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Two days before my due date on October 31st, I had a doctor’s appointment. My OB checked me and I was 2 centimeters dilated, and that there was a 50-50 chance I’d go into labor before November 6th (otherwise my scheduled induction would be that day). I kept telling my husband, we NEED to get the car seat installed and the wallpaper border up in her nursery—she is going to come soon! This had been on our to-do list for weeks.
The next day, the day before Halloween, I went to the store and got some candy for the trick-or-treaters, and purchased a bumble bee costume for my dog (I definitely wouldn’t be dressing up 40 weeks pregnant! :biggrin: ). I put the candy in a bowl by the front door, and when DH came home around 5:30pm we ate tacos for dinner and afterward I finally conned him into helping me put up the border in the nursery for the baby. He reeeally didn’t want to after a long day working, but after a healthy guilt trip he consented. We didn’t finish until around 9:45pm (no one told me how hard it would be to put wallpaper on textured walls). We plopped down on the couch, me on my laptop, and him watching ESPN on tv. As I was sitting there, I noticed that my Braxton-hicks contractions were regular—very regular. I was getting painless contractions every 10 minutes on the dot. At 10:30pm, I mentioned this to DH in a sort of joking manner, like “Hey! I just noticed that I’ve been having contractions every 10 minutes for the past 30 minutes…that’s weird!” Of course, he started to freak out and demanded to know when each one started, ended, and how long they lasted. Luckily, I had the contraction timer bookmarked on my computer so it was easy to figure out.
At this point, I was completely in denial that I was in the early stages of labor. Even though my contractions were timeable, I figured it was a false alarm. He kept asking me if we should go to the hospital, and I kept saying no. We went to bed a little later. As I fell asleep, he kept his hand on my belly to feel the contractions and keep timing them—he was so worried. At 1:30am, he woke me up and said we need to go to the hospital because the contractions were still continuing. Begrudgingly, I threw on some clothes and grabbed my already-packed hospital bag. I thought for sure that I was going to be the girl who thinks she’s in labor and gets sent home. It just all seemed so surreal…there was NO WAY I was in labor. HA!
When we got there, the doctor checked me and I was 3 centimeters. They kept asking me, “Are you sure those contractions aren’t painful??” Apparently I have a high pain tolerance. They told us to walk around the hospital for an hour or so and they’d check me again for progression. If there was none, we would just go home. So at 3:30am, they checked me again and I was at 4 centimeters. They admitted me. We started texting our families to let them know what was going on. The doctor said it looked like the baby would be coming sometime around that next morning (Halloween). I got my IV line in and contraction belt on. DH and I sat in the labor-delivery room dozing in and out of light sleep while we listened to our baby’s heart beat on the monitor. I really didn’t start getting hard contractions until about 6am. She was sunny side up, so I was having major back labor…FAST.
At about 10:00am, I asked for an epidural. I had been going back and forth on whether or not I would actually get one, but the pain was becoming really intense. The anesthesiologist came in shortly after to administer the epidural. DH had to leave the room because apparently they’ve had many men faint after watching the needle go in. I really wanted it to work properly, so I held extremely still and prayed. After he was done, I felt soo much better. They immediately broke my water right afterward. I was expecting it to hurt, but I didn’t feel a thing (I’m sure it would’ve been different before the epidural ).
DH’s parents and my mom came to the hospital, and they were able to hang out in my labor-delivery room for a bit after I had the epidural. It was great, I was able to talk and laugh all while watching my contractions peak on the monitor. However, we noticed that my contractions were getting more irregular and farther apart and I wasn’t dilating as quickly as before. After everyone left our room, DH and I hung out and watched t.v, waiting for my body to progress. We were both exhausted, having been up basically all night. He drifted in and out of sleep for about an hour on a cot next to me, but I was too nervous and anxious to sleep a wink. I just kept watching my contractions on the monitor and listening to my baby’s heartbeat.
After a loooooooot of waiting around, I was finally 9 centimeters dilated at 1:45pm. I got the green light to try and start pushing about 15 minutes later, but it was fruitless. They started me on pitocin to get things moving. At this point, it was just me, DH, a nurse, and the on-call midwife from my OB office. Earlier in the pregnancy, I had opted to be seen by both midwives and doctors. They rotate at the hospital, so I had no idea who would see me when I was in labor. We all figured that the midwife was going to deliver the baby.
So, at about 2:45pm, I started pushing. Hard. DH had one of my knees, and the nurse had the other. Each time I felt a contraction coming, I was supposed to take a deep breath and bare down for 10 seconds. My husband and the nurse kept telling me how great I was doing, how they could see the baby’s head.
At 4:00pm, the midwife turned off my epidural and upped the pitocin, discouraged by the lack of progress I was making while pushing. I could feel every back contraction, and I focused all my energy and thoughts into getting that baby OUT. My husband kept looking me in the eye and encouraging me to keep pushing and telling me what a great job I was doing. I knew labor was difficult, but I was convinced that if I just kept pushing, the baby would come out and we would have our beautiful first moments together as a family. Both DH and I were against c-sections if it was unnecessary, and only saw that as a very last resort. So I kept pushing.
At 4:45, one of the nurses came into the room to pull DH into the hallway. It was tradition for a local Girl Scouts troop to honor their founder’s birthday (10/31/08) by celebrating the first baby girl born on that day. Our baby happened to be the only girl born that day! So in the middle of pushing, DH went outside the door and got a quick picture with the little girls and received a giant gift bag stuffed with baby supplies. I had no idea what was going on; I just saw him leave and in my head wondered where the heck he was going at a time like this (probably with a few more expletives though).
It was around that time that I was starting to get frustrated. I could feel that something wasn’t right. I was pushing with all my might, but the baby was not descending. The head was exactly where it was 15 minutes after I began. I could see it in their faces that they were thinking the same thing. Nevertheless, I kept on trying until 5:50pm, about three hours later. At that point it was obvious that the baby was in distress, and I was not getting anywhere. DH talked to the midwife, trying to figure out the next step. I couldn’t even pay attention to anything they were saying; the contractions were extremely painful. I was desperate for the epidural. DH explained to me that the baby seemed to be lodged and wasn’t coming out vaginally. He asked me if I wanted to do a c-section. I told him to just get the baby out, however possible.
My husband called my mom in to the room to see me before they wheeled me off to the O.R. She and his parents were frantic outside the delivery room, wondering what was taking so long. We had told them I would be having the baby in the early afternoon, and here it was almost 7 hours later. I could see that she was very nervous. All I could think about was getting the epidural back on, and the nurses kept insisting that it would be kicking in any second.
I barely remember being taken to the O.R. I was in extreme pain from the contractions, and I distinctly remember insisting that they turn on my epidural now, now, NOW. The nurses put a net hat on me, and gave me the oxygen mask while they wheeled my entire bed down to the Operating Room to see the on-call doctor from my OB. The mood was very intense. When we got into the room, they picked up the blanket under me to transfer me onto the operating table and laid my arms straight out in a “T” to strap them down. The anesthesiologist came back, and I finally felt the cooling sensation down my spine from the epidural. He gave me 2 shots of it, and some other combination of drugs that effectively put me in a dream state. The pain was gone, and I immediately became very sleepy. There were several people in the room, but I couldn’t see their faces behind the scrubs and masks. Everyone rushed around, preparing for the c-section. I kept asking where my husband was…that was the only time he wasn’t by my side. The nurses made him throw scrubs on and sit outside the room while they prepped me.
Everything happened really quickly after that. My husband came in, sat in a chair by my head, behind the blue curtain. I fought by body to stay awake, but I was pretty much asleep the entire time. He woke me up as our daughter was born, so I could hear her first sweet cry at 6:37pm on October 31, 2008. He stood up to peer over the curtain and take a picture with his cell phone. He knew I’d want that photo. I’ll never forget how emotional and relieved he sounded when Lorelai Marie finally came into the world. The nurses promptly dried her off and handed her to my husband. He brought her over to me so I could see her for the first time. I struggled to keep my eyes open and listen to her cries and see her sweet little face, but the drugs won that battle and I fell asleep again. I’ll always be grateful that he woke me up to hear her though. It was the best sound in the world!
That is such a sweet story. You are lucky that your DH was paying such close attention! Mine told me to wake him up when I was for sure - since I was that girl that a week earlier had been sent home : }
How exciting too that she was born on Halloween & you got all those free goodies!!
*Thank you for sharing*
Karen~Mommy of 2 beautiful girls~Haley Kay (12) & Skyla Morgan (5)