Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The not so Ugly Truth....labor and delivery

So several of you keep asking me for the gory details of my experience with labor. I have say that I was pleasantly surprised...it wasn't the horror story or war zone I had pictured in my head. In fact, it was overall a wonderful experience.

I guess technically things started at 5:30am on Monday April 12th...I woke up early with some contractions, but they weren't steady and stopped by 7:30am so I went ahead and got ready and went into work. I had several more throughout the day, but again I had been having contractions for weeks so I thought nothing of it. I worked the full day and went home to take a nap, because I had only slept about 2 hours that night. Around 6:40pm I was abruptly woken from my nap with a more intense contraction...I decided to try to go back to sleep, but then another one came on just a few minutes later. They are strong enough that it made me think to myself, "Self, you should probably time these." I crawled out of bed, groggy, hungry and went into the kitchen where Chris was about to grill up some burgers. I told him, "Hey, I don't really think so, but this baby could come tonight...these are pretty strong pains." He asked if he should keep cooking the burgers and in true Alicia fashion I replied with - Um, yes I never skip a meal!

I started timing the contractions and they were 4 - 5 minutes apart right out of the starting gate. I was told my OB that they had to be 5 min. apart or less for at least an hour before calling in so I ate dinner, and a tasty toblerone candy bar. They were coming steadily and closer together, but I was still afraid it was false labor so literally I took a shower, got dressed, made the bed, called a couple of friends and let 3 hours pass before Chris finally said, CALL THE DOCTOR.
I called up and of course the doctor on call is the one doctor in my practice that I don't like and she told me to come in. We started on our way to the hospital and arrived about 9:45pm.

They hooked me up to the contraction monitor and the fetal heart rate monitor and checked my progress. I was 4 cm dilated with "a bulging bag of waters." In short they told me I would be having this baby within the next 24 hours and I wasn't go anywhere.
I went ahead and called my family to let them know it was go time and Chris called his and the rest started to go by very quickly.
About 11:00 they came in and hooked up the IV fluids and the port for the epidural. My contractions at this point were about 2 - 3 min apart however once they started the IV fluid my contractions started to slow down just a bit so we waited to turn on the epidural until they were back up. The doctor broke my water once the IV's were in and checked me again and I was 5 cm dilated, 100% effaced and she expected that I would be ready to start pushing about 4:30am. She told me to just try to relax and get some rest if possible. (right......)
Well about 2 min after she broke my water the contractions came with a vengeance! I was literally gripping the side of the bed in pain - so I called in the nurse to turn on the epidural. She said within 30 min. I should be feeling no pain and good to go......well 30 min. came and went and the pain only grew stronger. I was started to literally freak out that the epidural wasn't going to work - I had read horror stories about this online and knowing my luck it would happen to me....So the L & D nurse came back in and I told her it wasn't working so she sent the anesthesiologist back in with an extra shot of the epidural to give me. Once she gave me the extra shot within 10 min. I couldn't feel my contraction pain anymore....so it is now 1am and I am comfy and thinking I have 3 1/2 more hours to just wait.

Chris and I killed time by playing scrabble - texting friends, watching crummy TV shows and hanging out. Then at 2 am - just an hour later - our awesome L & D nurse, Christy came back in and checked my progress - I was already 10 cm dilated. She said she was going to call the doctor to come back up and that I could either start pushing in about 15 min or wait a while until the baby had dropped down a little further....I opted to wait so I wouldn't have to push as long.
So an hour and a half later at 3:30am I started pushing. I am not gonna lie and tell you that it wasn't miserable at this point, but it wasn't fun...it was exhausting and although the epidural had gotten rid of most of my pain - it never made me fully numb and I was in some pain still. I pushed for about 30 min. and we realized that the baby's heart rate was dropping between contractions and she wasn't moving past my pelvis...so they called the doctor in and she informed me they were going to have to use forceps to assist in getting Miss Blake out.
This completely freaked me out when all I saw were these giant salad tong looking things hanging out of me, but I was ready to stop pushing at get her out. I had to push thru 2 more contractions and then the little monkey was out! That was it....less than an hour of pushing - minimal pain...no tearing....and our precious baby girl was here.

In short - the pain was minimal, the labor wasn't long and the recovery was quick....I would definitely do it again for such a wonderful result.

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