My final pregnancy picture... taken 9/12/09. I look like I was smuggling a watermelon under my shirt!!After 38 weeks of pregnancy and four days of false labor, Addison finally decided to make her grand entrance on Sunday night.
Derek and I spent Sunday on the couch watching football and relaxing. It was the first day in almost a week that I wasn't having contractions and it looked like it was going to be a pretty uneventful day. My parents had been in town but decided to head to Oregon to visit my aunt and uncle so Derek and I took the afternoon to cheer the Seahawks on to victory. I took a half time nap and after a gourmet dinner of hot dogs (which ended up being my final pregnancy craving) and a "please let's go into labor" walk we headed for bed around 10pm. I didn't have a single contraction that day and as we were laying in bed I was scheming ways to get my doctor to strip my membranes at my appointment on Wednesday. Suddenly I was laying in a rather large puddle and found myself wondering if I had just peed the bed. I was totally in shock but told Derek that it was time to go and that my water had just broken. He was out of bed in an instant and I was off to the bathroom to try and clean up.
Derek loaded me into the car and by 10:20pm we were on our way to the hospital. I have to admit, none of the classes or books prepared me for the quantity of fluid... holy geeze. I leaked and leaked and leaked all the way to the hospital. We pulled up to the ER and Derek put me in a wheel chair where I proceeded to leak, and leak, and leak some more. We checked in and were sent up to Labor and Delivery where we were told to wait in the waiting room (HA!). I pointed out that I was sitting in the better part of a gallon of amniotic fluid and the nurses quickly made the decision to make up a triage room for us so we didn't create a water hazard in the halls.
We headed down the hall and were admitted to room 424. The nurse gave me a gown and had me change out of my (very) wet clothes and get situated. I climbed into the bed and waited for a nurse to come and check us out. At 11pm I started having some mild contractions and by the time the nurses came back to hook us up to the monitors and get us admitted I was having moderate contractions every 5 minutes or so. The nurse examined me and I was only dilated to 2cm. After three very painful tries, I got hooked up to the IV and then Derek and I started walking the halls. After a few laps around the fourth floor my contractions started picking up in intensity but weren't getting any closer together. We had to stop walking several times and Derek had to help me stand up because the pain got bad very quickly. We went back to the room and tried to watch TV while I paced around the room (wandering the halls when you are leaking, even on the maternity floor, is a hit on your self esteem so I stayed where no one could see me). The contractions got a lot stronger and longer but not closer together. They were lasting upwards of two minutes and were hitting 40 on the uterine monitor and I was barely able to breathe through them. When the nurse checked me at 3am I was dilated to 4cm and in enough pain that she encouraged me to think about getting the epidural lined up. I told her to go ahead and find the anesthesiolgist and at 3:45am they came to start my epidural. The contractions were horrendous and nothing I did could make me any more comfortable. It took about 20 minutes to get the epidural set up and started and it was 20 of the longest minutes of my life. Once the drugs started to kick in I got fairly numb and a little shaky but I couldn't feel the contractions and that alone made the pain of the epidural and the waiting worth it.
After the epidural was working in full force, Derek and I tried to get some rest for a few hours. After the epidural my contractions started slowing down and becoming more irregular so the doctor decided to start a petocin drip in my IV. This made the contractions come back much stronger and longer but still pretty far apart (thankfully I couldn't feel them). The problem with the petocin was that my contractions got really strong and each time I had one, Addison's heart rate would drop way down and set off the alarms on the monitors. It was so scary to see that number drop from 140 to the low 100's and 90's. The nurse had me try laying in different positions to try and take some of the stress off of Addison. The only position that seemed to work was semi-sitting. When the nurse checked my cervix around 9am I was dilated to almost 8cm and almost 100% effaced. The doctor was concerned that Addison was in a posterior position (meaning she'd be born facing the ceiling and not the floor, which explains all the back pain I'd been having the past week) so they had me turn on my left side in hopes that she would rotate before we started to push.
The nurses told me to wait until I had an intense urge to push so that I wouldn't have to push as long. During my contractions I could feel pressure but it wasn't constant so I tried to wait. At 11:30 I started feeling a really strong urge to push and a lot of pressure, even in between contractions so the nurses started breaking down the bed and getting the room ready for delivery. At 11:45 I started pushing and right away I could tell that something wasn't right. Addison was really low and even on the first push, the nurse could see the top of her head but as I pushed her heart rate dropped down really low. The nurse walked to the door and I could hear her calling and telling someone that she needed the doctor right away and that she wanted someone from neonatal intensive care in the room for the delivery because the baby's heart rate was in the 70's during pushing. That's really the last clear detail I can remember about delivering her - I have never been so scared in my entire life. I knew that I had to push to get her out and stop the stress on her but each push was causing her pain. The room quickly filled with people and for the next 15 minutes I pushed and panicked and pushed and panicked. The doctor decided to use the vacuum to guide her out during the last few pushes since she was posterior and to help get her out more quickly.
At 12:03 I gave my final push and heard that tiny little cry that I had been waiting for. The nurses put her on my chest while Derek cut the cord and I started bawling because I was scared that she wasn't okay, she was SO purple! Once the cord was cut the intensive care nurse took her to examine her and the rest of the people in the room started cleaning up and doing things to me that I wasn't even aware of. I delivered the placenta but wasn't really aware of what was going on because I was too busy watching the nurse and Addison. I had to have an episiotomy and after the placenta was delivered the doctor started stitching me up (thankfully I couldn't feel any of it). Once the nurse was satisfied that Addison was doing well (she scored a 9 on the APGAR!) they brought her back to me and I got to hold her on my chest and cuddle with her.
After that we got settled in and spent the next 48 hours in the hospital learning how to breastfeed, change diapers, swaddle, and do all sorts of other things that are WAY more complicated than they look :) We were discharged from the hospital at 2pm on Wednesday September 16th and now we're home learning how to be a family of three.