Juliet Jean Seri arrived at 8:06 p.m. on October 9, 2010. I've been wanting to start blogging about her, but between nursing, diaper changing, keeping up with the house, and recovering from labor and delivery I've had my hands full. Here's the recap:
October 8, 2010
9:00 p.m.: My water breaks except it wasn't like the traditional gush you see in the movies. It was more like a slow leak that I didn't really realize was amniotic fluid until we did some internet research and called the nurse on call at the hospital.
11:30 p.m.: Check-in at the hospital. doctor gave me a few hours to get my labor started on its own.
October 9, 2010
4:00 a.m. (or so): Contractions weren't producing any cervical change so they started me on Pitocin, which is where the whole thing took a turn for the worse in my opinion. I was able to get a little bit of sleep as my contractions got stronger but I was mostly running on adrenaline.
8:30 a.m. (or so): My contractions were coming about 2-3 minutes apart and they were definitely painful, but manageable. Unfortunately, they were doing nothing for my cervix and so the doctor wanted to start increasing the Pitocin more aggressively.
10:20 a.m.: With the increase in Pitocin every 20 minutes, my contractions went from about a level 5-6 on the pain scale to off the charts in a matter of 10-15 minutes. They started to get so strong that I then knew what people meant when they said it was the worst pain they ever felt in their entire lives. I managed the first 4-5 contractions like this and was continuing to try to "moan" through them like my doula suggested. I was leaned over the bed with either Michaela (doula) or Gus rubbing my back as I moaned, but I eventually could feel myself losing control of the pain and starting to panic. I tried going on the bed on all fours, but it was tough to get there in time for the next contraction and I ended up having one halfway through the transition from standing to the bed. At this point, I was crying because I felt like I was never going to be able to do this and shaking from the pain. I made the decision that I was going to probably need the epidural and so they started me on the bag of fluid that was needed before the epidural could be administered. Well, it takes an entire hour to go through that bag and then you need to wait for the doctor to give you the epidural. The pain is really all a mental game and I think if someone told me that I needed to be in that much pain for a finite period of time, I might have been able to tough it out but I started to panic knowing that it could be several more hours of this.
11:40 a.m. (or so): Anesthesiologist shows up. I was not even bothering trying to relax through these contractions because I knew I was getting the pain meds. I was just tensing up trying to get through each one. I had a hospital gown hiked up to my waist and had to take it off my shoulders so the guy can get at my back. So, I'm naked sitting on a bed trying to do the things they needed me to do - move back on the bed, cross my legs, lift my butt, etc. At one point, when they asked if I could lift my butt up, I just said absolutely not. For crying out loud! Gus was standing in front of me and I had my hands on his shoulders digging my nails into him with each contractions as I struggled to sit still so they only had to poke me once in the spine. I remember the anesthesiologist asking me questions that I couldn't even be bothered to answer because I was in so much pain.
12:00 p.m.: Drugs were flowing and I was lying in bed still feeling the contractions but knowing that they were going to get less and less as the drugs continued their course.
12:15 p.m.: Feeling like a whole new woman. Doctor came into check and found that I had only progressed about 1 inch in dilation, but was totally effaced. So after 8 hours, I was at 3 cm/100%. Seriously? All that pain and I only got 1 cm? Turned out that I had a forebag, which is essentially a second water bag. Because that hadn't ruptured, my labor was not progressing. So doctor ruptured the forebag with what appeared to be a drumstick, but probably wasn't and then said that I should be on my way. He predicted a 9:30 p.m. delivery, which of seemed like hours away ... probably because it was hours away.
3:00 p.m.: The epidural was a godsend and I was able to get some sleep to conserve some energy for the pushing. Nurse checked me and I was at 9.5 cm. I went from 3-9.5 cm in only 3 hours!
4:00 p.m.: My body was ready to push. The nurse suggested I "labor down" for awhile, which essentially means I just lay on my side and let the baby start coming down on its own without pushing.
6:00 p.m.: The real pushing began. Gus holding one leg and Michaela holding the other. The pushing thing was fine in the beginning, but as the time wore on I was starting to get annoyed that it was taking so long. In spite of the epidural, I could still feel the contractions so at least I knew when to push.
7:50 (or so): Apparently, I was stretched to the max and there was quite a bit of blood coming out with every effort to push. I only know this because Gus watched the entire thing and told me later. The whole pushing thing sucked because you could feel how stretched you were and you just had to sit there like that waiting for the next contraction before you could push again. It sort of sucks to have a baby's head sticking partway out of your vagina and then just having to sit there. Anyway, it began to look like an episiotomy was going to be necessary. Gus and I had discussed this procedure at length before we went to the hospital and I had thought that it wouldn't be a good option. However, at this point I just wanted that baby out! That and I was hardly in a position to make a rational decision. Doctor made the cut and baby came out 2 pushes later!
8:06 p.m.: Baby Juliet arrived! I cried. Not sure if it was because I was so happy to see the baby or because I was so happy that pain was over. Little did I know, I had much more pain to deal with but at least that part was done!
Here's a picture of mommy, daddy, and baby ...