Because I somehow never did and don't want to forget, I'm going to record James' birth story... only 4+ years late.
I was due to have him on July 15th, 2007. Because I begged and pleaded for months and ultimately broke down in tears, Dr. Fxx (I should make that triple X; he's such a stud) finally relented and induced me- three days earlier than my due date. His excuse on record was that the baby was measuring large-- which while very true, was not severe enough to warrant an induction. Fxx took one for the team, and I was and still am eternally grateful.
I'm not a very good host, as adorable as the "parasite" may ultimately be. I wanted that baby OUT of me!
So the night of July 11th, Derek and I went to the theater to watch Harry Potter. It was our last date night in a long while, and we knew it. It was fun... even with the far-too-frequent potty breaks on my part! We got a good night of sleep (again, our last one in a long while), and woke up ready to have a baby.
The morning of the 12th, Derek woke up to install the car seat. I remember being so excited and so happy to see him playing "daddy" already. Now all we needed was a baby!
Because by-choice inductions are low on their priority list, the hospital's instructions were that I call that night, and they would let me know if rooms were available. I waited and waited and finally, 7pm came. I called the hospital to see if I could come in, but they were booked with actually-laboring mammas and told me to call again in a couple of hours.
I don't remember what we did in those two hours. Probably paced the floors (have I mentioned patience is not a virtue I possess?). But I know that at some point in those couple of hours, I went to the bathroom. I just had to pee, no big thing for a full-term pregnant gal; it happens allll the time. But to my surprise, when I wiped (sorry; totally tmi) a ginormo glob of clearish mucus made itself known. I had lost my mucus plug! And all at once, too! It was seriously as big as a golf ball and was UBER-sticky (I may or may not have put it on my hand, tipped my hand so it was upside down, and waved it around to show Derek that it seriously was not coming off... I know; he thought it was gross, too). So exciting! That meant labor was sort of happening on its own! (Note: At my last appointment I was something like 60% effaced and dilated to a 1cm.)
I called at 9pm, and **cue Hallelujah chorus** they told me to come on in! Yay! We were so pumped. We grabbed our hospital bag and my pillow, drove to the hospital, got there in 10ish minutes, and checked in.
After filling out all of the paperwork, etc (which there wasn't tons of, due to the fact that I had been in to Labor & Delivery several times throughout my pregnancy because I was certain I was in labor or was paranoid 'cause I couldn't feel him move enough), I got in my gown and got hooked up to the machines. They checked me, and I was something like fully effaced and dilated to a 3. They had planned to put a little pill in my cervix to get things going (which is technically "inducing"), but they didn't have to since my body was already laboring a bit. I was even contracting, just not a ton. So they broke my water, started me on Pitocin, and labor officially began.
And oh man, that Pitocin was very effective! My contractions started banging away like crazy! Being a newbie, I had no idea they were too strong, but when the nurse came in and saw the charts/monitor she exclaimed in surprise and quickly lowered my dose. Then she came in a few minutes later, was again surprised, and lowered the dose again. Apparently I just need a teensy bit of drugs to kick start some pretty thorough contractions!
I wanted to feel the contractions, to experience labor and all of its pieces, so I hadn't planned to get my epidural until my pain was at a 4 or 5 on a scale from 1-10 (which, for the record, I am horrible with... I always figured 10 should be excruciating pain- like as much as you possibly can handle. After having now two kids and conversing with nurses as part of all that, I have learned that they view the scale a little differently, ha.). So once my contractions got to be painful enough that I was struggling quite a bit with them and having to breath "hee hee whoooo" style through them, I asked for the anesthesiologist.
Little did I know (again, live and learn), asking for an epidural doesn't necessarily mean getting one any time soon. The anesthesiologist may be in surgery (I think ours was in the middle of a c-section) or otherwise delayed, and your pain will get even worse before he/she gets there with the power to take it away. Our anesthesiologist was Dr. Garcia or something like that. He was very kind and did very well. He had me sit with my feet dangling off the side of the bed and my head down on Derek's chest (balled up that way to let him at my spine). Because James hadn't dropped at all and I had immense amounts of amniotic fluid, this position was a disaster waiting to happen. I immediately started gushing- and I do mean GUSHING- fluid. I told the nurse, but she brushed it off, assuming I was the exasperating type (we all know this is not true... ahem...). But then a waterfall started to pour off the side of the bed! Derek had to hop out of the way to avoid getting drenched! The nurse shouted in surprise, called for backup and started mopping up the mess. We hadn't gotten to the epidural part quite yet, so she changed my sheets and got me lots of towels to sit on, and we started again. The epidural administration was really not so bad (obviously not wonderful, though compared to my experience with Jolie's, it was a walk in the park), but I continually was gushing fluid. Maybe that was the comedic relief, 'cause it really was fairly entertaining. Once my epidural was in and the nurse(s) came to clean up, they had to literally mop up the water. "Oh my! Buckets!" was the phrase the nurse used.
The epidural was a relief. Not a total relief, as I could still feel a good amount of pain, but enough that I didn't (yet) just wish to die.
So once it was in, we waited. And waited. And waited. The contractions were coming pretty frequently and in full force, but I just wasn't dilating enough. Before the epidural, I wasn't dilating AT. ALL. My body doesn't relax well in pain. So once I had the epidural in, I did dilate some, but I got stuck at a 6 and wouldn't budge. James still hadn't descended, and the doctor was worried. They were concerned that they'd have to do a c-section. It was a stressful (and painful) waiting game for a while. Finally around 4am, I was exhausted, and things weren't going anywhere. They upped my drugs, and I fell asleep. Oh, sweet respite! They left me alone and didn't check me for a while, letting me sleep for about two hours. If I was still at 6cm when they checked again, I was going to have to get a c-section. But when I woke up around 6am, they checked me ... and I was a TENNNN! Yayy!! Sleep was just what I needed to relax enough and let my body do its thing. Hooray, hooray, hooray!
They called Dr. Fxx and got the labor tools out and ready. Ready or not, here he comes! I started pushing at 6am. I hated my labor nurse, but mostly because I hated the pain. She said she really wanted me to feel the "urge to push." But all I felt was the urge to DIE! I hurt so much. The epidural had put my legs to sleep but had left my lower abdomen entirely alone. So pushing hurt like a mo-fo. Ow. I pushed and pushed and pushed. James had finally gotten down into the canal during my little nap, but he was getting stuck on my pelvic bones and would not budge. Ugh. Again. I was angry that they hadn't induced me sooner (meaning weeks sooner) when he would have fit through my whoo-ha. I was frustrated that I would likely need a c-section even now, when I'd finally dilated. And I was in a whole lot of gosh-awful pain.
I pushed and pushed and pushed. I wept a good amount. Two hours later, I was ready to give up. My energy was drained after laboring all night and pushing for that long, and really- I just have crappy endurance. But Fxx kept encouraging me, and Derek was amazingly strong (and fantastic as a breathing coach, btw- love that guy). Finally they said they saw the head. I thought they were tricking me and didn't believe them (ha, but seriously). They got out the mirror to prove it, and once I could look beyond my own stretched-and-swollen-beyond-belief junk, I could see it- a teeny head, just wishing to come out. That gave me the strength to push harder. Fxx said "I know you don't want me to cut you, but if I make just one tiny little snip, he'll come right out." Well, you didn't have to tell me twice! He could have sawed off my right leg if it got that baby out! I gave him the go-ahead, he snip-snipped, and one push later- James' head came out!
They cleaned out his nose, etc. They untangled the cord that was wrapped around his neck (twice- scary). I pushed one more big push, and TA DA!!
My baby was born.
He was gooey and slimy, all scrunched up and swollen, and his poor little head was pointed beyond belief (that's what happens when you're stuck in a tiny tunnel for several hours). But he was mine, and he was wonderful.
Friday, July 13th, 2007.
James Russell Anderson
He was born at 8:11am.
He weighed 8lbs 11oz
and measured 22in long.
And he was perfect.
Fxx still had to "birth" my placenta and stitch me up and all that jazz, but I didn't even care. The second that boy was born, the horrible pain diminished. Instantly. It was amazing. James didn't scream like I thought babies did when born, and I remember being really concerned about it. The nurses reassured me that he was just fine. I figure he was tired. He'd been through a whole lot, that poor, sweet baby. We all had. But we had each other, and we'd be okay.
I should have slept while I was at the hospital. I should have taken advantage of the nurses and the "free babysitting" available. But I couldn't. (I tried, and it just made me break down bawling... so Derek went back for him, reassuring me that I didn't have to do anything. If I wanted to hold my baby, I most certainly could.)
I held him and stared at his beautiful face. I was captivated by that darling little child. I seriously could not believe that such a miracle had come out of me.
I think I resented him a little when he was inside of me (see my previous comment about "parasites."), but the second he was born, I fell helplessly and hopelessly in love. This darling, sweet baby was ours.