The night before my scheduled induction, Justin and I drove an excited, soon-to-be big sister, Reagan, down to Omi’s house for a slumber party. Even though I wanted my little peanut by my side, I knew that it was far better for her to stay busy with her cousins and grandma. I gave her sweet, squishy cheeks one last kiss before wiping the tears from my eyes. She told me she loved me and ran off giggling, so grown up.
That night, in a last ditch effort to meet Ashlyn naturally, we ate at Buffalo Wild wings, but nothing…
She was cozy and happy in her current home.
So, the following morning we got up, showered and headed to Starbucks for some coffee and breakfast, which was completely indicative of how incredibly different the delivery of Ashlyn would be compared to Reagan. I thoroughly enjoyed my caramel machiato and bagel. It was simply divine.
We arrived at the hospital, checked in calmly and got escorted to my labor and delivery room in the maternity ward. My room was quite small, but packed with amenities like a flat screen television, DVD player, yoga ball and this peanut-shaped ball thingy, which I will talk more about later 😉
Once situated in my hospital gown, the nurse checked me to see how dilated I was (3cm) and they started my pitocin iv. Justin tried his best to make me comfortable by turning on music and adjusting the room’s temperature.
The pitocin kicked in and my contractions started coming pretty regularly, but I wasn’t dilating much, so the doctor broke my water to speed up the process. Then, shortly after that they checked me again and I had dilated to 4cm. The nurse offered to order my epidural, but I was trying to be strong, so I decided to wait. Unfortunately for me, that ended up being a bad mistake because fifteen minutes later I was writhing in pain and REALLY ready for the epidural, but the anesthesiologist was in surgery and unable to come to my aid. So instead they sent the “B” team, a CRNA who was certified to do the epidural, but seemed as though she was lacking some experience in the field. The pain was getting worse with each contraction, though, and I didn’t want to wait any longer, so I just let her do her thing.
When she put the catheter in my spinal fluid, I could tell that something wasn’t quite right. It felt off center. She noticed it too, so she tried to gently massage it into place. Having her push and roll the catheter around in my spine felt strange and uncomfortable, but things got even worse when the medicine kicked in.
First, only the right side of my body got numb, but then my hands, feet and face started getting cold and tingly; my hearing got muffled and I could feel myself start to drift off and get very distant. I heard Justin ask, “what’s wrong with her?” I was only coherent enough to mildly understand that it was me he was talking about. The CRNA acted very fast and gave me a shot of ephedrine, because as it turns out my blood pressure and heart rate dropped considerably and all the color had left my face making me appear very pale and sickly. Apparently this is a side effect of the epidural.
Moments later, the same thing happened again and I was given a second shot of ephedrine plus the nurse dialed back the medicine in the epidural to stabilize me. After that, they rolled me onto my left side to help the medicine get distributed more evenly. Despite this part of my labor being pretty scary, I would do it again in a heartbeat because I HATE pain.
The next few hours were the easiest. Family members came and went and the conversation kept my mind off of the waiting game. It was especially nice to see Reagan, but she didn’t care for the way I looked, sitting in the hospital bed with tubes coming out of my veins, so she mostly stayed out of the room. After dinner, which for me was an Italian ice, the nurse suggested I put the peanut shaped pillow between my knees to change positions a bit. I shrugged my shoulders complacently, not thinking that it would do much.
She gave me the peanut just before the nurse shift change at 7:00 p.m. and it made a huge difference in my comfort level, but shortly after she left the room I started to feel very nauseated. Justin hustled around the room, trying to find something for me to throw up in, just as my new nurse walked in. She was a rockstar, jumping in and helping out right away. She knew immediately that it was time for me to push, so she called for my doctor. Thank the LORD for that peanut!
My doctor walked in just after 7:30 p.m. and with three pushes Ashlyn Jane was born at 7:56 p.m. weighing 6lbs, 6oz and 19 inches long. I gave Justin, my partner n crime and life, a high five and covered our very new daughter with kisses.