Kim checked me. The bleeding was a result of my mucous plug (Josh got to witness the check and the “whole mess” of the plug. I was dilated to 4 (the previous Thursday, I was only at a 1). She took a sample of my cervix to look under the microscope while Josh and I had an ultrasound to check the amniotic fluid. Josh in the meantime called and cancelled his 9:00 am class and said he would be in for the 2:00pm one. Tami, the ultrasound tech said everything looked good. She couldn’t see baby’s head since it was so far down in the pelvis (good sign). After the ultrasound, Kim was going to put me on a stress test. While getting ready, she came in and said, “no need, your water broke. It appears to be a high, slow leak. I see ferning under the microscope.” Ferning is what they call amniotic fluid as it looks like branches of a fern. Kim showed us the ferning. We asked what was next as we thought we would just go into work. She said that we were going to the hospital to have a baby. Kim discussed with us that we will meet Anne at the hospital and hopefully try all the natural methods to induce labor. I thought I felt a bit different but couldn’t put my finger on it (turned out that they were the beginnings of contractions). Although we wanted to labor at home as long as possible, we had to go to the hospital sooner rather than later to possibly start antibiotics since we didn’t know when the water broke. In disbelief, we swung by at home first per Kim (she gave us an hour, we pushed it to 90 minutes). At home, I proceeded to call all my sisters to tell them that we were having a baby today. It sounded so strange to say. Josh started the “Contraction Master” application on the computer and tracked my contractions. They weren’t horrible, but they would take my breath away. I could talk through them, however, they were only 5-6 minutes apart. After gathering our things at home, we headed to the hospital.
When we arrived around 11:00am, the nurse took us to Room 371 and proceeded to tell me to get in a gown. I asked why and she said I needed to. I proceeded to ask why and she went and confirmed with another nurse that it would just make things easier. I told her that I would like to walk around and she gave me an additional gown to cover up my behind. I delayed putting the gown on while we waited for Midwife Anne to show up. Another nurse, Jolene came in and asked me about wanting an epidural. I told her no, we didn’t want one and we showed her our birth plan. She then said she wanted to push fluids so they can do a 20 minute strip to see how the baby was doing. I hesitantly agreed while we anxiously waited for Anne’s arrival-which came 45 long minutes later. In the meantime, we had 4 different nurses attempt to admit us, repeatedly asking the same questions (do you have any allergies?)- their communication between each other was lacking and wearing on us. Josh and I both thought that we were going to have to fight them all day. Nurse Jolene started an IV with fluids (“since we don’t know how much fluids you have had and this helps get baby active for the strip”). Anne finally came to our rescue and eased any concerns that Josh and I had stating she will be the policewoman with the nurses. We ended up with the stoic Nurse Barb. Once the strip was taken, she advised Nurse Barb to unhook us. Barb suggested that we just walk with the IV. Anne insisted that she unhook it and they will hook it up later for the antibiotics.
Around noon, Josh and I then proceeded our walking. Mom came with us for the first go round. My contractions were becoming stronger and as we walked, I would need to bend over and rest my forehead on the hall hand rails. After sometime, we came back to the room and Anne had ordered the antibiotics for ~20 minutes. Once administered, they hep locked me again. We walked more halls with increasing contractions which were every few minutes. (Nurse Barb also gave me a red popsicle to keep my mouth wet- It was the best thing!)
After sometime, we got back into the room and used the birthing ball. The most comfortable position for me was kneeling on the floor and having my head on the ball. Contractions were becoming more intense. Anne checked me and I was at a 5-6. I asked Josh to call Renee (my sister) to come since she was going to be present for the birth and our cameraman. After our Nurse Barb left I decided to eat something. I wasn’t hungry, but I had 4 almonds.
I transitioned while I was on the floor with the birthing ball. Contractions coming on strong and I got sick. Nurse Barb came in during this, noticed the almonds and made the comment, “and that is why we don’t eat during labor.” If I weren’t transitioning, I would have let her know my thoughts on her comment.
Renee showed up soon after I was done getting sick. I was in my own little world at this point and was becoming more oblivious to my surroundings. After my knees started to hurt from the floor, I moved to the bed. Again, sitting, lying down, squatting was not an option. I wanted to be on my hands/knees, essentially. Barb suggested that we try the squat bar. It didn’t work well for me. I ended up standing on the bed leaning forward on the bar. I eventually turned around with my knees on the bed and the head of the bed elevated for me to rest my arms on. After being on the bed (on my knees)..I started feeling the urge to push…I had asked Anne to check me. I was at 9 with a little bit of a lip of cervix showing. Anne suggested that I go and sit on the toilet to help open the last little bit of cervix. Josh assisted me to the bathroom and kneeled on the floor by the toilet and held me up. By this time I was having strong contractions and was started to bear down but not pushing to the fullest extent. After what felt like a few minutes, (Josh said 30 minutes), we went back to the bed, again on my knees with the head of the bed elevated and my arms resting at the top. A few more contractions and my water broke completely. Josh continued to coach me through the contractions and even grunt with me. A few times my grunts would go into higher pitched ones (which doesn’t help with pushing baby down), Josh would start with the lower grunts and I would follow suit. Josh was reading my cues well when contractions would come on. I had my eyes closed the whole time, he told me he could tell by the way my eyes moved under the lids that one was coming. I held his hand the whole time. It was comforting with him at my side the whole time. Anne did one last check and said I was fully dilated. I began pushing full force. After a few minutes, Anne said she had another patient next door that was also going to deliver soon. She said she was going to go next door and deliver baby and then come back b/c she thought I would be pushing for awhile. At hearing this, a tad bit of competitiveness kicked in..No way was Anne leaving me to deliver another baby and no way was that other woman going to deliver before me! I bore down and Anne was out the door for a few seconds when nurse Barb said, “wait…don’t push…baby’s coming.” (BTW, I didn’t stop pushing ..I continued to. I knew there were plenty of people to catch a baby if Anne wasn’t ready just yet). Anne came back into the room, baby was crowning, I felt the “ring of fire” and soon the head was out. Anne instructed me to push slowly (to prevent tearing) to push the rest of body out. Baby Boy Waddle was born at 4:59pm. I won! :)
Baby boy was caught by Anne and she handed him to me through my legs. He came out really clean!! No vernix, no blood, etc. As I held my new baby, Josh and Nurse Barb helped me to turn over to sit up in bed so we can gaze at our wide-eyed beautiful boy. We had instant skin on skin contact and Anne allowed the cord to pulsate until it was done. Josh then cut the cord. For less than a minute, Nurse Barb took baby to suction out the amniotic fluid since he was really raspy. Soon after, I put him to the breast. After an hour of holding baby boy who I referred to as pumpkin b/c he didn’t have a name until the next morning, they weighed him at 7 lbs, 6.4 oz and measured him at 19.25” long. His APGAR was 9 and then minutes later, 9 again. New Dad Josh got to then hold his baby boy. Aunt Renee (who was present for the birth and taped it) got to hold him and then Grandma Cathy came to visit that evening and met him as well. We phoned the rest of the family!
Our first night, I didn’t sleep at all. I laid with Josh on the pull out couch so I could be close to him and Baby crib. Josh was out like a light. He was exhausted from the all the events of the day! The following morning at 7:30 am, Baby Boy was named by his father, Samuel James. We excitedly called the family and told them the good news!