In case you missed it… please read PART 1 of Ava’s birth story
and now for PART 2.. Grab a coffee again, this is just as long as PART 1
With the epidural working and the extreme pain of my contractions decreasing, I relaxed in my hospital bed. I was informed before receiving the epidural that there was a possibility that my contractions and the labor could slow down. As badly as I wanted to meet my little girl, it was a decision I was comfortable making due to the pain I had been feeling.
I sat in my hospital bed and chatted with Marc and my parents hoping to pass the time. (While I was being given the epidural, my mom had run home and picked up my father since he was far too excited to sleep and felt like he was missing out!) Room 110 had now become my little family party during the wee hours of the night waiting the arrival of my baby and my parent’s first grandchild.
We talked about anything we could think of, and to be honest I’m not quite certain I really remember any of the conversation. Marc kept looking at the contraction monitor, everyone seemed to be getting a bit tired and my nurse June had popped in once or twice just to say hello and check on me. She actually suggested I try and take a nap if I could since I would need all my energy for the actual labor. I had asked her to give me her guess as to how long she thought it might be before I would have the baby, but she insisted she wouldn’t take any guesses.
Now is as good a time as ever to tell you about my nurse June. Just saying she was amazing doesn’t begin to describe her. She helped motivate me, taught me how to relax and how to breathe through the pain. She showed me what “not to do” and had pointers for what seemed like every situation that arrived. She was my coach and I followed her direction. I never went to a single birthing class, but I’m 100% certain June taught me more that night than I would have learned or remembered on a random day months before my delivery. She was personable and friendly, told me about her family, how much my little baby would change my life for the better, and gave me so much confidence I can’t even begin to tell you.
So about the epidural slowing down my contractions…yeah, that didn’t happen. The pain yes, the time between them NO. They continued at what was now the normal 1-2 minutes apart. I could feel them as mild contractions that with a little breathing and focus they were easily manageable.
Roughly an hour had passed since June had come by and then around 3:50 she came back in the room in what seemed like a rush. She asked, “Are you feeling that pressure we talked about?” I responded no and questioned, “Is that bad?” She pointed to the monitor and showed me that during the last 3-4 contractions I had had, the baby’s heart rate had also increased.
She asked my parents to leave the room and Marc stayed and held my hand as she checked me. As she began to check me, I remember feeling a little nervous like something might be wrong. She hadn’t really given any indication, good or bad if the baby’s heart rate and movement jumps should be something to worry about. At the start of her check, I remember her saying something like, “I won’t say anything until I’m certain”. Then she shot Marc and I a look.
“You are 9 CM and 100% effaced! We need to call the Doctor and get someone to the hospital cause this baby is ready to come out soon!!!”
From the hallway, my mom who was clearly listening, yelled did I hear 9 CM????
I was shocked…. what?? That fast? OMG I was so excited and couldn’t believe my ears. Less than 2 hrs earlier I was only 4 cm and now 9cm. June told me that I would be able to start pushing soon and that the baby would hopefully be here in at most an hour.
I asked to know the time. It was 3:50. Like always I set a goal and told myself 5:00am. That is my goal. I want to hold my baby girl in my arms by 5:00 am!
In an instant there were nurses in and out of the room prepping stuff and getting set up. Soon after I saw the doctor walk by the door and knew the time was near. This was go time. June told me how the pushing would go and I tried hard to follow her instructions. Before the Doctor was even in the room, she had me pushing to practice and told me it would help in the end. She did warm me before that sometimes when the baby moves down and gets in position so fast, the actual act of labor can take a long time. She warned me that being fit might make it harder for her to get out, but I kept telling myself “not with me, not with this baby!” I GOT THIS!
The doctor came in and everything was set. I was given the OK to start pushing and it just might have been the hardest AB workout I have ever done. It didn’t matter; I was determined to not let this take long. I had a goal in mind… get her out AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. My contractions were extremely close and were lasting about 40 seconds (as I was told later). I was able to push 3 times during each contraction and I felt like I got less then 5 seconds to catch my breath in between. They told me I was so close…June kept saying, “Come on lets see all that strength you have.” She kept saying, “this is the express train honey, there’s no stops and she is in a hurry”. Thankfully they let me take a small 20-second break at the end 4th contraction to catch my breath. She told me she was right there and “don’t let that baby go anywhere. Hold her right where she is.’ On my first push of my 5th contraction Ava was born. It was 4:33am I achieved my goal!
I was in complete shock and excitement. How did this all just happen? And so fast…I can’t believe she is here.
I felt extremely sick. I had a pounding headache. I was nauseous, light headed, and just all around overwhelmed and over joyed. What an intense 5 hours, but what an amazing 5 hours. When I heard that first little cry and as they laid her warm little body on my chest just minutes after her birth, I can honestly say every single second was worth it. She was here and in my arms and she was more than I could have ever imagined.
A big HAPPY 30th BIRTHDAY to my husband Marc