After Thursday’s excitement, Friday was uneventful in the contraction department and Saturday started out the same. Early in the day we decided to run some errands to hardware stores and around 2pm I started feeling some occasional painful contractions. We arrived home around 2:30, so after putting the girls down for naps I whipped out my phone and started timing them. For about an hour they started coming 3-4 minutes apart- I thought this could be it but wasn’t sure if it was another false alarm. During this time Tim was out in the backyard ripping out a small jungle that had taken up residence; I figured I should let him know what was going on in case the contractions amped up. I can’t quite remember all the details of the next few hours, but somewhere in there I showered, the girls woke up from their naps, we ate leftovers for dinner, AND the contractions slowed down. I was so frustrated and could not believe this could be another instance of false labor!
I knew staying active might help move labor along, so what better time to change our sheets and finally put that dust ruffle in place? It helped! The contractions started getting closer together and at this time were pretty painful and intense; deep breathing and closing my eyes to focus and shut everything out helped me to get through them. Tim encouraged me to call the on-call doctor (same doctor who was at the hospital before- I wanted to tell her, I promise you this time it’s real!), and thankfully she told me to head to the hospital to get checked.
We really don’t live that far from the hospital but every.single.route. to get there is 25 mph and littered with stoplights. It felt like it took forever! The funny thing is, later my mom said the same thing about the drive to our house, since she and my dad were coming from across town and had the same route predicament. About 10 or 15 minutes later we reached the hospital (parking right out in front of the Birthing Center- best thing ever!!) and I decided I could walk inside (worst idea ever).
Around 8 pm we checked in, I changed, and my nurse asked if I wanted an epidural- um, YES PLEASE and stat. She checked to see how far I had progressed and told me I was dilated 8 cm- huge sigh of relief! Part of me was nervous that it would be too late for an epidural but thankfully there was still time. She also told me labs would need to be drawn before I could have the epidural but that it should only take about 15 minutes total to collect the blood and receive the results. You know, harking back to my limited experience as a hospital nurse and all the times I had to wait for lab results of patients to come back, I thought that time estimate sounded a little too good to be true but I was sure hoping she would be 1000% right. (Insert laughter here.)
Not long after I was placed on the monitor someone from registration came in the room. My feelings about the “ask a woman having contractions many registration questions” process emulate Michael Scott’s overall feelings toward Toby Flenderson.
Next, my nurse inserted my IV, drew my blood, and started the antibiotics- this was around 8:30 pm. Meanwhile the contractions kept coming and it was difficult to “deal” with them while having to lie in bed. The pain-free time between them was such a needed respite that when they came one on top of the other it left me wiped out. I squeezed Tim’s hand every time (he was so great through it all) and just tried to deep breathe through them while praying “Jesus help me!” over and over in my head. I tried to think of special intentions to pray for, but with each contraction calling on Jesus was about all I could muster.
The time crept on and my nurse came in to tell me the anesthesiologist was waiting outside but that my lab results still hadn’t come back. At this point I was tossing and turning a bit with every contraction. Mentally I was done and just wanted to pain to do something! Bring the baby, dissipate…just something other than continuous waves of pain in my midsection. Sometime after 9 pm my nurse came to the room and said my lab results were back and looked good…but that the anesthesiologist was in another room. Gah!!!!
Finally around 9:30 I got the blessed epidural. During it I wanted to smack the anesthesiologist, though (pain talking!). Obviously her job involves constantly dealing with disgruntled people in pain, right? But, man alive, going through contractions is no piece of cake, either, and after she reiterated over and over how I could.not.move. during the procedure all I could do was focus on breathing through the freaking contractions and NOT MOVING, so when she kept insisting on verbal confirmation from me during different points in the procedure I kept thinking, “Hey lady, you’re asking a little too much!”.
Anyway, the epidural insertion went smoothly but I was told it would take about 20-30 minutes for the anesthetic to take effect!! My nurse checked me after I laid back down and said I was at 9 cm; at this time I was also put on oxygen since the baby’s HR started to dip and didn’t improve with repositioning (oxygen masks- not a favorite). Slowly I started to feel the edge of the pain going away and sometime after 10 pm I realized I couldn’t feel any pain at all. My doctor came in to break my water and not long after she had me try a practice push. I could not feel my legs at all and started praying to St. Jude because I had no clue how I was going to push this baby out. I went ahead with the practice push and my doctor immediately told me to stop because the baby was coming! Four pushes later Heidi Josefina made her grand arrival! My heart stopped a little when she didn’t cry for several moments but then she gave a hearty wail and I was able to hold our precious bundle…who promptly urinated on me, but incontinence gets the best of us, I guess.
The girls were so cute when they first met Heidi:
And Audrey’s reactions were my favorite:
Little Heidi is a sweetheart and we love her!
Oh, and I feel like I should add that I had a great experience with the hospital staff and received very good care throughout my stay. Hope I didn’t sound too negative. :)