Here's the highlights, in bulleted form of course.
-Tuesday I didn't feel the baby move in the morning, so they had me come in for a non-stress test. Turns out the baby was fine, she had just shifted a little. My doctor came up, and I think she was debating inducing me, but we decided to talk about it the next day at my appointment.
-I drove to the hospital Wednesday morning for my 9:30 appointment. As I got out of the car in the parking garage, my water broke (I kept thinking--"how embarrassing if it was just pee").
-I told the secretary I thought my water had broken when I checked in. She told the nurse, who told my doctor, who though it was hysterical. They sent me up to labor and delivery to be checked. I called Tim about 9:30 AM and told him I'd let him know if they admitted me.
-About 10, they admitted me. I called Tim, who was up a little before 11, and my family, who all started migrating to the hospital (despite the fact that I tried to tell them it would be a while).
-The theme of the day: every time I hit a milestone, they told me delivery would be just around the corner. My water broke (and I was still 4 cm and 70% effaced), so I should deliver fast. At about 2:30 PM, they re-broke my water, which should start things moving. At 3:30 PM (6 hours later), we decided on an epidural and pitocin (I was 4-5 cm dilated, 90% effaced, -1 station at that point.) They were sure the pitocin would enhance the contractions (which were regular and strong, but not moving the baby), so they started me off low on pitocin at 4:30. I started at 2 mu/min. I ended at 16 mu/min. The max is 20 mu/min.
-So much for fast. At 8:55, almost 12 hours later, I was 9-10 cm, 100% effaced, and +1 station. They assured me I'd deliver fast. In fact, they thought my full bladder was holding things up, so they sent my family out when they straight catheterized me, thinking the baby would basically shoot out afterwards.
-That was 8:55 PM. I started pushing at 10:45 PM. I had the baby at 1:27 AM. So much for fast!
-The epidural was amazing for the contractions, but I felt every stretch with pushing. From 10:45 to about 1 AM, it hurt, but I was breathing and getting through it. When the baby crowned at 1 AM and the doctor came in, she decided to stretch me with every push. It was the worst pain of my life, to the point where I had no control over screaming or being able to open my eyes. And it lasted half an hour with no breaks. And I ended up with an episiotomy anyway.
-Want to know why labor lasted 16 hours and pushing lasted 3? Because everyone was prepared for a 7 to 8 pound baby, including the nurses and doctors. I kept telling people she'd be bigger, but they waved me off. Know what? I was right. Nine pounds, one ounce, 21 inches long, head circumference 37 cm. They weighed her twice, because even after she came out, the doctor was sure there was no way she could really be that big. I pushed--I KNEW she was that big!!!
-She's big, but beautiful. She's actually proportional, so instead of looking like a basketball, she looks like a two week old baby. Which, according to her newborn maturity assessment, she was two weeks overdue. So if she came two weeks ago, she'd be average. I can't imagine if she decided to wait until next week, when my doctor had thought about inducing me!
-Family got to see her for a little while Thursday morning, finally. I felt so bad that they had to wait so long. They hung out during labor in the room with me, but they all had to go downstairs to the cafeteria for three hours during pushing. Tim would call once an hour or so just to tell them we were still pushing! I felt so bad for keeping them up until almost 3 AM (they wanted to clean me and the baby up before visitors came up). But they came back later Thursday, after we were up in post partum, and got a little more time with her.
-Thursday was a long day with little sleep. Tim went home Thursday and Friday nights and came back the following mornings. Without fail, Sophie would be an angel until ten minutes after Tim left, and then she'd start screaming bloody murder! I felt guilty the first night, but I sent her to the nursery between feedings. The next night, I didn't feel so bad doing it--I know I needed the sleep. And it was doctor recommended to sent her out now and again to get a break. I think it was a good call.
-We got home about 2 PM today. It's unreal to have her home, but also so exciting. I'm terrified of spending our first night, the whole night, with her. I worry she'll be too hot, or too cold, or I won't be able to soothe her. But, we'll get through it!
All in all, she's absolutely wonderful. Tim's been a natural, and it's such a huge help to have him around. Both of our families have been so wonderful and supportive. I'm so glad we had our first one with so much support around. My mom has already helped me breastfeed, so there's one boundary we don't have any more!
Tim and I are both totally in love with our baby. I've got a million pictures. I've got to go through and pick out just a few, and then I'll post them. But she's amazing. and totally worth all the pain. Having said that, I still want to wait at least several years before undergoing that pain again. But if she's the prize, I'd do it again without hesitation.