I finally got Caroline's birth story written! It's VERY long, but I wanted to remember every detail for the future because I have the absolute worst memory EVER! I hope you enjoy!
We arrived at the hospital about 7:10 and had prayer with our parents in the parking lot before going in. After checking in, I got in my room about 7:30. They got me ready. My nurse’s name was Sylvia and she had a really hard time putting my IV in which is very strange because they usually have no problem with that kind of stuff with me. The laboratory technician had a hard time drawing my blood and ended up having to stick me twice to get the blood she needed. It turned out that I was dehydrated. They had told me not to eat or drink anything after midnight the night before. I had only had a little bit of water in that time because I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to have that either. After that, it wasn’t an issue, but it was very painful at the time!
The nurse asked me if I knew if I wanted an epidural. My husband and I had talked about it beforehand. I told her that I was pretty sure that I was going to get one, but I wanted to labor without it as much as possible, but I didn’t want to miss my window! I really wanted to be able to experience labor the way it was meant to be up until the point I could handle it. But, I’m no hero. I am not afraid of pain relief! J
The doctor came in and checked me at 8:05 am. I was 3 cm, 80% effaced and at -2 station. I was so glad that my body was progressing on its own so well. They got the pitocin (oxytocin) started about 9:15 am (after having to fix the machine a couple of times.) I was having contractions, but they weren’t very strong and I wasn’t having much pain.
The doctor came in at 11:10am to check me again and break my water. I was 3.5 cm, 80% effaced and -2 station. He broke my water just after he checked me. I didn’t even notice until I felt the gush of water. What a weird feeling!
The contractions started to come much stronger and much more frequently almost immediately. I finally knew exactly what REAL contractions felt like. There was no mistaking those!!!! It didn’t take long before I was ready for my epidural. I think I asked for it around 12:30 or 12:45 and it was done by 1:10 pm. It was so hard to sit there and deal with the contractions while he was giving me the epidural. It was SO painful!
The epidural kicked in and man was it amazing!!! I did not feel a thing. I didn’t even feel the tightening of the contractions! What was funny was that my whole left leg went completely numb. I couldn’t even lift it. My right leg was fine. I could feel the effects of the epidural in it, but I could use it like normal. Every time they came in to check me after that, the nurse had to hold my left leg up. So funny! So, they checked me at 1:30pm. I was 4.5 cm, 90% effaced and -1 station. I was SOOOOO disappointed! I really thought that I would be further along by that point, especially with how the contractions had picked up.
It wasn’t long after that that I started to feel so tired. I settled in for a little “epi nap”. It was so wonderful to just lay there and sleep while my body progressed! Sylvia checked me at 3:00 pm and I was only a 5! Talk about being disappointed!!! So, because I was not progressing, they upped my pitocin at 3:40 pm. I went back to sleep during this time and at 4:32pm, the doctor came in to check me. Can you believe it??????? I was 8 cm, 90% effaced and 0 station at this point, only 52 minutes after Sylvia checked me and I was a 5! WOW! That happened fast! No discouragement any longer! ;) At some point, I asked the nurse how long she thought it might be because I really wanted her to be there for Caroline’s delivery and she got off at 7pm. She had been so incredibly amazing and I wanted her to be the one there for Caroline’s delivery! She said that she didn’t know, that anything could happen, which is just about what I expected. You can’t predict labor!
David’s grandparents came in to visit shortly after that. Sylvia told me later that she was in talking to Dr. VanZant, asking how long he thought it might be before I delivered because she really wanted to see me through until the end if she could (so sweet!) He said that he was looking at my charts and the baby’s heartrate was dropping. David’s grandparents were still in the room when Dr. VanZant and Sylvia came rushing in! Of course, I asked David’s grandparents to leave. I said, “Something must be going on if you guys are back so soon!” Dr. VanZant said that Caroline’s heart rate was dropping. He said it could just be that she had dropped farther into the birth canal and if she had, it was normal for her heart rate to drop. So, he checked me and at 5:26 pm. I was 10 cm, 100% effaced and +2 station! Dr. VanZant said, “Ok, we are ready to have a baby!” I couldn’t believe it! At that point, it seemed like it had happened SO fast! Of course, I had gone from 4.5 to 10 in less time than it had taken me to go from 3 to 4.5. That’s probably why it seemed so short!
So, the doctor started getting ready to deliver our baby girl! Funny enough, he even took a call during that time (Some lady had come into L&D and they told her to walk around to see if she could get her labor moving better and she walked right out of the hospital, over to the doctor’s office, got in her car and left! They had been trying to find her and it was her calling so he needed to take the call. Craziness!)
So, anyway, it was time for me to push! I couldn’t feel a thing! I couldn’t even feel any pressure like so many women who had had epidurals told me I was sure to feel. Since I couldn’t feel a thing, the nurse had her hands on my stomach and the doctor was watching to see when I would have a contraction because I had no idea! I pushed through 5 contractions and 26 minutes after they had rushed in the door, at 5:52 pm Caroline Emigh Stanford was born! I probably only pushed for 10-15 minutes. At one point between pushes, Dr. VanZant said something like, “You make this look like it’s a breeze.” OR “You are making this look easy.” I can’t remember. It was something like that. I was excited about that! I couldn’t believe labor was so wonderful! I mean, we were chatting and laughing between me pushing. I REALLY enjoyed my labor experience! I never even broke a sweat the entire day!
Caroline Emigh Stanford was born at 5:52 pm July 30, 2009.
She weighed 7 lbs. 4 oz. and was 23 inches long!