I woke up on Sunday feeling okay. I was a bit crampy and did not think much of it as I had been feeling crampy on and off for a few days. It did not take me long to realize that I was feeling mild contractions (starting around 9:30am). I thought that maybe they were braxton hicks and went about my day. As the day went on, I felt these contractions more and more frequently and sometimes it felt like they were getting more uncomfortable. I was watching the football game with Andrew (Giants vs. Falcons) and thought maybe we should start to track the contractions. I was now no longer in denial and realized that I was seriously having contractions. At first the contractions were all over the place, 8 minutes apart, 10 minutes apart, 6 minutes apart and the length of the contraction was also all over the place. No pattern. So I thought this could be false labor. Then.....the contractions were coming closer together, last longer in length and moving around did not lessen the pain. Not only could I feel the contractions in my abdomen, but they spread around to my back as well. It was waves of contractions. We continued to track, track, track and soon the contractions were coming just about every three minutes.
I asked Andrew to call the doctor to see what we should do. She promptly returned our call and suggested we head over to the hospital. HOLY CRAP! The ride to the hospital was not as bad as I expected, but it felt like it took us FOREVER to get there. I almost felt as if life was occurring in slow motion.
After being checked in and asked a thousand ridiculous questions (i.e.- what brings you to the hospital today? REALLY!!!! ) I was hooked up to the monitors and my contractions & baby's heart beat were monitored. One of the first questions I was asked "When would you like your epidural?" My reply: I want to go as natural as possible, no thanks. I was examined and I was 2 cm. Andrew and I were left alone for a minute and we were talking (about what, who knows) and he noticed my eyes get huge. He asked if everything was okay and I told him that either my water just broke or I wet myself. Fortunately, it was my water my breaking and this is where everything goes from good to awful in a matter of minutes.
Once my water broke, my blood pressure went sky high. This was partly because of the low levels of amniotic fluid and the amount of pain my body was enduring every three minutes from the contractions. The medical staff tried to get an iv in so I could be given medication to help bring down my pressure (again, not something I wanted, but needed). Since my blood pressure was so high, it was nearly impossible to get a vein to work...so my hands were covered in blood and needle marks. After about four attempts, they called in the anesthesiologist, who worked his magic and was able to get a vein to work. Next I was told that I needed to have an epidural because it would bring my blood pressure down. It really wasn't an option, but rather something that needed to be done. Every contraction the baby's heartbeat was dropping...so I agreed to the epidural. Then Dr. Burack said she was concerned for the baby and that an epidural would slow down labor, therefore putting the baby at risk for a longer period of time (since I was only 4 centimeters dilated). Then she said what I had been dreading this entire pregnancy :C- Section. My heart dropped, my eyes filled with tears and I accepted the fact that this is what needs to happen to keep my baby safe. Andrew grabbed my hand as he knew this was something that I wanted to avoid.
Andrew and I were told that he was able to come into the operating room once I was given a spinal. The only time he would not be able to come into the OR was if they could not give me a spinal and I had to be put out completely. They gave him his scrubs, he gave me a kiss and I was wheeled off to the OR. Once in the OR I was put on the table, bright lights over head and the room was cool (which felt really good). They had me sit up and I was asked to sit still, which was hard when I was experiencing contractions. I am sure I said a few choice words as they tried to prick my spine at the same time my uterus was contracting. It took them about three times before a needle was inserted in my spine. With each failed attempted I was getting more and more anxious about the possibility of being put out. But finally there was success. I will say that once the spinal began to work, it felt really good. Andrew was finally able to join me, my blood pressure went down immediately from the spinal and I was poked numerous times with a sharp object to ensure that the spinal was working. It was- I seriously could not feel a thing from the chest down.
I am sure the whole process only took an hour at most, but it felt like days passed from the time I was wheeled into the OR up until I heard one of the best sounds in the world :wawaaa waaaa waaaa. The sweet sound of Liam crying as he entered our world. I could not see him immediately as he needed to be assessed, but I was told that he had a lot of hair. Andrew was able to go to the warming station where Liam was assessed. All I could see were Andrew's eyes smiling. The rest of his face was covered with a face mask. I think at one point he may have given me a thumbs up, I knew everything would be okay. Then I finally got to see Liam. I thought for a second my body was going to explode from the amount of happiness that I was feeling. The only thing I was feeling since my body was pretty numb.Once Dr. Burack finished with putting me back together, she told me that even if I had continued to have a vaginal birth, it would have ended with a C-section. She said that Liam's head is so big that it would have never passed through the birth canal. Seriously, I would have been pretty pissed if I had pushed and pushed for a while just to learn that I would need a c-section. I believe things always happen for a reason.
So overall, my labor was nothing as I had imagined it to be. In fact, my worst case scenario happened. I am happy that my body did go into labor on it's own, I got to experience contractions, & my water breaking. Even though it was my worst case scenario, I will say this was probably one of the best days in my life and I would do it all over again, in a heartbeat.