John Steven Durso arrived at 10:54am on Sunday, December 13th. He weighed in at 7lbs oz and measured 20 inches long. Sounds all well and good, but of course there is a story leading up to his birth . . .
*Note: The following is the story of labor and delivery, the in-depth version. If you're not interested at all, then I suggest you move along to another site until the next post!*
It was 4am on Saturday, December 12th. John and I had gotten home from our second to last childbirth class about six hours previous and were sleeping soundly. I awoke to discover wetness in my drawers and sheets . . . so I rushed to the bathroom and sure enough! Water breakage! I called John out of bed and we started getting ready to go to the hospital. It was a completely surreal experience getting dressed and collecting last minute items, knowing that the contractions would start any second and by the end of the day we would have a son or daughter. We were actually pretty calm about the whole thing as we made our way downstairs and had some breakfast; definitely not how they portray it in the movies! After breakfast, we traveled south to Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women and checked into triage.
The point of triage is to make sure that my water actually broke and I didn't just wet the bed; to verify water breakage, the nurses will take a sample of the water and see if it reacts with certain substances. If it reacts, then yes, it is amniotic fluid, if it doesn't, then go home. Well, after waiting for an hour on the first test, it came back negative. The nurse, however, was skeptical of this result considering I was sitting in a puddle. So we tried again. An hour later, positive! And up to labor & delivery we go! The labor and delivery ward of Sharp Mary Birch consists of many different private rooms, each with their own nurse to monitor you and only you . . . it's awesome. We get there, get the IV started (which might have been the worst part of the entire labor experience), get told that I'm 2cm dilated and we realize that I'm not having any contractions, which apparently is a bad thing. Thus, the nurse tells me to walk. And walk I did. John and I couldn't leave the ward though, so we walked the same hall and waiting room over and over and over again in 40 minute intervals. After the 40 minutes, we would go back to the room where I would be strapped down with monitors to make sure the baby was okay and to check out my contraction cycle. 10 hours later, nothing has happened and I'm exhausted from walking around all day and from getting up so early so I decide to take a break. It's at this point that John and I have to seriously consider getting induced because my body wasn't taking the hint - I was still 2cm dilated. I was not interested in induction since I knew it's a much more painful process than letting your body do it on its own. However, John's Aunt Margie, who is a labor and delivery nurse herself, told us that if it were her, she'd start the Pitocin (induction drug) in the next hour to get things moving. Plus, the longer we waited, the larger the risk of infection for the baby.
6pm, we start the Pitocin. And man was it awful.
I was kind of hoping to go through this whole labor and delivery experience drug-free because I knew I could do it, but the Pitocin caused the contractions to come pretty close together (no longer than four minutes apart) and they came hard. I was feeling like I could do it still until about 3am, when the nurse said I was only 4cm dilated. By this point, I had been up for 23 hours, had walked the halls for 10 of those hours, and dealt with some pretty hard contractions for 9 hours. I was exhausted. I knew that if I had to labor like that for another 9 hours to make it to 10 cm, I would be too tired to push, so we called in the anesthesiologist. He gave me an epidural (which is a really weird sensation, by the way) with little discomfort, and I was on my way to sleep in about 15 minutes. Glorious, glorious sleep!
7am - been in the hospital for about 26 hours. I wake up from a nice, anesthesia-aided nap, to my nurse telling me that I'm at 8cm! Yay! I have a nice breakfast of clear liquids (broth, Jell-O, water, and juice) and just three hours later, I'm at 10cm and it's time to push.
I pushed for just under an hour, the doctor came in, caught the baby and showed him to us without telling us if it was a boy or a girl (which was very cool) and we saw it was a boy! John Steven had arrived! They placed him on my chest, wiped him off a little bit, and we enjoyed an hour of uninterrupted (well, except for the doctor massaging my belly and stitching me up) family time. Absolute bliss. Not gonna lie, I definitely cried while he was lying on my chest, but he didn't. He was pretty happy to be lying on his mom.
After that first hour, they cleaned him off a little more, weighed him, and then gave him back. He didn't leave our sides for more than a couple minutes the entire time we remained in the hospital.
More on Johnny to come later!