We left off part one of Emma Kate’s birth story with me getting ready to get my epidural. I apologize for the wordiness and lack of photos until the end. Again, if birth stores aren’t your thing, feel free to skip this one!
As I said before, I was really nervous about this but knew it would make me feel better so I was as ready as I was going to get. The anesthesiologist came in a few minutes later, and the nurse helped position me on the bed and had me hunch over. Honestly, the anticipation was the worst part. It took the doctor about five minutes to prep his stuff (and me), and so I just had to sit there bent over with the nurse holding my shoulders down while I waited. Finally it was time and it was almost comical how much it DIDN’T hurt. It felt the exact same as the IV I had put in my arm that morning. I could feel pressure in my spine after the initial insertion, which was more weird/creepy than anything, but then it was done and within a couple of minutes I felt amazingly better. However, I had started having some slight nausea, and the nurse gave me some zofran in my IV. It never totally went away but the medicine did help take the edge off.
I was all set to take a nap, and my mom and Bobby’s mom and her husband came in for a visit. We chatted for awhile which helped the time pass, and it was so odd to look at the monitor seeing these huge contractions, but not being able to feel anything. (This was around 9:45). At 10:00 I was checked again, and was at 5 cm. Progress! Bobby decided to go grab some lunch while I had other family there, and I really don’t remember what I did between 10:00 and 12:00. My intention was to nap, but it never happened. I am fairly certain I was just playing on my phone and texting back and forth with friends and family.
At noon I was checked again, 7 cm! They wanted me to progress a centimeter every hour to 1.5 hours, and so far I was right on track. They estimated I would have baby M by mid afternoon. About this time, they put the oxygen mask on me for a few minutes as a precaution because baby’s heart rate was jumping around just a bit.
At 1:45, I was checked again and at 8 cm. A little bit slower progress, but progress none the same. About this time, I noticed that I could feel my left leg more than my right leg. It was a very noticeable difference, and since I have heard stories of people feeling everything on one side and not the other because the epidural didn’t work right, I got a little nervous. We tried tilting my body to the side but I actually started to feel more as time went by. Soon, I was starting to feel contractions in me left side, and I got REALLY nervous.
At 3:00, I was checked again as we were trying to decide what was wrong with the epidural, and the nurse said “oh, no wonder you are feeling it on one side, you are complete! 10 cm, time to push!” Basically, the baby was RIGHT THERE and that’s why I was feeling it on one side, she said once we started pushing that the pain should go away and I shouldn’t be able to feel anything. Whew!
I had no idea how the pushing part was going to go, as my only frame of reference was movies and TV, super reliable I know. I was surprised that it was way more relaxed and calm than I was anticipating. The nurse told me since I was a first time mom I potentially could push for 2-3 hours but since I was more in shape, it hopefully wouldn’t take that long.
Time to push!
She lowered this huge light down from the ceiling, and she sat on one side of the bed while Bobby sat on the other. The nurse explained to me the muscles I needed to use to push, which was pretty funny because I couldn’t feel anything! She would tell me “good, yes!” and I’m thinking “I have NO idea what I am doing because I can’t feel anything!” I tried to imagine using certain muscles, and apparently I did a good job because I only had to push for about 45-50 minutes, and the nurse said “alright let’s call your doctor, it’s time to have a baby!”
Apparently baby M was very very close to coming out, because the nurse and everyone that walked in kept saying “oh my gosh that baby has a head full of hair!” I seriously must have heard it ten times before I ever saw the child!
Soon my doctor arrived and the room got really busy. Nurses coming in and out, prepping the area, putting down tarps, gathering instruments, etc. Looking back it all seems like a huge blur and seemed to go by so fast but at the same time so slow. My old nurse Laura showed up just in time to help and watch as well.
The nursery nurse arrived since I wanted her to stay in the room with me for awhile, and soon my doctor had on her gloves (along with some big rain boots, we later figured out why…the birth process is quite gross and messy!) It was then time to push again, and I remember waiting for a contraction and the doctor saying she has been known to “scare contractions away”.
Every contraction I would push three times, each time with a count to ten. Again, this part is all a blur, I tried to “push” without being able to feel a thing, and on the third contraction and the first push of that contraction, out came baby M! My body felt so weird when she came out, like an instant void in my stomach, it was so strange.
After a few seconds she was crying up a storm and my doctor held her up for us to see and then cut the cord. She was brought over to the nursery nurse to be weighted and measured and her APGAR scores were great, a 9 and a 10. Everyone talks about this instant overwhelming love they experience, and honestly I didn’t have that right away. There was a LOT going on in that room, and I was really, really overwhelmed by it all and had not had time to process things yet. I was physically and mentally exhausted and getting more nauseated. I knew she was my baby and I cared for her, but my feelings at the time were…weird? I’m really not sure how to explain it! I think I was in shock.
Baby M weighed 8 pounds, 7 ounces, and was 21 and 1/4 inches long. Bobby stood in between me and her taking pictures as I got stitched up. However, it seemed to be taking a really long time…
Happy Birthday Emma Kate Montgomery!
The rest of the story will be in part III, with a lot more pictures, I promise!
QOTD: How did you feel right when your baby was born? Happy? overwhelmed? Anxious? Do you ever remember? How long did you push?