OK, so we left off with a great birthing plan in place, which of course wouldn't go that smoothly, life never seems to, right?
So, it's about 2:30 in the afternoon, I'm dialated to a 6, and one of the nurses steps out to call the anesthesiologist for my epidural and the doc to break my water. I'm still chatting with the other nurse and all of the sudden - my water breaks! Now you have to understand that my water has never broken on it's own. In fact the doctor always seems to have a hard time breaking it. I must have thick placentas or something. This is why I requested my epidural before the doc came in to break my water.
As soon as my water broke the current mild contraction jumped up to a mega-sized contraction and hurt - A LOT! And I really started to feel nauseous - this had happened a couple of times earlier in the day and the nurse and I had finally figured out that it signaled that my bladder was full and it was forcing my contractions into my stomach. So the nurse got me all unhooked and helped me shuffle to the bathroom. No sooner had I sat down and I needed to push - this baby was coming. I screamed the urge to my nurse who yelled back, "don't you dare push in there!" She ran in, pulled me off the toilet and out of the bathroom, yanked the sheet off the bed, wrapped it around me and literally dragged me across the hall. All while I screamed that I need pain medication NOW!
I should mention a few side notes here. First of all, my nurse is the sweetest little Korean woman, whose name I cannot recall, but had to have been about 1/2 the size of me. Secondly, from this point on, I don't believe I opened my eyes until the baby was born. If I did open them I was blinded by pain, and don't remember what I saw. It was really all a blur of noise, mostly from me yelling at whoever was touching me or telling me what I needed to do.
Somehow my nurse, who seems to possess some sort of superhuman strength, managed to get me up on the delivery table and hooked back up to the monitors. The doc - a female resident, whom I absolutely loved and now really want to know where she will be practicing in the future - walked in just then, assuming she was just there to break my water, but instead was met by a screaming woman who wanted her epidural now! Without doing more than just looking she announced that I was fully dialated and the baby was already crowning.
Keep in mind that the last 2 paragraphs took place in the time frame of about 2 minutes, tops. I'm not kidding. It was that fast.
Next thing I hear is about 15 people running at full speed dragging in all sorts of equipment and monitors. I wouldn't be surprised if there were a few people there just because they had nothing better to do - I was the only person in Labor & Delivery so far that day. I distinctly remember hearing someone saying, "Lights, camera, action" as the huge birthing spotlight was turned on, good thing my eyes were clamped shut or I may have really been blinded. Everyone was encouraging me to push, I was yelling that I still needed something for the pain, my little Korean nurse was rubbing my arm saying something to the effect of, "It's too late for anything dear, I'm so sorry" over and over again (I think she was feeling guilty, even though it wasn't her fault I didn't get my epidural). I pushed, they turned me to one side - they asked me to turn, but I yelled at them that there was no way I was moving, so they (about 3-4 nurses) picked up my rear end and turned me whether I wanted to or not. That side wasn't helping, so they asked me to roll to the otherside, I didn't even respond this time, but they must have done the same manuver again, because I was on my otherside before I could even think about it. This time it helped. I pushed and screamed and then screamed a little more (well, OK, a lot more), and eventually Juliana's head popped free and she came sliding out.
Turns out that she was "sunny-side up."
Again - this all happened in a very short period of time - Juliana was born at 2:54pm, I pushed for about 10 minutes - fasted I've ever done it, but pain is a great motivator, right? Doc said that if she had been face-down she probably would have been out with the first push.
Now the irony of it all is that the very last thing the anesthesiologist said to me, as she left my room with the signed paperwork, was to not wait too long because you never know how fast things are going to go.
So a few lessons were learned on that day of my beautiful daughter's birth:
1. Never take anything a woman who can dispense pain medication says lightly - she knows what she's talking about, even if you've already had 3 babies and you think you know how this whole birthing thing works.
2. If we do decide to have more kids and my water ever breaks on it's own, I shouldn't even bother trying to get to a hospital, much less one an hour away. I'm just going to call 911 and find someone to catch the baby if the EMTs don't happen to make it on time.
3. And though I plan to be full medicated and numbed if we do have another baby, I now know that I can make it through a natural birth if the need arises. However, I'm not a terribly pleasant person to be around at the time.
Looking back almost 4 weeks later, it really doesn't seem like it was that big of a deal - but then the swelling has now gone down (finally) and I have most of the feeling back in my still slightly brused tailbone. And I got to bring home the sweetest, new baby girl - it helps that they are so cute and tiny.