The second part of Evan’s Birth Story – you can find the first one here.
I got back to my bed and decided to try to get some rest because I knew the following day was going to be a long exhausting one. I pulled out the laptop and even started writing the first part of this birth story (I figured it was so fresh in my head I mine as well). I only got a paragraph in and then Hector and I decided to chat a bit (I think we was feeling a little anxious). While we were chatting I started to notice that my contractions were actually starting to hurt a little. I could feel them coming and going whereas before I could tune them out when they were just that tightening braxtion hicks that I was so used to.
About an hour later, around 8:30 the Erica walked in again and re-positioned my fetal monitors because there was some interference with my own heart beat (it was picking up my heart beat and his). As she did that she asked how I was feeling and I told her that honestly, I was feeling a little uncomfortable. She said well that sounds like progress, that’s good. She stepped out and fifteen minutes later she walked in again and called Dr. Martinez and said “Hello I have your patient here, the one with the Cervidil, and she has contractions coming every two minutes and some pretty good variables, do you want me to check her or do you want to come check her?”
I didn’t think anything of it. I thought that this was perfectly normal and that nothing was really going on. Dr Martinez walked in just before 9:00 p.m. his usual joval self and said very nicely that he was going to check me. He pulled out the medicine to which in my head I thought “why are you doing that if you have to put it back in (putting it in was rather uncomfortable).” He then said, “well, you are 1-2 and 100% effaced, that is great!” – The shock that came across my face was probably pretty priceless. 1-2?! that is great! I thought. I mean, I hadn’t progressed at all in 41 weeks and in 3 hours I was progressing, I thought that was very cool! Suddenly I wasn’t tired at all. In fact, I felt quite energized (and relieved as I was feeling something… and it wasn’t comfortable for no reason). Dr. Martinez still assured me we had a long way to go and to rest up.
Well, I couldn’t rest and I asked Erica if I could get up and walk around. She said, for sure and that she rather patients get up and walk because they progress faster. So Hector and I got up and walked… And walked. At one point he even told me “do you want to go lie down yet?” and I told him no and he said “Babe, I’m tired” – ha this as I am walking the halls and every time I get a contraction I have to slow to a crawl (eventually I needed to use the labor bars in the hallway). So I nicely told him “whatever, we are walking” and then I gave him the whole “this is totally unfair for the woman pregnancy and delivery speech” he wasn’t a fan of this conversation.
Anyway, as I had been walking my nurses changed again. Our new nurse was Barb, who had a thick polish accent (it reminded me of my grandma’s caretaker). She was very nice and introduced herself. I went back to my room and sat down as it was about 10:15 I really thought I should try to get some rest. As I laid in bed I realized how uncomfortable the contractions were and told the nurse (as there was no way I’d be sleeping with these). She came in and asked if I wanted to be checked, I thought there is no way I have progressed much in an hour and so I said no that I’d call her. Fifteen minutes later, I was really uncomfortable every 1-1 1/2 minutes so I asked her to come in and check me. Sure enough I was 3-4!! I was told at 4 I could get an epidural and from all the reading I had done I knew labor could go from bearable to unbearable rather quickly so I asked for the epidural. Good thing I did because I needed A LOT more fluid before I could get the epidural. So she hooked me up to another IV bag and told me I had to wait about 20 minutes. So as the contractions sucked so much in bed, I got up and told Hector we were going to need to walk again.
So we got up at 10:45 and started walking, again. Barb, our nice nurse, told me it would only take 20 minutes for the IV bag to be low enough for me to be able to have the epidural. So I thought this would be a short 20 minute walk. It wasn’t. It took about an hour for the bag to get to wear it needed to be and my contractions were so strong as I was walking that I needed to stop and hold on to things and breathe through them I knew that this was doable as far as the pain scale but I also knew I would get NO rest with these. But the walking helped a ton. At about 12:45 a.m. I was able to get my epidural I walked slowly into my room and got prepped for the procedure. By this time, I was quite tired (my bed time was usually 10:00, and I’d be in bed around 9:30 lol) and sitting in bed again sucked. The contractions were not as easy for my to labor through while sitting and I would shake as I got some of the stronger ones and even shiver at some points. The doctor who have me the epidural was amazing and did a great job. After the procedure where my husband got to hold me down, I felt almost instant relief and REALLY felt exhausted. As if I could fall asleep while sitting.
The nurse shut off the lights, Hector tried to get comfy on the pull down bed and I laid on my side and daydreamed about my baby. I could hear his heartbeat on the monitor and still (even with the epidural) feel his movements. The whole process up to and including this point, I was so relaxed and just went with the flow. I was amazed at how the little jump start triggered my body into doing what it needed to do. Although the NST (non-stress test) made me sorta anxious about his heartbeat the whole time so I never really fell asleep. I closed my eyes and rested but listed to every little heart variation and all the late night sounds in the hospital (nurses at the nurses station, Hector snoring on the couch) and just couldn’t believe that this was my life right at that moment and all the waiting was almost over and I was about to have a baby.
Around 4 a.m. I started to feel pressure every couple minutes. It wasn’t painful at all but that feeling was obvious as before I was very numb and couldn’t feel anything. I ignored it for about 20 minutes until I felt a small gush down there and was nervous that my water may have broken. I called out to Hector and asked him to get the nurse. When Barb walked in she asked me what was wrong and I explained. She said, “Oh Honey, press the epidural button, I’m sure there is nothing going on but you can get another dose” – So I did as I was told and pressed the button I didn’t even know existed. Right after she said she wanted to check me since I was up. She checked me and said you are 8 cm! The look on my face was probably once again PRICELESS. I had just started active labor at 1-2 at 9:00 p.m. and by 4:30 I was 8 cm. Crazy. She left the room and a few minutes later in walked Dr. Martinez. He told me he wanted to break my water (that small gush wasn’t my water but part of my mucus plug). He did (and because of my crazy recent dose of the epidural I didn’t feel any pain at all just a gush as he did it). He then said he was going to check me because sometimes breaking the water will have you dilate further, and sure enough he said I was at 10! So by 4:35 I was FULLY dilated and ready to push.
I quickly sent text messages to my mom and sister. I had sent messages earlier in the morning saying I was 3-4 but didn’t want to call for fear to wake people. You see, my mom had the intention of making her way to the hospital as 6 a.m. because according to the doctor at 6 p.m. on 7/20 I should have only (hopefully) been 1 cm at 6 a.m. on 7/21 but instead an hour and a half before 6 a.m. I was fully dilated and ready to meet my little Evan.
I could not believe it and neither could Hector. I also thought that when this happened there was a frantic running around to get the pushing started, not so. In fact, they took their time and chit chatted with me until about 5:00 a.m. Around 5:10-5:15 I started to push. Up until this point I had no pitocin. My body had figured out how to labor all on its own. Also, I was SO NUMB! I couldn’t feel my left leg AT ALL because of the dose of epidural I had just gotten. This made me nervous because I was afraid of how effective my pushes would be because I couldn’t feel contractions AT ALL or really any part of my lower body. The doctor would tell me when I was having a contraction and I would push when he told me to. There was a lot of rest time between because my contractions were coupling (so instead of one very large contraction, I’d have two smaller ones right on top of one another, not effective for pushing). So after about 20 minutes of pushing he decided on some pitocin to make my contractions come together. So that worked well! Hector, Dr. Martinez and Barb would cheer me on at each contraction and I’d use my arms for leverage. As I couldn’t feel anything in my lower body I used my upper body as I guide and pulled the hell out of the grip bars at the side of my bed. It was the best bicep, tricep and chest workout I have ever done. I thanked God as I did this because my workout background really helped prepare me for labor.
Hector would get so excited at every contraction when I would push and had genuine “wow, go go go go go, push push push push push” words of encouragement. He told me how good I was doing and would rub my forehead and gave me some ice chips. He was so supportive and my doctor was simply amazing. God works in mysterious ways because had Evan decided to come even a couple hours later, I would have had a nightmare doctor (the one who I cried to at my 39.6 week appointment). I was so glad to be having the experience with this doctor and my husband.
The sunset the night before and we really couldn’t believe that our little guy was going to greet us as the sun rose that morning. The beautiful sky lit our room for his delivery (lights were off in the room) it was such a perfect setting.
Before I knew it the doctor was preparing for my little guy (putting on a gown and pulling apart the bed). Then, it happened. A strong push followed by the doctor saying “stop pushing” (which I knew Evan’s head was out) followed by ok another good push and poof my baby was on my chest. The doctor had exclaimed that he was surprised at what a big boy Evan was and that I indeed was “all baby.” My baby was perfect. 7 lbs 7 oz and 20 inches long. The most beautiful person I have ever seen. I couldn’t believe how much I loved him and we had only just touched. I sobbed with happiness. He was here, after what felt like forever, my perfect little angel was here.
Words cannot express the feelings I had at that moment. Honestly. Tears were shed and I was so in love. I asked for him to be placed directly on my chest (to keep him warm) and his soft cries just warmed my heart. He was here. My baby was here. My husband and I were now parents.
He has truly made my world complete. He is loved more than he could possibly imagine.