So I know all of you are sitting on the edge of your seat to hear the rest of the this birth story. So let's get started.
After the nurse told me about the merconium, my mind immediately went to the worst case scenario. Maddie would stop breathing and she would either be flown to Arkansas Children's Hospital or worse, we would be leaving the hospital without her. I'm sure I looked like a ghost when the nurse explained what could happen. But there was nothing I could do about it. Nothing. And that was the worst part.
The nurse gave me an IV below my right hand. I can usually handle IV's, but this was the first one I've had in that spot. The tape was pulling my arm hair and the IV never felt "in place" so that was extremely uncomfortable until they took it out after I gave birth. But honestly, I would take "extremely uncomfortable" over any contraction.
Ohhh, contractions. Where do I even start with this one. When I was first hooked up to the monitors the nurse would tell me when I was having a contraction. I laughed saying, "I don't even feel it!!" and she said "you will." and BOY did I!!! I didn't feel my first until around midnight. I was still 1cm dilated and thought maybe, just maybe I could handle this birth thing like a champ. Then 2:00 rolls around and they started to get stronger. The nurse slipped me some pain medication which made me feel loopy and I wish I never got it. I felt drunk. But not the fun kind of drunk. The "ugh, I need to sleep with one foot on the ground" type of drunk. The nurse checked me again (which if we're being honest, she was rather aggressive) and I wasn't making any progress, so at 4:00 the pitocin started.
Side note: through all of this, I was still feeling "the gush" down below and it was awful. I swore I ruined the hospital bed because the towels just weren't enough. I felt gross and... warm. Yuck!
The pitocin obviously did it's job. It sped things right along and I was slapped in the face with some massive contractions. I would watch the monitor and warn Nate what was about to happen. At one point he asked if he could feel my stomach during one....
I was in so much pain that I started singing Sponge Bob Squarepants really loud in order to pass the time. One of the nurses was in the room during one of my episodes and had no idea what I was saying. If I remember correctly she asked me if I needed a sponge. No. Just no.
Some of the contractions were longer than others and I hated everything in that room at that point. I asked Nate if he could secretly rip the machine that was giving me pitocin out of the wall... he said no, so I eventually hated him too.
When I was FINALLY 3cm, the new nurse asked if I wanted an epidural.
Umm..... are you crazy?! YES. Get me an epidural. Like yesterday. Thanks.
She was really nice and I liked her, not because she's the one who allowed me to get an epidural but really, she was nice and funny and she changed my towels often. So I loved her. The anesthesiologist/my new BFF didn't arrive until 7:00 so I had to wait about 30 minutes until I could get the miracle drug. And I wanted it.... bad. You guys!! Whoever said contractions feel like strong period cramps LIED. NO! It feels like you're dying for 60 seconds... then you have to die again. And again.
The anesth... I can never remember how to spell it, so I'm just going with BFF.... my new BFF, Jason, came in my room a little after 7:00 with all of his gear. I was so ready to get the party started that I totally forgot about my contractions... well, until I had another contraction. And I had another one. Annnnd another. I screamed the F word a dozen times and maybe shouted a few "WHY ME!!!! WHYYY" but we eventually got through it and my epidural was in. My left side felt more numb than my right but I didn't care. I was finally ready for battle and nothing was going to stand in my way of getting this babe out of me.
The epidural was amazing besides the fact that it made me feel really cold. I didn't know if it was just nerves or the medicine but I was literally shaking and no matter how many warm blankets I had, nothing was helping.
By 11:00 I was 9cm dilated and the nurse let us know that it would be time to push in about 30 minutes. THIRTY. MINUTES. We did some practice pushes and I informed her that I couldn't feel enough to push so we should probably turn the epi down. This would delay pushing another half hour, but I didn't want to not feel anything, ya know? So we waited. Shish was about to get real in that hospital room and I was incredibly unprepared for what was about to happen.
It was 12:00 and my legs were put in stirrups. They felt like they weighed a 100 pounds. I couldn't lift them so I had a little help from my friends. We were in position. and it was time to push.
Since my epi was turned down I could feel when a contraction was on its way. You could also look in the monitor but I knew before it showed up on the screen.
"Ready, push.... 1....2...3...4...5...6...7...8....9..10
deep breath, push again... 1...2...3...4...5...6....7....8...9...10
deep breath, and again... "
We pushed for 30 seconds each contraction. I was given some good advice beforehand and pushed with my stomach muscles and not like I was pooping. We were making progress... quickly...
After pushing for about 10 minutes, Maddie's heart rate dropped. The nurse said to call my doctor and have him make his way over to our room as soon as possible. No one panicked, except for me. I could hear the machine with her heart rate and I had every bad thought running through my head. Every time I pushed, her heart rate would drop which made the nurse believe the umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck.
And there was nothing i could do besides push. And I pushed hard. We continued to push every contraction and my doctor finally made his way into our room.
12:23 pm I felt a contraction coming, and we started....
"We have a baby!!!"
and I could see it. The cord.
Although it may look like it in the pictures, she wasn't crying, and I was worried. I kept asking, "is she ok?!" "what's wrong?"
I wanted to hear that terrible newborn cry so badly, but we didn't.
They let me do skin to skin for about 60 seconds. She wasn't breathing right, so they suctioned a lot of fluid out of her lungs. They then took her straight to the nursery.
I honestly didn't know what to think. For one, I just had a baby. I was in shock that we made her. She was mine. And she wasn't doing very well, which broke my heart into pieces. I just wanted her to be ok, and then I would be ok. I knew then that I was a mom... a real mom.
We did the whole breastfeeding challenge which was comical but she latched! We didn't get very far with that but I didn't mind, I was just happy that she was happy and warm and with us.
Little did I know, the "afterbirth" war had begun. The epidural was gone and a nice young nurse came and pushed on my stomach... and by "pushed" I mean, made me feel like my insides were coming out. That was just the beginning of my recovery....
Part 3: recovery. holy shiz, it's no joke.