I realized that this time last year I never posted Abby's birth story. I'd typed it up, and posted it on Facebook, but never on here. So here you go, if you're one of those people who would be interested in this type of thing!
I was a week overdue when I woke up around 8:00 am Saturday May 22. I felt some light cramping that came and went throughout the morning. By noon I could definitely tell they were contractions, and were getting stronger and closer together. I started timing and writing them down, the interesting thing was that I rarely had any that would last a full minute or longer. The timing was pretty sporadic, every 5-10 minutes by noon, but some would come every 3-4 minutes and only last 30 seconds.
I talked to the on-call doctor, and she said to head on in to the hospital, especially since I live 45 minutes away and had tested positive for Group-B Strep. Rocky and I got to the hospital round 4:00 pm, and the contractions were getting pretty strong by then. We were listening to a cd on the way in, and it was all I could do to breathe and focus on the beat of the song until the contraction passed!
We got into triage and I was checked and already at 4 cm (I’d been 1-2 at my check-up two days before). We were officially admitted, and got into a labor & delivery room. I was hooked up to a fluid IV and a bag of antibiotics for the Group-B Strep. The next few hours passed slowly, at one point I was checked and at a 5-6, so I decided to try the whirlpool to relax me. The water was nice to sit in, but it didn’t relax me at all. The contractions were getting really intense, and when I was checked after being in the pool, I was still only at a 6.
That’s when I decided to go ahead and get an epidural. It was already 9:00 pm, and not only had I been laboring all day, but my body is ready for bed by that time anyway! We had to finish getting the whole bag of fluid in me before I could take it though, so I had to wait a little longer… that was one of the toughest times of waiting all night. I got the shakes really badly just before the anesthesiologist started working on me, but we got them to go away. I had a couple of contractions during the process, but managed to stay still, it’s amazing what you can force your body to do when you realize “I won’t feel this in 10 minutes…”
Once the epidural took effect (10:00 or so), we dimmed the lights and tried to get some rest. I never actually slept but it felt so good to lay there and rest. I could still feel some of the pressure from the contractions, but none of the pain. I didn’t realize how strong of back labor I was having until I couldn’t feel it anymore! My water broke around 11:30 pm. I was checked again and surprisingly already dilated to 8 cm. The doctors had told me an epidural often slowed the progression of labor so it could easily be another 6 hours before I would deliver. I was glad to hear things were going well.
Around 1:00 am we had quite a scare – I was listening to Abby’s heartbeat on the monitor and it started getting really quiet. I was thinking my belly monitor had slipped, when all of a sudden about 8 nurses and doctors rushed in to the room and started getting me to flip from side to side, gave me an oxygen mask, made me sit on all fours… apparently her heartrate had dropped too much. They put an internal monitor on her and we got her heart back up and holding steady. Everyone cleared out, and I stayed on the oxygen just to give her a little more.
I was checked, and I heard the amazing words that I was complete! My doctor was paged, and the 15-20 minutes before she got there were the second toughest time of waiting all night… The previous hour I had not been able to sleep because the contractions were causing so much pressure I thought Abby was going to just fall out! The pressure was so intense it was painful, in spite of the epidural. I can’t imagine what it would have felt like if I hadn’t gotten it…
Finally the doctor arrived, everything got set up and explained to me, everyone took their positions, and with the next contraction I started pushing. By that point I was just focusing on doing whatever they told me to do, and I have to say my nurses and doctors were amazing! Things were moving very quickly and my contractions were very close together. They could see her head, and there was some meconium on it, so we needed to try and get her out as quick as possible in case she had been swallowing any of it. The doctor gave me an episiotomy to help things along, and the forceps were brought out but we never needed them! All of a sudden there was a head and shoulders, and I heard “one more push… oh maybe not!” as she slid all the way out. I’d only been pushing for 10 minutes, maybe 4 contractions worth. She was officially born at 1:44 am on Sunday May 23.