It was Friday the 13th and I had probably made weekly trips to L&D since the day after Christmas. We headed into the hospital to get checked and hooked up on the monitor. Of course, just like every other trip in, Mom and my sister Ally both came. I was still only 1 cm dilated and only had one or two "real contractions" (meaning they show up on the monitor) I must have been having major BH (Braxton Hicks) but since I am a first time mom I wasn't sure what I was supposed to be feeling.
We were sent home and my sister decided to spend the night to give my mom a break. Since I was having constant pain and Braxton Hicks, I wasn't really sleeping much. By 6am on Saturday I was in a lot of pain and my contractions were getting stronger. I decided I would be more comfortable laying in my bed. A half hour later I was in so much pain I was in tears. I called my sister and she got my mom. The three of us laid in my bed until about 10 am when we decided it was timed to go to L&D.
When we got into L&D, Dr. B checked me, and I was still only 1cm but my contractions were a steady 7 minutes apart. Dr. B prescribed Ambien and told me to go home and sleep to help me dilate. I called Ben when we got into the car and asked him to find coverage for work (he was supposed to work until 11pm) so he could be with me. I got home around noon, took a pill and layed down. By 2pm I was woken out of a dead sleep in horrible pain. It radiated from my back all the way down through my bottom. I felt like I had to go to the bathroom with every contraction; it was painful and uncomfortable. Ben showed up just as I had woken up and I wanted to go sit in the shower for a bit.
The rest of this story is kind of fuzzy. Some of it was told to me and some I actually remember. Apparently after my shower, they (Ally, Mom and Ben) gave me the other Ambien and told me to go back to bed. Not even an hour after that, contractions woke me up again. I told mom that when she lifted my legs up and pushed my knees toward my chest it took the pressure off my back. So she did that with each contraction. A few contractions later and my water breaks. They put me in the shower again and got ready to go to the hospital. Apparently sometime between the shower and getting to the hospital, I threw up a few times. They had to pull over on the way so I could vomit. I don't remember that though. I remember getting a shower but I don't remember the drive to the hospital.
We got there around 6:30pm and I was 4 cm so I got my epidural right away. That didn't hurt at all, just a lot of pressure. I was surprised they let Ben stay in the room with me. After that I slept for awhile. We all kind just chilled and relaxed. I was checked at 9pm and I was already 7cm. The epidural started wearing off at some point regardless of me pushing the button so they had to bring the anesthesiologist back in and give me another dose. I could feel each contraction in my lower back until they gave me another dose and I was able to sleep some more.
The resident (Dr. H) came in and checked me again around midnight and I was 9.5cm. We started pushing at 2am. The pushing didn't hurt but I felt Dr. H stretching me and that was really painful. I think there were four or five sets of four pushes and she was out. They didn't even have enough time to get Dr. B in there; Dr. H delivered Alexa in 42 minutes. She arrived in the world on January 15, 2012 at 2:42am. I couldn't have been more proud that I had delivered her vaginally. She was perfect. 6lbs 9oz, 19.5 inches long.
It took a whole 45 minutes more to deliver the placenta. They almost had to bring me into surgery to get it out. I tore internally a little and they had to give me a few stitches. The epidural had completely worn off during the placenta delivery and they wound up giving me more meds in my IV. Then I finally got to hold Alexa and was able to breastfeed.
My Dad and his wife and my step-dad came in either at that point or right after and spent some time holding her. We didn't get into our room until 6am. They wound up bringing Alexa in at 9 for a feeding. It hurt a lot more since all my meds had worn off. I was still numb on my left side and was peeing in bed pans and needing the nurses to change my pads. They weren't very good about it so I would sit in a pad for 8 hours until I finally called someone in.
I was very fed up with the lack of attention I was getting from the staff, so as soon as I got feeling back in my left leg I got up on the walker. When I first stood up I bled all over the floor but I was able to take a shower, which was probably the best shower I had ever taken!
The next 24 hours was kind of a blur, lots of visitors and pain from breastfeeding. Because of my Cerebral Palsy and the general soreness from holding on to the grips while pushing, my arms were like jello. I had to use about 8 pillows to prop her and even then she wasn't latching properly. I breast fed the two days we were in the hospital but began pumping exclusively when we got home.
I hope you enjoyed taking this journey with us. I know I enjoyed sharing it with all of you.