The week before he showed, I tried all the tricks. Walking. Curb walking. Pineapple. Handstands. Eating pineapple while doing walking handstands. More curb walking. I was so prepared that my water would break at work that I brought a piddle pad just for me so I didn't ruin Dan's leather chair.
well, March 11th came and we all hoped that Jackson would show up on Katie and Claire Kimball's birthday. But instead I find out from the doctor that I had not progressed at all. nilch. nada. The week before I had progressed to a centimeter and a half. Come on, throw me a bone, people! I sent out a plea for prayer to my coworkers because I was so desperate for the baby to come out and was so afraid I would be pregnant until my scheduled induction: 3/23. And I desperately did not want to be induced (well, secretly, I did, because of the pain I was currently in, but I also didn't because of how hard it is on your body and the baby).
March 12th. Due date according to the ultrasound (although my doc insisted on using my last period date, which was March 16th). I was bound and determined that I would do everything in my power to get him out. I usually would walk to the shopping center and meet Mike for lunch. I did my usual walking, came home and about 2 hours later, had contractions about 10 minutes apart. But I did not want to be fooled. I had 10 min apart contractions all week and they had not helped my in my progression so I dismissed them. I had them from 4 pm until 2:30 am, when I crashed for 3 hours and was awoken by contractions, the same time progression, but much stronger. But you can't fool me, I was sure it was false labor at it's best.
March 13th. Contractions stayed at 10 minutes apart for some time. Decided that it was time to do more walking. Mike and I walked to the shopping center, back down to the beach where I walked the steps at Seacliff, walked back home. They did progressively get worse, but would go back to 10 minutes apart after some rest. Irritated, we decided to take another walk around 5/5:30. That did it. the contractions got closer together, about 5-6 minutes apart, but I really didn't think I was going to progress further until the contractions got stronger. Thought maybe it was time to call the hospital and see what they think. They thought that it would be best for me to wait it out at home more that night. Ergh!!! I was so over this early labor business. I called again a few hours later and again, told me to wait it out.
Sara and Matt Bishop came over for some moral support and as I breathed through my contractions, they did progressively get stronger and closer together. About 5 minutes apart for some time and I was sure I was going to throw up. I was going to be really disappointed if this is not early labor after all. Mike called the hospital this time, it was around 11 and after telling them I was ready to throw up, they said, "now THAT'S what we like to hear". Oh joy. And off to the hospital we went.
March 14th. midnight. Sutter Maternity. After a quick check up, I was indeed in labor and dilated to 4. Hallelujah! They admitted me and I spent a lovely hour and a half in the tub. It was amazing and dilated from 4 to 6 during that time. The contractions were about 4 minutes apart and I was definitely in some pain. It was doable, but I knew that after feeling the nausea and knowing more pain was to come, I thought I better go with the meds.
Fentanyl was up first. What a blissful hour that was. I told everyone in the room it was like 3 margaritas. It took the edge off the contractions that were definitely much stronger and painful.
So, I waited, waited, waited for the anesthesiologist to show up (it was 3am when he got the wake up call). Once he showed and I got the epidural, the next 4 hours were a blur. I was so happy to have some pain relief, so happy to be able to get some sleep (2 hours that night-yay! I ended up with a total of 5 hours of sleep in the 2 days before he showed). Sometime between 4am and 7:30 I heard my water pop (not knowing that was what it was) and progressed from 6 to 10 centimeters during that time.
well, the doctor showed and said I was ready to push but i could wait if i wanted to. What? wait?? i have a baby bearing down causing immense pain (the Epi did not help with the baby in the canal) and you want me to wait? Come to find out my doctor got a call at Dominican and had to leave, so the morning nurse helped me through this time. I told her, no, I am not going to wait-I need to push.
So I pushed...and pushed...and pushed...and there was still a remnant of the epidural left in the early stage of me pushing which made it hard to do so. But by hour 2, the Epidural ran out and I definitely could feel so much of the pain. it was the closest to natural childbirth I was going to experience. They ordered the anesthesiologist back to my room to change out my bags and he did...25 minutes later. And at 2 and a half hours, I was done. I broke down and started bawling - I was exhausted and couldn't keep going. I was at failure to progress. The doctor suggested they prep the c-section room, but first they would try the vacuum.
Somewhere inside, I found enough strength to keep going. They were some of my best pushes yet. I found my inner Olympian who had come from behind to win. The vacuum popped off his head a few times. Blood definitely splattered everywhere. I don't know how many pushes it took, it was definitely a few, but with the help of the vacuum, Jackson did make his way out. I was afraid of the cone head, but really, it didnt matter at this time. The first words out of my mouth when they said he had come out was "thank you, Jesus!" in my most exasperated voice. They then put Jackson on my stomach (I almost tried to pick him up, but the nurse reminded me that the cord was still attached) and I had my first moment with my little boy. and he is beautiful.
So there it is, the conclusion of 9 months in pregnant land. And after about 36 hours in labor, my pregnant diaries have ended with a big bang. Jackson has arrived (and it's been much better on this side).