Early in the morning on March 18, I went to my ob/gyn for a follow-up. My doctor wanted to check and see if more dilation had occurred. I woke up after having little to no sleep that night; the night before I had severe stomach pains which I passed off as gas from the Chili's we ate. (We had our last date night as a couple that night too thanks to my lovely friend Kim.)
I wanted to let hubs sleep that day, so I drove there by myself, bold as brass in sweat pants and no make-up. I was not feeling it that morning and my doctor could tell. He checked me to see if any more progress had occurred, which it had, I had dilated another centimeter, bringing the grand total to three. He then stripped my membranes which was horrible, I mean, really terrible, to the point where I had the beginnings of tears coming down my face. He then said he wanted to see me again on Monday and would induce me Tuesday and then said the most glorious words, "Don't go into work on Monday." I said "Okay!!" I got home and spent the rest of the day in mild discomfort, as I was hurting from the stripping of the membranes and I had developed mild cramping in my lower back. Hubs and I lazed around the house; it was Spring Break and we wanted to enjoy ourselves. I had ordered a tummy time mat and decided it was an activity that could be completed on the couch, so that's what I did. I got it all set up by myself and learned how to use it (not exactly rocket science) and stood up to put it away. The moment I stood up from the couch it was like Niagara Falls down there. My first thought was a flashback of a conversation I'd had with my friend Kim and that was, "I should have done more Kegels because I have lost control of my bladder." My second thought was, "Wait...". Then I said to my husband in a rather quiet, controlled voice, "My water just broke." And then I ran to the bathroom and asked him to bring me a towel. We then started giggling hysterically, I mean, we were hysterical.
We managed to get ourselves under control and things started to move pretty quickly. I got in the shower, then Matt got in the shower, then we packed everything up. My water broke at 4:24pm and we were out the door my 5:30...which is fast for us. Of course when we got to the highway there was an incredible traffic jam due to lane closures, but luckily I hadn't started having contractions, so it wasn't too bad.
We got to the hospital at around 6pm and schlepped all our stuff in and it was verified that I was indeed in labor. At that point I had dilated another centimeter. By that time the contractions had started and we were heavy in the breathing techniques. I also would like to mention how wonderful my husband was in helping me through the first part of labor sans epidural. He never took his eyes off me and calmed me down and helped me breathe through each contraction.
At around 8pm I had been cleared to receive the epidural and in came the anesthesiologist. He walked me through what he was going to do and did it up right. After about 15 minutes, I was feeling no pain. It made the experience so nice; the pain was starting to get so intense that I felt a little out of control from it, which I don't like. The epidural brought peace back to the delivery room. Hubs and I watched a little TV, chatted and my mom came by for a bit. The wonderful nurses would check me periodically and I was always dilated just a little bit more.
At 2am on March 19 I was 10cm and ready to push. What I didn't know is that the mama goes ahead and starts pushing without the doctor being there. So, I had a crew of nurses in my room, plus my amazing husband, and we started to push. Those nurses and my husband were my own personal cheerleaders. The labor room was amazing, there were no loud sounds, no screaming, just encouragement and peace. Exactly the environment I wanted my baby to be born in. At 2:15, they called the doctor and 15 minutes later, he was there. All the doctor did was cut me open (I got an episiotomy, ask me how happy I am about it)and pull the baby out. And when the baby came out at 2:45am...well, it was a beautiful little boy. Hubs was so shocked he didn't move for a bit, but then he got busy with the camera. I couldn't take my eyes off the child and was begging for him right away.
We got him for the first hour so he could snuggle with us and breastfeed. He latched on like a champ but was a pretty sleepy fellow so he didn't hold it for long. At about 3:45 the nurses took him to the nursery to run their tests on him. Hubs and I were encouraged to sleep, but it was next to impossible for two reasons. One, we were high as kites, running on adrenaline. We talked about our baby's fingers, toes, chin, eyes, hair, nose, you name it, we recounted it all to each other. The other reason it was next to impossible to rest was because the nurses had to massage my uterus every 15 minutes, which hurt very bad. The epidural was beginning to wear off too, so I was beginning to feel what every woman feels post partum.
*A little aside here; I think that if we didn't focus on pregnancy/labor and delivery when warning teenage girls about sex and instead focused on what happens post partum (leaking, hormones, etc.) then I think that would discourage them a little more. I mean, I'm a mature adult but some of that post-partum business is nasty.*
At 6:45 I was admitted into post-partum and was encouraged to sleep but I was hungrier than all get out. I hadn't eaten in 19 hours, a new record for me. I had a sandwich and tried to sleep, but again, was unsuccessful. At around 9:30, Toph was brought to me and all was right in the world. The next 24 hours we practiced being a family in front of the nurses, then on Saturday the 20th, they released us to the world with the most beautiful baby.
And that's the day our lives began.