I'll give you a little background prior to the delivery. There were so many things about the day our little girl would arrive that could be complicated to me & I would review them all in my mind frequently. My due date was March 12th, which was perfect because that was the beginning of Anthon's & the boys' spring break (he is in his first block/ semester of nursing school & CANNOT miss any classes). Plus, my 1 year anniversary with Dignity Health was on the 7th, which meant she needed to stay put at least until that day in order for me to qualify for FMLA/ maternity leave. But what if the 7th & the 12th came and went and she still wasn't here? Labor with all 3 boys was induced PRIOR to my due date and the hospital I was going to deliver at this time doesn't do elective inductions until 41 weeks- which would be right when Anthon had to go back to school. I wanted her to come early enough that we could all have some time together as a family, but not too early because I wanted to qualify for FMLA. I finally came to the conclusion that me trying to decide how it would all play out in my head wasn't going to change the actual outcome, so I decided I would have faith in the Lord- that He was aware of our circumstances (ALL of them) and that His timing would be perfect for everyone.
When I went in for my 36 week appointment the doctor checked me and I was 2.5- 3cm dilated & 60% effaced. This surprised me because, again, I had to be induced with all my boys & never had cervical changes on my own. I was also excited to find out that she had turned & was now head down (she had been transverse up until this point)!! My doctor said that since I was already progressing on my own, she would strip my membranes at 39 weeks if I wanted her to. Having made some progress made me hopeful that I would go into labor on my own this time, but I also knew that there are some women who walk around dilated 4-5cm for months! So I decided I wouldn't even have them check me again until I was 39 weeks (because again, I didn't want to play mind games with myself & I wanted her to stay put until at least March 7th for the FMLA). Then, at 39 weeks, she could strip my membranes & see if it would help me go into labor.
When I went to schedule my 39 week appointment, the only day my doctor was available that didn't conflict with my work schedule was the 8th. I figured since it was after the 7th why not?! Plus, it wasn't like stripping my membranes was a guarantee that I would go into labor. When I showed up to the appointment the morning of the 8th the receptionist said that they didn't have me on the schedule for that day... or any other day that week. AHHHH! I was scheduled to work the next 3 nights and then it would be the weekend, so I'd basically have to come back on my birthday (the 13th) if I wanted to be seen by my preferred doctor... That really was not going to work for me, so I agreed to see a PA that was available later that morning. I didn't know if she would be willing/ able to strip my membranes or not, but I chose to focus on my earlier decision to trust in the Lord. So I decided to stop trying to meddle in it and let whatever was going to happen, happen! The PA checked me and I had progressed some more since my 36 week appointment- I was now 4cm dilated and 80% effaced. She offered to strip my membranes without me mentioning the previous plan and I graciously accepted!! I wasn't sure what to expect- I had heard from some girls that it was incredibly painful and others said it was just slightly uncomfortable. For me, it was more the latter thankfully, and she was finished before I knew it! She instructed me to walk around for a while and to time any contractions I had.
I left the doctor's office around 11AM and had some errands to run, so I picked up my boys and went about my day. I had been having contractions on & off for the past few weeks, but they were never really consistent or painful... that's basically the same thing I experienced while shopping that afternoon. I was contracting but barely enough for me to notice. Since I was scheduled to work that night I dropped my boys off at my sister-in-laws around 2PM so I could nap before my shift. When I tried to sleep I noticed that I kept getting woken up by contractions. After about an hour of constant interruptions in my nap I decided I should time the contractions just to see if they were really as frequent as they seemed... I timed them for almost and hour and they were consistently coming every 3-5 minutes. My mind knew that I was probably in active labor, but the contractions weren't terribly painful- I mean, I could talk through them and still walked around while having them. I debated about going into triage to be checked, but didn't want to spend the $200 OB ER copay if I wasn't admitted (I know, I'm cheap!). I finally decided that I wasn't going to be sleeping before my shift anyway, so I might as well go in early and get checked out- I'd hate to actually be in labor and show up to work, take an assignment, and then have to leave them high & dry in the middle of the night- I figured if I was in labor and found out early enough, maybe they could get someone to cover me. So I got our bags (thankfully they were already packed & ready to go) and gathered my things for work (you know, just in case I wasn't in labor, I needed to be prepared for my shift!), but when I went downstairs I noticed how gross my kitchen was! Anthon was going to be at school until 10PM and my sweet mother-in-law was planning on bringing the boys home and putting them to bed that night- I didn't want her to come home to a sink full of dirty dishes and messy counters, so I took a few minutes and cleaned everything up.
I left for the hospital around 4:30PM. I takes me about 25-30 minutes to get from our house to the hospital and I was fine for the first 15-20 minutes... but man! Those last 10-15 minutes of the drive, the contractions really intensified and I KNEW this was the real deal. Anthon had a big test at school that night (over fluids & electrolytes of all things! Worst subject ever-poor guy!!) and I messaged him before I left the house asking if his test was first thing or if he'd have a lecture first. He told me that his test was first and asked why I was asking. He had been checking in on me all day, but I down played the contractions because I didn't want him stressing about me when he had such a big test to focus on!! So I told him not to worry, that I just wanted to pray for him during the test- haha, I'm a liar!! I knew when I got to the hospital that I was going to be admitted, but I didn't want to say anything to Anthon until I knew what was going on/ how far along I was.
I got up to labor & delivery shortly after 5PM and they took me right back to triage. The contractions at this point had me in tears- I didn't want to sit, I didn't want to lay down, I just wanted to stand there, breathe & cry... so that's what I did for a few contractions! When they finally got me on the monitor I was contracting every minute, so they called the hospitalist OB in to check me- I was dilated 8cm! No wonder I felt like I wanted to die- I was already in transition! I hurried and called Anthon (seriously like 10 minutes before his big test!) and told him what was going on. He didn't believe me at first until another contraction came while I was on the phone with him- haha. He told me he would leave school as soon as he was finished with his test & could probably get to the hospital by 7PM. At this point, it was 5:30PM & I wanted an epidural SOOO bad- not just to alleviate the INTENSE pain, but to hopefully stall my labor so that Anthon could actually be there for the birth!! But the hospital's protocol required that I have some lab work drawn and receive a whole bag of IV fluid before I could get one! That next hour was a blur- they wheeled me into a labor room and I had a bunch of different nurses all doing things to me at the same time- one was starting my IV, one was drawing labs, and one was trying to do my intake questionnaire/ get my medical history, and one was trying to keep the baby on the monitor (she was so far down in my pelvis already that they were having trouble tracing her heart tones). I was still contracting every minute, making all sorts of animal noises and wishing I could somehow talk them into ignoring the dang protocol & just get me a freaking epidural!!! I remember looking at the clock at one point- it was 6:20PM... only 40 more minutes until Anthon would be there. But there was NO way she was going to stay in for 40 more minutes with me feeling the way I was feeling!! Finally my IV fluids were in, my lab results were back and the anesthesiologist was in my room... but he had to have been the SLOWEST anesthesiologist I have ever seen!!! There I was, sitting on the side of the bed, consistently moaning in a tone that can only be described as demonic, and he's behind me slowly unwrapping his epidural kit like it's a hand knitted wool sweater from grandma he's less than thrilled about receiving. I was ready to scream/ swear at him listening to him move at a sloths pace, but I didn't. When he FINALLY got the epidural in, it was GLORIOUS!! The most perfect epidural I've ever had- there was no more pain, only pressure when I contracted and I still had complete control of my legs ( I could bend them, lift them, use them to reposition myself)- it was fantastic!! And really, it only took about 15 minutes for him to do it, but the 15 contractions I had while I was waiting made it seem like a lifetime!!
|Here I am in epidural heaven!|
|All ready to rock & roll!|
|One of my favorite pictures!! Anthon's expression is priceless!|
|SO happy to have our little girl!!|
|Admiring her perfect little features|