(this picture should have gone with the last post)
Right before leaving to the hospital
Once I was in the hospital triage I told them my water had broke. They checked to see that it was "grossly" ruptured. They don't like to check to see how dilated women are because it's a greater chance for infection once the water is broken apparently.
After I got all settled and check into triage they told me they needed to get a room ready and I could go and walk around a bit. So I did. At this point I called Logan (Jana had already talked to him while I was talking with the doctors, etc). For a second I was thinking he could fly home and then stay a day or two and then fly back to DC. It really was a silly thought. We had kind of decided Sunday over the phone that he would just stay at his conference the whole week - that's why he had already purchased his return ticket home for Friday afternoon. Chances of him coming were slim to none. I was okay with that. Because Logan wasn't going to be there, I wanted to make sure it was easier for me. I decided I would get an epidural. I remembered Trevor's painfully long labor (contractions every 7 minutes apart) of 7 hours of being in the hospital. I didn't want to feel anything and be able to enjoy talking to my sister while she was here.
After walking for about 10-15 minutes?? My contractions were getting closer together and starting to be really painful. I figured I was a 6 at this point and wanted to go back to triage and see where my room was.
When we got back to triage I asked them to check me. I like to know how things are progressing so I can mentally get through things. There was a midwife there who checked. She said I was about a 5-6. yep, I was right. Things were getting painful and I asked the resident if I could get my epidural soon. He said he would go check on that and see if it could happen soon. This was 11 am-ish. (I check into the hospital at 9:30am).
My contractions were getting worse and so they finally started my IV and were waiting on a room. It all seemed to go pretty quick really. I was fine and then a contraction would happen. I loose sense of time when I'm in the moment. I guess about 12? we started walking to the room I had to stop 3 times in the short walk for painful contractions. When we got to the room the Anesthesiologist was there for the epidural. I didn't want them to use a catheter so I used the bathroom right as I got in. I had 4 big contractions while I was in there. I came out and sat at the end of the bed and began listening to how I needed to stay while I was getting the needle stick. They assured me the pain would go away but I would feel pressure. I was so confused as to when I would know when to push. I had never had an epidural before and my water always breaks at a 10 - right before needing to push. This was not anything like my two boys. I was feeling so much pressure and having so many contractions as he was doing the epidural. Okay I take that back. He was quick and I probably had 2-3 contractions but they were long and close together. When he was done I felt the exact same. I was waiting for some miracle to happen. As I was laying down - to even out my body so the numbing could happen evenly - I had a huge contraction. I was in a weird position and wasn't sure what they wanted me to do. Could I stop and continue sitting during this contraction or did I have to lay down right then?? This was so unknown and I was in pain and no husband. I was kind of panicking in the moment, I guess. During the contraction I had the hugest "cramp" if you will in my left hip flexor. It was the worst pain. But I couldn't call it pain because they wanted to know pain from pressure. It just hurt. It was pressure I came to realize. Huge pressure, in my hip flexor. It didn't really go away. I was so uncomfortable. More so then before the epidural.
Then my doctor walked in for the first time. It wasn't "my" doctor, but the doctor on call for the group practice. He came with the resident and they looked and said I was ready to push! Just my luck. I always hear storied of friends getting epidurals right before they have to push. I always thought how silly. What's the point of getting an epidural that late in the game. I had thought I was going to be waiting hours for this baby and didn't want pain. Had I gotten the epidural when I wanted it I would have been waiting 2 hours with no pain. The pressure I felt while I was sitting was the same pressure I was feeling now that I was laying and I was ready to push. I was ready to push before I got the epidural. The problem to me (mentally in this labor situation) is that I had no idea how I was dilated!!! In the past I have known along the way because they check to see. I had been checked 2-3 hours ago.
So I could push they said. Every time a contraction came I started to feel it in my left hip flexor. In fact I felt the contractions the most there. It was the most annoying and painful thing. Not like having a baby at all. It was like I went for a run and had the largest hip flexor cramp. It was seriously bizarre.
Now this is my take on epidurals - only my opinion from what I've experienced with my past two labors without an epidural - they are awful when it comes to pushing. I've heard people say that you can still feel push. I beg to differ. Yes, you can feel the pressure and you can feel when you're having a contraction because of the increased pressure. But where to push for me was hard. I could feel the pressure of the resident and doctors hands directing my push - but it was hard. After a few pushes there was no baby and I felt like I wasn't being productive. Where was this baby already? It was my third shouldn't she just pop out with the first push? (jk. . . kind of). In between contractions I could feel the resident stretching my skin out. They could see Hazel's head the whole time but I wasn't pushing enough to get her to come out. It felt like an eternity, but it really only took about 8 minutes. Still, that seems long for a third, to me. Hazel was born at 1:28pm.
Come to find out - in my opinion - it was a good thing it took so long for Hazel to be born because the resident was able to stretch my skin enough that I wouldn't tear. If I didn't have an epidural I believe I would have pushed her right out and torn a lot. Of course just my opinion because I will never know otherwise. I also hated having tingly legs and the anesthetic was wearing off. Kind of like when you get back from the dentist and the numbing cheeks on your face get itchy. It was like that but all over my legs. I had a really hard time sleeping or getting comfortable because of it. Next time (if there is a next time) I will probably opt out of an epidural (if conditions are ideal of course - no 30 hour labor). Just like I wanted to this time if Logan were around.
Hazel was born and taken away by the nurses. I didn't want to hold her because I always get to shaky and my body goes into shock like state. Jana did however go over and watch them wipe her off and get her vitals. She was healthy and happy with a good set of lungs. I was able to shed some tears. Mostly tears of relief that I was done, tears of joy for the birth of my baby, and tears of sadness that my husband wasn't there. I was pretty emotional.
For the next few hours I was so weak and shaky. I was scared to hold Hazel. I felt bad that I didn't want to hold her because I wasn't really "with it" yet. I was so dizzy. I kept telling my nurse I didn't feel right. . . but I guess that's normal.
It was so nice to have Jana there and know that someone I love and someone who loves Hazel was holding her. Jana didn't mind one bit. She had never been to a birth besides her children and was happy to be there for this little miracle.
My friend who was watching my boys brought them about 6pm. I was still dizzy and so tired. I wasn't able to sleep because my legs were still so itchy! I couldn't help corral my boys at all. I just sat there and talked and held Hazel (for a bit).
The first thing Trevor did when he came into the room was walk directly behind my chair and peek up over and say, "peek-a-boo". It was pretty cute. Of course Trevor was all over the room and discovering new things. Brennan wanted to see his little sister and the baby would were going to take home. Both of them were all over my meal tray and wanted things to eat :)
After their visit Jana left with my boys to go home and sleep with them at home that night. I was left to the hospital by myself with the nurses and the nursery to watch over Hazel and I. I've never been more nervous to see my baby leave the room :( with someone else. But the sleep at night was great! They would bring her to me every 3 hours or so and then take her again so I could sleep. It was nice.
Jana had to leave for home Wednesday evening and so a friends husband stayed with my boys at home that night. The hospital where I delivered required 36 hours before the baby is discharged. So instead of leaving the next day like I hoped. I had to wait until Thursday (Hazel was born on Tuesday).
I have the best friends in the world that helped arrange child care for my older boys after Jana left and while I was in labor on Tuesday. There were awesome and so willing to help.
Hazel right after birth
After her bath
First Brother visit on her birthday. They were only there for about 15 minutes or so. They were too wired and it was their bed time.
Wednesday visit with brothers. One day old.