Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Labor Day

It all started at Target (don't all good things begin there?!?)... I was 40 weeks and 4 days pregnant and beginning to wonder if this little girl would ever come into this world. I had been to the doctor the day before and things were looking good, I was 3 cm dilated and 80% effaced, but still needed contractions to start the labor process. The doctor had stripped my membranes in order to help move things along and said she was hopeful that things might start moving before my scheduled induction on Friday, but I still had my doubts.

Like I said, I was running some errands to target and walmart and began to have an awful cramp in my side. It wasn't a contraction (i.e. no tightening of the stomach), but the pain was super intense and some what debilitating. When Ben got home from work (about an hour later) the pain had still not gone away. We called the doctor to make sure something wasn't going wrong, but he seemed to think it wasn't anything to worry about. Meanwhile as we were talking to the doctor my water broke! I didn't realize it at the time because it wasn't a huge gush of fluid, but when we got to the hospital later they confirmed that my water had broken.
As soon as my water broke the pain moved from being in my side to pain in my lower back and stomach, like a true contraction. We started timing the contractions and they were consistently 1 minute long, 5 minutes apart, and lasted for an hour... it was time to head to the hospital!
Once we got to the hospital, I got the green light to be admitted - I was 4 cm dilated, contractions had begun, and the doctor confirmed that my water had broken. I was taken to the delivery room and got the epidural about an hour later. I'm glad I asked for it when I did because the pain had gotten pretty intense by the time the anesthesiologist arrived. As soon as they gave me the epidural things changed for the better! Before I had been cramping every 5 minutes and could hardly relax, but after the epidural Ben and I casually watched Dirty Jobs and took a nap as my body continued to contract and prepare for labor - it was amazing.

My body progressed at a great rate on it's own - after 2 hours at the hospital I was at 7 cm, and after another 2 hrs I was at 10cm, and getting ready to push. During this waiting period, the resident working with us actually found that I had 2 bags of fluid, the baby's sac and another sac. The first sac had broken at home and was small (hence why there wasn't a huge gush of fluid) and the broke the 2nd sac at the hospital. After breaking the baby's sac, the doctor found meconium in the fluid (Lucy took her first poop in my uterus), so the NICU team had to be present when Lucy came out. The resident and our nurse assured us that this was nothing to be concerned about, that is happened a lot, but having NICU there was a standard procedure when there is meconium in the amniotic fluid.

We waited a little at 10cm for Lucy to drop a little more (she was at station 1+, and they want them to be at 2+), but then began to push around 4am Tuesday Morning. The pushing exhausted me right away and I remember thinking in my head that I wasn't going to be able to make it. It's amazing how much I thought I was prepared and how tough I thought I was (I mean, Little 5 training had to help build some endurance, right?!?) but when it came down to it, labor was much tougher than I had imagined. I kept asking our labor and delivery nurse and the resident where NICU was and when they were coming (I knew once they came that it would mean Lucy was close) but they would just laugh and encourage me that I was doing a good job, but I still had a ways to go!

After about an hour of pushing, the pain had become unbearable, I was screaming through my contractions and could hardly relax between them... so we called the anesthesiologist back in for another dose of epidural. Wow how things turned around after that! I'm not quit sure, but I think the epidural must have almost worn out by the time I got the 2nd dose because my pain almost completely went away and suddenly the idea of pushing for another hour didn't seem so bad. After feeling the two pain levels next to each other (pushing with an epidural and pushing without one - or at least a low dose of one) I am pretty confident in saying I don't think I'll ever go through labor without one!

I ended up pushing for about 2 hours total. Fortunately, I had an amazing, loving coach by my side and an awesome delivery team supporting me along the way. Ben in particular was an amazing support that day and helped keep me encouraged and hydrated (lots of ice chips) all throughout labor. I don't know what I would do without him. The doctor thought Lucy's head was face up and because I have a smaller birthing canal (so I was told) there was talks of possibly having to use the vaccum or do a c-section. Fortunately, Lucy turned around and due to my great pushing :), I was able to deliver her without any extra help... other than an episiotomy. Almost immediately after the episiotomy, Lucy popped out and greeted the world at 6:01am, Tuesday March 17th.

Because of the meconium, Ben wasn't able to cut Lucy's umbilical cord and I didn't get to hold her at first, she was taken straight over to the NICU team. They cleaned her up and made sure all was healthy and then brought this precious little baby over to lay on my chest - wow, what an amazing feeling.

After about 12 hours of labor and 40+ weeks of pregnancy, I can truly say it was all worth it just to have that first moment of holding our little girl in my arms.

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations Jess (and Ben)! Lucy is beautiful. I've been following your blog posts, and it's been fun to "experience" your journey. Hope all is well and all the best to you and your new family in the future!