The Birth Story
Today, Abi is 4 weeks old. They weren't kidding when they said "Time flies!". How is it that I still haven't written about the birth!? Well, read on for the whole story if you're interested! Warning: Slightly graphic birth details ahead!
Thursday Evening: 10pm Returned from our nightly "baby walk" to The Big D and the infamous bloody show. Although I was having no contractions, I had a feeling that I'd be in the hospital by the next day. I finished a final bit of packing and made it to bed at about 11:30
Friday Morning: 4 am After about four hours of sleep. I woke to another bout of diarrhea and some pretty good contractions. I headed back to bed hoping to get some more sleep, but no luck. By 4:30 contractions were getting intense, and I spent the next few hours in a hot bath.
6:00 am Paul started timing the contractions. They were already 3-4 minutes apart and 45 -90 seconds long. "I'm in active labor already? Start packing the car honey!"
7:00 am We drove to the hospital and almost missed the turn. (I guess that cliche about expectant fathers getting all befuddled is not so far from the truth after all!) Upon arriving in the maternity ward, we clumsily tried to communicate with the Thai nurses and get all the paper work filled out...all the while enduring really painful contractions!
8:15 am I was finally checked in and moaning through excruciating contractions in the labor room. One of the nurses checked my dilation: only 2 centimeters. "Are you kidding me?! I'm only 2 centimeters dilated?" The nurse informed me that it usually takes about one hour to progress one centimeter. Facing 8 more hours of pain like that, it was pretty easy to abandon my hopes of a natural birth and say "I want an epidural!"
9:00 am The anesthesiologist arrived and performed the epidural. By then, my OB, Dr. Pitsanu, had arrived. He checked my dilation and we were all surprised to find out that I was already at 7 centimeters! I had progressed 5 centimeters in just 45 minutes (so much for that "one centimeter an hour" thing!) While normally a huge advocate for natural birth, Dr. Pitsanu said that it was actually quite good that I had demanded an epidural because, at the fast-rate that labor was progressing, it could have been dangerous for the baby and the epidural slowed things down a bit.
9:45 am The epidural was supposed to last for an hour and a half, but after about 45 minutes of glorious, painless relaxation, the epidural started wearing off and the contractions were coming back in force. By 10:00 am it seemed like the epidural was completely gone; the contractions were coming hard and fast and were, of course, much more intense than they had been before! I started having an almost irresistible urge to push, so one of the nurses checked my dilation. Sure enough, I had reached 10 centimeters! Unfortunately, Dr. Pitsanu had stepped out, assuming it would be several hours before I was ready. So, the nurses gave me another dose of the epidural to tide me over until the doctor returned.
10:15 am Dr. Pitsanu returned and we began the push for the finish line. Paul was such an amazing support! Thanks a ton honey, I couldn't ask for anyone better!
10:36 am Abigail Hope Vernon was born! Just six and a half hours of labor; I couldn't have asked for a better experience! Thanks Dr. Pitsanu and all the nursing staff!