Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Labor and delivery

Six weeks later, I am ready (well, have the time) to tell the world about my thirteen hours of labor and delivery. Yeah....thirteen hours....

Okay so let's start with the night before she was born...2/25/13. Surprise surprise, it was a full moon.

I was 2 days past my due date, and felt like a freaking WHALE. My hormones had definitely taken over any sort of rational thinking I could have possibly formed. 

Tony and I were laying in bed, around 10 pm, and I LOST IT. I completely fell apart. I was freaking out about labor and the pain, and wether or not she was ever going to come out of there! Poor Tony, he was so great during the entire pregnancy. He held me, I'm sure trying not to laugh (in hindsight, I'm sure it was pretty hilarious). He reminded me that "those have been coming out of there for millions of years," and that I was only 2 days past the due date...not 2 years. He definitely made me feel better.

I had been restless for days. I lost my mucus plug about 4 days before that night, so I was on pins and needles waiting for any signs of labor at all. A few days before, I was in a lot of pain and actually thought I was going into labor. The pain was really consistent, not an ebb and flow like contractions. I took a hot shower, and the pain went away. I'm guessing it was Braxton-Hicks contractions. Who knows.

Like I said, I was restless. T was sound asleep, and I was up watching Roseanne (my allllll time
favorite show). I finally turned the tv off around 1am, thinking I could finally get some sleep.

I woke up to some slight pain around 2, 2:30 am. It was not too bad, so I rolled over and tried to go back to sleep. A few minutes later, the pain was back. Was this labor? Were these contractions? The pain went away again. I decided to start timing the pain.

20 minutes.

Then 10 minutes...more intense pain.

7 minutes.

Holy crap OUCH!

Time to wake up Daddy!

I rubbed his head, and gently woke him up. "Honey, I think we're gonna have a baby today..." "Oh....okay..." annnnd he went right back to sleep. He's the hardest person in the world to wake up. I let him be for a few minutes. I got up, turned the lights on, and tried to remain calm. I didn't want to get everyone stirred up if it was a false alarm. 

The next contractions were MUCH more painful. Tony got up. He started timing them and I walked around in circles, bending and stretching, trying to ease the pain. The contractions started coming between three and five minutes apart, it was time to wake up my mom and call the doctor.

Mom was already up....no surprise.

I got Dr. Bolton's voicemail....I wasn't surprised. It wasn't even 5 am yet. I took a shower to try to ease the pain, it helped but noooootttttt much. We still hadn't heard from the doctor and my contractions were consistently three minutes apart. I didn't know if my water had broken, since I didn't know what that felt like. I was peeing CONSTANTLY while I was in the shower...so for all I know....

We decided to head to the hospital...we were both worried that the baby would come while we waited to hear from the doctor.

The sun was starting to come up, and my contractions were getting intense. We were enjoying the last few minutes of life as just the two of us, in between my crippling pain. I had just gotten through a bad one, but we were less than half a mile from the hospital. Tony looks at me and says, "I'm hungry. Do you mind if we swing through chick fil a real quick?"



I said, "I mean......I guess so......" Thinking he would hear the utter bitchiness and disdain in my voice.

Nope. He drove right on in. I was SO pissed! When he was ordering he actually asked me if I wanted anything to eat.....really!? He said, "I'll just get you a lemonade."

I. Was. So. Pissed.

It's pretty funny now I suppose. I was definitely ready to kill him and the over zealous girl at the window. Of course I was having a contraction the second we pulled to the window. I had to grit my teeth and stare our the window, clinching my fists, trying not to scream obscenities at the top of my lungs.

We got to the hospital a little before 6 am. We found the closest nurses station and got checked in. They found Dr. Bolton for us, since we still hadn't heard from her.

They took me into a triage room and hooked me up to all these machines, to measure contractions and both our heartbeats. I was having a contraction as they were hooking me up to the monitors. They told me they would come back around 8:30am and check me again, but I was about 4 cm at that time.

The contractions were getting stronger and stronger. No one was coming to offer me any medicine or check on me or anything! I was getting super pissed. I wanted my damn epidural!

By this time, all of my besties were awake and informed, and all our parents had arrived. Finally, after damn near breaking Tony's fingers, a nurse came in. This fool tried to tell me that I wasn't having any contractions.

Excuse me?

Tony said there was no way, as I was lying there, crying and sweating. "Y'all just aren't getting them on your monitor!"

Which was the truth. Damn technology.

Finally the doctor arrived. She checked me and I was at 6 cm. Everyone was pretty amazed at how well I was handling the pain. The way I see it, I can handle anything for thirty seconds. The problem was that the time in between contractions was getting shorter and shorter, so I didn't have time to recover.

At some point, my mom, dad and Tony's stepmom were in the room. I REALLY wasn't in the mood for visitors. Mom was being mom and trying to read the print out of my contractions. My dad remarked, "oh here we go...the surgeon general over here..." Tony's stepmom laughed. Mom was paying no attention to me, and I started to have a really bad contraction. After I was a good 10 seconds into it (and gritting my teeth), mom said, "oh Brittany, you're having a contraction..." and tried to grab my hand. I said, "no shit!" and slapped the crap out of her hand. Tony tried to warn her not to touch me. Too late. I didn't really mean to....but she should have listened! Sandy and my dad laughed...I would have too in retrospect.

Anyways, they wheeled me into labor and delivery. I was having the worst contractions at that time. Our parents were hovering in the hall outside the room. I started having a contraction, and I was doing everything I could to not scream or cry in front of them. It wasn't easy.

Dr. Bolton came in and said she was going to go ahead and break my water to speed up the process. I really didn't want to take any pitocin...the less drugs the better. Anyway, her breaking my water was AWFUL. It really, really hurt. I didn't expect it to be that bad...but after she broke it, the pain of contractions subsided a little bit.

I had about 4 more bad contractions after that before the anesthesiologist came in for my epidural. I have never been more excited to be stuck with a needle! Ya know, at the childbirth class, they told us the epidural is sometimes the worst part of the whole labor process. They said the needle sometimes would make dad's pass-out! It honestly wasn't bad AT ALL. It didn't hurt worse than getting blood drawn.

All I can say is THANK GOD FOR EPIDURALS. I was 7 cm before I had mine, and it wasn't by choice that I went that far without it. It was a full moon that night, and there were SEVERAL other women in labor. Anyways, I don't have a clue why anyone wouldn't get an epidural. It was amazing...in less than 30 seconds, the pain was cut in half! After it kicked all the way in, for about 20 minutes I felt really drugged out. Some of our family came in, and I know they were laughing at me. After they left, I actually took a nap. When I woke up, I didn't feel drugged anymore...I actually felt NORMAL. I even asked my nurse if I was having contractions. She laughed and said, "yeah, and if you think you felt bad before...just be glad you're not feeling these!"

The epi did make mine and the baby's blood pressure to drop a little bit, which is common. They gave me some meds and it came right back up on both of us, no biggie.

I had my Dave Matthews Band station playing on Pandora basically the whole time I was in the delivery room. I definitely recommend having some sort of music playing that you enjoy. It makes the experience more bearable.

Let's skip ahead...

Around 3pm I was fully dilated and the baby was positioned correctly. I was starting to feel pressure, but not pain. The doctor told me that was good because it would help me feel where to push. She told me we were going to start pushing, but that process (especially with first time moms) can take over 2 hours. So we did a practice round, so I could know what to expect. I got the hang of it pretty quickly...and so did Daddy. He was SUCH a great coach!

I was worried that he would be be grossed out by the whole process...but he definitely wasn't. He just said it was absolutely amazing to see his future wife bring his daughter into this world. Melt my heart...but more on that later.

I started to feel pain, so the nurse said I should go ahead and press my "happy button," to get some more of the epidural meds. She said it would take about 20 minutes for the medicine to kick in, and that would be when I was actively pushing....

Well, five minutes later...I was actively pushing. Tony was an amazing coach! He was great at keeping the count and holding my legs. As usual, he read me perfectly. He knew when to get me to push one more time, and when to let me rest. I was worried that he would get grossed out by the whole thing or wouldn't be able to handle it. He still says it's the most amazing thing he's ever seen. <3

Twenty minutes later, our baby girl had FINALLY arrived! 7 pounds, 11 ounces, 19 inches long...born at 3:27 pm. The first thing I checked was to make sure she was a girl. Weeks before she came everyone kept joking about how funny it would be with all this pink if I ended up having a boy. No...that would NOT be funny.

She was perfect. I instantly fell in love. It was the most amazing experience ever.

Since I initiated my second dose on my epi about 20 minutes before that, I was shaking VIOLENTLY. I couldn't control it AT ALL. My body was basically in shock, but I felt no pain. I was high on love. :)

I didn't even feel any of the afterbirth or anything like that. We were too busy staring at the life we had created to be worried with anything like that. I didn't want them to take her away from me, but my shaking was making her nervous. So they took her and cleaned her (and me) up.

I have NEVER been so happy in my entire life. It was truly awesome! We were both overcome with love and joy...I get chills thinking about it.

Her temp was a little low, so they had to keep her under the warmer in the room for a little bit. That made for a good time to start bringing in the parade of onlookers that had amassed in the waiting room. Tony went out to let them know she was here. He made a video of it, it was so sweet.

They all erupted in cheers when he said, "7 pounds, 11 ounces, 19 inches long." All and all we had my mom, dad, tony's mom, dad, step mom, my brother, sister in law, their 4 kids, my sister, her girlfriend, tony's sister, brother in law, and their 2 kids. 17 people waiting there all day. We felt so loved and supported.

Once I was all cleaned up, everyone started coming in. It was convenient that she was under the warmer and didn't need to be picked up. I wasn't a fan of having her passed around right away. Everyone was so happy...there were a lot of tears and pictures

Considering I was in labor for THIRTEEN HOURS, I wasn't really in that much pain. Really guys...I don't know if I was just a different case or what...but it really wasn't that bad! Don't get me wrong, I would have NEVER done that without an epidural... but it wasn't nearly as bad as I though it would be! I had a handful of godawful contractions, and the time in between pushing out her head and the rest of her was really uncomfortable but that's it. The only time I took any pain meds afterwards was to sleep because the nurse told me, "c'mon girl...take it so you can get some sleep."

My doctor told me it couldn't have gone any better. I lost very little blood, didn't tear, and they didn't have to cut me. I stopped bleeding about 4 or 5 days later.

We spent 2 nights in the hospital, which is standard. The entire staff at DCH Northport was EPIC. They couldn't have been better. We were both very, very happy with the whole experience.

The whole time we were there, we had visitors in and out loving on us and our girl. Once her temp came up, she had no more problems while we were in the hospital. Once we got home, well, that's a different story.

Phew... finally 6 weeks later I complete the labor and delivery entry. Maybe now I can get caught up on the rest of her life so far. I'm tellin' ya, there is VERY little spare time when dealing with a newborn. It's challenging but SO rewarding. We are adjusting very well to life as parents. Every day we learn something new. We definitely don't have all the answers, but we're making it work. More on that later. I'm so glad I've FINALLY blogged the whole experience out. It's something I don't ever want to forget. <3

1 comment:

  1. Way to make my cry! ;) Such a beautiful story, thanks for sharing lovely!