On June 28th, I went to my last doctor's appointment before Noelle was born. I had a growth sonogram and non-stress test (NST) scheduled that day. While I was doing the NST the nurse practitioner came to tell me that baby girl had measured in the 5th percentile in the growth sono and so she was going to check if I was dilated at all and then let the doctor know what was going on. Well, I wasn't even a full 1 cm dilated and when the doctor (Dr. Esposito) came in, he said he wanted to go ahead and induce me so that we could get baby girl out. He figured she would grow faster out than in, and was concerned my placenta wasn't providing the sustenance she needed. I was in shock and all I could think was "I'm not ready!" Luke had just started his new job and wasn't with me, but I did have my mom with me. We decided that I would get induced early the following week and get one more NST over the weekend just to make sure everything still looked good. It seemed like Dr. Esposito wanted me to go in that night or the next day at the latest, but was willing to let me go until the beginning of the following week as long as we got the NST over the weekend. The woman who does the scheduling with the hospital was having trouble getting a hold of the right person, so told us to go ahead and head home and she would call us once it was scheduled. I remember driving towards my mom's house with a feeling of disbelief that I would be meeting our baby girl the following week. I had been convinced she would come past her due date! I got the call a little bit later, and was scheduled to be induced at 8:30 a.m. on July 3.
That Friday (June 29), there was a big storm that came through the area and resulted in a lot of people being without power. Thankfully we only lost it for a few hours that Friday night, but my parents were out for almost a week. We got up on Saturday and went to the hospital for the NST, and then to the second part of our birthing class, which thankfully covered inductions. On Sunday, we went to church, ran some last minute errands, went on one last date to Chili's ,and then I went into major nesting mode and was down on my hands and knees scrubbing the kitchen floor and the bathtub. My back had been really painful to the point of me limping around for the last two weeks I was pregnant, but I was determined to have clean floors before we went to the hospital. I had told work that Friday was my last day, and planned to pack our hospital bag on Monday.
Well, on Monday morning, July 2, I woke up at 6:30 a.m. and felt some leaking (and thought I was peeing myself). After going to the bathroom, it stopped so I went back to bed. As I was getting into bed, I noticed some light cramping and figured I was having some early labor contractions. I woke up again around 8:30 and noticed more leaking, and had some blood tinged mucus when I went to the bathroom. I called my mom to let her know what was happening and she said I was probably in early labor. I read through the 36 week guidelines the doctor had given me and they said to call if there was continual leaking. So I called, even though my mom had said not to bother since I was just in early labor.
My doctor's office was closed because they were still out of power from the storm, so the person on duty told me to go ahead and go to the hospital and the doctor on duty (who happened to be Dr. Esposito) would check me to determine what we needed to do. So I drove myself to the hospital after only slightly freaking out and running around to pack a hospital bag. I got there around noon and went up to the labor and delivery floor and checked in, where they were expecting me. There was another couple waiting at the desk who went to the same practice as we did and who were there for the same reason. A nurse took us down the hall to put us into rooms so that we could get checked. I still hadn't felt any strong contractions, and Luke and I were texting so he could know what was going on. Since he had just started the job the week before I figured there was no need for him to come to the hospital until we knew if they were going to keep me.
Around 2:00, Dr. Esposito came in to check me and said that I was 3 cm dilated! I was surprised that I was already that far along without having painful contractions. He told me I was in labor and it was time to get things moving since I needed to have the baby within 24 hours of my water breaking. I immediately texted Luke to tell him and he replied that he was leaving right away.
ready to have a baby
Soon after Luke got there, they moved us into a Labor and Delivery room and hooked me up to measure baby's heart rate and the contractions. We hung out for a few hours watching t.v., talking, and playing Phase 10. Dr. Esposito had told me that once they got me to a Labor and Delivery room I should get up and walk around to try and get things going. I asked the nurse if that would be ok, but she wanted to check with the doctor again first. When she came to check on us an hour later, I asked her again and she said she had forgotten to ask, but would ask and then come back. By the time she came back again, the nurse shifts were changing over. Our new nurse, Meredith, came to talk to us and make sure we were set up. She said I would be getting pitocin to get the contractions moving along.
After the pitocin was administered, I started to feel more painful contractions. Luke and I tried to use the breathing techniques that we learned in our birthing class, but after about a half hour, I was in so much pain I was tensing up my whole body and shaking. Meredith had said I could pretty much get the epidural whenever I wanted it. I tried to hold out for a little while, but I quickly realized that me tensing up the whole time was not going to help move things along.
Once I said I wanted it, it took about 20 minutes to get extra fluids through an IV. Then the anesthesiologist came to administer it around 11:00 p.m. Luke had to leave the room for that part per the hospital, but thankfully Meredith was amazing and held my hands and helped me breath through the pain while I got it. It took about 15-20 minutes to get the epidural in and I probably had about 3 really strong contractions while that was going on. I was kind of scared that I was shaking too much, but I guess I was ok.
Once the epidural was in, I felt so much better. My legs were numb, especially my right leg. After it was done, Meredith told us we should go ahead and get some sleep.
I mostly just rested, but it was so nice to not be in intense pain. It started to wear off a little bit on my left side, but I pumped some extra medicine and the pain I felt was not unbearable. Dr. Esposito came to check me at one point in the middle of the night and said I was 7 cm dilated. He told me that since we knew baby girl was small, he would have me start pushing once I was 9 cm along.
Around 5 a.m. he came to check me again and said he could feel her head and that if we didn't start pushing she would just come out on the bed! Meredith came in to get everything ready and around 5:20 said we could start pushing. She held a leg and Luke held a leg, and she told me to push once I felt a contraction. The plan was to push 3 times during each contraction. Well after one push, she said to stop because she could already see the head crowning!
getting checked out
She went to go get Dr. Esposito, and when he came, the pushing began in earnest. Luke had told me he didn't want to look, but would just focus on my face, which I was fine with. But as Noelle's head was showing more and more, both the nurse and doctor kept telling him to look. He did look and encouraged me to keep pushing. Then at 5:47, she came out! She started crying and the doctor passed her off to the nurses. Normally when they first come out, they are placed on the mother's stomach. But since she was measuring so small, he wanted the NICU nurses to check her out right away.
While they were cleaning and examining her on the warming bed, I just watched and cried because I was so happy she was here! Dr. Esposito was sewing me up and said that he did a small episiotomy because I was starting to tear inside. Finally after he was done with me and she was cleaned and cleared by the NICU nurses, I got to hold her. Luke had already been holding her for a little while so he brought her over to see me.
holding my daughter for the first time
It was so amazing to check out our little girl and study her little face. We decided she has my chin and Luke's lips. And she is just the cutest baby! Luke had texted our parents when the doctor said it was time to start pushing. My parents got there about 5 minutes before they took her down to the nursery, and got to see her. My dad had tears in his eyes and I could tell he was already in love with her.
It's certainly an incredible experience becoming a mother!
family of three!
And now it's crazy to think we'll have a two year old!