Ben and I woke up early, early on the morning of September 29. We had just finished our "last supper" less than 12 hours ago and I had had a terrible night's rest. I was so excited to meet our baby that I woke up ever 30 minutes to count down the time until I was to be induced. Lucky Ben had taken an Ambien, so he slept like a rock.
We arrived at the hospital at 6:45 (15 minutes late- my fault, of course. I had to shave my legs prior to giving birth. It's a vanity thing.) and my nurse got me hooked up on pitocin by 7:15. Since my hands and arms were so swollen, the nurse couldn't find a good vein in a normal spot, so I had to get poked on the top of my left hand. Then, they had me sign a bunch of forms with my iv'd hand. Nice.
Not much happened for a while. I was having regular contractions, but they were barely noticeable. Ben, my mom, and I passed the time by watching season 3 of 30 Rock. At 9 am, my doctor came to break my water. This didn't hurt at all, but I was amazed at the amount of fluid that comprised "my water." I was kind of embarrassed, because I felt like I was peeing and there was nothing that I could do to stop it!
After my water broke, things really picked up. My contractions started to intensify and get closer together. Contractions are not my thing- I remember just looking at the clock on the wall and following the second hand, knowing that the pain would subside within a minute. But then another contraction would come and I'd start the whole clock-looking process again.
At 11 I begged the nurse for my epidural, but the anesthesiologist had just started an epidural down the hall, which meant that I'd have to wait. Sigh. At 11:30, the anesthesiologist came to my room and started to work on the epidural. He was having major issues getting the epidural in the right spot- apparently my spinal cord is a little odd. After 45 minutes and 4 tries at getting the epidural to work, we were in business. I was so afraid that for some reason my body would reject an epidural and I'd have to go about this thing with no pain meds. Thank goodness that wasn't the case!
With no pain, I was a happy girl. The nurse came in the room to get the baby hooked up on the internal fetal monitor. The monitor that measured the strength of the contraction was working fine, but the monitor for the baby's heartbeat was not working like it should. They couldn't get a good read on Dylan's heartbeat, which was a little annoying, but I wasn't worried. After a few hours and numerous tries to get the internal heartbeat monitor going they switched to the external monitor. There, the nurse noticed that Dylan's heart rate would go down during each contraction. This made me nervous, but the nurse didn't seem to be worried.
Around 2:45, the nurse came in to check me and try once again to hook baby up to the internal heart monitor. It finally worked, but it showed that Dylan's heart rate was getting dangerously low during each contraction. Suddently, a whole team of nurses came into the room and started flipping me from one side to another, saying things like "his heart rate is too low," "get the doctor here now," and "we're going to have to prep her (not even talking to me- the nurses were talking to each other) for an emergency c-section."
Once this started happening, I started to freak out. I burst into tears and started shaking uncontrollably. Ben was really scared too- he had to run to the bathroom and throw up. My mom got on the phone with everyone she could and asked them to pray for me and baby Dylan. It was truly a scary moment. Even more frusturating was that no one was talking to me about what was happening- they were running around, giving orders, planning what to do. The nurses put me on oxygen in efforts to get more air to Dylan. Still crying, still shaking. Finally, my nurse told me what was going on. She said that Dylan was in distress and we'd have to start pushing right away. If I didn't make quick progress with the pushing, I would have to have a c-section.
With that said, the pushing began. I had no idea what I was doing or how to push, but the nurse was great and was very encouraging. Luckily, I was fully dilated and was ready to go. If I hadn't been to a 10, I would have had a c-section. Despite what he had said prior to the birth, Ben did end up holding one of my legs (something he swore he wouldn't do) and wasn't even freaked out by it. After 30 minutes of pushing, my doctor and the hospital's respritory team came in the room to get the baby out.
After another set of pushes, Dylan was about ready to come. Ben was able to look at the baby's head (another thing he swore he wouldn't do) and was giving me the most amazing encouragement. The doctor said that the baby's heart rate was still very low, so there wasn't enough time for me to continue pushing without help. He gave me an episiotomy, so that he would be able to get the baby out much more quickly. At this point I didn't care if he had to chop off my legs- just get the baby out! A few pushes later, baby Dylan was here!
Since Dylan's heart rate needed to be stabilized, I wasn't able to hold him for about 10 minutes- I was able to see the team working on him and getting him breathing. I was so happy to hear his little cry, which made both Ben and I start crying as well. The doctor was finishing things up with me and Ben was able to stand by Dylan while he was measured, weighed, etc. My mom was waiting behind a curtain with her arm and phone sticking out, held out towards the baby, so my dad and sister could hear Dylan's first cries.
After the respritory team determined that he was stable, Dylan and I were able to meet for the first time! We just stared at each other for a while- I was absoluely in awe that this was my baby. He was finally here and my heart suddenly expanded to make room for all the love that I immediately felt for him. It was the weirdest, most amazing thing. Ben and I are so happy that our boy is finally here- there are no words to describe how happy he has made us!