INote: the following post contains details of a vaginal delivery. Do not read if this is something that will upset you. You have been warned.
Tuesday, October 30, I had my final midwife appointment. Deb said there was no need to check me since the following day I would be checked for sure, so the appointment was short and sweet. Heartbeat was in the 140s and fundal height was measuring 41 cm. We went to lunch and then picked up my mom from the airport. I was glad to have a day with her before I headed to the hospital to meet Four.
On Halloween, my mom and Barry took Gabriel to school for his Halloween party, and Owen and I hung out, the last time we would do that just the two of us. It was so nice. We were to head to the hospital at 6 pm to get the induction started. We got the boys ready for trick or treating, and then headed to the hospital, just a few minutes late.
We got settled into room 28, and changed into my lovely gown. We got there right before shift change, so nothing really happened, but check in and endless questions before 7:15. Deb came in and checked me. I was 2 cm dilated and 50% effaced, same that I'd been a week prior, which was slightly disappointing, because I'd had some irregular contractions and been losing some plug. The plan was set. Oral cytotec, in accordance with a foley/easy cath to help dilate me. She came back a few minutes later with the ultrasound machine to verify baby's position. Baby was head down, but face first! o.0 She said, "We need to get ultrasound down here to confirm, because if this is the case there's no induction tonight. I don't do inductions that fail."
That was a tense 15 minutes, not knowing whether or not the baby was coming. I threatened Four to turn slightly, and there were some crazy accels during that time, along with some mild, yet regular contractions. When ultrasound came down, she said that the baby was in perfect position, and that I had a beautiful placenta. The plan would go on. Deb said that she believed in the power of prayer. I told her I did too but that I'd totally threatened the baby while they were gone.
My IV/hep lock was placed and the cytotec was administered, seriously the tiniest little pills I've ever seen. The foley catheter was in place, and that was definitely awkward. They started my antibiotics for the GBS+, and said that I could walk around. The foley felt so awkward that I opted to stay sitting upright The foley fell out within an hour, which meant I was dilated to 4! I decided to walk around since the awkwardness was over with, and was spotting quite a bit. We did laps and laps around the labor and delivery floor. Contractions were coming, slightly stronger, but not intense, and pretty regular. I was supposed to walk for 40 minutes and then be monitored for 20 to make sure baby was handling contractions well. I think we walked for an hour and a half before we decided to go back to the room. It was about midnight when we headed back, and the nurse called Deb to see if she wanted me to be checked or not. They decided to check me again, since I'd been having pretty consistent and regular contractions. Imagine my disappointment when I was still 4 cm. They decided to start pitocin.
The pitocin was doing its job, and contractions were far more regular and intense. I labored quietly to myself for the next few hours. My nurse, Cami was great, and quiet the whole time. Exactly what I needed. She wasn't terribly chatty, or loud. She did, however, keep asking if I wanted pain meds yet. She was surprised when I said I didn't plan on an epidural for labor. At about 4 in the morning, they checked me again, after 4 hours of contractions, I prayed that there was some change. Success I was 5-6, and 80% effaced. But I was tired, and discouraged. So I asked for the IV drugs. One shot of Nubain later, and I slept for a good hour and a half through many contractions and my next dose of IV antibiotics.
I've never had Nubain before. It was interesting to say the least. It made me feel hot, and sweaty, and I kept thinking about the baby that was coming. We had disagreed, mostly me, on girl names the entire pregnancy. Going into the hospital, our boy name was Samuel Arthur, as it had been throughout the entire pregnancy, well really before we were even expecting Four. Our girl name list consisted of many, many names. Our top three were Caroline, Violet and Scarlett. When I would sort of come to, from the nubane, I kept thinking "Emilia is coming." Then it kept coming, "Emilia Eliza Jane is coming". When the nubane had finally worn off, I told Barry that if it was a girl we'll have to name her Emilia, which is a name we've both loved for years. Barry served in a city in Itally named Reggio-Emilia while he was on his mission. I'd joked that we'd name our daughter that or Alessandria (both cities where he'd lived!) Eliza is after my best frind, Carly Elizabeth. And Jane is just one of my favorite, most underrated names.
The Nubain had lasted an hour and a half, about, so it was about 6 when it had worn off. My other labors had all lasted less than 12 hours from the time we'd gotten to the hospital. The fact that I'd been at the hospital for 12 hours without a baby in sight made me emotional. It might have also had something to do with the hefty shot of narcotics I'd had, who knows, but I started bawling. I was having wretched back labor, (thank you posterior baby), and needed Barry to push on my lower back with every contraction. I kept saying "I'm a failure. I can't do this. I'm dying." Now I know that I was in transition, but at the time, I thought the answer was an epidural. I wanted to be sitting, putting more pressure on my cervix the whole night, but any time I would do that, the baby's heart rate monitor would stop registering Four's heartbeat. I had to lay back to get the heart on the monitor. When I felt as though I was dying, I simply couldn't sit back, I had to sit up. Walking around probably would have felt better.
When my nurse came in, again shift change, they were loud and obnoxious and WAY too cheery for me. They kept saying something about bumping up my pitocin because my contractions just weren't strong enough on the monitors. That did it. I asked for the epidural. The nurses decided to hold off on the pitocin, until after I got the epidural, whew!, and went to find the anesthesiologist. She was the nicest and kindest anesthesiologist I'd ever met. She explained the risk of epidural, explained the procedure, and then went to get the consent forms. I signed them, happily, and then she left again to get the meds ready. She came back in with her blue surgical cap on, and had me put one on. Then she asked me to stand up to move to the side of the bed. When I stood up, I immediately felt pushy. (If you have a baby, you know what that feels like.) I looked at the anesthesiologist, who was standing next to me, rubbing my shoulder/back, and said, "I....need...to push, I'm sorry!" She laughed and said it was ok. The nurse told me not to push while I was standing, and asked if I could sit down. At that moment, I simply could not have sat down if you'd offered me a zillion dollars. She decided to check me while standing and said, "Oh honey you're an 8 with your water bulging. I bet if your water broke, you'd have a baby. Page Deb." When that contraction was over, I sat gingerly on the side of the bed while the next contraction was there, and then laid down on the bed. Deb had come in, and they got the room delivery ready.
Deb said to push when I felt like it. She made sure that Barry got his gloves on to catch the baby. With the next contraction my water broke everywhere. (Basically all of my antibiotics were for nothing, since baby wasn't ever exposed to the GBS) and with the next push I felt the ring of fire. But listened to my body and didn't push hard, just waited. The next contraction the baby was born. We didn't know gender, so Barry was the first to know. Baby was born with a body cord, and he unwrapped it and looked to see if it was a boy or a girl and put the baby on my chest. I took a peek, and said, "IS it a GIRL?" and then started bawling. Barry was teary, and Deb pulled open the baby's legs and said, "I knew it was a girl!"
I needed only two stitches, which was a miracle. When Deb told me that I literally said, "Shut up." I was for sure expecting another 2nd-4th degree tear. It's what I'm used to. I felt amazing after SHE was born. Any time I thought about the fact that it was actually a girl I started to cry. It's not that I wouldn't have been happy if it was a boy, that's not it at all, but I was just so surprised and overwhelmed that it was a girl.
Emilia Eliza Jane was born November 1, 2012 at 8:15 am. She weighed 8 lbs 10 oz and was 20.1" long.