on tuesday, september 28, i went in for my weekly doctor's appointment. i met with d'anne moon, dr. kirkman's practitioner since dr. k himself was out of town on a two week vacation. she checked everything out, and things looked about the same. i was dilated to two centimeters and i was 90% effaced. she then asked steve and i if we wanted her to strip the membranes (detach the amniotic sac from the wall of the uterus, releasing a hormone that can often cause labor to begin). she said if she did that, there was a 40% chance that i would go into labor within 24 hours. if i went into labor after that, it wouldn't be because she stripped my membranes. steve and i both decided why not? and she went ahead and did it. i had heard from multiple people that stripping the membranes usually won't do anything to send you into labor, that it just makes you uncomfortable and you get painful cramps. so my hopes weren't high. after the appointment, i dropped steve off at school, went home, piddled around, picked steve up, we went to arby's and got some french dip sandwiches, curly fries and a chocolate milkshake. we also went to motherhood maternity and picked up some last minute necessities, and then went home, had some friends over, did some homework and went to bed. i had experienced some discomfort throughout the day, but that's what you learn to expect when you're 40 weeks pregnant. i woke up at around four thirty in the morning because my discomfort had increased significantly. i didn't think much of it, and tried to go back to sleep, but it wasn't happening. i kept getting in and out of bed, trying to figure out if laying down, sitting down or walking around was more comfortable. finally at around seven, i started to feel a little nauseous, so i made myself some toast and jam. thinking i was feeling better, i decided to jump in the shower, and start getting ready for the day. during my shower, i think, was when i realized that this baby was coming and it was coming today. i got out of the shower, and lay back down in bed. that's when steve asked me if i was okay, to which i responded i was okay, i was just having cramps. he seemed pretty skeptical, and was even more skeptical when i got up to expel the jam and toast i had just eaten. he called my mom, mom said it was probably labor, and steve told me to get dressed because were leaving for the hospital NOW. the drive to the hospital was uneventful. when we got there, we were told to go up to the second floor, where we were given immediate attention, i was hooked up to monitors, and steve was left to deal with the insurance and other paperwork stuff. the nurses taking care of me were amazing. my RN for the morning was trish, who was awesome, and my CNA was treana who was the most helpful person in the universe at that time. she helped me cope with the pain of the contractions and told steve what he could do to help, and got us popsicles and ice chips (and sandwiches and chips and dr. pepper for steve). she even stayed with me while steve ran home to get some things we had forgotten, and drop his homework off. at this point, i was dilated to a three and 100% effaced, but i wasn't progressing any further than that. trish said if i didn't dilate within the next hour, they might just have me go home (which i didn't want to do). the hour passed and i had dilated to a four. i threw up again somewhere in between that time, don't really remember. eventually the pain started getting pretty intolerable, so they hooked me up to an IV and gave me some pain killers. it helped for a little bit, but mainly it just made drowsy, loopy and nauseous and the contractions just kept getting stronger and longer. at this point, trish had gone home, and lori was my nurse who was also awesome. she let me take a break from the monitors and get up and walk around for about a half hour. after ten hours of labor, at around 2:00, i asked for the epidural. they told me now was a good time to get it because if i had waited any longer, they wouldn't have been able to give it to me. apparently, if you dilate past a six, they won't give you the epidural. i was at a five. so, dr. skabelund, the anesthesiologist came in and hooked me up. i was a little scared because everyone kept telling me not to move, and it's hard not to squirm when someone's poking a needle in between your vertebrae and you're experiencing a few extremely painful contractions. anyway, when that was all done, i started feeling better immediately. mom had decided the night before that she was going to fly out, and she made it to the hospital right after i got the epidural. from there on out, it was pretty much a piece of cake. the three of us hung out, talked, watched a clean house marathon (clean house was literally on for my entire labor and delivery), and continued sucking on popsicles and ice chips. i continued to progress about a centimeter every hour. when i was about to a six, dr. noorda came in and broke my water. my nurse (i can't remember my last nurse's name) told me that things would probably go pretty quickly from there on out. at around four or five (i lost all concept of time, and still feel like i never have any idea what time it is), dr. fowers (the doctor who was on-call, and who would deliver my baby) came in and checked me. i was now at a seven and jude had descended to a plus one station (a zero station is when his head is on your pelvic bone - he had been at a zero for weeks - a plus one, meant he had begun his descent into the birth canal). dr. fowers said i could start pushing now, which would mean the baby would come sooner, but i would be pushing for longer. he suggested that i rest for as long as possible, and since my progress was good, just wait until he had made his way further down on his own. so that's what i did. the next time the nurse checked me, i was ten centimeters dilated, and jude was at a plus two station. she called dr. fowers and said that we would begin pushing in about fifteen minutes. this is when i started to get a little nervous and pretty giddy. at around six o'clock i started pushing. they had steve count for each push, which was not a good idea because i kept laughing. i don't know why. but i couldn't stop laughing, and that did nothing to speed up the process. after i had been pushing for about 45 minutes though, the humor wore off and i was tired, thirsty and wanted to get it over with. but i can't complain because thanks to the epidural i felt no pain at all, and although pushing was exhausting i wasn't screaming my head off or anything (although i felt like the veins in my head were going to burst open). while in between pushes, we continued to watch clean house, we talked about how my little sister was in hawaii, and we all wished we were in hawaii, and stuff like that. it was a pretty laid-back atmosphere. well, after an hour and a half, halfway through my push, dr. fowers told me to ease up. a second later i heard crying, and i started crying, and so did everyone else pretty much. steve cut the umbilical cord and they laid little jude on my stomach so i could look at him and help clean him off. then they took him over to the table with all the lights and did whatever they do over there. at that point, it was pretty much just me and dr. fowers because everyone wanted to see the little cutie. i laid there, pretty out of it, with a throbbing headache, crying and a little shocked. treana (my CNA from earlier) stayed late so she could meet the little man, and wish us congratulations, and lori, my RN from earlier came in and did the same thing. eventually, they brought jude over to me and i got to hold him and they gave me some graham crackers, apple juice and a motrin. after a little bit (no idea how long), they stuck me in a wheel chair, and i went up to the third floor with all the other moms and babies. the rest of my stay was pretty much vacation, although by the end, i was a little tired of nurses coming in and out of my room all the time. also, steve and i had an extremely difficult time coming up with a name for him. weird, i know, because we had decided on jude a long time ago. but for some reason, when we saw him, we just weren't sure. we ended up naming him steve jude tompkins, but i guess he goes by jude still. one thing i learned is that i will never name a child before they're born. we spent hours and hours agonizing over names for him, and i'm still not even sure if we named him the right thing. anyway, i could go on about that for another day or two, so i'll leave it at that. steven jude tompkins. he was born on september 29 (0f course) 2010 at 7:28PM MST. he weighed six pounds and fourteen ounces and was 19.5 inches long. no major complications. in fact, we are extremely lucky, because he has a little dimple on his lower back (i don't remember the name for it), where the skin didn't fully form over his spine. at first, we were worried, but the pediatrician checked it out and said there was nothing to worry about. the skin was sealed over it, so we are fine. if he had been born even a day or two earlier, though, the skin may not have had time to fully form over his spine, and little steven jude could have been born with spina bifida. but he wasn't. he's a little angel baby, very calm (except when he's screaming because he peed himself), and the cutiest little man alive.
the birth story
so, here it is: the birth story. i figured i needed to record the story of my little man's birth somewhere, and i might as well share it with those who want to hear about it, so i decided to post it here. also, i prefer typing, rather than writing it down long-hand in my journal. so, anyway, here we go. p.s. just so you know, this will probably end up being long and detailed and probably a little boring, since i am mainly writing this for my own purposes and i want to get every detail. so...feel free to skim or skip this altogether.