Baby Ezra made his appearance on Wednesday, October 21, 2010 at 12:15 pm. Here's the story of how he came to be an outside baby.
At 7:10 pm on Wednesday night Mike and I were planning to take a trip to Walmart to do some shopping (I can't even remember what we thought we needed) and I had just grabbed my purse. I felt a small gush and then a second gush. I'd had my membranes stripped that morning at the doctor so I wasn't sure if it was just bleeding or possibly my mucus plug.
I told Mike "I think my water just broke" and he turned completely white and followed me to the bathroom. Not to be graphic but it wasn't as much fluid as I expected. I expected to have wet pants, but it was mostly contained in my pantyliner. Mike immediately went upstairs and grabbed the 2 bags that we have half packed and practically threw them in the jeep and drove off without me.
I called the doctor and explained what happened and he asked me if I had been feeling contractions. At that point I had only been feeling small cramps so I wasn't sure but he obviously had me go to the hospital to check if my "membranes had ruptured" or not. I helped Mike pack the few things we hadn't put in the bags and we were off.
At the hospital, they have you check in through the emergency room and then you wait in the waiting room for a "triage" room. We waited a good 20 minutes which was somewhat annoying because I was definitely starting to have contractions and continuing to "gush."
In the triage room, they took away my clothes and hooked me up to a baby heart monitor and a contractions monitor. It showed that I was having small contractions. They checked me and saw that i was still 3 cm dilated but I had definitely broken my water. So off to the labor and delivery rooms.
At this point we called our parents and let them know what was going on. We were put in labor room 10 with Darlene, the labor and delivery nurse. She was wonderfully calm and accommodating. My contractions started to get more intense at this point so Mike and I decided to walk the floor. The nurse gave us a pole for my IV and it just happened to be number 170 - which is also my husbands racing number. We thought this meant Ezra would be racing out, but that was not the case.
After about 4 hours of contractions, walking, laying on my side, sitting, breathing, trying to relax, my pain was about a 10. Unfortunately my contractions were also still somewhat erratic, coming every minute then a five minute break, then small ones followed by very big ones. It was hard to get into a rhythm with them, so I asked to be checked around 1:30 am. The doctor checked me and I was 4 cm dilated. That was soooo frustrating!! I thought for sure I was hitting transition and this baby would be here before the sun came up. At this point, I decided to go for the epidural, which scared the crap out of me. Also, the doctor discovered that when Ezra was moving down, he blocked the hole in my membranes and sealed it again, so he had to re-break my water.
Anyone who knows me knows I don't like being stuck with needles. I don't like having my blood taken, I don't like IV's, I don't like any of it. So the thought of a catheter being inserted into my spine was frightening - I may have had an anxiety attack. Hey, I did the best I could. Once the medicine started to take, I still felt pain in my left belly. I tried to ignore it, we tried laying on that side to get the medicine to go that way, but it wouldn't go away. I lasted until about 4:30 with the pain, and then asked the nurse for a Top off because I couldn't take it.
Once they came in and topped off the meds, I didn't have any pain on that side but I also couldn't move my feet or toes a millimeter. This did give me and Mike a solid 1 and a half or two hours of sleep before I started to feel intense pressure. Around 6 the nurse checked me again and I was 10 cm dilated and we were ready to push.
The difficult part was that I couldn't feel the contractions, except for back pressure, and when I was moved to my back, I couldn't feel anything. It was difficult to push because I had no idea if I was doing it right or if I was even moving the baby. Darlene assured me that it looked like I was but after the doctor checked me again (about 45 minutes later) we decided to let the contractions do the work for a little while to see if the baby would come down farther.
This brings us to 7 am which is also shift change. This brings Cheico the Nurse into the picture and a doctor that I have never met, seen, or heard of as she was from another practice. Something that my practice should've explained to me - but I digress.
Around 8:15 am I started to feel the contractions again so we decided it was time to be checked again and to probably start pushing. After being checked the doctor made note that it didn't feel like the crown of his head coming down like it should be, so she was worried that the baby needed to turn to get out. C-section was thrown around at this point but they decided to let me push and see if the baby would turn.
I pushed for about another hour or so, during which time my epidural emptied and had to be refilled. When they refill your epidural you aren't allowed to push for at least 20 minutes but we decided to fill it anyway so that hopefully my pushes would be more effective. Again, the medication only took on one side so they had to top it off which took another 20 minutes or so.
At about 10 am the doctor checked me and felt like I had a better shot at getting the baby out because he was much lower in the birth canal. We resumed pushing and Mike was able to see his head and his hair with each push. I still had a hard time being able to tell if I was pushing the right way and had to ask after each push if we were making progress. The doctor and Cheico were trying to get his head to come out by moving my skin as I pushed, but his head was stuck on my pubic bone and I wasn't able to push him under it.
Vacuum extraction was thrown around at this point, too, but they decided he wasn't far enough out for that to be successful. They let me push for almost 2 hours. I was exhausted and frustrated. I started crying and the doctor decided that I was too wiped out to keep pushing and I needed a C-section. Ezra's heart rate was dropping with each push, too, so it was getting to a point where it could be dangerous for him. That was the most difficult news that I had heard. I felt like a failure and I was completely afraid of going under a knife for major surgery.
One thing that I didn't think about until this point was that the doctors and nurses had all asked me if I'd gotten an estimated size of the baby and I hadn't. They all seemed to be concerned about the size - which I thought was normal, but apparently big babies are harder to deliver - go figure.
My epidural started beeping again, indicating it was empty - and I would start to feel a lot of things that I didn't want to feel. Because Ezra was so far down in my birth canal I couldn't sit up, and had to lay on my back. This put lots of pressure on my back and generated lots and lots of pain. The worst pain I've ever felt. Worse than the kidney stone. At this point, I was anxious because I didn't want a c-section and I was hysterical because I was in so much pain.
I'm sure I made a total idiot out of myself but I was so far at the end of my rope. I was crying, moaning, groaning, yelling, squirming, and demanding pain meds. Mike was amazing. He was amazing all night and he definitely stayed calm and tried to reassure me. He didn't make me feel bad; he just was supportive and calm. I couldn't imagine having gone through all of this without him.
It also took the anesthesiologist 45 minutes to come in and administer the surgical level of pain meds. I was pretty much putting out a hit on him by the time he got there. They wheeled me into the operating room and I had the shakes like I've never experienced. You would've thought I was having a seizure. They kept telling me it was normal, but it felt far from normal. Again, the pain meds took more on the right than on the left, so they had to boost them up again after they did the scratch test.
Once Mike came in I felt better. I'm glad they didn't talk me through what was going on because I didn't want to know. At one point I said "it seems so much faster on TV" and the Dr. said "are you calling me slow?" A little humor always helps. They told Mike when the baby was coming out so he could see and the first thing they said was "What a big baby!!"
When Mike went over to the see Ezra he was having trouble breathing which was nerve wracking. It was so hard to not be able to see him from where I was and to be worried that something was going wrong. After 45 seconds he started crying and the nurses did their evaluations. He had a low Apgar score, but they attributed this to the distress he was most likely under while I was trying to push him out.
Mike got to cut the cord and take pictures. He weighed in at 9lbs exactly and he already had the cutest double chin and rolls I've ever seen. Mike got to take him back to the labor and delivery room while they put me back together and sewed and stapled me up. I still had the shakes and had visions of a jagged scar, but the doctors did a great job.
Seeing Ezra back in the room was amazing. He was wiggling and just so cute. I didn't want to hold him right away because I was shaking so bad, but once I stopped shaking a little bit I got to give him a squeeze. It was definitely love at first sight. He couldn't be more perfect. Here's some photos so you can eat your heart out ;)