The nurse returned just minutes after my doctor left and she stayed in the room with us to help me through the contractions, bless her! I felt her pressing on my belly, pressure points I'm assuming, as she encouraged me and told me how great I was doing through the contractions. The pain continued to increase and I was losing relief in between contractions as the pressure was building down there. I felt pressure when it was time to push with Mia, but no pain because of my epidural. It was shocking to feel pain with the pressure, ugh, I was so miserable! I started to tell my nurse about the pressure I was feeling when I suddenly developed the shakes, but a severe case of the shakes (severe in my opinion, ha ha! I had the shakes with Mia but they just felt like small tremors and my teeth chattered a little bit.) My hands crippled/seized up and I went into a major panic about that! "Look at my hands! Oh my gosh, why are they doing this?! I can't straighten my fingers! Are they going to be stuck like this forever?!" I can't remember what she was saying to me but I do remember Eric trying to straighten my fingers out. I don't know if he thought I was doing it on purpose, or if he was just trying to help me calm the heck down by straightening them (but they would just cripple back up. It was the weirdest thing!) My blood pressure cuff tried to take my blood pressure but my arm was so tense that the cuff wouldn't loosen because it couldn't get a read on me. My nurse asked me to relax so that it could take my blood pressure and loosen up as I was crying to her that I thought my arm might fall off between the pressure of the cuff and my crippled hands, ha ha (but it wasn't funny in the moment, I was stressing out!) I told her I didn't know how to relax... I had no idea what my body was doing and I couldn't control it! Next thing I knew she was pulling out the oxygen and asking if I could hold it to my mouth or if she should strap it to my head. I couldn't move my arms so she strapped it to my head, asked if I needed an extra blanket (that's when I realized how hard my teeth were chattering, but I wasn't cold! I was over heated it felt like) and explained that even though my doctor had just checked me, she would check me. Just then the anesthesiologist came in. I saw him darting around the room for a minute while explaining that he was going to try another medicine, and if that didn't work then he would redo my epidural. The nurse checked me at the same time when she jumped up and said, "DON'T PUSH with your contractions! You are at a 10! I need to go call the doctor and see what he wants to do! Again, DON'T PUSH while I'm gone!" And just like that, the room cleared and it was just Eric, me and the pain alone together again. (That all happened in just a couple minutes of my body going into shock, or whatever you want to call it, it happened so quickly!)
This was after everything settled down. We were all relaxing, which meant TV for Eric, ha ha!
I felt a weird sense of validation as Eric and I checked the time and realized that in just 20 minutes my body had progressed from a 6 to a 10 with no epidural. I finally had an explanation for the world of hurt I was feeling (as if I needed an explanation, I was in labor for crying out loud! I later remembered that I was on pitocin, another reason for the extreme pain when I was only at a 6.) but it also makes me frustrated to think about the big, fat epidural bill that's coming my way... it totally let me down... is there a discount for that?! ha ha! My nurse came back awhile later to a new patient! The medicine had kicked in and I was pain free again, my hands had relaxed and my shakes were back down to a minimum. I was laughing and joking when she came back and I could see the surprise on her face- I'm a pleasant person to be around when I'm not in pain ;) She told me that the doctor wanted to have me "labor down" and hold off from pushing for awhile. Even though I was at a 10, the baby was still high up (common when a version has been performed) and he wanted the baby to come down lower on his own so that I didn't exhaust myself from pushing. I ended up "laboring down" for two more hours, which was annoying because I thought it was go time, but I was able to get some much needed sleep in that time!
Side note: I was extremely disappointed to see that I had missed dinner. The kitchen closed at 7 and that was when I received the news that it wasn't time to push yet. I made a plan with the nurse that she would bring me a fruit plate when I finally delivered and Eric would go get take out. I was STARVING and much of my conversation that day revolved around food, ha ha!
At 9PM my doctor finally came in and told me it was time to push! I could feel pressure from the contractions but it was harder for me to push this time around! First of all, I forgot just how hard it is to push a baby out- such hard work!! But I suspect that going from feeling everything to feeling nothing but a bit of pressure made it more difficult for me to feel where I needed to push. The doctor and my amazing nurse were super encouraging and helpful with the push process, thank heavens! His head was finally coming out when the doctor told me to stop pushing as he unwrapped the cord from around the baby's neck saying with his Indian accent, "you naughty little boy!" ha ha. I won't ever forget that! I was actually extremely nervous the whole time he was breech that the reason was because of the cord, but Eric said it wasn't tight around his neck at all. Then I felt him slide the rest of the way out (at 9:29PM) and he was finally in my arms!
James was so quiet as he laid there, like he was taking it all in. He was such a sweet boy, perfect in every way! The nurse took him to clean him up, weigh him, etc. I asked the doctor how long I pushed for and he told me, "oh, probably 5-7 minutes!" I said, "wow, that was the LONGEST 5 minutes of my life!" He laughed at me and explained that I pushed for that little time, but it was probably a half hour in total with waiting time in between contractions. That made so much more sense :) I tore "a little" so the doctor worked on stitching me up while I watched them take care of my baby across the room. Eric was so attentive following them from the scale, to the warming bed and taking lots of pictures with my phone! James weighed 6 lbs 14 oz (Mia weighed 7 lbs) and was 19 3/4 inches long (Mia was 19 1/2 inches).
They finally brought my baby to me and I got to cuddle him and soak up skin to skin. The room slowly cleared until it was just Eric, me and James (and my fruit plate, bless my nurse!) and we got to enjoy our sweet, wide eyed boy for the next couple of hours. He was so awake and alert and we loved every second of his newness! James Wendell Brinkerhoff was finally here and we couldn't have been happier!