Monday, July 18 was my MIL's birthday. Jeff and I had run up to Hobby Lobby to get a few things and then to his parent's house to celebrate his mom's birthday. It was at Hobby Lobby (around 5:00pm) that I started having what I was beginning to think were "real" contractions. They were around 15 mins apart but weren't real painful and weren't real long. After being at Jeff's parents for a while, we started trying to time the contractions... still weren't very painful and still short, plus they weren't that consistent (ranged between 10-15 mins).
By the time Jeff and I were home and going to bed, some of the contractions were as close as 5 mins apart! Exciting, but they weren't consistent and totally bearable (I figured I needed to be in a lot of pain in order to go to the hospital). Of course I could not sleep so I decided to watch TV on the couch. I was periodically timing my contractions. Finally sometime after 4:00 a.m. I fell asleep only to be woken up at 5:21 by a serious contraction.
This was it! I woke Jeff up and got in the shower... I insisted on being cleaned up before going to the hospital even if Jeff thought I was crazy. I was getting ready and noticed my contractions were getting closer. By the time we got in the car, they were 3 mins apart. At this point I was in a lot of pain. The 25 min car ride was rough. My contractions were 2 mins apart when we reached the hospital.
Once we were in the L & D room I was shocked to find out my contractions were a minute and a half apart and 70 seconds long! (So I was literally only have 20 seconds of rest in between contractions!) I had been holding it together pretty well but I just couldn't take it anymore. There was just no relief. The epidural couldn't come soon enough! I started to break down but luckily Texas Women's is quick to get the epidural started. As scared as I was to have a giant needed inserted into my back, it was totally worth it. Surely I was far along in labor considering the closeness of the contractions! Wrong. 3 centimeters! I figured that meant I had a long day ahead of me... and I was right.
The next 12 hours of labor went pretty well. It was really just a waiting game at that point. My husband, my mom, and my cousin, Meg, were the three people who would be in the room for the delivery, however, they could rotate out with others during the laboring process. (My parents, my sis, Jeff's parents, my Uncle Andy and Aunt Alison, Rick and Kelsey, my Aunt Janet and Uncle Jeff, and Meg's daughter Sadie helped pass the time by taking a turn to visit me.)
Finally, after 13 hours of laboring, it was time to start pushing. There's a little panic that rushes through you... can I really do this???
I pushed for 2 hours with some progress being made. At this point the doctor examined me and said the good news was that the largest part of her head was through the smallest part of my pelvis and she was facing the right direction (nose down) so she was definitely coming vaginally. The bad news though, if she didn't come soon, he would have to use forceps. I was relieved to know I would not be having a c-section, but I really didn't want the forceps.
I had pushed for 30 more mins when the doctor came back in and said he needed to get her out so he would have to use the forceps. The pushing hadn't bothered me at all. My epidural had started to wear off a few times on my left side but I was able to push the button to receive more meds as needed. I had remained totally calm... until this point... I completely lost it! I went into hysterical mode. I was terrified of the grade of episiotomy I would need for the forceps as well as the damage the forceps could do to my baby.
I had been pushing for 2 and a half hours and I really thought the use of forceps meant no more work on my part... wrong. I had to continue to push for 30 more mins while the doctor used the forceps. I was so terrified that I hid my face in Jeff's chest the entire time. I was having a lot of pain on my left side (stomach and back) and I just wanted it to be over. Jeff said at one point the doctor had his feet pushed up against the table using his legs to get more force to pull her out. I will never forget the feeling of her coming out. It's like this bizarre suction feeling.
As soon as they pulled her out I had instant nausea and it took all I had to hold it together. Since this was more of an urgent situation, the doctor cut the umbilical cord and the baby was taken straight to be checked and cleaned while I delivered the placenta and was "repaired." Unfortunately, I did not get to experience that instant joy when your baby is born. I couldn't even really see her and the doctor commented that it would take as long to sew me up as it would for a c-section... and it did. I did not get to hold my precious baby girl until an hour after she was born.
After a long day of waiting and chaos, we finally had our baby girl all to ourselves and Jeff and I spent some alone time with her.
Hollyn Faith Norman
Born on 7/19/11 at 10:07pm
8 lbs 6 oz (75th percentile)
20.75 in long (95th percentile)
(25th percentile for head circumference)