So, I left work that day knowing I wouldn't return for at least twelve weeks and did my best to wrap everything up to make it easier on those covering for me. That night, we had a dinner to attend with our Memphis in May BBQ Fest team, where we excitedly shared the news with everyone that we would be parents by the following Monday. The rest of the weekend, we got all of our last minute errands done: Target, the grocery store, etc., while also trying to take some time to enjoy our last quiet weekend for a while. We took the dogs to the dog park, went out to eat for nearly every meal, and just rested as much as possible.
Sunday night, we went on our last date night for a while (and my last meal for the next 24 hours). We went to a local Italian restaurant, Ciao Bella, where we indulged on bread, salad and some delicious pizza. After dinner, I got some self serve yogurt, as well, since I knew that I would be starving the next day (per doctor's orders, you cannot eat or drink anything after midnight the night before). We both knew we were going to have a hard time sleeping and that we would have to be up early (3:30 a.m.!), so we went to bed pretty early and tried to sleep as much as possible. I was insanely nervous, mostly because I always think that something is going to go wrong when it comes to any medical procedure, so I hardly got any sleep. Regardless, we both woke up the next morning excited and ready to meet our daughter.
We quickly packed the last items into our bags, said goodbye to the pups and snapped a quick picture before leaving the house:
We arrived at the hospital at about 4:20 a.m. and quickly got checked in and taken back to get things moving. The nurse had me change into my hospital gown and get situated on the bed, and then she got my IV started, hooked up all of the monitors, and put in the pitocin drip. It wasn't long before I began to feel mild contractions. The contractions weren't too bad at first, as they just felt like a tightening across my lower abdomen. At this point, it was about 5:30-6:00 a.m. and I was starving and thirsty, so the nurse let me have my first cup of ice chips:
A little while later, my dad and stepmom arrived and joined me and Michael in our room. It was nice to have the company while we played the waiting game! Michael's mom also arrived at some point in there and brought him breakfast from Chick-fil-A, which made me very jealous, since I was starving!
I had been told that my doctor would come in around 9:00 to break my water, so imagine my surprise when my doctor strolled in around 7:00! I was super nervous about having my water broken, but it was actually a breeze and didn't hurt at all. At that point, the show really got on the road and we were well on our way to having a baby. Apparently, breaking your water takes away the "buffer" that eases contractions, so pretty quickly, the contractions began to increase in intensity and by 9:00, I requested my epidural (which I was also terrified of).
After what seemed like an eternity, the anesthesiologist came in and got everything ready for the epidural. Michael and my nurse stood in front of me and held my hands while the anesthesiologist administered the epidural. Due to my nervousness, I tensed up quite a few times, causing him to not so nicely tell me to relax. The worst part of the procedure was the shot they put in first to numb it. Other than that, it wasn't painful, just extremely uncomfortable.
Once the epidural was in, I got a little bit of relief. Before long, though, I began to feel contractions on my left side, so the nurse asked the anesthesiologist to come back in and up my dosage, thinking that I just needed a little bit more. He came back and added more painkiller to my epidural and told me to give it thirty minutes to see if that helped. Unfortunately, thirty minutes later, we were in the exact same place: my left side feeling increasingly unbearable contractions. So, for the second time, the nurse requested that anesthesiology send someone back in to fix the problem. At this point, I was about 3 cm dilated and 90% effaced.
This time, a different anesthesiologist was sent in, which made me happy, since the first one was not so friendly. The new anesthesiologist gave me a dose of what he called "the strong stuff," and told us that if this didn't work, my epidural would have to be adjusted or reinserted. Immediately, I began to panic, as I didn't want to have to go through what thus far had been the most uncomfortable part of my whole day, so we crossed our fingers that it would work . . .
I had no idea that I had so much to say about all of this, so I'm going to break it up into three parts. I'll be back tomorrow with the big finale. If you've made it this far, I commend you! :)