Finally, I found time to blog about my full labor and delivery story! It all started after a night trying to induce labor that was full of sex, sitting on the birthing ball, and eating pizza with pepperoni and pineapple.
Later that night, Tarzan and I fell asleep on the couch and love seat in the living room.
At 2 am I woke up to go to the bathroom and there was nothing unusual about that. I woke up again at 4 am to find my panties soaked and a circle of wetness that leaked onto the shorts I was wearing.
Hmm… Could this have meant that my water broke? I wasn’t sure.
I first noticed that it was a clear liquid, so no green there. (Yay!) I took a whiff to see if it smelled like urine and it didn’t. There was actually no smell to it. At this point, I was thinking that all signs were leading to the fact that my water had broke.
Naturally I woke up my husband and told him what had happened. Being that it was 4 am, he asked me, “Are you sure that you didn’t just pee your pants?” I guess it was a fair question, but being that I regularly do not pee in my pants, I told him that I was sure this was something else.
I showed him the leak and then asked him to smell the damage too. (You know I didn’t want it to seem like I was making up crazy things in my head.) He smelled the shorts and agreed that there was no urine smell.
“Should I call my OB now or should we wait until 5 am so she can sleep a bit longer?” Tarzan told me to call her right away, so I did. It’s funny how everything just goes right out the window like that. I mean, I clearly knew that I should call the OB, but my mind went completely stupid in my thinking.
I called the emergency number and was connected to someone who asked me my name and what was going on. I explained that I thought my water had broken. She told me to hold for a minute and then I was greeted by my sweet OB’s voice saying, “Good morning, Jane. You think your water has broken?”
After I told her what had happened, she told me to go to the hospital. I told Tarzan that we needed to go to the hospital & he asked if he had time to shower. I told him that he did and then I just stood there completely frozen. He asked me why I was just standing there instead of getting ready & I told him that I didn’t know. Then I started to cry. It was at this exact moment that I lost it.
He asked me what was wrong and I told him that I wasn’t sure we were ready for all of this: Our life changing right then & there. It was (and still is a bit) scary. He told me that we were ready & we could handle it. Then he told me to finish packing the last minute stuff and he was going to shower.
I didn’t stop to think about how our life was about to change anymore; I just followed what he said and packed. About an hour and a half later, we were ready to walk out the door. Oh. My. Gosh.
Labor At Pregnancy Week 40 Had Started!
At this point I was having contractions and was in pain. The “contractions” that I thought I was having a couple days earlier were nothing compared to these. Those must have been Braxton-Hicks contractions instead. (And it has to be said that everyone is right – You will just know when the contractions are the real thing. I promise.)
Tarzan and I decided to hop on the HOV lane so that we wouldn’t have to deal with morning traffic in Houston. Boy was that not the best plan. There was one car ahead of us that was entering the HOV lane & of course they weren’t even going the speed limit. I think they were driving at 50 mph at the most. So frustrating, especially if you are my husband and you are trying to get your pregnant wife to the hospital in time.
He flashed his high beams & kept the hazards on hoping that the car would pull over and let us past them. They didn’t. It’s like they didn’t get that there could have been some kind of emergency going on behind them.
We made it to the hospital around 6:15 am and went to check in with labor and delivery. We were brought into the labor room and I was told to change into the hospital gown and socks and pee in a little cup. I put on my Hot Mama Gown and started to pee. I was completely shocked to see blood in the toilet and on the toilet paper when I wiped. I did not expect that. Of course I freaked out and asked the nurse, who told me that it was completely normal & nothing to worry about. Whew.
When we got to the hospital it was around the time when the shift ends, so there were three different nurses that talked to us. Tarzan and I just sat on the couch in the room and hung out throughout my contractions. When my nurse finally came in to introduce herself to us, I didn’t like her. At all. She had no personality and this worried me. Also at this point in time I had no idea that she was my private nurse, meaning that I was her only patient and she was in the room with us the whole time. (We’ll call her “Lily”.)
Lily told me to lay down for a minute so that she could get my blood pressure, stats, and baby‘s heart rate. My blood pressure was 104/66 and baby’s heart rate was in the 150′s. I was at a -3 station (ugh) and 2 cm dilated. I for sure thought that I would have better stats after the contractions I was feeling.
She put a belt-like thing across my belly to monitor the contractions and one to monitor the baby’s heart rate. I immediately asked her to turn the baby’s heart rate down so that I couldn’t hear it as much. Even though nothing was wrong with his heart rate, it just overwhelmed me to think about hearing it go down or for something to be wrong. She turned it down, complete with giving me a funny look. Whatever, nurse.
My OB stopped by prior to going to her office around 8 am. I said, “What do you know about this Lily because I don’t like her“. She said, “She is strange, but really good at what she does. Just give her a chance and you’ll be in good hands because she is just down to business.” OK fine.
My OB said that she wanted to start some pitocin if I was okay with that because my contractions were “worthless” at the moment. My OB makes me laugh and that’s why I like her. ”Worthless”… what a way to describe them, right?!
I agreed and she told me that the pitocin would speed things up, so whenever it felt like too much pain I could get the epidural. I told her that I was worried about getting it so early because I didn’t want it to wear off. She assured me that it wouldn’t.
I struggled with the whole getting-the-epidural thing. I felt like I wanted to be so strong and bear out the contractions, but they hurt. Really bad. And yes, I am a big baby when it comes to pain. I had tears in my eyes, but was fighting the urge to give in to the epidural this early on.
Tarzan, my OB, and I talked about it. One of them said, “It’s not like you get an award for seeing how long you can wait. If you are in pain, make yourself comfortable.”
Then it dawned on me… If I was hurting, why would I want to feel the pain? I have said all along that I wanted the epidural & I knew that no one was going to give me a gold star for waiting it out.
I made the decision to go ahead and get the epidural.
The pitocin was started around 9:15 am and the anesthesiologist came in at 9:45 am. Honestly the contractions hadn’t gotten that much worse at this point in time, but nonetheless, I was still in pain and definitely not comfortable.
The anesthesiologist explained the whole process to me and then he gave me the initial shot to numb everything. OUCH!
Of course I jerked my back upright from the relaxed position it was supposed to be in and he told me to just relaxed. As soon I realized that I was still able to move back into the relaxed position I was happy because this meant that I was not paralyzed.
(Dumb, I know, but my biggest fear was that I would jerk back and the needle would go somewhere in my spine & paralyze me.)
After that initial shot, it was smooth sailing from that point on. The anesthesiologist told me that he was finished and I was surprised. The whole process maybe took 2-3 minutes tops. If you are worried about the epidural like I was, don’t be. Just be calm and you will be just fine.
At first my feet were numb and tingling. I hate, hate, hate when my legs fall asleep and this happens. I just kept on thinking “Oh no, I’m going to feel like this for the rest of the day“. I couldn’t really feel anything from my butt down and I didn’t like that too much either.
After an hour or so went by I had feeling again & didn’t feel any tingling. I was able to move my legs and lift my butt off the table. I was so glad that the epidural took away the pain, but still let me have semi-normal feeling in the lower half of my body.
Lily told me that she was going to help “turn” me into different positions about every 2 hours and I told her that it sounded like I was a chicken being cooked. Not the best joke, but the lady didn’t even crack a smile. Okaaay. This was also the time that I learned she was my private nurse and would be with me until the little babe arrived.
How did I find out this information? I asked her why she was always in the room with us. She explained that she was there for me, blah, blah, blah. My initial thoughts about this were not good, but I didn’t focus on that. I wasn’t going to let some nurse with no personality ruin my son’s birth day.
By this time my parents had arrived at the hospital. You would have never known that I was in labor. All four of us were sitting around talking and just hanging out. I was munching on ice chips and we were laughing. It was a great experience for all!
My OB came by around 2 pm to see how things were going. She checked me and I was at 4 cm and -1 station. Lily said that she didn’t think that I would be having the baby anytime soon and that was a bummer to hear, but I took her comment with a grain of salt. I mean, really, she was only making a guess and I was hoping that she was wrong!
My OB said that my contractions still weren’t getting any better and that she wanted to insert a something that would slide by the baby’s head and monitor my contractions from the inside. I asked her if there was any chance that this tube could go around my baby’s neck and choke him and she said no. Then she showed me the actual thing that would be inserted and it was tiny. No big deal.
(And to the few people that said that the tube is inserted into the baby’s head – You are wrong. Perhaps there is some other contraption that can be inserted into the baby’s head, but I assure you that this is not what happened in this case. The tube was next to his head in the tiny area, but nothing, and I repeat, nothing, was inserted, screwed, or whatever word you chose into my baby’s head.)
Anyways, I agreed to this and felt nothing when inserted. This made the “mountains” more mountain-like when measuring my contractions and that was the goal. Lily & my OB were able to monitor the contractions a lot better and I continued to wait and wait.
After I received the epidural earlier Lily inserted a catheter in me. Man, that epidural really works because, again, I felt nothing. The craziest part about having the epidural was that I couldn’t even feel when I was peeing, but Tarzan assured me that the bag was full of urine. So crazy.
Around 3:30 pm I started to feel my contractions. I tried to breathe through them like I was taught, but these were painful. This is about the time that I started to cry because of the pain. I had a patient-controlled epidural button that I could press two times per hour, but had never taken advantage of it. I was seriously considering pressing that damn button at this time. The pain was awful and I wanted relief.
When I started to feel the pain from the contractions, the weather turned really cloudy, dark, and rainy too. Of course that meant nothing, but was cool considering I hadn’t seen any rain in a LONG time here in Houston. After trying to brave out the pain for a few contractions (like every couple of minutes), I opted to press the button. In a short time I felt relief and was grateful. Oh so grateful!
(While I didn’t know it at the time, this would be the only time that I felt pain during my labor and delivery experience. Not too bad if you ask me!)
While feeling the pain from those contractions, I thought of the movie “The Business of Being Born”. After seeing it I felt like I might be open to trying out the next time around. It seemed really empowering to be able to go through labor and delivery without any drugs. And we’ve all heard of the infamous birth orgasms that some have when going natural…
Well I assure you that the next time I am pregnant, I will be opting for the epidural once again. I think it’s so completely awesome and amazing for those ladies who decide to have a natural birth, but there is no way that I could do it. And quite honestly, there is no way that I would even want to try it. I cannot imagine experiencing the amount of pain that is known as childbirth naturally. Again though, props to all of those who are able to wrap their mind around the natural birthing experience and enjoy it! You are awesome and stronger than I am.
Back to my birth story experience…
Labor And Delivery: The True Stories Of Pushing
After feeling relief from the contractions, there was more sitting around and talking. Twittering too! My mom, Tarzan, and myself were all on our phones at one time and my dad made a comment about it. I was glad that Tarzan was twittering everything because I think it’s so cool. Many of you have followed us from the beginning, so it only seemed natural to twitter about my labor and delivery. Plus, what a relief and a great distraction for my husband when he needed one!
Around 5:20 pm my OB came back in to check on my progress. At this time I was seriously hoping for some progress and my goal was to be at least 6 cm dilated. I was crossing my fingers and hoping!
You can imagine how surprised I was to find out that I was 10cm dilated, 100% effaced, and +3 station. It was time to push and this was the real deal. Ahhh! Lily cleared the room of all people except Tarzan and began to get ready.
Thankfully everything was about to happen so quickly so I didn’t have time to start thinking things through. My OB said that she was going to run to her office and grab her things and she’d be right back. Lily taught me how to push. She said that her and Tarzan would each hold a leg during a contraction and that she would count down from 10 to 1 while I pushed.
I will admit that after a few “practice” pushes, I finally got the hang of pushing. I had to take a deep breathe in and then push. I was a little slow initially getting the hang out it, but then it became natural.
I officially started pushing at 5:28 pm. While I was pushing Lily had my right leg and Tarzan had my left leg. I had a washcloth on my head because I was feeling nauseous and my OB… wait for it…
was knitting. LOL.
She was sitting on the couch and cheering me on, all while knitting. Tarzan and I got such a good laugh out of this, by the way!
She said that they could start seeing the head and Tarzan was like “Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh.” She asked me if I wanted a mirror to be brought in to see what was happening and for some extra motivation for good pushes. I agreed.
Suddenly a mirror appeared and I was mesmerized. It was the coolest looking thing ever. Who would have thought that seeing a stretched out vag with a little head poking out would be so cool?!
I was able to see just a little white poke through after each push. It was like one step forward, two steps back with each push, but really cool to see.
Here’s the time when I grew to like Lily. She may not have had the best personality, but she wasn’t there to be my best friend either. She was good at what she was doing and that was worth more than having any kind of a personality earlier in the day.
She would say, “Here’s another contraction. Bear down, bear down, push, push, push, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.” I liked her because she was really helping me and the fact that she lacked a personality went right out the window. She was good at her job and at motivating me and that’s what mattered the most!
After a few times of her talking and counting through my pushes I informed her that she was, in fact, cheating. Lily was cheating with my counting! With all of her talking, there was no way that she should have started counting with a “6″. She would talk for more than four seconds and that meant that I was pushing for a lot longer than ten seconds. I actually got a laugh from her; Lily was coming around!
Finally around 6:30 pm, my OB said that our baby would be born after just another couple of pushes. At this point that was music to my ears. I was ready to be done with pushing and ready to meet my baby boy.
I will also admit right now that pushing is a lot harder than I ever thought. It really takes a lot out of you and just when you feel like giving up, your cheering squad convinces you that you are thisclose and to try just one more time. You naturally give in because you have to – You have a bowling ball appearing out of your vagina and there is no sucking it back up and making it disappear.
At 6:37 pm our little man came into the world.
During that last push I remember Tarzan holding my left leg, kissing my forehead, and saying, “Oh my gosh, Oh my gosh” and he had tears in his eyes. I had tears in my eyes.
We both knew, without saying a word, that our life changed at that moment in time, that it would never be the same. We saw our little boy being born and were both filled of excitement and massive amounts of love for this little being.
Hearing my husband being so vulnerable at that moment is my favorite memory of the day. I saw him in a different light; as a dad now full of love for his wife that just birthed their baby and for his new son that would grow to be his best buddy in the whole world (well, besides me, of course. LOL).
Our son was placed on my chest right after he was born and I think I was supposed to help wipe him off, but I just stroked his foot. And cried. A lot. After 9 months of growing him and wondering what he would look like, it was my reality now. I wanted to take in everything and totally be in this moment. He was so perfect, even though he was full of fluids and other things. I fell in love with him immediately.
Tarzan cut his umbilical cord shortly after and then our baby was taken to a table in the room to be weighed and get his APGAR score. He weighed 7 lb, 12 oz, and was 20.25 in long. His APGAR was a nine. He really was so perfect and alert. He was brought back to me so that I could breastfeed him.
After a short time of breastfeeding, I felt really nauseous. Lily had ordered me dinner so that I would have something and I ate a few pieces of fruit (which reminded me of Tarzan’s baby sizes not compared to a fruit guide for Dads) and a turkey sandwich. I gave the baby to Tarzan and threw up everything I had just eaten.
At this time I had another nurse that was “in charge” of me. She asked me if I wanted some medicine for nausea and I told her that I did. I didn’t think to ask her what she was going to give me or the side effects of said medicine. She put said medicine in my IV and the rest of the night was hazy.
I was so sleepy and was just about knocked out. When I would wake up, I wondered what was wrong with me – Could I really be this tired from pushing? It didn’t seem right, but I figured that it had to be what was wrong.
I woke up in another hospital room, the one that would be our room for the next couple of nights. The room where I got to enjoy meal after meal of the hospital food – which wasn’t too bad actually.
I remember the nurse pulling the tape off of my back from the epidural (ow!) and then she had to fix the tubing on my IV. She was pulling tape off left and right and oh so slowly and was obviously not being too careful since I seemed out of it. I know that I shocked her when I yelled (yes, yelled), “Can you just pull it off fast? By going slow you are hurting me!”
I remember Tarzan saying something about where he was supposed to sleep. Of course I don’t have a clue what the “couch” looked like, but I knew that my husband wasn’t happy with the situation. He asked the nurse if there was any other option available and she didn’t say anything. Then, jokingly, he said, “Can you just bring me lots of pillows and blankets and I’ll sleep on the floor?”
The nurse didn’t catch on to his joke and said that she would. He told her he was clearly kidding. I fell back asleep.
I woke up in another room alone. No flowers. No bags. No baby. No husband. Nothing looking familiar. It was scary, to say the very least.
After a few minutes had passed Tarzan walked into the room. I asked him what was going on. Where was everything? Where were we? Where was our baby? I was so very confused.
He told me that the nurse told him that there was another room available with two beds in it, one for him and one for me. It was a smaller room, but at least he could have a bed. He told the nurse that we would take that room, but asked if she would wait to move me so he could go downstairs and get some food before the cafeteria closed.
Apparently she told him that she would wait, but didn’t actually follow through with her word, hence moving me to another room without him. And after learning that I went to sleep for the night.
When I woke up the next morning I felt like I had a good night’s sleep, but didn’t know why our baby wasn’t with us in the room. I could only recall bits and pieces from the night before (minus delivery, which gladly and thankfully I remembered all of).
Tarzan filled me in with other details and then a nurse came in. I asked her what in the world happened to me. She said that the labor and delivery nurse had given me phenergan and that was why I was knocked out.
Learning the labor and delivery nurse did this pissed me off. I couldn’t understand (and still don’t understand) why in the world a labor and delivery nurse would give me something that would knock me out after throwing up. Why not give me something a lot more mild? Why would she have thought that I wanted to be knocked out instead of getting to know my baby and getting to spend the first night together?
I guess I can’t put all of the blame totally on the nurse; I should have asked what she was giving me. If you learn anything from my birth story, I would strongly recommend never taking this medicine. I absolutely hated what it did to me and how I felt. I hate that I missed out on my baby’s first night being alive. Being given this medicine is one of my two complaints about my hospital experience.
The only other complaint that I have is that we weren’t told anything after my delivery. I chalk that up to the fact that I was drugged and that it was about the time of the shift-change for the nurses. We had to ask so many questions the following day because no one told us anything. In fact, I didn’t learn that I was supposed to be putting the epifoam on the witch hazel pads on my pad after going to the bathroom each time until the OB on-call discharged me from the hospital. On the last day.
Besides those two incidents, I had a really good experience. Most importantly, I have the cutest, most perfect baby boy to hold in my arms… and that’s what it’s all about! I feel truly blessed and am so in love with him.
Thanks for reading my birth story and labor and delivery story, even though it was super long. I can’t wait to blog about everything that’s happened over the past week.
What a crazy roller coaster it’s been, complete with emotions running wild, hardly any sleep, lots of love for this new little life, and falling deeper in love with my husband, but I would not change a single thing!
P.S… I want to leave you with a quote that Tarzan posted on Twitter Saturday when he was out buying more diapers and wipes. I thought it was really funny!
” Diapers & wipes are a lot like money. When you
think you have enough, sh** happens.” -Tarzan
You might also want to read:
- Flooded with memories of labor and delivery this early morning
- 38 weeks pregnant: We finally packed the hospital bag for labor and delivery
- No worries about additional baby costs during labor and delivery, pills are included!
- 40 things about what to expect after labor and delivery, childbirth, and coming home that no one told me
- If only I could go back in time, how I wish those moments after labor & delivery with Monkey were different