Here are all the "gory details," as Jerry put it in his post yesterday:
As you know, we checked in to the hospital at 6 pm on Sunday night and got the Cervidil going. Monday morning, not much had changed, so they started me on Pitocin and then broke my water. But in the course of Sunday night and Monday, I made very little progress. In fact, by about 5:45 pm on Monday, I was still only 3 cm dilated.
As you can guess, I was very frustrated at this point because of the lack of progress, and the doctor was starting to talk Cesearean section. Thankfully, we also had our midwife there who was campaigning on my behalf to give me just a little more time, and that's exactly what I needed. In the next 45 minutes, I went from 3 cm to 9 cm: It was either the c-section talk or the drugs were finally starting to do their job. At 7 pm, I was feeling the desire to push, so we started some practice pushing, and while the doctor was still wary that I would be able to deliver this baby, I am thankful for our midwife who insisted that I could do it.
At 8 pm, the "real" pushing (the previous stuff hadn't much felt like practice to me!) began, and for the next 47 minutes, that's what I did. And good lord, I will tell you, it was the hardest physical, mental, and emotional thing I have ever done in my life. Physically, it was exhausting, and with each contraction, each push, I was exerting more phsyical effort than I have ever demanded of my body. Mentally and emotionally, it was frustrating and difficult to remain focused and positive that I could indeed do this, and there were many moments of near despair.
But, I must praise both the staff, who were amazing (we had one nurse who stayed nearly 2 hours past the end of her shift just to see this delivery through to its finale), and Jerry, who was not just encouraging, but was one of the most active members of the labor team. Because of them, I was able to push myself and stay strong.
In the end, the most beautiful moment in the world arrived, and before I could belive it to be real, Norah was being placed on my chest, and I can't describe the flood of joy and relief. I had done it, and she was here! I cried, Jerry cried, and Norah screeched. Of course, things weren't entirely done for me (episiotomoty had to be stitch up, ouchie, and the plasenta had to be passed), but Norah went to get bathed and weighed and measured. And within a few hours, we were transferred from labor and delivery up to the neo-natal unit.
Since then, things have gone pretty smoothly, and we have been able to sleep some and enjoy our new family. We're still in the hospital, and will be discharged tomorrow around 11 am. It will be good to go home!