Oh man, I can't believe that Stephanie got a picture of Z on her blog before I did. Bad mommy blogger! (Joe's got a great picture on his blog as well) To make up for it, how about a birth story?
As a prelude, here I am in Triage, trying to kill some time.
Let's see, I had left off when we were waiting for my sister to come pick us up to head back out the the hospital. We got to the hospital at around 9:30am and was immediately shown into a labour room. (funny enough, it was the same one that we went into on our hospital tour back in July.) After the on call doctor did a quick exam that showed I was 3cm dilated and that my water had in fact broken (this really made Joe question the abilities of everyone in triage) they started me on an oxytocin drip.
Around this time, I asked my labour nurse if I could maybe walk around a bit. But she said that because my blood pressure was high, I wasn't allowed to. This was the start of a day long battle with my nurse. Every time I asked her if I could do something, she said no without compromise and without suggesting any alternatives. I was very dissapointed because everyone had told me that I would come to love my nurse and I could see that it wasn't going to happen between the two of us.
Anyway, with the oxytocin, the contractions really started to ramp up. For the first couple of hours I was fine, but by 2pm, my lack of sleep (I had only gotten a couple of hours before my water broke) was catching up with me and I was having trouble keeping a lid on the pain. I was about 5cm dilated at this point and Joe could see that I was starting to lose it. Thankfully he started the ball rolling on getting me an epidural.
Once the epidural was in, it was amazing. My blood pressure dropped back to normal, and even though I kept the dosage low enough that I could still feel every contraction, the pain was magically gone.
Around 5pm, another exam had me at fully dilated, but the baby wasn't descending. She was still pretty high in the pelvis (-2 station if that means anything to you). The doctors had me push for one contraction to see if she would move, and she did a little, but they decided to take it easy for a while and see if the contractions could move her down some more.
By this time, it was close to 7:30pm and almost time for the nursing shift change. Boy was I looking forward to that. Joe thought it was hilarious, I kept asking the nurse if her shift was nearly over. I guess I wasn't being very subtle.
Finally the day nurse left, and like a hurricane, my new nurse blew into the room. Her first words to us after she introduced herself was "We are going to deliver this baby vaginally." Which really makes Joe and I think there were some very advanced conversations between the medical professionals out of our earshot about cutting me open.
It was such a different atmosphere after that. She was much friendlier, and had a really upbeat and positive attitude that really energized all of us. (And it turned out that she was neighbours with one of my brothers!) She came on shift at 7:30 and by 8pm, she had drafted Joe to hold one of my legs and had me pushing through the contractions.
Time really started to lose meaning for me then. All I know is that I'm glad that I kept the dose low on the epidural because I was able to feel when to push. To the extent that I had to keep telling everyone when to get back in place for me to push.
I was scared that the pushing was going to go on for a while because my first nurse had said that it took an average of 2 hours per station to get the kid out. So that meant at least 6 hours according to my last exam. But apparently I'm really good at pushing. An hour and a half after I start pushing in earnest, out she popped.
at 9:37 pm on Sept 2nd 2007, Z was born. 20" long weighing 7lb 4oz.
And our first family portrait: