Be sure to read Cody’s story here!
On Friday night, I was getting ready for bed (just finished the pre-bedtime pee to minimize the multiple trips during the night!). I stood up and had a quick gush of water that soaked my underwear and then stopped. I called out to Cody that I thought my water had broken. We called the midwife-on-call line and spoke with the midwife. Since I wasn’t experiencing anything that I would call a contraction, she said to put on a pad and see if it was filled in a half hour, then to call back in an hour regardless. I did and… nada. So during the call back, she said to go ahead and go to bed and call back on Saturday if anything had changed.
On Saturday morning, I really hadn’t had much ‘leakage’ overnight and figured it was business as usual. I was a little annoyed that I’d called in panic over a leaky bladder! Cody and I decided to finish packing the hospital bag and I baked ‘power cookies’ to snack on during labor and tucked them in the freezer with the massage ice ball for grabbing last-minute. During the day, I had a couple more ‘leaks’ that wet the overnight pad I was wearing pretty thoroughly. I called the midwife nurse line and left a message with the answering service that I was still having some leakage and wanted reassurance that this was pretty normal for 37+ weeks. The answering service said she would pass it on to the midwife on call and they would call back. In the meantime, we decided to have a little date night since who knows when that might happen again. We went out to Golden, Brown & Delicious. It was… delicious and a really great night. Never did hear back from the midwife – don’t know where the message got lost.
Sunday was chores – grocery shopping in the rain, and laundry. I had a little more leakage and told Cody I just felt a little off about it all. He said to trust my gut. On Monday morning, I called the midwives and rescheduled my 38-week appointment from Wednesday 3/6 to that afternoon at 2:30. Cody wasn’t able to get away for that time but said he’d keep his phone by him.
At the appointment, the midwife checked my cervix and tested the liquid. TURNS OUT MY WATER HAD BROKEN ON FRIDAY! Hooray that I wasn’t incontinent, but holy crap… She said that because it had been over 60 hours since it had broken, and labor hadn’t started on its own, I needed to go to the hospital to deliver now. I called Cody – he picked me up and we swung by the house for the hospital bag. On the way back, we let the soon-to-be grandparents know. Grand Reynolds decided to book a flight out that night.
I was admitted at 5pm and by 5:30p, I was hooked up to an IV of fluids, antibiotics (since my water had been broken so long), and Pitocin, 2 monitoring belts and a blood pressure cuff. For kicks, the midwife measured my dilation – 3 cm. So my body was at least doing something. The first hour the contractions started slowly and light. Cody took the clock off the wall, grabbed a quick sandwich and we watched Super Troopers 2. About 2/3 through the movie, contractions were starting to need my attention. I didn’t want to stay in bed and went into the bathroom several times. Cody was a champion cord wrangler. I went into the transitional stage fairly quickly. I swayed on my knees or feet with a chair/couch/Cody as support. The woman laboring in the room next door was yelling out, so Cody got the speaker out (Bare Naked Ladies Pandora station FTW). I remember thinking, “no need to be self conscious about any moans I’m making with all that racket” which helped me breath and hum through most of the contractions as they came stronger and faster… Pitocin is a hell of a drug…
After a while, Maureen checked me again – 7 cm. I was thinking I was about at my pain limit and felt apprehensive about finishing labor since I figured it was too late to get an epidural at 7 cm (the logical brain was pretty dormant…). After some more laboring on my feet while Cody supported me, I felt like I needed to start pushing. Cody called for the nurse and the room got a little busier. Maureen measured me at 9 cm and said she could help dilate that last bit. I ended up back in bed, back and forth between on my knees and side-lying. I was fighting both contractions/pushing and incredibly aggravating leg cramps. Cody got the ice ball massager and worked on my lower back/hips/hamstrings between contractions.
At one point, Maureen said the baby was in distress and we needed to move to get her out. I got an oxygen mask (Cody became official hand-holder, encourager and water boy) and some direction on pushing. The room got more crowded with the on-call OB and a few more nurses. For the longest time, it felt like all the pushes weren’t having any effect. I was feeling defeated, smothered by the mask, and exhausted. Cody encouraged me to rest and keep going. I switched to my right side and baby girl stabilized. Finally, I could feel that she was crowning and I had a goal. A few more contractions and extended pushing and she was out.
Before I’d fully realized it, the mask was gone and she was on my stomach. The umbilical cord was the oddest tugging sensation between her and me while we waited for the cord to stop pulsing. Cody cut the cord eventually and we cuddled baby girl and watched her skooch her way up my chest towards her name (Left breast Option A. Right breast Option B). I was shaking & teeth chattering from the aftereffects of the adrenaline rush. A little freaky but apparently normal! I did have a small tear that needed to be stitched – most likely due to the speed of the whole process. Baby Briana was my distraction during the stitching process, which was a surprisingly sharp pain after all that work. Cody and I got some quiet time together then. The transport team was delayed with another event, which was fine by me. Cody took off his shirt and got into the bed with us for some skin-to-skin time of his own with Briana. Even though I hadn’t gotten an epidural, I elected for a hospital bed transfer to the Family room so that I could keep her on my chest, skin-to-skin, for more time.