Alright, let’s finish up this crazy story, shall we? It’s a bit long, so bear with me!
Starting up from where we last left off…at this point, I had just been told the news that I was only dilated a mere 3cm. This was incredibly frustrating because I had wanted so badly to be able to hold off on getting the epidural until I was farther along. This meant that now that I had the epidural, I was confined to my bed for the remainder of labor.
Granted, with the intensity that my labor had increased to, there’s really no way that I could have continued along without getting the epidural. The Pitocin had been upped so high that it was doing a number on my contractions. Seriously…anyone who’s able to manage Pitocin without an epidural is seriously Super Woman.
So I later found out, once my body was done hating me, that is, that the doctor had actually stopped my Pitocin at some point during the crazy contractions. Now, once I was stable in bed with no pain, they decided to go ahead and start the Pitocin back up again, starting at a level 2.
The next few hours went by fairly uneventfully. I fell in and out of sleep a few times, as did our parents (Jay told me he never wound up sleeping and was by my side the entire time). At one point, they had my Pitocin up to a level 7, but the nurse came in and seemed concerned. Apparently, the babe wasn’t liking the Pitocin at a level 7 and his heart rate was dropping pretty low.
At this point, the doctor came in and told me that she thought it would be in the best interest of the baby to have internal monitoring…and, once again, I started to cry. All I could remember was the teacher at our childbirth classes saying how the internal monitoring was much more invasive of a procedure, and I was so scared to have to put him through that (they basically stick a monitor internally through me to track his heart rate right to the top of his head). My doctor assured me, however, that it was the best thing for the baby so of course I agreed to it.
So now, I had my Pitocin, the epidural, and internal monitoring going up through my hoo-ha. Around this time, things start to all blend together for me, so I may have some of my memories out of order slightly, but I believe at this point I got another internal exam…at least, they were trying to…
The first nurse was having trouble checking for my dilation because of the monitor that was in the way and she didn’t want to disturb the baby, so she wound up getting a different nurse to check me. This nurse was able to do what she needed and she said that I was probably at about 6cm at this point. Okay, making progress.
My doctor came in shortly after that and mentioned that she wanted to try one more procedure to help get things moving along; this involved having a saline solution injected directly into my uterus in an attempt to “flush it out” (when my water broke, we discovered that the babe had had his first bowel movement in utero, but it seemed small enough to not be an issue).
The saline solution was no big deal, and I couldn’t feel anything with that. Around this time, I noticed my epidural wearing off a bit, so the nurse was able to up the dosage a bit. I’m pretty sure there was a little more napping on and off for the next couple of hours before I wound up getting another internal exam. It must have been around 10pm or so, and the doctor said that I was at about 9cm. Nine centimeters!!
She said that the right side of my cervix was less dilated than the left, so she suggested I roll over to my right side in an attempt to change that. Another hour or so probably went by when I started noticing some intense pains in my left side and into my lower abdomen…apparently, the epidural was all running down to my right side since that’s how I was laying, and away from my left side. So now, I was suddenly experiencing contractions once again.
At around 12:30am, I can distinctly remember laying on my side and telling Jay that he needed to have everyone leave the room (our parents were all in and out of our delivery room during down times). I started feeling really uncomfortable and wanted to be checked again. Shortly after, the doctor came in and said, “Well, no wonder you’re feeling that way…he’s right there! It’s time to push!”
So, push we did! Honestly, the pushing part was probably the least of my struggles throughout the whole experience. I could feel a little bit, but most of my epidural was still okay so my comfort level was pretty good. I had Jay right by my side, and he was incredibly motivating, as was my nurse and doctor. At one point, after his head was out, my doctor asked me if I wanted to touch it. At first, I was like, whaaaaaat!? But I reached down and I did it…and it was probably the most motivating thing I’d had all day.
Since I couldn’t feel all of my contractions, I asked the nurse to tell me when she saw one coming on the monitor so I could start pushing. I don’t know if it was the drugs, the excitement, or what, but I actually wound up laughing throughout parts of my pushing, and my doctor kept telling me how I was one of the most fun deliveries she’d had. Awww, shucks!
I wound up doing three rounds of about 3-4 pushes each time, and within a half hour, our little man arrived at 2:10am.
Talk about a surreal experience. Here I was, with this teeny tiny human being on my chest, and my amazing husband looking over me, both of us with tears in our eyes. He was really here! He was really our son!
At this point, as you know, “Baby Tooth” did not yet have a name. But it didn’t take us more than a couple of minutes to decide that our little man was most definitely a Lucas (for those of you who were wondering, our other contender was Gavin).
After some skin to skin time, they took Lucas to the other side of the room to take care of his measurements and whatnot.
After that is a little blurry, but I eventually wound up with Lucas back in my arms while the nurse took care of paperwork and Jay sat nearby.
Suddenly, I felt like I was getting hit by a MAC truck. My head was pounding and I became incredibly nauseous. Thinking it may have something to do with the fact that it had been almost 24 hours since having anything other than Italian ice or jello, I decided to try eating a couple of Kashi crackers. Within minutes though, I knew I was going to get sick. I asked someone to quickly take Lucas and then proceeded to get sick a couple of times. Good lord, did I feel like absolute garbage (then again, after getting pumped with so many different drugs for that long, I wasn’t surprised).
Once I was feeling a bit more stable, we invited our parents and my brother in to meet our little man, and everyone was immediately smitten with him.
Eventually we were brought up to a regular recovery room, and that’s where we stayed for the next two days, constantly speaking with doctors and nurses at all hours of the day and night. We had plenty of incredible visitors who were all so excited to finally meet the little man that we had been waiting so anxiously for for the last 41 weeks.
So while I may have had to endure 18 hours of labor and some of the most intense pain I’ve ever experienced…it was all totally, 100% worth it.
And I would do it again in a heartbeat to be able to see this sweet little face in the end.
The following Monday, we were discharged and it was time to head home!
And now, here we are already almost two weeks later. Man, you guys weren’t kidding when you said that time would be flying by!
So if you’ve made it to this point in the post, props to you. It was a long one, but I guess that’s what happens when you have a long labor and delivery story to tell.