A few hours after I got my epidural, Mr. Right, my parents, and sister were hanging out in my room, we were enjoying a good conversation, when all of a sudden my pain level spiked. I buzzed the nurse to tell her I needed a “boost” on my epidural, and when she came in she said she’d go ahead and check me to see how dilated I was. The last time she had checked me I was around a 6.
We ushered my family out of the room, and in that short amount of time I started to shake all over from pain. It was my first time all day to be in extreme pain, and I became desperate for the anesthesiologist to come back and make it better. The nurse checked me, and her voice nervously shook as she said, “Well, looks like you’re an 8… or a 9. We’re going to go call the doctor and get everything ready… things are moving VERY quickly.”
My response? “PLEASE CALL THE ANESTHESIOLOGIST FIRST!”
The hour or so after that was the worst part of the whole day. I started shaking from what I found out was a combination of pain and adrenaline. I was in the famous “transition” stage, where your body is almost ready to deliver, and as several people have put it, things get “real.” The anesthesiologist quickly came and boosted my epidural and eventually my shaking started to subside. My doctor quickly appeared and told me that she was going to let me lie there and rest for about 30 minutes in order to save some energy for pushing. She turned out the lights and left Mr. Right and me alone to wait.
That was the hardest part of the day – my belly hurt, my lower back hurt, and the shakes came and went. I got relief from having Mr. Right rub on my belly and wipe my forehead with a wet washcloth, and I got really nervous about what I thought would be several hours of pushing. In the midst of worry, I was also overcome with thankfulness that my labor had progressed exactly as it was supposed to and that I was going to avoid having a C-section. I asked Mr. Right to pray for me, and cried and tried to gear up all my bravery to tackle the biggest part of the day.
After about 30 minutes, the doctor and a few nurses came back and set up equipment in the room for the delivery and for the baby. Everything seemed to happen quickly, and all of a sudden my doctor was talking to me, coaching me on how she wanted me to push.
She asked me if I wanted a mirror to watch everything. Now, I may have worked at a hospital for ten years, but I am absolutely terrified of blood. I knew if I saw any I would lose my nerve. I told her no, and she and the nurse kept encouraging me to get the mirror anyway. That’s when my husband, in his infinite wisdom, finally said, “Trust me, she does NOT need the mirror.” It was those little moments when he took control that made me love him so much more, and made me thankful that I had an advocate and partner who knew me well. (And let’s face it, after watching me deliver a baby – from the foot of the bed – he REALLY knows me well now.)
My doctor asked for a trial push through a contraction, and I pushed as hard as I could. My epidural was so strong I couldn’t feel a pushing sensation at all – I just pushed the way I knew in my head I was supposed to, and other than feeling like my face might explode, I couldn’t feel anything. Amazingly, I felt absolutely NO pain.
Apparently I’m a really good pusher (add that to the resume). Two more rounds of pushing and just a few minutes later, and Wrenn Olivia was here. It took less than 10 minutes and suddenly I was watching them pull her out of me, I could hear her cries, and I watched them suction fluid out of her little stomach, quickly wipe her off, and then she was lying on my chest, cradled in my arms.
I started crying the moment I saw her, and didn’t stop for a long time. I cried so hard that both Mr. Right and my doctor asked if I was crying from pain, but it wasn’t pain at all – it was just the biggest wave of emotion that I have ever felt in my life. My baby girl was here, and I was her mother, and I had delivered her. I did it. We did it. It was the most overwhelming, wonderful feeling.
(I’m crying now as I type it… reliving that moment all over again).
My baby girl was absolutely perfect… 7 pounds, 2 ounces, about 19 inches long (we’re not completely sure because five days later my doctor measured her as 20.75 inches long), born at 10:04 p.m. My doctor later told me, after everything calmed down, that Wrenn had come out with the umbilical cord wrapped tightly around her neck… twice. Everybody else had known (including Mr. Right), but because I had warned them before the delivery that I wanted to be on a “need to know basis,” they wisely didn’t say a word until everything was okay. I think it was all God’s doing that she came so quickly, because it meant that the cord did no damage to her. It’s just another example of God’s protection and grace during this pregnancy.
The rest of the story, which includes a very sick husband and a major change of plans, to come soon…