Let me tell you: no one can prepare you for being on the opposite side of every TV/movie birth you've ever seen. It was painful, surreal and scary.
I went into labor on Thursday, August 13 at around 3:45 when my water broke - no splash, just a trickle - like you're peeing your pants but you have no control over it. I wasn't sure what it was and after it happened two or three times and after a phone call to the doctor and one to Emily (our family pregnancy expert) we headed to the hospital... when I was supposed to be going a few hours later to be induced!
No matter. St. Joe's was ready for me regardless.
Long story shortened:
-our nurses in L&D (Viki and Jodi) were wonderful
-I labored with weak or unsuccessful contractions for a couple hours, then was given Pitocin, which increases contractions and their intensity. They just kept getting worse and worse; think CRAZY menstrual cramps X 10 with lower back pain AND you are hooked up to 2 monitors and an I.V. so you're stuck in bed. (frowny face). This went on until midnight.
-Phillip was with me every moment, helping me breathe, focus, stretch, everything. Then at 12:00, after an hour or so of talking about it, I knew I couldn't do it any more. It hurt too bad. We called for Jodi to talk pain medication options and she checked my dilation: still after 6 more hours, I was only less than 2 cm. Above it all, I really didn't want to have a C-section and they only let you labor with your water broken for (I think) 12 hours before that's the option.
-We agreed to an epidural, during which they kick out the father!! Apparently there has been a problem with dads passing out. Yikes. So Phillip had to wait in the waiting room way far away, watching Bernie Mac reruns and freaking out. He says he has no idea how 50's dads did it, waiting during the ENTIRE birth.
-The epidural, while the best thing I could have done, was scary and kinda awful to get put in. They make you sit on the bed in this crazy hunched over position, thank God the nurse is there to help and lean on. I think I squeezed the hell out of Jodi's hand. And you CAN'T move. that is scary in itself. And you get a bee sting shot of something to numb you, but you can still feel inside your body so you feel the catheter thing go into your spine. That is when I jerked and Jodi says "you can't move" and I almost start crying. I'm going to be paralyzed and its going to be my fault. I keep saying, "I'm sorry" and she says "It's okay, don't be sorry." This whole time, I'm having ouchy contractions. It kinda sucks.
-On the other hand, once its over, it was awesome. Phillip is finally brought back and it takes about an hour to kick in, but during that hour Jodi talked with us about books and movies and she was a great distraction and I will love her forever for it.
-So it's 2am and the epidural is working and she tells us to try and sleep. Phillip sleeps on the couch and I sleep off and on. I have to move around every hour or less if the monitors aren't working right so I get some sleep.
-I wake up at 5:30 and I want to watch the sunrise, unfortunately there wasn't any real sunrise due to the "marine layer" also known as SMOG. I am feeling slight contractions and the urge to pee and it happens about ten times in a half hour so I call Jodi, she checks me out and I am dialated 9cm now. YAY!
-In the next two and a half hours we have a shift change, Viki comes back on, McKenzie says she will deliver, then says she won't so Dr. Choi will be delivering. Sigh. I learn how to push and do so with Viki and Phillip at least ten times before Dr. Choi shows up, gives me an episiotomy (OUCH!) and Henry is delivered! What a release and then I just laid there.
-Phillip stayed with the baby while he was checked out and then they gave him to me. We spent about an hour together before he went to the nursery with Phillip.
-and now he is mine.