Hey everybody! Sorry it's taken me so long to post about the birth of little Alyson. Things have been pretty hectic around here since the birth, as I'm sure all of you with new babies can attest to!
Well, I'll start with Thursday. Thursday morning we got to the hospital around 8am for my induction. At first, only I was allowed to go back and the rest of my family just stayed out in the waiting room. When I arrived in my room, the nurses gave me a bag for my clothes... they said, "Just remove everything and put this gown on" then told me they needed a urine sample (fun fun.) So I get all in my gown and come out carrying my pee sample, and there stand two good looking male student nurses along with the staff nurses. "Just great" I thought, sarcastically. Being a former nursing student myself, I knew that nursing students get to participate (and SEE) everything. Talk about embarrassing, being that they were guys... hehe.
But anyway... Things started out pretty slowly... the first hour just consisted of the nurses asking me a ton of admission-type questions, then they started my IV to get labwork. (Which took 3 tries. Normally I don't mind, but those were some BIG needles.) They then hooked me up to the monitors, and I could hear little Aly's heart beating away in the 140's. The nurse checked me for dilation and effacement, and said I was around 90% effaced and (sadly!) only 1 centimeter dilated. I had hoped to be more dilated by then.
Around 9am, they talked with my doctor, and the Pitocin was started, along with IV fluids. At first, I didnt feel much of anything. I was just having small contractions which truthfully I wouldn't have known I was having had it not been for seeing them on the monitor. The nurse then doubled my drip rate to 12. Shortly after that, the contractions picked up but still weren't very painful... just pressure more than anything. However, they were coming every 2 minutes or so. The nurse came back in a little later and cut my drip rate in half since the contractions were so close together. We went back and forth with the drip rate for the next 4 hours or so.
Around 12, my parents bought us all lunch, while I sat up in a comfy leather recliner, still not feeling much of anything. A nurse came in and my dad said, "If she doesn't progress, is there a chance she will be sent home?" The nurse said "Well, it's always possible." At that point, I started getting a little depressed, thinking, "I came here thinking I was having a baby today... I don't want to wait any longer!" A little while later, that nurse told us my doctor had called in wanting to know about my progress, so he was filled in on my status with the pitocin.
1:30pm came around, and I was still not having very strong contractions. I was getting majorly bummed and said, "Well, if THIS keeps going on, I'll be here forever." Just then, my nurse came back in and said, "The doctor is here to check you... I'll help you back in bed." I got back in bed and my doc walked in. He checked me to see how dilated I was and I was only 2 centimeters. He then gave me majorly good news... he said, "I'm going to break your water now." (YAY!) I got a surprised look on my face and the nurse laughed and said, "Looks like you ARE having a baby today!" She then pressed my call light and when another nurse called back to see what we wanted, my nurse goes, "Ok, go ahead and admit her now." :-)
Lemme tell ya, if my water had broken at home, I would have been flipping out! Talk about Niagara frickin Falls! LOL. After my water was broken, the contractions majorly picked up. Within 15 minutes, they were strong as heck. I said, "So when am I able to get an epidural?" and they told me, "Whenever you want, honey... just let us know." I tried to hold out for awhile, but by 2pm, I told Russ, "Go out to the nurses station and tell them I'll take it now." Unfortunately, we were told that the anesthesiologist was in surgery and would be a little while. I dealt with strong contactions for over an hour, and I heard the nurse say, "I'm going to give her some Stadol til he gets here." Now, I don't know if any of you ladies had stadol, but all it did was make me feel drunk and still in pain. I warned everyone beforehand, "If I act loopy with this stuff, don't laugh at me." LOL. It did make me a little, uh, more free with my speech. The only time I cussed was right after receiving the stadol. Right during a contraction, the blood pressure cuff on my arm pumped up just high enough to annoy me, and I said with my eyes closed and teeth clenched, "Why does that DAMN THING PUMP UP RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF A CONTRACTION?!"
(But hey, if "damn" is the worst word I used, I figure I did pretty well.)
I got my epidural around 3:30pm, and if I could have kissed the anesthesiologist, I would have! (LOL... just kidding) Epidurals are WONDERFUL. Shortly after I had it, all I could feel was pressure. even though the contractions were peaking higher and higher. I was making Russ laugh because when I'd feel the pressure, I could also feel more amniotic fluid coming out of me, so I'd be like, "Here comes a contraction, and there I go pissing myself again." (Yes, still loopy from the stadol.)
My dilation progressed pretty quickly after the epidural, I think just because I was more relaxed and now allowing my body to do what it needed to do! Around 4:30 or 5, I was 6 centimeters dilated. By 6pm, I was already 8 centimeters! I told Russ, "You'd better call SOMEONE on their cell phone and tell them to cut dinner a little short!" (Our families were all downstairs in the cafeteria eating.) I guess when they heard, everyone dropped what they were eating and said, "Ok, not hungry anymore! Let's go!"
By 6:45 or 7pm (can't remember exactly), I was 10 centimeters could feel the baby's head RIGHT THERE. The nurses called my OB and then had me starting to push. My mom and cousin Brenda came in the delivery room at this point. After pushing awhile, the nurses said, "Wow, you must have one good epidural block" because evidentally my pushing wasn't up to par...lol. I could feel the pressure and had the urge to push, but it wasn't that strong.
Once my OB doc got there (7:20-7:25ish), it was on. Doc placed a sterile towel on my chest and said, "I will put the baby right here." I was ready to cry by that point, thinking, "Wow, she'll be here any minute!!"
With my not-so-strong pushing, Alyson would start to come out, then wouldn't progress any further, so doc had to assist with the vacuum suction. All I heard everyone say was "Oh... look at all that dark hair on her head!" Everyone cracked up because evidentally once Alyson's head was out, she spit out the amniotic fluid in her mouth right off the bat. Doc suctioned her and I swear that amount of time waiting to hear her cry seemed like FOREVER, though it was only a few seconds!
Alyson Elizabeth Hunt was born at 7:38pm. She weighed 7 lb 5 oz and was 20.5 inches long. Russ's hands were shaking so much it took him 3 tries to cut the cord, poor guy! Hearing Aly cry and seeing her placed on my chest afterwards was truly amazing... such an indescribable feeling.
Before all this, Russ (the typical manly man he is...lol) goes, "No, I won't cry" when I asked him if he thought he'd cry at the delivery. WELL. My manly man had his head buried in my shoulder while hugging me... I could hear him just sniffling away. When he stood up, his eyes were all red and he was wiping the tears away. Afterwards, he told me that seeing Alyson born was the most amazing thing ever.
Russ and I came home with our new bundle of joy on Saturday night. It was an interesting night, but I was fortunate to have my mom staying with us to help out. Alyson was up many many times through the night, but all went well. So far, she's been great through the night. She eats basically every 2-3 hours and has been taking at least 2 ounces per feeding already. She has a good appetite on her! She could be sleeping so soundly, but she'll wake up like clockwork and I'll hear her fussing and sucking on her little fingers, waiting for her bottle. Dealing with sleep, the past few nights haven't been that bad. She'll sleep for about 3 hours then sometimes I even have to wake her up to feed her! She's such a good baby and really only fusses when wants to eat, though she isn't too fond of bathtime yet. :-)
So far, Russ and I have decided she has his mouth (her lips are shaped EXACTLY like his) and his nose. She has my chin, I think...lol. And we both have dark brown hair and dark brown eyes, so she got those from both of us. Right now her eyes are really dark gray, but that's how mine were when I was born, so I'm guessing they'll turn brown soon.
Russ and I are just SO in love with our little girl. It's amazing how much having Alyson has changed Russ, too! The guy who once said "I'm not changing diapers" now VOLUNTEERS to do it. He's such a proud daddy and is already wrapped around Aly's little finger. She has tummy time with daddy every day. It's totally adorable. Becoming parents is definitely the best thing that's ever happened to us!!