When my nurse finally checked me, I was already at a 5. Granted, I'd been experiencing contractions for over 24 hours, but I hadn't thought they were serious because the first day was mild. And I definitely do not have a high threshold for pain. So I was pretty surprised to be told the good news.
Although labor went quickly and, overall, was pretty smooth. I had a few rough transitions. The placement of the epidural took forever. Of course, for anyone enduring rough contractions while getting a giant needle in their back it might feel like that after just a few minutes. But Kev reassured me it really did take nearly half an hour. My whole body was tense from hunching over a rolling cart and staying still during so many intense contractions. Just from the epidural episode alone I felt like I needed a body massage and a nap.
Once it was placed I had a few more troubles; I got some bad shakes and at one point the baby's heart rate dropped significantly. I had to wear oxygen and try to control my shaking enough to allow for deep breathing. I could also still feel the pain of contractions enough that the anesthesiologist came back after a while to give me another dose. Which, I'm sure, was great to help with the shaking. I also experienced a lot of nausea and made good use of the barf bags. I was very relieved I had only eaten a little yogurt for dinner instead of something more substantial.
Around 930p the nurse had just left my room, and I looked at Kev and suggested that mayyyybe, possibly, my water had broken. But who was to know for sure because I was finally numbing and couldn't feel much of anything? When my nurse came back she was surprised I had progressed further and she told me to hang on until my doctor could arrive. I was grateful the baby's heart rate had improved so their casual mention of a C-Section wasn't discussed further and we prepared for me to push.
I ended up pushing through one contraction and then through the space before the next came. Lincoln was born quickly at 9:59p and I was so shocked, again, to have a baby placed on my stomach. His delivery was so differet from Aspen's; he cried and cried and cried, whereas she was very quiet. I had to remind myself that his crying was completely normal. Lincoln didn't need any extra attention, either, so both Kev and I were able to immediately hold him and enjoy him without feeling like we were inconveniencing the staff (that was how it felt when I asked to hold Aspen after she was born). It was a nice change for both of us.
My recovery was a little rough, though, and we didn't get much rest that first night. I couldn't get over the shakes and I was sick a lot. I struggled to keep from passing out in my recovery room and let's just say I'm very grateful Kev is not squeamish because he witnessed a whole lotta ugly that night. I had a wonderful nurse as well who was so kind and supportive when I was falling apart and in need of so much help.
I think I only slept a couple of hours due to my discomfort. I felt so badly for Kev, sleeping on one of those stupid little chair-beds, listening to me cry. Since I had thrown up all my pain meds shortly after receiving them, I endured 8 hours without much relief before I could have another Motrin (there was no way of knowing how much I may have actually ingested the first time around.... so I got to wait). Although I was dead-tired the following morning, getting up for a new day was promising. Until breakfast came and the food service employee could neither confirm nor deny that my meal was lactose-free. Even after explaining that eating milk would make me sick, I didn't get any reassurance that I could safely injest any of the food that was brought to me. Super!
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