I can’t believe that one week ago, about this time, labor started and baby Amelia was on her way.
I was actually scheduled to be induced on the 24th at 7am. I was not looking forward to it since induction comes with a higher risk of interventions and C sections.
We decided to make one last effort at natural induction…with 3-star Thai food. Penang curry in case you’re wondering. I know what you’re thinking, so don’t even say it- I’m from Michigan and can’t handle 4-star. So there. Maybe it was the Thai food, or the full moon, but around 9pm I found myself feeling pretty crampy and googling “what does a contraction feel like”. I tried to get some rest but there was no way I could relax! Using my handy-dandy contraction timer app we found that they were five minutes apart and about 1-2 minutes long. Hmm. We summoned the doula and called the OB, who said to stay at home as long as possible. All righty then.
The doula arrived around 11 and tried her hand at making me comfortable with a TENS unit on my back (worked for a while) and varying positions (didn’t work at all). All the positions she showed us last month sounded cool in theory but most didn’t help or practically had me wailing. I was feeling the pain in my back…the dreaded back labor (insert ominous music here). I could only tolerate standing. By 2:30am the contractions were 2-3 min apart and we decided to head to the hospital. Thankfully it was late so we didn’t have to worry about traffic. Regardless it was the longest short drive ever. On the road I recalled my mom telling me that they drove to the hospital around 4am and she yelled at my dad for coming to complete stops. Doh!
Once we got settled into a room I couldn’t take the pain anymore and asked for an epidural. This was not part of my birth plan but then again neither was back labor. Fortunately the anesthesiologist was right across the hall. He was very sweet and I felt bad that all he does is deal with crabby women in labor. Relief was immediate…until the drugs wore off on my left side. Epidural medication is weird because you have to keep flipping from side to side to disperse it but for some reason it didn’t take in one spot. So, the next few hours went like this: hit PCA button, flip, left side still hurts so call anesthesiologist for the “good stuff”, enjoy a short pain-free window ’till it wears off, and then repeat for hours on end.
Honestly I didn’t expect the pain to be so intense. Hands down the worst I’ve ever felt. I can’t even describe it, the only people who would truly understand are mothers. I’m somewhat disappointed that I couldn’t tough it out, but I’m not beating myself up over it and would probably do it again. Why suffer? Come to find out Amelia was sunny-side up, hence the back pain. Fortunately she turned on her own at the last minute.
The rest of the delivery was physically and emotionally exhausting. Amelia finally made her grand entrance at 6:07pm, weighing 6lbs, 14oz and 20.5 in long. Everyone was right- the minute you see your baby for the first time you immediately forget about what you just went through. And you immediately fall in love.
The entire experience was so amazing and humbling. Part of the “big picture”. Words simply cannot describe it.
I need to give a shout-out to the fabulous team at Swedish First Hill- everyone as great, especially the nurses. Those women truly love their job and it shows. However, no one deserves a shout-out more than Eric- he was the perfect labor coach/support crew and helped me focus like I was in a race. I can’t imagine what it would be like to be on the other side and he handled it like a trooper. Love you babe!