We spent a few hours chilling in the Labor and Delivery room. The midwife told us she would come back around 1. M was coding something and I was goofing around on Pinterest. Then around 10:30 am I started to feel real contractions. By 11:30, they were intense and frequent. At first I was up and about. M helped to rub my back and hold me. I asked for the yoga ball and the telemetric monitoring belt so that I could move around a little more, but they started having trouble keeping the baby's heart on the monitor and there were more decels and they made me get in bed and lie on my side. I found this to be a most unpleasant position for managing pain and I started to lose it pretty quickly. I was sweating like crazy and thinking, there is no way I can do this for the next 24 hours (Laurel's labor was very long, so I was imagining a time frame like that). The midwife finally came back and checked my progress and declared that I was at 6cm. Contractions were coming fast and furiously and we tried again to do some other positions, but the baby's heart rate kept going down, and they started to roll me back and forth from side to side in the bed.
The last 45 minutes is something of a blur. I demanded an epidural if I had to stay in bed. My contractions were literally on top of each other as the anesthesiologist was trying to explain every bullet on a very lengthy informed consent document, running from one side of the bed to the other as they rolled me back and forth. I felt an uncontrollable urge to push, which the labor and delivery nurse was trying to get me to stop because the baby's heart rate was slowing down so much. There were many people in the room, my blood pressure plummeted, and then there were hands all over my body taking my pulse in my wrists and neck and ankles (it was in the 30s). They put an oxygen mask on my face. Somebody said, should we just roll her down into the operating room and wait for the OB there. People started to unhook IV bags. It would have been scary, except I was all dizzy from having no blood pressure, so I wasn't thinking about much at all.
And then the doctor arrived. Finally. Our OB reminds me of a television version of an OB. Older, distinguished, makes corny jokes. He told everyone to calm down. He checked me again and I was fully dilated. The baby's heart rate was cranked up high, and I could hear it slow down with every contraction, as the midwife and nurse looked nervously at the screen. He said, "We're going to do this old school." I didn't care what that meant, I was just relieved to not be having another c-section. And that's how Mark Oliver came into this world. Pulled gently out of me with a pair of forceps. He cried immediately and they put him on my chest and the NICU people took a look at him and then disappeared. And slowly people started to leave the room until it was just M and me and our son. Megan arrived with my gluten free pizza and brownie. She was supposed to be another labor support person, but the whole thing happened too fast.
Mark Oliver was very alert and nursed immediately and I felt amazing and it was only 2 o'clock in the afternoon.
And that's how we had a baby.