The week of my due date came and I was beyond anxious to have him be "on time". I had multiple reasons for wanting him to come on Oct 19th. As Friday (the 19th) approached, I began trying to self induce, but as I expected, nothing I tried was successful. When I woke up Saturday morning, still pregnant, I made an agreement with my son that I wouldn't try to force him out again. Instead, I allowed him to live, rent free, for as long as he felt necessary.
The next seven days were filled with an endless wave of irritating yet unproductive Braxton Hicks contractions. Back pains that pinched, grabbed and squeezed me during all hours of the day and night. Finally, Thursday evening, Hubby and I were sitting in the living room watching TV when my contractions became real. Very, very real! When that first contraction hit me, it was like the difference between chocolate and vinegar. I hate it when people tell you "oh, don't worry, you'll know" But you know what? YOU WILL KNOW! Those real contractions are a Bitch!
I began timing my contractions around 8pm. They began extremely erratic, so I sent hubby off to bed at 10pm so at least one of us could get a little sleep. I stayed awake, timing my contractions and watching My Fair Lady on late night TV =) I tried to sleep but couldn't. Every time I got comfy on the sofa a contraction would come crashing over me. My only relief was to roll off the sofa and kneel in front of the sofa, burying my face in a pillow to muffle my moans of pain. (as bad as that sentence sounds, it was actually quite bearable) I rolled on and off the sofa for the next 5 hours. Eventually, the contractions became so frequent, consistent and powerful that I couldn't manage them alone any longer.
Before waking hubby, I washed my face, braided my hair, changed my clothes, brushed my teeth, etc. I knew if I woke hubby, he'd panic/freak out/worry about me doing all these "unnecessary" things. When I finally woke him, in that classic "Honey ... Honey ... wake up! We need to go. We've gotta go to the hospital!" I was shocked (and beyond irritated) at his response of "are you okay?"
Am I okay? Really?!? Um, NO! I'm in freakin labor!! I'm gonna have a BABY!
We get to the hospital right at 4am and hubby drops me off at the ER entrance. Yes, I said "dropped off" as in my hospital has NO parking close to the doors except for handicapped. What's a woman in labor supposed to do? Walk ALL the way across the parking lot? No thank you. So I walk, alone, into the ER at 4 o'clock in the morning. I approached the front desk and told the (very elderly) lady
"I need ... (contraction! breathe ... wait for it) .... Labor and delivery!"
"Are you in labor?"
"....... (stunned silence, not to be confused with a contraction) ...... yessssssss"
Really people, is this what I need right now? What else am I doing here? Delivering cupcakes?!? (facepalm) geez
She grabs the nearest wheelchair and rolls me up to L&D where hubby (finally) meets me at the check in desk. They take me into a room, give me a gown and check my cervix. I'm still at 3cm like I have been for the past few weeks. Since my OB had me scheduled for an induction that same morning (although I hadn't really determined if I was going to) they kept me but didn't "admit me" which meant no drugs or epidural yet. I was fine with that because I planned on going drug free as long as possible. I walked around the room, swayed and breathed through the contractions and basically just tried to pass the time as best I could. I was shocked and surprised the first time I had to pee and was promptly hit with yet another contraction. It never occurred to me that that would happen! LOL the worst, and I mean most unbearable, part of all this was when the nurses would ask me to lie on the bed so they could strap on the belly monitors. Oh...my...gawd =( back labor while actually laying on your back is excruciating! The pain of my contractions was intensified 100 times when laying down. Fortunately, I had wonderful nurses who figured out a way for the monitors to stay strapped on while I stood next to the bed.
During one of these bed side contractions, hubby was across the room eating a handful of peanuts. I called for him when the contraction started and he said
Him: "I gotta put the lid back on"
Me: "I don't fucking care about the PEANUTS!!!!!"
Some time after this, my OB came in and asked if I wanted her to break my water. (Shrug) I don't know ... sure? No, no, NO! Holy cheese balls that crap hurt!!!! My cervix(?) was tilted and it took a bit of maneuvering for her
to get it popped. The string of obscenities that came flooding out of my mouth would have made a drunk pirate blush. I apologized immediately of course, but the look of both shock and amusement on the nurses faces was priceless ;)
By 7 am I was finally, officially, admitted (a.k.a. paper work completed) and was able to receive some IV drugs. At this point I was exhausted (it was Friday morning and I hadn't slept since Wednesday night) and simply could not bear the pain of contractions any longer. The IV drugs did not suppress the pains completely, but I was finally able to lay down comfortably. It was after this that I asked hubby to go ahead and call our parents and my 2 best friends. The anesthesiologist arrived before 8 am to administer my first round of epidural.
I passed out hard.
I finally slept.
I vaguely remember my mom, MIL and best friend coming and going, but mostly I just slept. I was exhausted. Before noon, I was awake and felt the epidural wearing off. Luckily, the anesthesiologist was able to come back to my room to give me a second dose quickly. After that, it was time to push. I told the nurse that I felt "something" but it wasn't pain. Not really. I didn't know what it was. She suggested I try pushing and lo and behold, the sensation went away. The next hour + consisted of me dosing off, waking to push and dosing off again. The last half hour was my only really productive time. I stayed awake between pushes and was able to learn how to push effectively so that T man was actually making progress.
Right before one of my pushes, I stopped, looked hubby right in the eye, and said
"I don't think I can breastfeed!"
He very calmly reminded me that I needed to actually finish having the baby first, then we would tackle that job together. (I love this guy!)
So with a few more really good pushes, I finally squeezed that beautiful, gooey, purple, cone headed baby out. They
laid him on my tummy and I helped the nurse to rub him down and clean him up. He cried and cried and all I could think was "I want to feed my baby!" After just a few short minutes I was able to breast feed my son for the very first time. (Oh, and somewhere in there I also delivered my placenta and got stitched up, but with that baby in my arms, I don't even remember any of that)