Bringing our daughter into the world was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do, and I never even got to push!
Starting the Wednesday morning before Gemma came into the world, I woke up to contractions finally starting. I say finally because I had passed 40 weeks on the 13th. After spending the majority of this pregnancy absolutely positive that she was coming early, it was driving me nuts that she wasn't in my arms yet. I was walking and walking and walking and eating spicy foods and pineapple and walking some more. I was so ready for those contractions to start after being told that I was still nowhere dilated the week before and had just been told that I had hit 1 cm the day before.
They seemed to come fast and hard and long. And since I was up for the majority of the night, I called into work and then they slowed down again. Making me walk more and more and eat dates and eat pineapple and roll and roll and roll on my exercise ball like crazy to get the contractions going again.
And on Thursday, they did the same thing. Intense all night and then lazy during the day. Except for that Thursday afternoon, I had another doctor's appointment to check in on Gemma and see where I was.
It was the most stressful ultrasound that I've ever gone through this entire pregnancy. We spent a half hour in that room and while heart rate was fine, amniotic fluid was ok. Gemma was deciding not to move. At all.
So after that horrible half hour, I then saw my doctor and my blood pressure was way higher than it should have been. So my doctor decided that between those two things that Gemma needed to come today. I was finally at 2 cm so she figured that we could just break my water and that would hopefully get my body really get serious.
So Simeon and I walked over the Labor and Delivery excited with the thought that we were going to get to see our Gemma soon. What we didn't know walking over, was that our doctor thought this was a much more serious situation than what she had let on to us. We got into our room and were told that I was going to be hooked up to monitors and my blood pressure checked continuously, which was not in my birth plan!
But after a few blood pressure checks and Gemma kicking off the external monitor multiple times, our nurse gave me the ok to walk around instead of laying down while dealing with contractions. So I started trucking the halls. Which unfortunately was a U shape so I was literally just walking back and forth constantly.
By the time my doctor came in to break my water, we were at 3 cm.
Having my water broken was the weirdest feeling I've ever had. I expected a giant gush, and it was more like just a trickle. Until I stood up. Then I wished that I had laid down towels first.
A few hours later, I was at 5 cm and extremely excited that we were going!!
And then the progress stopped.
The contractions got worse and worse, but I wasn't going anywhere. I was barely able to handle them and asked for one last chance to relax in the tub to see if relaxing a bit more would help me dilate instead of pitocin right away.
It didn't help that Gemma wouldn't flip. She was face up and to the side and just wouldn't drop. She's a stubborn girl and has proved it the entire time I was pregnant. We had a wonderful nurse that reminded Simeon of the things that we had learned in our Bradley Method Course to try to manually move Gemma, but especially once my water was broke, it seemed impossible.
The tub helped me mentally, but I still wasn't dilating more. And I knew that if I couldn't labor in the tub, then there was no way I could handle pitocin making the contractions worse. My body was acting like it was in transition with double peaking contractions and extreme and quick coming contractions, but nowhere near where it needed to be. So I gave in and got the epidural that I had insisted on the entire pregnancy that I wouldn't do. Simeon tried to talk me out of it, just like I asked him to, and we talked about the reasons I was deciding that I need it instead.
I have to admit that after getting the epidural. I don't remember much. I know my heart was racing enough that they didn't know if the external baby monitor was picking up Gemma's heartbeat or mine. Which meant that they needed to use an internal monitor for her. And that 2 hours after my epidural (which I slept through) I was told that I would need a c-section. That baby wasn't doing well with my contractions and Simeon had already been told that my contractions weren't really doing anything anyway. They had already stopped the pitocin because Gemma's heart rate was no longer fluctuating.
At this point, I remember panicking a bit and throwing up as I was being wheeled into surgery. This was the very last thing that I had wanted to happen and it sent me into a bit of a panic.
Then I was staring at a blue sheet. I had been asked if I wanted a see through one and screamed no. I don't do blood and the idea of seeing myself cut open didn't sit well with me. I wanted to see my daughter, but the idea of surgery was messing with me. After a bit of panic in the surgery room (I could still feel some pain after the epidural was at it's max, but luckily had a wonderful doctor who had the idea to use lidicain), I finally got to hear my baby girl for the first time.