Saturday, December 8th, 2012
8:00 am– My sister showed up at my house with her bags packed to go home for Christmas break and I took her to the airport. We joked about how I would probably go into labor as soon as she landed at 1:00pm.
8:30 am– I dropped Mary at the curb and headed to Mt. Pleasant where I stopped to get gas and mail out Christmas packages.
9:00 am– I pulled up at the hospital for my Non-Stress Test.
9:30 am– Test over. Liam performed beautifully. I was sent home to carry on with my day.
11:00 am– I finally convinced Rob to go to Lowes to pick out a Christmas tree. He wasn’t thrilled, but he went. He really wasn’t thrilled when, in my eagerness to be helpful, I accidentally tied ourselves out of the car. Instead of opening the doors to tie the tree to the roof, I rolled down the windows. We tied the doors shut. And so, at 9 months pregnant, I climbed into the car through the open window. You can probably YouTube us. At least, I hope someone caught that on video.
I thought it was hilarious. Rob did not find it so hilarious.
Please don’t ever try to be helpful again, Rob said when we got home.
12:00 pm– Rob went outside to work on his car. I got to work on the Christmas tree.
12:45 pm– My jeans and legs were suddenly soaked. But it wasn’t a bladder leak. I changed into fresh pants. They were immediately soaked too.
12:50 pm– I waddled out to Rob’s car. You ready to have a baby? I asked.
Are we having one right now? he replied.
I looked at the amniotic fluid dripping down my legs and said, I think my water broke. But I’m going to go back inside and make sure. I’ll call you if I need you.
12:52– I no sooner walked into the apartment (luckily still standing on the tile floor) when a huge gush of warm liquid ran down my legs. I was standing in a puddle.
12:53– I called Rob. Yeah, we need to go to the hospital and I need some help cleaning up.
12:54 pm– I called the doctor on call for the day. Are you sure your water broke? she asked.
Pretty sure, I say. I’m standing in a puddle?
Yep, sounds about right. When do you think you’ll get here?
I quickly thought of the last minute things I needed to pack, the fact that I hadn’t eaten lunch yet, the 30 minute drive, etc.
Maybe in an hour? I said. Does that sound reasonable?
The doctor said that sounded great and she would see me in an hour.
12:56– Rob came rushing in. He saw the puddle of amniotic fluid. Holy s***! You weren’t kidding!
We took 30 minutes to make sure we had everything we would need for our hospital stay. I hopped in the shower to rinse off the lower half of my body. We each ate a bagel and I even contemplated vacuuming up the pine needles. (I didn’t though.)
1:20– We were in the car on the way to the hospital!
1:29 pm– I had my first major contraction. Holy s***balls this hurts, I said. (Because ladies say things like that.) Rob was not driving fast enough.
1:45 pm– We pulled up to the Emergency Room entrance and checked in. They called Labor and Delivery to send a nurse and wheel chair. I almost threw up in the waiting room. My contractions were about 60 seconds apart and 90 seconds in length and hurt like hell.
1:47 pm- You would think Rob had done this before. He knew exactly how to comfort me through the contractions.
1:55 pm– The ER nurse finally gets me a chair and starts to wheel me up to Labor and Delivery. Those nurses are taking too long. We’ve delivered too many babies in this waiting room and I am not doing it today, she says. We intercepted the Labor and Delivery nurse en route and she took us to our room.
From there, it got fuzzy. The contractions were still 60 seconds apart and lasted 90 seconds or more. I threw up in the bathroom. They checked my progress. I was only 4 cm and still 90% effaced.
I threw up again.
Rob patiently held the throw up bags. He rubbed my neck and held cold wash cloths to my face.
Are you sure you’ve never done this before? I asked him.
He laughed and assured me he hadn’t. I guess I’m just that good.
They tried to start my IV, but there wasn’t enough time between contractions for me to relax enough for the nurse to get a good stick. (It took three tries.)
I threw up for a third time.
A second nurse was trying to hook me up to the monitors. She got the fetal heart rate monitor on me. Liam was not a fan of labor. His heart rate was all over the place and dropped with every contraction.
At this point, I threw up for like the eighth time, looked at Rob and said, Get me the epidural.
The nurse double checked with me. You’re saying you want the epidural?
Oh, I want it. Get it. Please.
Rob nodded vigorously in agreement. Yeah, let’s get that pronto, please.
The nurse finally got the IV in. I threw up for the tenth time. Liam still was not a fan of labor.
The anesthesiologist came in like a golden angel. He worked his magic and within 10 minutes, I was in a completely different ballgame. Rob said it was like a wave came over me and I just kind of melted in a dreamy state.
The nurse asked if I wanted my tubes tied. What the hell? NO!
After the epidural kicked in, I stopped throwing up, I was able to relax, and they were able to lay me on my left side, all of which helped Liam’s heart rate.
They left me there to rest and I promptly fell asleep. Even the short hour of those contractions exhausted me to no end. They were so intense and frequent and wracked my whole body, it took a lot out of me. I looked up at Rob and said, Thank God for the epidural. This is worth every penny we’ll have to pay.
Yeah, no kidding, he said.
4:50 pm– The nurse came flying in, panicked. Liam’s heart rate dropped again. The doctor came in. I was still groggy with sleep and trying to process what was going on. All I knew was my baby’s health was in jeopardy.
I was numb from the waist down, so it wasn’t until the doctor said, She’s complete, that I realized she was checking my progress. Sarah, I’ll need you to push as soon as I can break down this bed. We need to get this kid out of there as soon as possible.
Rob and I were not expecting it so soon. Rob was watching football, I was in the middle of a great nap.
But within the minute, we had a flood of people in our room– the doctor, and at least 7 nurses. The bed was broken down and my legs were flopped up in the stirrups.
Five minutes and six pushes later, at 4:56 pm, Liam was born. The cutest, sweetest, most wonderful baby was born.
Between pushes I looked up at Rob and asked, Can you see him? Is it cool? Where’s his head?
Rob assured me that the whole thing was Uh… Yeah… Cool…
They flopped Liam up on my chest and I held him for the first time while Rob cut the umbilical cord. The nurses whisked Liam to the other side of the room to clean him up and check his vitals while I got stitched up and cleaned up. The doctor had to make a small cut on my perineum to make room for Liam. You either tear and I can’t control it, or I can make a small cut and control it, she said. I told her to cut away.
Then I thanked God once again for the epidural. I couldn’t feel any of it. In fact, I think I said I am so glad I had the epidural, several times. The nurses just laughed and said, Yes, the epidural is great.
Rob followed Liam around the room, taking pictures and supervising the nurses like any new dad would. The nurse handed Liam to Rob and the true love set in. It was an awesome thing to see.
Fifteen minutes after delivery, the pediatric nurse was standing over me and coaching me as I nursed Liam for the first time. He took to it like a pro and I could not have been happier.
So there we have it.
Four hours of active labor. Twelve throw-up bags. Six pushes. Boom. We had a baby.
The nurses and doctor were all surprised because that’s kind of unheard of for a first-time mom. They said my athleticism helped and an active pregnancy definitely contributed to a faster labor. So anyone out there who is pregnant, GET MOVING! It will pay off for you in the end.
The epidural was the best decision I could have made. I’m convinced it kept Liam safe because I was able to relax, which helped him relax. Labor is difficult and stressful for mom AND baby. If I had waited even a few more minutes to ask for it, the nurses think I would have been too far gone to get it.
In the end, I would not change a thing about my labor and delivery. It was perfect. My baby was perfect. My baby IS perfect.
And for the next child, I was told to get to the hospital as soon as possible if I wanted the epidural again. The doctor and nurses predict the next labor will be even shorter. Baller!