Within the 20 minute drive to the hospital, my contractions were lasting a minute and were about two to three minutes apart. I ran into my doctors office and I felt like people were moving in slow motion. They made me wait to be seen and then once I got into a room, I had to wait for the doctor. I understand people can't completely cater to me when they have other patients, but, goodness, waiting with contractions was difficult. Once the nurse practitioner came in, she just wanted to chit chat. I will be honest, I am all for chit chatting about how our days are going, but not when I am contracting every two minutes.
She laid me back and did a quick exam. Her response was, "Wow, there is a lot of liquid down here!". My response? "UM, YEAH!!!". My husband and her both laughed at me, I clearly didn't think it was very funny. She then called the hospital and made sure they had a room ready for me. I thought they would have wheeled me over to the hospital or something, but they made me walk. Once we walked across the street to the hospital, we had to wait a couple minutes for a nurse to come out and walk us back to the room. Once again, it felt like people were moving in slow motion. I had a very painful contraction as we waited to be walked back.
Once the nurse came out, she called my name and walked us back to our room. She was trying to walk slow because she knew I was in pain. Personally, I wanted to sprint to the room so I could curl up in a ball during my contractions. Clearly, I am not a very patient pregnant lady.
We got back into the room, by this time, it was about 3:45 or 4:00 pm. She gave me a gown to change into. Before I could do anything, I needed to go number 2 (TMI, sorry!). To me, the contractions felt similar to menstrual cramps and the cramps you get when you have diarrhea, but ten times worse. Once I went to the bathroom, I changed in my gown and sat on the bed. There were a lot of people in and out of the room, hooking me up to IVs and different machines to monitor the baby and my contractions.
By this time, I want to say it was about 5:00 pm. I was dripping in sweat and felt like I was going to throw up. I felt so exhausted after each contraction. I was only two centimeters dilated still, but they offered me an epidural. I will be honest, I thought I was going to be a champ when it came to labor, but I was a huge wimp. I took the epidural the second they offered it. A resident came in to administer the epidural and it took him a lot longer than I thought. The initial poke wasn't the painful part. The painful part came when he was moving it around to get it in the right spot. I could feel a lot of pain on the left side of my back.
Once the epidural kicked in, I was in heaven. I was surprised I could still feel contractions and my legs, but my pain went from a ten to a two. My Mom, Sister and my Mother in law came in to hang out. We talked, we laughed and I almost forgot I was in labor. My energy came back, I didn't feel nauseous and I stopped sweating. I felt really good.
The nurse came back in around 7 pm to check me. My contractions had slowed from two to three minutes to about five to six minutes apart. I was also only dilated to about 4 centimeters. The nurse said that most people dilate about a centimeter an hour. We figured we wouldn't have a baby until midnight, or later. The nurse suggested a little bit of pitocin to get my contractions to speed up.
Once 8:20 pm rolled around, the nurse came back in to check me and was shocked to see that I was dilated to 10 centimeters. We know what that means!!! Time to push soon!
I had always imagined pushing to be like the movies, where you have a ton of nurses in the room and the doctor all suited up to catch the baby. It was nothing like that. I started pushing at 8:40 pm. It was just my nurse, my husband, my mom and mother in law in the room. Once I felt a contraction, I grabbed both of my legs and pushed three times. I held each push for as long as I could, took a breath and then pushed again. Once I pushed three times, I waited until the next contraction rolled around. After just a couple pushes, the nurse was able to see the baby's head. Every one in the room told me how much hair our little boy had!
Not sure what time it was, but once the baby's head was really showing, the nurse called the doctor in. With each push, the baby's head came out a little further. During this whole time, all the doctor could talk about was how much hair the baby had. At one point (this is kind of gross lol), she even gave him a little Mohawk between pushes. By this time, she said the baby would be here in about 5 more contractions. I was so determined to meet our little guy that by the second contraction, he was here!
The doctor immediately put our little boy, Benjamin, on my chest. I cried and I cried. He was the most beautiful, most perfect, most amazing little baby I had ever seen. Best of all, he was ours. Ben was screaming and I just couldn't take my eyes off of him. I counted his fingers and toes and examined him from head to feet.
He was perfect.
Just as I spent nine months wondering how I would go into labor, I also spent those nine months wondering what our son would look like. He was more handsome and more perfect than I ever could have imagined. I loved Ben from the second the pregnancy test said "Pregnant", but the amount of love I felt for him the moment I saw him was truly indescribable.
For the hour after he was born, I held him. That is all I did. I was so mesmerized by him that I didn't even see my husband cut the umbilical cord or notice that the doctor had delivered my placenta. I just couldn't take my eyes of my beautiful son. I was surprised to hear later on that I had no tearing what so ever. What a relief!
Once that hour was over, the nurse came in to weigh him, measure him, help bathe him and swaddle him up for us.
Benjamin Gregory Dukes was born on October 3, 2014 at 9:58 pm. He was 6 pounds 13 ounces and 19 inches long.