We got to the hospital (with our LOADS of luggage :)) and admitted in no time flat, and by 1:10am I was all hooked up and getting the pitocin to begin my labor! My parents and sister arrived shortly after we did, and they waited in the waiting room until there was a good time for them to come in for a visit. The pit started working immediately, and my contractions got pretty intense right away. They checked me when I got there and I was still 3cm, so I was hopeful that the pit would make the process speed along. My nurse was super. Unfortunately for her, I was awkward. At one point when she was standing close to me, I turned (apparently awkwardly, in her face) and said "you smell like a donut". Ashley and David were about on the floor laughing their heads off. I quickly started to back pedal because I didn't mean for it to be offensive! I said "oh no, that's a compliment! I love donuts!" ha. No dice... She wasn't nearly as amused as the rest of us.
I was planning on making a game time decision about getting or not getting an epidural, but as soon as that pit kicked in, I was positive I wanted it! Maybe I'm a weenie or have a low pain threshold, but whatever. I am SO, so glad I got it! At 4am I was 4cm and ready for my epidural. The CRNA who administered it was fabulous, and it was no sweat at all. Well, for me :). Because of how I had to sit, David stood in front of me and held me steady through the contractions as they put in the epidural. When she was finished, I looked up at David and his lips were white! Apparently his knees were locked and he was desperately needing to sit down. He couldn't even see the actual procedure, so it wasn't that he was grossed out or anything, I just squeezed the life out of him!
So, the epidural kicked in right away, and it was heavenly. From about 4:30-6am we turned out the lights and tried to rest. David got some actual sleep, but I was only able to rest. Regardless, it was nice to have that down time. At 6am, Dr. Brody came in and broke my water and checked me. When he broke my water there wasn't much fluid at all, which really confirmed the reason we went ahead and induced in the first place (low levels of amniotic fluid). At that point I was 6cm- right on track with the 1 cm/hr trajectory they told me to anticipate. I figured if I continued to progress at that rate then we should be ready to push around 10am, and Dr. B suggested that he thought I'd have a baby here by lunch time. I was good with that timeline!
After my water was broken, C's heart rate started dropping during each contraction. After monitoring it for a while, they decided to put in a IUPC (intra-uterine pressure catheter) to replenish some of the fluid with salene to give him some cushion. It worked well, but made me shiver really badly. I felt totally fine, and wasn't cold at all, but my teeth were chattering like I was freezing.
After that hoopla died down, my family came back in and hung out and visited for a while. They were busy in the waiting room dealing with some really annoying company in other waiting families. My mom was knitting the sweetest little toy for our boy. My fam got breakfast and brought a biscuit to David (who kindly ate it in the hallway so as to not make me jealous). Becca got there around 7:30, and I was so glad to see her! It is so special that I experienced KJ's birth with her, and she was there with me for Crawford's.
When 8am rolled around it was time to check me again, and my parents and sister were hanging out in the room. The parents waited behind the curtain, and everyone was within earshot to hear the progress. My nurse Ashley (ironically) said she thought I was an 8, but she wanted to have someone double-check for her. She called in another nurse, who checked and was confident that I was actually a 9.5! They decided it was time to call the doctor and get things ready for pushing! I kind of started freaking out because I thought I still had a few hours to "prepare", but I was so excited that things had progressed so quickly and comfortably (again, epidural= heaven). I had started to notice that my epidural was wearing off on the left side, so my nurse asked if I wanted them to "top it off". I debated about whether or not to get it, but I decided to go for it, and it was totally the right decision. The CRNA came in and just gave me a bit more, and it was exactly what I needed. I didn't feel ANY pain through the whole process!
After I got the extra epidural, I started feeling nauseous. David had the foresight (this was not our first rodeo) to ask for a barf bag, and we needed it momentarily. I threw up the last bit of stuff on my stomach, and felt much better. It's so funny because I hardly remember that happening, but it was traumatizing to my sister. Of all the things she saw that day, me throwing up was traumatizing. Ha!
So, Dr. Brody said he was on his way and they started bringing in all the baby equipment. By 9am, we were ready to get started! The nurses were SO wonderful, and they wanted to do some practice pushes to see how I would do and how quickly the baby would descend. Apparently, the pushes were successful because they told me to stop after just one contraction (3 pushes). Dr. Brody got there, and we started the real deal. Ashley stayed in the room, and she was so helpful! During the pushes, she held my left leg while the (other) nurse Ashley held my right leg. David stood next to Ashley by my head and was so encouraging. He talked me through each contraction, stroked my head and kept the ice chips coming!
Since I couldn't feel ANY pain, I sincerely loved the whole process. In between pushes, I kept saying "this is so fun!", and it really, really was. I had said that I thought I wanted to bring a mirror in so I could see part of the process. Once I was in the go position, I decided I just wanted the mirror to see a snapshot of him crowing. The nurses were great to oblige. After I saw his little head, they moved the mirror out of the way. A few pushes later, Ash and David were giving me a play-by-play (excitedly!) as you could see more and more of his head emerge, and I decided I didn't want to miss any part of it. Becca was there taking pictures, so I asked her to pull the mirror back around for me to watch. Holy cow. It was the coolest, most amazing experience of my life to watch myself deliver this baby.
I was so curious to see how much he weighed, and I guessed eight pounds. Dr. Brody laughed at me and said "that is no 8lb baby! He's probably six something." Obviously, he knew what he was talking about! I couldn't believe it when they said 6lbs. 4oz. and 19.5 inches long! What a little squirt! David kept running back between me and Crawford, and I told him to just go be with the baby. Dr. B kept me company while he sewed me up (I had a mild second degree tear), and he was so sweet to me. I am so thankful he is my doctor and was the one to bring Crawford into the world! He was so caring and loving to all of us. While he was sewing and everyone else was cleaning, I was saying how miraculous of an experience that was. He told me that even after countless number of deliveries (he told me the actual number, but of course I can't remember... I think it was in the 70,000s) it still is the most amazing thing he has ever seen. I'm so glad he still feels that way!
I hollered over to the group at the baby to make sure someone checked for 10 fingers and 10 toes. They were all there :). I also remember asking what his APGAR score was, and the nurse told me 8-9. David's prayer for Crawford throughout my whole pregnancy was that he would be strong, and I felt such relief when he was born just so! He cried right when he was born, but after that he was pretty content. He was WIDE-eyed and totally alert (so, don't listen when people talk about epidurals causing a drowsy or lethargic baby... I had about as much epidural as you can get, and my kid was bright-eyed right away!). I kept looking at him thinking "I know this kid!". It sounds so strange, especially to type it out, but I expected to feel like he was a stranger because I had never met him before, but he looked so familiar to me. Ha! Turns out, it's because he looks just like me. I'll post some comparative pictures soon ("soon" is going to be a relative term from here on out... be warned!).
My parents and Jodi were waiting outside the delivery room, so as things started to calm down Ash went to tell them the news. Becca helped me try to breastfeed (thank goodness she was there!), and he latched on pretty quickly. He didn't really eat much, but I felt good about our attempt. We let everyone in the room after the bf attempt was over, and everyone got to meet our boy! Again, words don't do the emotions justice... fortunately, Becca captured every moment on camera, and this gorgeous slideshow is the most precious memento (other than Crawford himself) of our most special day: