I went to bed in a pretty foul mood on the night of April 21. It was the night before my due date, and it was official: this baby wasn't coming early like the midwives had said he would.
I slept until noon on the morning of April 22. I think I felt that if I didn't wake up, I didn't have ot face the fact that my baby wasn't going to arrive on his due date. Trevor slipped out to run errands, and I stayed in bed a little longer. When I woke up, I felt damp. It wasn't the gush that everyone had said I would feel if my water had broken, but I was cautiously optimistic that maybe progress had been made. I waited a little while, and then decided to hop in the shower. I felt a trickle before I got in, so I was more optimistic that it was time to call my practice and get the OK to go to the hospital. I called Trevor to let him know that it might be time, so he finished up his errands as quickly as he could.
Trevor came home. We ate lunch. I dried my hair and finished packing my bags. Trevor potted his new basil plant while I called the practice. The triage nurse said to head to the hospital. Trevor scooped the litter box and filled the cats' dishes. We were sort of missing the excitement and nervousness that I expected us to have. We both thought this would be a dry run for when the midwives ordered an induction after our appointment on the following day.
At the hospital, the triage nurse tested me to see if I was leaking fluid. Her test said no, but she still brought my midwife in. Emily checked me and found that I was dialated to 5 centimeters, and she felt that I probably did have a small tear in the sac. She and the nurse also informed me that even though I wasn't feeling them, the monitors showed I was definitely having contractions. They suspected my belly was already so tight that I was numb. Emily had us admitted around 5 p.m. We were sent to walk the halls until a room opened up for us in labor and delivery. We called our parents. We texted siblings and a few close friends. I posted some crap on Facebook to throw the rest of the world off the trail. I wanted my admission to the hospital to remain a secret until Hudson arrived. Trevor was hoping we could put on the Minnesota Wild playoff game at 9:30 if I wasn't in active labor at that point.
We got our room just after 6 p.m. Emily came to break my water just after 7 p.m. My contractions were definitely stronger after that. I managed pretty well until 8. After 8, they hurt, but I thought I could still bear it. At 9, Emily checked me again and suggested I get an epidural if that's what I wanted. I said I thought that would be a good idea. The nurses hooked me up to an IV of saline solution and said I needed two full units before I got the epidural placed. At this point, I was in so much pain that I couldn't even stand listening to people talk when I had a contraction. I remember repeatedly thinking, "Oh, shut up!" throughout the last hour while we waited for me to take in the fluids. The anesthesiologist came at 10 p.m. By that point, I was really hurting, to the point that I could barely move. I was so happy to see him that I almost forgot the pain for a minute (obviously, we had forgotten about the Wild game by now).
That's when things slowed down. They let me go until 11, but I hadn't dialated all the way yet. It was pretty clear at this time that Hudson wasn't arriving on his due date, but rather the day after, which also happens to be his Aunt Jenny's birthday. By 1, I had dialated to 10, but the contractions weren't strong enough to do anything. At 2:30, the nurses had me start pushing. I pushed for two hours before Emily went to check with the OB on call about possibly using a vacuum for delivery. The doctor declined, saying that if the head got through, the shoulders may not. She said I would need to push for another hour, and then we would discuss our options. I think Trevor heard that and knew it would be a C-section, but I think I was too optimistic to believe that I was having a C-section.
Somehow, exactly an hour later, I did it. I pushed, and I heard, "Come on! That's it! He's almost here!" I pushed again, and then...I saw him! I thought to myself, "Holy crap, there's a baby!" An instant later, he was out of Emily's hands and on my chest, hot and wet and angry. I'm pretty sure this was when Trevor cut the cord, but I honestly didn't pay attention. For a minute, the entire world was just me and Hudson.
Hudson was only there for a few minutes before the baby nurse whisked him away to be checked out and cleaned up. While they were taking care of him, Emily and the nurses were taking care of me. I didn't lose much blood, but I was about to pass out from going nearly 18 hours without eating. I was brought juice and a banana while Emily did the stitches. I had a second degree tear, but Emily assured me that it would be just fine in a few weeks. She observed that my placenta had calcium deposits as though I had gone at least a week past my due date, so it was sent out for pathology just to be safe.
After a little while, the nurses unbuttoned my gown and laid Hudson on my chest. We snuggled, and Trevor snapped pictures of us. We attempted breastfeeding, which was a struggle for several days following the birth. Pretty soon, our golden hour alone was over, and the day shift nurse was there to get me ready to move to the recovery room. It was pretty horrifying. I knew it wouldn't be pleasant, but I was unprepared for just how unpleasant. We will leave it at that. :)
Once I was cleaned up, we formed a little parade. My nurse and me in the wheelchair, the baby nurse with Hudson in his bassinet, and Trevor with our bags rounded out our little procession to the recovery unit. We got our room, and immediately met our nurse for the day, Barbie. She had a million instructions for us, as well as pain reliever for me. I was told to nap, but I honestly couldn't. I had too much adrenaline in my system! We also had frequent visits from the hospital staff. Hudson had been "large for gestational age," so that meant he needed his blood sugar tested every 3 hours until he was 12 hours old. I also had my vitals checked every four hours, and various people stopped in to see how we were doing. The anesthesiologist, a Stephen minister, the midwife on call, and a few others I've already forgotten all stopped by throughout that first morning and afternoon.
We also had a friend stop by around noon that day. She was visiting a surgeon about her own operation, and since another mutual friend was on bed rest in labor and delivery, she came to see us both that morning. It was so nice to see a familiar face that wasn't there to poke, prod, or ask a million questions about our experience!
The pediatrician gave Hudson his first exam around 8 p.m. that night. Trevor and I watched our required videos after that, and we talked to our families on the phone. We had a horrible, sleepless night in the hospital. Hudson screamed and screamed, hating life in the outside world. I spent a lot of time holding him and catching up on all the well wishes we had received via Facebook and text message that day. It was while browsing Facebook that I learned that McDreamy had been killed off on Grey's Anatomy. I briefly considered posting something about how Hudson had arrived in time to be the new McDreamy, but I figured that might hurt some feelings since Dr. Derek Shepherd had been essential to the program that was in its 10th season.
We barely got settled down when the nurses came to take him for his "24 hour test" at 5:30 a.m. that morning. He was gone for about two hours, so Trevor and I got a good nap then. Shortly after he was returned, the midwife on call stopped in to let us know we could go home that day. We jumped at the chance. Trevor and I both agreed that if we would have another sleepless night, we wanted it to be at home!
Around noon, the nurses came back for his circumcision. I got another nap then as well. When he came back, I showered and got ready to go home. Once the car was loaded, it was about 6:30 p.m. We pulled into a space in the hospital parking lot, and we ordered two pizzas for pick up at Papa John's. We got home at 7:30, and I remember feeling a huge sense of relief. We had done it. Since Hudson was sleeping, I quickly checked to make sure both cats were fine, then hurried to eat two slices of pizza before Hudson would need to feed. Trevor did the same as I fed Hudson. Then, Trevor helped me upstairs and got Hudson and me settled in our bedroom before running to Target for a couple things we would need to get through the night. Hudson and I cuddled up on the bed and watched the Bruce Jenner interview - the one where he admitted he was in the process of becoming a woman.
When Trevor came home, we settled into bed, and began our first night at home as a family.