So yesterday my baby girl turned one week old. I’ve come to discover that it’s quite difficult to comprehend how long you’re pregnant for and how quickly, in comparison, you have a baby. I’ve been told by a number of people how lucky I really am, particularly because this was my first baby, that my labor was only 11 and a half hours from the start of my contractions to baby. It’s so crazy that Emma has only been on the outside for just over a week and she’s already just so awesome and I love her more and more every day. Here is how it all went down.
(Warning: This is a lengthy post…and I talk about all sorts of icky things you may not be used to reading about on my blog…where I talk about food. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!)
I woke up at 2:00 AM to pee on Wednesday, June 11th. The day before baby was due. I didn’t notice anything too abnormal at first. I noticed a bit of blood, which everything you read about babies tells you she could be anywhere from an hour to a week away. “No bigsie,” I thought. I got back into bed and my back was bothering me a bit – again – not unusual at this point in time – but I also felt a liiiiitle crampy. Like period cramps. In my brain I was just like “Whateves” and the cramps went away so I just wanted to get back to sleep.
“But wait, did they go away? I think they’re back…no they’re gone…wait they’re back again.” After about an hour of my dazed sleepy brain trying to decided if I did or did not have cramps a light bulb went off “Wait a second…I think these might be contractions.” Johnny was asleep, and it was 3 o’clock in the morning, so I sure didn’t want to wake him if this wasn’t the real deal because he had work to get to. I downloaded a contraction timer app on my phone (sometimes, I love technology) and off I went. Time, time, time.
By 5:30 AM – my contractions were already almost a minute long and five minutes apart. If they stayed that way for an hour, it was time to call the doctor. I nudged Johnny to let him know that…well…I wasn’t sure he was going to get to work today…but to keep sleeping and I would get him up in a bit. I hopped in the shower and my contractions were getting noticeably more achy, but nothing too bad, so after I sat down and ate a tasty filling breakfast – just to be on the safe side. If this really was it, I needed energy and I wasn’t getting it from sleep.
Sure enough, by 6:30 AM, my contractions were still going strong at 1 minute in length and 5 minutes apart. I called the doctor’s office. I’m pretty sure this is how the conversation went:
Lady on Phone with Southerny accent: “Cumberland Valley OBGYN Emergency Services. How can I help you?”
Me awkwardly: “Hi there. How ya doing? I’m…uh…I’m pretty suuure I’m in labor.”
Lady on Phone: “Alright, miss, did your water break.”
Me: “No. At least I don’t think so. But I’m pretty positive I’ve been having contractions since about 2:00 AM, and they’re currently about a minute long and 5 minutes apart.”
Lady on Phone: “Oh my. Alright. I’ll have the doctor call you right away.”
The doctor called me back in about 5 minutes. I said the same thing and was told to head to the hospital to get checked!! Time to wake the hubs!!
We both didn’t really think there was much of a need to rush, what with this being first baby and all, plus I wasn’t in too much pain or anything, so he hopped in the shower. I double checked our hospital bag, made sure we had some snacks and our phone chargers, and off we went. (Obviously, Johnny stopped to pick up a bagel and coffee for himself on the way. Lol. I’m just sitting in the car waiting/having contractions.)
By the time we got to the hospital it was about 7:30 AM. They brought me to a room to check and see how far along I was and I was already 5 centimeters! The nurse, Leah (whose praises I will sing a bit later), was surprised by my progress since when she asked on a scale of 1 to 10 how much pain I was in I said “I don’t know…maybe like a 3 and a half.” She told us she’d be right back with the doctor’s orders to admit me. It was really going to happen today!
So Leah came back and brought us to a Labor and Delivery room. She said the doctor, who let’s just call “Dr. Bologna,” instructed her to get me on some pitocin to get things moving along. When Johnny and I told her that we’d rather avoid pitocin…since I was already 5 centimeters…and really that I wanted a drug free labor and delivery entirely she was all for it. She also reiterated how impressed she was with the fact that I was up walking the halls and not keeling over in pain.
Upon Dr. Bologna’s arrival around 11ish he said his howdy do’s and decided to check me. During this check…he proceeded to break my water…with no warning whatsoever. Needless to say this caught me off guard. I actually teared up a little, not from pain, but because I was so shocked that he didn’t even say “You’re going to feel a warm rush of fluid.” or “I’m going to break your bag.” Nothing. Zilch. Just POP. Good news was, though, that I was 7 centimeters already!! He, too, said he was impressed that I wasn’t showing more signs of misery.
Dr. Bologna: Okay, so do you want any pain meds. You don’t need to be a hero. You need to let us know now and we can get an epidural ready for you.
Me: No thank you. I’d like to keep this as natural as I can.
Dr. Bologna: Are you sure??
Me: Yes. I’m sure.
Johnny: We both really want to try and do this naturally. Jen doesn’t like to take unnecessary medications.
Dr. Bologna (Skeptically): Ooookayyy. Well, let’s get her on some pitocin to move things along.
Johnny: Do we really need that at this point??? She’s already gotten this far, this fast on her own.
Dr. Bologna: Well it will just speed things up and make her contractions more intense.
Me: Can we wait a little longer for it at least??
Johnny: Give us another hour.
Dr. Bologna: Fine. Another hour.
Mind you, the conversation above is all from my memory and not EXACTLY word for word what happened. But you can gather that Johnny and I were both a little irritated at Dr. Bologna’s insistence on the use of any medication during the birth. After he left the room, nurse Leah turned to us and said that she really believed that I could do this on my own and that she would do everything she could to keep Dr. Bologna from using the pitocin and said that – legally – he cannot make us do anything we don’t want to. She said to stand my ground and she would do everything in her power to get things done the way we wanted them unless, of course, there was an emergency. We were totes cool with that. Leah – you are amazing.
So we waited another hour and things were finallllly starting to get painful and much closer together. I hung out in the whirlpool tub a bit, since my water was broken and I just felt like I was leaking while I walked around. The hour flew by and when Dr. Bologna came back to check me at noon he said:
Dr Bologna: Well, you’re at 7/8 centimeters and haven’t really progressed. We need to get you on pitocin.
I was really starting to get pissed off. And I was really starting to feel my contractions more. I was pretty resigned to the fact that this guy wasn’t going to let up. Thank goodness Johnny was able to speak up for me.
Johnny: Look, Jen really wanted to keep this as natural as possible. She’s made it this far on her own. We’ve only been here for 5 and a half hours. Can’t we just wait one more hour?
Dr. Bologna: Well fine then. We can wait an hour and if she doesn’t progress any more we’ll have to give her a cesarean.
Me: What?! No. I would rather have the pitocin than a cesarean.
Johnny: Dr. Bologna, that doesn’t make any sense.
At this point in time, I don’t really remember what words were exchanged. I just know that when he left the room I was so mad, Johnny was even more mad, and I think our nurse Leah was maddest of all. She told us that she thought he was being ridiculous, that my progress was beautiful, and that she knew I was totally capable of doing things on my own. She left the room and told the doctor she wasn’t giving me the picotin. Who knows how that went. When she came back she checked me and I was already at 9 centimeters. I was laying on my side so one side was a bit more dilated than the rest, so she suggest I hop on a birthing ball to let gravity speed things along. I did for what felt like forever and no time at all (Johnny said I was on it for almost an hour. This was the most painful part of the contractions.). She checked me again a little after 1 o’clock. I almost immediately felt the most ridiculous pressure and need to push. She told me I was at ten centimeters and ready to go!
She called the doctor…who took his sweet time to arrive…and 5 sets of 3 pushes later (Johnny said I pushed for 10 minutes ) Emma was here!!! They plopped her beautiful little self right on my belly and she hung out there while the doc stitched me up, as I tore a wee bit. I genuinely think getting the anesthetic down there was the most painful part of the whole day. I’m not joking. That was awful. But at least I had my beautiful baby girl snuggled up on my chest and my incredible husband by my side to make me feel better.
The doctor congratulated us both and let me know how happy he was I had proven him wrong. You’re welcome, sir, that’s what this was all about. *sigh*
And now, the fun part, PICTURES!!! These are all from the day after she was born, and she is the cutest little thing I have ever seen in my life. Sure, I’m biased, but I don’t care. I made her. I love her. And here she is with her family!