The days leading up to Audrey’s arrival were spent eating loads of pineapple, smothering everything in sriracha sauce, going on walks (aka waddles) and bouncing on a birthing ball that became more and more deflated with each exhausted bounce. To say Derek and I were ready to meet her was an understatement. I tried to sit back and relax knowing that sleep would soon be a luxury, but I couldn’t. Derek and I were anxious, excited and nervous…but oh-so ready to enter the world of parenthood.
Our wait for sweet Audrey came to an end on July 7th, a day before her due date! (I was actually supposed to have my 40 week appointment at 11am! haha) I was woken by a contraction at 5:11am. This is something that I had experienced before, but this time something felt different. I wasn’t able to go back to sleep, so I decided that I might as well get up and start my day. While I was getting ready, I started to experience the contractions more frequently. I was soon able to time them, and they were coming around every 5 to 8 minutes ranging in intensity.
A hour went by, and I decided it was time to wake up Derek! (I didn’t want to wake him up until I knew for sure that I was in labor.) His reaction and response to what was going on still cracks me up! Basically, Derek didn’t know that a woman could be in labor before the water breaks. So, I told him what I was experiencing..and he asked what time it was and immediately fell back to sleep like it was no big deal! At that time, I didn’t know that he was so clueless about the labor process (maybe we should have taken a class …haha!).. I just figured he must be REALLY tired, and I let him go back to sleep for a bit.
I spent the next hour or so timing contractions and walking around the house. I was told to come into the hospital when the contractions were 5 minutes apart, lasting 1 minute each, for the duration of at least a hour. They call it the 5-1-1 rule. They still were not consistently 5 minutes apart, but they were growing in intensity (ouch). I decided that Derek really needed to get up and get a move on! I woke him up for the second time and told him that he needed to get everything together. He got up and then told me that he was going to start some laundry and run into work…. THIS was when I figured out that he was clearly oblivious to what was going on. I explained to him that I was in labor..and he explained back to me that his laundry would only take a couple hours and that we should have plenty of time because my water hadn’t broke yet (he was so cool calm and collected!) hahah! ….. If yall could have seen my face!!! When I explained to him how things work…that only a small percentage of labors begin with the water breaking first… he kicked it into high gear! It was actually extremely endearing and exciting seeing him really realize that today could be the day!!!
We called the midwives (I saw a group of midwives throughout my pregnancy not knowing which one would be there to deliver), and I explained to the one that answered what I was experiencing and that we would likely be coming in at some point that day. (They told us to call ahead!) Her response angered me so much… The first thing she said to me was “You sound REALLY comfortable!!!”. Ummm.. I was NOT, by any means, comfortable! haha I was in-between contractions and excited, so I probably did sound a little perky for someone who was in labor..but comfortable..no! Then, she told me that I should IGNORE my contractions. HA! I’m pretty sure my jaw hit the floor. I literally wanted to cry.. I felt like she wasn’t taking me seriously and that we would have trouble getting admitted into L&D. (If your contractions aren’t consistent and progressing, they may not admit you.) I just had the worst feeling that the contractions would slow down or stop all together!
She also told me that a good indicator of when to come in would be when I cant walk or talk through them (as well as the 5-1-1 rule). That is what I expected them to tell me when I called… I told her that was fine and that we would wait it out at home for as long as possible.
I went ahead and ate a little breakfast and tried to watch Below Deck (best show ever). After a couple of really intense contractions, I decided I wanted to head to the hospital. I still feared that we would not get admitted, but it wasn’t worth laboring at home at this point. Also, the idea of having a natural birth went out door! Efffff that.
It was a good thing that we left when we did, because my water broke as soon as they got me back to triage. I hadn’t even been check by my midwife yet! (When I was checked, I was 2cm dilated and 100% effaced.) This was the best feeling because it meant that they had to admit us! It was our ticket in! 🙂
Also, at this point my FAVORTIE midwife had started work for the day! I was so very thankful!
The contractions definitely intensified after my water broke. When the nurse asked me if I was going to get an epidural, I explained to her that I was planning to but that I wasn’t sure when to ask for it. My midwife told me that she would like me to get to 4cm before getting the epidural. The nurse explained that I could get it as soon as I wanted and that she would go ahead and set up for it. That way when I did want it, it would speed the process up a little. Well, by the time she was done getting everything ready, I went ahead and told her to hook me up! She called in the anesthesiologist, and I was feeling AMAZING within the hour.
I kept telling Derek that I felt so good! I was honestly the most relaxed I had been in months! haha
A few hours later I was checked and was 4cm dilated. They wanted to see me progress a little faster, so they started Pitocin. Within a couple hours of Pitocin, I was fully dilated and ready to go! They didn’t have me push right away, though. Instead, they had me “labor down”. This was probably the hardest part of labor for me (considering that everything else was a honestly not bad at all). I started to shake uncontrollably (apparently this is normal), and the pressure was the most intense thing I have ever experienced. Initially they wanted me to labor down for a hour, but one hour turned to two when my midwife had to deliver a baby in another room!
It was extremely difficult to not push while laboring down… BUT it was worth it. When the time came to deliver Audrey , I only pushed for about 40 minutes. And this may sound strange, but at that point it felt like a relief to push. Dare I say it felt good? It wasn’t as scary of a process as I imagined it to be! The midwife also brought in a mirror (which I was very unsure about at first), but honestly it helped so much to look at what was going on. It’s one thing to push..it’s another thing to see what each push is doing!
At 7:30pm she arrived weighing 6 pounds 15 ounces and 19.25 inches long. I was lucky enough to get to do skin-to-skin time with her right away for over a hour! She nursed and Derek and I just stared at her in disbelief.
People tell you that its a love that you cant describe… and it truly is. I spent the entire night just staring at her soaking in all of her sweetness. Derek and I are both so honored to be her parents… she gave us a whole new purpose in life and we are so thankful. 🙂
Welcome to the world little Audrey Jean!
Also… I cant finish this post without saying how much I LOVE NURSES! Some of my best friends are nurses, and I know how hard they work each and every shift… but my appreciation for nurses reached an all time high during our experience. It takes a special kind of person to take care of someone in their time of need (no matter what the situation may be). I felt so at ease and so comfortable during my entire laboring process because I had the best people surrounding me! I felt like I was just hanging out with girlfriends the entire day! I could not have had such a wonderful experience without them (as well as my amazing midwife!) So if you’re a nurse, thank you! Thank you for everything you do!