August 19, 2016. 1:26am. 6 lbs. 6 oz. / 17.5" long.
New York Presbyterian Lower Manhattan Hospital. New York, New York.
Gestation Period: 38 Weeks (Exactly)
Harper Rocky Tabije was born.
Let me take a step back, about 41 hours prior to her birth. It wasn't easy, as any mom can tell you. On the morning of August 17th, around 6:14am, I suddenly awoke with the urge to use the washroom. At that stage of the pregnancy, I was ALWAYS dashing to the washroom, so this was normal for me. That's where I was wrong, this wasn't the usual washroom visit. My water broke. Surprisingly, I was really calm about it! I woke up Jordan to let him know what was happening. We then called my doctor to see what we should do at that point since I wasn't feeling any contractions at all. Per my doctors advice, we waited a few hours to monitor any contractions. Jordan and I sat around the apartment just waiting. We even ate lunch. By 2:00pm, we decided to go to the hospital to get this show on the road. This is where it got a little crazy.
We arrived at the hospital and finished checking in by 4:00pm. We were asked to wait in the waiting room because...get this...triage and labor & delivery (L&D) were full! Two hours later, a bed in triage opened up and we were finally admitted. That's about the time I started to feel the contractions. They felt like very strong menstrual cramps. Around 7:00pm, I was given Cervidil to help soften my cervix. This process takes 12 hours, so Jordan and I tried to rest a little while we waited for a room in L&D to become available. Let's just say it was more comfortable than the waiting room, but it was no Four Seasons. Midnight rolls around and a room opened up. We moved in, got comfortable, and went to sleep.
The next morning, the Cervidil was removed and I was started on Pitocin. Over the next several hours, my nurses came in to increase the dosage little by little. I felt the contractions coming on stronger and more frequently. By 2:00pm, I had enough of the pain and asked for an epidural*. This procedure was the one thing that really frightened me. It wasn't the thought of actually pushing a watermelon through a pin hole, it was the epidural. The two anesthesiologists took their time; measuring and feeling for the sweet spot, but ultimately, slightly over-shot and ended up administering the epidural similar to a spinal tap. It was still safe for me, but I immediately had an intense headache then my whole body went numb. The anesthesiologists weren't concerned and would come by once an hour to check on me. Basically, they were waiting for that dosage to wear off to the point where I can move my body, but not feel the contractions - aside from maybe a little pressure.
Meanwhile, my nurses and doctor would periodically check to see how much I've dilated, which, after 40 hours wasn't a lot. By 10:00pm on August 18th, I only dilated 3cm...and I should have been closer to 10cm. I didn't want to risk Rocky getting an infection, since my water already broke 40 hours prior. After speaking with my doctor, we decided to go with a c-section. They immediately prepped the operating room and I was wheeled in.
About 35 minutes later, I heard her cry and I couldn't hold back the tears. Jordan went over to the nurses to cut the cord and bring her to me so I can see her for the first time. It was the sweetest sound and I was happy she was finally here. The pediatrician examined her before the nurses wrapped her up. By then she stopped crying. They placed her in a bassinet while the doctor was finishing up with me. She was so quiet, I didn't even realize she was still in the room! The nurses handed her to me to hold while they wheeled me into recovery. I couldn't stop staring at her. She was (& still is) exactly the person I saw in my dreams. My perfect little ray of sunshine.
Our nurses in triage and our private recovery room were the best. They were so caring, gentle, and helpful. They encouraged me to start walking and with their help, I was up and about the next day! I walked up and down the halls and was even able to take a shower. We stayed at the hospital for 2 days before deciding to head home.
This was definitely a crazy experience and I knew the road to recovery would be long and hard, but it was all worth it.
*I know there are many women who prefer natural pain management options, but after researching all of the pros and cons involved with an epidural, Jordan and I decided that it would be the best pain relief option for me. We spoke to 3 doctors at my OB-GYN office as well as an anesthesiologist to make sure we felt comfortable with this decision.