I know that I posted Landon’s birth story a month or two after he was born, so I could go back and remember the moments when my memory begins to fail me. I’d like to do the same thing and recap Brooks’ grand entrance, so a year or two down the road when it isn’t in the forefront of my mind, I can still recall the little details of his birthday. (If birth stories or gross medical details aren’t your thing, feel free to stop here! 😉 Also, this is LONG – my apologies – it’s more for me than you, anyways!! )
As with Landon, I was late and there was no sign of progress at any of my dr visits. Not dilated or effaced. When I was about 5 days past my due date, we went ahead and set a deadline, if no baby by Sunday night – the 15th, I needed to come in and begin the process to get induced on Monday morning. This was not new – the same exact procedure as with Landon – even the days were the same – Sunday night for a Monday morning induction.
So the weekend came and went. On Sunday we went to dinner at my parents – the whole family – knowing that I would be induced in the morning and our days would be busy so a great time to hang out with my sister, brother, parents and our families. On the way to the hospital, I had a mini-meltdown. I knew what I was in for… I had done it before and with it all being planned, I had time to think about it. Almost like a prisoner eating his last meal, I knew what was coming and I wasn’t really looking forward to it. Of course, Dean reassured me everything would be ok and we would have a little baby to look forward to in just another day or so.
I got to the hospital and at 8:45pm they gave me some medication to help my cervix start dilating so that I would be ready for the morning. They also had me hooked up the fetal monitors to keep an eye on the little one. I had to remain on bedrest for the next two hours to make sure the medicine would do its job. At 10:45 the nurse came in and told me I was free to get out of bed and asked if I wanted anything to help me sleep (i.e. Ambien). I told her that I would wait and see how I did falling asleep on my own but if I didn’t do anything by midnight, I’d give her a call. I knew I didn’t want to be up all night knowing that I had work to do in the morning and this would also be my last ‘easy’ night of sleep for awhile.
At around 12, I called the nurse back in and told her I would go ahead and take a sleeping pill, but asked her to assure me that in the morning I wouldn’t be drowsy and out of it. She told me I would be ok and once I “woke up” then I wouldn’t be groggy anymore. I also told her that it seemed I was having a couple random contractions and she confirmed that there was some ‘activity’ and it was really sporadic. I went ahead and took the pill and tried to get rest. My rest was short-lived. Around 1am, I called the nurse in and told her I was starting to have really uncomfortable contractions and asked if there was there anything I could do. She told me they were still really inconsistent – I would go 3 mins, then 9 mins, then 12 mins, then 2 mins, etc. between contractions – and that I should still try to rest through this part. She gave me a little medicine to ‘take the edge off’ so that I would hopefully be able to get sleep.
By 2:30am, I was in a ton of pain and felt the need to go the bathroom. So I went into the bathroom and in there, told Dean to go ahead and call my mom to come down because I felt like I was in labor. From the room, the nurses told him – “Don’t call her mom yet, she still has a long way to go, hours of laboring and then probably a couple hours of pushing. You don’t need to wake her yet.”
When the nurses kept shrugging off my “state of pain” I got mad and wouldn’t come out of the bathroom. At least in there I could push with my contractions – I was also really loopy and tired as I was feeling the Ambien effects. They finally got me out and into the bed. At this point it was after 3am and I was asking for an epidural, or medication. I know with Landon that as soon as I got the epidural, I felt amazing relief. The nurse said she had to check me and when she did I was at 7cm. I figured I should definitely be able to get my epidural now. They told me I had three options at this point: 1- for the doctor to go ahead and break my water 2- if I wanted an epidural, i would have to have a full bag of fluid first and they didn’t think there would be enough time 3- I could go ahead and push on my own whenever I felt a contraction coming.
So basically, it was too late for me to have an epidural, even after all my earlier requests were met with “not yet”, now it was “too late”. They also called the doctor in as they said my bag was bulging, which basically means, its time for your water to break. The doctor came in and told me she was going to go ahead and break my water. I had a few more painful contractions and pushed through those while they continued to prep for delivery.
Then it was time to do the ‘real pushing’ with the nurses holding my legs. At this point, Dean was finally calling my mom, telling her to come down. It was 3:51am and I had Nazi Nurse #1 and #2 telling me to push. I was still really out of it as the Ambien was in full effect and it was like trying to exercise when you are under the full effects of Nyquil. I would tell Dean, “I can’t do this!!” and the nurses would grab me and tell me, “Push, you have to push!” It was very painful – it felt like someone was welding every time I pushed. With the epidural the first time, I couldn’t feel this pain; without it, it was burning hot!
Fifteen minutes after I started, pushing was done. At 4:06am, a little boy popped out and was laid on my chest. Five minutes later my mom walked through the door. I was sad that she didn’t get to experience this with me again, but was excited that she was there for some of his first minutes of life. Dean was, of course, thrilled that he got his second boy and I was relieved that it was done – four hours of craziness and pain, and it was over, I finally got to meet the little person I’d been carrying and growing for so long.
I never thought I would experience childbirth without pain medication and while I feel a small sense of accomplishment to make it through, I also know that should I ever be in labor again, I would definitely demand an epidural from the get-go. I guess when you tell the nurses your family history of quick deliveries and that your first child was a 5 hour delivery, it’s just not enough to get them to call the anesthesiologist in.
For those momma’s who go through those 20+ hour labors and multi-hours of pushing with no pain meds, my hat is off to you. I cannot imagine what it’s like to have that extended labor period. You are amazing!