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Tuesday, December 9, 2008
6 lbs. 5 oz., 19 ¼ in long
On Friday, December 5, I was taking a nap and woke up at about 8:30 pm with some contractions. I wasn’t sure if they were going to turn into anything or not, but I called into work (I was scheduled to work the night shift). They weren’t that frequent or in a regular pattern, but definitely more intense than the Braxton-Hicks contractions I had experienced up to this point. Around 10 pm Derek and I decided to just watch some TV in bed and try to rest and see what happened. I tried to get some sleep, but the contractions were painful enough to keep me awake.
Around midnight I decided to get up and try to time the contractions for awhile. I timed them for about and hour and they were 5-10 minutes apart. But I was having a hard time telling when they started and ended because I had unrelenting back pain that didn’t let up in between the contractions. I called Labor and Delivery and they said it sounded like I might be in early labor but it was too soon to come in. They suggested that I try taking a warm bath. I got some relief from the back pain in the bath and the contractions kept coming every 5-7 minutes.
By about 4:45am, I had been having contractions every 5 minutes for about and hour, so we decided it was time was time to head to the hospital. We called to let them know we would be coming and were informed that they were full and could not take any new patients, so we had to go to another hospital. So we called another hospital and told them the situation and they said it was fine to go there instead.
It was snowing, so it was a slow drive to the hospital. We got there around 5:30 am. I got changed and settled into the room. The nurse checked my cervix and said I was dilated 3-4 cm. (I was 3 cm dilated and 50% effaced at my doctor’s appointment on Wednesday, December 3). After being on the monitor for awhile, I decided to get up and walk around for awhile. After walking around for awhile, the day shift nurse was now here and she checked my progress. She said she did not agree with the previous nurse’s assessment and would say that I was only at 3 cm, but I was 90% effaced. By about 10am, I was getting really tired and decided to lie down and try to rest between contractions. At this point they started to space out more and more. My cervix had not had much change since 8 am. By noon it was clear that I wasn’t making any significant progress and the best thing for me to do would be to go home and get some rest. I was disappointed, but I think my body knew that I was just too exhausted to continue so it stopped the labor.
When we left the hospital Saturday afternoon, I went over to my parent’s house for a few hours to help bake Christmas cookies and try to take my mind off of my disappointment. I was having some contractions still, but they weren’t as strong or as frequent. Later that afternoon I went home and went to bed. I had a few contractions during the night, but not too many so I was able to get some sleep.
On Sunday morning, I started having contractions again, but they were only coming every 10-15 minutes. I kept myself busy by doing some things that needed to be done around the house and I went and helped Mom and Tiffany make Christmas cookies again. The contractions would come and go but never went away for long.
Monday morning Derek was scheduled to have outpatient surgery on his leg. I was a little worried I would have the baby while he was at the hospital, but I told him to go and have the surgery done because who knew how long it would be. I was having contractions every 10 minutes all day while Derek was gone. I tried to just rest and take it easy because I didn’t want to do anything to get the contractions going any faster until he got home! Derek got home about 1:00 pm and the contractions were still coming about every 10 minutes. But around 4:30 they started to slow down again. At this point I was feeling so tired and frustrated that I started to cry. Around 6:00 we decided to just make some dinner and watch a movie and not think about labor anymore. After we got done eating, I started having more contractions again. They were more intense than the ones I had been having earlier. Around 8:00 Derek said he thought they seemed pretty close together and suggested we time them for awhile. We timed them for an hour and they were coming every 3-5 minutes and lasting a minute or more. It was time to go to the hospital! I was confident that this time I would come back with my baby.
We arrived at the hospital around 9:30 pm. It was snowing again, so it was a slow drive. I got settled into my room and they hooked me up to the monitor and checked my cervix. I was 4 cm and almost completely effaced. I also had high blood pressure. I had not had high blood pressure previously during my pregnancy and I wasn’t having any other signs or symptoms of PIH, so the nurse said it was probably just from pain but she wanted to keep a close eye on it to be sure. The nurse called Dr. Allen and she said to monitor me for an hour and if I made some progress I would be admitted. After an hour and I was at 5 cm, so I was definitely in labor and having the baby soon!
I didn’t want to get an epidural. I wanted to be able to move around during my labor and I was worried about not being able to push if I had an epidural. This went well for the first few hours. I walked around and tried different positions for comfort. Around 3 am, I was getting tired and the contractions were getting more and more difficult to deal with. I was worried that if I kept going like this I wouldn’t have any energy left to push when it was time to deliver. So I decided to have some nubain to help with the pain and hopefully get some rest. The nubain helped for a while. I could still feel the contractions, but they weren’t nearly as painful and I was able to doze off a little bit in between.
Around 5 am, Dr. Allen came in and broke my water. After that the contractions got really bad. I was delirious from the pain. I had heard that when you feel like you can’t take it anymore it means you’re almost done, but I was only dilated 6 ½ cm. I couldn’t imagine staying in this state much longer, so I decided to get an epidural.
The nurse gave me some consent forms to sign for the epidural. I hardly even looked at them. I would have signed anything at that point! After what seemed like forever, the anesthesiologist arrived and put in the epidural. The relief was almost immediate. After everything was in place, I got some much needed sleep.
Around 8:45 am I was almost complete. There was just a little lip of cervix left on one side. The nurse turned me onto to my side to help it finish dilating. I was so anxious to finally meet baby Emma. I also couldn’t stop thinking about how my life would never be the same again.
A little bit after 9 am, I was complete and it was time to push. The nurse asked if I wanted a mirror brought in so I could see. I said yes. Having the mirror was very helpful because I could see if what I was doing was effective or not since I couldn’t really feel anything. Derek was an excellent labor coach. He watched the monitor and told me when to start pushing and when to stop. After about an hour of pushing, she was out. I couldn’t believe how tiny and perfect she was! She had a ton of dark hair. Derek cut the cord. I held her for a few minutes and then the nurse took her and assessed her and cleaned her up a bit. Finally I got to hold her again and try to nurse. She latched on right away, but wasn’t too interested and didn’t nurse for long. We spent the rest of the day just staring at her and loving her. She’s perfect!
Mommy to two sweet girls: Emma Marie (December 9, 2008) and Hadley Annabelle (November 29, 2011)