The following may contain descriptions which are graphic in nature. Reader discretion is advised.
So this doctor had just told us we were about to have a baby. I think I had an out of body experience at that point, because I realized that this was happening. I mean, I knew she had to come out eventually, but all of a sudden it hit me that I was about to be a parent.
He wanted us to go right to L&D, but I asked if we could go home and pack our bags (which we hadn't done yet) and he said that was fine. I also thought it was imperative that I pick up a juicy cheeseburger and french fries, since I knew that would be my last real meal for God knew how long. The burger shockingly helped calm my nerves. We got home, threw some things into a bag, and I tidied up the house. Can't bring our new baby friend into dirty accommodations! As we walked out the door, Jon snapped one last shot of me before I became a mommy :)
|WOOF. I looked... rough.|
Within 20 minutes, I started having contractions (real ones) and I could feel this "balloon" inflating. It was... awful. Every time I would have a contraction, this seemingly non-threating balloon would feel like a knife was stabbing my innards. Holy crap, is this what labor feels like?!? Emerson may be our only child. Knife stab, knife stab, knife stab. Every few minutes. This was going to be a long night.
Then after about 90 minutes, the balloon fell out. That meant I had hit 4cm! A huge sense of relief flooded me as I realized that the pain was definitely caused by the balloon. I was still having contractions, and they didn't feel great, but contracting when there's no longer a knife inside you feels like a Swedish massage.They also confirmed that my water had broken. Cool! (??)
I was finally able to get up. I brushed my teeth (random), rocked back and forth on the labor ball, and moved around as much as I could. I wanted to labor on my own for awhile so that I could experience what it felt like before I got the epidural. Around 6:30pm, I was 5-6cm, they put the call in for the anesthesiologist. I knew I wanted an epidural, but I was terrified. Someone is going to stick a giant needle in my back?? Terrifying. But after an hour or so, this pleasant man with nice cologne comes by, explains the procedure, and we got started. It was honestly no big deal. It went much faster than I expected, and really didn't hurt. I was too scared to breathe, so I think I blacked out during it, but still... it was way better than I expected!
I can't remember how long it took for the epidural to kick in, but when it did... it was like Disney World and magic and sunshine. It just felt SO GOOD. I texted my best friend and told her something to the effect that God had just given me the most amazing gift in the world. I may have been a little dramatic, but still... I was happy with my choice.
It was getting late, and even with the epidural I could feel the pressure of my contractions, but I was able to relax at least. We watched movies. I played Words With Friends. Jon did some school work (he had a final paper that was due the next day!) I think I fell asleep for a little bit, but not long. By 4:00am, I was still only 7cm. The nurse said we still had a long ways to go.
An hour later, I started feeling a ton of pressure. I knew it was happening soon. The nurse checks me and says "Oh boy, you're at 10cm. And she's got dark hair!" Kinda weird, but okay.
They called my OB to come to the hospital. Technically, she was on vacation, but the sweet, sweet woman, who had been seeing me for years and had been instrumental in helping with my grief from my first pregnancy experience, said she really wanted to be the one to deliver me. Bless her heart. They had me start with some "practice" pushing while they waited for her to arrive. So I do one practice push and the nurse yells "STOP! Stop stop stop!" because apparently Emerson thought that meant Okay it's time now! I honestly didn't think I'd last until the doctor got there. But miraculously, she swooped in, scrubbed up, they got everything ready, and it was time.
One push. I feel like I can't breathe.
Second push. What's happening?
And my world changed forever.
Emerson Elizabeth was born at 7:48am. 7lbs, 4oz, 19.75 inches long. Perfection. Love. Joy. And everything I've lived and breathed for my entire life.