I've been meaning to write this post since last Thursday, but I have been busy - imagine that! I want to record the events that led up to the most amazing moment of my life while it's fresh in my mind. This will probably be a little long, but I want to really try to capture all the details (or at least the ones that I can remember!)
Last Wednesday, March 3, I went into work 2 hours late (snow delay) and worked all day, feeling pretty good. I left at 2:00 to go to my 41 week appointment at 2:40. I met Jonathan at the doctor's office and we saw my nurse practitioner, Debbie, and a medical student. They measured me (40 weeks), weighed me (total of 40 pounds), took my bp (don't remember, but it was good), checked my cervix (couldn't check dilation - very posterior and definitely NOT in labor), and hooked me up to the Non-Stress Test machine to monitor Brenna's activity and heartrate because she was past her due date. We got to chat with Dr. Colby, who was going to be the one to induce us on Monday about what all would go down on that day. After about 30 minutes on the NST machine, the nurse told me that Dr. Colby was concerned that Brenna was having some heart decelerations and wanted us to go to labor & delivery to check it out further.
About this time, we got a little panicky but headed to the hospital trusting everything would be okay. We find out my least favorite doctor of the four is on call, but figure it won't really matter. They hooked me up to a similar monitor as the one at the doctor's office - except this monitored her movement instead of me hitting a button when I felt her move. She was going crazy so they couldn't develop a baseline for her heartrate. Eventually she calmed down and they determined that her baseline was actually a little lower - and what they were seeing were really accelerations rather than decelerations - GREAT NEWS! Then the doctor came in to talk things over. He told me that my cervix was still very posterior and I was only a fingertip dilated (the same that I had been for awhile) and maybe 50% effaced. He also told me that she was at a -3 station and that her head was floating and big! He told me that he didn't think she would engage enough to have a vaginal birth and that he would do a c-section right then. WHAT? This was a lot to process for both of us - and I admit that quite a few tears were shed while trying to decide what to do. I asked him to induce me then since he estimated her to already be 9 pounds, but he wouldn't, becuase he said she needed as much time to progress down on her own as she could. Something just didn't seem right about doing the c-section without giving her a chance to come on her own, so I finally decided to just go home. By this point I was having contractions on the monitor every 4-5 minutes apart and feeling them high in my uterus. But they weren't really hurting, so off we went about 7:30.
We headed home to let Maggie out and then left again to grab some dinner at Ruby Tuesdays - about 3 hours later than we had planned. I ate some yummy crab cake minis and a big salad, feeling pretty good the whole time. Until we got ready to walk out the door. I had the worst pain in my tummy - thinking it was from the food - but it made me almost not be able to walk. We hurried home all the while talking about whether I could go to work the next day or not. I wanted to work as long as possible, but Jonathan was tired of me driving so far to work and being so tired. I decided to listen to him and called Sheri to tell her about what to tell my sub. That is when the contractions started. I was having HORRIBLE pain in my hips, lower belly, back, and butt. They started coming and never really stopped - they were about 1-2 minutes apart and about 1 minute long. Within about 15 minutes I was screaming in pain and Jonathan was literally running around upstairs finishing up packing his bag for the hospital. I was pretty sure we would not be coming home that night - and I was honestly kicking myself for not just letting him do that darn c-section. We called the doctor and he told us to just head back to the hospital, so we did.
We got back there about 10:00 and the same nurse was there and put me right back in the same room. She checked me and I just expected her to say I was still a fingertip and posterior, since that had been what I'd heard for weeks. Much to my surprise, she says, "Well, you're about 7 cm." AHH! She told me we were having a baby that night, and asked if I wanted an epidural. I couldn't imagine saying no with all the back labor I was having, so they got me started on some IV pain meds until they could do my bloodwork and get the anesthesiologist up to me. I just remember begging them to hurry. It took awhile to get the epidural in (something about deep tissue) but they finally did, even though it was awful trying to sit still during contractions. After that, the nurse checked me again and I was at about 9 cm. This was probably sometime around 11:00 PM. The doctor came in at some point to check me and break my water. He said he thought she was face-up and the nurse agreed. So they started turning me on my sides to try to get her to flip. Soon afterwards I was at 10 centimeters and ready to go, but they still wanted to give her time to turn. So we waited...
At about 2:30, I started pushing. It didn't hurt at all. I could tell by pressure when a contraction was starting, but the pushing itself was not bad AT ALL. I was really surprised (and thankful for that epidural!) I pushed through contractions, but they slowed down to about 6-7 minutes apart, so they started me on some pitocin to speed them up. The doctor came back in and said she was still really high and he didn't think she was going to come down with me pushing. Yeah, thanks buddy, I'm working my tail off and you can't even encourage me. I think it was at this point that I decided that NO MATTER WHAT I was getting this baby out of me without him doing a c-section. I was so mad! Did I mention that Jonathan and the nurse had seen her head each time I pushed already? The nurse told me that I needed to push especially hard when the doctor was in there, and I just put my mind to it and went for it.
Once she got down low, I could feel more pressure and a little more pain. I was able to feel her head, which gave me even more motivation to get her out of there. Then, a little before 5:00, things got crazy. They got the baby scale and warmer out, and the doctor came in and, without a word, started getting his scrubs on and tools ready. Then Jonathan tells me it's "game time". Haha! I pushed, the doctor cut (ouch!), and Brenna arrived. 5:05 A.M. It was the most surreal moment of my life. I felt like super woman. We had created her and now she was finally here! I watched them wipe her off, I watched Jonathan cut the cord, and then I held my baby. She was the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen - and she still is! We got to spend a little time together, and then they started getting her wiped down, footprinted, clamped, and gave her her Vitamin K shot and eye cream. The nurses didn't want to give her the eye cream because she was so, so alert. Jonathan videoed the whole thing while I got taken care of.
I honestly never imagined I could really birth a baby. Anybody who knows me knows I'm a bit of a wimp, but I did it and I was, and still am, so proud of myself! The hour at home where I was in intense labor was so horrible, but it's already hard to remember how bad it felt because of the thrill of delivery. Brenna made me a mommy. I've never been more thankful. God has blessed our family and I'm in love.