Well, Ivie's at "school", Macie is taking her morning nap, and my inbox is down to one screen. So I think I'll try to get in a blog post of the happenings surrounding Macie's birth.
Tuesday night (9/9/08), for those of you who know us well, is Moe's night... Kids eat free, for goodness sake! We also were excited to have friends in town (Joanne and Rick) that were willing to brave the Moe's madness on kids' night to eat with us. Now THAT is a symbol of true friendship!
Before we left home, the Braxton-Hicks contractions I've been having for weeks started to feel a bit... well... stronger. Remembering that labor with Ivie started during the middle of the night and I was able to go back to sleep for 3-4 hours, I figured I could make it through a couple of tacos. And I did! After returning home, the contractions continued. So I hopped in the shower (as much as a 9-month prego woman can hop!) for what I hoped to be my last pregnant shower. Those were definitely getting old!
After the shower, the contractions slowed down. I started wishing I hadn't taken the shower! By then, it was 10:30 pm, and Dale and I began the discussion as to whether or not we should call Michelle, our friend who had generously offered to come over at any time during the night to stay with Ivie if we needed to go to the hospital. Deciding that it would be better for her to START sleeping at our house at a reasonable hour (as opposed to having to wake up at 2 am!), we gave her a call and she came straight over. Thank goodness for wonderful friends - we owe her BIG-TIME!
After getting the car seat situation figured out (thanks for your help, too, Danny!), Dale and I headed to the hospital at 11:45 pm. I remember the time not because I looked at the clock, but because at midnight, as we pulled into the parking garage at the hospital, I had the WORST contraction yet. It did me in, I think because I hadn't had one in a while. And when that happens, the next one kills ya!
As we walked into the hospital, we passed several hospital employees (given away by their scrubs). They gave us knowing smiles. Dale, at this point, and also as we waited in triage for the doctor, was skeptical. He thought that maybe we'd come too early, and we were both hoping that we wouldn't get sent home. I, for one, was NOT going home. The contractions were hurting, but I knew that with Ivie I'd had to walk the halls for a couple of hours before I was dilated enough for them to admit me. So I anxiously awaited the doctor's arrival. It's one of those times where you can't WAIT to have your cervix checked. That feeling only comes around at the late stages of pregnancy, folks!
When the doctor came in for the check, I held my breath. But let out a sigh of relief when she said I was 5 centimeters dilated. YEA! But then, with my next breath, I asked them to send for the anesthesiologist! I needed an epidural. Immediately.
As I walked to my room, the anesthesiologist met me in the hallway. Another YEA! She got to work as soon as I got settled in the room, and I patiently (yeah right!) waited for the requisite 15 minutes to pass (before the epidural was to "kick in"). 15 minutes came and went. My left side felt no pain. Ahhhhh. Sadly, the right side was making up for it. The 2nd-to-worst-case-scenario had come to be. The epidural only took on one side. So back came the anesthesiologist to re-position the catheter and give me another dose. By now it was probably 1:30 or 2:00 am, though I didn't look at the clock (was in too much pain!). Needless to say the second dose didn't work either, unless you consider a numb foot and lower leg "working". Clearly, I was out of luck.
Now when we started with the epidural, the nurse said that I shouldn't feel "pain" from the contractions, but that I would at some point feel extreme pressure and the urge to push. Since I was feeling the pain, it was a bit hard to decipher between "pain" and "pressure". But I was convinced it was both! So, at 2:30'ish, I asked the nurse if she wouldn't mind checking to see if I was fully dilated. She checked, and announced in amazement that I was fully dilated and only had the bag of water between Macie and the world. (Note: I apologize if this is getting too graphic, but I want to have this in writing someday when I forgot how it all went down... Dale will most likely pull this blog page out when I begin to consider the idea of wanting a 3rd child!).
The nurse called in the doctor, who gave me 2 options. We could either break the water, or we could wait and let it break on its own. Now which of those options do YOU think a woman in severe pain is going to pick?!? BREAK THE WATER IMMEDIATELY.
At 2:40 am, the doctor broke my water and the pushing began. And ended 3 1/2 contractions later. 3 1/2. I know that sounds weird. You always hear that you wait and push with contractions, as that is when the most progress is made. As I wrapped up the 3rd contraction, I was, to be honest, really tired of Macie causing me so much pain (though through it all I still loved ya, sweet pea!). So I asked the doctor if it was feasible to push when I wasn't having a contraction. She said, "sure!", so I did. And Macie entered the world at 2:48 am. Hence the 3 1/2 contractions. Not a better feeling in the world, I'm sure all moms will attest.
So that's the story of Macie's arrival. Aren't all of you glad that it lasted only 2.5 hours in the hospital? Can you IMAGINE how long this blog would have been if it had been 18 hours as it was with Ivie?
By the way, as I wrap this up, I made sure to make fun of Dale for his earlier thoughts about us going to the hospital "too early". It's a good thing we didn't stay home for another hour! Macie might have been born in the elevator... Or on the front lawn... Or in the parking garage...