I woke up at 5:20, about an hour before our alarm was set to ring, thinking about the day ahead. My exact thoughts were: "What in the world am I going to do today? I finished my novel yesterday and all of my nursery projects are done!" It occurred to me to that I should maybe get up to pee since I was already awake. In the next second, I wondered why I had already started to pee in bed?!!
And that's how my water broke. Not a big gush like in the movies, but a slow and steady trickle that intensified over the next two hours. The crazy thing is, even though I suspected that my water was breaking, Max and I still did our usual workout in front of the morning news. It wasn't until we had finished that I realized that YES my water was really breaking for sure.
I called my doctor's office and she told me to to meet her at the hospital. The hospital! William wasn't due for another two weeks ... I was quite pleased that I already had my bag packed.
It took us a while to get ourselves over to the hospital. Here we are right before we left the house, the last time it would ever just be the two of us:
They got me all hooked up at the hospital. Our nurse had some trouble putting the IV into my left arm. And by "trouble," I mean that I felt debilitating pain - way worse than the contractions! Thanks to a tip from Max's grandma on the phone, I asked her to re-insert it in my other arm. She tried again (ouch) and it didn't take. They had to get another nurse in there to insert it right. The botched IV left a nice mark on my left wrist.
They gave me Pitocin to "augment" my labor. While I was laboring away with little contractions I hardly felt, Max was on the phone and on the internet with my mom and his parents, arranging for last minute same-day flights. We wanted our family to be in on all the baby action! (My mom arrived in Texas from California later that afternoon, and his parents arrived from Michigan that night.)
Around 11:30, I told the nurse I was ready for the epidural. My contractions were becoming very painful, and I still had the blood-curdling screams from the new mama in the room next door ringing in my ears. I was really hoping for a less traumatic delivery, thankyouverymuch.
The hour in which I got the epidural was the most painful. I just remember leaning forward and gripping Max's hands and trying to breathe calmly while my contractions came every ninety seconds and lasted for about ninety seconds. Once the epidural kicked in, the anesthesiologist became my best friend. In fact, everyone was my best friend!
I especially wanted to hug my nurse when she told me that I had progressed from 3 cm dilated to 8 cm dilated in just one hour!
By 1:45 PM, I was ready to started pushing. My actual doctor came in and said I was 9.5 cm dilated and that she would check on me in one hour.
One hour came and went and my doctor did not come back. My nurse was visibly annoyed. I was running low on patience. Another 30 minutes, and still no doctor. My nurse called her at her office for permission for me to start pushing.
3:30 PM. Time to start pushing - my doctor gave her OK over the phone. It took me about six pushes to get the hang of it (since I technically couldn't feel what I was doing down there). Max stood by my side and coached me the whole two hours I pushed. He gave me ice chips, he encouraged me, he held my oxygen mask in place, and he even held a bag by my face when I felt like throwing up from sheer exhaustion near the end.
During the last half hour of pushing, I thought I was going to pass out. I didn't think I could give it one more push, but somehow I kept going. And I remember the nurse kept saying things like "I've never seen someone push so hard for so long! You're a champion pusher!" And even in my exhausted state, I thought to myself "Whatever! She must say this to all the mommies she works with. How nice of her to lie to me...."
And guess who showed up in the last half hour? My doctor! Well, she was there, but not really THERE. She was quite busy texting and talking on her phone. She checked on things and asked me if I wanted her to use the vacuum. Max and I both said "NO" quite emphatically. Max told me afterwards that she mentioned the vacuum AGAIN in whispered tones to the nurse about five minutes later.
In any case, the threat of the vacuum must have been just the motivation I needed because minutes later, William made his grand entrance. I felt his head, his shoulders, and his body as I pushed him out. He came so fast that the doctor had to scramble to get her smock on and catch him in time!!
They placed our baby on my tummy and the nurse toweled him off. He was such a beautiful sight! I couldn't believe he was actually here. It was the most amazing feeling I've ever had. There really are no words to describe it!
William was born 5:27 PM, just twelve hours after my water broke. He was 7lbs 4oz and 19 inches long. Our little bundle of perfection!