Staley was in no hurry to join us. At 40 1/2 weeks, she was happily staying put so we scheduled for induction. We were scheduled to go to the hospital at 8 pm on 1-10-11. However, it was a busy day in labor and delivery and they did not have a room for us. We waited by the phone and were finally called and told to come to the hospital at 1:30 am on 1-11-11. My body was still not preparing on it's own (with cervix dilation barely a 1), so the doctor started me on a medication called Cervidil. He warned me that it could take up to 24 hours of this medication to even prepare my body for induction, so Zach and I came armed with books, movies, and playing cards. They started my medication at 3:30 am and would check again at 3:30 pm to see if my body was ready. I had mild contractions all morning on the Cervidil, but nothing to complain about.
Upon arrival at the hospital
Our last family photo before Staley's arrival
Apparently my body liked the Cervidil, because at 1:00 pm my water broke on it's own. At that time, my contractions increased about one hundred fold. (I'm not exactly sure how to quantify one hundred fold, but it was a lot!!) The contractions were coming about every 90 seconds, but they lasted about 60 seconds which gave me only about 30 seconds between contractions. We had initially planned for a natural childbirth without drugs or an epidural, but after about 15 minutes, I asked for an epidural. Unfortunately, the anesthesiologist was in surgery so the nurse offered me some narcotic pain medication to "take the edge off." I'm not exactly sure what "taking the edge off" was supposed to feel like, but my edge was definitely still there. The medication helped me relax a little between contractions, but the contractions themselves stayed as intense as ever. I labored that way for about 2 1/2 hours before the anesthesiologist FINALLY came in. Once the epidural was placed, I truly wondered why I ever thought natural childbirth was the way to go. I was able to talk again, crack jokes, and interact with the nurses. If we ever have another child, I'm going to have Zach learn to place the epidural before we even leave the house!
According to the nurse, my labor was so intense because my body went through the labor process so much quicker than most people. While most people dilate about 1 cm every hour, I was dilating about 2 cm every 45 minutes. So by 6:00 pm, I was fully dilated and ready to push. I pushed for about 2 1/2 hours and Staley stopped progressing. We had already told Dr. Croland that, unless medically necessary, we did not want delivery assisted by a vacuum or forceps. I've had children in therapy with difficulties secondary to delivery in this way and our nephew, Cade, had a traumatic delivery with a vacuum. So at that point, Dr. Croland offered two choices: vacuum or c-section. Without hesitation, Zach and I opted for the c-section. So I was wheeled into surgery for preparation, Zach joined me 15 minutes later, and a few short minutes later Staley was born.
We heard Dr. Croland say "well hi there" and we heard a weak little cry. We watched as our baby was whisked over to the incubator for suctioning and examination. No one told us whether she was a girl or a boy, so Zach and I asked "boy or girl?" As they told us we had a little girl, Zach and I both started crying with the joy of our baby girl. We were a little shocked when they told us she was a girl as we had both thought that we were having a boy. Dr. Croland later told us that she was posterior (or sunny-side up), which means that she was facing the wrong direction and that was why she had stopped progressing during delivery.
Welcome to the world, Staley Jeanne
Our first family photo after Staley's arrival
Zach got to watch her examination and cut the cord. He was taking digital pictures and bringing them over to me so that I could see our new little girl. She was having some mild difficulties breathing, which is common in c-section babies, but otherwise everything looked good. The hardest part for me was not being able to touch or hold my baby right after she was born. They couldn't even bring her to me in the recovery room as they were waiting for her breathing and her temperature to improve in the nursery. That was the longest 2 hours of my life, waiting to hold and officially meet this new love of my life.
Holding my baby for the first time