Sarah and Christopher

 I was soaking through towels like crazy–so I figured my water broke.  I stayed home for a couple hours calling everyone (like school to tell them I wasn’t coming back from Christmas break to teach anymore, my mother who had just seen me to the airport 12 hours ago, etc) and I sent my husband to work because I wasn’t having any contractions. Had a nice big egg breakfast even. I drove myself to the hospital at about 11am, and Claudia had beaten me there.
She was upset by a new policy (don’t know if this is just AF hospital or what) that said she was required to check to see how dialated etc I was, but she checked me and said I was a 2.

So then they put me in my birthing room and got that blasted heplock put in- my worst fear! But I did awesome! I think it was the only time I have ever gotten through a needle without hyperventilating. But I just focused and relaxed and got through it. My first big success!

Meanwhile, my husband’s boss found out that I was at the hospital and kicked him out, so he came over and watched tv with me. I walked in circles, went back and forth to the jacuzzi, and tried everything that Claudia could think of to get labor started, but we got basically nothing. We showed her the birth plan, and she was awesome about it. She offered us juice and food (even though the cute little nurse got scared when Christopher brought me a sandwich from home, we just ignored her), brought in the birthing ball, and was really helpful. We told her we didn’t want to do pitocin, and she said that she understood compeletely but it was her advice to use it. Basically she said that since I was so early and on the antibiotics, the pediatricians would be very concerned about Tyler and the longer we drew out labor, the more concerned they would be. She didn’t force us into it, but we talked about it and decided that since she said she would take us off once labor was clearly started that we would take that option. We set a goal that if we weren’t making progress by 5:30 then we would start the Pit. When the nurse came in at 5:30 to start it we proudly told her that we had managed 3 surges 8 minutes apart, and she told us that “that isn’t progress. No progress is made on your cervix until you are 3 minutes apart” (that’s not true) and started the Pit. We were so happy when her shift ended, because every other nurse was wonderful.

But once the pit got into my system, that was all I needed. A half an hour later my surges were ideed 3 minutes apart. I think we were only on Pit an hour or so. At first I did great, focusing and breathing just like I learned. The first 3 hours went by really well. At that point I have to admit I started to lose focus and it started to hurt.  Every once in a while I would focus through one, but I certainly wasn’t doing as well as I wanted to. I didn’t expect all of my body to instinctually want to fight like that!

At about 11pm I started to lose focus quite badly- that was 5 hours into it. The contractions were really really strong, and when Claudia told us that in her experience I was looking at a 4 or 5 am birth, I really lost focus. It wasn’t her fault for telling us that, we might have even asked and that really was her experience. But I shouldn’t have listened. With that time frame in mind I started telling Christopher that the epidural didn’t look that bad anymore because I knew I wouldn’t make it that long. I still know that. But thinking that made me lose any focus I had, and I even threw up. Dang it!

But I didn’t have to hang on that long! The reason the surges were so strong is because they were accomplishing so much. I was pushing a half an hour later. I kinda did a combination of pushing and breathing down. So I mostly pushed him out. I wanted to laugh though when he started tearing. I could feel the baby wanting to come out, and I could hear my husband getting so excited that he was right there and everyone telling me to push harder and he would come right out- but my body was just saying “let’s just hang out here for a while and not push cause that hurt lots”. Baby won that battle though- he was ready even if I wasn’t! Down he came, and it was only a little tear. I just watched them cleaning up Tyler while they stiched me up and did even better than I did with the heplock. Tyler was born at 12:02 am on January 3rd.

So it was about 5.5 hours of labor and a half an hour of pushing, and I had my little Tyler! He was 6 lbs and 10 oz, which isn’t bad for such a premie. We don’t think he was that premature, we were totally guessing on the date. But they searched their hearts out for something to be wrong with him, and all we got was a litle jaundice a few days later.

One of the things that amazed me the most is how good I felt afterwards. I was a bit tired, and being sore down there made walking awkward, but otherwise I felt absolutly fine. That is very different from most things that put you in the hospital- most injuries have pain that just never goes away. But a half an hour later I was cheerfully chatting on the phone with

I just want to thank you again for everything! Our birthing experience was just wonderful, and even if I didn’t do as well as I wanted to I know now what I need to expect for the next time and can’t wait to do better next time. I recommend this to all my friends, even if most of them look at me like I am nuts and tell me that they would never even think of going without the epidural. I just laugh when they tell me I was lucky to have a short labor and delivery for such a calm baby, because I know that none of those things were accidents at all. They just like to use that as their excuse that they could have gone natural too if it was only 6 hours instead of the 20 they are bragging about, and I try to explain to them that the chicken might come before that egg. They never buy it, but I know better.

Thanks again for everything!

-Sarah, Christopher and Tyler

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