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September 8th was a regular Sunday for us. It was Tavo's Saturday so we did all of our usual stuff. We went to Costco, then to Winco. I laid down with Vincent for a nap and when we got up, we all went for a walk around the neighborhood. The day didn't feel any different than any other recent days. I was 38 weeks and 1 day.
Later in the evening, Tavo and I had been intimate. The intention truly had nothing to do with encouraging labor, as it was really the one night we didn't want labor to happen, my mom was having a difficult time and the kids had a long awaited doctor appointment in the morning.
We did our usual nighttime stuff. I relaxed on the computer and Tavo was hanging out on the couch. I had a couple of stronger contractions before I went to lay down but nothing to call home about.
At midnight, I laid down and turned on Friends. I had a couple of contractions that made me wonder. I texted Tavo "Lol, haha" and then told him I thought I was in labor. He thought I was kidding but when I told him I was getting in the shower, he knew it was the real deal.
From there, I labored at home for a few hours. I drank some of my RRLT, and just paced around. I tried to lay down for a bit but couldn't get comfortable so Tavo and I loaded up the car, woke up my mom and went for one last walk down the street at 2:30 am.
When we got back, I ate a banana and we were off! As soon as I got in the car, contractions all but stopped. We decided to continue in anyway, as I am a self checker and knew that I was definitely too far dilated for this to be a false alarm.
At 3:10, we got to the hospital. Carla, our nurse put us in a tiny room with nothing but a monitor. We both were panicked that this is where we would be expected to deliver but were reassured when we were told it was just a triage room. She monitored me for about 20 minutes, then came in and checked me. She was shocked to find that I was 6 cm, and could be stretched to a 7. We were then moved to an amazing delivery room that had a large tub and separate bed for Tavo. Things were still slow moving, so I just paced around and went walking the halls. My midwife, Ellen, offered to break my water to get things moving a bit and as much as I wanted to allow my water to break on its own, I agreed to it. She checked and I was still 6 cms at 5:20 and then she broke my water. Tavo and I walked the halls a bit more, which was pretty gross with my water gushing with every contraction.
Things started to pick up after that. I had been really shaky and quivering for parts of my labor and that came back. My midwife offered to fill the tub and I agreed that would be a good idea to help get through contractions.
At this point, contractions were mostly impossible to walk or talk through but I was still able to reasonably breathe through them. At some point before the tub, I was 7 cms. While in there, things were starting to get really intense. At this point, I lose track of the timeline. My husband was amazing, reminding me often to breathe and focus through contractions. At some point, she checked me in the tub because I was feeling more pressure and I was an 8 but baby was RIGHT THERE. I decided to get out of the tub, and continued to breathe through contractions with the help of Tavo. He would hold my hand or my hips while I put my arms around his neck and swayed. I bounced on the ball for a bit which was one of the more comfortable options, because I could push my hips forward with contractions and sink down into them. And of course, squeeze Tavo's fingers.
I went from sitting to standing, tried laying down a couple of times and then standing back up. I think at this point, I started vocalizing through contractions, especially if I was laying down. I couldn't handle a contraction laying down so I either sat on the edge of the bed or jumped up and stood through these contractions. They were getting tough but I never questioned if I wanted meds, I just knew I had to get through it. I may have told Tavo that I was going to die a couple of times. I definitely told him that I wanted to go home, like that was even an option.
At some point or another, I was checked and I was a 9. My midwife ended up having to leave at 8 and the other one, who I absolutely adore (Carolyn), came on. I also got a new nurse around 7 (Laura) who was just amazing, especially compared to the first. I spent the next hour or so vocalizing through contractions and trying to find a way to cope. I felt like I was being ripped in half at this point. Carolyn checked me and I just had a small lip of cervix left. I didn't think I could survive another contraction, so she offered to allow me to push while she held back the last of my cervix. (ETA: somewhere during this timeframe, I puked. I think it was right before she checked me, but may have been right after.) I happily obliged but then I wanted to rip her hands off as soon as I actually started pushing, it was by far the most painful experience of my life. At this point, I just wanted him out and I literally thought I might die if I couldn't get him out quickly.
I pushed with everything I had. I was yelling for them to "get it out, get it out." At one point, I let out a couple of screams as I felt his head descending. Carolyn asked me to blow and wait for another contraction and I told her that I couldn't do it anymore, that I just needed him out of me. Tavo kept reminding me to breathe, which I legitimately would have forgotten to do otherwise. I pushed with everything I had and felt him descending through my pelvis. Then, I felt the ring of fire as his head came out. I continued to push with all of my might and felt the most sweet relief as his feet came out. I can clearly remember the moment he came out and just feeling so relieved that I couldn't speak. After a few seconds, I managed to get out a "that was the hardest thing I've ever done."
Initially, Oliver let out a good scream but after that, he started to get grey and wasn't breathing all that well, because he wouldn't clear his lungs out. He did end up needing just a bit of oxygen and then he pinked up and stayed that way.
Pretty soon after birth, I started feeling lots of gushes and alerted the nurse, who confirmed that I was bleeding heavily. At this point, they gave me oral cytotec to try to slow the bleeding and continued to keep an eye on me. The bleeding wouldn't slow, so I consented to an IV for fluids and pitocin and was also given a shot of pitocin. This didn't slow the bleeding, so the midwife was called back in. She explored my uterus to find it was filled with clots and one very small peice of retained placenta. Then, they gave me a shot of hemocrit, I believe it was called, to get my uterus to remain in a prolonged contraction in hopes of slowing the bleeding. A few minutes later, I started gushing blood again, so the high risk OB was called in to check my uterus to make sure everything was cleared out. Having my uterus pushed on and manually scraped out twice after having just pushed out a baby was, by far, the worst thing I've gone through medically speaking. After this, my bleeding finally slowed down.
Thank goodness that our Oliver George was worth it! He was 8lbs, 11oz and 20.5 inches long. I pushed him out so quickly that his little head didn't even mold at all. He is just perfect and covered in dark hair everywhere. Our fuzzy little guy. We are home now and settling in well. I am so glad that both he and I are healthy and happy.