Our sweet baby girl has been with us for almost 2 months now and I think it's high time that I get our birth story written down somewhere. Because I know, that even though it is emblazoned into my mind now, that inevitably it will one day become hazy and far away. So snuggle in because this is a long one...
So here is the story of the day I was re-born into my greatest role yet: Mother.
Dippitydot was due on Feb 4th. And we had been hoping and waiting and hoping that she (or he...we didn't know at that point) would come on or very near her due date. But SP's sister's babies came on time or late and SP's mom's babies all came late as well...
On Feb 4th we went in for SP's 40wk appointment. She hadn't been having ANY braxton hicks and hadn't dialted at all. So when the OB (whom we LOVE) told SP that the baby looked great and her fluid levels looked great and there was no reason not to wait another week - we weren't surprised...but I'm not going to lie, SP, was pretty down about it. She was feeling huge and uncomfortable and just. plain. tired.
So we were sent off with another appointment and a non-stress test set for Friday the 13th (41wks2days) and reassurance that sometimes it just takes some time (let me tell you what - telling an overdue pregnant woman to just wait...I'm glad she didn't jump our sweet tiny ob right there in the room)
We went to lunch. SP Cried. And finally we just came to terms with the fact that dippity just wasn't ready to meet us yet.
The rest of the week was uneventful. We puttered around waiting. I went to work and tied up just a few more loose ends.
I came home from work on Monday 2/9, walked in the door and SP said to me "I think you better pack your suitcase tonight" And then SP told me she'd been feeling "weird" all day. As the evening progressed she was having tightening and pain and seeing as neither of us have been in labor before she wasn't even sure they were contractions. But I casually started timing them. And as they hit regular intervals I knew she was in labor. And as it became more and more painful and frequent... she also knew. The evening progressed and SP's contractions became pretty regular and pretty painful. She was having intense back labor and was having a really hard time sleeping.
She labored hard all night long and then around 4am just couldn't take it anymore - contractions were coming pretty hard and relatively fast.
So we packed up the car and went to the hospital. Where they asked a lot of questions, and checked her and sadly told us SP was only at a 1 1/2 or a 2. Luckily the lovely staff gave SP some morphine and sent us on our way. Luckily we don't live TOO far from the hospital. By the time we got home the drugs had kicked in a bit and took the edge off enough to let us get some sleep. They wore off somewhere around mid morning and then SP soldiered on. She-in no uncertain terms - did not want to go to the hospital and be sent home again. So she waited until her back labor was seriously painful.
Side note: Can we just talk about how intensely painful it is to watch the person you love more than anything in the world be in that kind of excruciating pain. I cried for her more than once. That helpless feeling is it's own kind of horrible.
We headed for the hospital smack dab in the middle of rush hour traffic. Awesome. I coached as well as I could from the driver seat and prayed to everything holy that they wouldn't send us home again.
We checked in again and the nurses were awesome. Talking SP through the incredible back labor and working to get her checked quickly between contractions - because at this point laying down was unbearable. The only "comfortable" position was standing. Which was quickly becoming exhausting and painful (SP's ankles were tree trunks and we've basically been awake for 24hrs at this point)
The amazing midwife told us that while SP was only at a 4-4 1/2 ish that they would admit us. Because SP's back labor was really intense and her contractions were still coming prettyyyy fast (like every 2 mins and lasting a good min or two...so basically constant excruciating pain).
We got all checked out and got SP to the laboring suite (which was amazingly huge). The fantastic nurses got us all settled in - everybody was extra excited becasue we were having a surprise baby - they don't get a lot of surprise babies anymore - and finally it hit me - it was really real. A baby, OUR baby, my dream baby...was coming!
At that point we talked to the midwife some more about pain management options etc. She recommended SP try to get in the shower and labor for awhile longer. So that's what we did for a few more hours at which point SP just couldn't stand anymore and she definitely couldn't lay down. She decided it was time for the juice. The lovely anesthesia man came in and placed the epidural in between contractions (the fact that they can do that in 2mins is amazing) and it was like the heavens themselves opened because the immediate relief was insane. SP fell asleep immediately and the nurses put me onto the tiny couch and we got about 3 glorious hours of sleep.
At that point SP wasn't making enough progress (common when you get an epidural) so they decided to give her pitocin...which I'm not going to lie may made me nervous..because you hear a lot of labor horror stories including pitocin (ie horrible pain, emergency c-sections etc etc) But luckily it worked like a charm. The baby however was still sunny side up so SP had to roll from side to side every once in awhile to try to get the baby to turn. After awhile she was starting to feel things where she shouldn't so the new anesthisa dr came and gave her a top off. And that helped a lot. A few hours later SP needed another top off and this one wasn't great. And then a little while later she needed another top off. And this one didn't work at all.
This is when the friendly staff told SP that the only option would be to replace the epidural at this point - but first - lets check your progress. It was at this point we were informed that there would be no replacing the epidural because it was time to get this kid out.
Poor champ of a wife :(
She breathed, we counted and held legs. She pushed and breathed and we counted and encouraged and held legs. SP asked how much longer and the nurse said you can push anywhere between 20mins and 3hours. And then the stubborn SP I knew came out. There was no way in HELL she would be pushing for 3 hours thank you very much.
In the end, my champion of a wife, who never planned on a natural birth - pushed for only 1hr, essentially drug free. And when our 8lb 12oz 22inches long bundle came sliding into this world I was sobbing. I had the extra special pleasure of announcing that she was in fact a she (which by the way, I double checked with the midwife before announcing because I honestly couldn't believe it) and then cutting her cord.
It's a GIRL!
And just like that - the months and months of laboring to bring her here, the 9 months of incubating her, the stress and worry and hoping - all of it was over. And just like that it was all beginning...