Rusty and I went in Monday, March 26th for my 39 week checkup. This was the day that we had been anticipating since my 36 week appointment. This was the day that we would "come up with a plan" to get big boy into this world. My appointment was at 11am, but there was a mix up with appointments in the computer system and the office was swamped. I did my labs quickly, but did not see my doctor until almost 1pm. I was LIVID. I was uncomfortable, impatient, and extremely anxious. When we got in our room, I could tell my doctor already had a plan just by the look on her face. She examined me and I was still about 2cm. She looked at us and asked us if we were ready to have a baby and we said absolutely. I was waiting for the calm talk about "the plan", but she quickly informed me there was protein in my urine and that I was going to be admitted to Labor and Delivery immediately to be monitored and do a more detailed round of lab work. I. Was. Stunned.
What? Admitted to the hospital? Me? Right now? But I haven't eaten lunch! (hey, at the time, that was pretty important)
We quickly debated regular delivery vs C-Section, and she said she was confident that induction would work and that I would be able to have him on my own. She said if I were petite (she said 5'2") she would go ahead with a C-Section, but she was confident that I could do it. She said if we induced and he didn't look like he wanted to come down and out, she promised she wouldn't put me in a bad predicament and we would move on with a C-Section. She left the decision up to me and I decided I would give the induction a shot.
I was so excited, but I was very nervous because if I was being admitted, that meant she was afraid something was wrong. We got all checked in and they monitored my liver enzymes, retested my urine, and checked my blood pressure 9 times while I was in 3 different positions. Meanwhile, since there was a risk if having an emergency C-Section, I wasn't allowed to have ANYTHING but ice chips. At 4pm, they said I looked great and could be released. We were allowed to leave, and we were told to return at 8pm to be admitted to be induced! YIPPEE!!! We were so close to meeting Hudson!
We went STRAIGHT to Newk's for my "last meal" - which was lunch/dinner by the way. We ran home to do a few last minute things, show our first babies Macy and Coop Coop some loving, and see my parents. Then we went to the hospital, got checked in, and Rusty's parents, brother, and sister-in-law came to see us for a little while. Uncle Jackson came by for a little while, too.
I was told to try to get some rest, but who can sleep knowing in a few hours you are going to deliver your first child?!?! They came in around midnight and set up IVs and all sorts of goodies and by 12:45am I was receiving Pitocin. I was able to sleep through the contractions until about 3:15am, then they started getting painful enough to make me too uncomfortable to sleep.
At around 5:30, my doctor came to examine me and check my progress. She broke my water and inserted the intrauterine pressure catheter to monitor my contractions. At this point, I was 4 cm, so I could have gotten my epidural. They said if I could wait a little longer, that the baby may progress more quickly without the epidural. So I toughed it out for about an hour and a half. The contractions were MUCH, MUCH more intense after she broke my water. I probably could have gone a little longer, but I went ahead and asked for the epidural. They were REALLY busy that day and I sure didn't want to be one of those horror stories that waits too long and can't get it because you are past the point of no return. To me, getting the epidural was no big deal. Yeah, it was uncomfortable, but it wasn't like I wanted to scream or anything.
They do lots of blood pressure checks and quick little exams to make sure you are not going to have a bad reaction to the epidural. All of that was fine except the meds went just a little too high and I felt tightness in my chest. I wasn't one of those people who flips out and says they can't breath - thankfully. I could just tell that something wasn't right. My nurse immediately put my bed at a 90 degree angle and I was sitting up super straight so that the meds would run back down. After a few minutes, I was fine. It was no big deal. After that was over, I just felt really weird. I wasn't nauseated, and I didn't get the shakes; I just didn't feel good AT ALL. My legs were super numb, but other parts that needed to be weren't. After a "boost", I was good to go. Our families came back in the room and I put on my make up. Momma wanted to look presentable to meet her little man! So epidural - worth it? ABSOLUTELY. They checked me throughout the day and contractions got worse...I can't possibly imagine having to feel all of that pain. All I could feel was pressure.
So the day went on with several checks. I was dilating like most first time moms, about 1 cm per hour. Everything was moving along great, but the doctor was concerned that he had not dropped enough. My A-M-A-Z-I-N-G nurse Stacy was determined to get that baby down, so we tried every position and trick she had up her sleeve.
Finally around 2 pm, it was showtime. Everyone left the room except Rusty and my superhero nurse Stacy and another nurse. At 3pm, the other nurse's shift was over. So now it was just the three of us. Not at ALL what I pictured labor to be. But, if you think about it, Momma is doing all of the work, so there isn't a need for a bunch of people to stand around while she pushes. My doctor came back down around 3:30pm and I could tell she was not convinced that this baby was coming. But Stacy was determined and so were Rusty and I. I didn't starve myself for almost 24 hours, lie in pain, and push for an hour and a half to go have a C - Section. (Since there was a risk that I might have to have an unplanned C/S, I was not allowed to eat anything but ice chips from midnight on.) So with 15 more minutes of pushing, she paged the doctor. It was time. He was almost here. I mustered up the energy and pushed until 4:01 pm. He was finally here!! It took almost 2 hours of pushing, Rusty being an terrific partner - counting and holding me up with every contraction, and our awesome nurse Stacy, who I feel like was more of a best friend than a nurse, to bring Hudson into this world. Neither Rusty or I cried, which is really shocking considering how emotional I had been up to that day. We were just so happy to meet our happy, healthy baby and relieved that everything went so smoothly.
Labor was exhausting, but that is the best way to describe it. I wasn't in terrible pain, but towards the end the pressure did get REALLY intense and it was very uncomfortable. I honestly think that I was in more pain immediately after delivery than during labor. I won't share any gory details. It was just your typical post delivery procedures, but I truly think I was in more pain then than during labor.
We stayed at the hospital until Thursday afternoon. I didn't really feel to great the whole time I was there. We determined Thursday morning that it may have been the pain meds that were making me feel so bad, so I stopped taking them since I was feeling a little better.
Coming home was great, but just like any first time parents, we were a little overwhelmed. Taking care of a newborn is exhausting, but it was very hard for me because I felt TERRIBLE. I still don't know what was wrong with me, but my mom thinks I was dehydrated and not getting enough calories on top of being so physically exhausted. I felt like I had the flu. Thankfully by Sunday night that was all over with and we were off to the pediatrician's office Monday morning.
I took too many pictures to post, so here is a link to my facebook album so that you can see all of them.
I have to give one more round of applause to the St. Vincent's nursing staff. They TRULY went ABOVE AND BEYOND our expectations. They were so kind, considerate, and helpful at all times. I wish I had gotten a picture with Stacy, my main nurse that day, because without her, I probably would have had to go in for a C-Section. The nurses in labor and delivery and postpartum were outstanding. Thanks for everything!!