After a perfectly normal spring day, we ended up in Labor and Delivery two days before my previously scheduled induction date. While outside playing with Grace... a ball rolled in the street and Grace followed. She froze on the curb when I told her to stop and when I scooped her up to move her back in the driveway, I fell. Belly first, with my toddler in my arms. Every mom's worst nightmare had just come true.
So we loaded in the truck and made the 20 minute drive to the hospital to check on the baby. Fortunately I felt her moving around while still in the truck... but to say my nerves were absolutely shot by the time I was hooked up to the monitors is an absolute understatement. But there she was, heart beating away. The ultrasound showed no damage had been done to the baby or placenta. So after a few hours of monitoring we were on the way home.
Sunday was Easter and a day full of cleaning and aches and pains from the aforementioned fall. Rob had to drive to St. Louis to meet my parents and get my sister... so he spent most of the day gone. Luckily though - even though he had to drive to get her - my sister was able to come to Tennessee and be with Grace the entire day Monday.
After a night of basically no sleep... I called the hospital Monday morning to see when they wanted us to come in. 7:30 am was the answer. So I took my time cuddling Grace for a few extra minutes and packed up the last few items for the hospital. Then I woke Rob up with just enough time to get out the door.
The car ride to the hospital was filled with quiet conversation that lulled as we went through the gate and parked in the reserved mom-to-be parking. I checked in at the front desk and they sent us to the waiting room to wait until our room was ready.
By 9:45, I was in a hospital gown, in bed, with an IV in my wrist (after a failed first attempt... of course) and Pitocin was slowly getting things going. When we arrived at the hospital I was at 3 cm dilated and about 75% effaced. But little lady was in the -3 position, where she stayed the entire rest of the process.
The morning was spent watching TV and responding to text messages as they came in. A perfectly normal day by all accounts, if you didn't know where I was. Rob left around lunch time to get some food and an energy drink. Just as he was almost done and headed back, my nurse came in and said the midwife was talking about breaking my water.
Let me take a moment and talk about the amazing nurse I had until 7 pm that night. At first Rob wasn't sure what to think as she cracked some jokes at his expense right from the get go. But by the end of her shift, I was sad to see her go. She kind of filled the mother roll for me and kept me calm when I wanted to freak out. The whole day she came in and rotated me around to try and get things going. She listened when I talked, was the voice of reason when I wouldn't listen and had me laughing most of the day. Of course, I can't tell you her name, because I can't for the life of me remember it... but I can tell you - she made the experience 100 times better and for that I am very thankful.
So just as Rob was getting back the midwife came in to break my water. I had my water broke with Grace in the hospital, but don't remember much as I was already on pain meds at that point. This time I remember all of it. They had hopes it would make my contractions stronger and it did exactly that. Because of my first delivery experience and really not remembering a whole lot of the process, I didn't take the epidural when immediately offered. I wanted to feel what was going on for a bit. I was still able to breathe through my contractions and probably could have lasted a bit longer, but I tapped out anyway. The pressure and pain was a combination I knew would only get worse.
I believe at this point I was at 5 cm dilated when the anesthesiologist came in to get my epidural going. So he did his thing and two things happened. One, he hit a nerve. Two, he hit a blood vessel. The first was an easy fix by him. The second was discovered when he did a brief test that made my heart race. He had to remove it and redo the whole thing. So I got two epidurals.
For the record, I am not a laboring mom that sleeps when given an epidural. I shiver uncontrollably and still feel a great deal of pressure, just no pain. My nurse kept telling me to relax... but I couldn't.
After my legs went numb, my nurse and Rob had me on my side with an exercise ball that was shaped like a peanut between my legs. This position had me in the most pain the entire day. Even with the epidural I was feeling insane amounts of pressure and this was the one and only time I cried during the entire labor process. I was only able to calm down after I was rotated back to my back.
By this point things were advancing quickly. I was dilated to 9.5 cm, but just like with Grace I had a cervical lip and Brooke was still in a -3 position.
At 7 pm, my amazing nurse was off for the night and a new one came on - along with a new midwife. They had just enough time to get everything switched over. My midwife came in to check me and I told her that I was feeling an insane desire to push. Amazingly enough, she listened... and after checking me through a contraction, she said I could push. At 7:43 I started pushing and nine minutes later I had a little warm baby placed on my chest.
Happy day of birth Brooklyn!