So, that week I carried on, drank my raspberry leaf tea, walked 3 miles every day, took naps, ate spicy food, ate a whole pineapple(not that unusual for me), we went on a date night and I finished my antibiotics. What concerned me is all the labor signs I had going up to when I go sick went away. No more pelvic pain, no more night contractions. I started to think I'd be pregnant forever.
Sat March 15th I woke up at 1:30am to a contraction. No big deal, I've had these before. They started happening every 15 minutes but I just went back to sleep every time. At 2:30am my water broke. Just like that. When we went through birthing classes we decided and shared with our midwife that if my water broke we would stay home as long as we could but not longer than 12 hours. I told Jerod my water broke but in his defense I didn't really wake him up so in his sleep he mumbled, "ok". To get the party started I got up and made cookies for the nurses, watched Modern Family while bouncing on my birthing ball, cleaned a litte but the contractions stayed at 15 min apart.
At 4:30am I crawled back in bed and woke Jerod up for real. We decided to get some rest and let my body take over. I was able to sleep between contractions but woke up starving. "I must be in labor because my body is preparing for the marathon". Between then and noon I ate a huge pancake breakfast, cleaned my kitchen, swept, took another nap and Jerod had the cable guy come fix our internet.
Noon rolled around and the contractions were still sporatic ~15 - 20 min apart and occasionally intense but we knew it was time to head into the hospital. We called ahead and hit the road. At this point I stopped timing my contractions but I had a few strong ones on the short ride in. I also had a long, painful one in Buffalo Wild Wings parking lot where we stopped to grab lunch. I was STARVING again and knew I wouldn't get much at the hospital. One buffalo chicken wrap in the hospital parking lot later and we walked into the L&D unit. Our admitting nurse was skepitical of my lunch choice and said, "we'll see how that fairs a few hours from now".
Around 2pm the admitting assessment was in, we showed them our birth plan, my water was confirmed to be broke and I was 3 cm dilated. Lauren, our day nurse, was awesome and was cool about our plan to do everything natural. She said she would call our midwife, Fern, and let her know we were there but while we waited to get walking. So we hit the stairs. And the hallways. And the stairs again. I went up the stairs sideways, two at a time all while sipping on my water bottle. WIth each contraction Jerod was there to press on my back. I would like to interject at this time that back labor is painful, very painful.
Fern showed up at 3:30 and I was progressed to 3.5 cm. We discussed pitocin and she gave me an hour to make some more progress. At this point we were fighting the infection clock. We didn't want to wait until the 24 hour mark to start pit, our baby might be too tired by then. We can't say enough good things about Fern. She got down on the floor and gave me a reflexology foot massage while asking us how we met. Jerod was filling my cup with the juice he made at home. I was a pampered mama! :) Didn't last long and we hit the stairs again. Jerod noticed on our way out the door that they had a bag of pitocin prepared and ready for me.
Contractions were picking up, I had one by an ATM machine that made me realize I didn't want to be out in public anymore. I couldn't control my noise and low moaning helped me keep relaxed and loose. Also, both of our legs were turning into noodles from all our stair walking. We headed back to the room.
It was 5pm and I told Jerod I wanted to lay down and have all the curtain pulled and lights off. For the first time I thought "I want to leave, and leave the pain behind". I knew it wasn't possible but I was starting to wish I could. I crawled into bed with my ipod but ripped the head phones out with each contraction. Fern pointed out to Jerod that I was a different person, my eyes were closed, I wanted dark and quiet. I was 5cm going on 6. From here on out everything gets fuzzy. At this time Jerod leaned down to whisper they had taken the pitocin away. Our baby was coming all on her own.
I labored in bed for a while, Jerod pressing on my back with each contraction. Fern was my cheerleader and kept saying, "this is going so fast, you are running this marathon so fast". Nurses brought in carts, put the portable monitor on my belly. I moved to the tub for a while which helped break the time up. It also helped move the baby off my back and the contractions were now starting in the front. I lied on my left side for the entire time in the tub, Jerod putting cool rags on my face or spraying warm water on my back. He was right there and quickly learned what was helping and what wasn't. Put a cool rag on for the breaks, fling it off for contractions. Fern sat nearby on a stool, quitely observing and occasionally reading scripture. The verses were so calming, it sounds so cliche but I was clinging to every sentence.
Somewhere around 7:30pm the contractions changed and so did I. I didn't want an epidural or meds or a c-section, I just didn't want to do this anymore. I told Jerod, "I can't do this anymore, I can't". He got so excited and reminded me that this was a sign I was in transistion. Fern also shared that I was no longer moaning but grunting and that meant I was 10 cm. It was time to move out of the tub.
This was the only moment Jerod left my side, he went to go put something on the bed, I can't remember. I must have been in labor or something. :) I stood up with the nurses practically cheering me on and saying how strong I was. I recall clearly feeling like a baby animal standing for the first time on quivering legs. A contraction hit me like a semi truck and I yelled for Jerod. We would like to take this time to apologize to the staff Jerod shoved out of the way while he came to my rescue. I had decided the small coat hook on the back of the door was a great place to cling to with all my weight.
Back on the bed our baby started to run into trouble. I was on all fours, mashing my face into the pillow with each contraction. My eyes still closed. I could feel the nurse pressing the monitor really hard into my abdomen so I made sure to let her know "I know you need to do that but I really hate it". Through the roaring in my ears I could hear them call for a doplar and tell me to flip on my side. I started to moan, "my baby, my baby". I get a little emotional typing this because it was the scariest time for Jerod and I. Our daughter's heartrate was dropping with contractions and not recovering quickly enough. I think I also said something along the lines of "What do you want me to do, what do I need to do?"
On my side they confirmed I was 10cm and to start pushing, it was 7:47pm. Pushing was very painful and I wasn't present enough to understand that Fern saying "You can push your baby out now" really meant, "you really should push your baby out now". They placed oxygen on me, turned me from side to side. Laying on my back literally felt like a fire exploded up my spine so that idea didn't work. It was still a calm environment despite my adrenaline and baby's heartrate and with each contraction I would push. I opened my eyes at one point for the first time in a while and recognized there had been shift change so I had a new nurse that looked familar. "Karen, your mom taught me flute lessons". She smiled and confirmed we knew each other from way back when and I went back to pushing.
During our prenatal appts we shared with Fern that I would prefer to not have an episiotomy. Fern agreed and said the only time she does them is in emergent situations. So, I was pushing but backing off of the pain. But then I heard Fern say she was going to numb me for an episitomy and the nurse to my left was saying my baby's heartrate was 70s. My baby was in trouble. I pushed with all my might on the next contraction, mentally repeating, "for my baby, for my baby". And our daughter was born.