Now that Lincoln’s pre-birth story details have been shared, it’s time to try to describe the events of Friday the 13th. It’s been almost a week since his birth and each day I’ve been trying to figure out how to accurately describe his story. So this story may not be eloquently written, but here we go:
Friday the 13th we called the midwife on-call, Tara, at 6 pm something and I said, “I’m not 5-1-1 but I think it’s going to be tonight.” We had been communicating throughout the day, since I live closer to the hospital than Tara, and she told us to meet her there. She had received a call from another lady too and was already headed out the door. (This other lady becomes involves in our story later). Anyway, we arrived to the hospital shortly after 7 pm – at the same exact time as the other lady. We were both taken back at the same time to triage. I believe when I was checked at this point I was 4-5 cm, 90% effaced and -1 station. We were a little surprised by this and I was trying to not be discouraged. Based on my labor with Xander though, we still had the mindset that once I hit that “sweet-spot” things were going to progress and progress quickly. They decided to admit me, we got the antibiotics started and we started to walk the halls. (Timeline: admitted to room 9 around 7:40 pm; antibiotics started around 8 pm).
It was clear during our walking that the contractions were quickly picking up in intensity. Tara could tell the pain was picking up, provided some counter pressure on my back, and we eventually made our way back to our room to assess what would happen next. At this point it was 9 pm and my mind started considering an epidural. I have no evidence in this theory, but I’m convinced that the intensity of contractions is heightened when you’re a quick laborer – there’s no way to be eloquent about what I was experiencing, the contractions sucked. They were so so terrible. We decided at this point that I would get in the tub to help ease the pain, while being administered the fluid needed prior to receiving an epidural. I was checked before getting in the tub and my stats were 6-7 cm, 100% effaced and 0 station.
I have to say that I’m so thankful I was put in a room with a tub/shower combo. With Xander I was put in a “new” room that only has showers, but the “old” birthing suites were just as nice and the tub was a God-send. I am also so thankful that they did not make me be confined to a bed while receiving fluid – I just kept my hand out of the tub and in the fluid went. When my bag of fluid was approaching empty (it takes about 30 minutes to receive the amount of fluid needed before getting the epidural), my nurse called to get an updated status on where the anesthesiologists were in the hospital.
They were in surgery.
All three of them.
ETA: 40 minutes.
Panic set in. I had just experienced the worst pain in my life in that glorious bathtub and now I had to keep experiencing it – and then some. My midwife quickly made the decision that we would turn off the fluid, close my IV port and continue the fluids ten minutes before they arrived. This would also give me the use of my left hand while in the tub. The next 40 – 60 minutes were some of the worst minutes of my life. I really don’t know how to accurately describe what I was experiencing. There were tears, there were noises I’ve never heard come out of my mouth, there were oh-my-gods, and there was a lot of focus on the grout in-between the white bathroom tile.
At one point Tara asked me if I was pushing and to my surprise it felt like I was. We decided it was time to get out of the tub at that point – for another check and because anesthesia was supposed to arrive soon. I’m assuming this is when my fluid got started again, but I really don’t remember.
Tara checked me and I was 9 cm but not quite 10 cm. It wasn’t time to push. I then experienced the same awful contractions that I had in the tub, while leaning over the bed. Another call was made to anesthesia. They were out of surgery. I was the next on their list. But there must have been some kind of panic on their end because when they found out I was 9 cm there was some back and forth going on between anesthesia and my nurse… and all I remember hearing was Tara saying: “this is not a conversation to be having in front of Katie.”
The room was being transformed to prep me for the epidural while anesthesia rushed to my room (I don’t know if they were rushing, but I would like to think they were). Finally I was hunching over that pillow, squeezing the living crap out of my nurses hand, while trying to breathe through contractions during epidural administration. I believe it was shortly after 10:30 at this point. It may have been closer to 10:45. We put my Pretty Pusher gown on at this point and then I laid on my left side… then right.
Sweet relief… (insert calling my mom, posting my mom-group FB chat, and calling my dad)… for about 30 minutes.
“Why isn’t the epidural working?” “Why can I feel everything on my right side?” “Seriously, these feel like the bathtub contractions but only on half of my body!” “John push the button – seriously, why isn’t this working?” “Where’s Tara?”
She’s delivering a baby. (Remember the lady from the beginning of the story? Her baby).
My nurse then tells me we can call anesthesia for a re-dose, but I’m starting to feel pushy, so we opt for a check first. I was 10 cm and it was time to push. No re-dose happening. “Where’s Tara?” She’s fixing a tear, she will be here soon.
For the next ~30 minutes I experienced excoriating right-sided contractions while holding in the urge to push. I was leaning on my right side to use the bed as counter pressure and gripping the side rail with each contraction. It took so much effort to not push – the bottom half of my body would just shake as I held in the urge with each contraction. Finally Tara was entering the room (it was in-between 11:45-11:50 pm) at this point) and it was go time.
I stayed on my right side for pushing, held my own left leg (with some help from the nurse), and followed Tara’s directions. I had a mirror placed this time, as I was a terrible pusher with Xander and wanted to make sure I had extra motivation (although I’m convinced the mirror wasn’t even needed after the 4 hour ordeal I had just been through). About five minutes and a few contractions later, little Lincoln was pushed out and made his grand entrance into the world! Now that’s the sweetest relief ever.
Short version of timeline:
- Shortly after 7 pm arrived to hospital
- Checked in triage: 4-5 cm, 90% effaced, -1 station
- Admitted to room 9 around 7:40 pm; antibiotics started around 8 pm
- Walked halls while receiving antibiotics
- 9 pm checked: 6-7 cm, 100% effaced, 0 station
- Got in tub; started to receive fluids for epidural
- Spend about 30 minute in tub; then find out it would be at least 40 more minutes until anesthesia arrived
- Experience 40-60 more minutes of the worst pain in my life
- ~10:15/10:30 anesthesia arrives to room; ~10:30/10:45 epidural is administered
- By 11/11:15pm, realize the right side of my epidural is completely not working
- Impatiently wait through 30 minutes of one-sided contractions
- 11:56 pm: Lincoln is born!!!
You may notice I hardly mention John during Lincoln’s birth story. Let me assure you he was wonderful and completely supportive and encouraging… but it was really hard to even remember that anyone was around me – even if that includes the person I love most. I think John is going to touch on this part of the birth story a bit in his version – so stay tuned for that!
We love you Lincoln Riley!!!