Because Lauren suspected that Emma was facing the wrong way, she brought the peanut ball for me to put between my legs, in hopes that lying on my side with my legs spread would encourage Emma to turn. I laid on my right side for about an hour and then the doctor came in, broke my bulging bag of waters (which I couldn’t feel because of the blessedly effective epidural!) and said I was at about 9 cm. Lauren helped me switch to my left side, and let Travis and I rest for another hour. I couldn’t sleep, knowing that the pushing stage was right around the corner, but it was nice to just lay there for a while.
About 15 minutes before Lauren returned, I started feeling the contractions again – though they weren’t painful at all, I could just feel the tightening like Braxton Hicks. I also started feeling downward pressure during each contraction, which I hoped meant that the time for pushing was close. By that point, it was also after midnight, which meant Emma would be born on her due date!
When Lauren returned to check my cervix, Emma had descended into the birth canal and was right there. Lauren had me do a practice push, mentioned that she thought Emma had turned, then went to get the doctor and all the supplies for delivery. It was finally time! She brought a big mirror that I could look into to see Emma come out, which was very cool.
While we waited for the doctor, I pushed with a few more contractions and could see Emma’s head and hair. The doctor arrived, I pushed with two more contractions, and there Emma was! Seeing her come out was hands down the Coolest. Thing. Ever. I was finally seeing the little being that had been in my belly for 9 months! Once she was out, they placed her on my chest for skin to skin. She was covered in vernix and beautiful – I couldn’t believe that this was my daughter.
While the nurses wiped Emma off on my chest, the doctor delivered the placenta and began stitching me up – I had a second degree tear. I could feel the tugging of her sewing but it wasn’t painful at all.
After a while, the nurses took Emma to weigh her and do their tests just across the room.
Lauren cleaned me up and then my parents arrived.
After my parents left, Lauren and the other nurse helped me to the bathroom, which was interesting because I couldn’t stand – my legs just buckled underneath me. Meanwhile, Travis packed up all of our stuff and I was put in a wheelchair for moving to the recovery room. Emma was placed on my chest for skin to skin while we made the journey up a floor, because her temperature was a little too low.
Even though my labor went nothing like I had wanted – my water broke but didn’t start active labor, I had to get Pitocin and an epidural, Emma was facing the wrong way – I am very satisfied with the experience. I am glad that I experienced the real pain of labor but do not for an instant regret my decision to get an epidural. I know that I held out as long as I possibly could, and it made the pushing stage short and easy. I also am thrilled that I was able to avoid a c-section.
Coming up: Our stay in the hospital…