Baby William came into the world on April 19th at 10:51 am. However his arrival started the night before.
April 18th, my husband and I had gone to bed as usual…. William was not due for another 4 days, and at my last doctors appointment I wasn’t showing to be dilated or anything. The doctor said my cervix was thinning out… but other than that, nothing too exciting. My sciatic nerve was really bothering me, and in all, I was feeling very uncomfortable. Nights especially were getting hard. It felt like the baby was squashing all my organs, and compressing my lungs. I would often feel short of breath. Thus we went to bed… I had finally fallen asleep, when around 2am, I felt something wet. I jumped out of bed (more like rolled :)) , and left a trail of fluid all the way to the bathroom. I told my husband I was pretty sure my water had broken… and that he should clean up our new hardwood floors where I had left a trail. He had one of those deer struck by headlights moments… I oddly felt very calm. I called my OB’s answering service, and I was told the on-call doctor would be paged, and would call me back. Unfortunately.. my OB was not on call that night. The doctor called back a few minutes later, and told me to come into the hospital; that if my water had broken, it would be go time. Thus, I jumped into the shower and then got dressed. Good thing everything was all packed and prepared, because my husband was def. a little flustered.
I think I will always remember the ride to the hospital. It was oddly serene. There was not one car on the road at that time of night, and my husband and I couldn’t help musing about the fact that we were driving as two at the moment, but would be coming back as three. We held hands between the seats and said a prayer for our future. It all seemed like a bit a of a dream… especially since I wasn’t feeling any contractions yet.
When we got to the hospital around 3am, we signed some paperwork, and I was admitted to the evaluation part of the maternity hospital. First thing they did was hook me up to a monitor that recorded the baby’s heart beat, and my contractions. At this point I was only beginning to feel, what I could describe as, slight menstrual cramping. Next they did a fluids test to see if I indeed did break my water. It came back positive. Thus, I was told, now it was a matter of waiting for my contractions to increase. When I get into active labor, then I would get transferred to my own room. I was told that for first time moms this can take hours.
It was a full house that night, lots of women trying to give birth to baby’s. The nurses were running around from one woman to another. I was sort of low on the priority scale, because my contractions were measuring very close together and not very consistent. They didn’t even check to see if I was dilated. Two hours later I was feeling the contractions a lot more. I felt it all in my back. (Back Labor…not fun) My husband had to keep rubbing my lower back to get me through the contractions. Considering his broken elbows are still healing, he did a great job. When the nurse came in to check on me, she kept telling me that I’m still in early labor, because my contractions were still spaced pretty close together and not long enough. She kept joking that when I’m no longer able to talk or smile then we will know that things are progressing. She told me that I would still be here for a few more hours before I could even get my own room, that there were many woman more progressed than me. However, I begged for the midwife to come in, and at least tell me if I’ve started to dilate. Finally the nurse sent her in, after she realized that, though my contraction were still short and close together, I was in a great deal of pain. I’m not much of a shouter… I’m more the type to silently suffer and moan. I think this might have thrown them off a bit, because let me just say there were some woman in there that had me scared with their screaming. When the midwife finally checked me, everyone was shocked to find out that I was already 8 cm dilated. When she told me, I asked her if she was sure, and it was not some cruel joke. She told me she was positive, and that I would be beating out all the other woman for a room.
Once inside the birthing room, the anesthesia people came. I sort of considered the idea to not go for the epidural since I was so far along already, but when they told me that pushing may take up to 3-4 hours, I quickly decided to go for it. My back labor was not bearable at this point. Also, all signs pointed to a large baby, thus pushing would not be easy.
The hardest part was trying to stay still for the epidural. My contractions were very strong and still very close together, thus not giving much of a window of rest in between contractions for him to put the needle in. The RN was very good at helping me breath through the contractions as the anesthesiologist was inserting the needle, but I was definitely praying to God to bless his hands, and help me to stay still!
Five minutes after getting the epidural, I got sweet relief from the horrible back labor. When they checked me again, I was already 10 cm dilated. However because the baby was big , they didn’t want me to push, but rather let the contractions do their thing and let the baby naturally inch down the birth canal. If I started pushing right away, I would have had a lot more internal tearing, and would have worn myself out very quickly. Thus, I laid there for almost 2 hours until it was time to push. The first hour was pretty good, the epidural was doing its thing and I only felt the contractions slightly. However the second hour I was feeling the contractions a lot more and an incredible pressure, yet they still wouldn’t let me push. Finally when I couldn’t take it anymore they said it was time to push with each contraction. Pushing was actually a relief! 45 minutes of pushing, and out came William. One nurse said he jumped out like a salmon! My OB barely ran in on time to catch him as he came out.
I will never forget the moment they gave me this slimy, screaming, squirming, infant into my arms. It was truly beautiful. My husband and I were both laughing and crying. Life will never be the same, but I wouldn’t go back to the way it was for the world.