37 weeks, 6 days pregnant.
We pulled up to the hospital around 7:30. My room had lavender oil diffusing; this hospital was so on-trend.
photo taken the next day; the night hazel was born
My nurse tried to get my iv going in my left arm. I didn't watch, but Travis was preeety sure that blood spurted to the ceiling. At least, it was all over the floor. The left arm failed, so we gave the right arm a go. Check.
I swallow an itty bitty pill to soften my cervix, repeat every four hours. I also take an ambien. OR DID I, because it didn't make me sleep. The first pill wasn't supposed to start contractions, but it did, so I spend the night with aching hips in an uncomfortable hospital bed, and I'm SO glad to finally be here. So, so glad.
In the morning, my doctor let me off the monitors so I could shower and eat.
10:00. I started a low dose of pitocin. By 11, the contractions were getting pretty strong, and coming every two minutes. I had warned all my nurses about Elsie's delivery- how I went from a 7 to peeking under my gown and seeing her head already out, in less than five minutes. The on call doctor didn't make it, and the nurse had to deliver Elsie, so I wanted to be prepared.
My doctor was planning on coming to break my water by noon, and we expected our baby would be here within twenty minutes after that. We called my mom, and our dear friend Halie (who took all my gorgeous birth photos), so that they could head over to the hospital.
11:30. I was getting a little uncomfortable, so I got my epidural. I was looking forward to this so much. Seriously. At night, when my hips hurt so bad, I'd cry to Travis about how much I wanted that epidural, so that I just couldn't feel anything anymore. It was over quickly, and by the time my mom and Halie got here, I felt GOOD. I hadn't felt this good all pregnancy, and I was cracking jokes and loving life.
We waited for my doctor to come. And waited. And waited.
3:00. My hips were hurting again and I could feel some light contractions. I kept pushing the button to give me a boost of the epidural, but I couldn't feel the cold medicine run down my back any longer. Every time I paged a nurse (to ask where in the heck my doctor was), I asked them if the machine was still working. They all told me that they could hear the pump turning over, so it was doing its job!
We watched a lot of HGTV. I listened to an audio book and bullied Travis into bringing me peanut butter and crackers, and a ginger ale.
5:00. Still no doctor.
Every so often my contractions would flatline, and I'd have to ring for a nurse to up my pitocin level. Every time a new nurse came in, she'd say, "oh YOU'RE the girl who went from a 0 to a 10 in three minutes!" The story of Elsie's birth got more and more exaggerated as the day went on, and it made me burst into tears. I wasn't progressing at all, and I was hungry, and tired, and everything hurt.
around 5:30, my doctor finally shows up, and breaks my water. I was still at a 3. He predicts a baby by 7:00.
7:00. No baby. My doctor comes back; I'm still at a 3. I remember asking him if he was kidding because that was not a funny joke. I'd been in the hospital bed 23 hours now.
9:00. No baby. I had made it to a 5. I was getting so discouraged. They gave me an internal monitor to track my contractions. They looked strong on the external monitor, but they obviously were not strong enough yet, since I wasn't dilating. Baby was high up still. They adjusted the pitocin rate accordingly.
9:30. The pain was awful. I cried with every contraction, and made Travis sit by me so I could squeeze his hand. Squeezing helped. I kept thinking I'd be okay if I could just press pause for a minute and catch my breath. I couldn't figure out how to breathe. I felt like I was fighting my body and I was just so unprepared for more pain. My mom rubbed my back. I remember getting so hot and sweaty. Someone gave me a cold cloth for my forehead. My blood pressure kept dropping, and I felt light headed. And why the hell could I feel all this anyway?? I think I swore a lot, but it might have just been in my head. I remember crying, looking at my mom and seeing tears in her eyes too.
10:00. My nurse noted the amount of pain I was in, and asked, since it looked like we'd still be here awhile, if I wanted the anesthesiologist to come in and adjust my meds. YES.
He arrives, and arranges to give me a strong shot of medicine directly into the iv in my back. He paused. He checks the epidural pump. He fiddles with it a moment. My eyes are squeezed tight, and my hand grips Travis' even tighter. The anesthesiologist turns to me and says, "I'm so sorry to tell you this, but your pump is dry. You haven't been receiving anything for the last 7 hours. Anything you had has worn off already, and that's why you're in so much pain."
10:15. I don't think I've ever been so pissed off in my life. I think I probably just sobbed something like, "are you kidding me?", but oh man. I was so done. After such a hard and painful pregnancy, all I had wanted was a little relief, and this labor was going on forever AND I WAS HUNGRY AND TIRED, DANGIT.
As it turns out, the anesthesiologist who originally placed my epidural does not regularly work the maternity ward. He inserted the wrong size medicine cartridge into my pump, and it ran out after three hours. I was pressing that button in vain. This new guy said he'd go get the right pack and he'd be right back.
10:20. I inform my nurse I need to push. Fiiiinally. I'm at a ten. Unfortunately, I'd have to finish this off unmedicated.
My doctor comes in, knees up, I push. I learned that that ring of fire everyone talks about was a real thing. oh my gosh. Pushing a baby out without drugs AND a broken hip was literally the worst ever.
Baby's face is out. It looks just like Luke. A boy, we think. Shoulders are stuck. Another minute and Travis is able to reach down and pull our baby out, and place it on my stomach. It's a girl.
It's a girl?!
I hold my new baby; she's sticky, but so sweet. I get one stitch, which luckily, I don't feel because I fell asleep. 26 hours later, and I'd done it. This was all the worst, but I'd do it all a thousand times over, for her.
6 lbs 12 oz
(and here's a hundred more pictures)