I was scheduled for induction at 10:00PM on Wednesday, December 1st at Winnie Palmer Hospital. We had our bags packed, got plenty of rest, and made sure everything was taken care of in the house before we left. We kept saying to one another, "this is the last time we will do this without Jack being here". It still seemed so unreal. We closed up the house, grabbed our hospital bags, scooped up Lola and her belongings and headed out the door. Since we had no idea how long we would be gone for we had to bring Lola over to Kyle's parent’s house. We then made our way to Houlihans for one last dinner as husband and wife, minus any kids. Dinner was great, but the service took a little longer than expected so we were rushing out the door to get to the hospital in time for our appointment. We met Kyle's mom there. She was videotaping us to document it right as we first walked up to the front doors of the hospital. We checked in and they led us to Triage where they simply printed out my paperwork to get this process started. A woman led us up to the 5th floor where we had to sit in a waiting room for about 20 minutes while they prepared my room. It was so unreal how this all was so calm and laid back. I always thought that the day I'd have my baby would be a chaotic, stressful, and rushed moment in time. It was just the opposite. They finally brought us to my room where we settled in, I changed into the lovely green hospital gown, and we waited for the nurses to get the show on the road. I had an IV administered for the first time in my life. The nurse was an older woman, so I thought she would have some good experience with this. Unfortunately she messed up when going for my first vein, which hurt like hell. She ended up having to stick me again and I had to get the IV on the top of my hand. Not fun. It was already nearly 1am at this point. We knew we were in for a long process and that it wasn't going to be happening overnight. I let my mom and dad know that they didn’t have to rush up here. The doctor administered this teeny tiny pill vaginally which was to start the labor process by softening my cervix. The first dose would take anywhere from 4-6 hours for any progress to be shown so we had to just relax and wait patiently for it to do it's magic. In the meantime I had nurses coming in every so often to check my temperature, blood pressure and heart rate. This was a common thing for the entire time I was in the hospital. I never realized this before, but evidently I have a remarkably low heart rate. The machine was beeping a warning noise because my heart rate was so low. I looked over at Kyle and he had such a nervous look on his face. The nurses asked me if I was a physical person because of my low heart rate. Minus my walks around the neighborhood and sporadic yoga practices with my DVD, I wouldn't say that I was very athletic. They ended up running an EKG on me, which was pretty interesting; simply to make sure my heart was doing well and overall healthy. Everything came back fine and we all relaxed. They had belts wrapped around my big belly to monitor Jack's heart rate and the contractions. They weren't that bad to wear until I had to sleep with them on or when I had to continually wake Kyle up so he could un-plug me from the machine just so I could use the restroom. Kyle was in the little pull out bed next to me. I hated not having him sleep in the same bed as me. Needless to say, I didn't get that great of a good night’s rest then. At least I knew that Jack was going to be here in the next couple of days or hours...the end was finally close in sight.
We woke up on Thursday, ordered some lovely room service breakfast and relaxed in our room. The nurse came in, checked me out, and said the medicine did its magic and I progressed to 3cm. They don't move you to Labor & Delivery until you are 3 or 4 cm so she wanted to call the doctor in to check me personally to see whether or not they should give me one more dose of that medicine or move me to L&D. They ended up going the "take our time" method, which was fine with me. They kept me in that room and gave me another dose so we were told we'd be here for another 4-6 hours. Kyle and I just hung out, watched the Office on DVD, and enjoyed some food. They told me once they moved me to L&D I wouldn't be allowed to have any more food, so eat it while I still could on the 5th floor! Around 5PM the doctor came in, checked me out, and gave the go ahead for me to be moved up to L&D. I started to feel a little nervous at this announcement, even though I was dying with anticipation. It seemed like it took them forever to actually move me to my new room. In the meantime Kyle, Deedee, and I sat and waiting so impatiently. A doctor also came in and gave us a talk about the possibility of a C-section, the possible complications that could happen, etc. It was certainly not something I wanted to hear before facing delivery, but I knew it was just a standard thing they did for everyone, so I didn’t read too much into it. Finally they arrived with a wheelchair, so we packed up and headed to the “baby making factory” as the hospital worker who was pushing me called it. The room was very spacious and incredibly cold. They hooked me up to all of the fancy machines, we met the new group of nurses, and got settled in. Since it was Thursday night, Kyle and I had our favorite shows like the Office and The Apprentice to watch and help distract me from the pains. The contractions were coming so much stronger since they hooked me up to the Pitosin. I was breathing through them as much as possible, but the idea of getting some pain relief was sounding more appealing with each passing minute. My dad arrived at the hospital and it was so nice to see him. He was really happy to be there..I knew he was not going to miss this moment. Shortly after my mom and Enzo arrived as well. She was just as happy. It was so nice to see both of my parents and to know that they were here with me. Since I was only around 4cm, I told my mom to go back to the hotel to get some sleep since it was still going to be a while. My dad just continued to down cup after cup of coffee and pace the halls and cafeteria. The television shows were not doing a good enough job distracting me, the pain was getting worse and worse. I couldn’t bear to lay in the bed and standing up was difficult. I couldn’t get comfortable no matter what I did. I had to keep going to the bathroom, which was a huge pain because I was hooked up to so many machines. It was pointless to even offer the spa styled bathtubs in the rooms because there was no way I would be able to get in and relax with having all of the cords and everything connected with me. I told Kyle to call the nurse and tell her I wanted the narcotics to help relieve some of the pain. While we were waiting for them to come I felt like I was dying. The contractions were coming every 30 seconds it felt like. I couldn’t handle it. I said I just wanted the epidural, but Kyle calmed me down saying to at least just try the Stadol first. I did as he suggested, but the thin walls didn’t help calm me down because I heard a woman next door screaming bloody murder. I then entered panic mode. Hearing this scared me so much. Around 10:45PM the nurse finally arrived with the pain meds and I soon felt some relief. It made me a little dizzy and sleepy, but I still felt each and every contraction. Kyle said he could tell a huge difference with my tolerance with the Stadol, but I wanted more relief. We asked for the epidural and around midnight the anesthesiologist came in the room and got started. Getting the epidural was a piece of cake. It was NOTHING compared to getting the IV put in! Relief came pretty quick, and it was heavenly to no longer feel the contractions anymore. I was able to relax and I fell asleep.Before I knew it, I woke up and it was the morning of December 3rd. The doctor came in and checked me and I was moving along…finally up to around 6cm at 4:30am. Two hours later I was up to 7cm and 90% effaced. I told my mom to eat some breakfast then head on over. I was getting excited. It was getting so close. Even though it’s been so eerily calm throughout my time there, it was still a very long process that I was anxious to have end soon and finally meet my son. The nurse came in and checked me. She said I was at 10cm and they would have me start pushing in about 30 minutes and since this was my first child, I could be pushing for 1-2 hours, maybe even more because I got the epidural. 2 minutes after she told me this, I had an overwhelming urge to take a number 2 in the bathroom. I told the nurse this and she said that means it’s time to start pushing. I felt like I couldn’t hold it anymore, I HAD to start pushing. The nurse told me to hold the backs of my knees with my hands, bear down, take a deep breath, and push down. I couldn’t believe the time was here and I was finally pushing. The moment had come. It was unreal. After that first push I asked, “am I doing it right?”, haha I had no clue! She said I was doing great and to keep going. In the meantime they called my doctor to get up here for the birth, a mid-wife that worked with the hospital was there instead. I pushed again, and this time I felt more confident. Even though I had the epidural I felt each and every contraction and knew when to push. The nurses didn’t tell me when to push, I was telling them when I was ready. Then, the nurse that was working with me lept up and said I sprayed blood on her. I didn’t know what happened, but I knew I wanted to just keep pushing. She said she could see the head and he had a bunch of hair. Oh my God! I couldn’t believe it! Kyle and I wondered if he was going to have any hair, let alone a full head of it! If his head was there and seen, I knew that I could get him out soon. I was so motivated. We pushed a few more times, I was running out of breath, but I heard Kyle tell me to keep going, that I could do it. I could hear the emotion in his voice and I knew he was feeling impressed, scared, and anxious. He was sniffling and said he could see his head. I felt strong. It took one more push, and I felt Jack’s entire little body slide out of me. It was remarkable. I did it. He was here. I was in complete disbelief and was so overwhelmed with love and relief at the same time. I started to cry saying, “I can’t believe it!” I looked up and was so happy to finally see him. 41 long weeks of waiting, and I was finally able to see my little Jack. It was 9:05am. The nurses said he had to be cleaned because he pooped on the way out, so I couldn’t hold him right away. Then, the staff said that I was bleeding a lot due to a hematoma, so I had to be stitched right away. That was absolutely the worst part of the entire process. I longed to touch him and hold his body. I didn’t focus on this though. How could I be upset? The most beautiful looking little person that Kyle and I created was finally here and healthy. I was smiling ear to ear and wouldn’t take my eyes off of him. They washed him off and handed him over to Kyle. I started balling as I watched Kyle wrap his arms around his little body and focus on his face. It was such a beautiful sight. My two guys. My dad was standing behind the curtain the entire time I was pushing so he was able to hear Jack’s birth and was one of the first to see him as he was being cleaned up. I was really glad he had the opportunity to be there for that. I know it meant a lot to him. My mom arrived shortly after and was able to be with me while the doctor was stitching me up. I remember being SO thirsty! I wanted a drink of water so badly, but they wouldn’t let me have even a sip or an ice chip for the simple reason that they might need to admit me to the operating room to stop the bleeding and I couldn’t have anything at all in my stomach. I laid there and patiently waited, without taking my eyes off my little boy. I watched him be passed from Kyle to his mom to my mom, and I couldn’t have been more jealous. It felt like an eternity. Finally they handed me Jack, and I couldn’t have been more at peace. I was so content…so grateful…untouchable to anything bad in the world. I had this beautiful little boy in my arms…I was now a mom.