May 31 – I started having contractions about ten minutes apart. It felt like I was going to start my period but of course I wasn’t. I was getting restless being at home and decided to go to the greenhouse and buy some flowers. I did a bunch of landscaping just to waste some time and take my mind off things.
June 1 – I was getting anxious. Could this be the real thing? I was tired since the contractions continued through the night, still ten minutes apart. Rob headed off to work and I napped, read a book and tried to relax.
As the day went on, the contractions were requiring a little bit more attention. I had to stop sometimes to focus on something else. Not every contraction was the same; some hurt more, some were shorter. Around 6 pm I told Rob, “We might be heading to the hospital when you get home from work.” Contractions were coming at irregular intervals for the first time in two days; 6 mins, 3, 7, 8 ,9, 8, 4, 5, 8, etc.
Rob got home just before 11pm and I had a plate of dinner ready for him. I was getting more uncomfortable by this point and decided to relax in the tub. Contractions eased off and I felt a little better. Not for long.
We climbed in to bed and as I timed contractions, I realized they were coming on average of five to six minutes apart. The rule is 5-1-1: When you have contractions every 5 minutes, 1 minute long, for 1 hour, you go to the hospital. We were so torn on heading in or staying home. We decided we might as well stay home a little longer and try to get some rest where we were most comfortable. Ha.
That was a joke.
By now, I was definitely uncomfortable and Rob was sick of listening to me moan and breathe my way through them. Wellll…I guess more like not getting sleep as opposed to sick of listening to me.
I remember saying, “Let’s just go and see what they say. I’m so nervous they are going to laugh at me though and tell us to go home.” We went anyway.
I was checked to see dilation: 1cm. Ugh. All that….I mean two days worth of contractions and I am 1cm. I thought, “This could get ugly.” We were admitted into a holding room where the nurse hooked up a contraction and heart rate monitor to my stomach. I was so priveleged to sleep for about 1 minute at a time in a recliner. YIPPEE! Rob watched the machines for a bit then tried to nap as well.
After two hours, the nurse checked me again. I needed to be at a 3 to be admitted in to my room. I was ecstatic when she told me I was 3cm. She said she would call my doctor to see what she wanted me to do.
Fail. My doctor was off duty and the doctor she alternates with on the weekends said he wanted me to be at 4cm before I was admitted. The entire time, I kept thinking, “This guy is a jerk. I am obviously in labor! My cervix changed!” Needless to say, I remained in the jail room for another two hours.
This time, the nurse said I was almost at a four. Damn. Another hour at least.
Praise the Lord, it was shift change. The nicest nurse came in and said, “I am going to check you again and you WILL be at a 4 even if you aren’t. You have been in this room long enough.” Instant love for this chick!
So Rob went to get all of our packed thingys and I got settled in our room. I was allowed one last meal so with the little bit of appetite and energy I had, I fueled up on protein and whole grains; banana, whole grain toast with PB, cheerios and skim milk. Soon, I was being hooked up to machines that would monitor me and baby Quinn to make sure that we were okay.
Shit was getting real.
Not long after, contractions picked up and I felt like I had the worst period cramps ever. I used long heavy breaths to push the air out and focused on the sound. I knew that if I counted about 5 breaths, the contraction would start to fade.
Hours of this went on until another nurse came in to break my water. I felt a lot of pressure and a little poke. A gush of warm fluid came out and it felt like I was peeing a lake.
Contractions picked up in intensity and frequency. The pain was so deep and raw. I couldn’t see the clock because I didn’t have my contacts in, but time didn’t feel like it was flying or dragging. I just focused on one contraction at a time.
Prior to labor, I planned on using my therapy ball, taking a shower, or walking laps to help with the pain. Again, you can never really plan for this…it was way worse moving around. I wanted to stay in the bed and focus.
The nurse said I was finally at a 7. Transition was starting; the hardest part of labor was here. During transition, contractions were coming every 2-3 minutes and lasting between 1-1.5 minutes each. Basically, there were times I got 30 seconds of rest. I wouldn’t even call it rest. By this time, I was fatigued physically and the pain was causing me to shake. The shaking was similar to what happened when anesthetics wore off after a surgery I had once; it was uncontrollable.
By this point, Quinn was starting to drop lower into my pelvis. This caused my hips and thighs to ache. Rob massaged them with a lot of pressure. At times, I had him use a vibrating massager to distract me from the pain. In a split second though it could become irritating and the only words I could muster up was, “Off.” He knew exactly what to do. Thank God I had him.
A pleasant surprise came through the door. It was MY doctor. She heard I was in labor and decided to come and rescue me from the mean old man doctor. I was so happy to see her.
I worked through more contractions and decided I wanted a little bit of Nubain to help me relax from the shaking. The pain was still intense, but at least it helped me conserve energy and not waste it anymore in between contractions.
I felt like things were happening so quickly. The doctor asked me to flip on my back and try one push to see what happened to my cervix. She told me I was close and if I felt like I had to poop that I should let her know.
Not long after, I felt the urge to push. The nurse quickly took the end of my bed off and the doctor was in the room to help me and prep the delivery area. Rob stood by my side and prepared for the journey.
I waited for a contraction, took a deep breath, pulled my knees in and pushed. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. Quick breath – PUSH 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. Quick breath – PUSH 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. Rest.
It didn’t seem so bad but it was weird to think about pushing (like you are pooping) while lying on my back. After a few more tries, I got better. It felt like I was peeing everywhere from the amniotic fluid leaking out. My doctor kept saying, “That’s it! Push like that! Keep going!” Rob was saying, “Oh my gosh! I see her hair! Come on babe!”
Between each contraction, I was exhausted. It was never painful, but more tiring than anything. I remember listening to everyone’s conversations and laughing in my head a few times but could barely talk. I felt like I just wanted to sleep.
30 minutes later, we were really close. I could actually feel her head pushing forward and slipping back in. This gave me huge motivation to get her out. I wanted to meet her so bad.
“One more push and you got this,” said my Doctor.
I gave it all I had.
I felt a quick sting (episiotomy) and a HUGE sense of relief, almost like a balloon bursting.
There she was. June 2, 2013 4:34 pm. 7 lbs 6 oz – 20 inches
The doctor held her up for me to see. Her head was huge and her legs dropped; they looked a mile long. She was blueish and even though she was slimy, she was perfect. They laid her on my chest in a blanket and I didn’t even know what to say. I said hi to my baby girl for the first time while Rob kissed my forehead.
Things were a blur for the next hour. I know they cleaned her up, Rob cut her cord and I sent a few messages to immediate family. I felt tired, excited, happy, calm, and emotional all at once.
I was able to start nursing her, and for the first time bond with her. Her hands were so blue and wrinkled. Her nails were so skinny and long. She looked like her daddy. I was in love.
After a few days in the hospital, we were sent home. It was such a bittersweet day; it was all over and just beginning at the same time. I wanted to go back and do it all again. You may think I am crazy but the experience is unforgettable. I enjoyed every minute and honestly, labor wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be.
She was worth it.