February 17th: A Timeline - Handmade in the Heartland

February 17th: A Timeline

We are at home and happy and adjusting to the new schedule of 2 hour sleep increments :) Here is my birth story in time line form. There might be too much information for some people, but as i went through the entire pregnancy i found it very helpful and comforting to read other people's birth stories on their blogs. So here it is...

2:00 am- I woke up with contractions, i went downstairs and sat on an exercise ball to see if they would continue or just go away like they had been doing the past week. I was already realizing that they were stronger than i had previously felt, but i wasn't convinced just yet. I timed them out and they were about 8-10 minutes apart and they felt like intense menstrual cramps.

3:00 am- i went upstairs to try and lay down, which then made them worse so i woke up Matt. I went to the bathroom and realized i was bleeding and so we decided it was probably happening and we got up to get things ready. I changed clothes, finished packing, and had Matt make the guest bed, finish the dishes from the night before, and then he took a shower and did payroll on his computer for his employees because it was due on Friday. i was also experiencing the natural laxative of going into labor and cleaning out my system- running to the bathroom quite frequently.

5:00 am- we fall asleep on the couch for 2 hours while watching saved by the bell- we are now happy to know that there are 4 back to back episodes of the 90's most loved show on at that hour :)

7:00 am- we wake up because i'm in quite a lot of pain and start timing the contractions. They are between 5-6 minutes apart.

8:30 am- we called the hospital, they asked me a lot of questions and then told me that they usually have people come in when the contractions are 3-5 minutes apart and that i should go ahead and come in. Matt then then took the dogs out, and i texted our friend Margaret and asked her to stop by and let them out later that afternoon and again that evening.

9:00 am- we arrived at the hospital and they put me into the triage room. They hooked me up to the monitors to see Max's heartbeat and to see the contractions. She then checked my cervix to see how far dialated i was. -- Now, as some of you know from reading previously i had not been dilated at all at my dr.'s appointments, but i thought for sure since i had been contracting since 2 am i had to be dilated, also my cervix seems to hide from people checking it and its really painful for them to do the checking.-- My nurse Kim checked me and gave me the horrible news that i wasnt dilated at all. Cue the breakdown because i about died. What?! are you kidding me?? She then told me that labor is defined by cervical change, not contractions so unless i showed cervical change they could not admit me and there was a chance they would send me home, but they would watch everything for an hour and then see where i was at the end of the hour. Oh and btw i was 4 days over-due.

10:00 am- I have been laying in the triage room for an hour, contracting- gripping onto Matt's hand and the side of the bed through each bloody one and praying that they were being productive. Kim come in to check me. which hurts, again. She tells me that i am 1/2 cm. She says that its not enough to admit me, but asks me to stay another hour and to see where i'm at the end of that hour. She had me get up and walk around for the last 15 minutes and i had to stop and grip the wall rail through each contraction. The other problem was that i would have regular contractions and then they would space out a bit more so it would be like 5 minutes, 5 minutes, 5 minutes, then 9 minutes, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 5 minutes.

11:00 am- Kim comes in to check me again, at this point i'm thinking i'm going to be going home with an ambien or something and laboring for the next 3 days until my cervix changes, and she gives me the fabulous news that i'm a 2!! Pretty sure at that moment i had the biggest smile ever, and a wash of relief. She then admitted me into a very nice labor and delivery room. Once we were admitted we sent a text out to our family members to let them now that he would be arriving soon! My family started packing and getting ready to make the 9 hour drive as soon as they could from Nashville.

12:00 pm- I'm moved into my room and Dr. Hartung comes in to talk with us. I had not previously met her-- my practice has 6 OB's and whoever is on call will deliver your baby, All the OB's are women, which is important to me and they try to rotate you through all of them during your pregnancy but i had not had the chance to meet Dr. Hartung yet. I was actually quite happy that she was on call and not the dr. i had been primarily seeing, i'm not a big fan of the dr. they assingned me to as my primary physician and i will be switching for all future appointments/babies. I Loved Dr. Hartung from the minute she sat down in our room to talk with us, she is very friendly, very sympathetic and very nice. I probably saw more of her than most women see of their doc while they are in labor because as it turned out i was the only woman in labor at the time and she came into my room throughout the day to check me, probably 6 or 7 times. When she was there she asked me about pain management and i told her i was planning on having an epidural, she asked me when i would like it and i responded, whenever i can have it, as soon as possible. They then said they would call the anestheologist, Dr. Cho, and he would be up soon. YAY!

1:00 pm- Dr. Cho arrives and gives me the epidural in between contractions. About 30 minutes later i am pain free and realizing that was the best decision ever. EVER. The only negative thing in my mind throughout the day was that since i was all hooked up to the IV and the Epidural i couldn't eat anything- only ice chips to chew on, and so i was pretty hungry. After they put in the epidural they check me and i'm at a 4!

3:00 pm- They check me again and realize i'm starting to progress much slower- i was only a 5, and so they start me on pitocin to speed things along. Throughout the day Kim, my nurse and the dr. keep telling me that his head is super super low. While she was checking me my water broke, and it wasn't clear, which meant that he had already passed some meconium inside. This meant that instead of placing him on my chest right after delivery he would move right to the warming table to receive extra suction to make sure he didn't breathe it in.

6:00 pm- After checking again i'm only at a 6 so they put in an internal monitor to see how strong the contractions actually are and then end up upping the pitocin dose because although the contractions are close together they aren't really strong enough to be working effectively. They want to see at least a cm per hour. by this point Matt and i have taken a nap and are now watching some TV- we didn't even miss American Idol that night :) I also have to say goodbye to my nurse Kim at 6 because their shifts change, she was such an amazing nurse and i was sad she was leaving. I told her she had to get me someone good like her to replace her and she said she would request Amanda for me because she was good. Around this time is when i also start to feel contractions on the left side of my stomach again. Amanda tells me to press the button to release more meds and if that doesn't work we would get the anesthesiologist back up there. For some reason i didn't want to be whiney and complain so i didn't get the dr. back up to see what was going on and that was quite a mistake. Matt and i also realize that by the time delivery happens all the restaurants around will probably be closed so he runs and gets tasty thai for me and we put it in the fridge in the room so that i'll have something good to eat when its over.

8:20 pm- The doctor comes back in to check how far dilated i am, expecting to be at an 8 because that's been the rate of progression, she tells me that i am all the way and that we will begin pushing soon! At this point i am still feeling the contractions on the left side despite the extra pushes of the button. At 8:40 i start to push and for the first 30 minutes it hurt badly but i could handle it and i was really channeling all my energy into pushing- not screaming, just pushing as hard as i could. My nurse Amanda and Matt each were holding a leg and helping me grip and push, coaching me through it. Matt would count to ten and cheer me on and it was extremely helpful, however after about 20 minutes of pushing Matt could see his head and so he started saying "your almost there" "your so close, you can do it" and things similar to that, well after about 30 minutes of hearing i was so close i turned to him and said "Stop saying that!!" He was just trying to help and we laugh about that now- but when your pushing and someone is saying that your close you start to think its going to be the next push and then it isn't and then you get a little upset!
After about 30-40 minutes of pushing it started to get really really really painful. To the point where i was screaming quite loudly and then in between pushes crying and saying "I'm sorry I'm sorry" I'm pretty sure that my epidural wasn't working, my doctor kept asking me can you feel this, or that and i would scream yes and then she ended up giving me a few more shots of lydocane, but honestly i don't think it really helped with anything but the stitches afterward. I can honestly say that the hour of pushing was the hardest, most painful thing i have ever gone through in my life. I felt everything and by the time where he was almost out i was on the verge of hyperventilating- One of the problems was that each time i would push i would hold my breath, then coming out of it to take a deep breath i was crying and my nose was clogged so it was so hard to catch my breath. I also think a big problem was that mentally i had not prepared myself for such pain- all day i had been pain free with the epidural and so with that and the fact that my friends told me that with the epidural you only felt pressure, not pain when pushing, i really didn't expect it to hurt even half as bad as it did. i felt very much like a woman in a movie screaming and crying!

9:40 pm- Once his head was delivered they did a lot of suction to get the meconium and then i pushed the rest of him out and they took him over to the table and he started crying immediately. At that point it was just very surreal- the pain subsided so quickly because i wasn't pushing anymore and i was overwhelmed that the crying baby was ours! i kept saying that's our baby, that's our baby! Matt went over to the table and video taped a little bit, held his hand and then brought him over to me once i was stitched up.

He weighed 8 lbs 11 ounces- yes that's right, i pushed out an almost 9 lb baby- shocking i know, i honestly really didn't think i would have a baby over 8 pounds! It was quite a surprise.

After delivery we had some quality time with our little man, i breastfed him for the first time and he latched right on and ate really well. He fell asleep pretty quickly and then around midnight my mom and doug arrived while i was eating and then my amazing husband gave me a little robins egg blue bag, with a little blue box with a white ribbon, my gift for giving birth, it was one of the key necklaces and i love it, he really is the sweetest man alive. Around 1:30 my dad, michelle & hollyanne arrived. We did get to sleep around 2:30 but i honestly didn't sleep very well because i still had adrenaline running through me. The nurses came in to help me feed him around 3 and then again around 6, they also removed the epidural right after labor and started me on some pain meds. Basically we didn't get much sleep and then Friday was a constant stream of visitors which was very fun, yet a little exhausting also. I realized i was SO glad that he had been born before midnight because that meant we could go home on Saturday morning, if he had been born after midnight they would have kept us till Sunday morning and by Saturday i was really ready to go home and get settled!

Here are some more photos from Day 1 of little Max's life.

posing for the hospital photographer
Snuggles with dad
Jenny :)
Grandma Nae Nae
my favorite series that Matt took:

How amazing is this photo!! :) Such a lucky shot because he really didn't smile but like 2 times in the hospital.

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