Sorry folks I’ve been MIA, I was busy delivering a real human being! Sometimes…scratch that…most of the time, I can’t believe it! I look back on the day Oliver came into this world and it’s such a blur, but oddly at the same time I can remember every second. I was so nervous for it all and it’s not even been a week but I find myself shedding my pre-parenthood skin and adapting better than expected. It already feels like there is no other place for him to be than with Chris and I.
On Saturday, February 16th at 2:00 a.m. my water broke and there really wasn’t a question about it because quickly my contractions followed at a pace of 1-3 minutes apart. My plans of blowing out my hair in order to try and look fabulous and eating a big meal prior to facing starvation went right out the window. I had been 4 cm. dilated for weeks and I felt that with the progression of the contractions coming on so quick, the best thing to do was to get to the hospital asap. We had our bags packed but went to the list on the fridge for the essentials that we also needed to grab like the camera, chargers, laptops, Friends Complete DVD Series, etc.
It was quiet at the hospital and thankfully we had taken the tour so we had already filled out our pre-registration paperwork and knew where to go. A nurse checked my vitals and made sure that it was in fact amniotic fluid that had left my body. Once she confirmed that it was, they went ahead and checked me in and congratulated me on the birthday of our son. From there it was a almost 20-hour mental, waiting game.
(this could be 4:30 a.m. or 4:30 p.m. I was in labor for both!)
I received my epidural around 3:30 a.m. I thought about trying to fight off the contractions for longer because they weren’t that bad, but Chris reminded me that it would take some time to get the anesthesiologist up to our room and for the medicine to kick in and they were already to the point where I couldn’t really talk or relax between them. So we went ahead and made the decision to order it up. I was very nervous about getting it once it came down to it but the doctor walked us through every step and Chris was right there holding my hand the entire time. The actual implementation of the medicine and needle was nothing, just as everyone says, but what came next I did not expect…
I’m not sure if it was just a bad reaction to the epidural or that my pain level wasn’t met equally with the strength of the medicine but it gave me very bad shakes. Shakes that were uncontrollable and uncomfortable, even questionable on if the contractions were easier tolerated. Occasionally the medicine would wear down and while they gave me a drip to prolong the medicine when needed, I got to the point where my body couldn’t hold it together for either the pain I would start to feel at the absence of the medicine or the pain that was causing me to lose energy every second from the shakes. Without Chris I’m not sure I would have been able to keep it together. He was exhausted but was there for my every need and was such a source of support.
I started to get a little testy, as the hours went on and I stayed at a standstill of 6 cm. for around 5 hours. After another 6 hours, I finally reached full dilation. At 2:30 in the afternoon it was time to start pushing, a big relief for me as I had heard that once I was at this portion of the delivery I would no longer feel the shaking from the epidural. I thought after 1-2 hours at the most we would finally be able to meet our little boy. Boy was I wrong!
I was in labor long enough to endure an entire 12-hour shift change so we owe gratitude to two different nurses as well as the doctor. The first nurse was sympathetic, sweet and very gentle. Probably the best nurse to have during the frustration of the epidural effects. The second nurse came in at 7:00 p.m. and was a real go-getter. She let me know she was there and ready to get my baby out. No more “pushing” when I felt it was natural, we went straight for the old school, bare down and push as hard as you can for 10 seconds times three! She was the perfect nurse to have to get the job done and was very motivated. She even let me have a break and told me to go ahead and drink some cranberry juice instead of water. That small switch, along with a short rest was exactly what I needed to get my second wind. Pushing for going on six hours had taken it’s toll and the room had started to feel stuffy and claustrophobic. I started feeling that I wish I could just quit but there was only one way out. I hadn’t seen the light of day in several hours and was working off around three hours sleep from the night before. There was a few dark hours there when I felt like I truly couldn’t do it and maybe there would have to be a c-section, a surgery I was definitely trying to avoid.
Thankfully, as the night progressed, at 9:09 pm., Oliver James Cilip was finally born! He was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen and holding him in my arms was an out of body experience that I will always remember. Seeing him here and healthy made my heart melt and instantly realize how blessed we are to have this tiny person in our lives. The amount of love that has come over the last few days of his existence has been a rewarding and in-explainable amount of emotions.
We are truly enamored and extremely happy to be proud new parents and a family of 3!