On Wednesday, November 9, we welcomed our sweet baby boy, Sullivan, into the world. He came a week early, which was a big surprise because his sister was a week late. He came at 7:06 a.m., weighing 8 pounds, 7 ounces and measuring a whopping 21 inches long. We were immediately obsessed, and the stress of the final days of pregnancy and the pain of labor and delivery were quickly forgotten.
My labor started slowly on Tuesday morning with contractions coming the standard three to five minutes apart, but once I reached the two-hour mark they would magically stop for about an hour. The day went on with that same cycle. By the time we were going to bed around 11 p.m. I realized that we had surpassed the two-hour mark, and the contractions hadn’t stopped. On the contrary, they seemed to be getting more intense. I tried to ignore it because I desperately wanted to get some sleep before the whole thing got going. Unfortunately the contractions kept waking me up, so I woke up my husband.
We called my mom to come over to stay with my daughter and headed out the door. We got checked in at the hospital, and thankfully I was admitted officially once they checked me and determined I was dilated 5 centimeters. We spent the next two hours in triage while we waited for a labor and delivery room to open up, and I think they were the longest two hours ever. Once we got to our official room I was 7 centimeters and in the beginning of the toughest part of labor.
After about an hour in our new room, the midwife broke my water because she thought it might move things along. Much to my dismay all it did was bring on some insane contractions because when I was checked about an hour later I was still 7 cm. The weird part was I felt like I had to push, but I clearly couldn’t at only 7 cm. It was during this exam that the midwife determined that my body was indeed trying to push baby out, and it was causing swelling in my cervix that was preventing me from dilating properly. The only solution she offered was an epidural to relax my body and allow it to dilate on its own properly.
Now, I had desperately wanted to do things all natural like I had with my daughter, so at first I was reluctant. Yet knowing it was the best option at that moment for a healthy delivery I decided to accept the epidural. Once they got me pumped with fluids and the anesthesiologist was setting up, my contractions were 30 seconds apart and worse than any I’d ever felt in either labor. He could barely get everything done in between my contractions, and it took everything in my will power to sit still through the contractions while he worked.
The craziest part was that with every contraction I felt my body pushing out the baby, a feeling that is hard to forget if you’ve felt it before. I kept telling my nurse, “I’m pushing. I can’t help it. I’m trying not to.” She calmly would tell me it was OK, to try to sit still and relax. No sooner had the the anesthesiologist finished I told the nurse, “No really, I can feel myself pushing.” She calmly said, “OK, let me check you.”
Her face immediately changed as she stated, “Oh my gosh, you’re fully dilated!” And I said “OK well I’m having a contraction and pushing; I can’t stop.”
The next few moment were chaos as she begged me not to push, yelled for the midwife to come, and rushed the poor anesthesiologist out who had turned off my meds and was trying to finish cleaning up his stuff. The drugs hadn’t even gotten into my system, but clearly my body didn’t need the help they thought it did to progress.
The midwife barley got set up, I pushed four times, and my little man was in my arms.
All of the craziness of that last 45 minutes was instantly wiped away when I held him in my arms. All of the pain, the fear and the tension was completely forgotten. It’s amazing what happens when you take part in a miracle, and I have no doubt that childbirth is just that.
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