It's true: I kind of laughed Elliot out of the womb.
For anyone that's had a difficult time in labor or an otherwise bad experience in the hospital, please know that I've been there. My labor with Jackson was one of the most exhausting, painful, terrible experiences I've had. There wasn't any time for medication and he was born all natural!
This time, my third experience with labor, a mixture of good luck and the epidural made giving birth to Elliot (almost) easy.
Last Thursday morning, I woke up around 5 am when my water broke. It wasn't dramatic at all, and I wasn't feeling any contractions. This is the exact same thing that happened with Ayla - I waited nearly twelve hours before going to the hospital with her because I was feeling great and pain-free. So, at 5 am when I knew that Elliot was on his way, I went back to sleep for a few more hours. Babies or not - if I can avoid getting up that early, I'm going to do just that.
I finally woke Gregory up around 10 am to tell him it was "go time." Ayla and Jackson were both waking up just like any other ordinary day. We called Gregory's family - which was perfect timing - Rachel, Raul and Noella had just arrived the night before. They came down to our house to get our kids, and after packing up all of our sleepover bags, we were off to the hospital.
Now, Gregory is going to be mad that I'm sharing this - but we made a few stops before getting to the hospital. What can I say? I felt absolutely great because my contractions hadn't kicked in yet and we were a lot less nervous about having our third baby than we had been with the other two. Gregory got his breakfast and we picked up some stuff at the drug store. Obviously, we had time to kill. :)
Checking into the hospital was easy - we walked ourselves up to the maternity ward after going through the emergency room entrance. (Like I said, things have not always been this peaceful. With Jackson, my water broke full force in the emergency room and I threw up all over the place.) The nurses took us into the delivery room and confirmed that, in fact, my water was broken.
Pitocin got my contractions consistent and I finally started to feel them. I had been unsure what I was going to do about the epidural up to this point. On one hand, I had felt groggy with medication during Ayla's birth but alternately had felt amazingly good right after giving birth to Jackson all natural, as hellish as that experience was. But once I started to feel the contractions again (imagine a charlie horse in your stomach), I knew I wanted the epidural.
Honestly, getting the epidural was the worst part of the experience. I had three huge contractions while I had to sit completely still and listen to the doctor explain to his intern where and how far the needle was being pushed into my spine. But once the narcotics kicked in, I could just wait it out until Elliot was ready.
(Stop reading now if you're grossed out by birth stories, it's only going to get more detailed.)
Often times, the effect of the epidural helps a woman to relax and makes the labor work faster. I went from 2 cm dilated to 7 cm and finally 10 cm - all in the course of two hours. At one point, the nurse checked and said, "Hello, baby!" because Elliot had moved so far down.
My doctor came in the room (they don't often sit and wait for the "pushing phase" to start, the nurses call them at the last minute) and I got ready to push. I was all geared up for the hard work that I had had to do in the past. But seriously, I pushed for five minutes max. I pushed once, was told to stop, and then the doctor told us a joke. I laughed.... and next thing you know, I have a baby boy looking at me! Gregory had missed it because he had turned around to get the camera ready.
Easiest birth EVER. I sat there, holding a baby that looked just as surprised as I did. We hadn't found out whether we were having a boy or girl... so we spent the next fifteen minutes stressing out about a boy's name.
If there's a name that means easy entrance to the world or most laid-back baby, I didn't know it - so we chose Elliot because it fits him well!