When we arrived at the hospital, we were shown to the tiniest room ever. Thankfully, when our nurse came in, she moved us to a room about three times the size with a large recliner, a couch and much more space to walk around. I changed into a hospital gown and sat on a labor ball. Dave and I had decided that I would get the epidural. I could not go on any longer without sleep.
Our nurse tried to move things along as quickly as possible. People came and went- they monitored Gideon while someone came in to take my blood, the doctor checked my progress and someone else hooked me up to IV fluids. I had to have an entire bag of fluids before I could get the epidural.
After almost two hours, the anesthesiologist arrived. He asked everyone to leave so there were no distractions. He explained everything he was doing and my nurse helped hold me steady (I was still shaking) while he inserted the catheter into my back. It was quick and mostly painless. He told me that they give a narcotic with the first dose of epidural so I'd feel very relaxed soon. He was right. It was almost immediate. Also, my water broke for real while I was getting the epidural.
After a few minutes, while I got situated in bed and they added antibiotics to my IV, I was finally able to sleep. I don't know how long I slept but it was SO wonderful. I woke up feeling normal- except I couldn't feel my legs. Nancy had to leave (she'd told me from the beginning that this was the only day she wouldn't be able to work) but Noel, the other midwife in the area, came soon after. Dave was very relieved to see me so much more relaxed. He told me later that he couldn't remember the last time I'd joked. It seemed like labor was going on forever.
I was checked again and I was only dilated to 4. They added pitocin to the mix in my IV and contractions picked up again. It was weird to not be able to walk around with them. I was able to drink clear fluids- juice, water and chicken broth and eat jello.
They upped the pitocin throughout the day and we all just kind of hung out. Gideon's heart rate was still good.
About 11 p.m., I started to feel like I needed to push. More nurses came in to set up the doctor's table. The epidural dosage was turned down and the pitocin turned up. Noel and Dave helped the nurses get me into comfortable positions for pushing. We tried several different things before settling with one that seemed to be doing the most. I pushed for 2 and 1/2 hours before Gideon finally arrived.
My nurses were wonderful but I really did not like my doctor. She was the one I saw once during my pregnancy and didn't like then. She was very rough, did not pay attention to our wishes and just didn't seem to care. Thankfully she wasn't there for long. I wish my birth had happened really fast so Noel could have caught Gideon.
Despite the doctor, it was so amazing to finally hold my baby. He was screaming and waving his arms as the doctor wiped him down a little. When he was put on my chest it seemed so unreal. The nurses covered us with towels and Gideon pooped almost right away. I just talked to him and he calmed down after a little bit and snuggled. After about an hour, the nurses took him to get him cleaned up. Dave went with him to make sure there were no shots or eye goop given. I was cleaned up as well. Even though the epidural had worn off by then, I was extremely shaky and it was hard to stand.
Here's one of our first photos together. Gideon's lungs were and are still very strong!
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