My husband said that my last post was missing that usual "Manda-brand Sass!" and I was all, "Dang dude, I had to check and see if the kid was BREATHING every two seconds so I was a little distracted!!" Lucky for you, Grandmomma is over and is holding the little bundle so the sass is so ON! Not to mention I spent the majority of the morning napping because I spent the whole night trying to nurse Sydney (my milk is SO IN people and the hormones are RAGING) and trying to think of ways to entertain her because she was all "What's up Mommy? Wanna play?" and I could barely keep my eyes open. Needless to say it all ended in tears at around 3:30 am and my husband — who had to work at 6 am by the way — somehow got her to sleep.
BUT, here's what you came for, the dramatic conclusion to the worldwide event known as … SYDNEY'S BIRTHDAY!!
Dr. Parks rolled in around 7:30 am wearing the most expensive suit I have ever seen in person. Seriously? He wore that to break someone's water? Anyway, he checked my cervix and was all, "Who checked her earlier? She's not at a 4! She's between 3 and 4!" Leave it to Dr. P to argue and totally suck the wind out of my sails. Anyway, he broke my water. That was WEIRD! Obviously I didn't expect it to feel good, but ugh. As soon as it came out Dr. P announced that there was a good amount of meconium. This scared the heck out of me (my BFF Lily's first daughter had meconium aspiration). But I was soon distracted by the HUGE INTENSE CONTRACTIONS that began about 10 minutes later, while I was on the toilet no less. Sheesh. I'd been having regular contractions all night but they weren't the kind that make you squeeze the crapola out of anything. Obviously, this was when I started begging for my epidural. After what seemed like hours (it was more like 15 minutes) the cutest little Russian man you have ever seen comes in and starts the process. There was a lot of discussion about how I was allergic to shrimp (there's something in iodine that is similar? I really have no idea. I would have gladly eaten shrimp as a trade in for drugs of any kind at that point) and then a few comments about me having scoliosis in my lower back (I blame the second trimester for this, or oh, I don't know, the fact that I was carrying a 10-and-a-half-pounder might have had something to do with that?). Then FINALLY I couldn't feel my lower body. It was great.
Immediately after that my mom finally made it into my room. You know how when you were a kid and the only thing that would help when you didn't feel good was Mom? It was such a relief when she walked in the door. I was thinking at this point " I can DO THIS! YEAH!"
UNFORTUNATELY, it did not last. The right side of my body would wake up. The epidural wore off every 45 minutes. As you can imagine, as labor went forward, this was NOT PLEASANT. I was lying there wishing we'd read the "Breathing Through Pain" section of our pregnancy workbook. In fact, I ended up hyperventilating at one point and throwing up the rest of my Thai food. YUM. The nurse kept apologizing to me that I was in pain and kept saying that epidurals are NOT supposed to work that way. This is when my superstar husband stepped in and coached me through the rest of the day. Guys, he was amazing. He somehow got me through 2 hours of active labor contractions with basically NO DRUGS. And that was AFTER the baby decided to flip over and put me into BACK LABOR. I am not kidding people. Someone later told me this is the most painful version of labor. Like, EVER. Lucky for me she was wedged on my right side and that was the side I could feel! GAHHH! I dilated from 5 cm to 8 cm in the span of an hour, which was good, although it was the most painful experience of my life!! Finally at 6 pm I had dilated to 9.5 cm and the nurse Maureen, who was SO AMAZING by the way and had to LEAVE at seven, told me I could start pushing.
And push I did. For two and a half hours. I wore my poor mother out … she was holding my head for a while and asked John to switch positions with him (he had a leg) because she was getting so fatigued in her shoulders, back and arms. The nurses and the anesthesiologist all took turns holding a leg too. It was insanity. They kept telling me to sit out a contraction but I knew if I did I would give up I was so, so tired. I would push on a ten count for up to 5 times I was so desperate to get her out!! From what I'm told (I had my eyes closed for most of it), the baby's head was showing. It would come down a bit, go back up, come down a bit more, on and on like this for the last half hour. Finally one of the nurses said she was going to go and call the doctor. In my head I was all "YAY! It's time!!" and I had heard that the doctor might vacuum her out or I even thought he might be able to do an episiodomy and in a matter of minutes it would finally be over! I WAS SO FREAKING WRONG PEOPLE. What I didn't know is that what it meant is that the baby was too big to get past my pelvis and the new nurse was calling it in to the doctor to see what he wanted to do. She came back solemn and said that it was time for a c-section.
John immediately asked her if Dr. Parks was going to come and see me first and she said that no, he wanted to meet us in the operating room. She explained that the baby couldn't get past my pelvis and while I could keep trying, she could tell that I was exhausted and there was a very good chance that it would still end in c-section anyway. John looked at me and said, "We'll do whatever you want to do." And I pointed at the door. After 21 hours of labor I WAS DONE. I had given every ounce of strength and energy I had.
The rest is kind of a blur of being rolled down the hall, seeing my husband and mother in scrubs, and then the blue sheet going up in my face. They re-did my anesthesia, a spinal something, and this time I was numb from the chest down immediately. I didn't even feel any tugging or movement!! Them some good drugs, people.
At 9:14 pm, I heard gasps as my daughter was pulled from my womb and then the best sound ever: her cry. Then everyone in the O.R. started taking bets on how much she weighed. Without even seeing her I had the highest bet at 9 pounds, 5 oz. We couldn't believe it when they said she was 10 pounds, 7 ounces!! Insane! We finally had no doubt whatsoever that a c-section was the best thing. It took forever for them to get her ready to bring to me. My mom kept telling me how beautiful she was. Finally, John brought her over and I got to meet her. He asked me to tell her what her name is and I did. It was without doubt the most surreal and wonderful moment of my life.
It was all worth it!
Tomorrow she'll be a week old. I can't believe it. Posts are coming about her first doctor's visit tomorrow, the amazing post-partum care I received at the hospital, adventures in breastfeeding and our first days at home. For now, I'm finishing my dinner and snuggling with my girl!