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After the worst of the morning sickness was over at around 14-16 weeks, this pregnancy wasn’t too bad. That is, up until around seven months when he settled on my sciatic nerve and I experienced excrutiating pain in my right hip that would shoot down my leg every time I had to bear weight on it. That lasted nearly a whole month. I got an ultrasound at 32 weeks that we were really excited about. We couldn’t wait to see what our little boy looked like. Unfortunately, it turned out he was breech and facing backwards so we literally got to see NOTHING. The doctor said that hopefully when he turned head down, the sciatic nerve pain would ease up. That night, I swear I could feel him turning around. And within several days, the pain had eased up dramatically. Of course, I still walked funny (waddled really) and I still had some pain, but it was mostly just general pregnancy pains. That I could deal with at least.
At my 34 week appointment, I was disappointed that the doctor said he didn’t feel that I needed a 36-week ultrasound that I was told I would get because I am of “advanced maternal age” (as if I don’t feel old enough). I guess it was good that the doctor was confident the baby was perfectly healthy, but I couldn’t help but be disappointed because we were excited to see him.
I got my strep screening done at my 36 week appointment. The midwife that I saw also checked my cervix which was 3 cm dilated. But I was barely effaced and the baby was still high up. Still, I got my hopes up that it would be any day. I am so impatient. I knew he would come early because all my other babies did. And I “knew” it would be at night because that’s always when I went into labor. I was having lots of Braxton Hicks contractions – some of which were plenty painful and sometimes fairly regular for awhile. I would get my hopes up every time they started. I had been hoping to make it to at least 36 weeks so once I got there, I was ready for him to arrive.
I worked that weekend and as always, when I’m at work and I’m hot and physically exhausted, I have a ton of contractions. After work, I went home and laid down, but after a couple of hours, they were still coming regularly. So I called the doctor and off we went to the hospital. That was only because Duane insisted I go. He was mad at me for waiting so long when I was pregnant with Thurman. Otherwise, I would have waited until the contractions were much more painful. I wasn’t totally sure it was the real thing. I didn’t want to go and have it be a false alarm. I had never done that before and I was determined not to let it happen this time, either.
We checked in and (yay) got one of the nice new rooms. After the nurse talked for over an hour about anything and everything (Duane zoned out), she FINALLY checked me. I was STILL only 3 cm dilated. Nothing had changed since my appointment a couple days prior. It was a false alarm. I was so disappointed and embarrassed. So we went home and waited.
Every night, I would get some really bad contractions, but they always ended up going away. I didn’t tell Duane because there was no way I was going back to the hospital until I was 200% sure it was the real thing. I would get so frustrated and disappointed. I felt like I had been pregnant forever. I was tired and miserable and wanted to no longer be pregnant – and mostly, I just wanted to meet my little boy.
My next appointment was on the following Tuesday. I was 36 weeks and 4 days along. I had the option of being checked for dilation and I took it because I was dying to know if I was making any progress. Sure enough, I was up to 4 cm dilated, approximately 50% effaced and the little guy had dropped. I was so excited – even though I knew it “could” still be another week or two. I had a feeling it wouldn’t be much longer.
Thursday night, I ended up out on the recliner as usual as it was much more comfortable than laying down due to the severe acid indigestion I got every night and also due to my increased inability to breathe. The contractions were coming noticeably regular between 10-10:30 PM. At 11pm. I turned on a movie called Ratatouille and settled in to see what would happen. I got up frequently to pee (nothing unusual about that) and to see if walking would slow down the contractions. I drank plenty to assure I wasn’t dehydrated so I knew that wasn’t causing the contractions. They were still coming every 6 or 7 minutes and getting very painful. Around 11:40 or so, I started to gather stuff up in the bathroom to pack for the hospital. I figured I’d give it a few more minutes, but start preparing “just in case”. But I think I “knew” I would be heading back to the hospital.
Around midnight, I went back into the bedroom and tapped Duane and whispered his name. He about jumped out of his skin. Not quite the reaction I was going for. I told him that I was going to start getting things together because I thought we might be heading back to the hospital. His reply: “No maybe about it. If you think you might be, we’re going.” I called the doctor. Dr. Solberg was on call (hmmm….not the one I was hoping for). He said to come on in. Duane called Connie to come pick up the kids. I called my mom to tell her. She was working and said she would be there as soon as she got someone to cover for her.
Caleb heard us up and was ready to go. We woke Christian up. Gabriel and Abigail were staying elsewhere so they weren’t home. We let Thurman sleep until Connie arrived. By the time she got there, the contractions were 5-6 minutes apart and getting much more painful.
We ended up getting to the hospital around 1 am. I checked in – again. I had the same secretary who took one look at me and said she didn’t think they’d be sending me home this time. My contractions were coming around every 4-5 minutes by that time. A nurse came down and took me in a wheelchair up to the L&D unit. Of course, I ended up back in one of the old crappy rooms this time because the unit was packed. Just my luck.
I was told to give a urine sample and put on a gown. I was horrified when I tried to pee in the specimen container and it was nothing but blood. I yelled to Duane and told him I was bleeding. The nurse said it was bloody show, but I had never had that before so I was a bit panicky. I got into bed and got all hooked up to monitors. I wasn’t sure if I was starting to feel the urge to push already since there was so much pressure “down there” when I was on the toilet in the bathroom. So the nurse checked me right away. I was only 6 cm dilated. Not even close to push. But at least I was definitely in labor this time.
The nurse tried to get an IV in my arm and failed. And wow, did it ever hurt. A different nurse got one on my hand and that hurt like hell, too. And I wasn’t in a great mood. I had made up my mind I wanted an epidural this time and I guess I pretty much expected to get it as soon as I walked in the door. I was in agonizing pain and the nurses weren’t helping and I wasn’t happy. I don’t think Duane knew what to do. He got a cold, sopping wet washcloth and put on my forehead. Well, at least he tried. And it did feel kind of good.
When the IV was finally in and running, I asked (again) about an epidural and was told that I had to wait until one whole gigantic bag of fluids ran into my IV and for my blood to be drawn and the blood count to come back. That ticked me off. I was sure I would deliver before all that happened. Mom still hadn’t arrived and we were starting to think she got lost. The doctor came in and checked on me and told me the anesthesiologist was next door doing an epidural so it “shouldn’t be long” (lucky woman next door – I was still sure I’d never get mine).
FINALLY at 2 am, I met the person who I would soon come to love and adore – the anesthesiologist. The nurses kept trying to tell her the first bag of fluid was still running and my CBC wasn’t back yet, but she ignored them and proceeded with the epidural anyway. Bless her. I had been really nervous during my entire pregnancy about getting an epidural. With my older four kids, the labors and deliveries weren’t completely unbearable, so I never even considered getting one. With Thurman, I thought the same would hold true. But for some reason – my age, that particular labor/delivery or just my rotten luck – that pain that time was horrendous. So when I found out I was pregnant this time, I knew an epidural would be the way to go. However, the idea of having a needle stuck in my back made me really nervous. But by the time it was time to get the epidural, I didn’t care what they had to do to make the pain stop. It wasn’t quite what I expected though. She gave me a shot to numb the area. That wasn’t so bad. When she put the needle in, she said that it might feel like an electric jolt. It did. It was weird. She then injected a narcotic into my spine and said it might feel weird. I can’t even describe the odd sensation that went down into my legs – especially my left one. Then she put the catheter into my spine and taped it all up and it was done. Surprisingly, the pain went away almost immediately. It was heavenly.
Mom finally arrived right after that. She was detained while they were putting in the epidural, but she hadn’t gotten lost after all. She was amazed I was feeling so good. For the next 2 ½ hours or so, I enjoyed being pain free. We all talked. The nurse kept checking on me. And I tried to sleep. I was on the verge of sleep a couple times, but never quite made it all the way. I could feel the tightening of the contractions, but no pain. It was amazing.
Dr. Solberg checked me at around 4-4:30 am. I was then 8 cm. dilated. He didn’t want to break the membranes until the woman next door delivered her baby because he figured mine would come fast then and he obviously couldn’t be two places at once. He said “That bag of water is just itching to be broken.” I didn’t care. I was enjoying having no pain and I was in no hurry to push. That’s the scary part for me.
The next time Dr. Solberg checked me I was 9 cm dilated with a “lip”. So that meant it was just about time. He went ahead and ruptured the membranes. That may have been around 5 am. It wasn’t too long after that when I started getting pain again. That and a ton of pressure. I kept pushing that dang button for an extra dose of medicine for my epidural, but it would only give me so much and that didn’t help at all. I was feeling the urge to push, but I didn’t want to so I put it off as long as possible. Finally, I told the nurse. She told me to go ahead and try some small pushes with each contraction and see what happened. She also said that might help with the pain. Well, it wasn’t fun, but it did make the pain a little bit more bearable. After just a couple contractions, I told her that I thought he was coming out. Well, she ignored me.
Next contraction, I told her again that it felt like he was coming out. Finally she said “I guess I’d better take a look.” Duane said “I guess maybe you should.” She checked me and calmly said to Duane “Put the call light on.” I could tell she really wasn’t all that calm.
Almost immediately, another nurse and the doctor came in. Dr. Solberg gowned up and asked me if I was ready to have a baby. Oh, I was ready all right. I pushed once or twice – I can’t really remember – and the baby’s head was out. Dr. Solberg told me to stop pushing while he suctioned the baby. Then he told me to push. I pushed a few times and remember asking if he was coming out. Mom told me he was. I remember the doctor saying he had a “nuchal cord times one” which meant his umbilical cord was wrapped once around his neck.
My new little baby boy, Logan Duane Harold, was born at 5:34 am on Friday July 11th, 2008. They put him on my chest immediately. He was facing away from me, but he had a perfect little head full of dark hair. Duane cut the umbilical cord. The placenta was delivered while I held him. No tears, no episiotomy, no stitches – yay! I got to hold him for a few minutes, then the nurse took him to weigh him and clean him up. He weighed 7 lb 1 oz and was 20” long. His APGAR scores were 8 and 9. He was having a little trouble maintaining his temperature and had a bit of fluid in his airway. I always hate when I have to lay in the bed and the baby is across the room where everyone else is and I can’t see him. I didn’t even really know what he looked like because the only part of him I got a good look at was the back of his head.
At first, I thought I wasn’t going to be able to hold him for awhile or keep him with me. But it wasn’t long (maybe 20 minutes or so) and I got to have him. I got to keep him in my room with me – which I hadn’t gotten to do with any of my babies except Christian – and that was over 13 years ago! We got discharged the next day at 1:30pm. He is beautiful and perfect and already I can’t remember life without him.