Because she was due on Wednesday and expected to be high 8lbs-low 9lbs, we were induced on Friday. This in itself was an answer to prayers, because I was determined to have my doctor deliver my baby! (and she was on call all weekend... SUCCESS!)
Friday seemed to drag on. I went to work like normal, but took a half day. The rest of the day, I came home, cleaned up a bit, packed the last few things, got ready (yes I did my hair and wore nice clothes, I had pictures to take... haha) We went to the office to clean first, then John, his dad and I decided to grab dinner before the process started. I had to sign in/register at 8pm. We decided to go to Pei Wei. Delicious. I was happy to eat because I knew as soon as I got to my room, no more food. I knew I wouldn't do well if I was hungry.
I had Honey Seared Chicken, fried rice, and crab rangoon. :)
We each got a fortune cookie and one for Hollis
3. Alexis (prepping me for birth)
4. Hollis (more like the next couple of days!)
After dinner, we headed to St. Ann's. I was excited to get in there and get started, but a bit nervous. I wasn't feeling anything, so I was smiling. Here we are on our way in!
The boys carrying the stuff in!
So... they check me. 1cm!!!! I am shocked. Karen also told me I was technically in labor because I was having consistent contractions (I was not feeling them). She called my doctor (who is amazing if I haven't mentioned that already) and she was so excited that I had dilated! She decided to give me a pill to start more active labor instead of inserting a balloon or gel. The pill was SO small, I barely could tell if I swallowed it. It was 1/4 of a pill, I should clarify. Well, after a few hours, I was checked again and still only 1cm "and a wiggle". So... the doctor gave the orders to break my water. A resident came in to do that. It was a very strange feeling. It was warm, and they just kept shoving towels under me. I couldn't stop it... it just kept coming out. Kind of funny, thinking back how strange it felt. They then started the Pitocin. I had heard horror stories, but I was pleased with the duration and level of mine. It was gradual and not aggressive. This is a picture of me prior to the water breaking... I look so pleasant. Look at her little hat! <3
This picture is of John and where he was sitting for quite some time. After they broke my water, I started to feel the contractions more and more. I would rate them on a scale of 1-10 at about a 5/6. I was able to breathe through them.. but I couldn't talk. John sat here and watched the monitors and was so positive! I can't express how amazing he was either. He kept talking to me, telling me he was so proud of me, how I was a great mommy already, etc. Full of compliments. It kept me sane. Remember this smiling face in about 5 minutes of reading when I get to the epidural.
So, as I rested, I was woken up by my lovely nurse, Karen. She said, we are going to do your epidural. I was so confused. I wasn't really in NEED of it at that moment. She explained that my doctor was in for a C-Section and so was the anesthesiologist. She said I should get it now before he goes to surgery and I would have to wait 2 hours...who knows what the pain would be then. So, I said, ok! I sat up, in walks the man with his cart, and he was ready to go. I wasn't in a ton of pain, so it was easy to sit up for them. As soon as he started I said, "My husband is out for coffee, he is going to walk in the door any minute!" Sure enough, in he walked! He was quickly told to get out (nicely) and they proceeded. I am so glad Karen came in, told me what was happening, and I had no time to really process and worry. The epidural was so easy! It didn't hurt (like a bee sting). I was shocked! It was strange to think about it after the fact, but it helped and started to work immediately. John came back in, worried and pale. He thad thought that in the time he was gone, I had progressed and was in serious pain and asked for the epidural. In the hall, he heard a woman screaming a ton of expletives and was concerned that I was in the same pain and he wasn't there to help. (again.. amazing husband!) I explained what happened and we decided we should try to sleep. This is Karen. She was amazing! :) She kept me comfy, made sure I was warm, and was so sweet. I was sad she had to leave at 7am. I wanted her to stay and meet Hollis.
I was woken up many times to maintain the epidural (rotating and such) and this is a picture that I took watching the monitor. You have no idea when you are having a contraction after the epidural! So, my new nurses were very kind too! Brooke and Jessica. I got the pleasure of having two nurses because one was new and she got to be at my birth (her first vaginal delivery!). So, I continued to progress to 5cm after the epidural. We were so pleased with how everything was going. We were in no rush, and neither was the doctor. As the morning continued, and the constant rotating continued, I got really sick when they turned me. Turning a person from one side to the other who has had an epidural is a task in itself. My legs felt GIGANTIC! I am talking at least 7,000lbs each. It was like they were too big to even fit on the bed. How did they fit?! Brooke and Jessica would use all their might to move me from one side to the other. I had no control over my legs and they would just fall off the bed. Every time I would say "There it goes!" They thought it was hilarious. I was appalled at how large and heavy I felt.
At this point, John was more focused on me than the camera. I am so blessed to have had Lindsey there to photograph! I can't wait to see the pictures of this time... and the rest too, of course. They will get their own post!
So, I start to feel a little yucky again, and opt for a popsicle. I should have learned. haha. The pain was still there, so they called in the anesthesiologist for fear that the epidural wasn't working on the right side. He came in and we talked through the pain. He said he was willing to redo the epidural, but the risk of take #2 not working was a possibility. The whole time he is talking, the cramp is just annoying the heck out of me. I explain to him it feels like a cramp, he says, if it wasn't working, it would feel like a sharp, shooting pain. He suggested the nurses check me again before we make any decisions. Smart man. I was at 9cm!!!! I went from 5-9cm in about 1.5 hours. That explained the pain. I told him I could deal with the pain and he went on his merry way! Brooke and Jessica said we are going to wait two hours then we will check me again, and do some practice pushes. OK! Game on! Get some rest! WRONG. I needed to sit up again. We all know what happens next... up comes the popsicle! Ugh. So annoying! ((prior to pregnancy and birth, I hadn't puked since 5th grade)) Two times in a short amount of time was too much for me. Super annoyed! So... two hours pass and in come the nurses. They check me, I am 10cm! Whoa! This is really happening! (Going into this, I assumed I would have been wheeled into the OR at about 7cm or something to deliver like everyone else in my family, C-Section). She has the bed lowered, the stirrups up, and tells John to grab my leg and put it in the stirrup. He was beside himself. He kind of picked it up and threw it on the stirrup as quick as possible. We both decided that him watching/looking would be strange and not necessary. He put my leg up so quick so he didn't see anything it almost fell off. Remember, it weighs 7,000lbs! Before my practice push... I ask, "Where is the doctor?" They reply, "She said to call after the practice pushes for an update, some women push for 2 hours... it could be a while. She is only 15 minutes away." OK. Sounds good. I was ready to push, and prepped myself mentally for the two hours ahead. After a few minutes, a contraction came, and I did three practice pushes for the nurses. They put my legs down, said, "don't move, we are calling the doctor, you are crowning!" ?!?! SAY WHAT! It wasn't painful, I didn't feel an urge, I just knew I wanted this baby out as soon as the doctor got there! So... it took her 10 minutes. She must have flown! I appreciate her urgency. Those ten minutes were of me just sitting and listening to Jessica and Brooke set up the tools, count the gauze and discuss how doctors like things to be set up... what order, etc. In walks Dr. Zochowski. She was smiling and so proud of me! She told me at my last appointment, "me, her and baby" and that we were going to do this! So... a contraction comes, she is partially dressed in her gown and such, and we start pushing. EVERYONE was so enthusiastic! "There she is! You can see her head! She is RIGHT there!" I assumed they were just being enthusiastic to keep me positive and wanting to push. Again... I was ready for the 2 hours of pushing. Then, the doctor realizes she doesn't have her hat on. So, we are all giggling and happily talking in between contractions. The next pushes, the nurses try to get the hat on Dr. Zochowski and when I am done pushing... it is a HOT mess. Halfway on, etc. Very funny. She responds, "I wondered why I felt so FREE! My hair wasn't covered!" (Again, love her and her amazing personality!) Four contractions later, a few downtime random conversations about pooping, and Dr. Zochowski delivered our baby girl. Hollis Parker. The only part of labor that I felt was when the doctor put her finger between baby's head and my vagina. That is all I felt. Kind of a sweeping motion. They put her on my chest, we delayed cord clamping to allow all the blood in the placenta to enter back into her little body, and then John was up! Talk about peer pressure. They all told him he should do it, he wouldn't regret it, etc. The doctor said, "You have to do it.. I never do it, dads always do.. I don't even know how!" He did it. I don't think it changed his life. haha. They took her away, cleaned out her airways a bit, cleaned her off all the while I am just legs in the stirrups, chillin', talking to my doctor like we were having breakfast. She is MUCH closer than you anticipate. I could feel her tugging on the umbilical cord to get the placenta out. Not painful, just strange. They are weighing Hollis, and it comes up in grams. 4324 (I am pretty sure) I said, "What does that mean?" The doctor, pulling my placenta, says, "That means you have a big baby!" Big was right! 9lbs 8.5oz. 20.6inches long. I just delivered a 9 1/2 lb baby! (As I write this, I am still in shock that that is even possible.) I had a level 2 tear, one stitch. No big deal. Just strange to watch your doctor stitch you up too. So, here she is RIGHT after she was born.
Wrapped around daddy's fingers at birth! He was in love immediately. I am so proud of the daddy he became at this moment!
Two hours. We got to spend two precious hours with Hollis in the L&D room before we went to our own room upstairs. Another strange happening, is when the nurses have to 'dress' you. And by dress, I mean put on a pad and underwear. The pad alone is comical! Then add the ice pack pad and mesh panties and you can only laugh at yourself. I was able to stand on one leg to get in the wheelchair to go upstairs. John got to push Hollis in her little bassinet. We BEGGED the nurses to take us by the doors, and let us open them to have our family see her. It was so fun to have them all looking at her with such excitement! I loved it. Then, we headed upstairs. It was another hour before visitors could come in. (Sorry family... I didn't know that). We had paperwork, get checked in with new nurses, and Hollis got her bath and had to get her temperature back up.
Check out the next post for our journey in the hospital before we brought Hollis home.