We had a baby!!!
It has been absolutely wonderful! It has also been the HARDEST thing I have ever done. It definitely hasn't been just butterflies and rainbows. In fact, it has been lots of tears and anxiety. But there have been some breathtakingly beautiful moments. I wouldn't have it any other way.
Let me start from the beginning.
I was part of a research study called the ARRIVE study. Basically, you get randomly assigned to one of two groups: the first group is the experimental group where you get induced at 39 weeks, and the second group is the control group, so you either go into labor on your own or you get induced at 41 weeks. Unfortunately, I got assigned to the control group. I wasn't dilated at all at my 40 week visit, so it looked like I was going to have to get induced. And that's exactly what had to happen. So on Sunday, January 11, 2015 at about 6:30pm when I was 41 weeks exactly, we got a call from a nurse at the hospital telling us that they were ready for us to come so I could be induced. After I hung up, I immediately started crying. I was SO nervous!
Not the most flattering picture, but this was right before we went to the hospital.
Greg and I got to Utah Valley Regional Medical Center in Provo, UT at about 7:00pm Sunday night. I pretty much cried the entire way over to the hospital (which is literally down the street, like 4 minutes away). I kept telling Greg, "I'm so nervous. I am so scared to have this baby." I was also really excited, but the anxiety was overwhelming!
When we got to my room, Greg and I were so impressed! It looked like a hotel room (with lots of machines)! Little did I know that the next few days would be no vacation.
Waiting for things to get going!
At about 8:30pm, the nurse came in and asked me a bunch of questions about my medical history and stuff. She also started me on an IV. I remember thinking that the needle for the IV hurt really bad. HA! I was so naive...
The nurse told me that they were going to give me a pill called Cervadil every 3 hours 4 times throughout the night. The pill helps ripen the cervix before they start the Pitocin. Once she gave me the first dose, I started having really frequent contractions. The nurse and doctor both decided that because my body seemed to be going into labor on its own, they wouldn't give me any more doses of Cervadil. They didn't want my contractions getting any more frequent. My contractions weren't super strong, but they were strong enough for me to not be able to sleep at all that night!
Unfortunately these contractions weren't really helping me dilate at all. I was barely 1 cm (and I think that's actually being generous). At probably 3:00am, a nurse came in and basically dilated me by hand. Just imagine that happening to you. It hurt SO bad!! But I guess it helped me officially become 1 cm dilated.
At about 5:30am, I still wasn't making progress at all (even though I was still consistently having very frequent contractions), so they started giving me the Cervadil pill again. I also opted to get my epidural at that point too. After all, who wants to even be uncomfortable at all during labor? I'm pretty much a wimp. Haha.
Anyway, at around 3:00pm, they FINALLY started the Pitocin. It was seriously ridiculous that it took that long for them to start it. Whatever. Throughout that day, though, my epidural kept wearing off all the way on my left side and almost all the way on my right side. I kept pressing the button to give me more medicine, but it did nothing. So the anesthesiologist had to keep coming in and give me huge shots of the medicine to help with the pain. The shot lasted 3-4 hours every time before he had to come in and give me another shot.
By about 5:30pm, I had dilated to a 3, so I was starting to make progress! A couple of hours later, I was at a 5. The nurse came in and gave me a peanut pillow to put between my legs to help labor progress even more. I think it really helped! At around 9:30pm, my epidural completely wore off, and I was in excruciating pain. It was a pain that I had never felt before. Greg started massaging my hands and my head to help distract me. The nurse came in and checked how dilated I was. She said, "Well it's no wonder why you're in so much pain! You're an 8, and you're in transition!" Seriously? My epidural just HAD to wear off right as I was in transition. I had the anesthesiologist give me another shot of the epidural medicine, but it did absolutely nothing. Then he gave me Lidocaine (which is a local anesthetic that wears off pretty quickly) to numb me. The Lidocaine seemed to do the trick for the moment, and I was feeling a lot better.
After a half hour, at around 10:00pm, the nurse checked me and I was a 10! She said I was ready to start pushing. For the first half hour of pushing, the medicine was still working. But then I started feeling it wear off, so I had the anesthesiologist come back and give me more Lidocaine. BUT IT DID NOTHING. Absolutely nothing. I was in the worst pain I had ever felt. And there was nothing they could do about it! They told me I was just going to have to keep pushing and get through it without the medicine. I pushed for another hour (so an hour and a half total). It was HORRIBLE. I was not prepared to not have an epidural. I cried the whole time I pushed. It honestly felt better to push through the contractions than sit through them and do nothing. I looked at Greg and just cried and said "I can't do this Greg." And he looked right back at me and told me that I could and told me to say, "I can do this. I can do this." I am so glad I had Greg there with me. He is the best. I couldn't have done it without him.
Just before Kate was born, the nurse told me I needed to stop pushing and wait for the doctor. I sat through about 5 contractions while waiting for the doctor to get there. Those were the hardest moments ever. It felt like an eternity waiting. I kept asking, "Is he almost here? Please tell me he's almost here!" I was in so much pain, and I kept thinking the doctor was taking his sweet time just to torture me. I was a little angry. I even had the thought that the doctor was out at the nurses' station flirting it up with all of the nurses. I obviously was going a little crazy. He finally came in, and 2 pushes later, Katherine was born! She was born at exactly 11:30pm on January 12, 2015. She was 8 pounds 4 ounces and 19 inches long. She was delivered by Dr. Jefforey Thorpe.
I remember seeing her for the first time and feeling so proud of myself. More proud than I'd ever been (and I had just graduated from college, so I was already pretty proud of myself for that!). I thought she was the most beautiful person in the entire world. I was still crying from the excruciating pain, but I also had a new feeling that I was crying from: love.
When I finally got to hold her and do skin to skin, I was in HEAVEN. I was still in horrible pain, and I honestly thought that pain would never go away (everything felt like it was on fire). But I was just SO incredibly happy to have my little baby! She was stunning and gorgeous! She was such a precious little angel! I was so happy that I had this beautiful baby with my amazing husband. They are my entire world.
I definitely didn't escape without some battle wounds. I tore and then got an episiotomy, and then I tore some more. I got a 3rd degree tear, and lots of stitches! I was in labor for about 30 hours. Giving birth was one of the hardest things I have ever done. It's right behind taking a baby home and having to figure out how to raise her. Haha!
Here are some pictures of us all at the hospital!
Daddy and daughter
This is my "I am in so much pain but so happy about it" face.
My little angel
Found that thumb!
Josh and Diana got us these flowers while we were in the hospital! We LOVED it!
We had a lot of visitors the day after she was born. Diane, Lance, Alisa, Lauren, Shaun, Wave, Chris, Bailey, Grandma Sisco, Liz, and my friend Sara all came (unfortunately the hospital had a policy that wouldn't allow anyone under the age of 14 to visit, so Sam didn't get to come in and see her at the hospital). Grandma Sisco and Sara got us some flowers, too! It was fun for them to see her. We loved showing her off.
SO in love!
It was such an amazing experience. Granted, it was pretty rough, and I didn't have the experience that I thought I would. And whoever says to get sleep while you're in the hospital must not know that it's almost impossible to do that. Nurses, doctors, pediatricians, lactation specialists, and visitors are coming in all the time!
It is so incredibly special to get to give birth to your child. I love Katherine SOOOO much! I can't imagine my life without her. I am so lucky to be her mommy! She is the sweetest little angel. And I truly do have the most amazing husband. He is so supportive and loving. I sure do love my beautiful little family!