Shannon’s Birth Story

Sunday morning (2.19.12) started like any other. I was whining about being fat, uncomfortable, and pregnant. I had slept the night through solid, and was a bit disheartened by the whole fact. I thought that my contractions would have been picking up by now, not slowing down! By 10 that morning though, I started to feel the dull throb I was getting to know so well.
I took it easy, even though M kept asking if I wanted to go for a walk, or go grocery shopping. I didn’t. I just put my feet up on the couch, and watched episode after episode of Bones, and timed my contractions on an app I’d downloaded for my iPhone.
By 4 that afternoon, my contractions had picked up considerably, and I was pretty uncomfortable. Not surprising, this had happened before. I told M that I was going to go get in the tub, and see if that made any difference. I didn’t think that I could be in any significant labor, since they told me that I wouldn’t be able to walk or talk through the contractions. It was hard, but I was still able to talk through them, and got around pretty well.
I ran a warm bath, and settled in and then WHAM! It was was like a freight train. All the sudden they picked right up and we’re 2-4 minutes apart, and lasting about 40-50 seconds. I didn’t want to get excited still, because everytime I did, I got told;
No, you’re just in pre-labor.
Sigh
I finally called M to come haul my butt up out of the tub, since I felt like I was starting to overheat. The contractions were still coming in a fairly steady pattern, and I was starting to have to breathe to get through them. Not fun, but I was thinking…
If these are contractions, I got this no problem.
Then I decided I had to go pee… and when I wiped, I noticed that there was a bit of blood on the pieces of toiler paper. (I said I have no shame, remember?)
Cue panic attack
I immediatly got on the phone with my OB, told them about my contractions and the blood, and she told me to come into labor and delivery and get checked out. M and I grabbed our bags (the poor guy was just about to eat his dinner), loaded up the car, called my Mom, and off we went. It was about 6:30 at this point, and my contractions were still holding pretty steady.
M looks at me as we were halfway there, while I was in the middle of a contraction and asks;
What do they feel like?
I almost divorced him right then and there.
M made it to the hospital in record time, and my Mom wasn’t too far behind. They got us set up in a delivery room, and put the monitors on me. At this point, I still didn’t want to get my hopes up, just in case. They checked my cervix and I was still about 3 cm dilated, so no change from when I’d been in the office on Friday. The contractions, on the other hand, were getting steadily stronger and stronger, and with the way that she was laying, they were all in my back.  
Maybe this wasn’t going to be so easy after all.
I was told that we were going to wait 2 hours, and I was going to get checked again, and if I hadn’t dilated more we were going to get sent home. I was on the war path then. M and my Mom took turns walking with me around and around the l&d floor. The contractions were getting worse, but it felt better to lean forward and walk through them. After about an hour of that, the nurse came in to check and see how the baby was holding up (she was sleeping, the lucky ducky), and my contractions had me feeling like I wanted to puke.
M and I decided that I wanted to try getting in the shower, so he got me all set up with the shower stool and hot water running on my back. That helped a million times over. Everytime I had a contraction, I was able to lean forward, breathe, and concentrate on the hot water hitting my back.
Our 2 hour mark hit, and the resident came back in to check me.
4 cm.
Phew! Progress had been made, and they weren’t sending me home! I asked them at what point I could get an epidural at, and she smiled and said within a half hour. I was the only woman in active labor on the floor and hearing that was music to my ears!
The epidural was not half as scary as I thought it was going to be. I made sure not to look when they were prepping the table with the huge needle on it. The rose the bed up super high, and had me put my feet on M’s lap. The nurse held my shoulders and it was easy as pie after that. The hardest part was trying to stay still through a major contraction as they were inserting the needle. M was rubbing my legs, and I closed my eyes and focused on my breathing.
After the epidural was in place, I felt almost instant relief. I was smiling and chatting away with the nurses and resident, and was advised to try and get some sleep. They would be back in in 2 hours to check and see how dilated I was.
No turning back now!
M rolled his little cot/chair thing to the side of my bed, and held my hand through the bars, and we just chatted about nothing, while my Mom slept. The 2 hours passed in no time, and the resident was back.
6 cm.
I’ll take it! She said that it was because I was able to relax all my muscles once I got the epidural, and that it wouldn’t be long now. I was instructed to try and get some more sleep (yea right), and they would be back in another 2 hours to check and see how things were going.
It was about midnight at that point, and I was a bit sleepy. The nurse came in, rolled me over, and I managed to get about 45 minutes of on and off sleep. The 2 hours passed in no time and at 2 am, the resident came back in, checked me, and said that it was push time!
Pushing was by far the hardest part. I was okay with it though, because I could control it. I watched to monitor, and waited to feel what I called poopy pressure (it literally felt like I had to poop, really, really bad). M had one foot, and the nurse had another and I gave it the good ‘ole heave ho.
We heaved and we ho’d for about 45 minutes, and I kept asking, and I getting any closer? Are we there yet?! The OB laughed and said yes. Between pushes she asked me questions about the horses, and my Mom told her the story about my first ever riding lesson. It was all a bit strange. Laying there on the table, with all my bits hanging out, baby on the way, and chatting like we were out to tea.
 Then I felt this god awful pressure and I didn’t want to stop pushing. There was a flurry of activity of the OB and the resident putting on what I can only describe as high tech rain gear, complete with face shields (?!), and they told me not to wait for the next contraction and just push for all I was worth. And by george I did.
I started hyperventilating a little bit, and kept repeating;
Does anybody have a vacumm. Please just get her out. F*^*$(& Christ!  
I didn’t act much like a lady.
One more good push though, and out she popped.
I have never felt such a relief in my life. I swear. All the pain and pressure was instantly gone.
They put her right up on my chest and I was happy as a clam. I remember M kissing my forhead, and my Mom was up somewhere around my head doing the Mom crying thing. The OB and the resident were still down in my bits, apparently I had a 2nd degree tear, but I didn’t notice at all. They were trying to talk to me about something, but I was so wrapped up in snuggling my new little bundle I didn’t really listen.
Then she pooped. All. Over. Me. I was a mess. It’s funny how you just don’t seem to care though.
The nurse took her and cleaned her (and me) up, and got her vitals. M followed her, taking pictures galore. She was by far the most perfect child ever. I’m not biased or anything.
I’ll post about the aftermath of everything later, which honestly wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. It’s time for me to scrounge up some food, and then I’m sure it’ll be snack time for the little princess. :-). I’ll just leave you with some pictures!
Shannon Ellen. Born 0306, 6 lbs 1.5 oz, 18.5 in.
Co-Sleeping at it’s finest ❤

Not so thrilled about going home.
Milo helps baby-sit while I folded laundry.
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