Birth with Hannah Banana – Part 1

My BFF Tori drove me to the hospital for my 4 pm check in because I didn’t think Pete needed to leave work early to watch me hooked up to a monitor. Pete arrived with my dinner and Tori left us with hugs and best wishes. The Cervidil was administered around 5 pm, I ate my dinner, and we watched TV. We were both sleepy so I told Pete to go home to get a good night’s sleep and come back early the next morning.

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Around 1 am my body started to hurt. My back was throbbing and there was intense pressure in my lady region. I texted Pete as a distraction but told him not to come back to the hospital. I couldn’t get comfortable sitting or walking and I begged the nurse for painkillers. She couldn’t give me anything until I was more hydrated, which meant waiting for the contents of an IV bag to slowly drip into my body. At some point I threw up my dinner and finally received a pain killer that could be given hourly. The pain would subside for 20 minutes, and then return with a vengeance. The early morning hours were a blur of 20 minute naps and begging for more relief. I was only 2 cm dilated and couldn’t have an epidural until I was at 4 cm.

At 4:30 am the nurse removed the Cervidil and suggested I take a shower and let the warm water soothe my back and belly, which did nothing for the pain. When Pete arrived I was leaning on a chair, bracing myself for the growing contraction. I got back in bed, was hooked up the the monitors, and a small dose of Pitocin was administered. The contractions and the pain grew stronger with each passing minute. The only position that felt better was on my hands and knees but the monitors couldn’t pick up Hannah’s heartbeat.

At this point I really don’t remember much besides the pain. The epicenter of the contractions switched between my back and my belly and I’m pretty sure I fell asleep between them. The anesthesiologist had been called when I was 4 cm and finally arrived (to me it felt like hours of waiting).  The process of receiving the epidural was easy and I didn’t feel any of the poking that he warned me about. The epidural did not kick in right away and the Dr. increased it two more times before I started to feel relief.

My OB was waiting for the anesthesiologist to leave so that she could check my progress. I was 9 cm dilated and almost fully effaced. I couldn’t believe it! Even though I could still feel the tightness of the contractions at the very top of my uterus, I was comfortable enough to fall asleep for a couple hours. Pete ran down to the Dunkin Donuts in the hospital lobby to grab a breakfast sandwich and then took a nap on the little couch in my room. I don’t remember exactly when, but they did attach the little sensors to Hannah’s scalp because the monitor on my belly was not picking up her heartbeat very well. The OB also broke my water. It was a weird sensation because I could feel the warmth of the amniotic fluid but not the wetness.

My OB came back in to check on me before she headed downstairs to perform a C-section and I was fully dilated and effaced so she asked me if I wanted to try pushing. I thought she meant try because I might not push correctly from the epidural. The nurse, Nara, explained the correct way to push and instructed Pete to hold my left knee and she held my right. I pushed through the first contraction and the OB said she could see Hannah’s head. The other nurse, Pam, rolled in a tray of equipment and a mirror so that I could watch the birth. My OB suited up and it was go time.

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