5:56am We arrived at the hospital and check in.
6:17am The nurses hooked up IV in left forearm (no thumb, yay!).
7:25am Induction began (Pitocin) – 4 mL/hr
7:30am Began feeling cramping, but that may have been jitters or just the cramping I had been feeling the entire week before.
8:00am Food service brought coffee, juice and broth, what a nice change from previous labors where only ice chips are allowed!
8:50am The OB checked me and I was 2.5cm, -2, 90% effaced.
9:00am Contractions every 3 minutes apart and stronger. Even without an epidural, moving around is a challenge. The nurse is needed to handle the IV and monitoring plugs. By this point, I’m doing well with breathing through contractions and focusing. Pitocin increases by the nurse at a linear rate of +2 mL/hr every 15 minutes. 20mL/hr is max unless doc’s approval to go up to 30ml/hr.
9:30am The Pitocin is at 18ml/hr. I’m still at 3 minute intervals for contractions.
9:45am The Pitocin is at the maximum of 20mL/hr.
10:00am My contractions are every 2.5 minutes.
11:05am The OB checked and I was 3cm, -2. Which she checked me, the doctor broke the bag of water.
11:15am The pressure near where the head was located became strong during contractions. Top of uterus not as bad. The contractions are now 2 minutes apart.
12:10pm The nurse checked me and I measured 4-5 cm, -1 and 100% effaced. I was feeling strong pain with the 2 minutes between contractions. Nurse Karen helped me move to lay on left side to ease pain some with a peanut shaped ball between my knees. By this point, I wondered if I could do it without an epidural. The pain was very intense and I could barely relax my muscles during a contraction. I just had to close my eyes to focus on breathing and relaxing my body through the strong pain.
12:30pm Still very strong, some pain between contractions. I asked to be flipped back to laying on my back.
12:48pm I measured 6cm, -1 with contractions every 1.5 minutes. The pain was terrible at this point and even checking my dilation was terrible. I felt like there was only 20 seconds between contractions ending and another one beginning. Hearing that I was just 6cm made my mental state drop down and I could barely focus on the task at hand any more. I think hearing the number 6 seemed just SO far away from 10 that I felt like I couldn’t do it.
12:50pm Only one more contraction happened and I requested epidural – I really didn’t think I could handle it any more. By this point, I felt like I couldn’t do it. I had my eyes closed for a good 40 minutes in hopes of focusing and keeping my mental state with a positive focus. But by this time, I could no longer handle the pain and with my eyes closed I requested the epidural. I even asked, “Is it too late?”, but they said it wouldn’t hurt to try.
1:00pm The anesthesiologist came in to ask questions and give me warnings of epidural – This was the only time I opened my eyes, but only briefly until another contraction came.
1:09pm I measured 9cm, 0, 100%. They tried administering the epidural right after they checked me. They moved me straight from being checked to sitting on the edge of the bed and I leaned my head on Logan’s shoulder. My eyes were still glued shut and I was making lots of noise through the contractions. I remember occasionally actually registering that Logan and Nurse Karen were telling me to breathe. At one point, I remember Karen getting my attention and showing me how to breathe. That’s how tuned-out I was. It felt like the contractions were only giving me a break for 5 seconds. I remember feeling the need to push at every contraction while sitting there, my hands bracing the bed below me, my head leaning on Logan’s body. Every contraction, I remember feeling a huge gush of water come out and felt as though I had pooed on the bed below me (hence my instinct to hold myself up off the bed). Come to find out, that was her head crowning.
While, I was mid contraction during all of this craziness, for some miraculous reason, I shouted with all of strength, “get the mothers!”. I had asked my mother and mother-in-law to witness the birth back when I first got pregnant. I guess I instinctively knew this was it and knew the mothers were about to miss it because they had been asked to wait in the hall while I got the epidural.
As soon as the anesthesiologist got the catheter in my back placed, they helped shift me to laying down, feet in the stirrups. My eyes were sealed shut and I was in constant pain. I can hardly remember anything at this point. Logan and our mothers said there was a massive crew in the room by now, everyone frantically getting ready for delivery.
1:20pm The pain was insane (obviously I was 10cm, 100% effaced and +3 by now) and all the sudden, my OB asked me, “Can you give me a push?” I started pushing and it was an immediate relief. I could feel every part of her body.
1:21pm It only took one push and the baby was born. I couldn’t stop crying and I still couldn’t open my eyes. The doctor said, “It’s a girl!” and I remember Logan whispering in my ear, “A girl! You did a great job! I love you.” They immediately put her on my chest and I could feel her, but I still had my eyes closed, crying and still in shock over the pain. I remember quickly opening my eyes when Logan was cutting the cord, but mainly because of the pain the umbilical cord was causing me whenever it moved on the edge of my vagina. I guess it was almost like someone touching a freshly scraped knee. Once the cord was cut, I was still in pain and in the next contraction I delivered the placenta. I did it.
We had a girl. Her name is Blaire Amalie Edwards. Born at 1:21pm on Friday, February 17th, 2017.
About 15 minutes after Blaire was born, the small vial of pain medication that the anesthesiologist administered at the last minute began to kick in. I have to say, it was a nice reward for all of that pain. My legs slowly went tingly and I couldn’t feel pain in my vagina. I didn’t even feel the after birth cramping while in the labor and delivery room. We stayed in the large labor and delivery room until I could feel my legs again…about 5 hours later.
Once Blaire had finished her first skin to skin feeding (about an hour after she was born), the pediatric nurse came in to weigh and measure her. Everyone guessed she’d be bigger than her brothers (and she did let out two giant pees before the weighing), but she weighed 8 lbs 2 oz…the smallest of all of my babies. She measured 20 inches long. She was perfect.
After most of our visitors had left and I could feel my legs again, they moved us to our postpartum room where we stayed until Blaire was 24 hours old. She passed all of her tests and we were home by 4:30pm on Saturday.
It’s been 17 days since Blaire was born and so far she’s been a wonderful baby. She’s been sleeping like a champion and daintily sipping milk…so different from my ravenous boys. My recovery has been the easiest yet, which I’ve very thankful for. The cramping I felt during breastfeeding while in the hospital during that first 24 hours was quite painful, but since coming home, it’s negligible any more. The first week, I had a lot of back pain that seemed to radiate towards my front (located in the middle of my back). The only thing I can think of was that it was caused by being so tense during labor. It almost felt like I had been in a car accident.
We’re happy and healthy and getting used to being a family of five! Thank you for all of your well wishes!