Howie was going to update my blog but he has been very busy taking care of both of his girls. So here I am and here's the update.
As you know, my water broke around 7:20 pm or so on Sunday night. We called the doctor and the doula, both said that I should sleep and wait for the contractions to start. The waters were clear so I didn't have to go in right away, but the doctor said that if the water wasn't clear anymore or if I saw a LOT of blood then to go in to the hospital. I decided I'd take a shower before I tried sleeping because when my water broke it reeeeeeeally broke!!! I was covered in fluid and I have been told before that it may be a while before I can shower again so it's best to shower before leaving home. I took a shower and noticed that there was some blood. I didn't know if it was a lot or if it was normal but I knew I'd be more relaxed if we just went to the hospital. So we called the doula, grabbed all of our stuff and left for the hospital.
We arrived at the hospital at around 9:00 pm and I felt my first contraction somewhere around 10:00 pm. We walked around with the doula until around 11:00 pm and then the nurse hooked me up to the machine to monitor the baby and my contractions for a half hour. This is when Howie's parents and brother showed up to say hello before heading over to our house for the night. After the nurse took me off the monitor the doula, Howie and I all decided to rest as much as we could before my contractions got stronger and closer together. I slept on and off. I was having some really nasty acid reflux which was bothering me more than the contractions and kept me from getting more rest. Around midnight we all got up and started to walk the halls again. My contractions were about 10 minutes apart and were hurting a little bit more. After walking for a while I thought it would be nice to try using the birthing ball. While I rolled around on the ball the doula gave me a back massage. The contractions were getting much more intense but between them I was still in a pretty good mood.
When my contractions were about 7 to 5 minutes apart the nurse came back in to hook me up to the monitor. She also checked my cervix and told me that I was about 60% effaced and 1 cm dilated. I was pretty irritated that I was still just 1 cm dilated. Aislinn and I were both doing fine so after 30 minutes she took me off of it again. The contractions were getting pretty bad at that point so I decided to sit on a chair in the shower. I couldn't use the bath because my water had already broken. I was shaking uncontrollably so they covered me with blankets and we made the water as warm as we could. The shower helped with the contractions for about 15 minutes, after that the contractions were so bad that I decided I no longer wished to have a natural birth. I was in so much pain and I had hardly progressed. I thought about how unhappy I was while the contractions were 5 minutes apart, I couldn't imagine how I was going to deal with them when I didn't get a 5 minute break in between them. I was also exhausted and just wanted to sleep so that I'd have the energy to push when it was time. I did take into consideration that Aislinn could react badly to the epidural and that I could end up having a c-section in the end, but that could happen even if I didn't have the epidural so I told my doula that I was ready to call the anesthesiologist. While she was reminding me of why I wanted a natural birth and asking me one more time if I was sure that I wanted drugs I had another contraction. This is where it turns into one of those movies with the crazy woman in labor. I suddenly went crazy and told her that I wanted the fucking epidural because I was sick of the fucking contractions and I told Howie that he better tell the fucking nurse that I want the anesthesiologist right fucking now! At this point it was about 5:15 am. The nurse came in to get me hooked up to the machines and to put a port in. She told me that they had to get at least one bag of fluids into me before they were allowed to call the anesthesiologist. She was doing her best to find a vein but it's like I have no veins! Nobody can find one! She tried on both sides I think twice. Then she told me that she'd try to find this other person that could try to get my port in but if she couldn't find a vein we'd have to wait until 7:00 am when some sort of amazing vein wizard would be in. The thought of waiting until 7:00 am to have my port put in and then waiting to get through a bag of fluids before they call the anesthesiologist made me crazy. I begged her to find a vein, any vein, anywhere, just please put the fucking thing in and hook me up to some fucking fluids so that I could get the epidural. The next lady got it in and we were good to go. The anesthesiologist didn't show up until 7:00 am though because this girl across the hall had to have a c-section because she pushed for like 30 minutes and nothing seemed to work. We could hear her whole team of friends, family, nurses, and doctor yelling and coaching. I laid in the bed in intense pain completely shaking and it seemed that Aislinn's back was against my back which was giving me the worse back pain I have ever felt in my entire life.
When the anesthesiologist was there and prepping me for my epidural the shaking was pretty bad and he asked me if I could please get that under control. While he played with my spine I was doing my best to keep my uncontrollable shaking under control, manage the contraction, ignore the intense back pain, and breathe. I did it though, because it meant that soon there would be NO PAIN. It also meant that I wouldn't end up paralyzed. Within minutes I was numb and didn't even realize it. I had my next contraction and they asked me if I felt it. I had no idea I even had one! It was great! The doctor came in to check up on me. I was only 4 to 5 cm dilated so she decided that she was going to give me some pitocin to help things move along. After she left and the nurse was giving me the pitocin Howie and I made some calls to our family to update them on my lack of progress. At 8:00 am we all fell asleep and woke up around 10:00 am when I started to feel a little bit of pressure. The nurse checked me and I was about 7 or 8 cm dilated. I continued to try sleeping some more but around 10:30 am or so the pressure started to get really bad. Although I wasn't really feeling pain the pressure was pretty intense and I had to breathe through each contraction. I was feeling the urge to push but my doula told me not to push yet because if I pushed too early the tiny bit that was left of my cervix could swell up and prolong things. So she helped me with my breathing so that I could avoid pushing. Around 10:45 am the nurse came back to check on me and I told her that I really wanted to push but I was doing my best not to. She decided it was time to check my cervix again and sure enough I was ready to go! She told me I could start pushing with my next contraction. I was so excited because I was so sick of fighting the urge to push and was sure that pushing would actually feel better. Things suddenly started to happen, the doctor showed up and everyone started to help me push. The pain and pressure was amazing! Unbelievable! It scared the shit out of me, but I put my chin to my chest and pushed into my bottom like they said to. I told them when it was over that I didn't want to do that again, that I wasn't ready for her to come out of me or that I didn't want her to come out anymore. They were all pretty much like "it's too late for that, it's about to happen". The nurse told me that if I kept pushing like I just did that Aislinn would be out soon. Another contraction came along quickly and the doctor hadn't even put on her gloves yet. I pushed hard, just like they told me to push. I could feel her moving down through my pelvis and I could feel that she was really close to crowning or was crowning. I screamed at the end of that push because it hurt so much. The pain didn't really scare me or make me want to stop though, I wanted to push, I had to push. They all told me not to scream, only to push. I asked them if it had been a good push though, before I screamed and they all said that I was doing great. The doctor made a little joke that I was moving so fast that she wasn't sure she'd be able to get her gloves on. That's when I actually apologized for allowing things to move along so quickly. They all laughed and told me not to say sorry for that and the doctor said that it was actually very considerate of me to push so well or something. I clearly watch too many of those baby shows and was expecting to push out the baby's head and then maybe be told not to push because maybe the cord would be around her neck or something and then be told to push another couple of times. Who knows, but I wasn't sure that she was even close enough yet, maybe I'd have to push some more to get the baby to move down and out. I pushed again as hard as I could right through to my bottom and I definitely felt her crowning. The doctor told me to push again and I said, "Really? I don't feel like I have to push right now. Are you sure I should push now?" and she told me that she wanted me to push right then, so I gave her another really hard push and I felt all of this stretching, pressure and then relief. It did kind of hurt though and it was such a surprise that I shouted "What the fuck was that?!" and they told me that she was out and placed her on top of me. I instantly felt guilty that one of the first words my daughter heard out of my mouth was the "F Word". I actually said to everyone that I can't believe that's the first thing she heard me say and the nurse told me that it was ok, that it was the first word her baby heard her say too. I looked down at my baby girl laying on top of me and everything was just so surreal. I couldn't believe I was looking at MY baby. I put one hand on her head and the other on her body and said hello to her and told her that I was her mommy. The whole world suddenly seemed so different and it was so hard for me to completely wrap my head around the fact that she was actually my baby.
They took her to a little table off to the side of my bed to assess her. Howie and the doula disappeared to take a closer look at her while my doctor and the nurse were collecting the cord blood for the cord blood registry, delivering my placenta and stitching me up. Everyone kept telling me what a good job I did, that I pushed so well. I laughed and joked around with the doctor and nurse while trying to get a glimpse of my daughter past the crowd of people surrounding her. Howie and the doula took turns coming over to me to tell me that she looked great, that she wasn't a dwarf, she was healthy, and to show me pictures. After a few moments they brought her over to me. Her eyes were wide open and she was very aware. Howie and I spoke to her and she looked at us both like she knew that she had heard our voices before. After I was stitched up and all was done the doula said goodbye and the room emptied out so that Howie and I could spend some time alone with Aislinn. We were both instantly in love with her and just took it all in. Every moment with her since then has been perfect. I don't think either of us have ever been this happy in our lives. We have a family! Our own little family!
So, here she is, all cleaned up and perfect! Introducing Aislinn Madison born on January, 29th 2007 at 11:03 am weighing in at 6 lbs. 10.6 oz and measuring 19 1/4 inches in length.