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I had a contraction that was painful enough to wake me up at 4:30am on August 29th. I got a little excited because they'd never been that bad before, but didn't want to get my hopes up yet again after our false alarm almost 2 weeks before, and all of the false labor I'd been getting excited about. I had a contraction that bad every hour until 7:30 when I gave up on sleep and decided to watch some Grey's Anatomy.
They started getting closer together and I started to get more excited. I decided to take a walk around 10:30 to see if the contractions were going to increase or if they were fake and would go away. It was a fairly painful walk and I got home and called Jake and told him to come take me to the hospital. I was still worried that it was all another false alarm though. I lost my entire mucus plug while I was waiting, and it kind of freaked me out because it was bloody and there was a lot of it.
We got to the hospital at about 11:30 and the nurses checked me and I was dilated to 4cm. I had been 2cm at my appointment 2 days before, and decided I could get a little excited. They called my doctor, and he told them to start the hep-lock (or however you spell it, the IV catheter) and he'd come break my water. At 12:30 he got there and broke my water. It was pretty gross, I felt like I had peed all over myself and the bed. I was so glad that it hadn't happened at home in bed or somewhere public. There was a little meconium in the fluid, and they put a note in my chart. They kept me on the monitors for a while to make sure he took well to having the fluid reduced, then let me get into the hot tub for an hour and a half.
After my water was broken, 100% of my labor was in my back. I didn't feel a bit of pain in the front, just a tightening. It wasn't too bad at first, but it finally got to where I could hardly think to breathe through the pain, and we called the anesthetist. The epidural was absolutely heavenly, I could still feel the sensation of contractions but not a bit of pain. Before the epidural I had dilated to 5cm. An hour after getting it all set up, I had dilated to 8cm. I was able to relax so much when I couldn't feel the pain anymore. The combination of the angle they sat me up at once the meds kicked in and the fact that the epidural can drop your blood pressure did make me pass out. I got very lightheaded and my shakes (the normal ones with labor) went away. I remember turning my head to the side and feeling like I had fallen asleep, but I guess I started twitching and moaning and scared the crap out of Jake. He thought I had a mini-seizure but they assured him it was just from the medicine and the angle I was at. They leaned me back a little and called the anesthetist again - he gave me the ephedrine shot to bring my blood pressure back up, and that was not fun. It made my heart race and made me feel like I had to cough and work to catch my breath. But a nice little click of the epidural and I felt much better.
Another doctor from my OB's practice came in to introduce himself because he would be delivering Jackson. My very sweet nurse Beth's shift ended, and my new nurse Julie came. The next time they checked me I was 10cm and all the way effaced, so we talked about starting to push. I got a little coaching on that, and started pushing around 7:10pm. It went pretty well for a while. I started to have some trouble once he got a bit lower, and they decided to turn off my epidural so I could feel the urge to push better. If I had known they were gonna turn it off, I would have given myself an extra dose, but they snuck it on me. I started to have pain on my left side in my back and front, which kept getting more intense. I won't say that Julie was bad at coaching me on how to push, I just think that the way she taught wasn't the way I learned, and we weren't really getting anywhere. At about 8:10 the doctor came back and decided it was time to get the little man out. He asked if I was ok using the vacuum, and at that point I was in enough pain on my left side and tired from pushing hard for an hour and ready to have the little guy there. So he got everything ready and in a few pushes with the help of the vacuum, Jackson got around the symphysis bone he was stuck behind and turned around from being sunny side up to being face down.
He was out in the next few pushes without anymore vacuum help. I was in so much pain on my left side that I had about given up, and I didn't even realize that I had pushed out a 9lb baby. I looked at Jake's face and knew he was out, then I heard Jackson cry, which made me cry. They told me to stop pushing and wiped him off and handed him to me. I cried even harder. I held him a few minutes, then the doctor told me that they wanted to see if my doctor's estimate of a "small peanut, between 6 & 7 pounds" was accurate. The delivering doctor thought he was closer to 8 pounds, and the pediatric nurse put him on the scale and said, "Try 9 pounds." Everyone was pretty surprised that I'd somehow hidden a 9 pound baby in there, and been able to get him out with just a little vacuum help while he was sunny side up. The doctor said if he'd known he was that big, he might have suggested a c-section after some of the trouble I'd had.
Jackson Scott ended up being born on August 29th at 8:37pm weighing 9lbs even and measuring 21.5 inches long. He was a little bit of a celebrity since all the nurses liked to hear that my doctor had been wrong in his prediction. I guess we also started a wave of big babies, with 9lb 13oz, 9lb 14oz and 8lb 14oz babies being born after him. He is the most perfect little person, I am madly in love with him.