And I quote: “Today has been pretty calm and while I’m having some regular pain as I type this, I am not even going to bother calling them contractions or waste my time thinking I might be in labor because clearly I do not know what is going on with my body right now.” I don’t know if I have ever uttered words more true than these last I wrote Thursday evening. Not 15 minutes after posting my last blog entry, my “regular pains” jumped from every 15 minutes down to 12, 8, 7, and 6 minutes, just like that. By 9:00 we had our standbys at the house/on the road and we were once again pulling up to the hospital. What a difference 24 hours can make!
I will admit, I was a little gun shy when we got there. In the short car ride from our house, I didn’t really feel too bad and I couldn’t help but think, OH. NO. Not again! So I actually made Ben sit in the car with me in the parking lot until another contraction came because I was NOT about to go into the ER for the second night in a row only to be turned away for another labor false alarm. When that crucial contraction came, though, and hurt like crazy, I knew we were in business.
For the sake of discretion and those of you who would rather not know the whole truth, I won’t go into all the lovely details of what transpired over the next four hours. I’ll give the edited version instead, but be warned….if you don’t like birth stories, the following may be too much for you!
In some ways, our time in the labor and delivery room went very quickly. They had me do a little walking, but mostly that was leaning against the railings in the hall, rocking and swaying my way through each contraction. Thankfully I had a good team working with me and they respected my wishes not to have an IV and let me try various positions as I worked my way to being fully dilated. Unfortunately, that process seemed to take a bit longer than I would have liked. I spent a good 2.5 hours going from 6 to 8 to 9 and then to 9.75 cm, all without my water breaking. Around midnight or so, I started telling the nurse that I wanted the doctor called because I wanted to push, but she wanted to wait until I was a full 10 or my water broke. As much as I loved my L&D nurse, I wish she would have listened to me!
Last time, my doctor had to break my water and from there things went fast, fast, fast. Well, this time, my water broke on its own just as I was fully dilating and once again, things wanted to go fast, fast, fast. But, since the doctor hadn’t been called in yet, they told me not to push. WHAT?! Are you kidding me?! Thank God I live in a small city because it only took, according to Ben, 10 minutes for the doctor to arrive and join us. To me, though, those 10 minutes felt like 60 and I kept yelling at people telling them that I just wanted to push. They kept yelling back at me (OK, they were not yelling, but they were very, very insistent) that I needed to blow through them. With my breath. Like a puffer fish. If you like, and if you knew me way back when I didn’t have kids but had a great big potty mouth instead, you can insert your expletive of choice at this point in the story!
But I did it. I listened and I held on to Ben’s hand and the railing of the bed for dear life until the doctor got there, threw on her garb and gave me the green light to push. Actually, I wanted to start the minute she walked in the door, but instead I had to keep puffing like the @*#$ blow fish just a little bit longer.
The good thing about being determined and stubborn and very, very aware of my body thanks to not having an epidural is that when she said go, I did. 10 minutes later I had my reward – Raegan Leigh Welsch was placed on my tummy at 1:11 a.m. and I was beyond shocked and elated to have my girl. She is a miracle in so many ways. And we are lucky in so many ways because she held on to her home in my tummy as much as she could on her way out. Her cord was looped around her so I had to push not only the head and the shoulders but also the torso and even her legs and feet to get her all the way out. Thankfully she showed absolutely no signs of detriment from this and was deemed “perfect” by her doctor during our stay in the hospital. We would have to agree.