September 4, 2006 - Labor Day - LITERALLY
I had the day off from work so I was trying to get the last things around the house finished up at home - cleaning, yard work..etc. It was finally about 4:30 pm when I decided to be done. I sat on the couch with Lazy on my lap, watching a marathon of "Little People, Big World" on TLC. I had been having pains for about an hour - which I wasn't sure if they were contractions or not - so I decided to time them to see if they were contractions or not. Around 4:45 - 4:50 pm, I decided to start timing them. They weren't bad, just noticeable. I timed for an hour and they were 6-7minutes apart. At 6:00 pm, Deej called for David. As I turned around to hang up the phone I felt a trickle, almost like I peed my pants! I sat there for a second, took Lazy off my lap, went upstairs and went to the bathroom. My underwear were soaked and the fluid didn't stop. I went into the bedroom and grabbed my "Beginnings" and "What to Expect When You're Expecting" books. I sat on the bed. I was looking for something to definitely say "YOUR WATER BROKE!!" Well, everything pretty much said "Your water MAY have broken, call your physician" So, feeling like it more than likely had actually broken and I would have to go to the hospital if it did - I decided to take a shower before calling anyone. I was NOT going to the hospital all dirty and sweaty. (even though I was more than likely going to get sweaty) After I got out of the shower, I got dressed in my white tank top and black gauchos. I put my hair in a pony tail and put my makeup on. I called the Birth Center at United Hospital and talked to a nurse. The nurse said it sounded like my water may have broken and I should make my way in to be checked out - but there was no rush. I had to call David now (he was at work) I called him and this was our (shortened) conversation:
K: "When are you coming home?"
D: "Like 10 minutes, why?"
K: "I think my water may have broken"
D: "Really? OK, I'm leaving now"
There was a little more afterwards, but it was fun to hear his excitement. When he said "really" I heard a huge gasp in the background - it was Sarah - she pretty much knew my water broke. It's funny because we talked about how rare it is that someones water breaks at the start of labor (1 in 10 women)
David came home in a huge panic. I had to tell him that there wasn't any rush. I asked him if he was hungry, if he wanted to take a shower before we left, if we could throw some laundry in. He said yes to all of them. We went and threw a load in the washer. We came up, I made David some chicken tenders, he went and hopped in the shower. While David showered, I packed a brief hospital bag (**I know, I know...this should have already been done. It was actually on my list of things to do that evening.) David got out, he ate and we grabbed the laundry. OK, at this point my contractions were getting stronger and were 4 minutes apart. Now, I was ready to go! We left. Off to (more than likely) have this baby!
We get to the hospital and park in the Red Ramp. We slowly made our way to the Birth Center. I had to stop a couple times on the way there - mostly when I was having a contraction. We get to the desk and although I had pre-registered, there was still MORE paperwork - like 5 more sheets. Then a nurse came around and asked me to follow her to a private room (into the triage) I had to put on a gown and then wait for her to come back. I changed and hopped up on the bed. The nurse came in and asked some questions. She was asking me why I thought my water broke and a whole list of health/medical related questions. She hooked me up to 2 monitors - one monitoring my contractions and the other was the baby's heartbeat. My temperature and blood pressure were taken. Then I was swabbed to test the fluids to see if it was amniotic fluid. The first time, the nurse used the wrong end, so it didn't work. The second time was the right end. we had to wait a few minutes to see if it was positive. Wait...wait...wait. "Your water broke!" YEAH!! OK, so now we HAD to stay there. The nurse went and called Labor/Delivery to let them know we were coming over. She got me another gown so my back was covered too.
We slowly ventured over to Labor/Delivery and got our room. We started to get a little settled in with the stuff that we brought in with us. I called my mom to tell her we were there and would call her after the nurse came in. By the time we got checked into our room, my contractions were about 2-3 minutes apart. David decided to go back to the car and get our stuff since we weren't going anywhere. While David was gone, the nurse came in. She was SO NICE!! She hooked me up and checked me out. I was only about 2-3 centimeters (this is where I was Thursday the week before at my 38 week appointment) We talked about how we wanted things to go and discussed pain medications. She asked if I would be interested in walking around to possibly help me progress a little more. She said I needed to be back in an hour to get checked out again. She was telling me if I didn't progress after walking around then at 12:00am, we might consider starting pitocin.
David and I went walking around the halls. We looked at the pictures of all the babies/kids on the wall that were under the "Thank You" board. I started to get to a point where my contractions were making me stop completely and brought me to tears. We decided to make our way back to our room. We got back and time was up anyways. It was 11:30 pm. The nurse came in and checked me - I was still 2-3cm and my contractions were still 2-3 minutes apart, but they were lasting longer (now 70-80 seconds long - rather than 40-55 seconds long) which made them stronger also. David called Betsy, no answer - so he left a message, but didn't know our room phone number, so he couldn't leave it for her to call us back. The nurse called Dr Woo (one of the 3 doctors from my clinic - he was the doctor that was on call) He decided we were going to give it a little while longer still. Now, it was a waiting game again. Since we had a while to wait again, we decided to get some rest. David fixed up the "bed" and laid down. He fell asleep around 12:00-12:30am. I was so tired and wanted to sleep, but the contractions were too painful to sleep through.
I think it was probably around 2:00am when the nurse came back in and checked me. She said we were probably going to be start pitocin soon. We then discussed pain medications again. I was stubborn and kept saying I didn't want anything - at least not yet. We talked some more. She asked me why I didn't want anything and we talked about it. I reassessed my pain, I decided that I was not going to be able to do it without medications, but I just didn't want them yet. Then the nurse made me realize if I was going to get it at some point, I should just do it now and enjoy the rest of my labor and delivery. We ordered the epidural. She went and got everything ready for an IV and administered it. It was about 30 minutes later when the anesthesiologist came in. It was time for my epidural. I was so scared for it and felt sad because David was sleeping and I didn't want to wake him to help me through it. The nurse had to be my support. I turned on my left side, curled up into a ball and waited. The doctor talked me through it, but I didn't really listen - I really couldn't . I felt a small sting; this was the medication to numb the area - then came the burn. Another sting/burn - now this was the catheter - I felt this when it went between the vertebrae. I started crying at this point. David woke up and popped his head up over the back of the "bed" I could tell he felt bad because all he could do was sit there and watch me in pain. They were done - thank goodness.
My legs started to get numb and they were VERY warm. I was going to get checked again, get a catheter started and get pitocin started. It was probably around 3:00 am when the nurse was done with all of that. She told me to try to rest while I could and would be in to check on me. I was also instructed to call if I needed anything. She told me I would know when it was time to start pushing because I would feel the urge to push and to call if this happened. She left and turned off the lights on her way out. At this point, I couldn't feel my contractions at all because of the epidural. I laid my head down, almost positive that there was NO WAY I was going to fall asleep. I laid there listening to the baby's heartbeat - before I knew it I was asleep. The nurse kept coming in to check the monitor and to readjust the fetal heart monitor to get a better read. I woke up every time she came in. Around 4:30 am I woke up. I was feeling each contraction. There was so much pressure. I thought it would stop. It didn't. With each contraction I was GRIPPING the bed rails. I felt the need to push - NOW! I pushed the call button, a nurse answered. I said "Um..my nurse wanted to me to let her know when I felt the need to push and with each contraction I feel like I need to push" she said "oh, OK. I will let your nurse know" My nurse came in and checked my monitors then she checked me. She smiled and chuckled a little and said: "well, you're complete. I'll call the doctor"
K: "does that mean it's time to call my mom?"
nurse: "does she want to be here for the delivery?"
nurse: "then you should"
She left, I woke David up, he got dressed and was at my side for every minute there after. I called my mom. She was on her way. It was about 4:40-4:50 am when my nurse came back in. She set up the room for the delivery. I was getting so excited. She then taught me how I was going to push with each contraction. Push at the start, they counted from 1 to 10, take a deep breath, AGAIN - but harder, AGAIN - even harder now! We did this with every contraction. David counted and helped me hold my leg and foot. David and I were sitting there talking, smiling and laughing between each contraction. He was also giving me water and ice. Uh-oh, I felt like I was going to throw up. The nurse got a dish and I threw up. I couldn't stop. She said it was from the pain, medication and nerves.
My mom arrived!! Dr Woo got there!! We continued pushing with each contraction. The baby was even further down and the pressure was strong! They could see the head!! YAY! I kept pushing - I was doing great. I remember it didn't hurt, it was just tiring. Then they contractions and pushing were all really close together. Everyone was counting and talking, I was pushing harder and more often. I pushed and it hurt - A LOT! The head was almost out. Dr Woo told me not to let go of the push, but not to push more. The head was out, he suctioned out the baby's mouth. David started crying - he could see the baby. Dr Woo told me to relax and the baby would come out. I did and it felt like the baby slid out. Dr Woo said (from what i remember) "Do you want to hold her?" and neither David or I caught it. Then he put the baby on my chest/stomach. I just stared and hugged with my hands - I didn't know what to do. David was crying so much and it was beautiful to see him so joyous. The Dr Woo said "here's your girl" WE HAD A GIRL!! Baby Graycen Elizabeth was born at 6:01 am on September 5, 2006! David was holding the oxygen mask on her little face and she just sat there looking at me. I still hadn't cried. Then she cried - that first tiny little cry came out of her - it grew louder and stronger. Here come the tears - now I was crying. David cut the cord. I just laid there talking to her and holding her. David was kissing and hugging me and then kissing the baby. It was such a close, personal moment. They took her to weigh and measure her. She was 8 pounds 1/2 ounce. 21.5 inches tall and her head was 13.5 inches around. David took pictures while they weighed and measured her. He took some pictures of me too. They told us her APGAR scores - 7 at the 1 minute and 9 at the 5 minutes. YAY!! I got stitched up while everything was going on. I tore just a little bit. It was just over an hour of pushing. 6:01 am was delivery time - which was just over 12 hours (by 1 minute) from the time that my water broke. We sat in that room until about 8:00 am and then switched rooms.