St. Patrick’s Day has always been one of my husband and I’s favorite holidays. Little did we know, the holiday would take on an entirely new meaning in 2015. Thursday, March 17, 2015 started like any other day. My daughter was giddy for yet another day of preschool (see picture below), and I was all packed up to swing by my doctor’s office before hitting the gym and lunch with my husband before picking up my daughter.
When I got to my doctor’s office, I was “checked” to see how dilated and effaced that I was. This was going to help me to finalize my decision to induce on Friday. I was told that I was 4 cm dilated and 70 percent effaced. At the same appointment, I had my membranes stripped. This procedure is done in an attempt to start contractions for labor. With that said, I asked my doctor if exercise was still a good idea (Flywheel at that), and her response was “absolutely”. She gave me a hug and told me she thought that I would do great. She also thought that I might be back that night.
With the doctor’s approval, I headed to Flywheel for Meghan Lee’s “Get Lucky” ride. I grabbed a bike and actually had what I thought to be a great ride. Knowing that I was going to meet my husband for lunch, I jumped off the bike after arms and grabbed a shower. As I was leaving the studio, I heard Meghan finishing with a little Dropkick Murphy’s – perfect song for the theme of the day. At lunch, we sat outside and had sandwiches from RiRa as we watched an overwhelming amount of people dressed in green enjoying the break in the day. Little did I know, this would be my last real meal for quite awhile.
I started having mild contractions as soon as I got my daughter back to the house. Of course she didn’t want to nap. I also did everything in my power to pretend that I was not starting to think that I was going into labor. That included: walking to my mom and dad’s condo and back and playing with my daughter. I was hesitant to eat anything and was counting down the minutes until my husband got home from work. Why the desire to distract? In my first pregnancy, I headed to the hospital too early. Even with regular contractions (see picture above), I was not dilated enough to be admitted. Therefore, I went home for several hours before ultimately ending back up in the hospital several hours later. I was embarrassed, upset and emotional. I wasn’t going to have that happen again.
By 8:30 PM, we had put my daughter to bed, and made two game changing decisions: I wanted my mom to be at the house (to watch my daughter), in case we had to leave for the hospital in the middle of the night and I wanted my husband to try to grab some sleep while he could. I spent the next hour bouncing on a swiss ball and walking laps around our dining room. As my husband tried to rest, I could see the concern in my mom’s eyes. It was starting to become clear to both of us that I needed to leave for the hospital sooner than later.
That being said, I woke my husband up and started getting the rest of my things together. I kissed my daughter goodbye and worked my way to the car. By the time we reached the end of the street, I was in tears. Everything was starting to happen faster than ever at this point. My husband even asked me if he should run red lights. Thankfully we live close to the hospital. I needed a wheelchair to get to the nurse’s station. I was admitted immediately (you typically go to triage first). I wanted an epidural. I needed to get meds to cover my baby since I had tested positive for Strep B. Before any of this could be done, I had to get an entire bag of fluid through IV. I watched that little bag drip for what seemed like an eternity.
I was 6 cm when I got to the hospital at 10:00 PM. I was 8-9 cm in the hour it took for me to get the IV before I could get my epidural. I only had to get to 10. It had become clear that any type of pain management was not going to work as well as it would have had I gotten there earlier. I did not care. The epidural and ibuprofen that I did get was all that my body needed to slow things down. When we realized that we might be able to deliver the baby on St. Patrick’s Day, we gave it a solid try. I pushed for the first time at 11:55 PM. She wasn’t ready.
After twenty minutes, the doctor came back to my room to give it another try. In less than ten pushes my daughter was here. 12:21 AM. The nurses described her entry into the world as something like a freight train. She came out so quick and hard that she experienced significant bruising on her face (see picture above). It will (and has) gone away. Since I didn’t get a great epidural, I felt my baby come out. Her head was out for what seemed like an eternity, before her body made its way out. Her shoulders got stuck. The nurses dropped the head of the bed and jumped on top of me. They maneuvered her out through pushes on my uterus while my husband watched in horror. Everything was okay.
Morgan Riley Dufresne was born 7 pounds 12 ounces. Bless her heart. I never thought I could love someone as much as I love my first daughter until the doctor put this baby girl on my chest. We bonded immediately. I nursed her and held her for the next hour. It’s funny how different the second go round is. It just feels right. I wasn’t afraid. I felt so much love.
It’s hard to believe she is here (and we are home). We ended up in the hospital for longer than we expected. Since I had no internet and a lot of time, I did take a lot of pictures to document our stay, my daughter’s first introduction to her sister and what we ate while we were there. There is a lot more to this story. We feel so blessed to have so much support from both friends and family. We plan on reaching out to everyone as soon as we get our feet underneath us.