(Let me preface this blog by saying that it is a little bit all over the place but I'm on pain meds.)
Thank goodness I'm not writing a blog titled 41 weeks! From now on my blogs will be different. :) I am going to continue to try to blog weekly, but I'll probably switch my blog days to Wednesdays instead of Sundays because it'll be easier to log how many weeks old Finley is. So let me start this one off by talking about the morning of January 11th. Everyone was pulling for a January 11th delivery so that her birthday could be 1/11/11, and early that morning I was beginning to wonder if that was actually going to be the day. I woke up and had some cramping and went to the restroom and there was some evidence (I wont go into too much detail in this part) of a baby coming in the near future. The only problem is that this "evidence" could mean a baby is coming that day or coming in a few weeks. But since I had had absolutely NO signs or symptoms of labor thus far, I got pretty optimistic that perhaps Finley would make her debut on 1/11/11. As the day progressed, I continued to have some cramping but the next thing I knew it was late at night and I was not having any contractions and my water hadn't broken. I went to sleep that night after taking two Benedryl (not good timing!) and having a late night video chat with my friend Faith. I slept for about an hour and fifteen minutes before I woke up to a pain my abdomen. It was about 12:45am on 1/12/11. I paid some attention to the pain but then fell back asleep. Then I woke up again with the same pain. As I woke up a little more I realized that these pains were occurring very close together. I grabbed my iphone and opened up the "Notes" area and started logging the times that I felt these pains. I went to the restroom and texted Anna asking her if these could be contractions and what I should do. After about 35 minutes, I woke Hooper up and told him I was pretty sure I was having contractions and they were 2-4 minutes apart. He called the doctor on call and the doctor said if we think we might be in labor, go to the hospital. So, we grabbed our bags, kissed our pets and headed that way.
On the drive up there, the contractions were 2 minutes apart and every bump in the road hurt like heck. The drive really didn't feel like it took that long, and I continued to log my contractions the entire time. When we arrived at the hospital, we went into the emergency room area as instructed and checked in. It didn't take long at all to get into a room and for a nurse to check me. At this point I believed she would tell me I was in full blown labor and I was dilated to a 4 or so. Instead, she told me I was dilated to a one and they had put in a call to the doctor on call (who was not my doctor) and she hooked me up to some machines while we waited. The contractions showed up on the monitor and sure enough, they were 2 minutes apart. I think that all of this was taking place around 2:30am but it all is kind of a blur now because I was in such agonizing pain. When the on call doctor called back, he told the nurses not to admit me yet. To him, all he knew was that I was dilated to a 1 and having close contractions. But somebody can be dilated to a 1 for weeks. So as mad as I was at him, I understand why he didn't want to jump the gun and admit me. However, with the pain that I was in, you can bet your bottom dollar I wasn't going to go home had they tried to send me home. So we stayed in the same room we were in, the nurse kept checking me, and it was as if I was admitted, the only thing is that I wasn't getting any attention from a doctor and I wasn't getting ANY medication whatsoever. I got my blood drawn and my iv and it hurt like a beast. They had to poke me over and over to finally get in my vein. Once they had the iv placed in my hand, it never did feel comfortable. I still don't think it was in there very well. At 7am, the nurse left and the new shift came in. This is where I feel like things really changed.
Two nurses walked in and I was a little shocked. Our other nurse never said goodbye. (I didn't fancy her too much though.) So my new two nurses were as sweet as pie. One of them was probably a little younger than I am and it appeared as if she was training. She was an RN, but she was probably new to the hospital or something. The other nurse came across as very maternal and very calming. One of the very first things she told me after they went over all of my stuff was that I was handling the contractions completely wrong. She said that if I tense up, nothing will progress because it tenses up my cervix also. She encouraged me to take a breath in for 5 seconds and breathe out for 3 seconds for the duration of my contractions. She worked with me on this for a little bit and then they left the room. Almost immediately after they walked out, I felt a large pool of wetness under me. I told Hooper that either my water broke or I just peed myself. He went and got the nurses and they were ecstatic! They said that yes, my water did break and this was great news because now they could admit me no matter what. My water broke around 7:20am. They ordered some pain medication and ordered the epidural. I can't put into words quite how bad I was hurting during this pain. I was trembling so bad. So fast forward to my epidural at about 9:50am. That is where the pain stops. So basically, I was having the worst pain of my life every two minutes apart from 12:45am to 9:50am. I had gotten some pain meds through my IV at some point but it didn't do squat. After my water broke I was dilated to a 3 and then I was a 6 at 9:59am and quickly became a 9.5 at 10:10am.
When my doctor got there it all just happened so fast. Oh, to go back a little bit, we had told everyone NOT to come to the hospital yet because things were going so slowly and I hadn't even been admitted until after 7. I have been told over and over that with your first born, things move slowly and don't have your family and friends wait in the waiting room for hours on end when things are so unpredictable. Well, things were CERTAINLY unpredictable. My mom made it in time to be in the delivery room and Anna barely made it there in time. It was a pleasant surprise that Anna was able to be in there with us. My doctor was very welcoming of us breaking the rules a little and having more than the allowed 2 people in the room. :) Okay, so back to the story... The nurses were a little frantic before the doctor got there because of the way Finley's heart rate was going during my contractions. But the doctor was there in no time and I was told to push during my contractions. She told me that I might feel the urge to push because I'd feel some pressure, and sure enough, I knew exactly when to push. Let me just say that I did not feel ANY pain after I got my epidural. I only felt this pressure that let me know when to push and I pushed when I needed to and before I knew it, Finley was on my chest.
All of the timing of this event seems that it took so long but seems like it all went so fast. It's so hard to explain how it all runs together and how I could be in the worst pain of my life for such a long period of time and then feel the happiest I've ever felt hours later. Finley was born at 11:15am and she weighed 8 lbs 1 oz and is 21 inches long. We stayed at the hospital Wednesday night and Thursday night and we were treated so wonderfully by everybody that we dealt with. I was sad when we got moved into a different room and our nurses were no longer our nurses. I felt like I owed so much to them. I know that I have to give them credit for my water breaking when it did. I truly feel like the breathing exercises helped move that along.
So I'll fast forward a little bit since this blog is the longest blog ever. And also this blog is full of rambling but I want to make sure and have it all logged for the future. :) Anyway, Finley is the cutest little baby I've ever seen and she is just absolutely perfect. Hooper and I are both just so excited about everything. The first night at home went so great and last night was a little bit rougher. Finley is sleeping well and eating well but we get scared at night when we take our eyes off of her. I'm sure that most new parents feel this way. It almost makes me want to sleep in shifts and have one of us stare at her while the other sleeps and vice versa. I know that is a silly concept but it's scary to be a first time parent. Tomorrow is her first pediatrician appointment and I'm really excited about it. I'm excited to ask questions and to make sure that we are doing things right and to make sure that all is well with her. Below are some of our pictures from her birth and from the past few days. The first two are my Notes on my phone of my contractions. :)