Thursday, July 8: Mom and I went to the doctor for my check up. Due to high blood pressure, I had to collect my pee for 24 hours and bring it back on Friday.
Friday, July 9: The doctors did an ultrasound to see if the amniotic fluid levels were low (due to high blood pressure, etc.). Instead, they were higher than they expected. They called the perinatal (?) people at the hospital to see what they would recommend, and Mom and I went out to lunch while waiting for the response.
((Just before leaving for the hospital))
The doctor called back and said the recommendation was to induce me that day. We called Jamund, met up at home, packed some last minute things, and drove over the hospital, checking in about 4 p.m.
((6:30 p.m. dinner on Friday. Little did I know it would be my last meal before having the baby))
To induce me, they inserted this pill to try and soften the cervix (I think) as I was only about 1 cm dilated. I had two doses 3 hours apart, and then my contractions started getting too close together to do the pill again, so they put in this balloon insert around 11-11:30 p.m. that served to dilate me to roughly 4 cm by the time it fell out on its own at roughly 4 a.m. (not pleasant). Until about 8 a.m. I was having painful contractions. Miserable.
July 10, 2010: Around 8 a.m., I opted for the epidural, and my life was suddenly full of hope once again! Don't try to be a hero when having a baby. Get the epidural. My doctor came in, broke my water, and started me on the normal inducing drug (pitocin?).
I spent the rest of the day in bed having contractions and waiting for my cervix to dilate past 4/4.5 cm... They would up the IV dose, baby would freak out, I had to have an oxygen mask to help the baby, they would lower the dose, baby would calm down, they would up the dose, baby would freak out... etc. etc. All day long. With no real improvement. (They thought his head was faced the wrong way).
Anyway, I had to get extra epidural drugs periodically due to the pain from contractions, and I was so thirsty since I couldn't drink or eat anything (I did have flavored ice chips at my disposal, the sugar from which I think eventually caused me to feel sick to my stomach, which then lead to another IV for nausea).
((It was about as awful as it looks))
This literally lasted all day, and it wasn't really until after 6 p.m. that I started dilating a little bit more. They would check and then leave me for another hour, and another, etc.
The nurse planned to come check me around 10:45 p.m. and see if I was to 10 cm yet (around 9:45 p.m. I was "close"), but an influx of people in labor and delivery led to a change in nurses, and I got a new nurse who came in and introduced herself around 10:10 p.m. She checked me and said I was finally at 10 cm! Miracle!
Of course, Jamund had just left to go "for a walk," so we called him and he came back in time to see the nurse setting up for delivery and help me push. The doctor came shortly thereafter, and I started pushing in earnest probably around 10:50 p.m.
Thanks to my prenatal exercise plan, I pushed and pushed as hard as I could and got the baby out at 11:34 p.m. (I was done with this whole labor ordeal). He weighed in at 10 lbs 3 oz and measured 21 inches. Needless to say, I tore a whole lot and then had to remain in the stirrups on the delivery bed (awful) for quite some time as they stitched me back together.
I got to hold the cleaned up Simon and feed him before they took him away for his bath.
((That is blood on my face... messy business, delivery))
Once I was alone with the nurse and my mom, I was shaking uncontrollably and was finally allowed some crackers and water before they moved me down to the Mother-Baby unit, where I was given a plate of various crackers, a gross ham sandwich, and some vanilla pudding.
Anyway, Simon and I spent the next few days in the hospital (not fun: nurses or doctors always coming in, intense bleeding, uncomfortable bed, vital sign checks seemingly every 5 minutes, baby sleeping in a plastic bassinet on a cart that requires you to get out of bed to get him out of-- which is no small task when you're in the state you are in after giving birth, etc.).
It was rough, especially since Simon did not want to sleep at night. We were so glad to come home!!
((A little too big for the initial position of the head rest... but then well adjusted))
Things are going well, and we are happy to have some peace and quiet (other than the crying baby, of course). Thanks to everyone for the well wishes, and we hope you enjoy the photos (there are more on Jamund's Flickr). We're trying to keep things low key over here in regards to visitors, so hopefully everyone local understands. Thanks again!