(please forgive me in regards to hours things happened, I honestly was so out of it- what you need to know: labor was 25 hours, pushed for 2, baby delivered in minutes, just before midnight)
After a full day of work for both of us, Paul and I dropped off our dog at 9pm and then went to the store to pick up snacks and water bottles (and magazines for Paul). I was feeling frustrated already since my mom had asked me to call her before we left, and I called twice with no answer. Then we headed over to Dad’s house- who wasn’t home. He was supposed to be there!! I had to call him and wait until he showed up- as per usual “I didn’t realize how late it was”. Then I was short with him and cut the meeting short because we were running late anyway. So then I got in the car feeling bad for that as well as dropping off Woofie.
Anyway, we get to the hospital early enough to be admitted and hooked up to my pitocin drip before 10:30pm (the IV went into my WRIST. Not the inside, not even really the OUTSIDE, but the SIDE of my wrist). Our room was a large corner room in which I would be delivering as well as recovering for two hours post delivery. We get settled, I put Seinfeld on (it’s the episode where Jerry and Elaine were chosen as godparents for a baby- first scene was in the hospital) and I wait. My internal shows I’m still at the same progress from two weeks ago- 2cm 80% effaced. Bummer!
Paul gets a few hours of sleep, since I figured I’d need him less in the early parts of the pitocin-induced labor. I had a ton of contractions I didn’t even feel! After a few hours, they upped my drip a few times, concerned the contractions weren’t getting stronger. Meanwhile, I was watching A Christmas Story on demand, the baby was kicking all around not affected one bit by the pitocin at all. After A Christmas Story, I watched Indiana Jones IV, when Paul woke up half-way through. We just kind of sat there watching the movie and not really doing much. Of course I was constantly checked on by nurses, and just never really had a chance to relax at all, what with the blood pressure cuff I was made to wear constantly inflating every half hour.
Before long, it’s 6:30am. I slept for an hour max, and the nurse said she was surprised I wasn’t awakened by the contractions I was having. Apparently, they were pretty bad! Then she mentioned the epi guy was about to go into surgery, and they were going to up my pitocin by a lot, so would I want to wait and power it out or get the epi? I requested the epi- got it at 7am. It creeped me out, to be honest. The pain wasn’t fun, but I’m no good with needles anyway.
The epi kicks in, and we pretty much just sit around for hours. My OB came in at about 9am to check my progression, and to break my water, as well as insert a catheter. After 11 hours of pitocin I was still only dilated 3cm, and it appeared she hadn’t moved down- she had moved UP. So, after breaking my water, the OB mentioned that we may have to consider non-vaginal means if my progression continued to stall, or progress slowly. She was going to check me four hours later and hopefully I’d make some progression. After the water breaking, the pitocin was upped and the contractions got stronger. When I was checked at 1pm, I had progressed to 4cm. They upped my pitocin yet again, and contractions got even stronger. So did the pain on my left side- at around 5pm, I started feeling aches when I’d get hit with a larger contraction. By now I was about 19 hours into labor and that epi was working well, but not well enough and the epi guy was sent to check out my line- the epi wasn’t dripping correctly.
At 8pm, the contractions got stronger and I was checked- I was 7cm dilated, but she was still pretty up there. They could feel a “lip” of cervix, and wanted me to progress a bit more. That’s when it started getting painful- I was in transition, and they wanted to be very conservative with my epi so I could push- seriously, my leg was dead, I couldn’t even move it (it’s still numb in the thigh now). So the pain got stronger, and the pressure started building with every contraction. When they say “pressure” what they mean is a feeling like a meatloaf sized brick is attempting to push itself out of your bowels- I have never in my LIFE felt such pressure. Thanks to the epi, I couldn’t feel pain, but the pressure was enough to make me want to bite my hand. It was 8pm when the OB came back- still a lip of cervix, so they were going to give me another hour to see if it goes away on it’s own. During that hour, I was massively uncomfortable. The epi was useless, as the pain wasn’t an issue- the pressure was literally stopping me from breathing. I’m not a religious person, but I was begging God for some help, asking my husband to say a prayer for me, as I just couldn’t do it anymore.
During the day I had a few naps, no big sleeps, and they were worried I’d be too tired to deliver- as evidenced by my nodding off constantly. Despite that, when 9pm (or so) came around, the pressure was unbearable and I needed to push. I pushed for two hours, each time I’d get close enough to have the head show (DH actually watched, as he had to hold my leg), then she’d be sucked back up where she came from, I’d fall asleep during contractions which was a little worrying. It was two hours of fruitless pushing and pooping (everyone was right, as the pressure got worse I couldn’t care less) when they had my OB come in. She was worried that I was very exhausted, and the baby’s head was starting to mold into my pelvis from being constantly wedged in there with each push- so she was not happy. At this point it was decided that I should have an emergency c- the pitocin had long been turned off and the pain from normal contractions was very unpleasant with the epi. They needed some time to prepare the OR, as I was the 7th c-section that day (a ton of emergency ones), so I had to spend the next 20 or so minutes in absolute agony from the unbearable pressure- I literally was holding my butt while laying on my side, my legs crossed like I had to pee. What a bummer, spent 24/25 hours fighting contractions and in agony only to need a c-sec after all.
Finally, I was given a reprieve and they collected me for surgery. Paul was beside me the whole time, and they really hustled getting her out, tugging very hard in some areas to free her. She was purple and slimy, but all ours. “She’s a big girl!” they said, as I loopily lay there crying. Paul got to cut her cord, and take pictures of everything. Because of all the meds I had in me, I was trying to say things but nothing came out correctly. I was slurring all over the place and falling asleep randomly. They showed her to me and I said, “Is it still a she?” They all laughed and said, yes, “It” is. I then said she looked like Paul, and fell asleep as they sewed me together. I was rolled into recovery where they helped me undo my gown and laid her on me. She latched on immediately and I got to feed her what I had been leaking for so long- she nursed for 40 minutes. Finally, they had to take her to the nursery to get measured and tested, but Paul was with her the whole time, taking pictures. I never got the chills or vomited, they took very good care of me. I was given percocet and sent to our room, where I met up with Paul. Since the night shift was light, we were able to have her stay in the nursery that night- although it was only three hours from the 2am when we got settled into our room to 5am, when she was brought in to get fed.
She is still a great breastfeeder, but the first day was rough because she split my nipples. We had a lac. consultant come in, but I was so tired I just keep nodding off. We were in the hospital from Monday night to Saturday morning. Paul never left my side, and we roomed with her the whole time which took some getting used to. Paul changed almost 90% of the diapers those first few weeks, including her first meconium one, and he’s just in love with her. We both are. She looks like both of us! They removed my catheter on Thursday and it was nuts having to get up out of bed to pee. It was like I forgot how. My milk came in on Thursday, and boy was I engorged. I still am, really, I just have so much milk for her that she can never empty a breast.
The swelling went down, but was not gone for at least a week after I got home. She grunts like a football player when she poops, it is the funniest thing ever. The nurse remarked that she had never had a baby that did that, so we’re kind of proud.
Now, a few pics from the experience: