On Thursday December 28th I woke up with some mild cramping in my low back and pelvis. I started to walk and stretch to ease the mild pain. I debated on waking Ryan up since I thought maybe this could be the start of early labor. I eventually got myself back to sleep and woke up at 8 am to bleeding. We called the hospital and they told us to come in. My induction date was scheduled for that Friday but little man had other plans. We arrived at the hospital shortly after 9 am, the only patient in OB at the time. I remember telling Ryan we are the first to arrive and I bet we will be the last to leave. They checked me and I wasn't dilated and not even 100 percent effaced yet. The plan was to start Cytotec. Cytotec is a vaginal suppository that helps ripen the cervix and bring on labor. I had my first dose shortly after ten, this could be administered up to 6 times every 4 hours. Ryan, myself and our doula walked the halls as often as we could, I was having some mild cramping but nothing major. After 4 hours they checked me and there wasn't any change so they administered the second Cytotec after 2pm. This started to bring on more contractions closer together but still manageable. Again after another 4 hours they checked me again and administered the third Cytotec. At this point I still had minimal change in dilation, I think I had reached 1 cm. By this time it was dinner time. Contractions started to get closer together and stronger. I tried laying in a hospital chair with my heating pad on my back and breathing through the contractions, I then noticed the full body shakes happening. Literally my whole body shook uncontrolled and I couldn't stop it. Eventually all of us got ready for bed. The hospital saved their c-section room for Ryan to be able to sleep in and do his morning care routine since that room had a wheel in shower. I didn't sleep at all since my contractions were about 3-4 minutes apart sometimes 2-3 minutes and were very intense and in my back. I eventually got up and walked the halls and then went down and was with Ryan for a little bit. The nurse then recommended trying to get in the tub to labor in there and see if that would help with the contractions. I don't recall what time I got in the tub, I think maybe around 12 am, but I labored in the tube for 8 hours. The tub was nice, the warmth and whirlpool jets did help ease the pain of the contractions and allowed me to breath through them. I remember squeezing Ryan's hand and the doula's hand as hard as I possibly could. At the next 4 hour mark they tried to check my cervix while I was in the tub but Silas's head was so low that they had to go around his head to try to reach my cervix. They were unable to check me properly and the doppler was having a hard time picking up his heart beat so they made me get out of the tub and back to bed to check me and monitor baby for a bit. At this point I still wasn't having much change and my contractions were so close together that they could no longer give me any more of the Cytotec. Getting out of the tub was miserable, my contractions intensified so much more and I started to feel nauseas and sick. Once I was able to get back into the tub I ended up requesting for an analgesic to take the edge off. They administered the first dose and said I could have that every 3 hours. The first dose did help take the edge off of the contractions enough where I could get my breathing back under control. At the 3 hour mark I asked for another one and the second dose didn't help at all.
Ryan eventually had to go and do his morning care routine. This was the longest 2 hours of my life. It was so hard not having Ryan by my side to help me through each contraction. It was a very lonely 2 hours not having my person with me. I kept telling my doula that I could know longer do this, I was in so much pain, all back labor, I was so nauseas that I started throwing up and I was so exhausted. When Ryan returned the doctor had me get out of the tub to check me again, I still wasn't making much progress and was only dilated to a 2-3cm. By this time I had been awake for over 24 hours and having very hard contractions every 2-3 minutes apart. The doctor did break my water at some point in time very early morning. The doctor said the next step would be to start Pitocin to help progress dilation. I knew at that point starting Pitocin would make my contractions even worse. It wasn't an easy decision to decide to get an epidural but my doctor even said you have been awake for 24 hours, you are throwing up, you are exhausted its ok to get an epidural. I knew in my mind labor would continue all day, the baby wasn't going to be born in a couple hours, an epidural was the right decision, so at 7:15 I gave in and asked for the epidural.
My mother who works at the hospital came in and was with me for a while in the morning and helped me labor. It was around 9 am when Justin came to give me my epidural. I was slightly nervous about getting the epidural since my contractions where so close together and having to sit still while he is placing the catheter in my back. I also was so nauseas that even water and ice chips were making me want to throw up and the full body shakes still continued. Luckily the time that I needed to be really still my contractions held off. I just kept asking God please help me stay calm and not move. Once he was finished I laid back in bed and eventually started throwing up again. My blood pressure dropped really low and the doctors were concerned my blood sugar was to low since I hadn't eaten for a long period of time. So there I sat trying to force myself to eat when I felt like I had the worst stomach flu of my life. I wasn't able to sleep at all that afternoon, I tried to rest but I felt so overly exhausted and so crappy it just didn't happen. I was so nervous that when it came time to push I wouldn't be able to out of pure exhaustion. After I received the epidural thats when they started the Pitocin. Around lunch they really cranked up the amount of Pitocin because I was still dilating so slowly. Ryan's mom came to the hospital and had lunch with my mom that afternoon. At around 3 I she came to see me and I broke down to her. My epidural was perfect in the fact that I could still feel my contractions, just not intense pain behind them. I also could fully feel and move my right leg and move my pelvis. My left leg was a bit more dead. Overtime my contractions started to feel really intense again and found out my button to release the medication wasn't working. Justin came back up and adjusted my catheter and things felt better then. During the transition of the final phase of labor is when I felt the worse, luckily at 4 pm (32 hours of labor) the doctor checked me and he said it was time and I was ready to start pushing. A huge sense of relief came over me and it was like finally the end is in site! Surprisingly a surge of energy came over me even though I was still feeling pretty crappy. We called my mom to come upstairs and Ryan's mom was also in the room. This wasn't a planned thing but in the moment they both gave me a sense of peace by being there.
Due to the position of Silas's head I ended up having to push on my sides for a while to try to get him to turn his head. The doctor tried to manually turn his head with out success. At that moment when both of his hands where shoved inside of me trying to turn this kid's head I was thankful for that epidural. Believe me I still could feel everything that he was doing but I can't imagine him doing that with out meds. After pushing so many times on each side the baby had finally turned his head and only a few pushes after that he came out and they placed him on my chest.
Ryan announced the sex of the baby and eventually cut the umbilical cord. Everyone was shocked to hear it was a boy, the OB staff all thought it would be a girl. The moment of them placing Silas on my chest is forever engrained in my memory. This little tiny baby wiggling around brought instant tears to my eyes. He didn't cry to much, he actually came out popping and pooped all over me and himself. But there was a moment he just stopped moving and starred at me. It was the most intense, piercing stare ever, like he knew I was mom and this huge rush of unconditional love came over me. All I could say was hey, I'm your mom! I've been waiting for this moment for so long and there really are no words to describe the feelings that come over you. It really is indescribable! He really is a true blessing and a gift from God! Ryan and I are forever grateful that God chose us to be his parents.
My labor was by know means what I had envisioned but I'm thankful I was able to experience a vaginal delivery. I guess that is why everyones birth story is so different. After I received my epidural our labor and delivery nurse Carrie, who we happen to know, told me a little about the birth of her three kids, two of which were inductions. She said inductions are so different then natural labor. Inductions bring on labor with medication, and they bring it on fast and hard, there is no gradual transition with induction. Her saying those things reassured me that deciding to get an epidural was right for me. I was able to feel every contraction still while pushing and feel the baby emerge from my body, was it comfortable, heck no but it was tolerable. If Ryan and I are ever blessed to have more children I still will try for a natural labor, hopefully it will be much faster then this one. We can't say enough about how awesome our labor and delivery nurses were and how awesome our doctors were. We went through 3 nurse changes and 1 doctor change before Silas was born. I'm pretty sure God had it in his plan to have Carrie be the nurse to be with us all day on Friday. She was amazing, so kind and caring and kept me calm the whole time. I'm really so thankful she got to be apart of Silas's birth. Our pediatrician also was in the room when Silas was being delivered and we feel pretty blessed to have such an awesome doctor for Silas. All of us were really surprised when they weighed him and he was only 6 pounds 13 ounces, pretty small for being 10 days over his due date.
We ended his birthday with both sets of Grandparents enjoying their new grandson. Another indescribable feeling is seeing your parents meet your kid for the first time. How much joy our little man brought them was written all over their faces! I was able to get up and take a bath and get a little sleep between feedings. The second night in the hospital was harder and little man decided to cluster feed all night. We were happy to head home from the hospital on New Years Eve, the last to leave the hospital, just like I told Ryan. There were 3 other babies born that came in after we arrived and left before us. Our kid sure knows how to make an entrance into the world!
Its been two weeks since Silas has been born and what a two weeks it has been. It has taken me more then a few days to finish this blog post considering I started writing it on the 11th. I plan to write about life as a new mom and how Ryan and I are managing raising a new born. In the mean time enjoy some special photos of Silas birth taken by my mother.