Here is the story (it's pretty blunt and gross, so if that bothers you - back out now!):
Friday was my due date. I had an appointment with Dr Steele at 1015a. She checked me out (still 1cm) and then stripped my membranes (yes! 2cm). It was pretty painful. Not unbearable, just pretty crappy. Being straight up, it was bloody, and it scared me a little. I made C run out and grab Nurse Lisa. She and Dr Steele assured me it was totally normal and not to worry. Dr Steele set an appointment for an Ultrasound on Weds the 3rd "just in case". As we were leaving Prince C said, well why did they do that if it doesn't make you go into labor?!? I have to say, Prince C was amazing that day in the doctor's office. He was a champ when it came to the scary blood. He helped me clean up and made sure I was alright. I knew that moment that he was even more perfect than I had previously thought.
Prince C and I headed home and I took a nap on the couch. It was the only way I could make it. I felt pretty yucky. For goodness sakes, I was bleeding! It was nasty. When we woke up we headed to the mall for some mall walking, to try to walk this little girl out. I started to have a few contractions, but nothing major as we were walking, they were on average 10 minutes apart - but they didn't hurt, so I wasn't concerned, I was shopping! I spent more money on my baby while we were there, little did I know, she would arrive too tiny to wear anything I bought!
We headed to dinner at Saul Good, had terrible service, so we left and hit Johnny Carino's. It's sad that a chain restaurant is one of my favorites, but that place sure is! I ordered the spicy romano chicken - no chicken, smiled at the waitress and was hit with a REAL contraction. Holy cow. It was 5:30p, or so. I wasn't planning on wasting my dinner since I knew that I wouldn't be eating again for a while so we waited for our food, asked the waitress for our ticket asap, and finished dinner. My contractions were strong and they were about 5 minutes apart. I called my mom and told her we might be in labor. C aimed the car toward home, the dogs were in the backyard, and it was too cold for them to stay out all night. I didn't have a contraction for 8 minutes. I figured we were done. False labor. Jerks! Trying to make me think I was gonna have a baby! Ha, funny I thought it was over, because sitting on the bridge over New Circle I had another contraction....and it lasted 4 minutes....and it hurt. Thank You, Universe. You are a funny jokester.
I really didn't want to go to the hospital just to be sent back home. I told C in the car that we could go home and hang out for a little while and then go. We got home, let the dogs in, and I sat on the couch. It was at this point that I realized, this is probably the real deal. I changed my shoes. I used the bathroom. I texted Rachel and said "I think it is starting". I came back to the couch. I still wanted to wait. I wanted to wait, and then another contraction came. 4 minutes. Then another, 4 minutes. C said it was time to go. Off we went.
A small note: My whole pregnancy I wanted to just wing it. I didn't want to take classes. Tours? No. I just wanted to let baby Nora guide us. That worked, until we arrived at the hospital, and had no idea where to go.
At the hospital we walked in and it was a ghost town. I had a contraction. I had to stop. Prince C decided to run to the ER and see if they could answer our question. As he was headed that way a nice nurse came around the corner and asked if we needed a wheelchair. Thank goodness! She took us where we needed to go. 8:30pm-ish, I got checked into Triage and they checked me, 4 cm. Labor. I laid in the bed for a bit and then they moved me into a Labor and Delivery room. They checked me again, 7cm. It was 9:30pm. Shannon, my nurse asked if I wanted an epidural. I said yes. I hated to say yes, but I was concerned I would get too tired and not be able to push, or that I could handle the contractions - but the pushing would be too much, and I was scared. I worked so hard for the last 10 months (even longer) pumping myself up for drug free labor....and I chickened out. I hate that I chickened out. Around 10:30pm I got my epidural, I was 8cm. It was instantly better. Instantly I felt nothing. Within 5 minutes my water broke. Then things went downhill.
My blood pressure dropped. Nora let us know. Her heart rate dropped. Nurses rushed in and put a monitor on her. Do you know how they do that? No? Well, I will tell you. They put their hands all in my business and put 2 wires in the baby's forehead. Attach wires to the baby! They made me wear an oxygen mask. Immediately I was teary. I knew bad things would happen....and they did. Nothing major, I know, but I just have to wonder if it would have happened without the epidural? *More complaining to follow* The nurses also had me lay on my right side. Well! By doing that a bunch of epidural ran into my right leg, and it became completely dead. It was no longer a part of my body. It first it was a joke. I kept talking about how I couldn't feel it at all. I was poking at it, jiggling it around, laughing. It was all fun and games until I had to start pushing, but more on that later.
Around 230am our families arrived. I was totally shocked that Mama Norma was the first one there. Apparently for the first time EVER, Papa Larry was speeding. Hehe. :) Everyone came in: Mammoie, Gary, Aunt Netnie, Mama Norma, and Papa Larry to check on me. Everything was great, hugs and kisses all around. Prince C and I were watching HGTV all night - I even dozed off a couple times. It was a pretty boring few hours.
Finally, FINALLY, I got to start pushing at 335am. Dr Jean arrived and got me all ready to have the baby. I was annoyed that I still had to wear the oxygen mask. I hated that thing. It made my face so hot and it was just uncomfortable. Now, back to the dead leg. It was so nice to be comfortable from 1030pm on, but when I had to grab my legs to push, push, push - it was almost impossible. My right leg was completely numb and I couldn't feel anything down there....you know what I am saying. I guess to some, this might sound perfect - it doesn't to me. I pushed for 2 hours. 2 HOURS! I couldn't make any progress happen. Around 5am Dr Jean started threatening. I was so scared. They had already used the vacuum on her sweet head twice, again with no progress. *side note* While filling out the paper work for liabilities and whatnot I had to sign a paper stating that I approve of vacuum extraction use if needed. I really didn't approve. I asked the nurse how often it was used and she assured me that it was pretty rare, so I signed it....and then they had to use it on my girl. I hate that. I hate that I couldn't feel anything and I couldn't do a good enough job to push her out on my own. I felt like such a failure. *end side note* Long story short - my epidural finally ran out around 5am too and I could feel pressure, thank God! When the scary other Doctor walked in, the one who was probably going to talk to us about "taking" the baby, because of my official loser status, I pushed her out! 526am my little girl came into the world!
Back to that whole epidural wearing off point, I got to feel the stitches ya'll. I felt every single one. Ouch. But, I am not complaining. I had a little baby and they were cleaning her up and I could see her finally after all those months of waiting and wondering! She has hair! She has a cleft chin! She's beautiful. She's amazing. She's ours.
Once she was cleaned up the nurses let me hold her for a moment - then they swooped in and took her to the NICU. She wasn't oxygenating well and needed to be observed. They said they would bring her back in an hour or two. Ha. That turned into 15 hours. They had her under a warming lamp and they bottle fed her and let her learn to breathe better. More complaining: it was so hard to know that I carried my baby full term and she still had to be in the NICU, she was taken away from me and I lost 15 hours of her life. Those are hours that I will never get back. That precious time when we could have been learning to nurse and spending time skin to skin, she was in the NICU with nurses (who, by the way weren't very kind) and not with her family. Not with her family. The ones who love her. I have to wonder if the epidural is what put her there. If my inability to push hard enough is what put her there. If all of those things are the reason she isn't a breastfed baby. She just hates my boobs.
While we were in the hospital she latched on and was a champ. Once we got home, she latched once. ONCE. She was spoiled to the bottle. Fine, I thought. Fine. I will just pump. Exclusive pumping, I can do that. Well, even that failed. I have failed at pretty much everything I wanted to do with my baby. Failed. I pumped and put milk in the freezer. I pumped and put milk in bottles. She ate a full day on breast milk. It was good. I thought it would work. Well, the next day she spent the whole day spitting it out. Not to mention, pumping hurts. Really bad. So, I quit. Quit.
Well, after all the complaining, I have a perfectly happy baby. She likes her formula. She loves her boppy and her mobi carrier. She's a delicious baby.