After a long and brutal pregnancy (which deserves a post of its own, trust), I walked into my 40 week appointment with my OB almost certain that I would be admitted to the hospital after waking up with contractions at 3AM that morning (I had measured 1cm dilated the week prior). The Dr said, “you’re measuring 2cm…. maaaybe 3” womp womp. She swept my membranes while she was up there and sent us on our merry (not) way. I tried to walk to try to get the ball rolling per her instructions, but I was in so much pain from contractions and various pregnancy maladies that I couldn’t do much. I suffered through until around 3AM and when I couldn’t take it anymore, we packed up the car and headed to the hospital. Long story short, they sent me home and told me to take extra strength Tylenol. Like that did anything.
I suffered through the entire next day, diligently charting my contractions on an app. At this point, I hadn’t slept for more than a few minutes at a time for almost 48 hours. With contractions now meeting the timing criteria, we went back to the hospital. I was now a solid 3cm. I was not pleased to hear that low number. The ER doc was leaning towards sending me home again (with drugs this time!), but luckily my Dr was on call and told him to admit me and to help speed things along with Pitocin. I was admitted at around 3 and in my room by 4AM. I asked to not be given the Pitocin until after I could get an epidural because the pain was already so intense that I didn’t think I could sit still if it got worse. I got the epidural and started on Pitocin at around 5AM, still at 3cm.
Sidenote – epidurals are INCREDIBLE, I highly recommend epidurals. My anesthesiologist was a rockstar because I could feel everything, but without pain.
When the nurse came in at 6AM to check on me, I was dilated 6. They then quickly took me off Pitocin because I was moving along so quickly, likely on my own (I knew that I was right to go to the hospital!!) She told me that if we let labor progress on its own, I’d likely start pushing by noon. Mark and I called our parents and tried to nap a bit.
At about 12PM, my nurse came back in and said that I was dilated to 10. She told me that pushing usually takes about an hour and that I should do a couple of practice pushes before she called my Dr so she could come to the hospital from her practice across the street. After 2 sets of practice pushes, the nurse started hollering for assistance from other nurses and they started calling my Dr frantically… he was almost coming out. They had me close my legs and to fight any urge I might have to push.
The next few minutes were completely chaotic as nurses came in to check out, “all that hair” and another Dr came running in, throwing on her scrubs in case my Dr didn’t make it.
My Dr ran in, and the baby plopped out. Literally. I didn’t even push, he came out during a contraction!! They put him skin to skin, Mark cut the cord, and I enjoyed the bizarre epidural haze holding the baby that had been inside of me for the last 9 months, completely awestruck. We went in with 2 names, Blake Albus and Neville Hiro.. he came out kicking and screaming, quite upset to be out of his uterus home and we knew he was a Blake (named after Mark’s favorite basketball player, Blake Griffin).
Read on if you’re a Harry Potter fan:
Mark and I started watching the Harry Potter movies in order after I reached active labor at 8 cm so we could see what scene our kid decided to make an entrance at (thinking it would take 5 movies or so at least). We made it through the first film and onto the second because I went so fast. At some point during the chaos of trying to get a doctor to me in time, a nurse must have bumped the screen on our Microsoft Surface and paused The Chamber of Secrets. A few minutes after Blake was born, we realized that the screen was frozen on the scene with blood on the wall that says, “The Chamber of Secrets has been opened. Enemies of the heir.. Beware.” LOL!!