Wow. I can hardly believe I am sitting here typing this at 5 days postpartum, with my little 5 day old girl. If reading about this is painful for you at the moment, I completely understand and please skip!
Monday our families drove down/flew in. We had some takeout pizza and then I went into the hospital to sleep with cervidil as planned. Sleep that night was pretty tough- not only because of all the monitoring and frequent adjustments but also because I had the worst heartburn episode of my whole pregnancy! I could not even recline and had to get the nurse to put antacid in my IV. After that, I did drift off a bit.
The next morning things happened swiftly. They started my pitocin around 7:30 am and my doctor broke my water. That was an outrageous experience! I thought it would be like 1 gush and then over- but things were just coming out of me all the time. I started getting contractions pretty much immediately. I asked for an epidural quickly only because I knew it would take a while to actually receive. Indeed, it took about an hour and a half/two hours. The nurse started me on a lot of fluids to try to prevent drops in BP that many people have. The Dr who placed my epidural was excellent- no nonsense and fast. It took effect basically immediately which was great because at that point contractions were getting tough to handle. I just remember the sensation of my whole torso tensing up and I couldn’t speak during those moments.
Unfortunately I did get the massive blood pressure drops they tried to avoid. It scared me because of how dizzy and faint I got but the nurse gave me a drug that helped right away. This was now the ‘boring’ part of labor- I didnt feel much pain but I had nothing to do except lie around and wait. The catheter was in at this point- so I was fully immobile. Mr Upside was running back and forth between the hospital room and the waiting room with our families to give updates. He also spoon-fed me Jello at one point which was really sweet.
I had planned not to let any family in the room but I honestly got bored and told them to come in. They sat and chatted for a bit until I realized I was experiencing a very different sensation- like vaginal contractions instead of uterine ones. I shot my husband a look and he got the family out of there. When the nurse came back to check I was 10 cm dilated and 100% effaced. She was completely shocked and called my OB.
I “labored down” for the next hour and Little Rabbit’s head made her way all the way down and became fully engaged. We got to the point where I was starting to push, but I had another BP drop and started shaking intensely all over my body. Mr Upside got really worried at this point and honestly so did I. I thought I might get sick and heaved into the barf bag but nothing came up. Finally the nurse got me some more meds to elevate the BP and I started being functional again- although the shaking continued. I was worried but apparently whole body shakes are a common side effect of the epidural.
The pushing went really well– too well actually because I was told I had to stop or I’d have her before my OB got there! Once she did, I swear it was only like 15 min of pushing- but the last 5 were UNBELIEVABLY HARD. I thought my whole body would split in two and I kept yelling “I CAN’T!” The last push was so difficult and painful I was about to cry- and didnt even realize I had pushed her out until she was on my chest. I immediately burst into tears.
Holding her on my chest- seconds after the immense pressure/pain- was the single most overwhelming moment of my life. My daughter was here, in the world, and everything had changed forever. I just remember my husband tearing up and holding my hand while Little Rabbit wailed.
Finally, they took her from me and cleaned her up. Her Apgar was 9/10. She was just perfect.
The days/nights that followed were tough. She had blood sugar issues that kept us in the hospital and extra day. My breastfeeding was really challenging and I have now had to stop- at least temporarily- and exclusively pump due to nipple damage. I had a few breakdowns in the hospital that I wouldn’t have gotten through without my husband’s support.
We were able to leave on Friday afternoon and have been home ever since.
Quite frankly, my emotions have been all over the place- crying for a variety of strange reasons, not all sad. I know my hormones are going through the ringer right now, so I am trying to not get ahead of myself and let it play out. She is just the most incredible thing that ever happened.