I didn't have the birth experience I expected. As in, my water didn't break, I didn't get to call T and tell him to hurry home because we were having a baby, and we didn't get to rush down the interstate to the hospital. No, G decided he was comfy, so I was scheduled for induction a week after our due date.
I was really bummed as the due date inched closer and closer. I had it in my mind that I would go early and have my sweet boy in my arms for Thanksgiving. Not so. I was sad as November came and went and still no G. All this time I had it in my mind that I would have a November baby and all of a sudden it was December.
At my doctors appointment the week of my due date, the nurses and my midwife could tell I was down. They kept asking if I was feeling "ok." No, I don't feel "ok." I am huge and haven't slept in two weeks. Oh, and to top it all off, several friends went into labor and had their babies and they were due after me. My midwife sweetly came back into the room after I was dressed and asked if I would be up for scheduling an induction for the following week. Um, YES! So it was set. December 5, 2012.
T wanted one last bump pic before heading to the hospital! (Poor feet)
The day we were scheduled to go to the hospital, we were to wait until midnight to go. So I had an entire day to get ready, but really it was an entire day of me getting nervous. I cleaned our home so all would be in place, checked the diaper bag to make sure I had everything, took a nap, and ate Chick-fil-A as a last meal before T held me and prayed for everything we were about to experience.
We drove to the hospital not really speaking. I don't think either of us knew what to say and in the dark night it felt wrong to try to fill the space. I think we were both trapped in our own minds preparing for what was coming. We parked outside of the maternity center and walked in.
Our nurse, Hadley, came to meet us and walk us to our room. She hooked me up to the IV (Oh how I hate needles, but at this point was getting use to being stuck), and began having me sign forms. When she put me on the monitor she announced that I was already contracting about every five minutes. Surprise to me!
I was 2 cm when they began the Pitocin and every 30 minutes would come and up the dosage.
It was hysterical to T and I that I wasn't feeling these contractions. He would watch the little mountains climb and tell me I was having one and ask what I felt. Nothing! Hadley seemed to think I was feeling them too because each time she came in she asked me if I was ready for my epidural. Nope! I wasn't feeling anything.
T pulled down his bed and went to sleep. I should have to, but couldn't. I played on my phone until morning came and waited for our families to show up.
I had three nurses with the shift change. Cynthia, Gail, and Meredith, who was a nursing student. There was so much traffic in and out of my room. My parents showed up first and settled in to hang out.
I was checked again and was 3 cm. The midwife on call was Tina, a midwife from another location than my clinic. I was peeved that I didn't get one of the midwives I had gotten to know over the last few months. She came in and broke my water.
The contractions hit me like a truck at this point. My parents came back in the room and my sister was with them. T's mom showed up a little while later followed by his sister. The entire time, I held my breath through the contractions, determined to wait on the epidural because I had heard it slowed down labor. I had waited an extra week already and didn't want to make it last longer. I played Solitaire on my phone and somewhat listened to the conversation around me, but I really needed to focus.
Finally, the tears began streaming down my cheeks and I knew I couldn't wait any longer. I asked for the epidural. I was 7 cm so I had progressed quickly. I had to wait another 45 minutes to get another bag of fluids in me before the anesthesiologist came in. I was propped up on the edge of the bed as he prepared and I just cried through the contractions. As soon as he got the epidural in, I had instant relief. Everyone in the room laughed at the immediate change from crying to smiling. T even offered to buy the doctor lunch for making me feel so good.
Our families came back in and I really had a chance to enjoy what was happening. We laughed and played some question card game that my mom had brought. (If you know my mom, you understand her love of games!).
After about an hour, I began to feel the strangest pressure and felt some fluid leaking. I called for my nurse. I explained what I felt and she kept saying it was probably just the contractions. I described the pressure to my mom and mom-in-law, basically it felt like I had to have a bowel movement. "Yep," they both said, "That's when you need to push." (Don't tell a woman in labor she doesn't know when she needs to push!)
The nurses did call for the midwife to come check me, because I insisted I had to push. Tina came in and said I was 10 cm and ready to push. T and my mom were planning on being present for delivery. My sister, A, asked if she could stay too! I was so excited that she wanted to! (My other sister, S, was on a plane at this point coming to America from Turkey. When she landed in Washington DC, she used a strangers cell phone to call my mom and found out G was here!)
The pushing began. I watched the clock throughout. All three nurses stood around me encouraging me through each contraction to count to 10, release my breath and push again trying to get three pushes in with each contraction. T held one of my legs and counted for me. The clock kept ticking as I finally started to understand how to push effectively. Still it took time.
They all tried to encourage me throughout, telling me about G's curly hair that they could see. I closed my eyes and pushed as hard as I could thinking that if I gave it my all, I would be done sooner. I started to get discouraged and tired. The nurses had me hold onto bars on the bed and push . It helped some, but again I got tired. One of the nurses pulled out a bed sheet and she held one end while another nurse held the other end. I held the middle creating a loop and with each contractions we all pulled. It pulled me up more allowing me to push harder. My sister said it looked like a circus in there and took a picture of it because she said no one would believe her.
At this point, I was done in my own mind. I couldn't do it. I started thinking about how good a C-section sounded, but at that point I could feel G so low in my pelvis, I knew they wouldn't let me get one. I told the nurses I knew I couldn't be close because they hadn't called the midwife yet. At one point, I looked at T and said, "I just need a nap." T was such a good coach. He basically had to yell at me at this point that I was going to do it and I was so close!
My mom relieved T of holding my leg and my sister took the other from the nurse. T grabbed some ice chips and fed them to me. I felt like a ravenous animal and the ice chips gave me the energy I needed in that moment. I pushed enough for the nurses to decide to call the midwife in. At this point, I could feel G's head partially out.
Nurse Gail looked at me and said, "You are going to hate me, but you can't push anymore until Tina comes in." To which I "kindly" replied,
"No, you can catch him."
I wasn't waiting anymore. I had come this far. Finally, Tina came in, but she took her time getting her gloves on and the nurses still had a few things they had to do before they would let me push G out. I was so frustrated. I was in so much pain and just wanted to be done. In true to me form I looked at everyone and screamed, "Can we hurry this up?"
I pushed again and with my eyes closed I felt G's body slide out. Instant relief. I cannot begin to describe the relief I felt. I laid there with my eyes closed and felt T holding my face and crying. I cried too because I had done it. I finished. And then they laid G on my chest and I cried because I loved him.
They took G to check him out and T kept moving between him and me. He was so excited. I had a second degree tear that the midwife had to sew up, which honestly was even less fun than the delivery.
My birth was so different than every daydream I had about it during pregnancy. It was perfect in every way I didn't know I wanted it to be. In the end, I got my G.