At midnight on Monday, December 16th, 2013 Alan & I were checking in at Summit Medical Center for our scheduled induction later that day.
We were assigned to room 202.
I was told to get settled and that the nurses would be in shortly to get me all set up.
I had to change into this lovely gown and Alan felt the need to take a picture and post it to Facebook.
My nurses returned and checked my cervix. I was already 4cm dilated, so they didn't have to administer the Prostaglandin E2 gel to ripen my cervix.
They hooked me up to a fetal heart rate monitor, a contraction monitor, a blood pressure band and started my iv. The iv to the hand has got to be one of the worst parts of labor & delivery -- at least for me.
By 2am, I was finally finished processing. Sandra told me to rest and that she'd be back in at 4am to start my Pitocin drip.
Rest and sleep seemed impossible for both Alan and me. I tried to unwind by watching movies on the iPad, while Alan played on his Nintendo ds.
At 4am, Sandra returned and started administering the Pitocin. She was back to check my progress about every 30 to 40 minutes.
My doctor had 4 inductions and a c-section scheduled for that day. The nurses were betting on me being the first to deliver.
Since my doctor had a c-section scheduled at 7:30am, my nurse suggested I go ahead and get my epidural before shift change happened at 7am since my contractions were picking up.
So around 6:30am the anaesthetic technician came in to administer the epidural. She advised me this "cocktail" of epidural was different from the one I had with Emily. Mainly, there would be more "feeling" of pressure so I would be able to push more effectively and that this epidural had a dose of narcotics mixed in.
A little after 7am, my doctor came in to break my water. He wasn't able to though... Something was at a weird angle preventing him access to my amniotic bag. - So he said he'd return to try again after his c-section.
This slowed my labor progress quiet a bit. Nurse Diane was concerned with increasing my Pitocin levels, so she inserted an inter-uterine contraction monitor to better gauge my progress.
A little after 9am, my doctor returned for his 2nd attempt at breaking my water. It took him a bit, but he was finally able to.
Now we had officially reached the "hurry up and wait" part of labor.
At some point around 10am, my in-laws arrived to keep us company. - And some time after that we heard cries of a newborn baby in another room which meant that I was NOT the first to deliver after all.
I was able to catch quick, short-lived naps but every time I woke I felt hot, feverish and nauseated from the narcotic in the epidural. I remember having to fan myself constantly and chew ice chips to keep from yacking in front of everyone.
Around lunchtime, I started feeling some pressure from the contractions and knew it wouldn't be too much longer.
About 12:30pm my in-laws decided to go grab some lunch from hospital cafeteria. Alan and I both tried to rest for a bit.
At 1pm, Nurse Diane returned to check my cervix again and said we were getting close.
Around 1:15pm, the nurses started bringing all the birthing "equipment" into the room. Nurse Diane said, "It's time!" -- Poor Alan had JUST fallen asleep too!
They started converting my bed -- with me still in it -- into the birthing table. My in-laws had finished lunch and were trying to return to our room but were told it was time.
I think by 1:30pm, Nurse Diane had started coaching me on what to do and when to do it, but before she could finish talking, I had already felt the need to bear down and push. And so it began.
I don't remember how many times I pushed, I just remember Diane trying to get me to refocus on something other than the pain in between contractions by having me tell her about a craft project for a baby ornament I saw on Pintrest.
I also remember during each push I was thinking to myself, "How many more pushes?" "How much longer?" "Surely it can't be too many more! -But oh my God, what if it takes forever?!"
At some point my doctor arrived on the scene and took Diane's place. I think I only pushed a few more times and with each push, in my head, I was praying that baby Xander would come quickly.
Finally, I saw in my peripheral vision a little head... Then had to bear down and push one final BIG push and he was out. "Thank God" was all I could say.
Dr. Hamilton placed him on my chest and I remember Alan saying that he looks like me and has Emmy's nose.
He was perfect. - Lots of dark hair. Super long, adorable fingers.
12/16/2013 @ 2:02pm - Xander Alan Fox-Smith, 7lbs 15oz, 20 inches long.
Around 4pm, thanks to Aunt Heather, Big Sister Emily who had been at school all day finally got to meet her new baby brother.
<3 So sweet. We are so blessed.