So now that we have that out of the way...allow me to tell you about the thirty six hours I was in labor.
Saturday morning was my 38 week appointment. I had grown unbearably uncomfortable throughout the week and kept telling my coworkers, "This has to be my last week. I need to be done now". The week prior my midwife mentioned she thought he would be "small-ish" and I was so excited! Then Saturday (midwife was out of town) my doctor said, "He's not small-ish anymore...more like...big-ish...". Somewhere in the ten days between appointments he grew tremendously.
I was dilated to 2cm, 75% effaced, Billy was at -2 station and measuring "big-ish" on Saturday, so the doc asked if it was okay to strip my membranes to "possibly get things going" since I was so uncomfortable and Billy was clearly cooked.
Sunday I woke up at 2:30 am contracting, in a moderate amount of pain. I realized they were "real" contractions because I actually felt them throughout my body, not just seeing my abdomen rising and falling from Braxton Hicks. I took several walks, totaling 4 miles to try and move things along on my own. My contractions escalated to being 2-3 minutes apart so we went to the hospital from lunch at noon on Sunday.
Upon arrival at the hospital they checked me in triage and learned I was still only 2cm dilated. We stayed for two hours and while my contractions remained 2 minutes apart, I did not make any cervical change. We went home and I continued contracting steadily until 8pm, so I opted to stay home from work on Monday...hoping something inside me would change.
All through the night on Sunday I woke up to use the bathroom and hoped I would wake in a puddle of amniotic fluid, but much to my dismay, I didn't. Monday throughout the day I walked, cleaned, scrubbed, walked stairs, walked hills, did squats, and sobbed hysterically from frustration. I didn't have a single contraction.
A friend and I were talking online when she suggested Mexican food, as it's what she swears put her into labor. I remembered at lunch Sunday I was eating a quesadilla, so I had the leftovers for dinner at 4:30pm on Monday. At 5:00 my contractions started up, with a vengeance.
I thought they were "real" on Sunday... but these were a different level of exhausting. Bill insisted we try every wives tale in the book, so at 7:00pm we went to a local wings place for jalapeno buffalo wings. The moment we sat down in the restaurant something changed and my contractions went from every 10 minutes to every 3 minutes and my body was writhing in pain. I could no longer speak or walk through a contraction, so Bill inhaled his dinner while I contracted and we left the restaurant in a flee to the hospital...hoping for some big changes ahead.
I alerted my midwife when we were on our way in and she said "Ready for drugs yet?" and I agreed I probably was. After eighteen straight hours of contractions the previous day, my body was sore and tired and I was mentally exhausted. I didn't have the previous strength I held to pursue natural delivery.
Once again in triage, the nurse informed me I was only dilated to 2.5cm. SAY WHAT?! I was nearly screaming...in fact I think I did scream.
Hearing I wasn't far enough along to receive medication was a new level of frustrating, and after 30 minutes they checked me again to learn I had only progressed slightly. They might send me home...and I shuddered at the thought of being sent away again.
I sat up in bed to ride out another contraction and felt a gush. Calling the nurse, Bill told her I thought my water broke. When she looked she said, "....no....but I need to check you again, I'm sorry." My placenta had begun to abrupt and blood was now flowing out of me. Every contraction was like a daggar and I lost plenty of blood with each one.
Thankfully, Billy's heart rate was steady all the while. My doctor was already on his way home and came back to check me and order a few special meds for me if need be. He agreed to let me stay the night and transferred me to labor and delivery, where I received Stadol, an IV narcotic. Typically I say no to narcotics but an epidural was out of the question and the pain from the abruption was beyond anything I could manage on my own.
As per usual, on IV narcotics I became "Evil Jess" and was a raging b*tch to everyone who tried to speak to me. My mom joined us when we were transferred to labor and delivery and had to shush me on more than one occasion from swearing at the staff or Bill.
12:30am the narcotic had worn out, but it should have lasted until 2:30...and I wasn't dilated enough still, so I had to wait for an epidural. I was being changed so frequently from the bleeding I lost count, and at this point was begging for a cesarian. "Just cut him out of me. I don't care! Just make this stop." My contractions were now nonstop. The moment one ended, another began.
The pain from the contractions and hormones surging through me on top of my body's reaction to the narcotic gave me a nasty case of the "baby shakes" which I knew nothing about originally, and now don't wish on my worst enemy. Essentially my whole body lifted off the bed in pain and severe shaking that took my breath away for what seemed like minutes or hours.
I received my epidural at 2:30am and I wish I could go back and give that doctor a hug. Or a pony. Or something. He was unbelievable. I received the best epidural in the history of all epidurals. My contractions continued nonstop, but I couldn't feel a thing. It was heavenly. For the first time in days I could take a deep breath and try to relax.
I attempted a few naps and I think I even slept an hour or so when my nurse, a close friend of my mom who actually attended our wedding ceremony just out of the kindness of her heart and support for Bill and I, came in to check on me.
My water hadn't broken yet, so when I reached 8cm the team of my nurses, mom and midwife agreed it was time to put me on Pitocin and break my bag.
From there I started feeling contractions a bit again, but Billy's head was still at -1 so they rotated me from laying side to side every hour.
I was feeling a weird pressure and mentioned it to my nurse. She checked me and told me it was Billy's head finally going where it needed to go, so it was time to push!
The team of nurses who delivered me was my mom, my mom's close friend, and my midwife. Talk about a dream team! I've never felt so comfortable and ready for anything in my life..which is weird when I'm talking about the birth of my son.
Having my mom there for the entire experience was special in a way I won't be able to describe in words...It was the exact level of comfort and home I needed.
I reached a mental place I haven't been in a while as I pushed. I felt like I was in the "jump off" of a riding class and every time the nurses said "Push! Push! Push! Push!" I heard my old trainers voice screaming, "GALLOP GALLOP GALLOP GALLOP!"
This was my favorite part of labor. It was so thrilling - there was a reflective tile in the ceiling so I was able to watch my progression and see Billy between pushes. It was so motivating to watch as he came out!!!
Thirty five minutes later, my beautiful 8lb 9oz, 21.5" baby boy was born at 10:37am 5-7-13.
|Meeting our son <3|
|My mom, Billy and I|
|Our Family <3|
|Mom and Billy!|
Upon further review, the general consensus is that Billy's gestational age much more mature than we originally thought. He was closer to 40 weeks or beyond, which is why he was such a big, strong boy!! Through all that labor he handled it like a champ and thanks to my motivation to meet him, I was able to push him out in such a short period of time.
Being a mother is like nothing I have ever experienced in my life...but I'll save that for another post. I'm so glad to share my baby's birth story with you :)
Now I'm off to nap before the next nursing session with my baby boy. Every moment is a new adventure.