Let's see, where did we leave off in part 1!?
My water had, to our surprise, broken naturally around 1am, and they started me on the Pitocin not too long after! I was able to sleep for a little bit until around 3:30am when the pain got to the point where I asked for pain meds to help with contractions...#noshame. Clearly, I was not going to be one of those supermoms who can labor without anything to help in the pain department! The meds knocked me out, and I was able to sleep until around 7:45am, when my mom arrived (with breakfast for Kyle...at least someone got to eat their promised breakfast!). Shortly after, my contractions really started to pick up, but I wasn't 4cm dilated, so I couldn't get the epidural just yet, which was not welcomed news considering the Pitocin made my contractions really painful, even with the pain meds.
Luckily, around 9:50am I was finally ready for the epidural. I always thought that I would at least try to wait until the very last second to get the epidural (and maybe even hoped that I would be able to deliver without having to get one!), but let me just tell you-- it was the best decision I ever made! I instantly felt so much better, and I was able to enjoy some labor-approved food--a popsicle, some beef broth, and some applesauce, courtesy of the "Coaches Corner" (which was a place where your peeps, aka the "Coaches" could go to get things needed to help make your labor as pleasant as possible!). And, I'm pretty sure within 10 seconds of eating I was fast asleep. I do think I remember seeing another very flattering snapchat that Kyle sent me right when I first dozed off--mouth open and everything. Remind me that next time I deliver I would like to hide his phone and revoke all camera privileges during the labor portion!
The rest of that morning and afternoon seemed to go by quickly--at least from Kyle's perspective since I don't remember much at all! We got into a nice little routine of rotating from side to side (since they didn't want me sleeping on my back with the epidural) as I continued to doze while Kyle and mom kept a close eye on the monitor to watch my contractions (since I couldn't feel them...thank you modern medicine!).
Late afternoon the epidural started to wear off, and I was experiencing excruciating pain in my back as Oliver was pushing down on my sciatic nerve. Honestly, I feel like I've had some experience with pain before and this pain was on a different level. Poor Kyle and my mom were killing their arms trying to fan me with each wave of pain, and I finally begged for an update to my epidural, which they administered around 4:45pm. I have to brag on the anesthesiologists at my hospital-- other than the first shot of the epidural I was sobbing when they entered my room, and all three of them were so incredibly kind and encouraging!
As soon as the epidural top-off started kicking in I felt so much better and the back-pain was miraculously gone. I was told that I was 7cm dilated, and I remember Kyle, mom, and me excitedly thinking that Oliver would be here by that evening at the rate I was moving! We tossed around guesses-- maybe 9pm, 10pm by the latest!
Spoiler alert--we were all wrong!
And guess what came back-- the terrible, terrible back pain-- followed by sobbing and begging the nurse for another top off of the epidural, which I got!
Which seemed to be the theme of the night-- back pain, epidural, amazing relief for about an hour/hour & a half. repeat. It was miserable until it wasn't. And then it was again!
The next thing we remember was getting checked and being told that we were 9cm and plus 1 (which has to do with where the baby's head is), which was just shy of the 10 cm and plus 2, which is what they want you to be when you are ready to start pushing.
Meanwhile, all of our family had started to trickle in and were starting their own little party in the waiting room! Kyle's parents, his brother, and his brother's girlfriend, as well as my dad, grandparents, brother, and sister-in-law were all there!
But first, more back pain! Followed by, you guessed it, another top-off of the epidural. ;)
The surprising part was that the contractions were hardly an issue for me and were totally doable for me to labor through, but the back pain was a different story. I could tell a huge difference (and so could Dr. Schenkman) when I tried to push while having the back pain versus when I pushed without the back pain. While these tops offs of the epidural were doing wonders for pain relief, it really took a toll on my labor progression, and my contractions slowed back down to 5 minutes apart. But, because it was so clear the difference the epidural top-offs made for me as far as pushing, they kept allowing me to get them (even though I think they normally would discourage getting so many!).
I had my last epidural top-off and was ready to do the final round of pushing started a little before 2:30am. Because of how long it was taking and because we were afraid the back pain would come back again (and I was so exhausted) they decided to use a vacuum.
The hospital's procedure for vacuums called for a team from the NICU to be present to examine the babies right after they are delivered. Which meant that I now had about 9 other people in the room. And just imagine, the awkward silence and avoidance of eyes as we waited the 5 minutes between contractions for me to push and Dr. S to use the vacuum. But, at that point, I was too tired to care.
The rest of my delivery story gets a little too intense to go into a lot of details-- and trust me, I think those 30 or so minutes, it is safe to say, will be engrained in Kyle and my's memories forever (so no need to document!).
I will say that the vacuum popped off twice and since you can only use the vacuum 3 times, Dr. S decided not to try a 3rd time, and I finally was able to push enough to deliver our precious baby boy at 3:03am after over 3 hours of pushing and 31 hours of labor altogether! I could not have done it without my two amazing "coaches"-- Kyle and my mom. They were truly such rockstars!
Words will never be able to capture the relief and joy we felt seeing Oliver for the first time and knowing that he was finally here! I just kept saying over and over again, "I did it, I did it" and Kyle and my mom and I were just a tearful mess as Kyle cut the cord.
Oliver had to be handed over to the NICU team right away, and I wanted Kyle to be with him while they checked him out, and my mom stayed with me. Poor little guy had cuts on his head (and a cone head!) from the vacuum but luckily was fine otherwise and was able to come do a little skin-to-skin time with me. This was a moment I had dreamt about for the longest time, and it makes me so sad that I don't remember more about it as I was just in a daze because I had lost a lot of blood (4 units...in normal deliveries you lose about 1 unit). Kyle says that he remembers me being in a lot of pain but then instantly just smiling when they put him in my arms. I didn't get to hold him for long because of the condition I was in, but I am so grateful to the doctors and nurses who recognized the importance of this moment and let us have it for the brief time that they felt comfortable allowing.
|Kyle showing my grandparents a picture of Oliver!|
They did let Kyle's dad come into a little room off to the side of ours to briefly meet Oliver since he had to leave town.
Thank you, Lord, for watching over Oliver and me as I brought him into the world! Thank you for this beautiful baby boy you have blessed us with. Thank you for surrounding us with people who love and support us and who do the same for our son. Thank you for helping me to trust in your plan!
Oliver, the day you were born is the most special day of our lives. There is no way for us to describe just how much we love you! We are so blessed to be your parents!
Here is the video Hanna made-- she did an amazing job capturing so many special moments, and Kyle and I cry every time we watch it!