Warning: The following post is not for the faint at heart. Words and phrases such as epidural, fore-bag, amniotic fluid, cervix, etc. will be used. Again, things can and will get quite personal.
OK, when I left off, it was around 5 AM and we were on our way to the hospital. At this point, the best part about going into labor in the wee hours of the morning was rock-star parking at the hospital. We got a parking spot right next to the door that leads to the walk-way that takes you to the women's center.
JP and I walked to labor and delivery, signed in and got settled into a room. The first nurse came in, asked a bunch of questions and then used a "magic Q-tip" to make sure it was amniotic fluid coming out of me (it would change color if it was...mine turned black). After that, Dr. Campbell came in to see if it would really be the day for Karlie to come. She checked my cervix (now 1.5cm) and I was 80% effaced. We started making phone calls to family and then the long wait began.
Around 10:00, Dr. Campbell came back in to check on me. I hadn't progressed and I still wasn't feeling any of my contractions, at all. She told us she wanted to start me on pitocin. We had heard a couple of "horror stories" of pitocin and how it causes excruciating contractions, so we talked to her about our concerns. After talking, we decided she'd give me a very low dose to get me moving along. I started feeling the contractions very slightly but was still guessing when I was having one. They felt like a very light menstrual cramp...still completely bearable.
At 2:00, the contractions were mild and Dr. Campbell wanted to check my cervix again. I was still only 2 cm, however Dr. Campbell said I had a fore-bag...basically she had to finish breaking my water. That did it. Going into this, I wanted to do a natural childbirth. I wanted to be able to get up and walk around afterwards, basically, not be confined to the bed. But as I got to 4 cm, it got tough. I gave it my most valiant effort and got the epidural at 3:00. A few minutes later, I was enjoying the whole experience again.
An hour later, Dr. C. came to ask how it was going and I told her I felt much better but was feeling a dull ache on my right side. She recommended a boost in my epidural and I said yes. I wish I had asked what it was. Before the boost, yes, my legs were numb but I still had a little bit of feeling. After the boost, they were dead. I couldn't have wiggled my toes if my life depended on it. My legs got so heavy, it took the nurse and JP to roll me on my other side. I do not regret the epidural. I do regret the boost. However, I was able to talk again, enjoy my family, and my birth experience. (Next baby, I want to shoot for natural, now that I know what to expect.)
After that, everything seemed to fly by, probably because I was finally able to get some sleep and took advantage of that. Dr. Campbell came in at 6:30 to check me again and I was finally dilated 10cm and 100% effaced. Show time.
I first started pushing at 7:05pm....
1 hour and 12 minutes later....
Karlie Elisabeth Policastro
January 24, 2010 8:17 PM
6lbs, 4oz 21 inches long
The Lord truly blessed us with an easy (but long) labor and delivery, a wonderful hospital with an incredible staff (and yummy cafeteria food...seriously), a loving family who dropped everything instantly and drove to Birmingham, and a BEAUTIFUL baby girl who we can no longer live without.
First family photo
First family prayer