Well, what they say about labor is true, contractions really do hurt! I started going into labor at 3am on Friday morning. I had been quite concerned I wouldn't know what they felt like, but I quickly learned. I woke up Rand at about 6 am after having noticed a pattern and consistency in them. We gave our doctor a call and he told us to just continue to monitor them and also mentioned he would be out of town until the next day.
By 8am, the contractions hadn't changed much, so Rand decided to go to work with the plan that I would call if anything changed. At around 9:30 Rand called to say that his boss had sent him home. I felt so greatful. So, it seemed we were just in a waiting period. We settled in to resume another episode of my new found favorite show, Prison Break, and kept on track of monitoring the contractions. About 1pm, we decided this was the real deal and contacted my parents, Rand's parents and our brothers and sisters. They started to get increasingly more painful and so we finally headed in. I was really feeling nervous that I would be the "boy who cried wolf" and was feeling somewhat the weight of that on my shoulders.
We arrived at the hospital at about 4:30 to find that there were 11 other ladies in active labor. Full house! We were placed in an overflow like room. After what seemed like forever, a few frustrated tears, and a few walks in the hallway to help me dilated further, a lot of waiting, and progressively worsening contractions, we were finally admitted at about 7:30pm to our room. Our doctor was the on-call doctor for Dr. Trottier. Her name was Dr. Wesswood, I believe, and I liked her.
Rand's parents stopped in and my parents arrived shortly after. We opened up a precious "hospital package" from our dear friends Whit and Kyle. It made me start crying. I immediately opened up the chapstick, snuck a gummie bear, and put on a headband. It was a good distraction from the contractions. They began to get worse and worse. I would try and breath through them, but man often it felt like, I can't do this anymore. It was past a point of tears, but sometimes they would flow. Rand and my mom held my hand and I felt super cared for by them.
I was still not dialating past 3cm, so they decided to give me petocin to help me dialate more, but this also means that my contractions would be more frequent. (P.S. All this lingo was jargon to me just weeks ago). My biggest blessing was the anastesiologist, Karen, who cam in to give me my epideral. Praise the Lord! She was the sweetest lady and I truly will never forget her. After a few more contractions it finally set it and I no longer felt any pain ... or really anything below my hips. Quite hilarious at points because I literally had to have Rand or the nurse move my legs when I needed to shift positions.
Rand and I were told to rest while we waited for me to dilate to 10 cm. In this process the nurse noticed that her heart rate kept dipping during my contractions. We attempted shifting positions, right side, left side, back, tummy, and all fours (quite interesting when you can't feel your legs) and it continued. The doctor was called back in and the mood shifted slightly to more urgency. By this time I had dialated to 9.5 cm and so she had me push (something I also couldn't feel). When this happened the heart rate dripped especially low and they made the call to do an emergency c-section. Apparently the umbilical cord was compressing her head somehow during the contractions.
Despite a C-Section being nothing that I had thought of before because of an overall healthy pregnancy I felt like "Yeah, lets do this thing". Rand, however, was feeling a little more uneasy, I think recognizing the seriousness of the situation. In flew a crew of about 6-7 people who got me ready to be transferred to the operating room. Rand was handed scrubs to change into, which I must say he looked might fine in ;)
The realization of what was happening struck me when I was wheeled away from Rand and into an sterile, cold, operating room (similiar to the ones in the movies) and alone with a big team of people that I no longer knew. It was at this point that I felt scared; for Ellie and for surgery. The Lord knew my fear and provided comfort to me through Karen, the anesthesiologist who was now getting me numbed for surgery. I remember at one point she stroked my forehead, like a mother would, and I started to feel at ease again. Finally I was prepped and ready, basically having no feeling from my shoulders down from the anesthesia and epidural. Rand was finally able to join me and he held my hand as we waited for the surgery to be complete and to meet our little Eloise.
After 21 hours of labor and the C-section She finally arrived at 2:13 am on April 13th. I remember not being able to move and seeing her being checked by the nurses and feeling a mix of surrealness, joy, and sadness over not being able to touch her. It was an incredibly special moment for Rand and I feel like I will always savor that memory. They took her away to the nursery with Rand, while I was stitched and stapled up. I remember feeling extremely short of breath and couldn't stop trembling. I was so well cared for by my nurse Erin in the process, though. She really was a calming comfort to me.
After an hour and a half I was reunited with Ellie and Rand and was able to feed her for the first time. I still didn't have much feeling in my body, though, and was still trembling. It was surreal to be with my husband and our new daughter. It really didn't feel like real life.
Only bummer with a C-section was that I couldn't sleep on my stomach right away! Apart from that I really didn't mind. I am just so glad that she was healthy and safe and am so glad that the nurses and doctor made the decision that they did.
Recovery has to last the full 6 weeks. They say its really important because the three layers of tissue that they went through to get to the uterus all need to heal. Apparently the stitches of the inner two layers are most vulnerable at 3-4 weeks because they are starting to dissolving. So, the next month in a half I have to hang low. Boo. I'm not very good at that. On the up side, I have an amazing husband who really wants me to heal and get better. Man do I love him. I am so excited for our new adventure!