Once I was finished showering (I think I stayed there under the water for about 45 minutes), I was checked again. And had dilated to almost 6 cms. Progress! And it then became official that we would be having our baby within the coming hours.
At this point my contractions were becoming too painful for me to breath through and we were waiting on Anesthesia to come around to administer my epidural. It was also shift change at the hospital so my new nurse would be coming around shortly. Since I was only at 6 cms and we knew that it would most likely be early morning before Jonah appeared, my mom and Noah went home. Josh took them back to our house and packed himself some clothes to stay at the hospital while I sat and waited.
I’d already requested a dose of Fentinol to take the edge off of my contractions while I waited on my epidural. Since it was shift change, I had to wait a bit longer than I wanted. And I was hurting. Badly. My contractions were lasting a bit longer (around 60 seconds each) and coming about every two minutes at this point. And I was laboring in my back and my front. Needless to say, the tears started to flow and I wasn’t really able to control them.
With Josh gone to take my mom and Noah back home and the nurse no where to be found, I let the pain and the emotion of the moment take over. And I cried like a nutcase. Around 7:30, my new nurse (the same one we’d met when checking into the hospital that morning) came in with my pain medicine. I remember looking at her and telling her she was my hero.
She hooked me up to the IV to start giving me the saline I was required to have before getting my epidural and then administered my pain medicine. I felt instant relief and a little bit dizzy and fuzzy. The room got a little wavy and I’m pretty sure I started to slur my words together. She checked my vitals and made small talk while we were waiting on the Nurse Anethesist. She came around 7:30 to give me my epidural.
With Noah, I remember that I hadn’t been given any pain medicine to take the edge off before starting my epidural, so I barely even felt the needle and the catheter because my contractions were so painful. This time, the edge was off and the epidural hurt. But, once we got past the initial poke and soreness, and the warmth of the medicine started to sink in, I was golden.
The time between receiving my epidural and about 11:00 is a bit fuzzy. My water broke at 9:00 pm. I didn’t even notice and wouldn’t have had any clue if the nurse hadn’t have come around to check to see how much I’ve dilated. I was at about a 7 when my water broke. The medicine in my epidural made me itch, so the nurse brought me a dose of Benadryl to stop the itching. The Benadryl knocked me for a loop and I could barely keep my eyes open. I slept for about an hour before awaking to some intense pain in my left hip and leg.
Let me say this…those of you who have had children completely natural with no drugs of any kind are my heroes. Because the pain that I experienced from that point on was like nothing I had ever felt before.
I woke up and could barely breath. The pain I was feeling shot straight down my leg and across my left hip and pubic bone. My toes and legs were still slightly numb, but that one spot in my hip wasn’t. I felt everything. And it felt like someone was ripping my hip bone from my body. The contractions were about 2 minutes apart and it felt like I was barely able to catch my breath before another one hit me.
My nurse came around to check and I was 9 1/2 cms. I had to ride it out a bit longer. She gave me oxygen to keep me from hyperventilating, but that wasn’t doing much good either. At 11:30 she put in the call to my doctor. Jonah was still at a -2 station and not ready to engage, but we were out of time. Had I had to labor until he dropped, I’d have probably passed out or would have ended up with a C-Section.
I hit the 10 cm mark and I remember Josh asking me what my pain level was. I said 10 plus. And I told him in all seriousness that they were going to have to get him out. Whether they cut him out or I pushed, I couldn’t keep doing what I was doing. My whole body was trembling from the pain I was feeling; my head was fuzzy and the oxygen wasn’t doing me any good.
Dr. Walters came in about 11:40 and told me that it was time to have our baby. They brought in the delivery tray and got everything all laid out. My right leg was completely useless from the epidural and my left leg hurt so bad in my hip that Josh had to hold it still to keep it from flopping around or else I started to freak out. Even the slightest movement the wrong way sent me spiraling into agony.
The doctor told me that Jonah hadn’t dropped and that she was going to help me push him out. She told me that there was no doubt that I could do it, but that I was going to just have to push through the pain. At exactly midnight, I started pushing. I couldn’t feel much other than the contractions hitting my hip back to back.
Inhale, Exhale. Inhale, Push.
Over and over.
After two contractions I felt him reach the birth canal and the pressure that I remember being so painful with Noah was there again. But, I also knew that meant I was getting close. That he was getting ready to make his appearance. So I kept pushing.
A few pushes later, I hear the doctor tell me to stop pushing. His cord was around his neck and I had to stop mid push. She cut the cord right there and called for help from the other nurses on the floor. Then, she told me to push as hard as I could. So I did.
At 12:15 Jonah was born. But was born silent and non-responsive. The doctor picked him up immediately and carried him across the room. I didn’t hear a cry or a whimper, and he was blue and limp. Not moving at all.
To say that my heart sank is an understatement. Josh was beside me and I could see the concern in his eyes. Jonah’s heart had been beating right before he got too far into the birth canal for us to hear him. But, he still wasn’t breathing. It took a few puffs of oxygen and some rubbing, stirring and poking from the doctor, but I finally heard a whimper. It wasn’t a huge thing, but I felt better.
They worked on him a few minutes and then he started crying. Josh went over and then assured me he was fine. They wiped him down and wrapped him up while I delivered the after birth and all of that gory stuff.
They weighed him at 8 lbs 2.6 ounces and 21 3/4 inches long (which we found out at his first checkup was wrong. He was only 20 inches…). He was awake and breathing and completely healthy.
I had done it. I had pushed baby boy from a -2 station to being born in just 15 minutes. I didn’t tear, didn’t rip, didn’t need any kind of intervention on that end. And baby boy was here.
9 hours and 15 minutes of labor. Nearly half of what it took for Noah to arrive.
All in all, I couldn’t have asked for a better experience…a better doctor, better nurses. Nothing. It was everything we had hoped labor and delivery would be. The team I had surrounding me was fantastic; my doctor was professional and efficient in ways that I can’t even describe. My husband was the best coach EVER. I don’t think I would have made it through that last hour and a half without him. He saw me through the roughest of pain and hardest of contractions. And he kept me calm in those first few minutes when things were shaky with Jonah.
We’re just as smitten and in love with this new baby as we could be. My heart is so full and I can’t even imagine how we got by without this sweet baby boy as part of our family.