It started at 2:30 am. I woke up with my first contraction that I couldn't sleep through, although I attempted to nap in between the contractions that continued to follow every 8 minutes. I started recording how many minutes apart. They were 7 minutes apart by 3am, 6 minutes apart by 4 am, 5 minutes apart by 5 am. In between each contraction, I would pack one thing for the hospital. (I wasn't packed yet because my due date wasn't for another 2 1/2 weeks.) I always hear about first time moms who go to the hospital too soon and I wanted to go when I was really ready. I planned to take it as long as I could before waking Eric up because he already gets little sleep with his busy school schedule and I knew he had a quiz to take that morning. I called the hospital to tell them I was coming and woke up Eric once my contractions were 5 minutes apart. We live close to the hospital, so we were there by 5:30am.
Admitted into the hospital
They checked me and said I was dilated 1 cm.. and told me to walk around for one hour to see how I was progressing. I told Eric to go home and get ready for school so he could take his quiz. I really wanted to have my baby, so I walked around as fast as I could go, only stopping to take the pain of contractions. I even did the stairs! I walked/climbed stairs from 6am to 7 am. I went back to get checked. I went from 1cm to 3cm! The nurse said, you're going to have a baby today! YES!!! Just what I had been wishing and hoping for! (I was SO done being pregnant.. the doctor said I was measuring big anyway, and we both weren't concerned with me having this baby 2 weeks early) They gave me an I.V., got me into a room, and told me I could have an epidural whenever I wanted. I called Eric and told him my status and told him to go to school, take his quiz at 8 am, go home and finish packing for me, and then come over and help me while I get my epidural. While he was doing this, I was totally happy and fine... in between each contraction. He went to school and they told him he could make up the quiz later.. YES!! He went home and packed as fast as he could.. I may not have been packed, but I did have a list.. so he followed that.
Taking the Labor Pains
While I was waiting to get my epidural 9am came and my nurse said, you can have your epidural now, or you'll have to wait 1 hour because the anesthesiologist is about to start a c-section. I really needed Eric to be there, and I wanted him to give me a blessing first, so I passed up the opportunity. When Eric got to the hospital, he helped me wait until 10:30ish. During this time, I used the yoga ball that they had in the room.. that helped a bunch.
Now for the epidural.. I am so glad I waited for Eric because he was able to support my feet that otherwise would have been dangling off the side of the bed. He held me while the anesthesiologist did his work and he was a great support. The first time it felt so weird and it really hurt.. but I just got in my zone and took the pain. It was taking longer than I expected. Then he said, we're going to have to do that again. What!!!? I have to do that all over again!! They hunched me over even more and did it for the second time... and guess what? It was no problem! Didn't even hurt that bad! NBD!! I thought, "Oh that's how it's supposed to be." Turns out they were hitting the bone the first time. Epidural in effect by 11:00am.. HEAVEN!! Epidurals are awesome and I am so grateful for them. They broke my water once I was numb.
The Waiting Game
Meanwhile my mom was catching a flight from Vegas. (Thanks mom!!) She was here by 2pm. Then, my birth story became a waiting game. I would ask the nurses, what time do you think I'll have this baby if you had to guess. All those guesses came and went. I was given pitocin to speed things up. By 5:00pm I was dilated to 10 cm!! The nurse said we were going to start pushing and that it could take 1-3 hours. I thought, "I'm gonna do this in an hour." They prepped the room and gave me some instructions on how to push effectively, what position to hold, where to hold my legs, etc.
At 5:35pm I began pushing. At the peak of each contraction, I pushed 3 times, each for 10 seconds. Eric and my nurse helped me do this for 2 hours. My doctor came to check me at this point and said she isn’t down far enough to deliver and she is also turned to the side instead of face down. On my next contraction she turned my baby face down. Then she gave me my first ultimatum… She said, “I will let you push for 1 more hour and if she’s not down far enough, we will do a c-section. I did NOT want a c-section, especially after all that hard work!! I pushed with all my strength. I gave it everything I had. The only time I wouldn’t push is when my baby’s heart rate elevated… my nurse would tell me I needed to give her a break on a few of the contractions. By this hour I was running a fever because I was working so hard. Then it was time.. my doctor came in to check me.. I was so nervous about needing a c-section. I didn’t like what I heard at first.. she said, the baby has come down but not that much. Then she said something I liked,. “I will try once with the vacuum and if she doesn’t come, we will do the c-section." I was so glad she didn’t say the “f” word. Forceps scare me because they seem so dangerous. I pushed so hard, they used the vacuum, and then the best thing happened.. my doctor pulled her out!! Ruth was born at 9 pm.
There are no words to describe how I felt at this moment. I raised my arms in the air like I had just won a marathon. I cried, “Yes!! I did it!! I did it!!” and I told my doctor, “Thank you for pulling her out!!!” Then I heard the best sound I have ever heard… my baby’s cry. It was the sweetest sound to hear and it brought me so much joy while my doctor was stitching me up. Pretty soon they put my baby Ruth on me while my doctor continued to stitch. Tears were just streaming down my face and I remember saying, “She’s so pretty” “She’s perfect.” “She’s beautiful.” This was the highest moment of my entire life.