As soon as he walked out the door, I felt like someone had just flipped the light switch in my body and I knew I was in the early stages of labor (5am on my due date. GREAT). Thinking back..I probably even denied it a little bit and was trying to ignore that I was in labor. It was very mild at first and I was thinking it would probably last a few days. However the Lord had other plans for that day...around 7pm we were all driving up to Dave and Erin's for dinner..and my contractions started up..consistently...every 7 minutes. Good thing we threw my hospital bag and birthing ball in the trunk. We got to the house, ate a delicious dinner that Zach's mom made, we took a few maternity pictures, talked.... and then I started freaking out and wanted to go home because our house was closer to the the hospital. haha.
I labored and labored at home until about 2am when my contractions were 3 minutes apart and lasting at least 1 minute for a consistent 1.5 hrs. I called my midwife and was on my way to Vanderbilt with Zach of course... did I mention his lack of sleep? He was almost going on 24 hours with no sleep already and it was just the beginning. While we were driving my contractions lightened up and I was worried it was a false alarm...when we got there we could not find labor and delivery because most doors were closed in the middle of the night. Let me tell you...walking around in labor all around Vanderbilt was NOT fun. ha. good thing my contractions lightened up! After signing in and finally getting to sit down...I was back to contractions only every 5 minutes. I felt like I had been laboring for so long already! (it had been 8 hours of active labor by then...3am on Sept 27) I was exhausted and hungry and still in triage since I hadn't been technically admitted yet. My midwife checked me and to my shock I was ONLY 2cm dilated. Selfishly thinking..I was pretty frustrated because of ALL my hard work and all...I was sure I was ready to have the baby (Ignorance of a first time Mama! :]) About two hours later (between 5-6am), she checked me again and I had only progressed two more centimeters. For twelve more hours that day, I dealt with the contractions, trying every possible way to progress my labor.
Six o'clock in the evening came around and I was still 4cm dilated. Tired, hungry, weak and frustrated..I opted for an epidural. Zach, being incredibly supportive and helpful the whole time, despite his lack of sleep (even more so than me!) agreed that perhaps it was time to numb me up so I can rest and be able to have strength to actually deliver the baby later. Our goal was to go as far as I can without getting an epidural. Unfortunately, that was only 4cm after being in labor for 36 hours. It's one thing if you are in labor for that long and moving forward...but when it's that long and you are not progressing in the slightest..it is SO difficult. I received my epidural after a few bumps (the guy poked me in the wrong place a couple times and my blood pressure dropped to an all time low...I almost passed out and Zach almost punched the guy. hahah) It was a student with the real anesthesiologist guiding him...hope that never happens again. Baby Donnie did great the whole time though, his little heart didn't miss a beat. ;)
Finally settled in and being able to rest (Praise the LORD!) I was pretty happy and excited! I was also started on a tiny dose of Pitocin to get my labor progressing a bit more. My body responded to it extremely well to the point where they pulled back on it. By 7pm, I was ready to push. My midwife was delivering another baby and it took two hours. So I didn't push until about 9:35ish that night.
As I started pushing...the nurse couldn't find Donnie's heartbeat and when she did, it was very faint and dropping. My midwife made me push as hard as I could to get him out fast. It took 12 minutes and he was born. My precious little baby Donnie was here at 9:51pm on September 27, 2011 6lb 14oz and 21 inches long. What an overwhelming feeling. Turned out the umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck twice and he couldn't breath. He had a little trouble breathing after it was taken off, so NICU came in and examined him just to be sure he was alright. In the meantime, I was hemorrhaging and was torn up like a piece of paper. My midwife told me that if she gave me time to stretch out then the baby may not have made it, since his heart rate was already dropping. I'll take a healthy baby over a few stitches ANY DAY! Poor Zach got this crazy surge of energy during delivery and was SO exhausted afterwards, he was running on 3 hours of sleep in 42 hours. Yikes.
Donnie was such a beautiful little newborn and is still a handsome little baby. We love him so much and are incredibly thankful and blessed to have this sweet little guy in our life. We just cannot get enough of him and his joyful spirit and love! ohhh goodness!!!! I want to go squeeze him right now!
It was a long 42 hours, but I am so thankful to the Lord! In those 42 hours..I became so desperate, eager and ready to get the baby out. He really used that time to prepare me and settle my heart. He gave me peace and calmed my anxiety. God knows what I need, when I need it and how much of it to give.