Ingrid Ryan Harness: labor and delivery

My due date with Ingrid was August 4th. Owen still wasn't here by his due date, so I was induced with him the following day. Although my induced labor/delivery experience was fast and easy with Owen, this time I said I didn't care how long I was pregnant; I wanted to go into labor on my own. I just wanted to experience spontaneous labor. Well, at my 36 week appointment, my doctor mentioned that I could be induced at 39 weeks. You can't dangle something like that in front of me and expect me not to bite. So, I did. That's all I'm going to say about that.
July 28th, 4:50 AM
Ryan and I left the house. I had been contracting all night anyway and had also been seeing blood, so I had been watching the clock, trying to wait until our scheduled time to go. I was completely silent the whole way there except to say "men have it so easy." We were on our way to the hospital for me to deliver our baby; he knew better than to argue, so he just smiled. I was excited to meet Ingrid, but I was nervous about how the day was going to go, and even more nervous about what life would be like once she arrived. I had a terrible time both physically and emotionally after I had Owen, and I dreaded the possibility of that happening again. (It didn't!) I hard a hard time thinking about anything else, though.

5:15 AM  
We arrived at the hospital. I was already so tired. We got to our room and there was someone waiting for me with a gown in her hand, instructing me to go straight to the bathroom and put it on. Once I put it on, I hadn't even opened the bathroom door all the way and she was already starting to put the wristbands on me and ask what felt like a million questions. Then several more nurses came in to help get everything started. It felt chaotic from the second I stepped into that room. I kept thinking they don't mess around!

6:00 AM
As with every hospital experience of mine, there was a huge ordeal with the IV. A different nurse finally came in to do it after the first nurse couldn't get one started. I had to change gowns shortly afterwards because all the pokes and blows to my veins made me so sweaty as I tried not to pass out. That being said, I fully expected every bit of that to happen because it always does. In the middle of all of that, there were 3 or so nurses in there, all asking me questions. I ignored them because I was trying not to pass out, and my nurse finally asked them to please just wait. Once the IV ordeal ended, the nurse then checked me. My doctor let me skip one of my weekly cervical checks because they were so painful for me. I was "extremely posterior" and we were both having a difficult time with it. I warned the nurse, and sure enough, she put me through misery and then said she would have to get a different nurse to check me because she couldn't reach it. (Excuse me--what?!) They then told me I wouldn't have to be checked again until after my epidural. Thank you! The same nurse who successfully started my IV also successfully checked me, and I was at a 3 and 60% effaced. I said "but yesterday I was a 3 and 70%, and I've been contracting all night." She smiled and said "we're stingy with our measurements, so you really are at least that much." Ha. They left for a few minutes, and Ryan asked me what I needed. I remember saying "I just need to be left alone." Ha. Ha ha. That never happened. I think a med student came in 5 seconds later, shooting the breeze, asking random questions and telling me about his own kids. In my head I was saying There is no part of me that cares one bit right now. Shut up and leave. Out loud I said "ok thank you" several times, but he never seemed to get the hint. Eventually he decided to quit chatting to himself and left. I did say out loud to Ryan, "I'm just a ray of sunshine today, I know." :)

6:30/7:00 AM
They came back and started my Pitocin and informed me that the anesthesiologist would be in soon to start my epidural. I responded, "wait, did you just say they're going to start my epidural? I haven't even asked for it." The nurse smiled and said yes. Dr. Terry came in shortly afterwards to check me, and I said "hold on; they told me I didn't have to be checked again until after my epidural!" to which he responded "you haven't gotten your epidural?" He then made some jokes about not being needed and left. Ryan heard him complaining to the nurses that anesthesiology was behind. Family came in around this time, too.

8:00 AM
The anesthesiologist came in to do my epidural. After the epidural, the nurse inserted my catheter and instructed me to lay flat. She then said Dr. Terry would be right in to break my water. Again, I replied "did you just say he was going to break my water? Why?" Dr. Terry returned around 9:00 to break my water and check me. I was at a 4. I also asked him why he was going ahead and breaking my water. He said something along the lines of, "we're trying to have a baby here." Right after that, a bunch of nurses came in and just started swarming me and putting the oxygen mask on me and saying a bunch of things I didn't understand. I remember consciously smiling through the oxygen mask and being calm as the charge nurse stood by my side and matter-of-factly explained some possibilities as to why my baby girl's heart rate was dropping. They had to stop my Pitocin after that. Once they left, so did my adrenaline. I suddenly felt the weight of what was going on and just started crying into my pillow. I turned on my Pandora station that I'd been carefully grooming for months, and texted my close friends (around 9:10/9:15) to please pray for me because I was feeling really discouraged. I laid there in silence as long as I could, trying to take advantage of the few seconds there wasn't a healthcare professional or 10 in my room. I totally get it, but I felt so bothered the entire time. It all felt so rushed, and in the back of my mind I was remembering how quickly I had Owen, despite him being my first and it being an induction. Once I felt calmer, I said "she's not even here yet and this girl is already DRA-MA." :)

9:30 AM
For the next hour, I kept complaining that my epidural had mostly only taken to my left side. I was in pain on my right side, mostly in my back. While it hurt, I was mostly bothered my how numb my left side was. They called for the anesthesiologist, but she never came. They tried to help me even it out, and the nurse pumped more of the medicine into me. I did not enjoy that feeling because I just ended up extremely numb on my left side. They finally just said the needle must be pointed more to my left, so I kept laying on my right side to try to even it out.

10:30 AM
We dealt with that off and on for an hour or so when the whole nursing crew rushed back in and started rolling me from side to side and having discussions that didn't include me and that I wasn't understanding. (My nurses, at every step of the way, were wonderful. The experience was just chaotic.) It turns out Ingrid's heart rate had dropped again. Again, they pumped more fluids, moved me around every few seconds, etc. to try to "make her happy," they said. They were trying to figure out why it was happening.

10:35 AM
The nurse decided with everything going on that she should check me. I was at a 6. They continued exploring their options for about 10 more minutes, rolling me from side to side the whole time. Nothing was working. I remember asking "what is about to happen?" because I had a feeling we were getting to the point where action was necessary. I really have no idea, but it felt that way. The nurse said "sometimes it can happen if you progress too quickly. I'll check you again..."

10:45 AM
She checked me and said "you're complete." I sat straight up and said "WHAT DID YOU SAY?" She said, "you're complete." My main feelings and thoughts at the time were oh my gosh. I just got here. All I wanted to do was rest a few minutes and that still hasn't happened. Now my baby is about to be here and I'll never rest again. Then my adrenaline kicked in and I was ready. I had Ryan text my friends to say I was about to push. That was at 10:49. They then got everything ready, and the action began. Dr. Terry sat on the end of my bed and just asked me to push so he could get a feel for how this was going to go. I said "ok, tell me when and what to do," and he responded with some piece of simple sarcasm to indicate that it was unnecessary for me to say that. Ha. (I chose him as my doctor because I love his personality and his sarcasm. It really did help me throughout the morning. :)) I finally said that I just needed something to do with my arms to help me push. They had me grab the backs of my legs, but that wasn't helping me much. They got out some bars for me to hold onto, and that helped. I looked during one of my last pushes and saw Dr. Terry pulling her out. I didn't know what I was going to see, if anything, so sitting up and seeing her was completely overwhelming. My sister happened to take a picture at that exact moment, and it is the most precious picture to me because I saw it in real life and remember that moment more vividly than any other in my life. In fact, I immediately laid my head back down and covered my face with my hands while I cried.(Congratulations, baby girl. I've never cried at any other special moment in my entire life. Ever.)

11:01 AM
Ingrid was born! 6 pounds, 15 ounces. 18.5 inches. They handed her to me immediately, and we did skin to skin. I loved every second of it and couldn't have asked for anything sweeter. I did ask a couple of times, "is she ok?" because I hadn't heard her cry. They kept assuring me she was. I also freaked out and thought she had teeth at first. Turns out she has a lip tie that goes all the way down, and the division it creates in her gums looked like teeth to me. I think it's the cutest thing. After some time, she pooped all over me, so our time was cut a little short because I called the nurses to come clean us up. :) That night in the hospital, she slept 6 hours straight without waking up to eat. We tried to wake her for 10-15 minutes like the lactation consultant recommended, but she would not wake up to eat, so we let it go and all enjoyed some rest. It wasn't a fluke. She is a wonderful sleeper. I bonded with her instantly, which didn't happen with Owen. I hogged her the whole time we were in the hospital. Actually, I still hog her.

Ingrid Ryan. I love her name. I love her. I love everything about her. She is beautiful. She is sweet. She is so good for my soul.

She stared at me throughout our entire skin-to-skin time.