We received the call at 4:45 a.m. on December 31, 2010 that the hospital was ready for us to come in for induction. We hurriedly dressed and went looking for something to eat at my doctor’s recommendation, as it would be a long time before I could eat again. Unfortunately, most restaurants aren’t open so early, so I settled for a banana, a granola bar, and milk from a gas station. Afterwards, we went to the hospital, arriving at around 6:00 a.m.
Once we arrived, they checked my vitals and did a cervix check. My blood pressure was a little too high. They weren’t concerned yet, but they decided to monitor it. After several hours of high blood pressure, they decided to draw some blood to check for preeclampsia. Thankfully, the test results were negative. Since I’d never had high blood pressure issues in the past, they decided it was likely due to the excitement to come.
The results of my cervix check showed me to be 2 cm dilated (up from 1.5 cm at my final OB appointment that Wednesday), still 80% effaced, and medium softness. I was glad for the increase in dilation, but then the nurse surprised me by saying that baby was at a -2 station! He was at a 0 station on Wednesday! When I mentioned this, I was told that station can change, and it is a bit of a subjective measurement.
After a battle with my veins to insert the IV, Pitocin was started around 6:30 a.m at the lowest setting. I immediately started walking around, hoping to encourage my body to progress. However, it resulted in nothing more than some minor cramping. Pitocin was increased every half hour, and I remained more comfortable than I wanted to be. Finally, at a dose of 15, my contractions were getting stronger, and we thought it was the beginning of labor. I called my doula, and she stayed at the hospital for several hours. However, after a couple hours at that level, the contractions began to subside. Around this time, I decided I wanted my cervix to be checked, and I had only progressed to about 2.5 cm. The nurse who checked me at this point documented the baby at a -1 station. Since things weren’t moving along as we would have liked, our doula went home to wait for true labor, and my Pitocin was increased to the next level, which is exactly what my body needed.
After the increase in Pitocin, it didn’t take long for the contractions to get stronger and closer together. I called our doula and asked her to come back around 8:30 p.m. She helped me get through many, many contractions, and having her there was very helpful for that. After a couple more hours, I asked for my cervix to be checked again around 10:30 p.m., and nothing had changed. At this point, my OB checked in with me and told me that if I wanted, he could break my water for me, and that would likely get things going. He also said there was no need to rush things, and if I wanted to wait and let things progress on their own, that was fine too. After a couple hours of strong contractions, I was ready to move into the active labor phase, but also wasn’t fond of the idea of having my water broken. I told him I would think about it and make a decision in 30 minutes. He said to take as long as I needed.
After talking to my doula and husband, I decided I would probably go ahead and let them break my water if there was no change to my cervix. However, right around 11:00 p.m. my water broke on its own! It was the strangest sensation. It felt like warm water was pouring out of me, and it wouldn’t stop! My stomach shrank significantly after this happened. And then, almost immediately, things began to change, and I found myself in true labor. The contractions were so forceful and so close together that I could no longer handle the pain. I remember little from this period of time except begging for an epidural immediately. The nurse wanted to check my cervix first, but I was so hysterical she decided to go ahead and call an anesthesiologist.
I have never felt anything like the pain I felt in those few minutes from the time my water broke until I received my epidural. I think the hardest part was that the pain seemed to increase by 1,000% in just a matter of minutes. I heard the anesthesiologist enter our room saying something about needing to do an emergency epidural. I freaked for a minute, because I wanted pain relief right away. However, she reassured me that I was the emergency. I must have been quite frantic!!
Once the epidural was inserted, relief came very quickly. They have altered epidurals since I was in the hospital last year, and I was able to feel and move my legs, which made the epidural so much better. I’m very glad I got one, and would definitely be willing to do it again in a future pregnancy if the pain becomes unmanageable again.
Once the epidural had taken effect (shortly after 11:00 p.m.), the nurse checked my cervix again. In the 30 minutes since my cervix had been checked, I had progressed from 2.5 cm to 7 cm! That explains why I was in so much pain.
Not long after midnight, my nurse noticed my skin was very warm to the touch and decided to take my temperature. Unfortunately, I had a fever over 101. She mentioned this to my OB, and they decided to give me an antibiotic, assuming I had likely developed an infection from my water breaking. She returned an hour or so later to take my temperature again, and it had actually increased, so they gave me some Tylenol as well. The concern with my fever is that I would transfer an infection to Liam. As such, they decided to be cautious and asked NICU to be present when I delivered.
Around this time, I started to feel a lot of pressure; however, I wasn’t quite ready to push. This sensation came and went until about 3:00 a.m. At this point, the urge to push did not go away. My nurse checked me, and Liam had dropped down, but still needed to drop further. She went ahead and let me start pushing to try to get Liam to drop. After about 45 minutes, it was time to call my OB in the room. I pushed until 4:09 a.m. on January 1, 2011, at which point Liam Miles Mohr was born screaming!! It was the most beautiful sound in the world. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see him immediately since the NICU team wanted to draw cord blood from him for testing. I asked Nathan to go take a picture so I could at least see him, and he was the most beautiful baby boy I’d ever seen!!
While NICU was examining Liam, my OB and the attending resident doctor were cleaning and sewing me . I only tore a little bit, but I did need a couple stitches. Finally, they were finished, and the moment I had been waiting on for so long arrived. At long last, I held my healthy baby boy in my arms. It was so surreal. He weighed 8 pounds 7 ounces and was 21.5 inches long, but he still seemed so tiny!
After an uneventful few days, we left the hospital on Monday, January 3, 2011. Liam weighed 7 pounds 13 ounces when we took him home (it is normal for babies to lose some of their birth weight).
Since that time, we have been adjusting to Liam’s schedule. He feeds about every 2.5 hours around the clock, which means we are very tired! However, he is worth every minute of it and so much more.
Until now, I’ve always spent my time focusing on the next milestone in life, whether it be becoming a teenager, getting my first car, going to college, or getting married. But for the first time in my life, I wish time would slow down or stop completely. I’ve never felt more content or complete, and I hate that I cannot pause time to make these moments with our baby last forever. In one short week, he has changed our world completely. The only thing missing from my life now is my dear sweet daughter. Liam’s arrival does not change how much I miss her. However, he has given me a new sense of purpose in life. And I look forward to every single day with him.
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