If you haven’t read Part One yet, catch up here.
>> September 17th
This is where the story gets a little embarrassing. I had asked the nurse for a walking epidural so that I could still feel my legs. So when I woke up at around 11 Saturday morning with absolutely no feeling in my stomach or legs, in my food-deprived, hormonal & bedridden state, I full on panicked. I begged Zach to get the nurse to lower the dosage of the epidural (I could barely string two words together without bursting into tears). The look on their faces was pretty priceless but I was adamant.
Once feeling returned to my legs and I could sense little E floating around, I was able to relax a little. Zach and I were able to take a few short naps throughout the afternoon and, aside from having a fever, the afternoon was pretty uneventful.
5 pm I started feeling this enormous pressure. However, since I was only at 8cm, I couldn’t push yet.
But all I wanted to do was push because it’s extremely uncomfortable to feel like a bowling ball is stuck in your private parts, which is pretty much the only way I can describe how I felt at that moment.
So I did what any girl would do. I had my husband quiz me–on matching states to their capital, on the order of the presidents, on matching football teams to their quarterbacks, on the Gettysburg Address. Pretty much anything I had ever learned or tried to memorize, my poor sweet husband quizzed me on for the next hour or so.
You should have seen the looks we got from the staff—it would have been hilarious had I been in any shape to laugh.
6:30 pm Finally I was given the go-ahead to push. I remember being so relieved–I thought for sure that with all of the intense pressure I was feeling, the pushing would be the easy part.
Yeah, not so much.
The doctor came in and I pushed for about a half hour. Nothing was happening–E wouldn’t budge. He left and the nurse took over–deep breath, push for 10 seconds, 1-minute break, deep breath, and push, repeat.
Two hours went by. The doctor came back in, shook his head and left. Thirty minutes later, a different doctor came in. C-sections were his specialty and he asked if that was an option I would consider. I said no. He helped me push for a little bit but said if we didn’t make progress in 30 minutes, a c-section was pretty much my only option.
9:30 pm I’d been pushing pretty much non-stop for 3 hours. But had made a little bit progress so the doctor let me keep going. Everything during this time period is a little fuzzy to me. The only thing I really remember is that I was terrified of pooping. TMI? Welp, you are reading a birth story.
10:30 pm I’ve started shaking uncontrollably. So hard that it’s getting difficult to push at all.
I remember blankets being piled on my upper half and Zach whispering urgently in my ear that it was very important for me to push with all my might. The room started to buzz around me. I found out after the ordeal was through that sometime in the 18 hours since my water was broken, I had developed chorioamnionitis, an infection of my amniotic fluid. My temperature was 102.8 and there was serious concern that E might get an infection.
We’d turned a corner though and every push made real progress.
11:32 pm It’s so close that I can feel it. I give one more push and…….
At 11:37 pm on September 17, Baby E was born!
Zach cut the umbilical cord and held her while the doctors continued working on me. Because of the infection, the NICU nurses were already in the room so they weighed and measured her and everything before handing her to me. She weighed 8 pounds 7 oz and measured 21 inches with a head of fine brown hair like her mom and big blue eyes like her daddy.
She spent the first hour of her life down in the NICU with her daddy getting antibiotics but other than that, I’m grateful to say she was a happy healthy baby. We stayed in the hospital for four more days so the doctors could make certain E and I were infection-free.
I can’t even tell you how happy Zach and I both felt to finally bring our baby home and start our life as a family of three!!