**Feel free to NOT read this post as it is ridiculously long and may bore you to death. I couldn't stop typing!!!**
Whew, what a whirlwind the past few weeks (err, months) have been. I started to go crazy the end of my pregnancy which is why I kind of why I stopped posting, and now I am a mommy to a three-week old and am totally sleep deprived. So much has happened, so I will do my best to condense it into a somewhat readable blog post.
So, around 37 weeks I started to go nuts. I wanted this baby out of me so badly and was simply dying to have my body back. Because of all the complications I had had, I was used to the idea of having her early. When that didn't happen, I started to get anxiety and did whatever I could in my power to try and induce labor. Of course, none of them worked (stupid wives tales, don't even try them). At my 38 week appointment I found out I was dilated to a 3 and had already lost my plug, so I was prepared for labor to start at any moment. My body had other plans. By 39 weeks I found out I was dilated to a 4 (!!!) but still had no other signs of labor. My doctor said she didn't want me going past 39 weeks because of my blood pressure, but I asked for as much time as possible to go into labor naturally because I was so terrified of induction. We scheduled my induction for Sunday night, May 13 (Mother's Day) which was my due date. The entire week went by and of course I didn't go into labor. So, off to the hospital we went on Sunday night.
As many of you may know, I was really set on having an all natural birth. In fact, if I wasn't considered high-risk because of my PIH (pregnancy induced hypertension,) I probably would have tried to convince Jacob to let me do a home birth in the living room. Walking into the hospital at 10:00 p.m. on Sunday night, I was terrified. I didn't want to be hooked up to Pitocin because it makes your contractions much stronger/closer together than natural ones and therefore makes most moms more likely to get an epidural. I didn't want to be hooked up to monitors my whole labor because I wanted to be able to get up and move around. I didn't want to be hooked up to an IV because I had heard it makes you swollen. Also, I knew my risk of getting a C-section went up 50 percent just by getting induced. I pretty much knew that my birth plan was going to get thrown out the window.
We checked in at 10:00 p.m. and were put in a triage room on the labor and delivery floor. I was hooked up to the Pitocin by 11:15, and was also hooked up to monitors so we could watch the baby's heart rate and my uterine activity (contractions). They started the Pitocin really low (thank God) so my contractions came on very slow. They basically just felt like mild period cramps, and came on every three minutes or so. Jacob took advantage of this time to take a nap, and I just kind of laid there wishing I could sleep. After an hour the nurse came and turned up my Pitocin, and it wasn't too long before the contractions started to get pretty hard to deal with. By 1:30 a.m I woke up Jacob. From that point on I needed him to get through every contraction. I had back labor and pretty much felt like my whole entire back was being sawed in half. Even though I was hooked up to an IV and the monitors, I was still able to sit on a bouncy ball next to the bed while he pushed on my back through each contraction. The pain was so surreal... no words can describe it! Because of the Pitocin, my contractions were unnaturally close together, about 45-60 seconds apart (eek!).
By about 6:30 a.m. I had had enough. I asked the nurse to come in and check me. I was sure that since I came in dilated to 5 cm, I had to at least be extremely close. After more than 7.5 hours of labor, I thought I would be at 8 cm or so. When the nurse came in and checked me, however, I had hardly progressed 1 cm! I was so devastated and felt like I couldn't handle the pain anymore. At the rate I was going, I was going to be in labor for 24 hours and I had no breaks in between contractions. I asked the nurse for an epidural. Jacob kept asking me if I was sure (since I had strictly instructed him NOT to let me get an epidural), but I think deep down he wanted me to get one. The pain I was in took such a toll on him too, since I needed him to get through each contraction (seriously, back labor is no joke). The nurse called the anesthesiologist and they moved me into a labor room. It took me ten minutes just to walk a couple doors down the hallway because I had to stop to get through so many contractions.
Getting the epidural was intense. I had to lean over and be perfectly still, but all my pain was in my back and the contractions were so close together. It was torture!!! After the epi was in, I laid back in bed and waited for it to kick in. and waited. and waited. and waited. Nothing went numb except for my mouth! Apparently 1-3 percent of people have this sort of reaction to the medication. The anesthesiologist came back in and doubled my dose of meds, and then moved the catheter around in my spinal canal, trying to get it in the right place. My tongue only became more tingly. Because the Dr. had doubled the meds, I had to wait at least an hour before they could try again with another epidural. In all honesty, this was the worst part of my labor. I was in so much pain, so exhausted, and so frustrated! After an hour, the head of anesthesiology came in and replaced my epidural, and this time it worked. I was so relieved. I was very adamant that I didn't want to be numb, and that I would still be able to feel contractions, and that is exactly what happened.
The epidural took all the pain out of my back, but didn't relieve what I felt in my uterus or lady bits. I could tell when each contraction came and went, which allowed me to relax but still feel like I was involved with the labor process and aware of what my body was doing. Within an hour of getting the good epidural, my OBGYN came in and broke my water. She checked my cervix, and I was already 8 cm dilated! That was 2 cm progress just from the time I got my epidural. I truly think that having it helped me to relax and made me progress quickly. Within two hours of having my water broken, I felt like I was ready to push. I felt so much pressure down there! I started pushing, and told Jacob to go and get our nurse. She came in and said to me: "Oh honey, I am sure you're not ready yet. I can check you if you want, but I am sure it's not time to push yet." I asked her to check me, and sure enough I was complete and it was time to push! The nurse warned me that most first time moms push for three hours or so.
My OBGYN came in and the party began. At first, I thought pushing was fun and I was literally enjoying it! I was able to feel the beginning and end of each contraction and I was able to kind of run the show. I had a student nurse holding one leg and Jacob holding the other. Pre-baby we always talked about how he wasn't going to look "down there" when I was in labor, but he pretty much watched the entire time. It wasn't nearly as awkward as i thought it would be, and he seemed to be pretty impressed with what my body was doing.
My doctor thought I would have the baby out in three pushes. Apparently I am an excellent pusher (I credit that to P90x and five daily cups of raspberry leaf tea. In fact, we all started placing bets on what time we thought she would be here... My doctor bet 12:08 (it was currently 11:58), Jacob bet 12:15, and I bet 12:30 just to be "safe." However, Willa ended up being sunny side up (we didn't know that she was) and so I pushed for one hour before she came out. Half way through, I literally thought I couldn't do it anymore. I wanted to give up! I was so tired. So hungry. In so much pain. So sleep deprived. I started getting frustrated because everyone was telling me how "great" my pushes were, but I felt Willa get sucked back in the birth canal after the end of every contraction. It was awful!
Well, finally Willa came out at 1:19 p.m. Once her head came out, I felt everything else just kind of slip out like jello. Oh, and that ring of fire everyone talks about? It is real. So, so real. Because my epidural was "turned down" so low, I could feel everything down there. Even my stitches. Getting stitched up was probably the most dramatic part of the delivery... the baby was on my chest but I was still in so much pain and couldn't even focus on her... I felt every last stitch. Everything was kind of mayhem, I don't even remember Jacob cutting the umbilical cord! I remember him crying tears of happiness, and me freaking out because I knew there was blood everywhere.
After the drama died down, I was able to look at my beautiful baby on my chest. The nurses let me stimulate her to get some cries out, and handed me towels to wipe her off. She didn't leave my chest for at least an hour, until I finally asked the nurses to take her and weigh her because I was dying to know! We officially named her about two hours after she was born. I didn't want to commit to anything until I could spend time looking at her with her eyes open, and that didn't really happen until my feet were out of the stirrups and the doctors were down pushing on my uterus (ouch). We had narrowed it down to three names pre-hospital: Willa, Everly, and Hazel. I knew right off the bat she wasn't a Hazel, and then eventually realized that she was most definitely a Willa. Jacob and I both agreed. I am so glad we chose the name we did... I am in love with it!
Well, without further introduction (as if it wasn't long enough), meet Willa Capri! She is a perfect little gem, and was born at 7 pounds, 13 ounces and 19 inches long. She has tons of dark hair, beautiful dark eyes, and pretty olive skin. She sleeps all day, loves to stare at people, and has a passion for sucking ANYTHING. I am the happiest mama in the world!