We arrived at the hospital around 12:30am. I was very nervous that the nurse would tell me I was insane, those contractions I was having weren't even contractions, and send me home. She checked me immediately, and told me that I was thinning out and at 1.5 cm. We were so excited to hear that there had been progress! However, in my own naive thoughts, I couldn't understand how my body was only progressed that far. Everything I read and tried to understand made me believe that contractions as close together as I was having would have be at at least a good 4cm.
Shortly after arriving:
My sister was really excited...like really excited.
By 6:45 am, I was still at 1.5, which meant I had to make a decision. I was feeling tired, hurting, but so afraid of taking pitocin. I knew that with pitocin that I would likely need an epidural since I had been laboring for so long already, but my fears of a c-section outweighed my plans. I agreed to the pitocin, but became very emotional and upset about it. I told my Mom that I felt like I didn't even try before giving in to interventions. She reminded me that I had been laboring for nearly 24 hours already, and that pushing myself to try that long was enough. It wasn't about me, or my plan, it was about getting Ethan delivered in the safest way possible. My heart distress would be too much for him, and we needed to avoid that.
Within an hour of pitocin, I was done. Completely done. Pitocin is seriously no joke. My contractions compared to pitocin contractions just cannot compare. It got ugly quickly...
There was a shift change, so I got two new nurses. I absolutely loved one of them, the other one drove me insane. She had wonderful intentions, but she made me nuts. She was trying to talk me through breathing, which was helpful until it became redundant. I'm one to be left alone during a painful time. You can hold my hand, you can talk quietly, but I need to do my thing. I was having to force myself into a zone to cope that took me completely out of my element. Her voice was driving me insane. Standing up, leaning and swaying against Jason through contractions seemed to be the most comfortable, and helped for a little while.
My OB appeared and took one look at me and said, "I know you don't want to do this, but I really think you need to talk to the anesthesiologist. " I began to cry again and tell him how afraid I was of an epidural, and he again encouraged me to just talk to the anesthesiologist. He said that it wasn't a prison, it was 100% my decision, but I really needed to think about my options.
My anesthesiologist was the nicest man I could ever meet. He answered all my questions, he addressed all my fears. He told me that my fears and concerns regarding the intervention were absolutely legitimate, and I wasn't stupid for feeling afraid. We talked for a long time, and I felt comfortable enough with him to trust him. We decided to go for it.
My mental state was breaking down quickly, and as I sat on the edge of the bed, I asked Jason to stand in front of me and allow me to lean against him. I needed his comfort to calm me down, and as soon as he started to rub my head I began to feel some peace.
My annoying nurse pushed him out of the way and said, "No honey, you're going to hold onto me because he will pass out at this." I was furious, but way to weak to argue. I needed Jason, not her. She started her annoying/soothing voice, and was insisted that I relax my body. I tell her I'm trying, and she tells me I'm not succeeding. My back is prepped and ready for the administration, and I begin to have another horrible contraction. I tell the anesthesiologist that I was having a contract and did not feel that I could be still enough for him to administer yet, and to please let me cope through the contraction before beginning. My nurse says, "Oh no, we're not waiting on that, you're going to relax, and you're going to do this now." Oh heck no. I again demand he wait, and thank goodness he listened to me instead of that nurse. He told me to just let him know when I was ready, and waited. I was so relieved to have him listen instead of pushing me to do something I wasn't ready for.
After the epidural, things started to move a lot faster and I felt a lot better. About an hour after my epidural kicked in, I realized that I couldn't feel Ethan move anymore. I was extremely sad about this for a few minutes, because I had let those last few movements slip away without realizing it. Shortly after, he kicked me in the ribs a few good times. It was like he knew that I was starting to miss it, and gave me one last "hey" from the inside. As much as I have hated the rib kicks, those were so incredibly sweet.
Around 4:45, we decided to do a few practice pushes, and they went really well. After a couple of small pushes, my nurse asked me if I wanted to touch his head. I did, and immediately began to sob. It was extremely surreal to know that he was literally RIGHT there, and ready to make his entrance. I was ready to see him. Jason watched him crown, and immediately became emotional. This resulted in me becoming emotional, and I told him he couldn't make me cry while pushing. 2 minutes later, I had to tell my Mom the same thing. She took some of the most precious pictures I will ever have to look at to remember this moment.
My OB arrived, and I told him that I had been waiting on his butt and to hurry up. He laughed and offered to make me labor for a few more hours while he went to have dinner, and I told him I would deliver Ethan with or without him. After a push or two, he said it was time to get the show on the road.
My heart rate was accelerating, and Ethan's was decreasing. He told me that his head was extremely large and would require forceps. I was not excited about this at all, especially when I saw that they looked like golf clubs. Good grief! I pushed a few more times, and my OB looked at me and said he was going to have to do an episiotomy. I told him no, and he looked at me like I was insane. If there were three things in this labor I didn't want, it was pitocin, an epidural, and an episiotomy. I had already had 2 of the 3, but I was terrified of the cutting. I felt as if my body would release what it needed to in order to deliver, and that the episiotomy may help or may be bigger of a cut than I needed. He looked at me and told me I was going to tear, and I told him I really didn't care.
He tells me the situation regarding my heart rate and Ethan's heart rate, and says that I have one contraction to deliver. If I don't deliver within that contraction, he would be forced to do an episiotomy to get him out quickly. That's all it took. Within that one contraction, I pushed with everything I had and delivered the sweetest boy I have ever laid eyes on.
Official time of birth was 5:25pm. After he and I had a moment, he was taken to the other side of the room to be weighed, measured, and checked for complications. He scored a 9/9 on the APGAR, and was given back to me quickly.
The Orlando family with my fantastic OB.
Ethan's official weight. 7 pounds, 2.5 ounces, and 20.5 inches long.