So the last 3 days have been rather eventful. There are so many things I want to tell you and write about so I will remember. I figure I'll start with the first 24 hours (with a little pre-event info).
WARNING: This blog will have all the details - so if that is not what you are looking for, just ask me me later and I'll tell you the pretty version.
Tuesday 8/5/14: I went to the doctor and found out I was 3 cm. Now for a 4th baby (even a 3rd baby) that is pretty normal. Your body knows the drill and easily gets ready in advance. So when the doctor said "it could be any day" that was true, but "any day" could mean a week or more.
Wednesday 8/6/14: I spent the afternoon with the Baby's Momma walking around the mall then headed down to church to get the kids. After picking up the kids from school I headed home and found that I had lost my mucus plug. Again... not necessarily a sign that you are about to start labor, but one more box to check off your check list of "Things that mean you're having a baby soon"
Thursday 8/7/14: Since I found out during the aforementioned walk around the mall that Baby's Daddy wasn't going to come until Friday, I wanted to relax as much as possible to try and help Ann Ann NOT come until Friday or later. Justin also had an all Midnight Showing to do with the Youth Group this night which meant he was not home.
THE FIRST 24 HOURS (8/8/14)
7:00 AM: As I'm getting the kids ready for school I am feeling some discomfort. Enough to stop and think that it could be Braxton Hicks, or contractions. Either way, they were tolerable and I just continued about my business.
8:00 AM: I stop by the Youth room at church to drop off breakfast to the group of Youth (and adults) that went to the midnight showing. As we sat and talked the discomfort continued. At this time I decided that they must be contractions, however, they were tolerable so I wasn't too concerned yet.
9:00 AM: I realize that the contractions might be a bigger deal than I realize. I have never experienced the early labor stages (First 2 kids my water broke while I slept so I knew I was in labor - 1 kid was induced). I actually wasn't sure if I was in labor at this point...or if I was when I should actually go to the hospital. I called my dad (the person who would be with me during delivery) to see what he thought. Then decided that I had my hospital tour that day at 10:45. I'd just wait until the tour to get "checked". I also called Justin (who would be my ride to the hospital if needed) to ask him to take me to the tour just in case I needed to stay.
11:00 AM: We completed the tour (really a waste of time). My contractions were still pretty mild so I decided NOT to get checked yet. Instead, Justin and I headed to my place of employment to get out some cash for our expenses for the month I'm not at work. While there I was blessed with an AMAZING gift from my coworkers/friends (THANK YOU GUYS!) At this point I was noticing the contractions more. I called the Labor and Delivery line to ask when I should come in. I explained what was going on and told to wait.
1:00 PM: Justin and I were home. We both took a much needed nap.
4:00 PM: Justin headed back to work and took a shower to try and relax and rest up. The contractions were still tolerable, but I figured I should probably be timing them. Still unsure how to actually time them since it is hard to tell when they actually start (I have a pretty high pain tolerance).
7:00 PM: The kids are fed, I'm having contractions every 3 minutes that last 45 - 60 seconds. A sign I'm in labor, but again... they are still tolerable so I'm not convinced I'm "in labor". However, after talking to my dad again I decide I should just go in to get checked.
8:00 PM: I get dropped off at the hospital and say good bye to Justin and the Kids. My dad meets me and we head up to Labor and Delivery.
9:00 PM: I get checked by the doctor and I am 4 cm and having contractions for sure. The doctor isn't sure if she should keep me since my contractions aren't that bad yet. She decides to keep me there for 2 more hours and re-check me. So my dad and I walk the halls for an hour or so. I can feel the contractions much more now.
11:00 PM: The doctor checks me again. I'm 5 cm. She decides to keep me there because it's my 4th baby and things COULD progress quickly (or not at all). I tell her I will want an epidural so the Baby's Momma doesn't have to see me in crazy pain. So they start my IV and tell me to "tell them when". I find out it will take about an hour to actually get it so I tell her I'd like to start the process now. The contractions just started to get to the point where I cannot talk through them easily.
8/9/14 MIDNIGHT (ish): I am moved to an actually delivery room and things are in motion. They increase my IV fluid to get me ready for the epidural. My arm begins to burn. I look down and realize something is wrong. I have a large bubble forming near the IV sight. I tell the nurse and she stops the liquids right away. Something happened to the IV and they had to re-do it. The nurse gave me a new one (in a much better place and much less painful than the first). The anesthesiologist comes in for the epidural. It went smoothly and within 30 minutes I was good to go. Unlike last time, the epidural actually worked properly and everything was numb instead of just half of me. At some point the Baby's Momma arrives.
2:00 AM: I was at 5 cm still so the broke my water, stripped my membranes, and the doctor manually pushed open my cervix to 6 cm. That all sounds really painful, I was grateful for the epidural at that point. The baby didn't like me on my back so the nurse had me lay on my side and try to sleep. The Baby's Momma leaves the room for awhile to try and help me rest.
3:00 AM: The nurse had me stay on my side too long though and the epidural medication all shifted to that side of body. I woke up to a pretty severe contraction that I felt on my right side. My left side was completely dead though. The doctor started me on pitocin to try and speed things along. I shifted to my right side to try and get the epidural medication to shift to my right side again...knowing contractions were about to get much worse with pitocin.
4:00 AM: My attempt at moving the epidural drugs didn't work. I was now feeling every contraction at like 80% pain level on my right side. However, at this point I was glad. I was worried that I would not know when to push if I couldn't feel it. Since I was feeling it on 1 side I knew it was time. I told the nurse I was ready. She checked and agreed it was time to start the pre-pushing to get baby in place. I pushed through 3 contractions and baby was crowning. Baby's Momma was back in the room now to watch her baby girl be born. I swear between 4:30 and 5 this was the longest 30 minutes of my life... having a baby crowned and chillin in your lady parts and NOT able to push until the doctor gets there.
5:00 AM: Once the doctor arrived it all started. Baby's Momma tentatively watched as I got ready to push, she was more concerned at this point that I was ok. She was so worried I was in pain. With 1 big contraction and a few pushes Ann Ann was out at 5:26 AM (6lbs, 7oz. 18.5 inches - praise Jesus for a nice small baby). I turned to see Baby's Momma crying. I began to cry. She was a mommy... I helped make her a mommy. The put Ann Ann on my stomach as Baby's Momma cut the cord. As my mom pointed out a couple days later...it was a very symbolic moment. Baby's Momma severed the "maternal" tie between me and baby. The nurse wrapped Ann Ann up and handed her to her Momma. THIS is why I did this. This moment. That moment.
6:00 AM: There are problems with the placenta. It's not detaching. The doctor is literally wrist deep inside my lady parts trying to pull and tug it out. The epidural is wearing off...it hurts. It hurts worse than the last 24 hours combined. I am glad Baby's Momma is distracted with her baby so she doesn't have to see me actually in real pain for the first time since she's been here. I find out later they were very close to doing a D&C.
7:00 AM: They finally get that darn placenta out. My insides hurt...that is new. I'm not used to feeling like I got punched from the inside out. However, no tearing or bruising from the labor! No stitches! I am all cleaned up and ready to be moved to the recovery room (we had to wait for a room - it was a full house that night). Baby is sucking on everything put near her face. I offer to feed the baby and Baby's Momma happily accepts. I get to hold Ann Ann and "see" her for the first time in that moment before she lunges at me and begins eating like a mad woman. It hits me...
-Dude...I just had an Asian baby, she is so cute
-Weird, I love this baby, but I feel no motherly bond to her...even as she lays her nursing.
-I can't believe I just did that...this baby being with her mommy was worth every single moment leading to this.
-She is perfect and healthy - PRAISE JESUS!
The next 24 hours will come later. But in case you missed it, here are some pictures from 5:00 AM - 7:00 AM.