It's a birth story! I know this probably isn't everyone's cup of tea, but just so you know, I left all the gross and icky parts out. I don't even want to know all the details :)
We woke up Christmas morning, and I knew we would have a baby...soon! Of course, I'd said the same thing every morning for weeks and had always been wrong, so I did my best to ignore the cramping and back pain. We opened presents with my family and had lunch all according to plan. Around 2 pm I still wasn't feeling great so Evan and I decided to go to the hospital to get checked-out. I knew they wouldn't keep us, but I really wanted to know if we were actually in labor or not. You should know it's very embarrassing to walk into labor and delivery and say, "hey! I think I'm in labor, but I'm really too impatient to wait it out and see." But hey, you do what you gotta do.
The hospital monitored us for over an hour. I was 50% effaced and having contractions at 4 mins apart, but was still just barely 3 cm dilated. The nurse we talked to was super sweet! She sent us home but felt confident that this was the real thing. It was just a matter of waiting.
Because labor was imminent (and there was a massive snowstorm) my family decided to stay in town an extra night instead of making the 5 hour drive back home. This meant that my mom and dad would be here to stay with Rooster when it was finally time to go to the hospital. What a blessing!
So Christmas evening we all buckled done in front of a new Veggie Tales movie and waited. My contractions began in earnest around 8 pm. I went to bed around 10 pm and decided to try and sleep a bit. Somewhere around midnight the contractions got stronger and not so easy to ignore. Around this time Rooster woke up and needed Evan to rock him back to sleep.
I walked around my bedroom for several hours. Not only were the contractions uncomfortable, but Rooster kept crying...and crying...and crying! He would calm down for 30 mins and start right back up again (we realized later that he was cutting two new teeth). Somewhere around 4 am Evan finally came back to bed, and I decided it was time to go to the hospital. After 4 hours my contractions weren't particularly worse, but my nerves were worn thin! The stress of being left alone to deal with contractions and constant back pain plus having to listen to my son cry the whole time had really left me on edge. I was ready for a change of scenery!
Patience, Patience, Patience!
When we got to the hospital we found out I was 90% effaced but only 3.5 cm dilated. I was pretty bummed. All that work and practically nothing to show for it. Because we had a ways to go, they decided not to call the doctor for admission orders until daybreak. So they hooked me up the the monitors, and we kept ourselves busy watching the computer print out of my contractions. I would have a contraction, and moments later my astonished husband would say, "Whoa! That was a big one. It went all the way to the top!" His enthusiasm for my effort made me pretty happy :)
Around 6 am they called the doctor, and we were at 4 cm. The nurse wanted to start pitocin to speed labor along, but the doctor said to wait and he'd check me when he came in for morning rounds. I was starting to wonder if we were ever going to have this baby! 10 hours of contractions, and we'd progressed 1 cm. Just 1!
At 8 am we saw the doctor and were close enough to 5 cm that he gave orders to start an IV, and said I could have pain medication after 2 liters of fluid. I've never been so happy to see a needle in my life! At 8:50 he administered the spinal block, and the pain in my back was replaced with complete itchiness from my rib cage down (a side effect of the medication). It was a welcome change from the contractions.
Healthy Baby Girl
With the spinal block in place things progressed fairly quickly. When the nurse checked at 9:30, 40 mins after the pain medication, we had gone from 5 cm to 9 cm, and by 9:45 we were ready to push.
At 10:14 am we welcomed our little Teacup into the world. She was a beautiful, healthy little girl. The nurses kept her in the room for about 30 mins to weigh her and monitor her vitals before I was allowed to hold her and nurse her. Amazingly enough, the hours of waiting in labor were not nearly as hard as waiting that 30 mins to finally see my baby!
8 lbs 8 oz and 18.5 in long
Born at Dec 26th, 2012 at 10:14 am.
So there you have it. Looking back on the story now, I'm actually amazed at how easy and simple it seems. I remember being uncomfortable and in pain. I remember lots of crying and singing (I'd sing a song in my head during each contraction to distract myself). I remember being so stressed about when to go to the hospital and not knowing what was going to happen next. Yet everything went fairly slowly and smoothly with no complications or rush decisions. I felt great during labor (well...as great as you can be...), and recovered fairly quickly afterwards.
God took care of us, like he always does, and we have a beautiful little girl to show for it.