These were the words I mumbled to myself when the nurse finally told me I was 10 cm dilated and ready to push. After waiting what seemed like the longest 9 months of my life, it was time to push!
I couldn't believe how fast time seemed to fly when I realized this was the moment.
So here it is...the story of the events that led up to the most glorious moment in my life.
February 22 - On this day, I found out I was 3 cm dilated. The doctor told me that Kosta could make his arrival at anytime. At this point I was so relieved I made it that far without going into labor because Rudy hadn't gotten here yet. Luckily, Rudy was coming home the next day.
Here's a picture of Rudy's arrival to the US (I was beyond happy at this point):
February 29 - On this day, the doctor told me that I probably wouldn't make it to the next appointment. I was slightly more dilated, but not by much. After talking for a while, she and I decided that the best option would be to induce me on the following Monday, March 5, 2012. However, I had a strange feeling that I wasn't going to make it until Monday...and I was right.
March 3 - Bloody show? Yep, that's right. Today was the day that I had a tiny bit of bleeding at 5:30 a.m., which the book "What to Expect When Expecting" informed me was "bloody show time" for labor. Throughout the day I had some cramping, but nothing regular and nothing too painful. Rudy, my Mama, and I decided to get everything ready for the hospital just in case. Well, the day passed and I just knew Kosta would likely wake me up in the middle of the night.
March 4 - 2:30 a.m. "ouch, what was that??" I woke up at this time having cramping, especially in my back. All I could think was "please God don't let me have back labor pains". I had read so much about how painful back labor is and I was thinking it would be just my luck that it would happen to me because I was so worried about it. Anyway, at this point I couldn't decide whether or not the cramps were contractions or just slight cramping. I stared at Rudy for the longest time while he was sleeping trying to decide if I should wake him up or if it was just a false alarm.
After getting up about 4 times to pee from 2:30 a.m. until 4:30 a.m., I knew it was show time. I started having a lot of bleeding, which scared the you know what out of me so I called the on-call OB nurse who told me to get to the hospital immediately. I woke up Rudy and my Mom and let them know it was time to head out. My contractions weren't too painful at this point, but my nerves were starting to get to me. I was freaking out because of the bleeding - I was worried something was wrong.
We got to St. Francis Hospital on Patewood at around 5:15 a.m. They got me checked in quickly and to the first room to check my vitals (contractions, heart beat, blood pressure) as well as check on Kosta. The nurse reassured me that everything was fine and that I was already 5 cm dilated. She also let me know that the doctor who was on call was not a doctor from my OBGYN group. (Kind of hilarious because they made me see every doctor at my OBGYN group to make sure I would be comfortable with each of them in case my OBGYN was not on call the day of my labor.)
After checking my vitals and checking on Kosta, they moved us to my labor and delivery suite. The suite was huge! It had everything they could possibly need in the room, which was super awesome.
By this point, the contractions were coming on pretty strong and I was trying to decide if it was time for the epidural or just some pain medicine. They checked my cervix one more time and I was 6 cm dilated...moving right along. The nurse decided to call the Dr. Keith to see what she preferred, which was to go ahead and give me the epidural.
It was around 7 a.m. by the time the nurses came in to give me the epidural. The nurse asked if I had any questions about the epidural and I kindly said "no, but I do not want to see it at all". She was great - she walked me through the whole process; however, it did not make the process less painful. Rudy watched while she injected the medicine into my back, which he claims was just as painful to watch.
Time passed and I finally couldn't feel anything below my belly button. Talk about a weird sensation. At 8:30 a.m., Susan (my delivery nurse) and Dr. Keith came in to check my cervix once again. I was 8 cm dilated! They couldn't believe how quickly I was progressing - everyone started making bets on when I would be 10 cm and ready to push.
Unfortunately, things started slowing down at around 10 a.m. so Dr. Keith decided to go ahead and start giving me Pitocin to get the contractions going again.
Here's a picture of the nurses getting everything set up for the Pitocin:
Susan, my nurse, informed me that with the Pitocin I should be 10 cm dilated by noon. I started feeling nauseous from all of the medicine; luckily, I had Rudy's cold hands to cool my face off, which made everything better.
Well, Susan was almost right...at 12 p.m. I was almost fully dilated; however, because they had a pillow under my right side, part of the right side of my cervix was still not fully dilated. They placed the pillow under my left side. After about 30 minutes, she came back in the room to check me...
"It's time," she said.
"It's time?" I thought to myself. Holy moly, it's time!!
I looked at Rudy and my Mom who were both smiling from ear-to-ear. My heart was racing a million miles per minute.
Here's a picture of our pure joy before I had to start pushing:
Susan let me know she was going to set everything up for labor and inform Dr. Keith that it was time to get started pushing. Susan was an amazing coach for me. I didn't go to any birthing classes nor did I know any breathing techniques for giving birth. She informed me that for every contraction I would push 3 times for 10 seconds each time.
To prepare for the real thing, we did a practice run. She thought I'd probably need to do more than 5 or 10 practice pushes before I got the hang of it, but I didn't need to at all. The first contraction started so I started pushing. Susan said "well, we don't need to do anymore practice pushes...I can already see baby boy's hair and it's not dark hair like I thought it would be...I'm going to get Dr. Keith!"
Dr. Keith as well as a few other nurses came in to really get things started. Dr. Keith was super awesome. She constantly applied mineral oil throughout the process so that I would have minimal tearing if any at all. Mom, Rudy, the nurses, and Dr. Keith coached me through the pushing. They encouraged me and let me know how well I was doing for a first-time Mom.
I was completely and utterly amazed that I felt absolutely no pain throughout the pushing process...only pressure. What had I been afraid of? I guess all of the horror stories I had heard really had me worried, but I had an amazing experience.
Well, I pushed and pushed as hard and as much as possible from 1:00 p.m. until 1:58 p.m., when Kosta finally made his arrival.
1:58 p.m. was Kosta's time of birth. I heard his beautiful cry as soon as he came out. I totally lost it. With tears of joy streaming down everyone's faces, we saw Kosta for the first time. While Dr. Keith got me all fixed up, the rest of the nurses tended to Kosta.
Kosta Andrés Diaz - born March 4, 2012 at 1:58 p.m. weighing in at 7lbs 15oz and 20 1/2 inches long.
After the nurses cleaned up Kosta and finished checking his vitals, it was time for me to meet my little surfer baby. Finally after 9 long months of waiting, I was holding my child...let me say that again...MY CHILD! I couldn't believe that the miracle I was holding in my hands was real. I was finally holding my angel.
Here are pictures of Gamma (Grandmama Marie) and Rudy holding our little angel.
After all of that, Susan moved us into my "mother and baby suite". From then on, we were surrounded by the best nurses who took such amazing care of all of us. The room was perfect for our two-night stay in the hospital. The room was stocked with everything we could possibly need.
St. Francis Hospital has a family friendly philosophy, which they encourage mothers to have their babies in the suite with them at all times. I loved the philosophy and I was beyond happy having Kosta in the room with me the whole time.
Well, I know I've gone way too far explaining the whole story, but I wanted everyone to know just how amazing was Kosta's birth.
I will come back later to post more about Kosta's first days at home!