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Labor and Delivery

I need to post this before I forget!

On September 4, I had a regularly scheduled appointment with my doctor. At the visit, they noticed my blood pressure was slightly elevated, and being already past my due date they were a little concerned for pre-eclampsia and the health of the baby. They sent me over to the hospital for some blood work and monitoring. Everything was fine, and my blood pressure was back down a little by the time I got there. But, my bp was still high enough to concern my doctor, so he decided it was time to induce.

Around 2:30 pm they took us to the delivery ward and started the pitocin. I could feel the contractions within about half an hour. Around 5:30 pm, my water broke. At the time, a nurse was checking my cervix, and my hubby was sitting in a chair just a few feet past the foot of the bed, eating Taco Bell. The champ just kept eating like it was nothing, with fluid gushing out of me. LOL!

Within about an hour, the combination of the contractions with my arthritis pain had me laying in the fetal position crying heavily. They decided to go ahead and give me the epidural. It went to work for me rather quickly, thankfully. They told me I could press a button to deliver more medicine if needed, but I hardly pressed the button the whole time. By the time I’d have really wanted more medicine, it wouldn’t have worked anyway.

Up to this point, I still hadn’t decided if I wanted my mom in the room with me. She had gone to the appointment with me in the morning, and then to the hospital for the monitoring. Hubby stayed at work, and once I knew they were dilating I called him, and I told him there was no sense in him rushing to the hospital. Being a first time delivery I was sure we’d have plenty of time. I didn’t even consider my dad’s being there for the delivery, I assumed he’d be in the waiting room. I didn’t think it’d be the kind of experience he’d want to be present for…

It was after 2 am and the nurse checked me and said I was dilated to 10cm! I couldn’t believe how quick it progressed, since the last time she’d checked me wasn’t long before and I was still only at a 3. She had my dad and hubby each hold up a leg and do some practice pushes.

I was starting to feel a panic attack trying to come on. My contractions were getting closer together, but in between each one I had almost overwhelming anxiety. They were monitoring my blood pressure and the baby’s heart rate, and baby’s heart rate wasn’t doing so good. All of a sudden, my parents and hubby all said they were going to do this or that, and all left. A few more nurses came in the room, and they were talking about baby’s heart rate. They put an oxygen mask on me and gave me an infusion of something mimicking amniotic fluid. Then my family came back in, and the extra nurses left.

I asked my mom why they all left, and started crying. They apparently didn’t even realize the seriousness of the situation when they’d all gone out of the room. I had heard one of the nurses saying to call my doctor, and I knew they were thinking I may need a cesarean. And I had been alone during it. I thought that was why they all left, that they were all asked to leave. No, they all left because they had to use the restroom, and wanted to make sure they did so again before it was time to push. I just told them not to leave me alone again.

After some monitoring, they said the baby’s heart rate was returning to normal, and that I could go without the oxygen if I wanted. The contractions were getting closer and closer together, and my anxiety was getting less and less since it only seemed to peek in between the contractions.

At about 2:45, dad and hubby each still holding up a leg, I started to push. I kept feeling like I was doing it wrong, and was wondering if it would have been better if I had taken some childbirth classes. But, without actually having his head trying to come out I would have never known if I was doing it right. After a while, with the nurse carefully watching and letting me know what was working best, I figured it out anyway.

The whole time I pushed, dad and hubby each held up a leg, and my mom was “watering” me each time my mouth felt dry. I would only sip the tiniest bit, I was paranoid I would throw up and I haven’t done that since January 2001!

I was getting a little snippy any time either of the men started to lose their hold on a leg, and would just say something to the effect of “You have GOT to keep my leg up!” Unfortunately, the most comfortable position for either leg to be in never stayed the same for more than a couple minutes. Sometimes, after pushing, I’d have them lay my legs back down flat on the bed for a break for all of us. But, eventually I couldn’t let them do that because it became too uncomfortable and it was too hard to quickly get my legs back into the right pushing position when the next contraction started. Since I couldn’t feel my legs, I couldn’t seem to lift them on my own at all.

Each time I pushed, my mom was watching the progress his head was making. Once she could see his head crown a bit, she would say every contraction “He’s coming, Amber! Here he comes!” Eventually I had to ask her not to keep saying that. It was the pattern to this point that his two steps forward one step back meant that he was really NOT coming just yet… her saying that only gave me a sort of “false hope” and it was wearing on my nerves.

It was getting closer and closer to 5 am, and my doctor finally came in the room. They had said around 4:40 am that I would have my baby by 5 am and I didn’t believe them.

The pushing was getting harder, due to the ripping feeling in my loins. It was like this mental thing that I knew when I pushed it would hurt more, but that I had to push anyway. I may have not pushed hard enough a couple times due to that. But, then it got to the point that it hurt NOT to push, and that’s when I started pushing pretty much non-stop.

The clock was inching closer and closer to 5 am.

Hubby said something like “He’s out, hun, Dr Yates has him in his hands.” I knew Dr Yates couldn’t possibly have ALL of him in his hands… I’d never had a baby before but I just *knew* it wasn’t over yet… so, I kept pushing. After a good push I felt… I can’t even begin to describe it. After it, though, I felt emptiness in my belly. But, my baby wasn’t crying. I wasn’t nervous, I somehow knew he was fine… but I wanted to hear him cry. So, I told him to cry, and he did. Then they laid him on my chest, and I just cried… the happiest tears a person could cry. I told him it was all worth it, every moment of pain I had gone through to get him here to this world was worth it.

I looked at the clock. It was exactly 5:00 am on September 5, 2012.

After a few minutes, the nurses asked if they could take him to get his vitals and measurements. Without indicating my reluctance through facial expressions or tones in my voice, I said “Sure” and handed him over. He measured at 20 inches long, weighed 8lb 6oz. They took his footprints and his feet are so big they almost didn’t fit in the boxes!

Once they were done checking him over and cleaning him, they handed him back to me. They asked if I wanted to try nursing, and of course I did. The little guy latched on right away, without any instruction by the nurse! I was so proud of him!

They had to take him a little while later for a more detailed exam, which gave me time for my first shower. After that, we’d be heading to the maternity ward.

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