Saturday morning, September 26, I woke up feeling weird. I didn't want to be around anyone and was feeling very irritable. This made me really happy, though, as I was 40 weeks + 4 days and felt like this might be my body telling me I was about to go into labor. Hallelujah! I was supposed to meet Mark and some of his friends to watch football, but decided to run errands instead. I think I used all my "nesting" energy on getting fall/Halloween decorations for our house. ha!
Later that night, during the A&M game, I was still feeling lots of energy and set to work on fixing myself dinner. The A&M game had gone into overtime, and right when A&M was on their way to coming back to win, my water broke. Thank goodness I was standing on the kitchen tile because it was a huge SPLOOSH all over the floor. What a sensation! I got so excited and told Mark, texted my doula, called to tell my mom and called to notify the on-call midwife.
At this point I thought I was only having Braxton Hicks contractions, so the midwife said to just try to get some rest and to go to the birth center the next morning around 9 to check in. Not long after, I started having contractions. All night long I had contractions that lasted anywhere from 30-60 seconds every 5 minutes or so, but weren't getting longer/stronger/closer together.
The next morning we packed up and went to the birth center, thinking this would be the day! Carla was the midwife on call, and after feeling around for the baby's position, she decided to use the ultrasound machine to figure out where his head was.
Flashback to the weeks before, the midwives had been concerned about his position because his head hadn't engaged and at times had been tilted to the side. I went to a chiropractor three times and performed all sorts of positioning exercises to try to get him to engage. The other problem was that there was so much fluid in there, so much that later on the midwives would say they think I had polyhydramnios.
SO. Much to my surprise, while she was performing the ultrasound, Carla said that my water hadn't broken. WHAT?! I told her, uh, yes it did, I have pictures to prove it if you'd like to see them? But apparently I had two bags of water and the one that was around the baby hadn't broken yet. (Apparently everyone has two bags, but usually at some point during the pregnancy they fuse together.) So with the bag of water still in tact and baby boy's head still not engaged, I was only at 2 centimeters (after 12 hours of labor). We made the decision for her to strip my membranes, and in the process the other bag broke, and this one had meconium in it.
Since little man's head was asynclitic and there was meconium in the water, we called up my chiropractor to try to get his head to engage and get labor going. We tried all sorts of positions (lunges, abdominal lift and tucks during contractions, side-lying releases, etc etc) for a few hours. My contractions were getting stronger, but I still wasn't making any progress. At this time, Carla monitored baby boy's heart rate during a few contractions and noticed that he was having some pretty big decelerations during the contractions. So around 2:30 p.m. we decided to go to the hospital.
I knew it was the best thing for the baby, but I felt a little defeated. Once we were all checked in and settled in the room, I felt a lot better. I was now under the care of the UNT midwives, and they are awesome. We had the BEST nurses, they were all so sweet and calm and fun to be around - truly a blessing. They started me on the lowest possible dose of Pitocin and we continued to try to get his head to engage. I labored on a birth ball and on my side in the bed with a "peanut" between my knees (like an exercise ball but peanut shaped... very awkward..).
This laboring dance went on for about 6 more hours. Contractions were painful but not unbearable. I kept thinking I could keep going through this if it meant getting the baby out, but my physical and emotional stamina was wearing thin. At 9 p.m., I was at either 4 or 5 centimeters and his head still wasn't engaged. So 24 hours of labor for next to nothing. I was done. I gave it my best shot, but I was ready to tap out. I asked what would happen if I asked for an epidural, and they said, "Well, you would get an epidural." (Ha, seems ridiculous now.)
Oh sweet baby Jesus... the instant relief was incredible. My mom said later, "I think everyone felt better once you got the epidural!" I mean look at my face!
Even with all the risks of an epidural, and the fact that I was essentially giving up on what I thought I could accomplish (a drug-free birth), putting my pride aside was fantastic... Imagine that! And the anesthesiologist who administered the epidural did a fantastic job because I was still able to move from side to side with a little bit of ease. They upped the Pitocin and I was able to get a lot of sleep.
Flash forward to about 9 the next morning and I was only at 7 centimeters and baby boy was only at a zero station.
Since he was having bigger dips in his heart rate throughout the night and we weren't making any progress, we made the decision to get a C section. At this point we had tried everything so it felt great knowing we were finally going to meet our boy!
Last pic as a family of 2!
My sister and Mark suiting up!
Clearly still feeling good, excited to meet Joseph!
Once the room was ready and we were all prepped, my sister and Mark came into the OR and little man was out at 11:59 a.m.!
We had the best nurses and doctors!
The love of my life being so supportive...
...he held my hand and reminisced about our first date while they were working.
Almost there! (I really wanted pics of my insides. ha.)
One of my favorites, you can see the clock on the wall as he's coming out!!
There he is!!
Hearing him cry for the first time was the sweetest sound I've ever heard.
He weighed 8 pounds, 13 ounces, and was 19.25 inches long. We are so thankful for a healthy baby boy and for all the doctors, nurses, midwives, and care providers who helped us bring him into the world. Praise God!
This shows how his little head got slightly bruised/misshapen from being stuck. Poor dude!
All of that was in me???
Handing over our bundle of joy!
Finally getting to meet my little man.
Polley party of THREE!
Grammy meets Joseph!
So much love!