After nine months we have finally met our baby.
On the Monday before my due date we started trying out all the old wives tales to induce labor. We are spicy food and chocolate, took walks and bounced on the birth ball, Cory gave me pressure point foot rubs. When Wednesday rolled around I was having contractions that kept me from sleeping so at four in the morning I got up, cleaned the kitchen, baked a cake and cleaned the kitchen again. When it was properly morning I called the midwives to see what they thought and they told me to come in. I was dilated to four and 90% effected. The midwife stripped my membranes and said she wouldn't be surprised to see me before the end of the day. Cory went to work and I spent my day cleaning, frosting, napping and bouncing on my ball. By the time Cory returned my contractions were quite regular and slowly growing in strength. By eight o clock they were quite strong in my front and my back so we decided to make our way to the hospital.
When we arrived at the hospital I got a midwife named Desiree. She checked me, I was dilated to five and pretty much completely effected. She said I could stay or go home and labor some more there and come home later. My drive over was kind of terrible so I decided to stay at the hospital and get in the jet tub as soon as humanly possible. They checked me into our nice little labor room and immediately started filling the tub. The second I climbed in my back pain and contractions stopped completely and I was able to relax. Cory played a little bit of Harry Potter, the lights were low, the water was hot and everything was nice. The only problem was I was no longer progressing. It was at this point I decided I wanted an epidural. I thought it might take a while, but our nurse put a really cold IV in my wrist and in less than ten minutes the anesthesiologist was there coating my back in tape.
For the next while everything was perfect. I couldn't feel my contractions, but they were progressing perfectly, I could still feel and move my legs and I happily chatted with my midwife and nurse. Cory put on a movie, we tried napping through Moonrise Kingdom and Midnight in Paris. Sometime in there I started to notice I could feel my contractions in the left side of my pelvis, front and back, but my right leg was growing increasingly numb. The anesthesiologist came back three times to give me extra strong doses of medicine which only succeeded in making my right leg feel like fifty pounds of rubber which kept sliding off the edge of the bed. Cory started Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. I was feeling really rotten so the midwife came over and checked me again. She broke my water, I barfed, a lot, and she said I could start pushing.
When pushing commenced the third shot of extra epidural had just been administered so I couldn't feel my stomach. I couldn't tell if I was pushing or not, I also couldn't tell when I was supposed to push. Not much later however I started to be able to feel my muscles when I clenched them and then my body when it wanted to push. I threw up twice more and poor Cory, who hadn't eaten in hours and hates barf had to be taken out and fed. Even though the contractions passed and the ladies kept telling me I was close and they could see Penny's head, Penny didn't come. She was stuck in my pelvis because she was facing forward instead of facing my spine like she should have been. Afterwards my midwife told me 2/3 first mothers with "Sunnyside up" babies must be born via c section. Two and a half hours later I was delirious with fatigue and wanted to give up. If it wasn't for my wonderful nurse who after every contraction would tell me I could do it and I was close and Cory who was so sweet and strong even though seeing me hurting was so hard for him, I don't know if I could have done it. Finally Penny was freed and crowning, which lasted for like four contractions, a thing I wasn't expecting, and then born!
The ladies quickly wiped Penny down and put her on my chest where Cory and I were free to fawn over her and be relieved it was all over while the midwife finished up. This bit was such an intense experience. It was our first moment as a family, our first time meeting this being who had been growing inside me for the past months. At that moment all the pain and nausea disappeared and I was free to bask in my first experience as a mother.