So per my doctor's orders, an induction it was. I have to admit I was disappointed that baby did not come on her own, but work/schedule wise for Matt and myself, this was the best possible option if I wanted my husband to be there with me on the big day. I don't think either of us had even considered that baby might not come on time!!
We went in on Friday, June 11th to Prentice Women's Hospital at Northwestern. We were greeted by a friendly nurse who unfortunately wasn't with us very long before we got a new nurse (This was to be a running theme, I can't count how many nurses I met over these 3 days!!), and the pitocin was started. I think they had me at a 2 or a 4 at this point. I got an IV of fluids and then we wait. This was about 9am. Soon after, my parents arrived about 10 or 11 and we watched some of the Hawks parade on TV, and various other programs. The hospital had this great movie channel where we could watch movies like Time Traveler's Wife, It's Complicated, etc. So basically at the beginning it was a lot of waiting around, for something to progress. I was only dilated at 1cm when we got to the hospital, so I knew it was going to take some time. I can't remember what time it was, sometime either late morning or early afternoon, I received the CRIB foley catheter, which is like a balloon that dilates your cervix. It was rather annoying having yet another item inserted and taped to my leg--made going to the bathroom rather interesting!! So the thing with the CRIB was that you either have it for 6 hours and it does the trick, or you have it for 6 more hours for a total of 12. It wasn't going to be checked again until 5pm so I was really hoping for the 6 hour check to have worked. I remember watching Jeopardy with my parents around 3 and then requesting a liquids food tray because by that point I was starving!! That chicken broth saved my life!!
At 5pm the CRIB was checked and my cervix was at a 3 or 4. They removed it and I breathed a sigh of relief. Soon thereafter, my water was broken and the pitocin was kicked up a notch, this time to about an 8? My sister and her husband arrived around 5 ish I believe, and I started to feel some pretty intense contractions. I remember each time they would come on, I would double over in pain and think about how much longer I had to sit with these before it would even be time to push. I let the contractions go on for probably longer than I should have before folding and requesting the epidural. I had wanted to try going without but since I had all these other artificial unnatural devices jammed inside me or in my veins, I thought, why not just do it? The epidural was rather painful, I hated that part so much. I was having contractions during the process so it was pretty unbearable. Once it was in however, I felt much better and while I was unable to get up and move around, I was happy to have the pain subside. The only thing I had to deal with now was the insanity of back labor. Whew, that stuff is intense. The epidural only made it worse I think!! At this point the pitocin was about a 10 and my cervix was doing it's thing, getting ready for me to push in a few hours. I think at 9pm the nurse told me I would probably start pushing around midnight. At 1am, and 9.5 centimeters, the pushing began. I have never felt time move so slowly yet so quickly all at once. With my mother, my sister, Matt and a swat team of kick-ass nurses, we pushed and pushed for an eternity. Matt had the I-Pod set to some Grateful Dead shows and we just focused on the task at hand. The nurses and everyone was telling me how great a job I was doing and that we were really making progress. I felt so empowered and confident by everyone's positive feedback, yet questioned if they were just being nice or if I was really getting somewhere!! After a few hours went by, I started to feel just slightly defeated. If I was doing so well, where was the baby?! Luckily, her heart rate stayed steady and baby worked with me to stay healthy while momma did her thing. I wanted SO badly to deliver vaginally, I pleaded with the nurses not to give up on me and turn me into a c-section delivery. They complied and said I was doing great and they saw no need to go that route given the circumstances. Praise God! Sometime at the 4-hour mark of pushing, with almost no end in sight, the lights turned bright and the OB made her appearance. I knew we were close! It was all so surreal. Then with one final monstrous push, I felt the release, and Elise Faith Kanable was born at 5:18 am on June 12, 2010. She weighed 7 pounds and 10 ounces, 21 inches long. She was absolutely perfect. When they brought her to me I couldn't believe I had just given birth to this precious being. My heart swelled with love and all we could do was stare at her. It's so amazing, how we'd gotten to know each other for 9 months while she lived inside my womb and now here she was, living outside, her first day on Earth.
I just have to say, it was all worth it. The pain, the long labor, the hours and hours of pushing....I can see why women do this again and again, there is really nothing like it once you see that child's face.
After recovering for an hour or two in L & D, we were wheeled on up to the 13th floor for postpartum. Baby roomed in with us the whole time, and it was awesome to spend that time together as a little family until it was time to go home. After ordering some pancakes and bacon, I finally got some rest :)
Since last week, we have been slowly adjusting to this new lifestyle and getting accustomed to life with a newborn. There have been plenty of sleepless nights, but also many tears of joy and hours of gazing at our daughter's face and myriad expressions. I can't believe how different our lives have become, but I welcome this change and know that it is such a blessing and honor to have this person in our lives. We're a family now, and everything we do, we do together. As I type this I think it is time to go feed her so I must cut things short. I hope one day she wants to hear the story of her birth, as I will never tire of telling it.