Well that was certainly a whirlwind few days. Thursday I finalized everything for my Ph.D. and Friday I had a baby! Talk about timing. As you probably read in my last post I had no real expectation that I would go into labor without assistance so you can imagine my surprise when the very next morning it happened. Here is the story of how Meghan Suzanne Berry came into the world.
Friday early morning (5:55am) I was about to make my fourth trip to the bathroom of the night when, upon standing, my pants become saturated. I made a sound of surprise which altered Sean to ask what was wrong. I told him I wasn't sure but I think my water just broke, either that or I wet my pants. He obviously assumed the later and rolled over to go back to sleep. After checking everything out I was 90% sure I had NOT wet my pants but put on a pad to see if I continued to leak fluid. The 'gushing water' that you see on TV and in movies, was certainly not what I was experiencing and over the next few hours I was certain I had a slow leak. I called the doctor and was told to come to the hospital after 6 hours or if the contractions got regular. We also called Sean's mom so she would have time to come and take care of Colin before we had to go. So I just 'labored' at home (not much was going on so it is hard to really call it labor) doing various chores to prepare to be gone for a while, getting a grocery order together to be delivered after we got home, you know the usual!
We called the doctor back at 12 and she said to eat a good lunch and then come in. So we left for the hospital around 12:45. We were in the waiting room for a while chatting it up with another couple being induced with their first child. Her due date wasn't for another week but she was dilated and 100% effaced so they decided to move things along I guess. We got admitted to labor and delivery around 3 I think and I was checked by the resident. I was 3cm dilated 80% effaced and having contractions every 3 minutes but they weren't all that strong yet. We got comfortable, Sean started making me laugh about something and with every laugh more and more of my 'water' was coming out, not the most comfortable of feelings. We were sitting chatting (probably about how I was hungry!) when Dr. #5 walked in... in street clothes and a coach bag and not looking very dr like. In fact she looked more like someone visiting who got the wrong room. She says "Do you know me?" and I must have looked at her strangely because she eventually introduced herself as Dr #5 and I said oh of course it has just been awhile since I didn't go down to that office during this pregnancy. So she decides to check my cervix (still in street clothes mind you, seemed very odd to me), however she doesn't wait for the contraction to end and just goes to town, I didn't know it at the time but I she decided that was a good time to strip my membranes which was not painful at all when I had it done in the doctors office with Colin but was extremely uncomfortable mid contraction. Things went nuts and I was practically trying to crawl up the table to get away from her. She asked me if I was opposed to an epidural and I said no and that now was a good time! At this point it is 5pm and I am 5cm..Sean was looking forward to that text (5 at 5) but there was no break in the action for him to even get out his phone. The contractions were coming on top of each other, particularly when the baby started moving around. So a little while later my nurse comes in to tell us that the epidural has been requested but that the anesthesiologist is next door and will be over as soon as he is done. I think 20 minutes went by and things are going from bad to worse so much to Sean's dismay I push the call button and get the nurse back in the room to find out why I haven't seen the anesthesiologist yet. She reports back that it shouldn't be much longer... I am in some SERIOUS pain, pain I have never felt before, pain I never even got to when I labored with Colin. Sean is being a great coach and helping me remember to breathe through it. For one reason or another one of the hospital logo's on my gown became my focus point and I just kept trying to blow it off the gown with my breathing. I have NO idea where that image came from but it gave me something to concentrate on so I kept with it. Another 5 or so minutes and I feel the contraction monitor slip off and I fear they will think I'm no longer contracting and not rush the guy so I push the call button again, the nurse comes back in ready to tell me it will only be a few more minutes and I'm quick to explain that I want her to fix the monitor..she just laughs at this but fixes it.. I think it was about this time that I really felt Meghan move and twist and engage in the birth canal. I think I was asking her to please not move and then looked at the nurse with what can only be terror on my face and tell her shes moved and she is LOW.. She leaves and comes back seconds later with the resident who checks me and says, yeah shes 9cm, we might not have time for that epidural, someone call Dr. #5. Turns out she LEFT to go get something to eat and had to high tail it back to the hospital. All of sudden 5 doctors are in the room, one of whom says "Don't worry I'll deliver you if Dr #5 isn't back" I'm thinking who the heck cares about the doctor WHERE IS THE ANESTHESIOLOGIST? All I'm thinking is that there is no way I can push for three hours feeling like this without drugs. One very sweet dr (I have no idea if she is a resident or attending) is right by my head trying to assure me that the worst is over and that the rest is nothing compared to what I've just come through. And I'm trying to just communicate with a look that no you don't understand I'm going to push for three hours and I'm not going to make it because I have absolutely no ability to talk. Eventually I tell them I have to push and the resident checks me again and says, "its just a lip" I have no idea what that means but apparently it means I can push.. Dr. #5 now rushes in and I hear her ask if she can change first and everyone tells her NO get ready now. People do a wardrobe change and for some reason I never put that together as baby coming out, I just assumed it was 'pushing attire' at this point, particularly because she is still in street clothes!
I honestly don't think I pushed more than 5 times and the baby was out (everyone said "Woa that is a big baby" and various versions of your so small how did you have such a big baby) and immediately placed on my chest. It was 5:49pm. Again, Sean was amazing, while I was still thinking it was going to be hours he said "It is almost over I can see her, I can see our little girl" I must have looked at him like he had three heads because he said it again. Even the resident as she was giving me the baby said "You should see the look on your face, you are in shock". Then the baby goes to the warmer and they start getting her cleaned up and foot printed and all that jazz. Now this is the part I have no real memory of from Colin's birth, but I now had to deliver the placenta and get stitched up without an epidural. They kept telling me to push again and I kept telling them they were nuts if they thought I was capable of that. At this point the resident and Dr. #5 disagree about the 'readiness' of the placenta and the resident is getting annoyed with Dr. #5 for thinking I should be pushing before it is ready. I just had a good little internal chuckle about that one since I'm apparently not the only one who isn't a fan of Dr. #5. We finish with that miserableness and then they give me the baby to nurse. Sean starts now to get the info out to everyone and begins taking photos with our camera. None of these photos are for public view since I'm overly exposed, without actually exposing anything. We never really got a good shot of Meghan because we could only see half her face. She nursed for almost 45 minutes and Sean held her for another 2 before they took her up to the nursery. Sean went with them but had to come back to transfer me to a room. I actually was standing up and getting into a wheelchair an hour after pushing that baby out, I thought they were kidding when they brought in the wheelchair. Somehow we got a private room again without having to pay for it, and shortly after the baby came back from the nursery and we were able to take the first photos of her entire face, on our phones so that they could be distributed.
The rest of the hospital stay was pretty uneventful, and we were discharged a short 28hrs after her birth. In the next post I will explain our name choice and why it took us nearly 24hrs to decide.