Luca Leon Butorac
November 2, 2009
8 lbs 4.8 oz
Ok, I am finally finding some time to write down all the details of Luca's birth. I have just been having so much fun holding and hanging out with my little man that I haven't taken the time to update the blog. But I know everyone is anxious for an update, so here goes...
Sunday, November 1st:
I woke up with a wet pantyliner and continued to have wet pantyliners all morning. I called my Dr. to see if she thought maybe my water had broken and she told me that it may have, but since I wasn't having contractions yet, to just keep an eye on it. She said if I felt a "gush" of fluid or started having strong, regular contractions, then I would need to go to the hospital. By late afternoon, I was "leaking" pretty heavily and told Tony that we should probably think about getting things ready. We both took showers and finished packing our bags. Once we were all ready, the "leaking" seemed to subside quite a bit, but I was starting to have what felt like strong menstrual cramps as well as some cramping in my lower back. We decided to just hang out at home and see how things progressed. I continued to have the cramping off and on throughout the evening, but the cramps (or contractions) never got closer together or more intense. They actually stopped by the time I went to bed and I was able to sleep soundly through the night.
Monday, November 2nd:
I woke up around 6:45 when Tony left for school. I started to feel a little crampy again so I just hung out in bed and watched a movie until it was time to get ready for my Dr.'s appointment at 9:45. I told my Dr. about the crampiness and explained that the fluid "leaking" had gotten heavier after I spoke with her on Sunday morning. She checked me and said that she didn't feel a water bag, so my water very well could have broken the day before like I thought. She said I was just about 3 cm dilated and still about 50% effaced. Then she said, "Do you want to have a baby today?" I of course said "YES!!" She told me to go ahead and walk over to the hospital (my Dr.'s office is right next to the hospital) and she would call them and let them know that I was on the way. All of a sudden I got really nervous because this was totally not how I had pictured this process starting. Tony was supposed to be there and he was supposed to drive me to the hospital, etc. I asked my Dr. if I should go home and get my bags and wait for Tony to come back from work and then we could go to the hospital together. She said that it takes a couple hours to get checked in and hooked up to everything, and if I wanted to have the baby that night it would be best if I just headed over to the hospital right then and then call Tony to stop at the house and get our bags before meeting me at the hospital. So I headed over to the hospital feeling very nervous and excited all at the same time. I called Tony right away and told him that I was heading to the hospital to start the induction process and if everything went well we could have our baby by 8 or 9 o'clock that night. He was very excited (and I think a bit nervous too) and said that he would find someone to cover his class and head back down right away. I also called my dad and left a message letting him know that I was heading to the hospital to have a baby :-)
I got checked in, changed into a hospital gown, and hooked up to an IV for fluids and pitocin. I was really nervous for the pitocin to start working because I have heard awful things about this drug from several of my friends. However, I also knew that it was the only way to get the contractions going and to get my labor to progress. Plus, before I left the Dr.'s office, my Dr. said that once I was hooked up the pitocin and started to have some strong, regular contractions that I could have the epidural anytime, which made me feel much better.
Tony got to the hospital at about 11:30 with all of our bags. By that time I was having some contractions, but they weren't too terribly painful (just really uncomfortable) and I could breath through them. We just hung out for the next couple hours watching TV and texting and talking to friends and family to update them on our status. By 2:00 the contractions were getting a LOT stronger and coming a little closer together, but there was still no regular pattern to them. I told the nurse that I wanted to think about getting the epidural and she kind of gave me a funny look that made me feel like I was being a big wuss. (My Dr. had been in a few minutes earlier to check my progress - I was 4 cm dilated - and again told me that I could have the epidural anytime I was ready. She said there was no need to be a hero since the end result is a baby with or without the epidural. I loved her for saying that!) The nurse said she would have the nurse anesthetist come in and go over the procedure with me and then I could decide what to do from there. The nurse anesthetist came in a few minutes later and we talked about the procedure and what to expect as far as pain relief. The entire time he was in the room (which was about 20 minutes) I didn't have any contractions, so I told him that I would try to wait a little bit longer before I got the epidural. Not joking, as soon as he left the room I started having really strong, painful contractions back to back with no break in between. I tried using all the breathing techniques we learned in class, I tried leaning over the bed and swaying my hips to help relieve some of the back labor, but nothing was working - I was in a lot of pain! It was about this time that Tony asked me if I would want to do this again. I told him it was not a good time to be asking me that :-) The nurse came back in a few minutes later and I told her that I wanted the epidural ASAP, so she paged the nurse anesthetist to come back. The nurse anesthetist was back within a few minutes and once the epidural was in I got instant relief from the pain - it was AMAZING!
Tony and I spent the rest of the afternoon just resting and watching TV. It was crazy to see these huge contractions on the monitor but not feel anything. Around 6 PM Tony's parents came by and so did my sister and my dad. I was almost 7 cm dilated at that point so everyone just continued to hang out in the room and wait for things to progress. At 7:30, my Dr. came in to check me again and said that I was complete and was ready to start pushing. They had me wait about another 30 minutes just to see if I would start feeling increased pressure in my pelvis and have more of an urge to push. At 8 o'clock, the nurse and my Dr. came back in said it was time to push. Since we were the only patients in labor and delivery that night, they let our families wait in a special waiting room that was just down the hall from our room, instead of sending them to the general waiting area in the main part of the hospital.
The nurse and my Dr. got me all set up to start pushing and Tony took his position up by my head (he was not interested in seeing anything below the waist), and then we waited for the next contraction. It felt really weird to start pushing because the epidural was blocking the sensation that I needed to "bear down". The nurse would just tell me when a contraction was coming and I would start pushing. The first hour of pushing was not bad at all. I was actually able to laugh and carry on a conversation with the nurse and my Dr. They were laughing at me because I was flipping channels on the TV back and forth between Monday Night Football and the World Series. The nurse asked me if I was ok with having the TV on and if I wanted my child to come into the world with sports on or if I wanted something a little more soothing. I told her that sports is pretty much all that is ever on at our house so we might as well get him used to it :-) It was also partly for Tony's sake because I knew he was really nervous about the whole delivery process, he hates hospitals and he doesn't do well with blood, etc. I was trying to give him a slight distraction so that he would make it through the entire delivery :-) The last half hour of pushing was a lot more work and definitely a lot more uncomfortable. I started to feel when the contractions were coming and I could feel the baby in the birth canal. It was this intense feeling of something being "stuck" down there and I just wanted it out. My Dr. and the nurse anesthetist had both told me that there would be some pain and a burning sensation as the baby crowns that the epidural would not take away. They were right! About the last 5 sets of pushes were very painful and uncomfortable. Then all of a sudden my Dr. told me to ease up on the pushing as the baby's head was coming out. Once the head was out, I felt a little relief and then she told me to give one last little push and I felt instant relief and Luca was out! It was the best feeling in the world! They immediately put him on my chest and he started crying right away. I can't even explain how wonderful it felt to finally hold him - it was the most amazing thing! Tony cut the umbilical cord and then they swaddled him up and handed him back to me. I could have just stared at him forever, I couldn't believe he was finally here! I ended up having a small tear that only needed one stitch. After they got Luca and I all cleaned up we tried breastfeeding and he took to it right away. Then our families came in a little bit later to meet him. They were all very excited that he was finally here as well and everyone thought he was just perfect.
Overall, I have to say that labor was not nearly as bad as I expected. I was honestly terrified of the whole process the entire 3rd Trimester. Even when I was horribly uncomfortable and just wanted him to be here, I was still really nervous about how everything would go and how I would handle it since I do not consider myself to have a very high pain tolerance :-) The epidural was amazing and I truly believe that it helped to make my labor a more enjoyable experience. I can now say that I would definitely go through all of it again - especially now that I have my precious little man to remind me of the reward at the end!