Well, as I posted earlier, my water broke yesterday morning just before 11. I called my doctor and called Dominic at work, and began about the work of getting ready to go.
Oddly enough, I had a feeling he was coming soon, and had really started preparing the house for his arrival.
Dominic thought it was a joke when a co-worker told him to go get the phone because my water had broken. People rushed to take part in the office pool that was predicting our due date and time.
By 2 p.m. I had finished packing everyone, fed the kids lunch, bathed the kids, bathed myself dropped the kids off at MNFiddledragon and Ladysea's house and were on our way to the hospital.
At the hospital, they confirmed that my water had broken. That's always kind of a "duh" to me, because I showed up with a gigantic pad FULL of fluid. But it didn't take long and I was admitted.
I was told that I had tested positive at my last appointment for group B strep and would need to be on antibiotics. So much for no IV, but especially with Ciaran being a bit pre-term, I was all for it. We also started pitocin. I know that I could have taken a lot more time to get things going on my own, but my priorities just changed once I was there. I wanted to see him, hold him. I wanted him out. The antibiotics burned in the IV. During the worst part of labor, I had another dose of them. Since my brain could only process one painful thing at a time, it would alternate between the arm pain and the contraction pain. Fun, huh?
Dominic was incredible, coaching me through contractions, rubbing my back, and taking care of me. I made it to almost 4 cm without anything. Then the contractions were getting really hard to stay on top of. So, I took an epidural. The epidural was great. It didn't numb me to my toes and the contractions didn't hurt anymore. I could even move my legs and body without difficulty. But that didn't last either. At around 7 cm, Ciaran moved so far down, the epidural didn't work at all. I could feel everything. Every contraction, every time his head moved, putting pressure on my cervix. It started out painful, and over time became completely unbearable.
Then I got the urge to push. The nurse said I was at 9 cm and perhaps the last little bit of cervix could be pushed away, allowing for the baby to come through. But it wouldn't move, and they didn't want to risk a laceration. So, wait I did. And not well.
I was positioned on my side and given oxygen. When the contractions would come, it was terrible, as I was unable to get into a comfortable position for pushing. Ciaran had a deceleration in his heartrate, and they decided to put an electrode on his head to monitor him internally. So, during contractions, while on my side trying not to push, I have a hand inside of me trying to put the thing on his head.
This is when I totally lost it.
They wouldn't let me move. I was nauseous, and I couldn't push. I was yelling during the contractions. I was telling the nurse no, and was basically having breakdowns during the contractions, and apologizing between them. There is little control that the laboring woman has. And what there was, was taken away from me. I didn't deal well.
Finally they let me lie down on my back with the back up in a sitting position, and pull my knees up to push. Much better. With two pushes his head was out. I felt the ring of fire, and pushed through it. Then it was all over, and he was there in my arms. At 12:01 am. 6 lbs. 2 oz. 19 inches long.
I was not a perfect laboring woman. Toward the end I was more like a caged wild animal. Dominic, however, was a perfect husband and coach. It would have been so much harder without his comforting presence, and amazing help. And, of course, Ciaran did great.
I had a great nurse all afternoon, whom I can't thank enough. And my nurse when Ciaran was born was my night nurse the night that we lost Sarah. It was wonderful to share our joy with her, though I do wish I had been nicer at the end. I wasn't mean or cursing, just not friendly or myself.
Today God reminded me that He has a plan for everything. He brought friends into my life who could watch our kids. He gave me friends who've understood my lack of sociability lately. He gave me this perfect, beautiful baby boy, who has already stolen my heart.
While I actually consider my birth a bit traumatic, and not what I had pictured for myself, I am grateful for a healthy birth, and the truth of it-hurts-now-or-it-hurts-later, as I'm not having a painful recovery.
Pictures will be posted as soon as we are home and I can upload them to the computer.
For now, I have access to the guest wireless network here at the hospital, and will be updating frequently.
Ciaran is getting his first bath right now, and hopefully he'll wake up enough to nurse. He hasn't wanted to nurse yet, as he's been so sleepy. Though, of course, he's being given the opportunity frequently.
I can't wait to share his pictures. How someone so tiny can take your breath away and steal your heart so quickly is another miracle in and of itself.