Aria is laying peacefully right now, so I'm going to try and get this out. Spoiler alert, some of the information below may be a little graphic and detailed. So be forewarned!
I woke up on Tuesday morning about 7:00 a.m. I had a little pain in my abdomen. I laid there for a while, and at 7:30 I nudged Ben and said, I think I'm having contractions. I haven't had much braxton hicks or anything during my pregnancy, so I wasn't quite sure. I called my mother, who didn't have her phone on her, and then called my sister. She confirmed that what I was experiencing was, in fact, contractions. Mom eventually made her way over, and we discussed that they were about 15 minutes apart. I decided to get up and move, shower and then go over to my Mom's house where they were working on the basement.
The contractions stopped. I was pretty bummed. All the rest of the day, I would have one every now and then, but I thought, "This baby isn't coming tonight" Mom and I went for a long walk around the block. The contractions picked back up to around 10-13 minutes apart again. They weren't really painful, just a little uncomfortable.
It was my two nephew's last basketball games of the season at Central, so I decided to go down and watch them. They were playing a big rival, Newport. I sat and watched both the Freshman and JV games, keeping track of my contractions. They were five minutes apart. Then I started watching the Varsity Game. They were still 5 minutes apart and getting a little stronger. This had been going on for about three hours now. Mom, LeAnne, and Michelle all suggested that I go into the hospital and see how dilated I was. So I drove home, got Ben and we drove to the hospital. The contractions suddenly escalated in pain as we drove there.
We checked in at 9 and a nurse checked me. Dilated to a 1 1/2. I just sighed, "Seriously?" I was at a one last week. So she said that we'd chill for an hour and see if I progressed. I didn't. She said they were discharging me and sending me home. I kind of freaked out. At this point, the contractions were making me double over in pain, and my back felt like it was being broken in two. The nurse saw me have a contraction and suggested I get into one of their tubs and see if I progressed any. She believed the baby was facing the wrong way, which would explain the back labor, and me not progressing. So I gave it a shot. An hour later I was dilated to a 3, and admitted to the hospital. We called Mom. This was at around 12:30 in the morning.
Mom and Melissa arrived at the hospital at around 1 am and I got the epidural at 1:30. Let me tell you, that was the easiest thing ever. They placed the epidural when I was having a contraction, and I was so focused on breathing through the pain, that I didn't even feel it. When they put the IV in my arm, that hurt more. Basically it was the BEST.DECISION.EVER. I was able to move my legs on my own, wiggle my toes and basically move as much as I wanted. It was wonderful. At this point I was dilated to a 4.
An hour later the nurse told us that I was at a 9. Mom quickly called my sister LeAnne and told her to pick up Dad. We were certain that baby would be here with in the hour. Even though my water hadn't broken yet.
For some reason, they wouldn't call the on call doctor in to break my water. We later learned they just didn't want to wake him. Lame. My doctor finally came in for her rotation at around 8 and broke my water. That was when we found out that the baby had a bowel movement while still inside, which meant that she could possible ingest it into her lungs. The Doctor said that there would be a team of people in the room ready to take her and suction her lungs out if need be. Basically, if she came out and breathed/cried on her own, no problem. But if they had to stimulate her, they would have to suction. I freaked just a little. Michelle arrived around this point.
They started to have me push. But quickly realized that when I did, the baby's heart rate dropped dramatically. They were now worried that the cord was wrapped around her neck. So they decided to let her descend as far down on her own with out me pushing as possible.
A few hours later, we finally got ready to push again, but the girl next door had an emergency C-Section. My doctor was worried that if I wasn't able to get the baby out quickly enough, we'd have to have a C-Section too, so she didn't want the room tied up. So we waited. Again. She explained to me that she only wanted the baby to go through the stress of pushing for a limited time since it was affecting her heart rate so servery, and made it very clear to me that getting her out quickly was the priority.
Finally, at 11:40, she said it was time to push. 7 minutes later, my baby girl was here. Screaming with all the force she could muster!
Now here comes the TMI part so skip if you don't want to know.
Apparently, because I had to get her out so quickly, and was able to, not only did I tear, but I tore up and to the side. The right labia nearly ripped completely off. Three additional doctors had to be brought in to repair me. My doctor said that I was lucky that I had the epidural because they were able to repair me right then and there while I held the baby instead of rushing me off to an OR. She also said that if I hadn't been able to get her out that quickly, I would've had a C-section for sure. So there are some things to be grateful for there, even though it has made my body's recovery a little more... intense. :)
Ok, you can read now if you skipped before!
Little did we realize that not only did the baby poop while in the womb, but she actually pooped all over me while I was holding her and they were working on me. Nice. They finally got me and her all cleaned up, and Ben and I decided on naming her. We both had gotten down to two names independently: Aria and Isabella. I asked if he was leaning toward one. He said he was leaning toward Aria. I agreed. My sister Michelle then suggested naming her Aria Isabella. Ben and I really liked that. Not only did it have a nice ring to it, but we decided that as she grew, if Aria didn't quite suit her, we could call her by her middle name. It was a win win for everyone involved.
Giving birth was something I will not soon forget. I loved having my husband there to support me and hold me while I was in pain and then again while I was trying to get our baby girl here. I was so grateful for my Mom and Sisters that were there to talk and keep me company as we waited and waited. I only got frustrated that they were drinking Dt. Pepsi and I couldn't have one! :)
I'll blog more about the hospital experience and what has been the most trying part of being a mom later, but there is the birth story of our beautiful Aria Isabella Smith. Born on her due date 2/22/12. She's quite perfect.