I was 40 weeks and one day pregnant. I had spent many nights wide awake with contractions, wondering “Is this is?” But no. Almost as if my body was like, “I think I can, I think I can..” and then chickened out at the last second. I’d tried tons of the ‘natural’ methods–had my membranes stripped FOUR times, tried sex, spicy food, walking for miles and miles, pineapple, that weird cumin drink…all but castor oil which I was wary of. Nothing was working.
My first baby was a C Section. My second was a vaginal (VBAC) and I wanted this one and every other one after to be also. Not that C Sections are the worst thing ever but I just prefer VBACs in every way possible…except the waiting. The waiting is just killer. Due to my circumstances, I wasn’t allowed to be induced with Pitocen, since it could cause problems and lead to emergency C Section or worse, scar rupture. And I didn’t really want to be induced, since I liked having the excitement of going into labor on my own.
More circumstances: We live away from all my family and I was due the week of Thanksgiving. This would be a good time for my husband to be around since he wouldn’t have to work at school. My mom was planning to come, but we decided to not have her come due to OTHER circumstances (lots of circumstances going on here.) And well, I was just sick to death of being pregnant. I needed to have this baby.
We decided to try induction by artificially rupturing my membranes…(having the doctor break my water.) I was a little nervous about it and almost backed out, but the nurse calmed my fears and I trust my doctor. I have a GREAT Ob-Gyn. One of the things I will miss the most about Arizona is my amazing OB. I know how hard it can be to find a good one! He wouldn’t let me try this method of induction before with Lukey, so I knew that he was a cautious man. But I was dilated to 4 cm and 80% effaced. So basically I was nearly there, I just needed a push.
The Night Before
The induction was scheduled at 8 pm. I was to call the hospital an hour before to see if they had room. We scheduled babysitters, packed our things, cleaned the house, and were ready to go. I called them up: ”No room at this inn,” the nurse told me. ”We’ll call you when things slow down.” Great. Now I was to spend the evening waiting, like a school girl waiting for her crush to call. At 11 pm, I gave up hope. I got ready for bed and went and laid down. And then I cried. My little pregnant self with tears always on the surface just cried and prayed that someday I might just have this baby. And literally one minute later, the hospital called and told me to get my booty down there. Hooray!
After doing all the paperwork and getting all strapped down and IV’ed up, the Dr. came in. He took one second to check me and break the water. Done and done. He was there for 2 minutes. I forgot how messy this all was. Now I just got to wait. The contractions started in slowly, not hurting too much and I could breathe through it fine. We watched a movie, and as I laid there, I realized I wasn’t mentally ready to push this baby out just yet. I think I just wanted to labor for awhile. The contractions started to really hurt and I decided it was a good time for the epidural!
I hate getting epidurals…I am a huge baby about it and it hurts me so much. The nurse anesthetist (which, small world, was a girl from my hometown!) was really nice about it but seriously…it sucked. Picture sitting on the side of a hospital bed all wired up with a giant belly, oozing fluid (from my water) and hunching over trying to hold super still while they poke an enormous needle into my spine. Seriously, if I wasn’t such a baby about pain, I would skip the epidural. After that whole mess was over, the wonderful numbing relief seeping over me, I just laid there, loving life. But there ain’t no pretty way out of my situation…
The nurse told me it was time. What! It was only 4 am. The doctor broke my water at 1. I just thought that was super fast. She started coaching me through pushing, which was super annoying. She kept saying, “Go harder, push harder! You can do more!” and every time I wanted to scream “NO I CANT!!!” because really, I couldn’t. I mean I was holding my breath and just pushing and straining and it felt like nothing was changing. Like it was just a fruitless waste of my precious energy. I was so tired and bugged and started to get nauseous. Finally she noticed a drop in the baby’s heart rate and had me rest on my side, breathing oxygen from a mast. That was all I needed, a little break and some O2 to get me through. I stayed on my side and pushed when I felt the urge. Much better. I even made the nazi nurse proud. Maybe even enough to forget that I, yes, vomited, peed, AND pooped in front of her. Three cheers for nurses willing to discretely clean that all up.
With Luke, I was so exhausted I thought I might die. I remember wanting to just faint and let it all go black. I just wanted to give up because all my pushing was doing squat. Finally the doc sliced me and sucked him out. So I was very proud of myself when I pushed the baby out by myself. I was finally doing so well that the nurse ran out to grab my doctor and he just made it in time to catch her. I tore a little. But with that finally giant push, her slimey little body wriggled its way out of me and into the bright light of that hospital room. And I let out a cry of relief and happiness when I saw her.
Pregnancy is a very emotional thing, and the birthing of your baby is even more so. Every experience is different, even if you’re in the same hospital at the same hour with the same doctor, the way you feel is always different. I was so excited and happy and relieved, but I was SO. FREAKING. TIRED. They handed my baby to me, all gooey, and I cuddled her cuteness for a second, very happy. But I also kind of wanted to be like, “Can you just take her and clean her so I can finally rest?” And I think they caught the hint and did that a moment later.
They cleaned her up in my room and once I was ready, I nursed her. I have horrible experiences nursing my babies, so when she latched on right away I was relieved. I knew it was not going to be easy or perfect, but it did give me hope that maybe she would actually be able to nurse. And I had a plan.
Most importantly, she was here. After all those months being pregnant and miserable, it was hard to believe that she was actually here, living on this world with us. We named her Ellie. And we love her, so very much.
Stay Tuned for Part 2!