December 2nd, 2011 - 41 weeks 6 days
8:00am Ultrasound appointment and Midwife check in with NST (Non-Stress Test) Monitoring - Had my 42 week check up. Ultrasound looked good, he had enough fluid in there, NST looked great he was a happy little baby in there. I did not want to schedule induction as I was confident he would come on his own. My midwife (Karen) agreed to let me ‘come in’ on Monday morning for induction if nothing were to happen over the weekend. She did check my cervix I was dilated 3cm (I was 1cm the week before) She did a little ‘stirring things up’ to help as she said “it doesn’t hurt when you’re knocking on the door” She said it would do one of three things 1-nothing 2-give me cramps 3-give me cramps that lead to labor. Okay great, so I could pretty much count on getting cramps, lol. But I also knew that it wouldn’t do anything if my body wasn’t already ready, I liked how Karen put it “sometimes our bodies just need a shove in the right direction”. This was about 10am when she did this.
Kyle and I left the appointment feeling kinda down. We went and had brunch at Panera before I dropped him at work. I had to work the night before so I was pretty tired and pretty worn down from the past two weeks of just waiting. When I went home I tried to nap, I ended up bawling a little and drifting off for about a 30 minute nap in or so, then it was time for me to go into work. It was my last day working as I already said I wanted to take Saturday and Sunday off. If I was going to still be waiting over the weekend I didn’t want to spend it working. Kyle had also said his last day off work was Friday as we knew we were closing in on the time that we’d need to do something ourselves if he didn’t come on his own.
Work was fairly busy, which was good. I was walking, trying to be up and about as much as possible hoping SOMETHING would start. I walked to subway a little before 7:00pm and got a cinnamon roll and a side of jalapeños. When I sat back in the provider area to eat, I noticed I started getting some cramps. I started tracking them on my contraction app at 7:14pm. Since I was up and about it was kinda hard for me to get every single one, but the ones I did get in a row were about 4 minutes apart. They started getting worse and my goal was to make it to 9:00pm then I would leave early. (I usually work until 11:30pm) We were starting to get more kids in the ED and I felt bad I was leaving but I knew it was the right thing for me to do. I asked Heidi to check my blood pressure before I left as I was starting to feel rather crappy, sweating and just plain icky feeling. She checked it and it was about 140 which I knew was high for me as I am usually 107-118.
I got home around 9:30pm and got in the bath tub hoping that would help me relax and feel better. As at this point I wasn’t sure what I was feeling was just the cramps from my cervical exam or the start of something real. Kyle then began timing things for me on an app he downloaded on his phone. I was having them from 20-40 seconds with about 2-8 minutes in between. We came downstairs, watched the latest episode of New Girl. I took a bath again, came back downstairs again and at 11:10pm I went to the bathroom. I noticed some blood but I couldn’t see anything because my belly was in the way so I called Kyle in. His face did not look pleasing. It was a big line of snotty looking blood coming out, which turns out was my mucus plug. We kinda started to freak out at this point thinking this really COULD be the real thing. We came back upstairs and called the hospital. They paged the midwife on call, whom called us back, this was Jenny. I talked with her and said we just weren’t sure, but that I wanted to call to get some advice. She knew I wanted to do as little intervention as possible and advised me to stay home. She did say I was welcome to come in and she could check me and we could come back home. She said that I would start to feel crummy between contractions as well, not just during. So with this we headed up to bed to try and get some rest for the night.
December 3rd , 2011 – 42 weeks
About 12:15am the crampy contractions changed to something different, and I knew this was probably the real deal. They felt more wide spread than the cramps. And sometime before 2:30am, we decided to just go on into the hospital. I was laying in bed and felt a pushy poopie kinda feeling but I was afraid to try and poop in fear it was something else. And I didn’t know how fast this would all progress and we both just felt more comfortable getting checked out and being in the hospital.
We arrived at the hospital at 2:30am. We left our bags in the car because we figured we were going to get sent home. We parked in the purple ramp because I had badge access. I forgot that the main entrance would be closed and Kyle had to run back to the car to get my badge so we could get in the building, while I continued to have pressure waves so I leaned up against the pole outside. It was pretty cold out as well. Once we got to the hospital they took me back to a triage room and put me on the non-stress monitor to see how baby was doing and to measure any contractions. And asked us lots of questions; which I wasn’t really in the mood to answer, but I just focused on relaxing and listening to my hypnobabies on my headphones. My midwife, Jenny, came in and did a cervical check and noted me as “a loose 5cm/6” saying “You’re staying! You’re going to have a baby today!” We were actually pretty surprised as we had every intention of getting turned away. But we were also excited because things were happening and we had been waiting SO long for this moment J
They took us to a labor and delivery room. It was rather spacious. I was considering a water birth so I think those rooms are a little bigger so they can get the tub in when needed. At this point we just labored in the room as time went past. I would go in the bathroom tub and labor, come out and lie in the bed, sit on the ball, lean on the bed. When I was near the bed I asked to be on the monitor just because I liked hearing the baby’s heart beat and I wanted to see the contractions, although I could feel them. When I was in the tub, my wonderful nurses came in every once in a while to listen to the baby’s heart beat with the Doppler.
I was lying on the bed when I looked up at the window and could see some light forming behind the pulled shade. I felt very discouraged as the sun was coming up and the baby was not here yet. Shift change was also at 7:00am and midwife Jenny was leaving and Jill was coming on. Nurse Sarah was leaving and Nurse Kristen was coming on. At this point they checked me again…. NO CHANGE. Not only was the rising sun discouraging but finding out in the past four and half hours of contractions there was no progress made. Okay, okay, I thought we’ll just keep going. So we labored some more, changing locations. I almost felt like my contractions slowed down in the tub, although my midwife said it could just be they don’t feel as strong in the tub. Kyle also said I had my closest contractions while in the tub. I would have them pretty close together, regular contractions, then get up to go in the other room for a new position and they seemed like they would stop for a bit…
Around 10:00am (don’t remember exactly) Midwife Jill checked me again. Still no change, I was still a 5cm/6cm. This was very VERY discouraging. At this point we talked about options and the decision was made to break my water in hopes to get the contractions starting closer together and get progress to start. I was kinda scared about this because one, I didn’t want him to be without fluid in there, that was his safe place, and two I was afraid this would suddenly bring on stronger contractions. Once my water was broke my contractions did get a little stronger but nothing like I was afraid of. Some fluid came out when my midwife broke my water, but not much. When I would sit on the birthing ball more fluid would come out… I was kinda worried about this as it was what he was living in at the time and I didn’t want him to be without his fluid inside me, but they could tell by the monitor that he still had plenty of fluid around him. So we labored some more hoping this would help push things along. I began to feel like I couldn’t do it anymore, and I was a little hopefully in that we were getting close. I had heard when you feel like you can’t go on anymore you are almost done! So I became very hopefully that he was going to be here soon.
A little before 1:00pm I was checked again. And there was no change. I was done! I couldn’t take it anymore. I thought maybe it was me that wasn’t letting things progress, maybe I wasn’t relaxing enough. So with this thought, I thought maybe I needed help relaxing and medication was going to be that. My midwife asked if I knew my options, which of course I didn’t because I had every intention on having an unmediated birth. So she explained three different options, all the while I’m continuing to have contractions and we’d take a break then she’s continue to explain. We settled on the most popular option: an epidural. Before they could place the epidural I needed to have about an hour of fluids in me. So they placed the IV and got the fluids going. At this point I could still go labor in the tub while I waited that next hour.
The hour was up about 1:50 and I made my way to the bed to have the epidural placed. It didn’t hurt at all, I just remember a LOT of tape being placed on my back. When the epi was placed I was bed bound and food was no longer an option, just clear liquids. Although up to this point I had puked up all the snacks I was trying to keep in my belly. The epidural made the contractions go away, but was also the beginning of boredom! They wanted to keep turning me as to help and kinda cork screw his head down a bit further and get him engaged. There was a little pocket at the top of the left side of my belly, where his feet still were that the epidural wasn’t reaching, since the epidural works with gravity they first moved me to lay on my left side, with my right leg up on a peanut shaped ball. About every hour or so they’d turn me and get my legs positioned a different way. But since that first position my left leg was very heavy and ‘pins & needle’ feeling – like when your foot goes to sleep. Both my legs felt like that. I was able to wiggle my toes and move my feet and legs a little bit, not much, it took a lot of concentration to get them to move. Also by this point it was snowing outside, FINALLY the snow had come – it’s odd that Minnesota hadn’t had any snow yet as it was already December. But sadly I was stuck inside not able to enjoy the snow (little did I know this would be the only snow until January that we’d get)
Around 4ish I was checked again in hopes that maybe the epidural helped my body relax and progress was made… but unfortunately there was still no progress. :’( Pitocin was our next option, which was started at 4:18. At this point, since I had already had the epidural that I did not plan to have, I didn’t really care about pitocin. (Again another thing I didn’t want to happen originally, but we needed to get this baby to come out!) And since I had the epidural the pitocin wasn’t as scary since I wouldn’t be feeling those strong contractions, well not until the end anyway. This also took some time as they started me out on a small dose and increased it every 30 minutes. I believe it was increased 3 or 4 times with the last time being decreased to find the amount that worked best for my body. All the while Isaac was just a happy little baby in there; his heart rate showed no change, the nurses just kept saying “he’s so happy in there!” This we already knew lol.
I was checked around 7:00 pm (24 hours after the start of this whole labor thing) and progress had been made WOO HOO! I was now about 8 cm dilated, FINALLY! They say it takes about a centimeter an hour to dilate so now we were just waiting.
About 10:15pm I was checked again and I had made it to 10 cm! Yes he’s coming!?! Not so fast, although I was fully dilated he was still up high and still happy as a clam. So they turned up the pitocin just a bit to get him to labor down and descend enough that I could push him out. At this point my midwife said “I take back what I said about the baby being born today. But he WILL be born on my shift (she was finished at 7am) and on December 4th” We sure as heck hoped so! Lol At this point I was able to go in and out of naps. Once they turned the pitocin up I was able to feel the pressure of the contractions, nothing like what they would feel like without the epidural, but enough that they’d wake me up from a snooze. Mean while Kyle did get rest during this time.
December 4th, 2011 – 42 weeks 1 day
About 2:30 am Nurse Sarah woke me up as it was time to push! I woke Kyle up; we were both a little groggy and had to figure out what was going on. I did a few practice pushes starting around 2:45 with the contractions, then about 3:00am the real deal started. Kyle helped hold my ‘heavy leg’ on the left while the nurse held my right and midwife Jill got into position and helped work his head out. After a few pushes we were talking in between contractions “oh maybe he’ll be born at 4:00 on the 4th” Jill replied “I don’t think we’ll make it to then” I asked “well maybe 4:44 then?” She answered “No, I mean I don’t think we’ll make it til 4, you’re pushing good, and he’ll be here before then”
I have to say my favorite part was the pushing. After laying in bed for so long not being able to play an active role in my labor and then getting to finally do something again I was so excited to push that baby out! Although I did think it was a lot of work and I don’t know how I would have been able to do it after 33 hours of engaged labor, so I was thankful for how things turned out and just happy that I was finally able to hold my baby boy in my arms J
Isaac Levi Simpson was born at 3:46am. Jill immediately placed him on my chest and I was ecstatic with joy! He was here! I had waited so long and patiently those last few weeks and I was so thankful he finally made it into my arms! We had the name Isaac picked out for some time, we were wanting a family name and a name from the bible. Kyle had 4 great grandparents with that name and it just kinda stuck out when we were going through family trees. We had decided on the middle name Levi in those last few weeks of our pregnancy, well we had it and a few others to decide on last minute. We had searched for names meaning ‘late’ or ‘procrastinator’ lol and Levi means ‘Attached’ or ‘Joined’ so we thought it was appropriate. J