Daddy and I arrived at the hospital just a few minutes after 7 a.m. on Tuesday morning, April 17th. We are always running a few minutes late. It’s something we’ve been working on, but haven’t mastered the art of being early or even on time. I had planned on being 10 minutes early, so that hopefully I could get back before the other women scheduled at 7 as well. They took us back to a birthing room. I had never taken a tour of the hospital prior to this, so it was all new to me. My nurse’s name was Wendy. She was wonderful. Aunt Mary (who is a labor and delivery nurse in Maryland and was with me for Matthew’s birth) was keeping close tabs on me through text and asking me for details on how they were proceeding with your induction. She would give the approval and give me advice on when to get the epidural etc. I let my nurse, Wendy, know what was going on and she was very supportive. Wendy had my IV hooked up by 7:50 a.m. She couldn’t get my vein near my elbow to show, so she put it in lower, closer to my wrist. It actually hurt quite a bit and I ended up with a nasty bruise for a week afterward. That morning I noticed that my uterus was actually contracting on it’s own every 10 minutes or so. Mary recommended that I get my epidural before Dr. West broke my water. I was planning on it and let my nurse know. She said she totally agreed. She thought Dr. West would be by around 11 or 12 to break my water, so we would get the epidural between 9 or 10 a.m. That would give me a few hours to labor on my own which Dr. West recommended. When Matthew was born, it was my water breaking that sent me into the hospital to have him, so I never considered the doctor having to break my water.
Wendy hooked me up to the pitocin soon after I received the IV. She started me at 6 milliunits as per Dr. Wests instructions. He wanted her to increase that by 2 units every 15 minutes or so. When I let Mary know, she was taken back a bit and said that was pretty aggressive. I told her that Wendy agreed and said she planned to take it a bit slower.
I started out rocking on a birthing ball. After some time doing that, Matt and I took to walking the halls. We ran into Dr. West around 9 a.m. and he was ready to break my water! We were definitely surprised as we weren’t expecting that until 2 or 3 hours later. So much for getting the epidural before then! After Dr. West broke my water, I decided to get in the Jacuzzi bathtub to labor for a while. I told the nurse I wanted my epidural at 10 a.m. That gave me almost an hour. The tub had a timer on it for the jets. It was for 20 minutes and I would watch the minutes go by, counting down until the time I could get that epidural. I was glad to be in the hot water. My contractions started coming less than 2 minutes apart and the jetted hot water seemed to help lessen the pain as I breathed through those contractions. I had Dad rub my hand at one point to take me mind off of the pain.
I got out of the tub just before 10, so that I would be ready for the anesthesiologist. He was running late! I was so annoyed. I was in a lot of pain. I asked Wendy if she had any tips on breathing and she said, “Just don’t stop breathing!” Around this time, Grandma Shipley, Aunt Holly, and Uncle Steve showed up. Your cousins, Kristina and Danielle took school off to come to our house and watch Matthew that day. When the anesthesiologist showed up to give me the epidural they had everyone go out. There was a 3rd year medical student shadowing Dr. West that day, so he wanted to see the epidural given. It seemed to take longer. Finally by about 10:30, I had the epidural in me! I waited too long again. I don’t know why I always feel like I have to prove something, like I should experience some pain to show that I am tough. By this time my cervix was at a 5 and 95% effaced. I was so relieved! I actually did that on my own, without the epidural! With Matthew, after spending hours in labor and the most uncomfortable overnight, by the time I got the epidural, I’m pretty sure I was not even to a 3.
Uncle Steve and Dad gave me a beautiful blessing that all would go well and that the veil would be thin as I delivered you. That you and I would have a special bond. Within about 30 minutes I was already to a 9! You would be here before noon. I couldn’t believe it. By 11:30, I was feeling a lot of pressure and getting uncomfortable. Wendy called Dr. West to come. He and the medical student immediately suited up. That meant that you were ready to come! I asked for a mirror so that I could see you coming as I pushed. Grandma Shipley and Aunt Holly got on either side of me to hold my legs. The doctor asked them to help count as I pushed with the contractions. Grandma would get distracted and start counting slower and slower. I tried nudging her with my leg to speed up! We all got a good laugh after I told her how slow she was counting! When your head appeared, Dr. West showed me and had me touch it before I pushed you out. After 11 minutes of pushing, you arrived! Again, the doctor was surprised at your size. He thought you’d be no bigger than 8 ½ pounds. I just make big babies! I even exercised much more with you than Matthew and tried to eat less ice cream and chocolate. It just didn’t make a difference. You were a beautiful, healthy baby and that is all that mattered. They immediately put you on my chest so I could hold you. You were perfect! I was so happy to finally meet you and to begin our life together!
Aunt Holly and Samantha
Grandma Shipley with baby girl
So happy to have you here and in my arms!