...so I want to get it recorded now. As much as I can remember anyway.
Let me just start out with the fact that I was EXTREMELY terrified of labor and delivery! So much so that it took me a while to convince myself that I could actually do it--before I got pregnant--and then I had to constantly reassure myself, and be reassured, that it was possible. My mom told me "Meghan, millions of women have done it before you, and millions will do it after you, so it is possible for YOU." I believed her...and she was right! :O)
I was supposed to have a doctor appointment on Wednesday, September 16th--my second one of the week--because my Dr. Young wanted to speak with me about induction options. He had been dangling the option in front of my face for a few weeks, but never actually allowed it because he didn't feel my body was quite ready to be induced and therefore, it would be extremely difficult on me. I had dilated to a 2+ and was 75-80% effaced by the previous Friday, but hadn't changed much by my Monday appointment, so they made a second appointment Wednesday. However, Tuesday, they called and told me they had just WAY overbooked and so they were going to open specially on Saturday of that week and wondered if I could come in then instead. I was SEVERELY disappointed, but consented. I thought to myself--well, I am going to go into labor before then anyway, so I guess it doesn't really matter.
So, I went about my normal routine. On Thursday, September 17th, I did my big grocery shopping. (Good thing, cuz we wouldn't have had food for a week otherwise :O) I thought that the more active I was, the better, so I went walking as quickly as I could--which wasn't very quick, I might add. I went to Costco, Walmart, and then Days Market; along with the bank, etc. I had been having quite a bit of contractions for the last several weeks, so I was quite used to just pushing myself through them. They weren't ever regular, so we didn't worry about it. I hurried home to make dinner and got the old folks fed and ready for bed. Then, I rushed off to watch the ward girls and my sister play soccer for our team. One of the husbands of the girls said, "You STILL haven't had him yet?! When is he due?" I told him I was due that Saturday, but that I would probably go into labor after the game and have him that night :O)
Sure enough, my contractions started to get a little more intense and were more regular, starting after the game. I went to sleep and was able to rest for several more hours until about 4AM when the contractions were too intense to be able to sleep through (I'm typically a pretty heavy sleeper). Once I was up, I started to get things together, plug in the camera, take a hot shower to relax my muscles, etc. It took a while because I had to pause between contractions and take sitting breaks. Finally, around 6:30AM, I called my mom and told her I thought I was in labor this time. She asked me if I was timing my contractions, but I hadn't been. I just knew they were intensifying and I could tell they were coming regularly.
So, I timed my contractions for the next hour and they were on the dot every five minutes. I then woke Devin up and told him I thought I was in labor and we should probably get ready to go because I didn't know if it would be a short or long labor and delivery. He got up and started to get things together. I called my mom again and told her how frequently my contractions were and that we may go to the hospital. Since this was not the first time I had called telling her about contractions, she told me to call her again later if we actually went to the hospital and they told me I was going to stay. I continued to do stuff at home to get ready and in the next hour, the contractions stayed very consistent, so we decided to head out.
Devin videotaped us leaving the house and during some of our stay at the hospital. When we arrived at the hospital (about 9AM), the nurse took a look at me and said she knew I would be staying, just by my countenance, but that she would follow the necessary procedures to be sure. I was dilated to a 4+ and was having regular contractions, so she said she would prep my room and call the anesthesiologist if I wanted him to come.
At that point, my contractions weren't too bad, so I thought about just going through the process naturally, but I decided to go with it anyway. The anesthesiologist did a really great job administering the epidural (about 10:30AM). It wasn't bad getting it AND I could actually move around decently well still. I heard so many horror stories about them and also how debilitating it was to different women, so I was happy that I could still turn myself from side to side and scoot around a tad.
At that point, we were moved to the room and just hung out for several hours. Both Devin and I took a short nap, looked around for movies, videotaped some more, tried to make the TV work, did some reading and waited for nurses to check on my progress.
I didn't dilate too quickly from there. And my water didn't break, so it was a decent wait. Around 3PM, they decided to break my water for me. When they went to do so, they saw that my water had broken, but that I had a second 'water' sac as well and they would need to break that. They did so around 3:30 and because I still hadn't dilated much (only a 5), they gave me a pit drip around 4:30. My parents arrived about 6:00 and the nurses came to check on me about the same time. I had dilated to a 10 but wasn't quite all the way effaced, so they would have me wait just a little longer before I started to push. One of my friends was giving birth at the time as well, so they asked me to wait to push for a bit longer so they could have some more staff on hand for her.
At 7:30, they had me start to push. Which I did for about 15 minutes before the doctor said I had two options. Camden was posterior, so I could 1) Push for another 3 hours and maybe Camden would come or 2) have him use forceps to turn Camden so he was turned the right way. I was TOTALLY against the idea of forceps right up until that moment, which I promptly responded, "okay, let's turn him." With a baby that big, it would have been REALLY difficult to push him out when he wasn't turned the correct way. It took about a half hour to get the forceps, so they said I could push whenever a contraction came if I wanted, or I could just let them pass. I pushed a bit more and then the doctor started using the forceps. Can I just say those were the most painful part of my labor and delivery?! It seriously felt like he was scraping my insides out with those things...and they are MUCH bigger than I anticipated. I was EXTREMELY grateful for the epidural at that point, because I can't even imagine what that would have been like without one.
Once Camden was turned, I started pushing again. As I was pushing, the doctor asked the nurses, based on my size, what they thought the weight of the baby would be. All of them guessed around 7 lbs or so. The doc then proceeded to tell them that at my 34 week ultrasound, he was weighing approximately 6 pounds--and that was almost 6 weeks ago. After about 10 minutes, he came. Everyone was SHOCKED! He was HUGE-9lbs 12 oz! They said I was not having a newborn at all. (He fit in newborn diapers for about 5 days)
Devin did pretty well during the whole ordeal. Better than I anticipated anyway. My sister, JaNae, was in the doorway so as soon as Camden came, she could take pictures of him. That way, Devin wouldn't have to remember to do so during the big moments! Devin, however, got a little out of it a few times during the delivery. He isn't into the whole medical stuff much--it makes him sick to his stomach. So, there were a few times he wasn't helping very well because he was so engrossed in what was taking place. JaNae had to come in just to make sure he was always stable, so she got some funny pictures of him wondering "what the heck is that?!" and "what is happening to my wife?" ha ha! We all had quite the laugh about it!
Camden was WONDERFUL! Even from the start, he just was SUCH a good and pure baby. Everyone commented on how sweet his countenance was and what a handsome little man he is. He is a joy and we love him very much!
I must say, if all of my pregnancies, labors, and deliveries go THIS well, I will definitely be having many more children with no problem; however, I do not plan or expect that. I feel we were very blessed this time around because of the various circumstances we are living under--not to mention all of the infection and illness we had afterward. Recovery was definitely the most difficult part for me. I tore very badly and the doctor said it was like putting a jigsaw puzzle back together. He sewed me up for a long time afterward. I did really well with the recovery for the first week (my mom said I was living on adrenaline). I went to the store and out to the restaurants to eat. I even stopped taking meds the third day so I could nurse without it affecting Camden at all. I think the meds were making him more sleepy and he had jaundice so he needed to wake up. The second week, however, was a terrible experience because I had endometritis. I realized that all of my recovery pain stemmed from that infection. I didn't know it, because it was my first time, but when my fever finally spiked to 103 and wouldn't go down with ibuprofen, we went to the doctor. She almost hospitalized me at that time, but decided to give me antibiotics--two shots to the hips and then two other prescriptions.
After the shots, I immediately began to feel a little better, which was a great sign. The pharmacist said that I must have had something pretty bad because I was given some extremely strong antibiotics. Usually they make people feel very sick. I was mostly just very tired. The baby couldn't really breastfeed because of it, but my breastfeeding stories will be saved for another time :O)
It was all worth it though for our little Camden. We love him immensely and are so grateful he is here and life is slowly getting back to "normal." Anyway, sorry this is so lengthy! It's mostly for my records, but for those who made it to the bottom, good job! :O)