*Note: If you are squeemish at all, this is the most descriptive of all 3 parts, so read with caution!
The pitocin was started. Let’s review. At this point I have had IV fluid, antibiotics, 2 bags of morphine, an epidural and now pitocin. I knew I’d be awesome and full of fluid after all this was over…that was the least of my concerns though.
I was told to rest because after the pitocin worked, I would be ready to push this baby out and I needed energy. It takes most first time moms 2 hours to push they told me. I was sure it would take me way less…. I mean I was so strong and exersised until the end of my pregnancy…right?! hah.
The goal was to get my contractions down to every 2 minutes, which would cause me to dilate. I was checked after 3 hours on pitocin by a new lovely male resident who was SUPER nice. I was 4 centimeters according to him and I was SO happy to hear that because that meant I was making progress. He left me to continue to rest. After another hour I started to feel some pain. They told me this may happen because of progressing and dilating more. They got the anetheseologist and he upped the epi. I still could feel pressure, but no pain.
After 2 more hours I called the nurse because I was feeling the urge to push (which basically feels like you need to poop). She got the resident and he checked me. He said I was 8 cm and I would be ready really soon. About 30 minutes later I called the nurse back because now I REALLY felt it. She checked me and said I was 10 cm and ready to go! I literally couldn’t believe it. I was SO ready to meet this baby. The resident came back and double checked and agreed with the nurse (her name was Joanne). The room started to transform into a delivery room. They called my doctor and we called both sets of parents. It was about 1 am and everyone was ready!
I started pushing for about 30 minutes and Joanne and another nurse showed me what to do. After 30 minutes my doctor came in and checked me. He said that I was only about 9 1/2 dilated and we had to stop for 30 minutes to let me dilate more. After 30 minutes we got on with it….and 3.5 hours later I had my beautiful baby girl. There is so much more between the 3.5 hours, but basically the baby was really high. I would push for 3 or 4 rounds of 10-12 seconds each. The 2 nurses, Chris and Danny were amazing. They would really psych me up. The last 1.5 hours was really rough. Danny would get wash clothes and continually wet them with cool water to cool me off. I was SO hot. I honestly don’t think I would have been able to do it if I hadn’t exercised up until the day before I went into labor. I thought exercise would help my labor be quick and easy, when in fact it helped me get through a really long labor by giving me the strenth I needed.
It also didn’t help that my doctor came in 30 minutes before the baby came out and gave me an ultimatum, to get the baby out in the next 30 minutes or we’d have to have a c section. There was NO way after all of that I was having a c section. They lowered the epidural and I continued to push for 30 more minutes. For the past hour the pressure was IMMENSE. It wasn’t painful, but it felt like the baby was right there, when in reality she still had more to go.
Right before Olivia came out my doctor told me that the baby was big for me and he’d have to give me an episiotomy. Honestly, I didn’t care. The baby was SO close and he told me I’d be able to have her really soon.
Finally my beautiful baby was born. They put her on my belly and it was a girl! Danny was crying and so was my sister, but I was just lethargic. I was happy in my heart and head, but my body was SO exhausted.
They took her from me and Danny went with her to watch her get weighed and preliminary tests. Chris stayed with me. I ended up having an episiotomy. In that moment it didn’t hurt. I still had the epidural. After she came out the pressure relief was ridiculous. The anesthesiologist came in to give me a little bit more (once you turn an epidural down, you can’t turn it back up). I also got a local, but honestly the stiching hurt. I’m sure it would have hurt a lot more if I had no epidural, but still it hurt….and I couldn’t relax. My sister was a Godsend. She kept me focused on what was important, trying to stay relaxed and get finished so I can meet my daughter. I was shaking from the birth and everything I went through PLUS the baby was already being snuggled by Danny and I was getting stiched up & delivering the placenta for 30-40 minutes. After about 20 minutes the placenta descended and came out. That felt like nothing. Finally I was stiched and done and ready to snuggle my baby.
It was REALLY hard physically to hold Oliv. I was shaking SO much and exhausted. I don’t even remember really what happened at this point, but I know our family came in to meet her. My baby girl, Olivia Rose, was born at 4:38 am on October 20th, weighting 8 pounds, 2 ounces and 21.5 inches. She is absolutely perfect.
I look at Olivia now, and it’s not even a question about how worth it labor and delivery is. I never expected my labor to be like this and I do wish it was shorter. Looking back thinking about how afraid I was seems so silly now. Even though it was SO hard and demanding, it was SO do-able. And also I want to note that throughout the 38 hours I was never actually SCARED. It was INTENSE and I was nervous and I even doubted my body a couple of times, but I was confident that no matter what happened I would come out okay with a healthy baby…and that is ALL that mattered.
Throughout the process I tried to think of it in increments and just getting to the end of my short term goal (1st cervadil, 2nd cervadil, dilate from 3 –> 10 cm, delivery). The worst pain was from the 2nd cervadil and then recovery. I also never expected to be at a loss of memory for some things, like right after when my family came in to meet Oliv. I remember shaking uncontrollably, but I can’t remember details of the moment.
I have A LOT of stiches and recovery is slow. I’m still in pain, but it does get a bit better each day. As far a Olivia goes, she is a sweet, sweet baby. We are soaking in every single second with her.
So every mom is right. Labor and delivery is HARD, but you quickly forget when you see your baby for the first time. It’s so worth it, yet you can’t imagine how worth it it is until you’ve been through it. My heart is bursting for my new family of 3.