It is 12:10 am on July 13. I should be asleep. But I can't. My son is in his little hospital clear tub/bassinet (see below) making sweet little squeaky noises and grunts and I feel like I must chronicle something from this experience.
I hope many of you had the chance to watch the series of videos Matthew (and Angie) did during my 34 hour labor process. I just saw most of them for the first time and loved how he captured parts of the story. Thankfully, me screaming bloody murder half naked during my contractions did NOT make it on YouTube. This is my favorite video shot during the labor.
I won't bore you with all the details of my labor, but want to hit a couple highlights, if for no other reason than to make sure I remember them for the scrapbook someday.
- I found out that I needed to be induced late Thursday afternoon. I tied up a few loose ends at work and went home to quickly gather up our things for the hospital (I was packed, but you know how it is – you always need a few last things…)
- We got to the hospital at 7:20 – originally were shooting for 7, but I insisted on taking bare belly shots since this was the last few hours I would have the massive thing, so we had an impromptu photo shoot at 6:25. That made us a little late – as did a stop at Rosemary's and Walgreens.
- Vanderbilt had a sudden back up in L/D, so we didn't get into a room until after 10. This made me a bit cranky. Then it took three nurses to get my IV inserted (apparently I have a lot of valves in my veins) and three times to get the foley in (never has happened to my midwife before, but with the way the night was going…).
- I was up all night as the foley (I don't know how to spell this) and pitocin dialated my cervix to 5 cm – I was quite excited when this ended up only taking about 6 hours.
- Emma (my midwife) then broke my water and we took me off the pitocin, in hopes that by breaking my water I would continue to dialate on my own. We also called Angie, my dear friend and cheerleader, who thankfully wanted to be part of our birthing experience of our first child (thank you again, dear one)
- Moreover, that morning they (the Vandy docs, who consult with the Vandy midwives) decided that I had to have a magnesium drip because of my high protein levels (the reason why I was induced). I was NOT happy about this because mag works AGAINST pitocin, which was going to make the process very difficult for me. I also could eat nothing because I was on the mag. As I mentioned, we killed the pit that morning, but then had to start it again because nothing was happening, especially since adding in the mag. By this point, I had a full-blown migraine too.
- Friday night, I still was at 5 cm (even with the pit) and my migraine was out of control. So, I opted to take some drug (started with an s) that would help me sleep for a bit and hopefully kill the migraine. It did help me sleep, but didn't kill the migraine, so a while later, I had another dose, which helped for a while.
- Eventually the pit pushed me into CRAZY, 2 minute apart contractions. But after 2.5 hours of heavy, screaming, crying, awful, pitocin-driven contractions, I didn't even dilate 1 cm more. By this time it was after 11, and I was bawling. I simply couldn't do anymore. So, I decided to get an epidural, so I could sleep for a few hours and become more dilated, which is exactly what happened.
- At about 3, I woke up, feeling pain in my pelvis/vaginal area, and knew the time to push was near. My midwife said that I could increase my epidural so that I wouldn't feel any pain, or I could just go forward. I opted to go forward, thereby giving me the ability to fully experience the pushing/delivery of Elias.
- Elias was born at 5:04 weighing in at 8 lbs. 3.6 ounces and measuring 20.5 inches long.
So it ended up working out – just a little differently than planned. My birth didn't start at home, as I had hoped. It did involve some medications/interventions I would have liked to avoided. But I still had my son vaginally, with a midwife, at my own pace (well, 34 hours was excessive, but you know what I mean), etc.
Thank you for all the love, thoughts, prayers and kind words you have left on here, on facebook and on Matthew and Angie's blogs. They mean a great deal. I will be printing them all out for Elias' baby book.
I promise to post more pictures soon…