Our daughter Leighton arrived 8 hours after my induction began at 4:05 pm on Wednesday.
You all know that the process of giving birth scared the absolute bejeebers out of me, I make no secret about being a complete and total WEENIE when it comes to pain and/or all things scary and medical. Still, to be honest and fair–our birthing experience was INCREDIBLE and we were so fortunate to have a great medical team that made our daughter’s birth totally beautiful.
J and I arrived at the hospital at 7am, later than the 6:30 start time we were given because I was so anxious that I was sick all morning. The labor and delivery nurse on duty that day happened to be the one who taught our child birth class a few months prior and it was great to recognize a friendly face. I was promptly hooked up to an iv to rehydrate while we waited for the nurse midwife scheduled to come on staff at 8am to order the pitocin. My doctor that had been with us for most of the pregnancy was on vacation but would be called in once I progressed to actual productive labor.
I was still 3cm dialated and 75% effaced before starting the pitocin and it ran in graduated increases until about 11:30am when my contractions were 2 minutes apart and my pain was at a level of 7-9. I am very proud to say that I was offered an epidural before being asked if I would like one and that both my hubby and my parents say that I was “very brave and doing beautifully”. I knew that I had to make as much progress as I could before pain control so it was great to know that I crossed that first milestone when my epidural was offered.
Our friend Peter was on call that day and expertly inserted the catheter into my spine and about 5 minutes later I was laboring hard at the maximum dose of pitocin without any pain. I was so comfortable that the nurse wrapped me in blankets, turning me on my side, and dimmed the lights in the room to allow me to rest while I continued to dialate/efface to goal. I napped here and there over the next 2.5 hours and progressively began to feel pressure as the baby traveled into position.
My doctor arrived around 2pm and I was told that I would start to push in about an hour because I had not fully effaced when she performed my next exam.
I was able to feel the contractions with pressure/but not pain as we waited to push. The room was still dim and quiet and peaceful with my birthing playlist playing softly in the background. I could not believe that I was this close and so focused and calm!
Pushing began at 3:05 (almost exactly) and became serious work very quickly. It’s an odd sensation with a good epidural and I had to focus on what was required without really feeling my legs or the actual pushes. I did get extremely tired and sweaty–but again stayed calm and focused. Jeremy, my ob, and my nurse were all AMAZING. Baby’s head finally entered the world and her entire body came with that same push. I remember Jenna, my doctor saying “the head is here” and then seeing my daughter’s tiny body in her arms just a second later! It was surreal.
My stepmom and our beautiful girl.
I will continue to post as I find time and collect my thoughts–all of our love to our friends and family who got us to this wonderful day! Words cannot express how thankful we are for our newest addition and the incredible people who have loved us along the way.