Thursday, May 30, 2013

My {LONG} Labor Story.

Saturday, May 18th, started out like most of my Saturdays have started out since becoming pregnant. 4am and a trip to the bathroom. When I returned to bed, I quickly fell back asleep, but was awakened by painful contractions. These weren't just the braxton hicks I've experienced pretty much the whole pregnancy. These were the painful kind that wrapped around your back and made you cringe a little bit. And so it had started.

I laid in bed for the next 2 hours roughly timing the contractions I was having. They were every 10 minutes a part, and for a moment, I got a little excited that maybe this was the real thing. When Drew came to wake me up, I nonchalantly mentioned that I thought I might be in labor. His eyes got big and he decided it would be best if he took both boys with him to work so that I could rest and get a few things done around the house without little friends coming behind me to "help." The boys all left, and I scurried around the house, all the while my contractions picked up in intensity and came closer together. I was absolutely 80% positive I was in labor. As with my other two, it took my best friend Stephanie urging me to get prepared. Drew came home, we skipped Brayden's t-ball game (bless his heart, he was already ready too... nothing like making you have momma guilt more than a disappointed little boy in his baseball uniform!) and...... the contractions stopped.

It was like the great bummer of 2013 for me. I decided I needed a good distraction and some walking, so we headed to the local trails to burn off some energy. After hiking for about 45 minutes (and can I just say that I got some good stares and smiles my way as I waddled behind my little bike riding buddies), the contractions came back, but were not consistent and not nearly as strong. I came home and took a nap, completely defeated and trying to remind myself that I would not be pregnant forever.

That afternoon I headed to Walmart, because we needed groceries since I wasn't having a baby and we needed to eat. While shopping I noticed that I was having more contractions, so I hurried home and told Drew that I was having stronger contractions. He looked at me and said "I'm positive we're going to the hospital later," and then proceeded to do yard work. And this is where the story gets interesting....

I laid down to time my contractions, and they puttered out. Literally would only come about every 10-12 minutes. Every time I would stand up though, they would come HARD and STRONG and start coming every 4-5 minutes (which is faster than the 5-7 minutes the doctors tell us to come to the hospital for). I'd lay down, they'd putter out. I'd stand up, I'd be in excruciating pain. I was so confused. Thankfully my best friend Stephanie told me to call the on-call doctor, and I listened to her advice. After explaining my entire day to the doctor, and also mentioning my fear of this being my third child, us living 30 minutes away from the hospital, and my urgent desire to have an epidural, the doctor decided it would be best that I head to the hospital. So I waddled outside to tell Drew, who by this point is covered in grass and dirt. He kicks it into gear and jumps in the shower, and I try to dress and ready my two preschoolers while dealing with 5 minutes contractions. That was a lot of fun. Our sweet neighbors watched the kids for us since my family was out of town, and we headed to the hospital.

Before we ever got onto the interstate, my contractions picked up to every 2.5 minutes. I was cringing with pain (I'd never had contractions that close together and not been at the hospital under an epidural), and realized at this point that I was going to have back labor with Tyler (I had had back labor with Brayden, and let me just be the first to say that back labor is the B*%$H of childbirth. Screw water boarding. If we could somehow figure out how to make a person experience back labor, we'd be able to crack all terrorists that are in custody). Drew kicked up our four cylinder car into over drive, put on the emergency lights, and drove like Ricky Bobby to the hospital. Here I was all this time worried about getting to the hospital on time, and Drew cut a 30 minute drive down to 10 minutes. God bless the poor people who shared the interstate with us that day.

When we arrived at the hospital I was 4cm dilated but still only 60% effaced. I was adament that I wanted an epidural as soon as possible, so the nurse checked with the doctor about what to do. That took roughly 30 minutes. The doctor wanted to monitor my contractions a bit more before admitting me. By this time I was having to squeeze Drew's hand, breath through contractions and almost hold onto the bed. An hour into our triage hold, my contractions were now coming every 3 minutes even if I was laying down and I had dilated to a 5 by that point. So at 7:30pm on May 18th, they decided to admit me.

In walks a little nurse to "ask me some questions before admitting you." After her typing on her little wheelable computer, I, through gritted teeth and a somewhat abrasive attitude, asked her when it would be that I was going to get an epidural. Because, you know, I was at a 5 (the farthest I had ever been without an epidural), having contractions every 2-3 minutes, and progressing far faster than my other two children. She typed a few more things on her little computer, wheeled the thing back out to the triage center and then proceeded to tell the other nurses outside my triage room that I was refusing to answer questions. This was a definite WTF moment for me. I had never refused to answer questions. I only (albeit abrasively) asked when I might be getting my epidural. Basically, just get me my freakin' pain meds and I will answer any question that you have all day long. It took about 5 more minutes for someone to come and wheel me back to my room. Drew mentioned something about being nice to my nurses, but I'm pretty sure that at that point I was not really worried so much about social graces and more worried about my uterus not feeling like it was going to explode out of my hooha.

We got settled into our room, and my sweet L&D nurse walked in to set me up on IVs and such. Then she grimmaced as she told me that it was probably going to be 2 more hours before I was able to get an epidural. I cried yall. Like, cried tears and told Drew I wasn't sure I could do it. I'm pretty sure in my mind I wanted my mom at this point too. My L&D nurse mentioned the word Stadol. I had had stadol during my labor with Brayden. While it's not really something that I loved, at this point I was pretty miserable and could barely make it through contractions without tears and simultaneously coming dangerously close to breaking Drew's hands, so I took the IV pain meds. I then answered the questions that they hadn't asked me in triage, and signed my life away on papers while I tried to figure out which of the two lines I was seeing was the one I was supposed to sign. The next two hours were spent trying to remember how my Lemaze class 4 years ago taught me how to breath in contractions, Drew pressing on my back for the back labor, and me praying to Jesus that the epidural would come before I pushed the watermelon out of my bottom.

When 9:45 came and the anesthesiologist walked in, I thought about throwing my hands up and doing a mildly pentecostal dance.... you know, if I had been able to do so when I was 8 FREAKIN' CENTIMETERS DILATED. Oh yes, you read that right. By 9:45, BEFORE my epidural, I was 8 centimeters dilated. Can I just take this moment to say, that the people who have told me, either through words or written language, that a natural labor is the best experience.... those people either have the highest pain tolerance on God's green earth, or they have access to the BEST drugs known to man. Or perhaps it's a combination of the two. Either way, I know that I was not blessed with either of those things, so the sight of someone with a large needle for my spine was basically like winning the Mega Jackpot lottery. It's twisted, I know. And the story only gets better.

Once the epidural took, I laid down expecting sweet relief. And while I got sweet relief on the left side of my body, the right side of my body was still feeling the full effects of full-on, active labor. It was awesome, only it wasn't. The sweet anesthesiologist spent the next hour trying to get things right and give me relief. We tried laying on my right side. We tried two different medicines. We tried upping the dosage. Heck, we even tried TAKING THE EPIDURAL OUT AND REDOING THE WHOLE DANG PROCEDURE. It took nearly an hour for everything to finally numb out, and by the time it did I couldn't even move my toes (I've always had a little bit of control over my legs with my epis). I wasn't complaining though, because I couldn't feel my contractions. And for the next hour, I got a bit of relief. I kept saying "Praise Jesus that I got the epidural finally! I'm so grateful!" And Drew responded with "Linds I think we're ALL happy that you got it... especially my hands!" After the epidural had taken fully, the doctor broke my water and I was able to rest.

Around 11:15 I noticed that it was getting hard for me to breath. The nurse had told me to make sure to tell her if this happens because it means that the epidural was getting too high. When I started talking to Drew, I felt like I was slurring my words, so we called the nurse. We agreed that the epidural was taking a bit too high for comfort, so we had to turn it off. By this point I was 9cm dilated, so I was almost there, and the nurse thought that it probably wouldn't wear off before Tyler was born. Thankfully, she was right... kind of.

Around 11:50 I called my mom to let her know what was going on. During our conversation she mentioned that my breathing had changed, and I admitted to her that my contractions were REALLY picking up and I was starting to feel them again. And I was starting to feel pressure. After a few more minutes of us talking, my mom mentioned that I probably should have the nurse check me. At midnight the nurse checked me, I was complete and ready to go. And I was back to having to breath through contractions. My epidural had done wonders for the feeling for my legs, but not so much other parts of my body, which meant that I was going to feel the very end of labor. I cried to Drew, because really, there's nothing pleasant about the end of labor, other than the sweet baby that comes as a result. Thankfully for me it took 2 pushes through 1 contractions to get to see Tyler. He came out screaming and perfect and then I was crying because I got to see my third born son and he was beautiful. Drew kept saying how amazing it was that I delivered so quickly. I like to think of it as Gods grace on me since my labor with Tyler was my quickest, but also hardest in the pain department.
he was not a happy camper to be out of momma's belly.
tiny little toes
sweet little fingers
just chillin' for the nurses
Only .4 oz smaller than Brayden was when he was born.

Because Tyler came so quickly and spent so little time in the birth canal, he had quite a bit of nasty in his lungs and throat, so they had to work on him a bit longer than normal. Other than that he tested out great from the start.

I have to say that my labor with Ty was most definitely my most intense. I'm still not really sure why it took so long for everything to get moving at the hospital; they weren't that busy, and with my other two I was getting an epidural within an hour of getting there. The questions that I will probably never have answers to. I did love the OB who delivered Tyler. She was great, as was the nursing staff at our hospital. Bless their hearts, they were so patient with me during the time before I got that epi. And even though it didn't take completely, I want to kiss the feet of the person who invented the epidural. I'm almost positive I would have been one of those women who died during the Pioneer years if I had to go through childbirth without meds.
I'd say he's worth it all though. Definitely worth it.
(oh. and just because Tyler is my third baby doesn't mean that there was an absence of that feeling that says "why are they letting me leave the hospital with this little human? I am SO not cut out for this job!" Yep. Still felt it, even with it being my third.)


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