As I past my due date, I began to become more sad that the baby didn't want to come out. Not only that, but he wasn't even in the right position! He had been transverse for the last few appointments. I knew I needed to get him to rotate into my pelvis to get labor started. I read things online and talked to my mom about how to get babies to turn. I ended up buying an exercise ball and it was the greatest purchase I think I have ever made. It cost me $9, and I am convinced it helped my labor go so smoothly. I spent a few hours a day leaning over that exercise ball. I decided I will take cookies to anyone I know who goes overdue. It is a devastating feeling.
Friday, March 25th
9pm - I had diarrhea. I told Sam and my mom but told them not to get their hopes up. If you're wondering why this was public information, talk to any pregnant woman. Pretty much everything is out in the open.
Saturday, March 26th
Before our double date, I took Alex on a walk. I put him in the stroller and we went on a long walk. Longer than I usually go on. I was getting more and more frustrated as I walked. Walking used to cause cramping but now that the baby was supposed to come out, walking was doing nothing. I started sprinting (as fast as my pregnant body could go). I didn't last long, but I actually think it helped. During the movie, my pants started feeling really tight. I guess that was Edison dropping into my pelvis. When I got home from the movie and dinner, I told my mom. She said she knew I was in labor then.
Sunday, March 27th
5am - I woke up. For some reason Alex was crying. I listened to him for a little bit and decided he wasn't really waking up for the day. I was lying in bed trying to fall asleep and then I realized I just kept waking up. I couldn't get back to sleep. I had pelvic pain and uterine cramping.
6:45 - I decided to get onto the exercise ball.
7:00 - Things were getting stronger so I got in the shower to pass some time. I figured I had at least a few more hours of laboring to do at home. The shower helped nothing. I got out quickly, put on sweats, and got back on the exercise ball. This is unheard of for me; if I don't do my hair while it is still wet, it is a frizzy disaster. The contractions were very strong but I made myself relax into them. I just kept reminding myself of how badly I wanted the baby to be there and that's what the contractions were doing. I knew how I had felt the last few weeks; every day I thought he would come and each day I had been disappointed. But today was the day he was going to come and I wanted to welcome him with open arms. I labored on the ball until 8:05am. I kept repeating in my mind, "Breathe in relaxation, breathe out tension." But in my delirium, I kept thinking, "Breathe in tension, breathe out relaxation." It made me laugh each time I realized I was thinking it wrong.
8:05 - I went and woke up Sam and told him that I thought it was going to be someone's birthday.
8:18 - I texted Kristen and asked if they were awake because I was ready to drop off Alex. I figured I would be rejected by the hospital, but I still had to go. I couldn't do it at home anymore. I needed to know how much longer I had to go.
8:30 - My mom showered and Sam fed Alex breakfast and got him ready for church. I finally did my hair.
9:15 - Sam drove Alex to the Sheranian's. I was still laboring on the ball. My mom would push on my lower back with each contraction. I thought it wasn't helping but as soon as I would tell her to stop, the contractions became much stronger.
9:35 - We left for the hospital. I had three contractions during the 20-minute drive to the hospital. During the drive, I was talking about how terrible of a date it was to have a baby. 3/27/11?! I can't even watch TV with the volume at anything but an even number (or at least 5 or 15) and I was about to have a baby on all odd numbers?! My mom pointed out that it would at least be easy to remember that way. Turns out it was Flannel's half birthday!
9:55 - I had two contractions just trying to get into the hospital. I did all of the intake stuff. They brought a wheelchair and said they would take me to my room. I asked if I could walk. I didn't want to sit down. Then another contraction came and I realized it would take me a million contractions to get to the delivery room. So I sat in the wheelchair and the nurse ran! My mom could barely keep up with her!
10:00 - I got to the delivery room.
10:02 - The nurses kept coming in and asking me my name. There were so many people in there that they couldn't keep us all straight. There were three or four women in labor at the same time as me. I asked for an exercise ball and they said they had to check me to see if I would even be staying first. So I sat on the bed and the doctor came in. It wasn't my doctor; he wasn't on call. Both of my children have not been delivered by my doctor. I ended up liking this doctor even better though!
10:22 - The doctor checked me and I was dilated to 7cm. She couldn't believe it and neither could I. I honestly thought I was around a 2. I asked for an epidural but they said I needed to get an IV started first. They never did bring me that exercise ball.
10:25 - They failed while trying to get the IV started. My hands were bruised for a couple weeks. It took them three attempts. I hate when they fish around in my veins.
10:40 - I stood up to try to work through the contractions.
10:45 - The anesthesiologist came in and told me that I may not have enough time for an epidural to work. He recommended a spinal tap. He listed possible symptoms. They worried me. I was this close to saying I would just do it naturally. I figured I was probably around 9cm by this point judging by my contractions. I knew I could get fully dilated without pain killer but I pushed for two hours with Alex. I didn't want to push naturally for two hours. I said I would get the spinal tap.
10:50 - My mom left the room, the anesthesiologist signed my back, Sam held me, and then everything got itchy. The anesthesiologist said that would be a symptom and wow! It sure was! My face was ridiculously itchy.
11:12 - Dilated to 9cm. I was able to sit up and move around as much as I wanted. I could feel contractions. I loved the spinal tap. It was five bazillion times better than the epidural. I was so happy with the level of contractions I was feeling.
11:30 - I think it was around this time that my mom dropped her cell phone in the toilet. It was doing a weird beeping sound whenever she turned it on after that.
11:42 - They said I had "just a lip." That's not the first time I've been told I've got some lip.
12:12pm - 9 3/4 cm. I wanted to start pushing. They said the intrathecal would start wearing off around two hours. The point of getting it was that I didn't want to feel the pushing. I started feeling a little pushy, in both senses, and I kept asking to be checked.
12:43 - I started pushing. I knew I was a bad pusher. I don't know why I can't do it right. They doctor told me I wasn't even trying. But I was trying so hard. It hurt. I couldn't keep myself pushing throughout the whole contraction. I felt like my head was going to explode. The pain in my butt was incredible and not in a good way. It just hurt. I almost asked the doctor to push him back in. I didn't want to feel it anymore.
12:58 - I asked the doctor how much longer it would last. I needed to know how many times I would have to push. I couldn't imagine it going on any longer. It already felt like it had been hours. She said I needed to start trying if anything was going to happen. I started getting afraid they would force me into a C-section. The pressure was ridiculous.
1:00 - They kept telling me to reach down and feel his head. There was not a chance I was moving. They put a wet towel on my head. It fell off once and I freaked out asking where it had gone. My eyes were closed. I wanted everything to be over.
1:03 - I pushed really well once. Although my mom and the doctor had been encouraging me all along, Sam had remained relatively quiet. But after this contraction he said, "Emily! You are so close! His head is right there!" This was so motivational.
1:05 - Edison Christopher Merkley was born! He shot out. My mom said he came halfway down the birth canal in one push and that he hadn't even been close before. I tore on the scars from my tear with Alex. It was a 3rd degree tear. There is a little bit of confusion on Edison's time of birth. Everything from the hospital says 1:09. We know for sure it was not that late. I think that is just when they decided to write it down.
I was given pitocin due to hemorrhaging. It made me have contractions for a few hours after delivery. I still had my white socks on but they were dripping with blood. They said I won the award for the messiest delivery. It took a long time to get stitched up and it was really painful. Once that was done, I was so relaxed. Everything seemed so calm. There was no rush and I felt like I could have let him nurse in the delivery room all day. They didn't seem rushed to weigh him or take him away for any reason. He pooped while I was holding him and they still left him there. No worries. I nursed Edison in the delivery room for about 30 minutes, maybe longer. Then they weighed him. He weighed over a certain limit so they had to prick his heel five times over the next 24 hours to check his blood sugar. They bathed him and cleaned me up. There were five other babies born in the hospital that day. Because so many other people were there, I was given the last available room. Everyone who came after me was going to have to share with the earlier people who had been given the bigger rooms. I got a single room and although it was small, it was nice to have it alone. At midnight, he weighed 8 pounds, 10 ounces. I made it through the whole pregnancy and delivery without throwing up.
Monday, March 28th
1:10pm - We were discharged almost exactly 24 hours after he was born. They were a little weary of us leaving so quickly but I felt great, Edison felt great, and they needed our hospital room. So they didn't put up too much of a fight. When I got home from the hospital, I had only lost 15 pounds. 25 pounds to go.
"When God wants a great work done in the world or a great wrong righted, he goes about it in a very unusual way. He doesn't stir up his earthquakes or send forth his thunderbolts. Instead, he has a helpless baby born, perhaps in a simple home and of some obscure mother. And then God puts the idea into the mother's heart, and she puts it into the baby's mind. And then God waits. The greatest forces in the world are not the earthquakes and the thunderbolts. The greatest forces in the world are babies." -ET Sullivan