First, a note on getting an epidural. I was never anti-epidural, but as many of you know, I did want to try to go without. And maybe if I hadn’t been in prodromal labor for so long things might have gone differently. But I was so tired by the FIRST time we left for the hospital that I was ready for an epidural then. That was around 8:30 pm remember? And then I had to labor for another NINE AND A HALF HOURS before I finally got one. Even after the 9 1/2 hours the contractions weren’t the worst pain I’ve ever been in. Physically the worst pain I’ve ever had was kidney stones but MENTALLY I couldn’t cope anymore. I remember telling Brian over and over that I wanted an epidural so I could just sleep. That was all. I’m pretty sure that my body was getting a little stressed out from being in labor for so long. My blood pressure came down after I got the epidural, but my heart rate stayed high until a few hours after I delivered.
Anyway, after I got the epidural and the doctor talked to us it was shift change so we got a new nurse. YAY! It turned out to be a girl I knew from high school which seems like it could be awkward, but it really wasn’t. She was an excellent nurse and we were SO happy to switch. After everything settled it was about 7 am and finally time for some sleeping. My doctor predicted I’d have the baby around noon and I thought 5 hours of sleep sounded SUPER. But as luck would have it, our nurse came in around 10 am and said the baby was doing some funny things on the monitor and that might indicate that it was about time to push. So she checked and said I was just about complete and that she’d call the doctor. By 10:15 my doctor was there and pushing ensued. Roughly half an hour later Will arrived!
I was surprised that the pushing stage was so quick since I had an epidural. I never felt any urge to push. Actually, I could hardly tell when contractions were starting, so mostly they just told me when to push and I did. I guess I did it well though.
Afterward was quite a different experience than we had with Kalena. I got to hold him immediately, he nursed right away, and he didn’t go to the nursery until 11 pm (for a weight and hearing check) and then only stayed for an hour. Kalena, as you may or may not know, was taken immediately because she needed to be on oxygen, I didn’t get to hold her (or nurse her) for 40 hours after she was born, and she only got to stay in our room the last night we were in the hospital. And, of course, not having to have major abdominal surgery was nice too:) I did have some unexpected side effects though. Like my face and shoulders being sore afterward. The nurse told me that can happen, caused by pushing. Who knew?
And there you have it. The whole story.