Honestly with Lennon, I felt like I was in labor all week. We packed and re-packed our hospital bag about 5 times throughout the week. Each “scare” I would be timing my contractions (which were painful!) and then think, “Ok, next contraction, we’ll go to the hospital.” And then, of course, they would stop. Every time. My uterus can be a bit of a trickster. It was a long week.
The one day I kept saying I didn’t want the baby to come was my husband Rich’s birthday, April 20th, which was also Easter. So, naturally I go into labor that day. Of course. I started feeling contractions during church, but been there, done that, these were nothing special. They kept coming though and around 3:12 in the afternoon they started to mean business. Normally this would have excited me, but I really really didn’t want to go into labor right then. Rich hadn’t slept well the past 2 nights and really just wanted to take a good, long nap for his birthday wish.
It was kind of weird knowing so early on that I needed to go to the hospital since I had been having contractions for hours at a time all week and this time, I was only timing the contractions for about 40 minutes when I knew it was time to go in. They weren’t even all that regular but I thought, if I’m not in labor somebody at least needs to give me some morphine because these contractions are going to kill me. I guess that’s how I knew it was time.
So, about 5 minutes into Rich’s much-anticipated birthday nap I woke him up and said, “Rich! It’s time!” He said, “What? To wake the girls up?” I said “No! To go to the hospital!” Immediately this grin spread across his face and he sprang into go-mode. Love that man.
My four-year old chose this day to take the first nap she has taken in four months. Seriously. I tried to wake her up to explain what was going on, but she was out. So was Ivy, so we had our neighbor come over, gave them access to our pot roast Easter/birthday dinner in the crock pot (one of the great tragedies of the story) and headed out.
After being so sure it was time to go in, I started doubting myself immediately once we left. My contractions had been coming every 5-10 minutes and then once I said, “go time,” no more contractions!! None in the car on the way over, none on the long walk to labor and delivery from the parking ramp, none changing into the gown in the triage room. What the heck??! It had been about half an hour since my last contraction, and Rich and I (mostly me) went into full panic mode thinking we’d get sent home. I was jumping around like an idiot trying to do anything that popped into my head to get my labor going again. I can only assume my trickster uterus was having great fun at my expense at this point.
Thankfully once the nurse came back into to set me up to all the machines another contraction hit, which I played up to be slightly (ok a lot) more painful that it actually was. Once the doctor and staff came in to check me I had another one which I really played up (closing my eyes, huffing and puffing, the whole nine), and they had pity on a girl in so much pain and let me in 🙂 Actually I don’t know if my theatrics played any part in my being admitted, it probably had to do with the fact that I was dilated to like a 4.5, and was positive for Strep B and third kids come faster, blah blah blah.
So after being admitted and getting that blessed, blessed epidural (don’t hate), I took a two hour nap. This was lovely. Unfortunately, though, the entire nap I laid on my right side. I was awoken by the doctor who said we could break my water now. So she broke it and then … FIIRE!! The epidural, apparently was all drained out of my left side (stupid gravity). Whoa, right after she broke my water I felt like my body erupted in pain. I could feel every single contraction, which started coming every other minute. The anesthesiologist came to up the rate of the epidural and meanwhile I kept my eyes glued to the little screen that tells you how often you can click the little epidural button. I clicked veraciously every time.
After half an hour (?) an hour (?) eternity (?) of this the doc came back and said I was fully dilated and all ready to go. She said I could start pushing now or wait a little while for the baby to descend some more on his own. I chose the latter since pushing can be exhausting and painful. But then a few minutes later they checked me again and said, “Nope- push now!” So then I started pushing. I pushed through two contractions. I started shaking really bad and feeling really nauseous and they gave me an oxygen mask. In short, I was all-around feeling pretty poopy at this point.
Rewind a few hours back in happy epidural land, my only discomfort was that I was SUPER hungry. I hadn’t eaten since before church at about 10am. The nurse said I could have some graham crackers and peanut butter, but that I shouldn’t eat anything I didn’t want to see again. I thought, eh, and I ate me some graham crackers and peanut butter. Turns out this was a great choice and one I would make again because fast forward, after two pushes, I started throwing up. Rich, who was watching the progress noted that throwing up was way, way more productive in pushing out the baby than pushing was. In fact, after I threw up I gave one more little half-hearted push and Lennon came into the world! (Rich addition: “It’s not like you should HOPE to vomit when you are in active labor/pushing, but man. It went super fast and Celeste said she didn’t feel like she was pushing at all. Three vomits did the trick! Go vomits! Rich out.”)