I'd been having strange pains in my belly, but nothing that felt like what I remember contractions felt like. I was induced with my daughter, so I don't know what doing into labor feels like. I asked a co-worker what if she'd ever felt anything like that when she went into labor with her son. She hadn't.
Around 5:30p, I had some really bad pain. My other co-worker started making fun of the faces I was making. My whole belly didn't hurt, but the lower part.
I started driving home and started having what I knew were contractions. I wasn't sure if they were Braxton Hicks or the real thing. Then, my back started to burn, kind of like I'd over done it doing a workout or something. I called my Mom to see what she thought, and she said that it sounds like I was in labor. I called my sister, Lisa (the nurse and my labor coach), and she thought that it sounded like labor, too.
I called my Dad, who was watching my daughter. I figured that I'd go get checked out, it'd be nothing. They'd put me on the monitor, only to find out that it was nothing, then send me home. I even figured that I'd drive myself because I was that sure I was gonna go home.
I get to my house, load my stuff up, just in case. Drive myself to the hospital, go to labor and delivery. Once on the monitor, I was having contractions, some pretty strong ones, too. However, I was only dialated to 1cm.
The nurse called my doctor and he wanted me to walk for an hour and be rechecked. If I dialated, I'd be admitted. If I didn't, I'd go home.
I spent an hour pacing my little triage room and meditation. I read that meditation is a safe way to induce labor. One of the sites I'd read even gives tips for what to visualize as you're breathing. It said to imagine a flower blooming. I kept picturing the rose in Disney's "Beauty and the Beast" or to imagine a peaceful birth.
An hour later, I was rechecked. I was still having contractions, and I was now at 3cm! Score! I was going to have a baby by the time I left the hospital!!
I called my Dad to let him know that I would not be picking up Lily for a couple of days. I called my sister to let her know that she was going to have to come to the hospital at some point.
I was admitted and nurse Jenn and I went over my plan for the night. Since it was nearly 10p by the time that all of the paperwork was done, IV started, and all of that good stuff, I said that I didn't want labor to be augmented. In the morning, if contractions and dialation hadn't picked up, I was okay with starting Pitocin.
My doctor's office was about to fax over all of the paperwork that the hospital needed. I was GBS+, which means that I would need antibiotics every 8 hours until the baby was born. I was also going to have need some type of saline solution. The IV would also already be in place for pain medication and Pitocin.
Around 12:30a, I couldn't sleep and was getting scared. I'm not sure why I was scared. Anxiety, I guess. I called Lisa, who was just getting over being sick. I was crying on the phone that I needed her and that I was scared. However, could she please stop and get some Rayovac AA batteries for my camera because I forgot mine at home. So like me! Picture freak!
BEST. SISTER. EVER.
She was there within an hour. I got some Nubain to numb the contractions so I could get some rest. I had a long day ahead of me. Then, my blood pressure dropped. I think it was something like 78/52. Really low. I'm usually in the normal 120/80 range. They had to keep retaking it until was was back up to 100/something.
I know I slept for a couple of hours. Nurse Jenn had to come in and reset my monitors a couple of times. Nicholas would move and the monitor would give a bad reading, which would make an alarm go off.
By the time 7a rolled around, I was tired, but so ready for a baby. I got two nurses, Nurse Sharon and Nurse Amy. Nurse Amy had been a nurse for a while, but she was new to Labor & Delivery. Sharon was training her. I don't mind students, I just don't want an audience.
When they checked me, I was 5cm! Progress!! I'm half-way there!! The Nubain had slowed down my progression, which I knew was a good possibility. So, we added Pitocin to the mix to help move things along. At this point, I'd had very little rest in the last 24 hours.
Nothing much happened from about 7a to 2p. By that point, I was beyond tired. Nothing was happening. I was still at 5cm. Lisa had gone to get some lunch, which she ate in the lounge. I enjoyed my Jell-O and Sprite.
Nurse Amy was looking at my read-outs and I asked about the epidural and breaking my water. It was close, but wouldn't break on it's own. I was terrified of getting it, but I was too tired to go through the pain of labor. She explained the whole process to me. Not nearly as scary as I thought. I decided that was the next step. Epidural. Break water.
The anethesiologist was called. I hugged a pillow and squeezed Lisa's jacket while she held onto my arms. The numbing shot hurt the worst of the whole process. It was a quick sting, a little worse than the "bee sting" that it was described as, but tolerable. The actual catheter for the epidural was just pressure.
A couple of minutes later... Nothing. No pain.
Nurse Sharon used the internal monitor thing to break my water. I didn't want internal monitor. The goal was to break the water, but not get the probe attached to Nicholas' head. However, if it did attach, it could cause him some pain to remove it before he crowned, so we'd leave it in place, if that happened. She was able to break my water without attaching the probe. Then, he turned, and GUSH!
After that, pain. Very painful, pain.
When Nicholas turned, his head was up against my catheter. It was drained and removed. A new one put in. More medication. Then, more pain. More medication. More pain. They called the anethesiologist to up my epidural. They also removed my catheter. No more pain!
At some point, I started crying. I'm not even sure what I was crying about or why. I was just crying. Sharon wanted to check and see if I was dialated anymore. Sure enough, I was 8cm. She said that she'd suspected, based on my crying, that I had transitioned.
My doctor had been called to let him know that he should be on his way. The room was all ready to go and the support staff was on stand-by.
Since I had the epidural, I wasn't really feeling much, if anything, of the contractions. I had to be told when to push. I did 3-4 pushes and Nicholas was crowning. They had a mirror so I could see everything that was happening.
Doc was in place, another 3-4 pushes, and my little man was born. Lisa got to cut his cord and Doc carried him over to the isolet. Was rubbed clean and warmed. He was weighed and measured. His little footprints taken. He got his APGARS done (7, 8). He got his Vitamin K shot. He got all of his bracelets for our stay.
Then, he started talking about the snow we'd just gotten and how he and his son had been snow-blowing the driveway when the snow-blower broke. When we got the call to come to the hospital, he was at Sears buying a part for it. Of all the things to remember... :cP
Nicholas was placed in my arms. Finally. I just stared at him. Here he was. This little person that I'd been waiting to meet since June. Here. In my arms. I already loved him, and here he was. I could finally tell him that to his face. I finally got to see his face.
That moment when pregnancy officially ends is bittersweet. It's hard to explain, but I'm sure most, in not all, mothers can sympathize. One day, you're so ready for the pregnancy to be over. You're huge and miserable and ready to meet this baby. Then, you give birth. There's this overwhelming joy at this new, little blessing. Yet, there's some sadness because that special bond is over.
Nicholas, I love you more than words can describe. I'm so proud to be your Mommy and I'm blessed that you're my son.