I will try to sum up the story the best I can- honestly, some of it is very fuzzy, but I will do my best, especially with the timeline of everything. I wish some of it was clearer!! I wish we had a video camera, honestly. Maybe for the next one :)
Since being pregnant, I was always fascinated by listening to others' "birth stories". Like each and every person is different, each and every baby's birth is different!! I was so anxious about mine- I was hoping that I wouldn't have to be induced, hoping that I wouldn't need an epidural- terrified if I were to need a C-section... and anxious about so much more!! I Don't like "not knowing".
That night/morning was definitely a blessing from God up above. Everything went SOO VERY WELL.
Let me back up to a few weeks before my due date. I had been experiencing what felt like period cramps on and off a few weeks before (my due date was Wed 10/13). At one time, it was so uncomfortable and was an on-going cramp I thought maybe something was gonna start happening.... but it went away when I went to sleep. It would happen on and off throughout those weeks. I went to the doctor on Friday before my due date, and the dr. decided to "strip" my membranes to see if anything got started. Well..... Friday night came and went.... and nothing happened. Up until that point, I totally thought she was going to be coming that weekend. Well, that weekend came...and went. No baby yet. I was almost starting to get discouraged, because I was just so ready to be a mommy!
My due date came...and went. No baby yet!! I worked that week, but didn't work my full hours. I went home early most days, because I was yet again having that cramping but it would come and go. Didn't really think it was much of anything.
Thursday I went to work, and I ended up leaving at noon. I had started having that darn cramping again, and it was uncomfortable. I am BLESSED to have a wonderful understanding boss, and she let me go home to rest. I was supposed to have a dr appt Friday morning. The cramping was on and off that Thursday afternoon after I went home. Nothing painful, just kind of annoying. I can't really explain it, but just like a steady period cramp. talk about annoying! I figured if anything it was the fake contractions.
We have choir practice Thursday nights. That particular night we were practicing for a special performance for Sunday, which was our "Homecoming" Sunday. I was sooo excited for this and really loved what we were singing. I wanted the baby to come so badly, but I was torn because I really wanted to be at Homecoming sunday!! I figured if she came after Church on Sunday, that would be okay :)
We were standing in the sanctuary practicing thursday evening, and I could feel those darn cramps again. Sometimes it would make me wince. I just figured it was what I had been having all along- which by this time, I figured were "braxton hicks". I remember one of the other choir members, Sharon, said to me "oh it's probably just your body getting ready".
So we went home... I honestly didn't think anything was going on. It was time for Grey's Anatomy. Ryan went to bed because he was tired from work that day and I stayed downstairs to watch my shows. I remember at that point, the "cramps" were to the point where I couldn't really focus on the show... it was again, just a constant ache. Eventaully I stopped watching the show and went to Ryan upstairs and discussed what I was feeling. The "cramps" were somewhat coming and going, but were not lasting very long. I was debating back and forth "are they real contractions or not?" Ryan really thought they were the real thing...but I didn't. I didn't know what to do. Ryan just wanted to go to sleep, haha.
I went to bathroom, and realized I had passed my "mucious plug" I know it sounds gross, it was. I realized that something might be happening... But I knew that didn't necessarily mean that I was in labor at that time. (little did I know, i was!)
Anywho, Ryan went back to sleep and I paced around our room, and around upstairs. And downstairs. Camden didn't know what was going on. The "cramps" got to the point where it was very uncomfortable and I would grab onto the side of the bed until it passed. However, they were never a full minute long, and never every 5 minutes, they were scattered. At least to my knowledge. But then again, I was in denial and didn't think I was having contractions.
Eventually I woke Ryan up again and asked him what to do. We discussed going to the hospital but I didn't want to, because I didn't want to be told to go back home and come back when contractions are further along. I still thought they were teh fake ones, because they felt nothing like what people had said they feel like, and what I had read. Everyone had said "you will know when you are having the real thing". Well, I didnt know. I decided to try and sleep. Every time I had these cramps before, they went away when I went to bed.
Well, that didni't work. I ended up getting back out of bed and walking around, because I couldn't stand to lay down. Eventually it got to be 1:00 am and i realized that maybe I should call the dr. I called the answering service and the dr called me back within just a few minutes. I explained a few things and he told me to come on in to the hospital and they would check me out to see what was going on. I did NOT expect him to say that!!
I had to wake Ryan up- this was harder then expected! He must have been in a deep sleep bc it took him FOREVER to get out of bed!! I don't think he realized that I could be in labor!! I had a bag packed, and we just added a few last minute things, It was rainy, so we grabbed our jackets and hit the road. We are just 5 mintues down the highway to PRMC.
We got there, had to wait in the waiting room a few minutes. I couldn't sit, was so uncomfortable. I could definitely tell when a contraction was coming at that point. I would grab onto the chair where Ryan was sitting and breath through each one.
Breathing. That is what got me through this labor. That and Ryan helping me with breathing. Couldn't have done it without him. Especially wtihout his hand/arm to squeeze!
So they brought us back to a room where the nurse (Jennifer) hooked me up and I was in fact having contractions- the real thing, yippee! She checked me and I was dilated to a 6cm!! I had been walking around for a few weeks at 3 cm. I believe I was fully effaced at that time as well. She told us "we will be admitting you". I told Ryan- CALL YOUR MOTHER NOW. So he did. :) She hit the road from PA. I wanted to make sure she got a start early so she could be there.
They admitted me to a room... it was all so "surreal". I couldn't believe it was actually happening. It took them 3 tries to get an IV going. The nurse told me something I had never been told before, that I was "valvey".... whatever the heck that means!! It took them forever, but they finally got me Iv'd up. After sticking me a gazillion times and getting another nurse to do it.
The nurse had asked me whether I wanted an epidural. I told her I Was open to it, if necessary, but wanted to try to get as far as I could without it. After they gave me the IV, they told me they could give me a medication to "take the edge off" the contractions. I agreed to that. I think it was called Nubain (not sure how to spell). I don't think it did much, honestly. Once they FINALY got my IV in, they gave me that.
We called my Mom then- it seemed to take her forever to get there even though she is closer to hospital then we are! When she did, she came into the room, and it was just mom ryan and myself. We just hung out, talking and whatnot. By that time, it was around 2:00 I believe. The doctor checked me shortly after I was admitted, and I was 7 cm dilated. I was quickly coming along!! At that point, the dr decided to break my water, since it had never broke on it's on., I had been told before, that would be a relief, it certainly was!!!! I couldn't believe all that water coming out of me. What a weird feeling!!
The nurse was telling me that I was doing well. I ate ice chips like there was no tomorrow. The contractions were continuing to come, and I would breath deep and slow through them. That was what I focused on, just breathing. Ryan really really helped me. That and his hand. I think I squeezed the life out of his hand! At one point he made me switch to his other hand :)
But it was never to the point where I thought I needed an epidural. Honestly, the thought NEVER crossed my mind. I just breathed thorough each contraction. If Ryan got up to go somewhere, and I could feel one coming, I would holler for him to come back. I need him there with me. Mom was there so I squeezed her hand too. Ryan was my rock, though.
At one point the nurse asked if I Wanted another dose of nubain- I thought I had been getting a drip of it the entire time!!! That was definitely not the case. We agreed I Was doing great and didn't need it. I was fine with that :)
Ryan's mom got to the hospital before Abigail was born- Probably between 5:30 and 6:00 am. We were glad she was able to get there in time.
Eventually Jennifer checked me and I Was dilated to 10 cm and fully effaced!! She told me the next step would be to let her know "when i felt the urge to push". I didn't have a clue what that meant!!
I certainly found out. I got a contraction and just felt like I had to push or I didn't know what else to do!!! So we started pushing. That was the most difficult part. I think this was where Ryan's mom and my mom went around the corner near the door- we didn't want them there for the pushing- it was a decision we had made previously. I didn't want them seeing all that!!! I Had my rock-Ryan, with me.
So I pushed. And pushed...it was so difficult. Just the strangest weirdest feeleing ever. I had to push like I was going to poop, honestly. If you have had a child you know what I mean. You have to use your "poop" muscles. When a contraction came on, we would push for 10 seconds, I would break and then another 10, then break, then another 10, then a long break. I got very discouraged because the nurse told me at one point that I was "taking 2 steps forward, then a step back". She said she didn't know what I Was doing, but the baby's head would come forward, but then go backward a little. I got discouraged and thought she was never gonna come out. Then I got really determined.
Abigail never "dropped" down when I Was pregnant. I was pushing her down at this point.
So we pushed. It wasn't very long. I remember thinking "okay, this is tough, but I Am going to give this all I have" so I did... I remeber bearing myself down and just pushing the full 10 seconds as HARD as I could...and all of a sudden, I pushed until I couldn't push anymore, and then had this terrible pain and the nurse is on the phone getting the doctor, and they are breaking the bed down, and doing all this stuff, and I say what is going on?? Everyone was hustling around, I hear "you are crowning! you are about to have this baby!"
The nurse didn't want me to push again until the dr comes in. He is taking forever!!! I have the baby's head crowning, and just this huge urge to push, and it's hurting!! Ryan was trying to get me to concentrate, and breath through it... I breathed all right, then I just wanted to push! FInally dr comes in. He is sure taking his sweet time! Finally, he is in place. I pushed maybe twice more, big pushes, and then out she comes!!! at 6:38 am on Friday October 15th, Abigail Evelyn Clopper was born. SUCH A relief :) What an easy delivery!!!
I couldn't believe it. My precious baby girl, was finally here. I remember asking "she is a girl, right?" haha. Just wanted to make sure!! They placed her on me right away, but I was so out of it, I don't remember clearly. Ryan cut the cord. What a wonderful daddy right off the bat. Then she was crying. They were cleaning her up. I had 3 tears, so the dr had to stitch me up. Took forever!!!! literally, felt like forever. They weighed her, she was 7 lb 9 ounces..19 inches long. Perfect size. Perfect little girl.
I remember being in shock. I couldn't believe that I just had a quick labor, and I was a mommy!! and Ryan was a daddy. Crazyness.
I wanted to breastfeed, so after she was cleaned up and everything, They gave her to me and I breastfed her for the first time. I don't think it was for very long, but she did well. Latched on well. I was happy. I was in quite a daze. I was so tired!
I was so woozy and out of it, but I remember eventually being wheeled to Mommy/Baby Unit and got to push the button that plays the lullaby over the loudspeaker, letting the area know that a new baby was born :) I loved my little girl already :)
The fun part was just beginning :)
I might not remember all of the details as clearly as I would have liked, but it was definitely a day I will never forget.
I love my little girl! :)