The birth plan: (1) Epidural. (2) No assisted delivery – meaning no vacuum or forceps; that little lesson during our baby class freaked me out. That was it. I’ve known and read about far too many mamas that have elaborate plans, only to have them completely thrown out the window when baby has other plans. Being the Type-A person I am, I knew that it would be better not to have a plan at all, than to have my heart set on things going a certain way and later having to accept that it wouldn’t happen as such. The end goal, was of course, was to deliver a healthy baby boy. And despite the fact that things got a little cray, that was exactly the end result. And for that – I’m eternally grateful.
Our lives changed forever on December 5, 2014. With a big healthy scream, Edison made his arrival known at 11:47pm. Followed closely by heaving sobs of relief and joy from his mama, L&D Room 12 quickly became filled with a special kind of chaos. Our family of four had suddenly become one of five. The joy in that in absolutely indescribable. That joy is the only thing that makes a day like December 5th worth every single moment.
Around 1:30am, I was awaken by my water breaking. Prior to that morning, I can’t tell you how many times I’d climb back into bed after a bathroom break to have Craig ask me if I was okay. That morning was no different – only this time, my response was not at all what Craig was expecting. With fear and uncertainty, I informed him that I “thought my water broke.” He didn’t believe me of course, but after repeating myself a couple times and assuring him that I was for real (!!!!) he shot out of bed.
I called Labor and Delivery right away. I wasn’t having contractions, but because my water had broken they told me to head to the hospital. Feeling pretty confident that we wouldn’t be sent back home, Craig and I took our time – we showered, double checked our bags, and loved on the dogs a bit before heading in. Mid-shower is when I started to feel contractions and by the time I was into the car, they were pretty darn uncomfortable. We rolled up around 2:45am.
I was checked right away to confirm that my water had broken (it most certainly had!) and while I was still the 2cm dialted that I was earlier that week at my doctor’s appointment, I was 90% effaced! They asked when I wanted my epidural and as soon as I knew they were willing to give me the goods, I asked for them! Why try to “breathe through” and otherwise manage my pain when an epidural was the main part of my birth plan? Let’s not mess around, ya hear?
The epidural was a dream and I maintained the ability to move myself in bed. From there, it was just a waiting game. …and wait we did.
Granted, my body was progressing as it should by itself. They weren’t sure that my body would progress at an acceptable rate and told me they might have to consider using pitocin. Again, I was not opposed to any suggestion they had to keep Bumpster safe. With my water breaking, my chances of infection became quite a bit higher and if they wanted to move things along to help prevent that, it was good with me!
It was during this time that my epidural stopped working. Legit just stopped working. The goods were still being delivered to my body, but my body wasn’t responding. OH, THE PAIN. And it took about an hour for them to figure out what was happening and/or why it was happening. It was finally a resident that asked me about the dentist. Yes, the dentist. Did the dentist have to give me extra novocaine when having procedures? Why, yes, yes he does. Every single time. Conclusion: my body was metabolizing the medication much more quickly than most people do. The cure? Up the dose! Give me more! It took another 45 minutes or so for it to “catch up” and give me the relief I had once had. This time, though? I lost mobility of my legs – I felt like such a whale when the nurses needed to roll me from side to side.
In the end, no pitocin was needed. I was dialating an additional centimeter each hour. Until about 3pm. At 3 o’clock, I was 9cm dilated and still 90% effaced. I wasn’t complete until 6:45pm! I haven’t a clue what happened, but my body checked out and decided to chill at 9cm. Dang – almost four hours for that last measly centimeter!? Brutal.
The nurses caring for me were on duty until 7:30pm. And when I started pushing at 6:45, they were convinced they’d be the ones to welcome our little bundle.
But, 3 (yes, THREE!) hours of pushing later, Bumpster hadn’t made much of a move. Apparently, it was far too cozy and he had zero interest in going anywhere. (Stubborn like his mama?) At any rate, it was at this point that the doctor told me that she was obligated to offer me the option of an assisted delivery. Yep – the kind of delivery that I had zero interest in. I told her thanks, but no thanks. If I can do 3 hours, I can surely go a little longer and get this little bugger into the world solo!
For the duration of my pushing, Craig was watching Gold Rush. Yes, he was certainly helping to coach me, but you best believe Gold Rush was on TV. …and him and the nurse had a lovely conversation about “clean outs” and other aspects of the show. A few times I actually had to tell the nurse (who was supposed to be watching the monitor for contractions) that I thought I could feel a contraction coming – so that she could resume her position to help me push. And yes, with my excellent epidural, that’s all I could do – make an educated guess as to when I was contracting.
At 10:45pm, I broke. Utterly exhausted. I asked Craig what he thought about an assisted delivery. He knew how I felt about it, we had talked at length about it. And he knew that I’d rather have a c-section (and take majority of the risk on myself, rather than put it onto baby). The doctor interrupted and informed us that a vacuum was no longer an option. That Bumpster was pretty well wedged all up in there and she was recommending forceps or a c-section. She was comfortable with both, but shared that she felt the forceps were the better option (lower risk for both me and Bumpster). Awesomesauce.
Craig kindly asked that I give it 3 more rounds of pushing before I made a decision. Apparently, Bumpster was pretty darn close, but just couldn’t make it that last little bit. Six rounds later, I told the doctor I wanted the forceps. And I wanted them now.
I guess it doesn’t work that way?
She had to assemble a team from Children’s (protocol for all assisted deliveries) and other doctors and nurses. Craig said the room got so crowded. I was beyond the point of exhaustion, so I couldn’t tell you there was anyone there outside of my husband, the nurse, and the 2 doctors assisting me. It was about 30 minutes later that everyone was in place and the assist could begin.
I guess assisted deliveries typically go pretty quickly? But, not Bumpster’s! It was another half hour of pushing (and pressure and pain, oh gosh) before I heard that glorious scream of Edison announcing his arrival.
From that point on Friday night to Monday evening at 6pm when we were discharged, our lives were a whirlwind. I have so much to share about the remainder of my experiences surrounding child birth, but for now, I think this does it. I mean, what a better way to conclude than with the birth of a healthy child?
Rereading what I’ve written, I realize that it might sound a little bit horrific? Truthfully, I didn’t love it, but let me assure you, I’d do it all again tomorrow (yes, seriously) if I had to. I’ve already been asking Craig when we should try for Eddie’s first sibling. …to which he has responded that he thinks I’m crazy. Touche.