Charlie, Charles Hammond Wagner, was born on Tuesday December 29. He was born at 3:16 am, weighed 7 lbs 11 ozs and was 19 inches long.
I started having pain/contractions in my back on Saturday December 26 around 9:00 am. On Sunday, I stood up and felt a trickle down my leg. I have heard your water can break and it feels like a gush of water, or it can be a slow leak. I was worried my water broke so I called the on call dr. He said to put a pad on and watch it for an hour and call if it continues. An hour later, I started spotting, the first time I've ever spotted during my pregnancy. I called the dr. and he said it sounds like I might be starting to lose my mucus plug. He said my body warms the mucus plug and it could come out first very watery instead of mucusy and the blood is normal when you lose your mucus plug. He said again, put a pad on and call if it gets worse. In an hour, I had a bit more spotting so I called the dr. again and we both agreed for me to get checked out at the hospital.
Rob and I went to the hospital and they did a test and confirmed my water did not break. She also checked to see if I was dilated and I was dilated 1 cm so we went home.
That night I decided to start timing my contractions. When I went to bed, they were 10 minutes apart about 60 seconds long. I woke up at 1:30 am Monday morning and felt the contractions were stronger so I decided to stay up and time my contractions. The contractions were 5 minutes apart around 7:00 am. After we both got up and showered, we called the dr. again to let him know they were 5 minutes apart and he said to go ahead and go to the hospital. We got to the hospital and got checked in. They checked my cervix and I was now 2 cm dilated. They said if I was in active labor, I would dilate a cm every hour. They told me I could walk the halls for an hour and they could re-check me. After an hour, I was still 2 cm so I was considered to be in early labor, not active labor. They gave us the choice to go home or stay. I didn't think 2 cm was very far along and didn't want to stay in the hospital longer than I needed to so we opted to go home. They said to call back when the contractions got more intense.
Once we got home, I swore they were more intense. I was crying through them - because of the pain and because I didn't know how long (days?) I would have to feel this pain every five minutes until they got MORE intense. My sister was in town and she and my mom came by for lunch. The men were golfing (Rob was supposed to go with them). My sister asked why I came home, I told her and she thought I should have stayed so they could have helped things along. I started second guessing my decision and after lunch, Rob and I were on our way back to the hospital. On the way, we dropped Buddy off at the lady's house who watches him.
We got to the hospital and I was checked again and was now 3 cm dilated - progress! We were definitely staying. First thing on the list: pain medication! They put an IV in me and started me on some Fetinol. Within about 8 seconds, I was feeling really good. I couldn't feel my contractions and I was sooo happy. The feeling wears off in an hour so I decided to get one more dose of that stuff and then the epidural. The epidural didn't hurt at all. He said the worst part would be the ointment they put on my back. He said it should sting but it didn't and I barely felt a pinch when the needle went in. It was a little hard to sit still because I was having a little bit of the shakes which I guess was common with taking all the drugs. After the epidural, my legs started to get numb. The dr. came in and broke my water. They then started me on pitocin which is supposed to bring on the contractions. Rob would watch the contractions on the monitor and let me know when I was having a "big one" - I couldn't feel them but I could tell because my stomach would tighten up and raise up. At one point, I started feeling pressure and some pain in my back so they topped off my epidural.
I believe it was around 1:30 am. Tuesday morning when Rob and I finally dozed off to sleep. I woke to a nurse coming into our room to look on the monitor and told me to roll over. Seconds later a second nurse ran into the room and said "Did you see what I saw?" Charlie's heart rate had been dipping below the heart rate baseline during contractions but would eventually return to normal. During one contraction, his heart rate was down for two minutes so they needed me to move into different positions to get his heart rate back up. They said he was probably sitting on his cord or it was wrapped around his neck but to not be scared, it was totally normal. I know its normal but how do you not worry when someone tells you the cord may be wrapped around his neck and it is tightening with each contraction? After a while, Charlie's heart rate had returned to normal. They turned off the pitocin to keep monitoring Charlie's heart rate.
I started to feel quite a bit of pain again in my back and now my stomach during contractions so they called the anesthesiologist to top me off again. They said the epidural should last and they weren't exactly sure why I was feeling the contractions but they went ahead and topped me off again directly into the IV even though there was some more juice in the IV bag. A few seconds later my legs got warm and I said "Is there an electric blanket on or something?" and the next thing I knew my legs were on FIRE. It was so painful - I felt like my legs were literally on fire, I also thought my calves might have been cramping but I couldn't feel them. The anesthesiologist said he didn't know why my legs would feel hot. Rob said when I felt that feeling, I was having a contraction but it was the weirdest thing. Needless to say, I was getting a little nervous/tired of this whole laboring thing with the drugs not totally working and my baby in distress.
Since they turned off my pitocin and the contractions had cooled down a bit, they decided to see how far I was dilated. The last time they checked me, I was 7 cm dilated. Now, I was 5 cm dilated. They said my cervix was swelling and it appeared Charlie was pressing up against my cervix. They called my dr. to talk about other options I said "you mean, other option" and the nurse said "yes, a c-section." So when they were gone, Rob and I talked about how we felt about having a c-section. I think we were both wanting this process to be over and meet our little guy and make sure myself and Charlie were healthy. The nurse came back and said the dr. will be here soon and we need to get prepped for surgery.
They pumped me with a cocktail of other drugs and things were even more fuzzy from here on out. I remember them wheeling me over there and having the shakes really bad. The anesthesiologist gave me some drugs for the shaking. He kept hooking me up. :) I didn't really feel any pain but I felt a ton of pressure. It was a weird feeling feeling things getting tugged around in my stomach. I thought he would be pulled out in a few minutes but it felt longer than that. The other weird feeling was the feeling of being stitched up. I didn't feel it but I could feel the pulling sensation. Once he was born, a nurse held him and walked him to get checked out and bathed. Rob went with them and video taped the process so I can see it later. Hearing Charlie's cry for the first time was one of the best sounds I've ever heard.
After the surgery, we had to stay in the room for 2 hours for observation. We didn't get into our room until after 5:00 am on Tuesday.
While in the hospital, Charlie got lots of visitors. We unfortunately forgot to take pictures of everyone but here are the ones we have:
Mimi and Poppy
Stephanie and Jason
Auntie Ashley and Uncle Jimmy
Sarah and Mike
Our home for 4 nights