Well, it all started around 5am, actually exactly at 5am on July 3rd, 2013. Imagine my shock when I felt a gush of ‘water’ as I lay sleeping, considering my due date wasn’t until July 15th and everyone (I mean EVERYONE) told me you almost always go late with your first.
I rolled over, tapped Jeanna, who had only gone to bed around 230am after getting home late from work, and told her, “I think it’s happening!” No need to tell you, she was like HUH? What? I said, I think my water just broke, well that or I randomly peed myself. I got up and scurried over to the bathroom, Jeanna followed me. I sat on the toilet, ‘water’ was still coming out. I asked Jeanna if she heard that, she said yes, I said, “I’m NOT peeing!”
We looked at one another for a while. A million thoughts running through my head, some of them where;
- why didn’t I pack my bag yet?
- why was this happening now, I was supposed to go late so my parents could arrive and see me pregnant!?
- what the hell is the phone number for the hospital?
Well we managed to find the phone number for the hospital. The nurse said it sure sounded like my water had broken, I should get ready to come in, but to go ahead and take a shower first if I wanted to. I then told Jeanna my next call would be to my mom, as I was dialing her number. I knew that they’d be upset, I was too, just upset that they didn’t get to see me pregnant, not upset that I was having our miracle baby!
I called – mom knew something was wrong when I called at that time, I said; “Mom, my water just broke!” She was excited, then the tears came, she cried, I cried. However, we both knew that with Gradie deciding to make her appearance this early they wouldn’t have made it even if they had booked their tickets for the week before my due date.
Next, I showered, and my goodness I am glad I did that. Then we got the dogs put away, I had to change my pad again as I was leaking quite a lot of liquid/water/whatever you call it 🙂
Then we were off. Thank goodness Jeanna was able to keep it together and threw our bag together while I was in the shower. On the way Jeanna asked, very nicely, if we could go through the drive thru at Caribou on the way. I said sure, I wasn’t in much discomfort at this point and considering she’d only slept about 2.5 hours I knew she’d need it. We stopped, Jeanna ordered, I had a little discomfort, the lady tried selling us their coffee and who knows what else after Jeanna ordered, I yelled and said NO, WE JUST WANT HER CUP OF COFFEE!!! She didn’t try sell us anything else 😉
Then we were off to the hospital, as we were coming around the last turn to get there I said to Jeanna, “This is what Danielle was referring to when she said you’ll KNOW when you’re having real contractions!”
We arrived and got ourselves to the maternity section. The nurses were all very nice, and we were checked in. We got there right before 7am, so the nurse we originally saw left shortly after we got there, then another nurse came, I don’t remember her name, she was only on until about 3pm, and then the most amazing nurse possible came on duty, her name was Becky and she was great, really great!!
It was around 10am that I had dilated to 4cm (or close enough) and the anesthetist was called to give me the epidural – oh how I loved the epidural!! In the next few hours things progressed……..until they STOPPED!!
It was after Becky had started her shift that I stalled around 5cm dilation, and Becky (well the doc sent the message) said we were to begin pitocin to speed up the process. We didn’t have a big birth plan, we had decided that the doctors would know what is best to do to ensure we brought Gradie into this world safely, so we started the pitocin. It helped, I progressed again, until I reached 7cm and again I stalled – for FIVE hours!
During this time the epidural wore off, the extra ‘shots’ of meds I could get by pushing the little button wasn’t doing anything, so the anesthetist was brought back to give me more. Then Becky had everyone leave and made Jeanna and I nap. This was between 5 and 630pm and what a glorious nap it was, thankfully the drugs were working great and I was able to truly rest. When we woke up I hadn’t progressed anymore – PROBLEM!! Around 730pm Becky had spoken with the doctor and it was decided that I would go in for a C Section at 9pm if I hadn’t progressed any further by 830pm – so I had 1 hour to get things going.
At first I was upset about possibly needing a C Section, that I’d somehow failed in my task to deliver naturally. Jeanna and my mom told me I was being silly. I had, after all, being in labor since 5am, it was now 730pm, over 14 hours, and Gradie’s safe delivery was our #1 priority. Met with the anesthetist AGAIN, this time to talk about the process we’d follow for the C Section.
Fast forward 1 hour – dilation check – I had finally progressed to about 9.5cm!! Apparently my body just needed to be threatened with a C Section 🙂 Now just to get that last half a centimeter dilated and to begin the process of finally bringing our miracle into the world. Becky had me pushing some to get things going, all the while doing the blood pressure, temperature, etc. tests. She was concerned my temperature was rising, but the thermometer in my mouth was saying it was normal, but she wasn’t buying it. She brought in a different thermometer which said my temperature was over 100 – Problem (#2).
I was started on meds to bring down my temperature as well as antibiotics in-case I was developing an infection. The problem, however, was the effect this temperature would have on Gradie. I was given 20 minutes to see if the meds would kick in to bring my temperature from 100.6 down to 100.4 or below, and if I didn’t once Gradie was born she would be taken to the NICU for monitoring and antibiotics for possible infection for 48 hours. This upset me – a LOT!! Way more than the thought of having a C-section. I HATE NICU’s and the thought of my baby having to be there for 48 hours upset me to the point of instant tears when Becky let us know what the process would be.
Fast forward another 20 minutes, Becky takes my temperature again – I anxiously wait for her to tell me what it says, hoping my body would listen to the threats again and cooperate as it had to avert a C-Section, but that wasn’t to be. Instead of my temperature coming down it had gone up, to 101. :'(
Now it was time to get Gradie OUT as I was way too hot! I was dilated to 10cm and it was time to really start pushing. Soon (hopefully) we’d finally meet our little miracle. I was pushing, my epidural had again worn off, I felt a LOT of what was happening. I was getting told to push…….a LOT! Once I snapped at Jeanna, I couldn’t tell you now what she said to me, but I yelled at her. After that contraction I apologized. I cursed at Becky, and she said that was ok because she had no intention of stopping telling me to push.
Finally it was time to have the doctor come, you know to catch the baby and give us a giant sized bill afterward, doctor. I pushed for just over 1 hour, after some more yelling and cursing, Gradie joined us. Of course, we still didn’t know if baby was a Gradie or a Grady, but I didn’t ask, I heard others ask what (gender) baby was. Me – I just laid back, still in pain, but I’d do it again a thousand times if it means we are blessed with such a perfect human being.
Jeanna was able to cut the umbilical cord and they placed Gradie on my chest. All I had wanted was skin to skin time, for myself and Jeanna, but that wasn’t to happen for us. Gradie was WARM, like scared me warm. The NICU nurses were in the room with us and they took her, did her tests, measured her etc etc. She was placed on my chest again just one more time before they took her down to the NICU for more testing, and to begin her antibiotics. We would join her there just as soon as we were able to.