We were due on Friday, February 28th, but that day came and went with Bristol still in my belly. I had an appointment with my OBGYN on Monday, March 3rd. Since Bristol was late, she wanted to go ahead and induce the next morning. (I was thrilled because the next day was my best friend, Laura's birthday and I knew she would be ecstatic!) My doctor did a non-stress test on me to make sure everything was looking good before we went home. Basically, I was hooked up to a contraption that measured my contractions and the baby's heart rate. I was having contractions every 2-3 minutes, but they were so light that I could not even feel them yet. Everything looked good, so she told us to come to the hospital the next day at 5:30am.
That night, I started to feel some of the contractions, but it wasn't bad, so I went to bed. Philip and I got up early the next morning and checked into Garden Park. We got to our room, and the nurses were great with us. They knew I was coming, but they were missing the paperwork for my induction, so they went ahead and hooked me up to an IV for fluid and the non-stress test while we were waiting. The nurse told me I was contracting every 4-6 minutes and was 4cm dilated and 65% effaced. She said I probably could have been admitted anyway because I was in labor.
They started the pitocin at 8:25am. I told my nurse that I wanted the epidural as soon as I could get it, but she wanted to hold off until my pain was greater than a 3 on the scale of 1-10. Unfortunately, my body reacted to the pitocin really quickly and I went from a pain level of about 2 to a 7 or 8 within an hour. She told me she would call the anesthesiologist. I was in a lot of pain, and around 10:15 she said he was supposed to be right up to our room and then Dr. Daigle would be in to break my water. Philip left the room at that point, because nobody is allowed in during the epidural. So, I was by myself for a little while because the anesthesiologist didn't show for another 30 minutes (which seemed like an eternity). That was the worst part... being all alone and in pain.
Dr. Daigle came in around 10:30 and could immediately tell by my miserable face that I had not gotten my epidural yet. She told me she came to break my water but she could wait until after I got the epidural if I wanted her to. I asked if it would hurt, and she said not compared to the pain I was feeling. I told her to go ahead, and she was right. It didn't really hurt (or I didn't notice because I was in so much pain already). As soon as she left, the anesthesiologist FINALLY showed up. It was 10:45. I sat up and got my epidural.
The pain was gone, but a side effect is shaking like crazy. I started noticing nurses I had not seen coming in and out of the room. My nurse asked me to put on an oxygen mask. She explained that Bristol's heart rate had dropped a lot, but she thought it was probably just because everything had happened so quickly... my water was broken and I sat up right after that for the epidural. So, Philip came back in the room and I was shaking and wearing an oxygen mask. That really freaked him out. I think he was worried that I was having a seizure. Bristol's heart rate slowly climbed back up to the 130's, so everything calmed down.
At 1:00pm I was at 10cm, so my nurse gave me some coaching on pushing for about 30 minutes, and then my doctor wanted me to sit up for about 30 minutes to rest and let the baby drop a little lower. At 2:00pm, we were ready to push. My doctor and all the nurses were very positive the whole day about my progression and how her head was very low, so they all expected her to come out pretty quickly. My doctor told us that she was so low that "this was her only way out." Very soon after the pushing started, they were telling me she was crowning. However, with every push she looked like she was coming, but would get stuck on my pelvic bone.
I was getting so exhausted and I was burning up hot. Dr. Daigle finally said that she was going to need to use suction on her head to get her past my pelvic bone. The first one popped off and blood went everywhere. :( They attached another and I continued with the pushing. We were closing in on 2 hours, and my doctor told me that she needed to come out on the next push or she would have to go the other route (C-section). She didn't come out on that push, and I thought it was over. I had another contraction coming, so she told me to push again one last time... out came Bristol. Philip said I sighed the biggest sigh of relief. I just started balling as I could see them take her to the side to clean her off and cut her umbilical cord. They held her up for me to see and I really started to cry because she looked like Philip. I was SO happy!
They had to take her to the nursery for some respiratory help while the doctors tended to me. My parents and Philip's mom got to see her through the nursery window and get her first pictures. My mom came in to see me, and then they went home so that I could rest. Laura was able to drive down from Hattiesburg, so we visited with her and had birthday cookie cake to celebrate both her and Bristol's bday! They brought Bristol to our room about 7:15, and I finally got to hold my baby girl!
We were at the hospital until Thursday, March 6th. I would have been discharged that morning, but we had to stay until 4pm because Bristol was in the photo therapy machine to treat her jaundice. Her billirubin levels went down enough for us to take her home, so we were out of there!
She has brought so much joy to us already, and we just can't get enough of her. So, here are my last 2 chalkboard photos. ;) I made a photo book of all of them that I ordered today.
This one is right before we left the hospital. Daddy even wore pink for his little girl! ;)