I began my day "off" working on an online assignment that I needed to get done for work to get credit for my 3 hours of GT update training that I had not yet finished. As soon as I finished and sent that in, I checked my email and chatted online with Adrian and Aunt Keisha who were both anxious to know if I had noticed any signs of labor yet. I had not and predicted to both of them that I thought Hadley would stay put until at least the weekend, even though I was already dilated to 3cm and was 80% effaced. I had heard that you could stay at that point for awhile, especially as a first timer. So I truly did not believe that I would be meeting our baby girl for several days at least.
I told them both, however, that I was about to go for a little walk to see if I couldn't speed things up a little. I logged off of my computer and started getting dressed for my walk, when I felt a tiny bit of dampness. Could THIS be my water breaking? Surely not! I decided I couldn't chance it though, as my hair DESPERATELY needed washing! As I began running the shower water, I could tell that my water was definitely broken as more and more liquid started to trickle down my legs. I called Mason's cell phone and his office phone, both of which he did not answer.... OF. COURSE. So I sent him the following text:
Surprisingly, I was pretty relaxed on the way to the hospital. Mason was nervous, but was happy that everything had gone smoothly and that he was able to get me to the hospital quickly and safely. We pulled into the Presbyterian Hospital Labor & Delivery parking garage knowing that the next time we would leave this building it would likely be as a family of three!
We had a very sweet nurse who checked to make sure that I was actually in labor and she confirmed and told us that we would indeed be having our baby today. I cried.
You can never be fully prepared to meet your baby, even though you have over 9 months to try and wrap your mind around it. I was excited, nervous, and scared all at once. A complete flood of emotions! Mason got on the phone and told both of our families that we would be meeting our sweet Hadley that day. Our families are spread out all over the great state of Texas - Tyler, Houston, San Antonio, Austin, Carthage... so as they had been eagerly awaiting our phone call they piled into their cars and headed our way with great anticipation!
Meanwhile, I was moved into a delivery room and suited up in the very loveliest of hospital gowns.
Our parents made it in plenty of time and they were all able to come in and visit with us for a little bit before things got too intense. Although, I will say, making small talk and joking around is pretty difficult when you are interrupted every 5 minutes with blinding pain. After I had reached 6 cm, and the contractions started coming more quickly, I went ahead and opted for the epidural. My nurse assured me that since I was progressing so quickly, I might as well go ahead and get it if I planned to have it during the delivery to give myself some relief and Hadley was already low enough in the birth canal that a c-section would be highly unlikely.
Mason was asked to leave the room while they gave me the epidural, since apparently one too many a daddy had fainted while watching the procedure being done. It wasn't pleasant, but again, nothing I couldn't handle. And within about 20 minutes I was numbed up and feeling much more pleasant. My only pain at this point was extreme hunger, because by now it was about 7pm and I hadn't eaten anything since breakfast. And I'm sorry to say... ice chips just don't cut it...
The epidural did slow down my contractions slightly, so they decided to give me a very small dose of pitocin to kick things up a notch. It worked and once my contractions were approximately 2-3 minutes apart it was go time.
At around 8:30pm, it was decided that I was far enough along to start pushing. My nurse, Kelly, assured me that the average first time mother pushes for around an hour and a half, but that mine would likely go much more quickly than that because my contractions were so close together and I was fully dilated.
Let's just make a long story short and say that Miss Hadley was VERY content in the birth canal and didn't decide to make her grand appearance until 10:59 that evening. Almost 2.5 hours of pushing. The longest, most frustrating two and a half hours of my life. It was exhausting and I was running on empty at a near starvation level. We could see the top of her head crowning for nearly the entire time, but she was in no hurry to meet the world. I think she secretly wanted to be a Cinco de Mayo baby! I won't lie, I had initially secretly been hoping for that as well, but there is NO WAY that I could have continued pushing for another hour.
My doctor made a tiny cut to give the baby a little more room to come out and to put me out of my misery and before we knew it we had a crying baby in the room! I exploded into tears of happiness and relief as Mason, a very proud Daddy, cut the cord and officially welcomed our dear girl to the world.
I must say that although I had to really suck it up and be strong to get through this day. I could not have gotten by without my loving and overly supportive husband by my side. He held my hand, dried my tears, and encouraged me throughout every second of this process. I truly felt this was a team effort the entire time and I have never loved him more!
We are so happy to be back home now! And though we are operating on far less sleep these days, our hearts have never been so full!