Gosh... Where do I even begin?!
At my 38 week doctor's appointment, the OB informed me that I was 4 cm dilated and almost fully effaced. She performed a membrane sweep to get labor moving and told me that if it was going to work, my labor would start anytime in the next 48 hours. She was so confident that labor would begin for me that she told Ryan and I the on call doctors for the next two days to help prepare us for who might be delivering our baby. I went home that day feeling nervous and extremely excited that I might get to meet my baby soon. Flash forward two days and labor had still not progressed much for me. I began having stronger contractions, but they were all over the place and didn't last more than 30-45 seconds, which was disappointing after getting my hopes up so high. After realizing the membrane sweep wasn't going to work on me, I put my hopes in the idea that the doctor's would take one look at me at our next appointment the following Wednesday (August 19) and send me straight to the hospital. With that in mind, I did everything I could throughout the week to progress my labor. On Tuesday evening, Ryan and I drove out to Lowe's and Target to return a couple of things and just walk around for a bit. I noticed my contractions, although still pretty far apart, were definitely getting stronger. I went to bed that night feeling excited to see if I had dilated further at my appointment the next day.
Around 3 a.m. Wednesday morning, I was awoken by a very strong contraction. I got up out of bed and went to the bathroom before heading back to bed and trying to fall back asleep. About 10 minutes later, I got another contraction bad enough to force me out of bed. I went into the bathroom and closed the door so as not to wake Ryan and just paced back and forth until it passed. I stayed in the bathroom for two more contractions, finding it helpful if I was on my feet rather than laying down. Eventually, I came to the conclusion that I probably won't be falling back asleep that night and decided to take a pillow downstairs and start timing my contractions. The doctor told me that I should get to the hospital when my contractions were 5 minutes apart, lasting for 1 minute, and continuing for at least an hour. The contractions kept coming and got closer together and more painful the later it got. I couldn't pace back and forth anymore comfortably and found myself doubled over behind the couch trying to breathe it out through each contraction.
Around 5 (2 hours after they began), my contractions were anywhere from 4-6 minutes apart, so I decided it was time to wake Ryan up and head to the hospital before rush hour traffic got too bad. The last thing I wanted was to be stuck in traffic and having to breath through these contraction while doubled over in a car. Ryan jumped out of bed and helped me time contractions while I showered and got ready to go. I wanted to shower before because I heard that the hot water helped calm women in labor and I really wasn't sure how long it would be before I could shower again if I was truly in labor. We got in the car around 6 and arrived at the hospital around 6:30. I was immediately sent to the triage room on the L&D floor to be assessed. The nurses asked me to change into a hospital gown and lay down on the table. They hooked me up to a couple of monitors to check my contractions and keep an eye on baby's heartbeat. After a quick check, they declared that I was 5 cm dilated, fully effaced, and ready to go. Ryan immediately alerted all the parents and siblings that I was being admitted to a L&D room and would be having a baby that day! While he was on the phone, the nurses hooked me up to an IV and asked me if I wanted an epidural right away. They told me I could get it at any point, I just needed to let them know when so they could give me a bag of fluid to prevent my blood pressure from dropping too low once the epidural was inserted. I decided to wait it out a little bit because, even though the contractions were strong, they were bearable.
We got into our L&D room around 8 (I think? I was battling contractions through all of this so some details are a little fuzzy to me). I couldn't lay in bed through each contraction, so I got out of bed and leaned over it, rocking back and forth while Ryan rubbed my back for an hour or so. The contractions were getting stronger and stronger and closer together until eventually I decided the pain was too much and asked for the epidural. Immediately, the nurse (Mimi, who was awesome by the way) turned on the bag of fluid. About 30 minutes later, the anesthesiologist entered the room, made me sit all the way to the side on the bed, hug a pillow, and stay as still as possible. I remember the pain at this point being unbearable, squeezing who I thought was Ryan's hand extremely hard, only finding out later that it was Mimi's. I kept my eyes closed through the entire process, feeling both the contractions and the sharp pain of the epidural being administered. A couple minutes later (and a few very poorly timed jokes from the anesthesiologist), the procedure was done and the medicine was being pumped in to my spine. Finally feeling some relief, I laid down in the bed and began to relax. Mimi informed me that my contractions were getting stronger and coming every 2-3 minutes, which was AWESOME because I literally couldn't feel them at all. Mimi inserted my catheter and informed me that my bag of waters was bulging and that I had made it to 8 cm dilated! I'm still really proud of myself for making it to 8 cm before getting the epidural.
After about an hour, I noticed that my left side was no longer numb like my right side and began to question if there was some sort of issue with the epidural. The AA came back into the room to check on things and decided that the epidural needed to be pulled out a little bit to reach the left side of my body as well as the right side. Once he fixed everything, they inserted more medicine. Shortly after, I noticed my entire lower half was completely numb, which isn't exactly how they want you when you need to feel the urge to push. The doctor came back in, who was Dr. Khan, the doctor who we saw the week before that performed the membrane sweep. She checked me and decided it was time to break my water. The bag of waters was hanging so low out of my cervix, that Ryan was actually able to see it break. Dr. Khan left to perform a c-section while I continued to labor and push the baby further down. Maybe 30 minutes later, Mimi checked me again and informed me that I was at 10 cm and ready to go! We were all shocked with how quickly everything was progressing. She told me that it was go time as soon as I felt the urge to push. We waited and waited for me to feel anything down there but the pressure I was feeling was not strong enough to make me need to push.
About an hour later, Mimi checked me again and informed us that she could see the head. We were shocked since I still couldn't feel much. Before calling the doctor back in, Mimi asked me to try pushing a couple of times to see if the baby would move further down. I pushed twice before she asked me stop so she could call the doctor. She told me if I felt like I needed to push to take short, shallow breaths until the doctor could get into the room. A couple minutes later, the nurses and Dr. Khan were all in the room, preparing for delivery. They threw my legs up in the stirrups, which were still so numb that the nurses had to hold them in place. A couple of minutes later I started to feel much more intense pressure in my pelvic region and they asked me to start pushing. I pushed three times for every contraction: I'd take a deep breath, push while Mimi counted to 10, breathe out and repeat the process three times. In between contractions, I rested. Ryan stayed up by my head the whole time, supporting and encouraging me. Im not entirely sure, but Ryan and I think I pushed through about 10 contractions over a 30 minute time frame before that little head popped out. We were both shocked at how quickly they yank the rest of her body out of me.
This whole part of labor is such a blur to me, but I remember the doctor encouraging me, telling me this contraction was going to be my last and that the baby was going to come out after just a few more pushes. I remember pushing as hard as I could with my eyes clothes and then hearing Dr. Khan say "Sarah, open your eyes!" When I did, Peyton was being brought up to me and tears filled my eyes. She was born at 1:07 p.m., about 10 hours after that first contraction woke me up. She was much gooier than I thought she would be and the doctors aspirated her nose and mouth before she let out her first cry. They placed her down on my chest and she immediately pooped black tar (Meconium) all over me! She stayed on my chest for a few minutes, before they took her off to weigh her, get her measurements, and check her over while I delivered the placenta and got stitched up (I had a couple of small tears during labor). We spent the first two hours of her life in the delivery room with some skin to skin action and a first breastfeeding. Before I knew it, we were being wheeled up to our recovery room, where we stayed for the next two days.
|First picture as a family of 3!|
Our stay was a whirlwind and before we knew it, we were being discharged and heading home for the first time as a family of 3. We're so so happy with our time at Kennestone and the staff there. And we're even more happy with our newest edition!
|Baby tickles to start our first full day together.|
|Baby's first bath... she loved it!|
Welcome to the world, P!