Duke is one month old today! I’ve been meaning to blog his birth for the past several weeks…but newborn snuggles have been a priority 🙂 This is definitely my longest blog post…but it’s hard to cram such an emotional, crazy day into less than 1,000 words. Big thanks to my sister and mother in law for taking these pictures!
My water broke in the middle of our hallway. I told Greg “hey Greg, my water might have broke. Ok Greg, my water is DEFINITELY breaking.” I stood still in the hallway and Greg and I just laughed. Partly because it looked like I couldn’t stop peeing myself, but also because we couldn’t believe it was happening. We called labor and delivery and they told us to take our time coming in since I wasn’t having consistent contractions. So I took a shower, we cleaned the house, ate dinner, finished packing, and spent some time with the doggies before we headed into the hospital. During all of this I started timing my contractions, which weren’t too painful. If my water hadn’t broken I would have thought they were Braxton Hicks.
After almost getting hit in the parking lot by their robot parking attendant, we made it up to Labor and Delivery. We left our bags in the car because we were positive they’d be sending us home. Once in the triage room my contractions became regular and painful. Since my water had broken they didn’t want to check how dilated I was, but admitted me anyways.
We got settled into our room right as family started to show up. Greg’s parents were able to catch the last flight out of Reno and my dad picked them up before coming to the hospital. My sister and mom also showed up around then. Contractions were around every 5 minutes at this point, and I asked for some Nitrous to help with the pain (they give laughing gas! How cool is that?). My family was enjoying watching my contractions on the screen. I have a really low pain tolerance and it was validating to see my pain on paper…it reassured me it wasn’t all in my head!
Someone brought us a sandwich and Greg and I split it. That was the last thing I ate before Duke was born about 20 hours later.
Greg brought his iPad and we started watching The Office. It was the perfect distraction and kept my spirits light.
Things got a little more intense after midnight. I knew I’d be getting the epidural soon, so I wanted to walk around to let gravity do it’s thing before I became bedridden. Greg, my mom, and his mom all walked laps around labor and delivery with me. I’m not sure if the walking helped, but contractions sped up rapidly. They started coming every 1-2 minutes and I was lucky to get anytime to rest in between. Our nurse had been saying they’d check my dilation once I was in active labor. Greg went and found her and told her I had to be in active labor. She came and checked, and called the anesthesiologist to do the epidural.
I was only 3cm dilated, but they told me I could have the epidural whenever I wanted. So I got the epidural right then! The pain went away completely and we were able to rest. My mom and sister also stayed at the hospital with us while everyone else went home to rest. I got about 3 hours of broken sleep. We were still watching The Office, and I remember waking up to think how wonderful it all was. Our son was coming into the world, my pain was gone, and I was watching my favorite show with my husband by my side.
Contractions had slowed way down after the epidural. They were 6 minutes apart, so the nurse gave me Pitocin to speed things up. A lot of people have expressed their hatred for the drug, but I didn’t notice any side effects.
We waited, and we waited, and we waited for contractions to pick back up. Finally in the afternoon we were told I could start pushing in a few hours.
Here’s when things got crazy. It was time to start pushing! The midwife told me the first hour was considered warm up. I asked her how long she thought I’d have to push, and when she said 3-4 hours I just about cried. I was expecting an hour, tops. Whoops!
My mom, my sister, Greg, and his mom all stayed in the room during this phase. The first 30 minutes of pushing were easy and fun. We were joking around and all SO excited it was time to meet Duke.
Then…my epidural stopped working.
I guess air got in the line and when it started beeping incessantly, the nurse unplugged it. They called the anesthesiologist twice, and he never came. I had no idea what was going on, but I was confused as to why I felt so much pain all of a sudden.
I started to break down mentally. I had little energy because I hadn’t eaten, I was frustrated that despite the midwife’s encouraging words he still wasn’t crowning, and I was in a ton of pain. We were only half way through when I started begging for a C section. I didn’t think I could keep going. I was crying, I was angry, and at times I didn’t even have the strength to answer a yes or no question.
I’m going to stop here to acknowledge how amazing my support people were. Greg was compassionate and encouraging. When I looked him in the eyes and said “I’m NEVER doing this again!” He just held my hand and said “okay.” My sister Emily gave me the yelling I needed. She helped me focus and her intensity gave me power to push. My mom and Jill (Greg’s Mom) were so encouraging. I kept asking my mom to pour ice water on my head because it was a great distraction.
When they refused to give me a C section or use the vacuum (so thankful they refused!), I told them I needed SOMETHING. The nurse brought out a mirror, which ended up being exactly what I needed. I was able to watch the progress with every push. I was still crying through the pain and wanted so badly to be done. The pain was excruciating. I felt like I was going to lose consciousness, but thankfully that never happened.
After two and a half hours of pushing, Duke was finally born! The amount of relief and joy we felt was immeasurable. I knew we were going to have a baby…but that feeling of seeing your child is nothing I could have been prepared for. They put him on my chest immediately and I didn’t even see his face until they took him off me. He laid on me and I just talked and cried with him. He weighed 7 pounds 12 ounces, exactly like his daddy! He was 21.5 inches long…he was a LOT bigger than we were expecting!
The midwife found more than just normal bleeding. She stitched up my 2nd degree tear (hello no epidural…I felt all of it!) and then started searching for the source of bleeding. They were pushing on me and going inside of me trying to stitch up a uterine tear. It was excruciating…it was worse than pushing Duke out! I had to apologize to Duke because I accidentally screamed in his ear while they were working. After awhile, they thought to give me a local anesthetic. I had the great distraction of watching them weigh Duke, wash his hair (he loved it!), and then watching Greg hold him for the first time. After Greg held him everyone else in our family got a turn.
Apparently when my sister got our dads from the waiting room, my dad jumped up and just about sprinted to our room 🙂
So there it is! The painful, beautiful way that Duke came into this word. It’s funny how as a mom, my brain forgets most of the pain. I remember it being painful, but I really can’t remember the extent. God must have designed it that way so we’re not afraid for #2, right? 🙂 If you’ve made it this far, thank you for reading!