Hey guys! Nora Jane is officially one day old so I figured it was time to take a break and post the birth story. First, I should say, that she is awesome and super cute and so far really likes to sleep (love that!). And she is breastfeeding like a champ. But I know you want to hear how it all went down and let me tell you, it’s a CRAZY story (and a long one, so bear with me)….
As I mentioned I was having contractions the whole night on the 10th -- nothing major but it definitely felt like labor. They slowed down during the day but by that night they’d picked up again and become pretty regular. So…at 11 p.m. on Monday night Nick and I headed to the hospital. We live about 40 minutes away so my doc had told me to come in when the contractions were 10 minutes apart rather than waiting until they were more steady. Well, I was 2.5 centimeters dilated and 80 percent effaced when they checked me but the contractions had slowed again and still weren’t very strong (I could walk/talk through them for the most part). The doc on call told us we could walk around the empty hospital for a few hours to speed things up but she recommended we just go home so I could labor there. And so I could try to get some rest (it had now been 36 hours since I’d slept). A slightly condescending triage nurse -- she had to be 24 years old at best -- told me I should write down when my contractions were coming (duh!) and not come back until they were 5 minutes apart for at least an hour. “You are in what we call very early labor,” she said. I left there feeling like they thought I was an imposter, like I was faking or something and I cried most of the way home (poor Nick).
We got home at 2 a.m. and went right to bed. It wasn’t a very sleep-filled night --I had contractions every 15 minutes that didn’t exactly tickle -- but I got up at 7a.m. yesterday feeling pretty good. As soon as I was on my feet walking around the contractions picked up and got stronger and stronger. I made Alex’s lunch for school, took a shower, packed a few more things and stretched and rocked and squatted through the pain. I knew I had to be pretty far along at this point even thought the contractions were still about 10 minutes apart -- I had been in labor for nearly two days! -- so I called the doctor, got in the car and booked it. We left our house at 9:20 a.m. I had three horrible contractions in the car -- Nick was driving and counting and I was breathing and cursing and trying not to cry -- and we made it up to labor and delivery. I told everyone I saw that I absolutely wanted an epidural immediately (I’d had a bad birth experience with Alex and really wanted the blissful, drugged-up delivery I had heard about from so many friends). They checked me and I was at least 5 centimeters dilated and 100 percent effaced. “Wow, good job,” they all said. “And you seem so calm,” said the doctor. I was proud of myself. But I really wanted that GD epidural and I made it known.
They made an urgent call to the anesthesiologist and the doc said he’d be back to check on me a little later. Well, next thing I know -- like, within 10 minutes of seeing the doc -- the contractions are coming every three minutes, are insanely strong and painful and in walks the anesthesiologist. He kept trying to talk to me and I kept having to stop and breath/whine through the contractions. Then just like that I feel the urge to push. But I still wanted the drugs. With Alex I pushed for two and half hours so I knew that just feeling the urge didn’t mean the baby was coming. Well, this time I was wrong….
The anesthesiologist got me into position for the epidural, the nurses were talking me through staying still and calm but then, another contraction came and I could tell the baby was ready. At this point I was frantic and the nurses were too. They checked me and felt the head, the anesthesiologist apologized to me and they made an urgent call to get the doctor back into the room. Next thing I know there are seven people around me trying to get me to focus, I’m gripping the bed post and the doc says, “Sorry, Erin, the baby is coming now, you can do this.” It was like something out of a freakin’ movie. Nick was in the corner totally bewildered. We’d only been at the hospital for about 45 minutes at this point. It wasn’t supposed to go down like this. I was supposed to be pain-free watching The View making my “she’s almost here” phone calls to my family.
I was being a huge baby at this point, writhing from the pain, probably saying some variation of “I can’t do this” over and over. I remember asking if I was allowed to push and I did twice, even though I was still curled up in a ball on the side of the bed. Then a tough-love nurse got in my face, told me to flip around, focus, grab my legs and bear down. I waited for another contraction, pushed once and out flew the baby. It was INTENSE. Everyone in the room was shocked at how fast things happened -- it was definitely an “all hands on deck” birth. Of course the pain immediately went away once she was out. I asked how she was (she was crying and squirming) and then just sat there, shocked at what had just transpired. We left our house at 9:20 a.m. and had the baby at 10:54 a.m. -- without so much as an extra-strength Tylenol to dull the pain.
The good news is, Nora is healthy and so am I. I have to say, I feel fantastic. I was up and walking within an hour, am not sore at all and we’re getting discharged today! It was a wild ride but the end result is all that matters. And I can always get my epidural next time. :)
Thank you all so much for going on this journey with me and for all your support/prayers/advice and love over the past nine months. I have so enjoyed getting to know you and am so glad to have been able to share my experience with you. Good luck with all of your babies!