My due date was December 23, 2011. That day had come and gone and I had no signs that I’d be going into labor soon. My water had not broken and I hadn’t had any contractions. At that point I was 2 cm dilated, 80% effaced. My OB doctor gave me the choice of waiting the labor out or of induction. I chose induction, I just couldn’t wait to meet my baby boy! I asked for December 27, 2011 but that day was full of scheduled inductions so December 28, 2011 it was.
In the days leading up to the induction, we celebrated Christmas, my parents came into town, my mom made me walk and walk and walk, bounce on a ball and eat pineapple. Still all was content inside my belly. On the morning of December 28, 2011, Marvin and I woke up around 4:45AM, both took showers, got ready and headed out the door to the Birthing Center. We were to check in at 6:00AM.
We were told to go down to Room 305. As we entered the room, a wave of emotion came across us both as we realized that in a matter of a few hours, we’d be holding our sweet baby boy. We unpacked some of our things and I was told to switch into a hospital gown. Shortly after, our labor nurse, Grace, tried to put an IV in my right arm but couldn’t find a vein. After much pain and struggle, she tried my left arm and found the vein. Another nurse came and drew my blood for the Blood Bank. I joked around with the nurses saying that I hoped labor didn’t hurt as much as the IV hurt, but they told me to come talk to them after my labor.
At 7:05AM, the Pitocin started flowing into my IV. This got me so nervous and anxious as I knew that contractions, contractions that I had not felt before, would begin soon. My first contraction began at 7:15AM and I didn’t feel a thing. My OB doctor for the morning came in and told me I was 3cm dilated and then proceeded to break my water at 7:25AM. She gave me the choice of getting an epidural right away or waiting a bit. She did warn me that from the time I say I want it to the time it kicks in could be a good 45 minutes. I decided to wait until I actually felt my first contraction to ask for the epidural. And then it was a waiting game again. After an hour of so of contractions, I finally started to feel the pain or “cramping” in my stomach which is when I asked for the epidural. The contractions got more and more painful and I had to rely more and more on Marvin for relaxation and breathing exercises. He stood by my side, held my hand and cheered me on despite all the pain I was going through. He was the best support I could ever ask for at the moment. After 25 minutes or so of contractions, the anesthesiologist finally arrived and started to administer me the epidural. He said I had a bit of slight scoliosis which could cause the numbing to only go to one side of my body but we would see. At 9:30AM, the epidural was administered through my back and I was able to lay back down. In a matter of 15 minutes or so, my legs started to feel real heavy and then on up to my stomach. The “cramping” slowly but surely eased away and I was able to relax again. I could hardly feel a thing from my stomach down.
Then came the waiting game. Hour after hour would go by and the nurse would come and check my progress. At 10:00AM I was 7 cm dilated, at 11:30AM I was 9 cm dilated, at 12:30PM I was 9.5 cm dilated and at 2:10PM I was 10 cm dilated. During this time, Marvin and I got to spend some quality time together, the last time together as a party of two.
Then I was told to push, push, push. Because of the epidural, I couldn’t feel my own contractions, so the nurse had to tell me when the contractions were coming so that I could push with the contractions. We went through waves of big and small contractions for about an hour and a half. Pushing was probably the most exhausting part of the day. It wasn’t painful at all, just took a lot of energy. In the movies, it always seems like a few pushes and the baby is born… I honestly didn’t realize that it could take HOURS. Finally, I was at the point where I was ready for the last few BIG PUSHES! But the OB doctor was with another patient who was delivering so I was told to hold off on the pushing until the doctor arrived. Once the doctor arrived, I gave it a few more good pushes, and HE WAS HERE!
Austin had a very strong and loud cry as he came out and this made us both so proud. The nurses cleaned him off a bit and immediately brought him up to my body to hold. I was overwhelmed by the love I felt in the moment. This was the little person in my body for 40 weeks and 5 days, and he was finally outside. He was absolutely perfect. Marvin got the honor of cutting the umbilical cord just as we planned. He had an Apgar score of 9 / 9, weighed a healthy 7 lbs. 5 oz. and was 20.5 inches tall. He did have a minor cone head from the pushing but people tell me that I will go down. And the nurses couldn’t stop commenting about how hairy our little man was, which I’m told he’ll shed a lot of that hair as well.
We were told to move to Room 317 that evening as that was our postpartum room. After a long nap, I got up for the first time around 7PM. I headed to the bathroom and suddenly felt very lightheaded. I remember telling my nurse that I was lightheaded and before I knew it, I had blacked out for a good few seconds all while standing. When I regained consciousness, all I saw was my nurse and Marvin holding on to me as well as a wave of 3 other nurses rushing to the room. Apparently, my nurse said this was pretty normal except she hadn’t seen anyone black out but stay standing like I did. Thank goodness I didn’t fall to the ground or anything worse. After that scare, I was put in a wheelchair and wheeled over to our new room.
The next few days in the hospital were a whirlwind and went by way too fast. It was a mixture of sleeping, feeding, recovering, learning to be new parents, and getting to know our little guy. We were now a family of three and wouldn’t change a thing about it. My parents came to visit us. Nancy and John came to visit and brought us Chinese food. When our night nurse came in, she saw that we had Chinese food and said that she loves seeing what the fortunes in fortune cookies say. My fortune cookie ended up saying “There are big changes ahead for you,” and that really couldn’t have been more spot on!
My labor honestly couldn’t have gone more smoothly. My first contractions began at 7:15AM and he was born at 4:39PM that day, most the time was spent waiting for my cervix to dilate and pushing only took approximately 2 hours. The epidural was a life saver and if I had the choice to redo anything, I probably would have asked for it earlier. But now I can truly say that I know what a contraction does feel like and that the pain was worth it. As my OB doctor said before he left, this isn’t the end… it is just the beginning of the hard part.