Tuesday, January 14, 2014

And then it was time...(Birth Story Part 1)

At my 39 week appointment (Thursday 1/9) I was a little disappointed to hear that though I was dilated to 3cm already, my cervix was still high and back.  I hadn't felt any contractions yet, or at least not that I was aware of, and aside from losing my mucus plug several days earlier, I wasn't having any signs of labor, but my doctor was hopeful that things would progress.  She stripped my membranes which just felt a bit uncomfortable but nothing new in that department and I went for a quick ultrasound with the tech to make sure my fluids were fine and he was in position -- check and check!  As I was about to leave the nurse practitioner, who I saw regularly prior to her going on maternity leave, was back and so we caught up a bit and when I told her about the mucus plug and sweeping the membranes she said she would put money on it that I would go into labor within the next 3 days.

Bob and I were very excited that evening and every time I got up to go to the bathroom he thought it was because labor had begun...only it wasn't.  When I woke up the next morning we were both a bit disappointed that nothing happened overnight.  I continued to bounce around on the yoga ball, ate hot sauce on EVERYTHING, and had several cups of Red Raspberry Leaf Tea with my fingers crossed that we would head to the hospital.  By 9pm (Friday 1/10) nothing new had happened and though I was feeling crampy, no contractions.  We decided to relax on the couch and watch Shark Tank.  My friend had just texted me asking what was up and I had just explained how we were both disappointed but trying to make the best of it when it felt like I was slowly peeing my pants.  I stopped moving around and looked at Bob and said "I think my water just broke".  I headed upstairs and sure enough had soaked through my underwear....so I called my doctor's office to see if I should head to the hospital even though I wasn't having any contractions.  She gave me the green light and I started to panic.  Were we ready for this?!

While I was on the phone with the doctor, Bob was putting things away in our house and tidying up.  Only my husband would clean the house when my water broke and we should've been on our way to the hospital.  Because I wasn't in pain, I stayed in the car with Bob as he parked and we slowly made our way up to the maternity ward.  We went through pre-admissions testing around 10:30pm where they swabbed me to see if it was in fact amniotic fluid and not that I just peed my pants....the swab came back negative :( More disappointment.  The nurse said she would get a resident to come and do an exam to see if I was dilated and take a slide to see if it was amniotic fluid.  The resident confirmed that my water broke but said I was only 1cm dilated, 50% effaced, and baby was at a -2 station.  For those of you keeping track, you need to be at 10cm, 100% and +3 to push so you can imagine how discouraging that was to hear...but I was being admitted which was a plus!  They called my doctor and I was off to a labor room to start my IV with Pitocin to bring along the contractions.


  • 12:15am (Saturday 1/11) and I was officially hooked up and being monitored.  
  • 1:45 contractions began and at this point they felt like very mild menstrual cramps.  Annoying enough that I couldn't really sleep but still very very manageable.  
  • 2:45am contractions were 2-3 minutes apart, lasting 40 seconds, but still a dull pain.
  • 4:00am and the nurse checked me out.  I was 3.80cm dilated.  My cervix was thin and bean's head was low.  The nurse estimated it would be another 10-12 hrs before I would have to start pushing.  The pain was at about a 5 at this point.
  • 5:00am and the contractions are getting worse and worse though they were still about 2-3 minutes apart so I decided to ask about an epidural.  We weren't sure how long it would take for the anesthesiologist so we figured we would ask about it just to prep....well it turns out at 5am not many people are in need of the anesthesiologist so he was available within 10 minutes.....so I got the epidural.  I was so afraid of how much it would hurt and a bit disappointed in myself for requesting one.  I wanted to go as long as possible without it, but if the nurse was estimating I would be in labor for a while longer, I wasn't sure I'd be able to suck up the pain.
  • 6:00am and my MIL was texting Bob to see if she should call out of work so we asked the nurse to check me again.  At this point I was 4cm dilated but things were progressing nicely.  The nurse estimated a later afternoon delivery.  Because I had the epidural I used this time to get some much needed sleep.
  • 8:35am and now I felt like I had to poop.  There was soooo much pressure in my butt that the new nurse (we had a shift change) saw it on the monitor and came in to check me.  I was 7.5cm dilated and she could feel the baby's head so they decided to go ahead and call my dr in.  We were shocked by how quickly I was progressing, but it was great to know that my body was doing what it needed to do.
  • by 9:30 my doctor had arrived and I was feeling so much pressure and thought for sure I was going to poop the baby out. My doctor said I was 8cm almost 9 and it would be at least 30 minutes before it was time to start pushing.  She left the labor room to fill out some paperwork and I began to ball my eyes out.  I couldn't believe that it had progressed so quickly and wasn't sure I would be able to not poop myself.  At this point Bob went into full on coach mode.  He helped me breathe through the contractions and kept me pretty focused.
  • 9:45am and my body was ready to push.  The nurse checked me out and I was 9.75cm dilated and it was basically go time.  The nurses went ahead and paged my doctor.  This is when time sped up.  She put on her scrub cap and gloves.  The nurses moved the labor table closer and began prepping for Bean's arrival.  My legs went up into stirrups and Bob held one while the nurse held the other.  My doctor kept telling me to wait for the contraction to begin, take a deep breath, push like I was pooping and hold it for 10 seconds.  Then release, take another deep breath and repeat.  I did this for what seemed like forever but was really only about 30 minutes.  After the first 5 or so contractions and pushing my doctor had a pep talk with me.  She told me I needed to stop whining and focus, that I couldn't release my breath and stop pushing until 10 seconds was over and to really bear down and push like I mean it.  At this point I wanted to give up...the pressure hurt so much and I didn't feel like I was making any progress.  Thank god for my husband because he was watching while coaching and would give me updates like "I see his hair.  He has a full head of dark beautiful hair."  and "I can see his head, you're almost there."  Hearing this from him in between contractions helped get me through...knowing how much further I had to go.  When I had about 3 big pushes left his head was almost completely out and I had to stop pushing so the doctor could maneuver his shoulders out.
  • 10:15am - Robert Thomas Olson III - "Tripp" - was born.  Everything became very hazy and I started to cry because he was out but not crying.  I thought for certain that something was wrong with my baby because it felt like he had been out for an eternity and still hadn't cried yet -- well it was because his nose and mouth were full of goop that needed to be sucked out.  Once that was done he was happily screaming away.

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