Happy Birthday, Calista Jolie Cronck!

At 1:00 a.m., I felt a gush, and it felt like the same gush I had Tuesday (after I fell), so I assumed it wasn’t my water. I went to the bathroom and peed, and when I stood up, I felt it run all the way down my leg, and it was tinged with blood. I yelled for Skip to make sure I wasn’t imagining it, and said I think my water broke. We decided we better go to the hospital… of course, I had to post to my pregnancy Internet message boards first!

We got to the hospital at 1:40 a.m., and I had just started cramping and having some contractions. My water had leaked through my pad and my shorts were soaked. They put me in a room to check me. Baby’s heartbeat was good, and it was definitely my water that had broken. I was 3 cm dilated and 80% effaced. When the nurse was checking my cervix, she ruptured my membranes more, and the fluid went everywhere.

They decided to admit me.

We were taken to our room and just allowed to do whatever we wanted, we were told to call for a nurse if we needed anything. I sat in the tub for a while, and then as the contractions got stronger, we tried walking. That got boring, so we went back to the room, put on some music, and just worked through the contractions.

At 6:30 a.m., my contractions were getting strong, and I was sort of zoning out, so I asked Skip to call the nurse. She came in to check me and said I was 5 cm. I thought for sure I was at least 8 cm ~ hearing 5 made me want to die! I started yelling, ‘I can’t do it!’ during contractions, but Skip was so great, he kept me under control. I asked him to call our doula. I asked for something for the pain at that point, and at about 7:00 a.m. I got a dose of fentynal (a narcotic) through my IV. Shortly after, the baby’s heartbeat dropped really low ~ around 80. I remember Skip calling the nurse and hearing him say that the baby’s heart rate was dropping fast and for someone to please come in. I started saying to just take her out; I was scared we were losing her.

The nurse came in, and she had me roll from lying on my side to my back. Calista’s heartbeat came right back up. I had been hyperventilating, which also did not help. They gave me some oxygen for a bit and we did not have any other scares. It just had to do with my positioning and breathing.

The fentynal didn’t lessen the pain (and it only lasts for an hour), but it did allow me to settle down a bit and rest between contractions. I really pulled into myself and was able to control my breathing and work with the contractions (but they still hurt like hell!!). My doula was there, and she and Skip guided me… it was weird, because I could not see anyone ~ I couldn’t seem to focus on anything, and I could hear everyone, but not what they were saying. It was very surreal. Skip helped me control my breathing by blowing on my cheek in a rhythm, and somehow I was able to mimic him.

At 8:00 a.m., they checked me again, and said I was at 7 cm, but that was a generous estimate. We just kept going. I had one more dose of fentynal around that time.

At 9:30 a.m., I was declared to be at 10 cm and I could start to push! I was so happy to hear that, but pushing was not the great relief I had thought it would be. I pushed and pushed, and could not feel anything happening. I had expected to start pushing and immediately feel her moving down, but it didn’t work that way.

After about an hour of pushing, it got to the point where I could feel her, and you could see her head a tiny bit. It was then that I figured out HOW to push, and I was able to push much more effectively!

All of the fentynal was long worn off, so I was going without any pain meds at this time. I never did have the ‘ring of fire’ that I heard about, just a lot of pressure and stretching. Her head FINALLY came out, and they told me to STOP pushing! All I wanted to do was get her out (which I yelled repeatedly), but they had to suction her nose and mouth, and the doctor wasn’t there yet.

Dr. Madsen came in and wasn’t done putting on his scrubs. I begged him to hurry up. Finally I got the go ahead to push some more, and a few more pushes got her out. She came out with one hand up to her face, which apparently made it a little trickier for her to emerge.

She was born at exactly noon, 11 hours after my water had broken. They put her on my chest as Skip cut the cord and I delivered the placenta.

It was amazing to see this little girl laying on me; her eyes were wide open (and brown!). As much as the labor and delivery HURT, it is so true ~ the second you see that baby, it’s all out of your mind.

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