I started writing this Tuesday July 26 while in labor and of course finally finished today a week to the day I began it. I wanted to make sure I didn't forget anything about the most amazing day of my life.
Mckinley's Birth Story
Let's just say today has been an interesting day! It started off like any other day. Brent and I woke up this morning like we have been doing since he began his paternity leave. I woke up around 8ish and he slept until around 10ish. We were planning on going to visit our friends Jill and Ben and their sweet baby boy Noah who was born Monday (Mckinley's due date). I was not in a great mood that morning because I was worrying about Baby Love. I had had some bleeding that morning and I hadn't felt her move at all the entire morning. This was very unusual for my child. She had not been still since I had felt her for the first time at 15 weeks. Before we left for the hospital I called my Dr. and told them what was going on and then sat waiting for them to call back. Finally after an agonizing hour or so the nurse finally called em back and told me to drink some orange juice and see what happens and call back if I still don't feel anything.
On our way to the hospital for our visit we stopped and picked up some o.j. which I quickly chugged. We only got to visit for a little while because they had to take him to get snipped and we had to leave before he came back. I was such a basket case the entire time we were visiting I couldn't enjoy myself and we decided to go ahead and head out. As we were leaving the hospital I called the Dr. back and told them I was beginning to worry because I still wasn't feeling anything.
After we left the hospital we went to Mcallister's right across the street from the hospital to see if some food and caffeine would help ease my mind and get baby to move. We ordered and had a seat in a both that my giant belly barely fit in, but I was so nervous and had such a belly ache from worrying that I couldn't eat anything. A funny thing happened right around that time. I finally felt a tiny movement from my stubborn girl in my belly. I had just been telling Brent that I was having so many issues and aches that I was so worried I wouldn't know what was a real contraction. Right after I said that I felt a new sensation. It lasted a little longer and felt a little stronger then any pain I had felt before. I looked at Brent and said "Oh I think that was a real one". Since I wasn't eating much and was starting to feel even worse we decided to head home. Of course as we were pulling into our driveway the nurse called back they told me to go ahead and head to the Dr. just to get checked out and to do a non stress test where they watch for babies movement and heartbeat and little did we know they would also be monitoring my contractions. We had to go to the Methodist Germantown office back to the hospital we were just at (this was our second visit that day) which I had never been too before, but of course everyone there was amazing and super nice. they strapped me in to the test with 2 monitors around my belly (one to check babies movements and one for contractions) and told me to push a button every time I felt Mckinley move. Well of course after I had talked to the nurse the second time Mckinley started moving like crazy and after they hooked me up to the machine she started going crazy so I was pushing the button over and over again. After about 20 minutes of button pushing the nurse returned and asked if I had felt anything because nothing was registering on the monitor for the button I was supposed to be pushing. Well I had been pushing the button, but it wasn't plugged in all the way so all they were seeing was her heartbeat which was great and my contractions which were coming every 3-10 minutes. I knew I had been feeling something happening, but I was so excited and surprisingly not the least bit nervous to hear this. I think it might have been because I was still only 3cm dilated and about 80% effaced which I had been for the last week or so and I didn't want to get my hopes up that I could really be going into labor.
As we were leaving one of the other nurses asked how far along I was and I mentioned I was due that past Monday. We were sitting and we kept hearing the nurses whisper back and forth to one another and heard something like they weren't sure if I should jut go ahead to the hospital and that they thought I wouldn't make it through the night. Since nothing too exciting was going on so they told us to go to my doctor appointment the next day and then they would do a biophysical (ultrasound) to check everything out again. We didn't know at that time that we wouldn't be making it to that appointment.
It just so happened we were supposed to be going to Brent's parents house for dinner that night and sitting at home waiting for something to happen didn't sound like very much fun so we decided to go on an go. Joan swears I barely ate anything that night but i threw it all up later so I know I ate a ton. I had 2 servings of potatoes and a ton of asparagus. My contractions really started picking up at dinner. They still laugh at me because we would all be in the middle of a conversation and I would stop and hold my hand up and everyone would get quiet and I would get through the contraction and resume talking. I just kept thinking to myself "I can handle this. This is all manageable." I don't ever remember having a moment where I panicked. So we ate and I contracted and then I was ready to head home and rest as much as I could.
I started using the contraction counter at Joan and Carter's and continued using it after we got home. I was able to see my contractions were happening every 2-3 minutes. Now I won't lie I was VERY uncomfortable, but they weren't so bad I couldn't handle the pain. I was trying to watch True Blood to take my mind off of everything and I was sitting on my big blue exercise ball to help with the pain. Brent's mom called to check on me and I was telling her how close the contraction were, but the pain wasn't unbearable so I wasn't sure if we should leave for the hospital because I was so afraid of being sent back home. I had to stop once while we were chatting and lean against the door during a contraction, but I just couldn't decide what to do.
Finally Brent's aunt Jean called to check on me. She is a nurse and has been very helpful throughout the entire pregnancy. I told her I was having contractions every 2-3 minutes. She finally talked me into going ahead and getting our stuff (which was already in the car since every time we would leave the house we went ahead and loaded it up just in case) and heading to be checked out at the hospital because the contractions were happening so close together.
So around 8:30 we loaded a few last minute items in our bags, called our families to tell them we were going to the hospital to get "checked" (we really thought they would send us back home) and finally made our way to the hospital. The ride there was awful. It seemed like every time I was having a contraction we had to cross the railroad tracks or hit every bump on the road. The hospital is only a few minutes away so we were there pretty quickly even though it felt like hours. When we walked in to the lobby there was only 1 other couple waiting to be checked in. We made our way to the front desk and checked in. I had to stop a few times to lay my head on the counter to get through a few contractions. After we checked in a nurse came up to walk us to our delivery room. I had to stop once for a contraction, but we eventually made it there to get checked out. I was so afraid they would check me and say nothing was happening and then they would send me back home. I was going to freak out because I couldn't stand riding in the car again. We made it to our room and I got into my oh so lovely butt flap robe and my delivery nurse Paige came in to check me to see how far along I was. I was sure nothing was happening and they would make me get dressed again to go home, but sure enough when she checked me I was 4cm! I guess that is the magic number because they quickly gave me an iv and the Dr. came in to break my water. I was afraid this was going to hurt, but I never felt a thing.
By this (9ish) time my mom, sister, and in laws had arrived at the hospital and I had made 2 requests
1). I asked for some stadol to calm me down because I was already getting nervous about the epidural.
2). I had to tell them that I did not want a particular Dr. doing my epidural (long story).
I know they thought I was crazy because I felt like I was talking crazy from the stadol. I felt really drunk and it was awesome. It helped take the edge off of my contractions which still sucked, but I was making it through them.
The kept checking me and I was dilating, but I was not effacing quickly. I was still going back and forth about going ahead and getting my epidural and I was feeling like I could handle it a bit longer until they brought the anesthesiologist in. I am not sure if I am remembering his name correctly, but I will forgive myself because I was a little loopy from the stadol still even though it was wearing down a bit. When Dr. Miller came in to ask me a few questions he kept trying to tell me he was about to go take a nap, but he was awake and feeling good so if I wanted my epidural I should go ahead and get it. I finally decided I would just go ahead and do it because in my haze I got so worried about him going to sleep and not waking up to come back when I actually wanted it. Also I think at this time I was already 6 or 7 centimeters and I didn't want to get past the point of no return where I couldn't get my happy drugs. So I signed the consent form and said let's rock n roll. Before he came back I asked the nurse if I could have another dose of the stadol (junkie) because I was super nervous about being stabbed in the spine with a giant needle. A needle that almost made me pass out in birthing class when the teacher who said she wouldn't show it to us unless we wanted to see it held it up and waved it around all willy nilly like.
I got another shot of drugs and I was ready to roll when Dr. Miller returned (still awake thank God). He started to get all set up and I grabbed onto Brent's hand and my pillow for dear life and prepared myself for immense pain. He poked and prodded with his finger on my back for a few seconds to find the right spot to insert the needle (this hurt the worst), gave me a shot of lydocane (barely felt that), and said "alright let's do this (I don't think these were his exact words, but like I said I was a bit loopy.) I am not sure if it is the fact that we started talking about running (he does triathlons and that is a goal of mine someday) or the act that it just didn't hurt, but for the 20 or 30 minutes he was working on my back I NEVER felt a thing. I felt his fingers moving around back there, but I never felt a poke. I don't even think I had a contraction while he was working which I was scared would happen.
Finally he was done and was trying to talk me into buying a $1600 carbon bike for when I start triathlons and was telling me about those weird 5 finger shoes. I just remember telling him he was amazing and he told me to tell his wife that. I think I tried to get him to call her so I could tell her, but I may have dreamed that.
After I got my epidural we did a ton of sitting and waiting. It took a while to get from 7 to 10 centimeters and baby wasn't moving down and I wasn't effacing the rest of the way quickly. They had me sit up in the bed to help her move down which ended up helping, but the bed being lifted up and down kept making me sick. The funny thing was I wasn't feeling my contractions and the machine said they were really really strong (thank God for drugs) that paired with me being sick over and over again actually made baby move down more quickly.
MY mom, sister, MIL, FIL and Brent's aunt all came and went checking on us and finally we told everyone we wanted to rest and I was surprised that I actually could rest, but I am glad I did because I had a big job ahead of me.
Finally I was checked and ready to go. I was 10 cm, 100 % effaced, and Mckinley had moved way down and it was finally time to get started after 10 hours of labor. Everyone got suited up and we were on our way. We tried a few practice pushes and they said I was pushing perfect and that baby would be out in no time.
Oh before I forget there was 1 important person missing during my delivery. The Dr. I keep talking about wasn't Dr. Williams my Dr. throughout the entire pregnancy (besides Dr. Odom who I also really like). This was a brand new Dr. in the group that I had never met. I honestly thought Dr. Williams would always be the person to bring Mcknley into the world, but I guess since I never asked and just assumed. I was already ok with someone else having to deliver my baby since the week before I was due Dr. Williams was on vacation and I just knew I would go into labor then and I had already prepared myself. So I wasn't surprised or upset that I would have another Dr. and I honestly really liked Dr. Keegan. She was very blunt and got straight to the point which I am sure some people wouldn't appreciate, but I really liked that.
I thought it was really funny because Dr. Keegan told me it would be great if I could push Mckinley out by 7 because her son really wanted her to take her to football practice. I remember telling her ok and I really liked that she had sort of given me a goal to work towards. I went into this pregnancy kind of like running a race. I set goals for myself and worked towards each one until I reached the finish line so I treated delivery the same way. I knew it would take a while and we would hit stages that were harder then others, but we would eventually reach the end. Another great thing about Dr. Keegan was how hard she pushed me. I had told Brent to push me like I do with my kids at Cross Country, he was extremely sweet the entire time telling me how great I was doing, how hard I was working, and just holding my hand which was the most important thing. Well I didn't have to worry because Dr. Keegan was like that coach that pushes you to your limits then asks you for more. Each time I would push she would challenge me by telling me I wasn't pushing hard enough, get mad, I could push harder, you can push better then that. I really likes this because I needed someone to push me harder and harder to work harder and I knew I could so better and push harder and the harder I worked the quicker I would be able to meet my baby and finally see the face I had been picturing for 9 months.
I wish I could write about something exciting that happened during this part of labor, but I never felt a thing but some pressure and the Dr. doing lord knows what down below. I felt like I only pushed a few times and I was talking and even laughing through out. I was getting mad because it seemed like there was too much time in between contractions and I had to just sit there and wait before I could do anything. I can honestly say and this may sound crazy, but I enjoyed my delivery. It was honestly the most amazing event in my life so far. I couldn't believe I was about to meet my daughter, we would soon be a family of 3, In just a few minutes I would no longer be pregnant, I would be able to hold my daughter in my arms, Brent would be a daddy and I would be a mommy. I can go on and on for hours, but all I know is it was AMAZING!
After only an hour of pushing her head was out and the Dr. was pulling the rest of her body out and laying my baby on my chest. I of course immediately started crying and I believe my oh so precious husband may have been a little emotional and of course we were both immediately in love. They had to take her to check her out and clean her up for a few minutes, but the nurse immediately handed her back to me which caused more crying. While they were checking her out the Dr. was finishing up with me , but all I cared about was seeing Mckinley and asking Brent how big she was, how long she was, and if she was as perfect as she seemed. I couldn't believe she was finally here and so amazingly perfect. I had been imagining what she would look like for 9 months, but nothing would prepare me for what I saw. She was the most beautiful perfect baby I had ever layed eyes on in my life.
After checking her and me out they handed her to daddy and finally I got to really hold her. She was PERFECT! I still can't believe she is here and I am still shocked at how easy my delivery was. A little while after our families who had spent the entire night in the waiting room came in to visit and meet the newest addition. It was amazing seeing so many people I love holding this new little person I loved so much. It is amazing how much you can love someone you have just met so much and it only gets better and stronger each and everyday.
Hopefully I will be back very soon to load all of the pictures I have taken in the past 6 days. I can't stop staring at this amazing tiny little creature her daddy and I made.