Birth Story Saturday: 9 lbs and a failed epidural

                                                                 Born on July 31, 2013 at 3:10 am

                                                                9 pounds 1 ounce, 21inches long

Tuesday July 30, I went in for my routine 39 week appointment. I had been having some real contractions off and on for a few days prior and I was excited to see if I had progressed at all. I was measuring 3cm and 70%. Progress! At the appointment we had to schedule an induction date as a back up plan in case Olive didn't come on her own. My Dr. wouldn't let me go past 41 weeks which fell on August 12, so that's when we scheduled it. We were both praying that she would come before then. After my experience with being induced with Remington, I was determined to go into labor on my own.

Before we left I asked my Dr. to sweep my membranes. He said it would only help if Olive was ready to be born, otherwise I'd maybe contract a little then stop completely. He told me to call if my contractions where 10 or less minutes apart or if my water broke.

We went on with our day as normal, feeling anxious and excited that she could come at anytime. That evening we went for a family walk and I walked with one foot in the gutter and one on the curb. (Apparently it was an old wives tale to help induce labor) I definitely felt some strong contractions. After dinner and getting Remington to bed I spent the next hour or so bouncing up and down on my yoga ball. I stood up to go use the bathroom and I felt another contraction. For the next hour and half I was having contractions 7-10 min apart. They were getting progressively stronger so we decided to call my Dr. He told us to head over to L/D and that he would meet us there. 

I couldn't believe this was actually happening! David packed our bags in the car and we were off to the hospital. The ride there was a blur, we were so excited. It was 10:50pm when we arrived.

We checked in at the L/D desk and were lead into an exam room. They had me change into a gown and hooked up to the monitors. Sure enough my contractions were consistent.

Dr. came in shortly after to check me. I was still only dilated to a 3 and 80% effaced. 

He gave me the options to continue laboring at home and come back later or stay and have my water broken. I was nervous about going home because my labor progressed so fast with Remington. What if I didn't make it back to the hospital in time? I was also nervous about having my water broken. Dr. knew that I really wanted to have as natural and intervention-free birth as possible. I didn't feel pressured into either option but I kept thinking "maybe this isn't really it? maybe she isn't ready?" We said a quick prayer and felt that it was best if we stayed.

I still couldn't believe this was all happening. It seemed so surreal.

We were moved into the delivery room, the room where I would soon meet my sweet Olive. My waters were ruptured and I continued to have contractions. At this point they weren't very painful but they were certainly uncomfortable. 

Around midnight the contractions started to really pick up. Each one longer and more intense then the last. I spent a lot of time on my yoga ball rocking my hips back and forth and breathing through each one. I felt relaxed and in control. I started counting my breaths to help keep my mind off the pain.The contractions were lasting 10 deep breaths in and out. I knew by breath 5 I was past the worst part. 

They started lasting longer...15 breaths and then 21 breaths long. They came over and over in waves. I got up to use the bathroom and labored in there for a while. It was then that I started to break down. I felt myself begin to lose control of my breathing. I cried out in pain. David never left my side speaking constant encouraging affirmations. He helped me get back on track. 

I moved to the bed and labored on my knees with my body leaned over the back of the bed. My breathing out turned into low humming groans. The contractions continued to last 21 breaths long but they were getting closer and closer together. I felt like I couldn't rest in between. I couldn't get comfortable on the bed and requested to get in the jacuzzi tub. It was 1:30am. 

While the nurse prepared the tub I felt myself loosing control again. I couldn't stop crying. I couldn't handle the pain. I broke down and decided that I wanted the epidural. 

The anesthesiologist was an hour out. I didn't think I could make it that long. I got back on the yoga ball and tried to relax. My breathing turned into lots of yelling, some swear words and a lot of tears. 
Finally after what seemed like forever the anesthesiologist walked in all. I was annoyed at how jolly he was this early in the morning. I also remember his body oder smelled so bad that I wanted to barf. I asked him to promise me that it would work this time. 
He seemed pretty confident in his abilities.

The contractions I experienced while getting the epidural where hands down the most intense of the entire delivery. (probably because you're forced to hold still) My body began to tremble. I started to feel Olive move down. They laid me on my back so the drugs could disperse. I thought I was going to die. 

"You should start to feel some relief any minute now." the anesthesiologist stated. 

"ITSNOTWORKING" I yelled back at him. 

And then there it was... that all too familiar almighty rectal I was about to have the biggest bowel movement of my life. 

"She's coming, I need to push" I cried to the nurse.

The anesthesiologist started to fidget with the drug disperser thing. But it was too late.

I started having flash backs to Remington's birth. I knew the epidural wasn't going to work again. 
I felt angry and terrified yet strangely calm and confident in my ability to finish out the birth and control my pain.

 I really didn't have any other choice...

They called my Dr. and I started to push. It was 3:00am.

I laid on my right side with my hands pushing against the bed rail. David held my left foot against his chest. Pushing was the most satisfying part of the birth experience. I felt so productive working with my body and I loved that I could feel her move down, making progress with each contraction. 

Dr. rushed in, "Did I make it?" (He said it was the fastest he's ever driven to the hospital.) 

In seconds the bed was broken down and it was go time. 

I pushed more 3 times before I felt her head start to crown. 

David said I was yelling "RING OF FIRE, RING OF FIRE!" over and over again which gave everyone in the room a good chuckle.

Another push and her head was out, and then her body.

The pain instantly subsided and my perfect baby girl was in my arms.

Oh sweet relief!
She cried only for a minute and looked right up into my eyes. I was so overcome with emotion. I can't even put into words everything I felt. 

I could not believe I did it.

Within minutes we began breastfeeding. She latched on like a pro.

I finished delivering and got stitched up. (Only 4 stitches this time woo!) I was able to keep her with me for 2 hours before they washed and weighed her.

I about died when I saw that she was over 9lbs.

Later that morning David brought Remington up. I missed him so much! It was my first night away from him. It was such a sweet moment when he saw Olive for the first time. 

I never thought I could be this happy

Dr. is still stumped on why my body rejects the epidural. He thinks it has something to do with my spinal anatomy? 

I guess the only thing I can count on for future deliveries is that my labors will continue to be short and that I need to stop paying for the stupid drugs that don't work for me...

I know that it's possible to give birth sans medication without dying (even though it feels like it for a short time) because I have DONEit, TWICE! (I do have to add that Olive's birth was a lot easier than Remington's probably because I knew what to expect and I went in prepared with pain management tools.)  

I'll do it 100 times more because bringing a child into the world is the most amazing thing I have ever done and nothing beats holding that sweet little baby in your arms for the first time.