Emily’s 1st month has been a whirlwind in so many different ways. It’s crazy how fast you adapt to being a parent and the accompanied sleep deprivation! This is a novel of a post, but I want to remember and document this, but you’ve been warned…
Stepping back to how it all started — going into labor! I got up in the middle of the night to pee (as usual) but when I laid back down in bed I started feeling some mild cramps. I knew that contractions could start and stop, and these were very minor pains, so I just would glance at the clock to see if there was any pattern or rhythm. The contractions would go anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes apart, but then suddenly I felt a “gush” of my water breaking! I went to go tell David (he was sleeping in another room because of my pregnancy-induced snoring!) and he *literally* jumped out of bed screaming (I guess I startled him when I woke him up!). We put together the last few things in our bags and called the OB office to let them know we were going to the hospital. I wasn’t having strong contractions or anything at this point, so it wasn’t a huge rush to get to the hospital, but at times I was shaking with nervousness/adrenaline.
We got to the hospital around 6am (yay for not having to deal with any traffic!) and got into the L&D room and checked at about 6:30am. I was still 3.5cm dilated (same as at my doctor appointment the previous day) and not having “efficient”/strong contractions so they gave me Pitocin to help things move along. Things *did* start moving along at that point, and they gave me a narcotic intravenously to take the edge off. That only gave me about 30 minutes of relief (and they can only give it to you once per hour) so I requested the epidural. The anesthesiologist was taking forever to show up, so they gave me a second dose of the narcotic (I can’t remember the name of it…), which only gave me about 10 minutes of relief. They finally inserted my epidural, at which the contractions were starting to get pretty intense…but then the epidural didn’t really do much. My left side was a little numb, but I still felt a lot of pain on my right side. The nurse called the anesthesiologist back and they had to re-place the epidural a 2nd time. Thankfully, the 2nd epidural worked! It was about an hour and a half from the time I asked for the epidural to finally being pain free, so I had a rough patch of time of really concentrating on breathing through some very intense contractions. It was not really something I expected to have to deal with when going into labor with a plan to get an epidural, but at that point I was just glad that the 2nd epidural actually worked!
Finally after all of that (~11:15am by now), the midwife checked my cervix and announced in a very surprised tone that I was complete/fully dilated. She had to go perform a C-section, so I was able to relax a bit and “enjoy” my epidural for the next hour or so. I was a little too nervous to actually fall asleep, but I was able to rest up pain free while we waited for the midwife to get back.
The midwife returned from the C-section and it was time to start pushing. The problem (?) was, I could not feel *anything*. They really gave me a GOOD 2nd epidural. I didn’t feel any pain or even any pressure at all. So it was a kind of out-of-body experience, but I ended up pushing for about 40 minutes. My contractions were not extremely close together so there were some long gaps in there. As she was getting closer, her heart rate started to drop a little so they gave me an oxygen mask. After maybe 10 contractions she was out and they put her on my chest. She cried right away! And so did we. 🙂
Because of the short time between when I received the IV narcotic and when she was born, the NICU team was called into the room to check her out (they warn you during the hospital tour of this white phone on the wall that connects to the NICU nurses). She had a little “hiccup” in her breathing for about the 1st 24 hours or so, but was otherwise deemed OK by the NICU. They cleaned her up (and me too..) and then we hung out for a bit. We stayed in L&D for quite a long time because I was still very numb from the epidural. Even when we went up to the recovery room David and the nurse had to essentially pick me up out of bed and put me into the wheelchair!
The following 48 hours in the hospital were pretty much a blur, with visitors, nurses and doctors constantly coming in and out of the room. I don’t think I slept more than 3 or 4 hours total. By Friday morning we were anxious to get out of the hospital and back home.
To be continued…