Ava was born March 25th, 2013 & is growing like a weed! Here is her birth story. :)
I went to the Dr on Thursday, March 21st and when checked, I was dilated to 2 and almost fully effaced, the baby was in position. I wasn't due until March 31st but would be 39wks on Monday. At this appointment, the baby's heartbeat was in the 90's and the Dr put me on a monitor to make sure she wasn't in distress and that the heart rate would come down. It ended up coming down after a while, thankfully. The Dr asked if I would like to be induced because I was extremely uncomfortable. Ava's head was so low and had been for weeks, the pressure was extremely bad. My cervix was tilted backwards also, so this made being checked SO painful, since they had to go up and around the baby's head to even get their fingers up there. The induction was scheduled for the following Monday at 5:30AM.
I got maybe 4 hours of sleep the night before because I was so nervous. I got up around 4:15AM, got a shower, and finished packing. There was a huge snow storm that hit over night and we had 4 inches of snow on the ground but the roads had been cleared before we left. DH was awesome and kept telling me everything would be okay and basically talked me up. :)
We got to the hospital and were put in a room. I remember thinking as I walked through the door that this was going to be the room where our entire life would change! By 4:30, after answering a million questions and getting settled in the bed, I was hooked up to the Pitocin. About a half hour later, Ava's heart rate sky rocketed. At the highest, it was at 108. I could see the nurse keep checking the monitor from her chair and my husband was looking more nervous by the minute. He finally asked if that was normal and what was going on. She said everything was probably just fine but she was going to call the Dr. The heart rate wouldn't go down and I was given oxygen to see if that would help. Our Dr, who was absolutely wonderful, I can't say anything bad about her, came in not long after and said she was just about to hop in the shower when she got the call and that Ava just wanted her to have to shower at the hospital. :) Since there was a previous episode at the last appointment concerning the heart beat being fast, she sat down and monitored everything very closely before deciding to just stop the Pitocin and break my water instead to have labor progress that way. I will say that was one of the most painful things in the whole process for me, I guess with my cervix being the way it was and I was so tense...it took her about 3 tries to actually get it to break and by that time, I pretty much had my husband pulled on top of me in the bed by the shirt. Poor guy! :) Turned out Ava had a bowel movement in there and the fluid was brown, so they would have to suction her out really good right away once she came out to make sure none got in her lungs. I had to pee really bad at this point and got up to go to the bathroom. When people say there is a lot of body fluid involved in giving birth...let me tell you, they are right! I still had my own socks on, and instantly they were ruined. The toilet was bright red after I peed and I remember asking "Uh, is this normal?!", it was. Yuck!
I only had to endure about an hour of contractions because I had known I wanted the epidural right from the start and because of that, the Dr wanted me to get it early on in case I had to have an emergency C-section because of the baby's heart rate, which had yet to calm down. The epidural was scary but my husband held my hand and we had a wonderful, amazing, nurse who helped hold me still. We were so lucky to have her in the room and we even had the baby before her shift ended, and for that I'm so thankful! She was there the whole time. Anyways, I did jump the first time they put the needle in for the epidural and DH said the anesthesiologist gave a pretty stern look. I didn't mean to, it just pinched and sent kind of like a zing up my back. The second time was successful. Almost immediately it started working and it was amazing! I was so relaxed and not too long after, Ava's heart rate went down to normal. I was so glad I got the epidural! We had family in and out, which helped pass the time, although I was SO hungry! I tried to rest a lot but don't think I ever actually fell asleep.
I was in labor for 8.5 hours before I was finally dilated to 10 and ready to push. This was the most exciting part, when they started getting all the equipment out and all the nurses came in. I remember starting to push, I was excited and ready to go. The way everyone was talking, she was right there! This didn't turn out to be the case though, as I pushed for 2 hours. I remember saying "I'm so tired!" over and over, I was so worn out and the pressure was so bad. It felt like I had the worst charley horse ever right where my legs came to meet my pelvis. Honestly though, I didn't think it had been 2 hours when she finally came, time sort of stopped. They ended up bringing in the mirror to encourage me, which I said I wouldn't do. It's funny how once you're in labor, modesty sort of goes out the window! The best feeling ever was once the head was out, the baby just sort of slid out and you could actually see my stomach go down. I didn't get to see Ava for about 15 minutes after she was out because of them having to get all the meconium out but I could hear her crying and was just relieved it was over. DH, my MIL, and my mom were telling me how beautiful she was. When they laid her on my chest for skin to skin time, I just cried. She was truely the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen. Still is. :) She was 7lbs 110z, 20 inches long and perfectly healthy.
DH was awesome in the delivery room! I'm so lucky. He didn't sit down hardly at all the whole time, from the minute we walked in until Ava came. He counted every set of pushes and watched the whole thing, encouraging me every push. One nurse actually said he could have her job, and another said he won the Husband-Of-The-Day award. :)
I did have a 2nd degree tear and had some stitches. I swelled up a lot and it felt like a giant bruise down there but I healed pretty fast. Looking at that sweet baby's face takes your mind off the pain a lot!
Almost 4 months later, I'm still as in awe and in love with our little girl, maybe even more so than when she was placed on my chest. I had a good delivery and a good recovery and for that I'm thankful. It wasn't as traumatizing as I had anticipated and I will do it again, God willing. :)