My last week of pregnancy was week 38 since David was born at exactly 39 weeks. A whole week early! The Sunday before that I got a big burst of energy and spent the whole day out shopping. I was so exhausted and sore, but I couldn't stop. That night I did all the grocery shopping, made dinner, baked some muffins and lightly cleaned the house. Your typical "nesting" episode that usually precedes birth. Although I just convinced myself that I was "trying" to bring on labor. Monday (Halloween) came and went and I felt totally fine. I was a tad bit bummed I wasn't in labor. I always thought a Halloween baby would be fun.
Tuesday I woke up late and was rushing to work. I took a shower but didn't wash my hair, shave my legs or pack a lunch. (I should have known....) The whole morning at work I felt really off and totally distracted. I didn't feel any contractions or pains, but I just felt really strange and had a hard time concentrating on anything. After my 11:00 Halloween recap meeting I went to the restroom before I planned to meet a co-worker up outside the card shop. It was there that my water broke!! Thank goodness I was in the restroom, but of course I wasn't totally sure that's what it was because it wasn't a huge gush or anything. I managed to fix myself up enough to go back to my desk and grab my phone to call Zach. He was getting ready to take Ted to the vet so luckily he had my car with my hospital bag in it. I haven't asked how fast he drove to Hallmark, but he got there pretty quickly. I instant messaged my manager and told him I wasn't feeling well so we were heading out. I said I didn't want to make a big to-do because how embarrassed would I be if I told everyone my water broke only to find out I just peed my pants!? Ha!
The ride to the hospital was a little surreal. I had myself convinced that my water hadn't broken and we'd be sent away since I was having zero contractions. Then I also thought maybe I was having contractions and I was just a total rock star and they weren't bothering me. One could wish! We just kept taking turns asking each other "are you ready?" Over and over. I think we were both a little nervous. We checked in at the hospital and they quickly put us in a room and started hooking me up to all sorts of monitors and getting an IV ready. They did a quick test and indeed my water had broken. It was time to have a baby!! So we got all hooked up, settled in and they checked my progress. Still 2 cm like I'd been the past two weeks and no contractions to be seen or felt. They asked if I wanted to see if I went into labor on my own before starting Pitocin to get things moving and I said yes. They said if nothing was happening within 4 hours they would have to start it since my water had broken to help minimize the risk of infection, which I was fine with.
Zach and I started making our calls and sending the "it's baby time" texts and just kind of hung out. I was feeling totally normal and knew I wasn't going to go into labor on my own. At 5:30pm they started me on a really low dose of Pitocin. They tried to check me but were unable to do so. Do not ask me how that's possible, all I know it was super painful while they tried!! At 7:30pm I was only having really mild contractions and they checked me again. This time they were able to tell I was about 5cm (yay!) but they weren't sure of the baby's position. So they brought in the ultrasound machine. Both nurses were pretty convinced he was transverse (sideways - which I had thought he had been for nearly my entire pregnancy) and that I'd need a c-section. They started prepping everything immediately. I was disappointed and VERY nervous but the health of the baby was our number one priority, so, we accepted it. 45 minutes later the doctor came in and took another look. Either the nurses were wrong or he moved within those 45 minutes because she was convinced that he was indeed head down, 6 cm and ready to go. Alright, back to business then!
Around 8:30pm my contractions started really kicking in and while I was able to get through them fairly easily I knew I would want some relief when it came to pushing so I agreed to the epidural. Oh my god, I was so nervous about the epidural. I sat on the edge of the bed and just shook uncontrollably. The nurse held my hand and I closed my eyes until the whole thing was over. I never even saw the anesthesiologist until she was done. It really wasn't bad at all. It took a few minutes to take effect and by the time they had me lay back down I was in HEAVEN. Seriously. I had never been that relaxed in my whole life. I felt warm and cozy and so, so sleepy. I remember telling Zach "I'm going to start doing drugs! This is great!" ha! I could still move my legs and feel pressure but I was totally pain free. I tried to sleep but was too excited so I just rested my eyes and relaxed. Best decision ever.
At 9:15pm they checked me again and I was nearly 9cm and everyone was so pleased I was progressing so fast and were convinced I'd be having an 11-1-11 baby, no problem! They left to go "help the girl next door" (who was NOT having a fun time. She was literally screaming. Blood curdling screaming... only mildly concerning..and part of the reason why I got the epidural, actually.) and said they'd be back soon and we'd start pushing! Around 10:45pm I started feeling intense pressure and was really wanting to start pushing. I just kept saying "hurry up, I need to push, hurry up....." FINALLY at 11:30pm it was time to push. Everyone still was convinced we'd be having a baby that day, but I knew better.
Pushing was the hardest thing I've ever done in all my life. I can't really explain it and quite honestly I've already forgotten most of the "pain" but it was just this extreme amount of "pressure" and frustration when no matter how hard I pushed, nothing happened. Turns out the baby's head was tilted sideways and in order for any progress to be made, he had to turn is head "just a little bit". Luckily I had an amazing doctor (not my normal doctor, which made me nervous, but she turned out to be really great) and she stayed with me nearly the entire time working her magic. The nurses were amazing as well. I could not have asked for a better medical team, that is the truth. Zach was totally awesome as well. He stayed right by me the whole time and was definitely my biggest cheerleader. I couldn't have done it without him. We alternated regular pushing with playing "tug of war" where the nurse held one end of a towel and I held the other. That was my favorite but man it took a lot of energy.
I knew I had been pushing a long time and was really getting exhausted. They had to give me oxygen after a while since I was hyperventilating after contractions and I hated having that thing on my face so much. They also kept putting a cold washcloth on me which fell in my eyes every time I pushed which just made me mad. I kept saying over and over again how I wished I was doing better and how I was sorry I wasn't better at it and everyone kept telling me I was doing great and cheering me on anyway. At one point I proclaimed "I wish I wouldn't have stopped working out!" and then accused everyone of lying to me when they kept saying "you are almost there". Heh! I remember just wanting to rest and the nurses even told me to rest through a couple contractions to get my energy back but I physically coudn't do it, I HAD to push. My eyes had been shut practically the whole time and I remember opening them at one point and looking at the clock. It said 2:35am. OH. MY. GOD. I had been pushing for THREE HOURS already!! That was apparently the fuel I needed so I started pushing with all my might. After three and a half hours of non-stop pushing it was finally time. The room got really full and everyone was rushing around getting things ready. I just kept my eyes closed and tried to concentrate.
The pressure turned to PAIN and I knew I was about to have my baby. The rest is a blur. I just remember Zach telling me "he's coming!" and the nurse saying "dad get your camera" and "the doctor is suctioning his mouth and nose" and then BAM - Baby on my chest. Holy cow. I was so exhausted and so overwhelmed that neither one of us cried but instead we just stared at him and held his hand and said our hellos. It was like an out of body experience. He felt so heavy and looked so big. I couldn't believe we made him!
David Louis was finally here.
November 2, 2011
7 lbs 13 oz
19.5 inches long
full head of dark hair
After a while they whisked him over to the warmer and Zach followed while they finished working on me. It was really uncomfortable and not at all enjoyble but my eyes were glued on Zach and David. After a while they brought him over to me all bundled up and we just held him and stared at him. So amazing.
The rest of that morning is a big blur. I know Zach took a nap and a nurse came in to give David his first bath while I tried to stand and watch. I then ordered some breakfast because all I had to eat the day before was cereal that morning and some almonds I grabbed before leaving work. We checked into our recovery room around 8:30am and the rest of our stay was a whirlwind of visitors, nurses, doctors and very little sleep. I didn't like being in the hospital at all. They were constantly taking David to the nursery and not telling me when he'd be back. I was so happy to head home Friday afternoon, that's for sure.
So, now we are home and loving every second. He's a very good baby and sleeps like a champ. We can't imagine life without him...
I will try my best to do weekly (or maybe bi-weekly) updates. He's doing great so far and we couldn't have asked for a better little baby. We love him so much!