Greyer Smith Nelson was due on Saturday, October 6, 2012.
He sure did procrastinate, but he ended up coming right on time!
Here's how it happened:
On Thursday the 4th, I went in for my 40 week appointment and was still 0 centimeters dilated and 70% effaced (which I'd been for two weeks). Not only that, but Greyer's head was off to the right of my pelvis, not the least bit engaged.
My wonderful doctor said that was a bit concerning for being this far along...
He said if the baby's head isn't engaged by this point, there is usually a reason and that reason is usually either because the baby's head is too big to fit, or that the mother's pelvis is too small or misshapen.
We discussed, and even scheduled, a c-section for Monday the 8th since he would be on call at the hospital and I would be past my due date.
The reason behind scheduling a c-section so soon after my due date versus waiting it out a little longer was because with the baby's head not in place, you run the risk of birthing the umbilical chord if your water breaks which is super dangerous.
I was a tad discouraged, but honestly relieved at the idea of a scheduled c-section.
I've been through major spinal surgery before, so the operating room doesn't scare me one bit. Aaaand, going into this pregnancy/delivery thing I've held everything with a loose grip knowing that even with a written plan, there are no guarantees.
Plus, having a baby was my goal. Not getting him here according to a plan.
Part of that is because I'm a bit unpredictable when it comes to pain tolerance and things like that. But it mostly has to do with the fact that I wanted to be open to whatever it took to get him here safely.
So a c-section it was!
Or so we thought...
I started having contractions that Thursday night!!!
And they were regular at about ten minutes apart.
They grew stronger and stronger as the night went on, and I was moaning and groaning all night long.
I didn't fall asleep until around 7:00 am on Friday morning and the contractions mostly went away that day. Until about 7:00 pm. And this time they were MUCH more intense but some were 3 minutes apart and some were 18 minutes apart. We were both bummed because every time we called the hospital (about six times between both nights) they told us not to come in until they were consistently 5 minutes apart (which we knew, but we were nervous about my "situation" of the baby's head not being in place).
Finally, at about 3:00 am on Saturday morning we got permission from our doctor to go to the hospital to "at least get something for the pain".
We were thrilled because we didn't know how I'd make it like this until my c-section on Monday.
So, we grabbed our hospital bags that had been ready for weeks (just in case) and headed on over.
Driving to the hospital was not at all like I'd imagined it being...
I always pictured my water breaking in the middle of the night and waking Ian to say "This is it!"
Then we'd rush to the hospital breathing through contractions.
The nurse would greet me with a wheelchair and I'd hop on, but it'd hurt because of everything going on down there. And then I'd start pushing.
But it wasn't like that at all.
We were both excited, but really calm trying not to get our hopes up that this was it.
But it was!
We checked into the hospital around 4:00 am and they checked all my stuff.
I was now 3 cm!
My contractions were still inconsistent, but since my blood pressure was high (apparently), the nurse said that was enough of a concern to keep me.
We were in that first room for about and hour and a half until a new nurse came in and asked if I was ready to start laboring...
I was like uuuuuuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh..... you mean breathing and pushing for hours and hours????????
(Obviously I knew what laboring meant and always pictured myself doing it that way, but at this point I was mentally prepared for surgery... not that.)
I looked at Ian and we were like LET'S DO THIS!
That nurse was really annoying and made me wish I'd done a home birth for three reasons:
1.) She was SUPER chatty and telling me things about babies dying in hospitals because the mom lets him sleep in the narrow hospital bed with her, etc. And I also learned that her husband has red hair and is in the military. She was kind, but it was 5:30 in the morning and I hadn't slept in two days...
2.) She practically forced me to get into the tub. She asked me if I'd like to start in the tub and I said "I'd actually just like to lay down and rest. Maybe later." To which she replied, "Well now is the best time to get in the tub if you're going to at all. Most women find it relaxing." So I obliged.
3.) She made me feel completely stupid for being so modest by not completely opening the back of my gown before I got in the bed. And then proceeded to tell me about all the tattoos and piercings she's seen. I was not amused...
Luckily her shift was over by 7.
The tub felt good but the water was kind of dirty and the lights were so bright it was hard to relax. Plus, I just felt weird being so naked so I asked Ian to get my sports bra.
After about twenty mins in the tub we walked over to the room and crazy nurse gave me a disappointed look and said "you're done in the tub?"
I said yes and that I wanted to try to sleep a little.
She seemed annoyed and said "Well your best shot at sleeping was in the tub."
And I was just like no.
Our birthing suite was incredible!
It was dim lit and there was this TV channel playing nature scenes and spa-like music.
I thought I was walking into a massage room or something.
I laid down and shut my eyes. A few minutes later we were greeted by our new nurse, Jayme.
She was incredible and I love her.
She asked if I wanted the epidural and I said I was unsure and thought I might want to wait a little longer. She explained to me that if I was thinking of getting one at some point, I may as well do it now to relieve the pain and get some rest before the looong journey that was before me.
Ian reminded me that I hadn't slept in days and had felt it that whole time. And I was ready to be done with that pain, let me tell you!!!
The anesthesiologist came in shortly after and shot me up.
It kind of hurt, but after feeling those contractions all day and night, it didn't phase me much.
She had to try again because she'd accidentally run into a blood vessel or something.
This didn't concern me because they said in our birthing class that that happens sometimes.
She repositioned the thingy and all was good. And numb.
Yes, about ten minutes later, the bottom half of my body (waist down) was completely numb.
It was weird though because I could still move my legs and feel people touching them, but they were suuuuuuper heavy and kind of tingly.
But I slept so well for a couple hours.
Oh, and the doctor came in and broke my waters.
I don't know what time it was, but the sun was out and our family had arrived so maybe around noon??
The epidural stopped working and I was screaming.
The pain wasn't so much in my belly as it was in my privates.
All I wanted to do was push, but I was only 7 cm and they said my cervix was unevenly opening. So I think they tried to stretch it or something.
The new anesthesiologist came in because I was in the worst pain of my entire life ever.
She gave me an increased dosage and thirty minutes later it wasn't working.
More pain. More screaming. The breathing techniques did not help.
She took a look at the catheter in my back and discovered that it had hit a nerve and was too high up to do anything. Ian was mad about that and I was just like HELP MEEEEEEE.
She fixed it and I was pretty much good.
We said farewell to Jayme and hello to two new nurses at 7:00 pm. Their names were Zibby and Tami.
They were amazzzzzing.
Two hours later they told me I was fully progressed and ready to start pushing.
The initial numbness in my legs had worn off, so I felt ready to push and like I could actually feel what was going on down there.
They said most first-timers take about two hours to push. I looked at the clock (9:15) and was determined to do it faster!
I huffed and puffed with each contraction and Ian says I was sassing the nurses.
The truth is, I felt so out of it the whole time.
It was weird though because I was aware of everything going on and still remember conversations and sensations and everything in between. So, I don't know if my lethargy was from my lack of sleep or the epidural, but my guess is it was a combination of both.
An hour and a half later (10:47 pm) little Greyer slithered into the world-- on his due date!
That was the weirdest feeling I've ever experienced...
My hands were on my belly with the final push and I literally felt him (with my hands) move from the top of my torso to the bottom and my belly totally deflated along the way!
Ian cut the chord and they passed me my little guy.
They ripped off my gown and covered us with a warm blanket for our hour of skin-to-skin time.
He was pretty ugly at first, not gonna lie.
He totally had a cone head off to the left and was all purpley. Hahaha!
They made me nurse right away and it was whatever. Nothing worth noting.
We were exhausted and family came to visit.
I got up right away and walked to the bathroom with the nurses help.
That was weird because I thought that the epidural would paralyze me for hours, but I was fine and walking on my own!
By 3:00 am we were moved into the recovery room. We all slept great!
And here are some pictures from our stay at the hospital.
This was right after he was born:
Me and my best friend Summer holding each other's boys just five days apart! They are best friends too!
Snuggles with dad.
Kisses from mom.
And his first time in the car.
A couple things I'd like to note:
1.) I'm so glad I got an epidural.
2.) Because of my annoying nurse, I better understand the whole "Business of Being Born" perspective.
3.) But after her I seriously loved each of my nurses so much and I miss them and I just want to go back and hug them and say thank you!!! I kind of miss the hospital. And the ice chips!
I'm sure I left out a lot, and if you have any questions you can leave them in the comments. I'm pretty much an open book and would love to answer any questions you have about my experience!