On Friday morning(38w4d)I woke up to feeling crampy, not much different then how’d felt for the last week or so but I could recognize somewhat of a pattern in the contractions. An unfortunate thing was they were not increasing in duration or intensity. My friend Daisy came over and we walked for a bit around the neighborhood with five kids in tow. Once I returned home I tried not to be idle and got the girls overnight bags packed and finished up some stuff around the house. All the while still feeling contractions but not yet convinced it was time to call in the troops.
A few days prior I broke out the electric breast pump to help “naturally” induce so since I was contracting thought I’d give it a try. I pumped for 10 minutes still feeling some contractions and when I stood up from the chair I heard a “pop” and felt a “gush”. OMG, this was just the sign I was waiting for, my water broke!! (11:40 am) I made the calls and everyone was on high alert and also had to make some quick calls to my childcare backup & daycare parents too (this was supposed to be my last day of work). I had a few last things to take care of, curling my hair was a priority before going to the hospital. LOL I took care of that and grabbed the last items for the suitcase and we were off. (1:15 pm)
We were just getting settled in at the hospital when A&T met us there and not long after that our doula. After getting on the monitors and getting situated they decide to check me and I was already 5cm and in minimal pain. Wow, was I excited … half way there and still “comfortable”. (2:58 pm) About an hour to an hour and a half later I was 7cm so things were progressing at a nice pace. All the while our doula was by my side along with IM & DH keeping me as focused and relaxed as possible. I was working my way through contractions and finding comfortable positions with some success (sitting, dancing, rocking, etc) hoping the intensifying contractions were being productive. The OB came in after awhile and required me to get into the bed and lay flat to do an exam which was nearly unbearable. She was having a hard time getting a good estimate and after 30 minutes in this position I was so uncomfortable. Based on her check there had been no progression even though contractions were getting more intense, to say the least the news was disappointing. The doctor went over some options, one of which was introducing Pitocin which I was hesitant about, so we decided to give it another hour and see. That time passed and she did a recheck ... once again it was intense in the laying down position & still only 7cm. I was very discouraged by this and began to feel emotionally and physically drained. It was decided to help labor along with Oxytocin but I didn’t want any part of that stuff without an epidural so the anesthesiologist was called in. (8:00 pm) An internal monitor was place to measure the power of the contractions and Pitocin upped every 20-30 minutes to keep a regular pattern going. I was very comfortable, the epi was perfect since I still had full movement of my legs/feet but no pain. We all relaxed, the grandparents were all invited to come in and say hello and we sat back for awhile and waited for the show. We began to note that there were more "scratchy lines" on the monitor printout and asked the nurse if baby was tolerating labor ok. She said that the activity on the printout wasn't from contractions but rather the monitor picking up my tummy tightening each time I laughed. Needless to say we were all having a good time while we waited. Everything began to pick up again and I progressed at about 1cm an hour until complete. (11:35 pm) Doctor decided it was time to try some practice pushes which seemed productive so everyone got into position.
Pushing was going ok but my epi was working a little too well and I wasn’t feeling much. I mentioned to the doctor that I might be more efficient if we backed off the epi but she said I wouldn’t like her much then. This is probably true but I was afraid if I couldn’t feel the contractions I’d have a harder time pushing which I knew was time sensitive phase considering his estimated size. I was really concerned about being effective. My body began taking it's sweet time contracting despite the Pitocin so we waited, and waited and waited for each contraction so I could push. Anyway, we kept at it and with lots of positive encouragement, from IM & IF who were on either side of me, baby crowned. Things did get a bit intense for a few moments. He did get a little wedged and had the cord was wrapped around his little neck twice but the doctor handled it with great composure and baby was delivered. (Saturday 4/24 at 12:38 am)
It took him a little time to become fully responsive, but after a moment he was letting out those first cries and scored Apgars of 7 & 9. To everyone’s surprise when it came time to get his measurements he was 10 lbs. and 21 inches long!! Oh my!!! He’s a chunky monkey for sure and so cute too. He did have some bruising on his little nose and one arm but otherwise healthy as can be. A&T were absolutely wonderful through it all as were Jason and the doula too. It was so wonderful having such an amazing support system there for me. The delivery was a little “complicated”, his size did present some real challenges and risks and was likely the reason labor stalled, but I think we all feel it worked out the way it did for a reason and I personally don't regret a moment of our birth experience.
The grandparents were all welcomed back after awhile to meet their handsome grandson. The paternal grandparents F&L were excited that he was delivered not long after midnight, making his appearance on their 45th wedding anniversary. IF opened a bottle of red wine right there in the delivery room and everyone celebrated and became acquainted with him during our two hour recovery time before being moved to the Mom & Baby unit.
IPs and I are in separate rooms but right next door to one another so we are visiting while all still getting time to ourselves to rest. IM is keeping him close and enjoying every moment of motherhood so far, I am so happy for them. It has been an absolutely amazing journey.
Congratulations to my wonderful IPs and welcome Baby Giovanni!!!