a second, and everyone kept assuring me he was fine.
His Apgar scores were 8 and 9. He was a whopping 6 lb. 14 oz, which is pretty darn big for a 35 weeker!
Slowly, he started to grunt more and more. He seemed to be distressed, like he was having a hard time breathing, so they let me hold him for a matter of 20 seconds, and then they whisked him away to the nursery and assured me they'd be back with him shortly.
And this is where our NICU story begins.
To be continued...
Until next time,