Porter came into the world on his own timeline and on his own terms. He was four days late, but I always had a strong feeling he wouldn't be on time. He gets that tendency from his Dad ;) I was due on Saturday, June 20th and went to see my doctor on Monday, June 22nd. They had me scheduled for a non-stress test that day, and on Saturday I had gotten an ultrasound to check his fluid levels. My doctor started discussing induction plans with us, and I was so disappointed because I really wanted baby P to come on his own. She said depending on his fluid levels, she would wait til Saturday the 27th to induce at the very latest, but she would be on vacation so it would have to be an on call doctor to deliver. If his fluid levels were too low at his next check on Wednesday, she was going to induce me Thursday. I prayed and prayed for Porter to make his appearance before then-I wanted my doctor to be the one to deliver but I also didn't want to induce early based on her vacation plans.
On Tuesday morning around 4 AM I woke up with strong period like cramps. I started timing them, and they were about ten minutes apart. They weren't super painful, but painful enough they kept me awake, so I decided to take a bath and see if they stopped or progressed. By seven that morning they were still the same intensity and frequency, and I was really tired, so I texted my boss and told her I wouldn't be logging on to work from home that day and laid back down and tried to sleep. When I woke up around ten, the contractions had basically stopped.
Later that afternoon, I lost my mucus plug & knew that SOMETHING was happening! I didn't want to get my hopes up, but I told Ronnie I thought Baby P was thinking about making his way into the world. I laid around and watched Pretty Little Liars all day, and then after Ronnie got home and we had dinner, we decided to go walk around the mall because I wanted to get things moving but it was over 100 degrees outside. I made it through one store before I was just over it and wanted to go home. I felt uncomfortable and huge and hot and bad for myself, surrounded by all those cute clothes when the only thing that fit me were yoga pants and my husbands oversized tee-shirts.
That evening, the cramps started up again really inconsistently and not too painful. We got the best sno-cones on our way home (Tigers Blood with coconut ice-cream in the middle!) and I went to sleep, hoping to wake up in labor. My wishes came true, because at 4:00 AM, a contraction woke me up and I was 100% sure it was the real deal. The pain was much more intense then what I had been feeling the previous day, and I started timing them, and they were 5-7 mins apart. I told myself I'd wait til 5:30 AM when Ronnie woke up for work to get in the bathtub so I didn't wake him, but by 4:30, I was in so much pain I couldn't wait. I woke him up and told him I was having consistent and painful contractions and that he should probably get his bag packed and have a good breakfast. I lasted about fifteen or twenty minutes in the bathtub, and by 5:00 AM I was throwing up with every contraction. I expected to labor at home for a lot longer, but I was not tolerating the contractions well at all so by 6:30 we were on our way to the hospital!
When they checked me in around 7 AM, I was 3 cm dilated and 70% effaced. The nurse mentioned that they might have me walk around for an hour to see how I progressed but I looked at her with a sheer look of terror and told her I could absolutely not walk around! They called my doctor who told them just to admit me since I was overdue and she was planing on inducing me in the next couple of days anyway. They checked me an hour later and I was at a 4, and still 70% effaced-praise the lord I was progressing! I was still throwing up with every single contraction though so I didn't celebrate too much at this point.
At this point, the nurse asked me what my plan for pain management was and all I could say was "I want drugs." She asked if I meant epidural or IV and I remember thinking to myself that I want the GOOD stuff. Sign me up for the epidural, please and thank you. Then she left the room to call my doctor to update her on my progress and give the anesthesiologist a heads up. The nurse came back shortly after and told me my doctor wanted me to get 100% effaced before I got the epidural and I wanted to throat punch her, and my doctor.
After another grueling couple of hours, at 10:00 AM finally I was 100% effaced and in walked in my favorite person in the world-the anesthesiologist. I was so anxious for the epidural my entire pregnancy, I was terrified of the needle in my spine, terrified of something going wrong, terrified of it not working. I thought for sure it was going to be a horrific pain getting that shot in my back but it literally hurt less then the shot I gave myself once a week for my RA. Within minutes, I was feeling like a million bucks and told Ronnie I wanted to name our baby after him. The nurse said about 10 minutes after I got the epidural "Well your demeanor changed!" After getting the epidural I stopped throwing up, started smiling and laughing again, and honestly the rest of my labor was a breeezzeeee.
My doctor showed up around 11:00 AM to check my progress and I was at a 5 at this point, so she broke my water and it looked like on the monitors that my contractions were slowing down and not very strong, so she ordered some Pitocin at 12:30. They started it at the very lowest dose and within 20 mins baby's heart rate started dropping, so they turned it off by about 1:00 PM. At 1:30 because the contraction monitor still didn't seem to be picking up contractions, they were getting me prepped for an internal monitor but when the nurse checked me before placing it, I was 9 cm dilated!
Everyone was so surprised because they had thought my contractions had stopped or slowed so significantly, but it turns out the monitor for some reason just wasn't picking them up. At 2:30, I was fully dilated and they said they'd call my doctor to have her come back over from her office and have me labor down before I started pushing. I asked them if they could lower my epidural dosage because I was SO numb, I couldn't even feel Ronnie when he would poke or lightly hit my leg. I was worried I wouldn't be able to push being that numb, so they lowered it which helped, but I still had zero control over my legs until after he was born.
The nurse had me do a practice push at 3:00 to try and gauge how long I'd be pushing for. She told us most first time moms pushed for about two hours, so I did one practice push and she told me to stop pushing because they could see his head! I asked if he had hair and they said yes! This was the most uncomfortable part of labor, because his head was so close to crowning but I had to wait almost 30 minutes for my doctor before I could push! When my doctor finally arrived and got set up it was 3:30 and I started pushing. After a couple pushes, we waited for another contraction and all watched the monitor for at least five minutes and it looked like I didn't have one, but then my body just kind of took over and started moving the baby out itself. I was having contractions but that dang monitor for some reason wouldn't show them! At this point, Porter's heart rate started dropping again and the doctor said she might have to use the vacuum. She asked the nurses to get it prepped and right when they were bringing it in, I pushed once more and he was born at 3:56 PM!
The rest of the evening was kind of a blur between family and friends coming to visit and all the nurses in and out cleaning and weighing and measuring Porter, helping me to the bathroom, helping me try and nurse Porter (which is another story for another day), etc. We were so blessed to have so many amazing friends and family stop by, bring us meals and treats, and love on us while we were in the hospital. We also had the BEST care from some incredible nurses. I was pretty emotional those two days we spent at the hospital because of some very minor health issues with Porter and because he was struggling to nurse, but the nurses were so amazing, caring and supportive I was kind of sad to be leaving them when it was time to go home!
Porter will be one month old on Friday, and I have more blog posts about his first month of life planned, but this post is plenty long enough as it is. Kudos to you if you red the entire thing!