So, Mitch and I get to the hospital at 4 a.m. We enter through the Emergency entrance because the main doors are still locked for the evening. A nice young lady directed us to the elevator and up to the 3rd floor. Then from there Mitch and I kind of had to find our own way. I never took the prenatal classes that the hospital offered, and thus, never had a tour of the maternity floor. Despite not knowing where exactly we were going, and despite having contractions every 3-4 minutes Mitch and I were in great spirits.
Finally, a nurse saw us and got us settled into the labour and delivery room. I changed into the hospital gown and then she hooked me up to the monitor for 20 minutes. Baby's heart rate was great and my blood pressure was fine so she unhooked me from the monitor and left. Mitch and I didn't really know what to do next haha. The nurse never really gave us much direction so I decided I'd pretend I was at home... That I'd do what I would be doing if I were at home in my room, rather than the cramped, small L&D room.
The next few hours were spent with me standing up and swaying, or sitting down and rocking.... Just riding each wave of uncomfort. At 6:30ish I started to feel like the contractions were painful not just uncomfortable. The pain wasn't too bad... old sports injuries were much worse.
It wasn't long after 6:30 that the nurse came and hooked me up to the monitor again. She asked me if I was having to breathe through the contractions yet. I told her that yes, I was breathing through most of then. About 10 minutes later (but felt like forever since I had to sit still in bed and couldn't get up and move), she came back and unhooked me. She said, "Oh you're just having some mild contractions right now, I'll be back later." I remember feeling so mad at her. " How dare she say these are mild contractions?! "
Mitch and I turned the TV on but I really din't remember what we watched. By this time I was so focused on each contraction. Again, I just alternated between standing up and swaying, and sitting on the edge of the bed rocking.
At 7:50 Mitch got up to use the bathroom. The contractions I had when he was in there were the worst. Apparently, Mitch knew things were picking up because instead of hearing me do my usual sounds on a simple, I ended up making a faint "hoo" sound. All I remember was trying to get comfortable... I couldn't sit because it hurt too much, and I couldn't stand either. Mitch came out of the bathroom as I was trying to sit on the edge of the bed, and as I let out another little "hoo" because the pressure was just too much. As I went to sit... POP, my water broke all over the sheets. It was 7:50 a.m.
Mitch spoke up so the nurses would hear him, "Excuse me nurse, her water just broke". I looked at the bed quickly before heading to the bathroom and saw the fluid was green-tinged, not clear. I felt so disappointed and worried that the meconium would hurt the baby... And possibly lead to a c-section if I couldn't get him out. But I made my way to the toilet so that the test of the waters would go there. The nurse came into the room... It was a new nurse (a much nicer one); there had been a shift change.
As I sat on the toilet the pressure as really bad and I said, " It feels like he's coming out!" When I said that another nurse came in and helped to get me back to the bed... the other nurse stripped the bed and put new sheets down. Then they checked me and said, "you're ready, you are a 10!"
Then things got a little panicky feeling... Not for me but for the nurses. The doctor hadn't arrived yet. She was stuck in traffic. The nurses told me not to push... to wait until the doctor arrived. I told them, "I can't help it!" but I did try my best to not push so that I could give my perineum time to stretch, open, and adjust.
The doctor arrived at 8:05, and introduced herself as she got gowned and into position. She was so nice and despite the situation was very calming. She obviously didn't have time to read my birth plan but someone must have filled her in on the way because she was on the ball... she mentioned she was not a fan of episiotomies either, no pitocin, delay cutting cord, and a few other "top priorities" of mine. She did tell me that since the baby pooped inside and the amniotic fluid wasn't clear, they would have to pay extra attention to his breathing. If he cried right away then everything would be fine and he could do skin-to-skin immediately. However, if he didn't cry they'd have to hand him to an awaiting doctor (who was standing in the corner of the room). I prayed right then and there that he'd be ok.
Finally by 8:10 we were good to go. I was able to push. I remember one nurse telling me to "push through the pain". That phrase really helped me. Whenever it would start to really hurt I tried to push harder and the baby moved down farther. Well it only took about a dozen pushes before our little Luke was born.
At 8:34 Luke arrived with a big cry. They lifted my son onto my chest and within seconds he had latched on to have his first feeding. He was so warm and precious... even though he pooped on me :) Mitch and I thought we would cry the minute we saw him, but we didn't. As Luke nursed away, I looked up at Mitch and we both just smiled at each other, in awe of the blessing that was in my arms.
I don't really remember exactly what the doctor said to me but it was something along the lines of--- placenta breaking down so they couldn't wait to cut the umbilical cord. Mitch got to do it :) I was a little disappointed that it had to be cut so soon since I had read about how beneficial it can be to wait until it stops pulsing etc. But I figured if that was all that had gone "wrong" I was one lucky mama.
I lost quite a bit of blood before the placenta was birthed... Which came within a few short minutes. Thankfully the bleeding stopped on its own soon after so I didn't have to have a shot of pitocin. Hallelujah for the 100% drug free, natural birth that I wanted!
I did have to have some major repairs done "down below. I ended up withe a 3rd degree tear... Which basically is the 2nd worst kind of tear you can get (there are only 4 degrees). So the gynecologist came in and worked away at me for nearly 45 minutes, and then my OB finished up the last of it. The local anesthetic they gave me started to wear off when she came in to finish things up. She asked if i wanted another shot, but said, "you just delivered a big baby without any pain meds, i think you can handle a few short minutes of stitches." To say the least, i didn't opt for more anesthetic.
So for an hour they stitched up layers of tissue, muscle and skin. The time went by pretty fast though because I had Luke nursing away the whole time. He was a great distraction from it all.
Finally it was clean-up time. Mitch and Luke went to the nursery to get all wiped down, weighed and measured. Meanwhile the nurses helped clean me up. I had to stay in the L&D room all morning because they had to wait for my private room to be ready.
Just before it was time to move me a nurse came in to help me try going to the bathroom. Well, I got to the toilet and had a "head rush" (dizzy, seeing stars, etc) and fainted. Mitch was holding Luke and the nurse told him to put the baby down and help her. She told him to push the emergency button and a bunch of nurses showed up just as I came to. I woke up feeling like I had just had the best dream... I felt so rested and relaxed. The nurse got Mitch to help me from the toilet to a wheel chair. Well, I stood up, wrapped my arms around him and fainted again. He was strong enough to take my weight, and when I came to again I was sitting in the wheel chair. Again, I felt like I had the best dream, and was so rested. They wheeled me over to the bed, and Mitch helped me up and into bed. Thankfully no more fainting. For the rest of the day, everytime I stood up I felt the "head rush" feeling so Mitch had to help me to the bathroom all day. I wasn't overly worried about it because being 6'1" I've always had issues with getting the blood to my brain when standing up too fast. But poor Mitch... I'll never forget the looks of concern on his face.
10 and 1/2 hours of labour was definitely not easy. It was hard and fast. But it was SO worth every minute of it. My little Luke is the light of my life. I didn't know it was possible to love a person so much, so fast until he came along. I feel so incredibly blessed to have him here. I feel so incredibly blessed to have Mitch as my husband and for Luke to have him as his Dad. I am so thankful to God for these amazing blessings that He has given me.