Since I am late to the game here and am just starting this blog as my baby nears one year, I am going to have to go back and do some flashbacks to some of our milestones that I’ve missed. Numero uno? Maddie’s birth day. Not birthday; birth day. As in, the day she was born.
It was a Saturday, the day before Mother’s Day, May 13, 2017. I was scheduled to be induced the following Thursday due to having gestational diabetes (my doctors didn’t let any gestational diabetics go beyond 38 weeks).
KC had been working all day, and all evening too. He was busting his butt to help prepare us financially for my maternity leave. I had worked several hours during the day. In the evening, my best friend came over to hang out for a while. She helped me figure out how to put together and work the breast pump that had recently been delivered (because I had no clue what in the hell I was supposed to do with all those parts. Shoot, I didn’t even know what went where. Bless you, best friend, for putting that thing together for me. I can say, I’m now a breast pump expert and will be happy to help the next naive mom-to-be who opens the box and looks at it like it’s an alien. I understand.)
We hung out, chatted, laughed and giggled – all the things best friends do. I remember we ate pineapple, because that’s one of those old wive’s tales to help induce labor (I was ready for baby to come out at that point). We played cards and had a good, competitive game of “Slap.” Rochelle left sometime after 11:00 p.m., and I laid down in bed. KC got home around 12:30 a.m. He was exhausted; he hadn’t slept in nearly 24 hours. He laid down and promptly fell asleep. I fell asleep too.
I woke up around 1:45 a.m. and my undies were wet, not soaking, but wet. I was pretty sure I knew what was going on, but not certain. I was not having contractions. I got up to go to the bathroom and was dripping along the way, so I felt even more certain “this was it,” but honestly still not 100%, because it wasn’t a “gush.” I’d read that it can be more a “leak” than a “gush,” but so many strange things were happening to my body at that point, who knew? I put on a pad and came back to bed to wake the hubby. “I think my water broke, babe.” “Ok,” he said, as he rolled back over. Have I mentioned he hadn’t slept in 24 hours?
I got out my phone and called the hospital. I spoke with a nurse, who took my information and said a doctor would call me right back. She did, not even five minutes later. She asked if I was having contractions; at that point I had had one, maybe two, but not close together and not intense. She said that I could come in now if I wanted or wait a little bit. She said they would suggest giving pitocin to speed up labor. Since the water had broken they didn’t want a prolonged labor as there would be a risk of infection. I said I was fine with that. I told her I’d take a shower and head in. I got in the shower and – GUSH. Now I was certain of what was happening. I finished my shower and then woke up the husband for real. As we gathered our stuff and prepared to leave, the contractions started coming a little closer together.
We got in the car and headed to the hospital. Hubby laughs about the fact that on my way out I grabbed a trash bag to sit on in the car. The car was brand new, I wasn’t about to ruin it! On the ride to the hospital the contractions were coming steadily about five to eight minutes apart and getting stronger. By the time we got to the hospital (it was around a 25-minute drive), I was having difficulty walking. We got in the lobby and hubby grabbed me a wheelchair. The contractions were less than five minutes apart and intense. It was now around 2:45 a.m.
We got upstairs and into L&D and they put me in a triage room. They put monitors on me and the contractions were two to three minutes apart, and strong. They said they would have to do a test to see if my water had really broken. I knew this was just protocol, but it struck me as humorous since I had leaked all down their hallway! Of course it had, and they said “you’re not going anywhere” and admitted me to “the real” L&D ward. I was only 1cm dilated at that point.
While in triage, they said I could ask for an epidural whenever I wanted it. I said I would wait. By the time we were leaving the triage room things had really ramped up, and as we walked out, I said “Yeah, I think I’d like you to call the anesthesiologist now.” It was now close to 3:00 a.m.
I got settled in my delivery room/bed, they started the Pitocin drip, and the anesthesiologist showed up quickly thereafter. The process of having an epidural placed when you’re having massive contractions and have to sit perfectly still is not a fun one. The nurse was really great. There were a couple of times the anesthesiologist said “Ok, I need you to sit really still now and lean forward.” The nurse replied, a bit snippily, “She’s in the middle of a really bit contraction; could you wait a minute?” And he did. Thank you, awesome nurse!
Once the epidural was placed and dosed, I was able to get comfortable for a little while. It was now around 4:45 a.m. Being that I hadn’t slept “that night” and was exhausted, I laid back and rested for a bit. I got about an hour of “comfort” – I could still feel the contractions, but not nearly as much.
As a side note, it’s really fascinating watching your contractions on the monitor. I don’t remember the numbers exactly, but before the epidural that got up to, let’s say, 100, and were very painful at that level. Once the epidural was in and the pitocin was doing its job, I saw them get up to around 350 on the monitor. I could feel them, but nothing near as painful as they had been before. I’m not quite sure how I would have handled the pain at that level without the epidural. I know women all over the world do it every day; hat’s off to them, I guess I’m a wuss, because just the thought of that pain almost made me pass out!
Around 5:30 a.m. the contractions started getting much stronger again, and painful even through the epidural. The nurse came in, took a look at my face and asked: “Are you in a lot of pain?” to which I replied “Yes, Ma’am.” She did an exam and immediately declared: “Well, there’s a reason you’re in pain; you’re completely dilated and I can feel her head, it’s time to push!” Wowza, was that ever quick!
All of a sudden my room went from quiet and peaceful to loud and hectic – there seemed to be an immediate flurry of activity. More people came in the room, the bed was “taken apart” and pads put under me, the doctor showed up, nurses held my legs in the air, and I was told to PUSH! Push I did, for less than an hour, and Madison entered this world. We didn’t know she was Madison yet; it took us a full two days to settle on her name. Seeing that baby girl for the first time was a completely surreal experience, and one I’ll cherish for all the rest of my days.