Well, I am still in the hospital tonight and it’s my first night alone since John needs to return to work tomorrow. I was scared at first to be on my own with a newborn, but I figure it’s baptism by fire or nothing, right?
Since I’ve had such a successful night with Wes so far, and little guy is sleeping happily with a full belly, I decided to hop on the blog and give everyone a run down on the goings on from the last two days.
Around 3am Sunday morning I began to get contractions that were a little stronger, followed by other clear signs that active labor was eminent. I began to time the contractions which were 10 minutes apart with an average length of 45-60 seconds. In the morning, I called my doctor and she said to call back once the contractions became more frequent and painful. Though I wasn’t sure if I was going to go into the hospital that night, I did call my in-laws who live in North Carolina and my two sets of parents who lives in New York. I wanted to make sure that they had the heads up just in case things began to roll over the next night or so.
Throughout the day, the labor pains began to intensify and were about 4-6 minutes apart. I definitely experienced back pain that I considered severe. However, severe back pain wouldn’t come til later and I would have done anything to experience the pain that I did throughout the day. I called the doctor around 3pm and she told me to head on into the hospital. Yep, let’s just say I was in a panic and sweating profusely! John was preparing in his own way by cleaning the house. I think packing would have been a better idea, but he’s a saint so I can’t complain!
We got to the hospital around 4:30 and I immediately went into triage where they checked on Wes’s vitals and mine. At the time, I was 80% effaced and only 2cm dilated. While there, my labor continued to intensify over the 2 hours there, but I was sent home due to the fact that I was not progressing fast enough. I was terrified by this point because we live 45 minutes from our hospital (on a good day) and I was in enormous amounts of pain. I decided to go to my sister’s house, which is half the distance from the hospital than my home. Fortunately, my mom suggested that we just rent two hotel rooms near the hospital to avoid potential traffic issues in the morning as well as avoid being in the torrential rain were were experiencing that day.
By the time my mom saw me in the hotel room, I was hunched over in agonizing pain. This pain only increased ten-fold while in the hotel room. Regardless of the amount of back rubs she and my husband gave me, nothing could soothe the feeling of intense stabbing pain which I could only compare to a sudden stabbing feeling to the spine followed by radiating hot contraction from the spine to around the belly. Like, take your-breath-away-contraction-so-bad-that-I-can’t-even-grab-my-husbands-hand-for-relief-because-I’m-so-weak pain. This, I would find out, was only a 5 out of 10 on the pain scale that I would later experience.
I ended up begging my husband to call the hospital, and we were only in the hotel room for an hour by this time. It was 9pm.
We drove to the hospital which was only 1 mile away. In that time, I had 3 intense contractions and I ran up to the second floor between contractions. By the time I got to the maternity ward, I froze and sobbed in pain. They instantly admitted me and checked to see how dilated I was. I was only 3cm. I can’t pretend that I was a brave girl, I wasn’t. I instantly freaked out and said, “I can’t go home, please don’t make me go home!” Yes, it was THAT bad.
Fortunately, they let me stay. However, it would be 2 more agonizing hours before I received my epidural. By the time the epidural came, I was in what I would refer to as “crazy labor” for 6 hours; all contractions no more than 2 minutes apart. My contractions went from one severe wave that came and went and I didn’t feel residual pain between contractions to what I would best describe as a good surfing wave. It just keeps coming; up, down, up, down, then a mini wave that radiates until the process started all over again.
Once the anesthesiologist came, I had absolutely NO fear of the epidural. In a matter of 2 minutes, I went from delirious pain, sobbing and not talking to laughing, joking and asking the anesthesiologist for his hand in marriage. No kidding, that’s how drastically my disposition changed.
However, my amazing new ride did not last long. Though I was slowly dilating, my contractions were so strong that Wes’s heart rate dipped often and drastically. It was a very scary time. I was put on oxygen and nurses were in and out of my room commenting on how frightening these signs were.
At 2 am, I was just lounging off to what I would refer to as a mild slumber, and John was entirely zonked out, when we were bombarded with severely panicked nurses and the on call doctor. I, of course, panicked and began to shake uncontrollable.
7 nurse, 1 doctor all stormed the room at once. They turned me over on all fours to try to get Wes to respond. I was hooked up to machines out the you know what, literally, and there was a thingy something or another attached to Wes’s head. Yea, he was still in me folks. A giant light was lowered from the ceiling which I could only describe as looking like an alien encounter and John was tossed what looked like a hazmat suit. Over the rumble of voices, I found out that we were headed to the OR. I was given some nasty sour apple tasting shot to help neutralize my stomach acid so I wouldn’t vomit… during my emergency C-section. Ok, sounds melodramatic to get upset over a C-section, but it was frightening to hear that your son was starting to become unresponsive and that it was a life or death situation. Hmm… that’s pretty scary.
Right before they wheeled me out, Dr. S went, “Stop! Look, his heart is back to normal, he’s good!” Talk about anxiety overload followed by a serious amount of adrenaline pumping through all of us. After the chaos dissipated, Dr. S calmly apologized for startling us, but it didn’t matter to me. Whatever you need to do to save my kid, I don’t care. She checked me again, and by this time I was 5 cm. She told me that if Wes continued to show signs of distress, we will need to still do the C-section, and I entirely understood, though I was still shaking in a panicked state.
By 2:45, things weren’t getting any better. My contractions, though painless to me, were physically noticeable and I could hear Wes’s heart rate drop rapidly. The nurses and doctor came in again and Dr. S checked me and said, “Adrienne, are you ready to have this baby?” Of course I was, thinking that we were headed to the OR. Then, she started talking to me about having a vaginal birth and the room was set up in less than 2 minutes. What!? I was so confused, but apparently in the 45 minutes or so from the major scare, I dilated the rest of the way.
Dr. S said, “Adrienne, you can see your baby’s head. Don’t you feel it?” Honestly, I was feeling so flipping good from the epidural, I didn’t (Thank GOD!). While this was going on, John decided to start taking pictures. Dr. S said, “Dad, put down your camera because you are going to be involved here. Come and see your baby.” Ha! I never witnessed John take orders from anyone, but Dr. S has the way of telling you want to do and you listening.
After going over the routine of how to deliver quick, I began to push. On my third push, Dr. S said, “If you don’t get your baby out on the next push, I will have to use a suction.” Well, that was a fun challenge to me, so I did. I may have ruptured blood vessels in my face, but I did it! Let me tell you, delivery is the easiest part of labor. It took 3-4 minutes, tops.
My boy came out screaming like a champ! I was so proud. I was even more proud by how well John responded to watching the entire delivery. John was so concerned that he would pass out that he refused to watch or cut the cord, but do you know what? He was involved more than I could ever imagine. He was so excited that I became #2 in his life after Wes was whisked away to be checked out. That was the coolest thing ever.
So, all in all, labor and delivery was 24 hours exactly… my labor began 3am Sunday morning and my darling son was born 3am on the dot Monday morning. It was fast, it was painful, and it was worth it!
After the pain of labor I wasn’t able to imagine birthing another baby, but just seeing how awesome Wes is makes me want more. I will never be okay with labor, though. It’s bad. Like, real bad. And I don’t care what anyone tells you, or if you think you’re strong enough, you’re not. Labor sucks and it is the most intense and unyielding feeling you will ever feel without dying afterwards. Yes, it IS that bad.