I am sorry that it's taken me so long to post about Eli's birth. It has been a busy and exhausting 2 weeks. But without further ado...
Monday Dec. 15th Big John and I headed to the hospital to check in and start my induction. We got all the paperwork done and the nurses started my blood work and IV. They gave me my first dose of cytotec. It is a pill that is supposed to ripen your cervix and thin it out to start dilation. They told me that I would get a dose every 4 hours through the night and then the next morning they would start me on pitocin. After about 30 minutes I started having some minor contractions. They felt more like menstrual cramps than contractions. Big John and I were able to play some cards and watch some tv. After the first 4 hours the nurse came in and told me that I couldn't get my next dose of Cytotec because I was having too many contractions. So that was good news. The medicine was working really good. They came in and gave me a sleeping pill and we settled down for the night. The next morning they came in at 5am and started me on the Pitocin. It is an IV medicine that stimulates the uterus into having contractions. The doctor checked me at that time and I was dilated to 2 and 60% effaced. My cramps started getting stronger but still weren't strong enough to make me stop what I was doing. My family came down to the hospital to visit and so they could be there when Eli made his appearance. At about noon the doctor came in to check on my progress. I was dilated to 2 and 80% effaced. So I was making absolutely no progress. The doctor decided to take me off of the Pitocin for the night and give me Cervidil. It is a tablet that is attached to a string that they insert in your vagina and place it right on your cervix. This is supposed to do the same thing that the Cytotec was supposed to do. The doctor told me that they would leave it in for 12 hours and at 5 am on Wed. he would come in and break my water for me.
I started getting cramps again almost immediately after they inserted the Cervidil. Again they weren't that bad but were stronger than they had been until then. I got another sleeping pill and settled down for what I thought would be my last night of sleep for a while. I woke up at around 12:30 to a really strange feeling. Then before I knew it, my water broke. Now when I say it broke, I mean it really gushed. I am so happy that it happened at the hospital. It would've been really embarrassing if it happened anywhere else. Big John ran out and got the nurse and she came in and got everything cleaned up.
After that, my contractions started coming faster and harder. The doctor came in around 5 am and checked me. I had made some progress already. He said that he expected to be in around dinner time to deliver me since I was a first time mom. All morning my pain got worse and worse. There were so many times that I didn't think I could do it anymore and I started thinking about getting some pain medicine. Big John kept me going though. He kept telling me how strong I was and how proud he was of me. Finally I decided that I couldn't take it anymore. I called the nurse in and started asking her about the epidural. She had me get in bed so she could check me before calling the anesthesiologist. She checked and told me that I was dilated to 8 and it wouldn't be much longer. She also said that she thought Eli was face up. Which is really bad. She had me labor on my side with a birthing ball between my legs for a few contractions to see if we could coax him to turn around. If we couldn't, the doctor would have to reach in and manually turn him around. It turns out both Big John and I were face up and had to be turned by the doctor. The whole time I was on my side I had the urge to push that was so strong I couldn't resist it. I just had to push. The nurse kept telling me that it wasn't time to push yet and I had to stop. That was the hardest part of the whole process. It took everything I had to stop pushing. Finally she decided to check me again and told me that I was at a nine and there was only a lip of my cervix left. She said that the next contraction she was going to try to stretch that lip over the baby's head so I could start pushing.
Just then the doctor poked his head in the room. He was at the hospital on his lunch and wanted to check my progress. The nurse told him to call the office and tell them he wouldn't be back. He didn't believe her so he had to come and check me himself. He checked and said that the lip was still there but he was able to stretch it over the baby's head. He left the room to scrub up and get ready to deliver me. Meanwhile the nurse started preparing me for pushing. She had Big John get on one side and hold one of my legs for me while she was on the other side holding the other leg. She had me do a few practice pushes and then I was ready for the real thing.
I started pushing at 1:15. It was so exhilarating to be able to finally push. I asked them to move the mirror around so I could watch Eli come into the world. But as it turns out I couldn't push with my eyes open. I did manage one peak and got to see him crowning. Big John was so good to me. He was cheering me on and telling me everything he could see. He watched the whole thing! The nurse was cheering me on just as much as Big John was. She kept telling me what a good job I was doing and how impressed she was with how well I was pushing for a first time mom. The doctor came in and couldn't believe how much progress I had made already. He had expected it to take me a few hours to deliver. It turns out that I pushed for only 30 minutes and Eli was born at 1:46 in the afternoon. Just a little over 12 hours after my water broke. He weighed 8 pounds 12 ounces and was 21 1/2 inches long. I can't describe the feeling I got when they laid him on my chest. It was the most amazing and powerful feeling I have ever felt. I instantly loved him enough that I would lay down my life for him.
It has been a wonderful, amazing, exhausting, exhilarating, empowering, and happy 2 weeks since Elijah David was born. I hope to post more often now that he is sleeping better and is on somewhat of a schedule. Meanwhile, here are some photos to tide you over until next time. Also you can check out my Flickr page for more...