While many of you were watching the Super Bowl, Drew and I were finishing up last minute projects for work, setting our e-mail away messages, and adding the last items to our hospital bags. Around 9pm, we headed to the hospital for our scheduled induction. It’s amazing how many emotions you experience when you’re about to have a baby. I was extremely ready to meet our little guy after several months of being very uncomfortable and huge, excited to hold him in my arms, and really nervous and scared about what would happen during delivery. It was my second delivery, but you just never know.
Drew and I arrived at the hospital and got checked in. As they wheeled me and all of my bags into labor/delivery room #10, I was instantly reminded of when we were last there for Andrew’s birth exactly 19 months to the day prior. It was the SAME delivery room! I couldn’t believe the odds. We spend some time channel surfing on the hospital TV and then I finally got the okay from the nurse that I could eat something before midnight. Thankfully, Drew had a delicious Publix sub waiting for me. I ate half of it, drank lots of water and tea, and then took my Ambien they gave me to help me sleep before the big day the following morning. Somehow, I wasn’t able to sleep. I woke up after about an hour and just kind of hung out. I had quite a few painful contractions throughout the night. Although they didn’t need to give me Cervadil this time because I was already dialed to 2.5cm when I arrived, I had a sweep done a few days before and I had been having some crazy Braxton Hicks and false alarms for about 2 week. Watching the intensity and length of the contractions on the monitor was pretty interesting. At least my husband could get an idea of what was going on. The pressure was crazy and I wondered if he’d come on his own during the night, especially after they kept getting closer and closer together, but no such luck.
In the morning, the nurses started getting everything prepped. Nerves definitely began to go crazy. Having a baby is a big deal! I couldn’t believe I was even capable of doing something so amazing and scary. I don’t do well with pain at all.
The anesthesiologist came into the room with the epidural I requested. I sat sideways on the bed as they raised me up really high to make it possible to get everything done. At this point I began to freak out. Although I had not seen the needle, I knew it was a beast. I hate needles. Hate them. So much. One of my nurses and husband tried to get me to calm down because I was shaking so bad. My husband was not allowed to hold my hands during the procedure. They pretty much told me that if I was not able to stop shaking, I wouldn’t be able to get the epidural because it could end up being too late. Well, that put things into perspective for me for sure. I was not planning on doing anything related to giving birth without an epidural. I know there are so many women who are all about the natural unmedicated delivery, but not me. I have had Endometriosis for more than 10 years, so I’ve done the pain thing. There’s no reason to suffer in pain if you don’t have to. I wanted to enjoy the experience. So I finally got the epidural. It wasn’t too terrible except for the few seconds of sharp shooting pain that happened right when it was over. I was told it would happen, but ouch! It was brief. I laid back in my bed, got my blankets and the baby’s heart monitor all situated and then we waited for the sisters to arrive. At this point it was around 7am or so.
Erika and other sister-in-law arrived with breakfast for Drew. I was totally not hungry at all, just nervous. Really nervous. But as the epidural started to kick in, things slowly got really exciting for me. I seemed to find it really fascinating that I could poke my legs and not feel anything. It was the strangest feeling ever when the nurse came in to reposition me from one side to the other and I could see my leg moving across the bed but not feel it. Dr. Den Haese came in to break my water. I felt a lot of pressure but no pain.
The contractions were pretty close at this point, and they had also started the Pitocin. I couldn’t feel any pain, but I could feel the pressure. The same way that I could tell one was coming at home–all of a sudden I felt my breathing change and then pressure would start in my lower abdomen and kind of ripple out until I could feel pressure throughout my entire belly and back. The higher up the pressure went, the stronger the contractions.
The next time I was checked I was around a 5. Nothing too exciting for an hour. Just pressure, contractions, and being repositioned from side to side. At around 9am, I asked the nurse how long she thought it would be until I was ready to push. She said she couldn’t say for sure, but her guess was about 4 hours or so, maybe longer. At 9:15, I asked her to roll me back over to my other side to get comfortable because my back was starting to hurt a little. She checked me again and said, “That’s because you’re ready! I can feel his head. He’s right there. I’ll call the doctor.” Umm okay, so much for the four hour wait time.
Things just got real.
I’m going to have a baby. Right now.
My doctor arrived and got suited up. Erika was taking pictures for us and Drew and my sister-in-law were holding my legs. I think the weirdest thing about having a baby is the amount of dignity you lose with your legs wide open and up in the air. Even with the second baby, it’s a little awkward. And then they turn on the spotlights to make it even more comfortable…..and then at some point, you realize you are HAVING A BABY and you just don’t really care.
When Andrew was born, they gave me some medicine to calm my nerves and I didn’t realize that it would prevent me from remembering much. I remember about 5 things from his delivery and it really makes me sad, but Drew remembers the entire story very well and he’s often told me about it. One of these days he’s going to write it all down for me so I can have it. With Aidan, it was different. I didn’t need the Cervadil or the Demorol and I was already sort of in labor a little (if there is such a thing) when I arrived, so my mind was very clear. At this moment, when he was getting ready to make his entrance, I remember feeling so thankful for a clear mind. It’s just something you want to fully be there for and always remember.
Like his brother, Aidan was born very quickly. After only 4 sets of three pushes, he was out! I didn’t feel much pain at all, maybe a 2 on the pain scale. I did feel a lot of pressure, but it wasn’t bad at all. The pushing phase only took about 10 minutes from practice to holding my little baby. It was amazing. They laid him on me while Drew cut the cord and he was so white–much different from Andrew who was very purple. I looked at Aidan and immediately noticed his cute little nose and ears. It took him a few seconds to cry, but then he did and all was well. They took Aidan over to the warming table while my doctor collected the chord blood, delivered the placenta (what a weird feeling!), and stitched me up. (I had a second degree tear. Ouch.)
Overall, I felt wonderful and I thought I had an incredible, positive, and easy birth experience. I was so thankful for a healthy baby and a pain-free delivery. Dr. Den Haese is the best doctor! He made me feel very comfortable throughout the entire process. Most of the Women’s Care team is absolutely wonderful, but he’s one of my favorite doctors that I’ve ever had. I highly recommend him and his team! I appreciated the kindness and caring I received from all of Brandon Regional Hospital’s Baby Suites staff and having two of my sisters there to witness Aidan’s birth was very special! And of course, I couldn’t have done it without my absolutely amazing husband. He is always my best and biggest supporter. He makes me feel like I can do anything and I really needed him to get me through the epidural part or I would have been in bad shape. I am so thankful to be married to such an amazing man who has such a big heart and is a great husband and father! I am also thankful for Boo and Gramps (Andrew’s grandparents) who watched him and brought him to visit us in the hospital later in the afternoon. Thanks to John, Erika, and Julia for visiting in the hospital also! I know both of our boys have been born into an amazing family 🙂
Drew and I now have two children. God has blessed me more than I could ever imagine! Our entire world has changed, again, forever and I couldn’t be happier!