So I'm sure everyone has been anxiously waiting for this post, but, knowing it would take a while to put together I decided to wait for a bit (which means right now both Justin AND Jackson are sleeping and have time to do it, ha ha).
So anyway, here it goes.
On Tuesday morning Justin and I woke up around 4:30am. We finished getting everything together to go to the hospital (after not much sleep at all and after not eating since 9:30 pm the night before) to start our 6am induction. We got to St. Joe's at 6am and went to our room. I gowned up and waiting to get hooked up to the monitors. Jackson hates those monitors, so it immediately woke him up and got him kicking away. Well, the nurse came in after she got me in the computer system and told me my doctor failed to send my chart and my orders for induction so we had to wait until they got a hold of him before they could start the pitocin. This took TWO hours and was extremely frustrating since he is the one who called and scheduled the induction. Anyway. The doctor came in around 8:15 and checked me (I was still only 2cm) and at 8:30 the pitocin got started and after bumping it up quite a bit I started contracting. The contractions didn't hurt at all. I could only tell I was contracting because I could feel my stomach tighten. Jackson looked GREAT on the monitors and all seemed to be going well. Well, around noon, the doctor came back and checked me (the pitocin was pretty high so I should have progressed) but I was still not feeling any pain and when he checked, I hadn't dialated anymore at all. He then told me that he would come back later that afternoon to check me and if I hadn't progressed we would either stop the pitocin and I'd go home and try again next week (NO WAY JOSE!!!), we could stop pitocin, I'd eat and then start another drug and start pitocin again in the morning, OR we could do a c-section. I was very very disappointed by all of this and really worried that things were not going to go how we wanted. Well a lot of nurses came in throughout the day to see how I was doing (since I just did my practicum there) and the nurse manager suggested asking the doc to break my water. I completely agreed as I'd thought about asking him to do this before starting the pitocin. Well the doc came back around 4 and said IF I had dialated some then we could do that, but otherwise he wouldn't want to since I could ultimately end up with a c-section if breaking my water didn't work (since you can't go home once your water's broken due to risk for infection). So he checked me and i was dialated to 3 (thank God) and he broke my water at 4:15. Immediately the contractions started hurting (mind you the pitocin was nearly maxed out at this point) but I was handling everything very well. Justin decided to go and grab some lunch and by the time he got back 30 minutes later my labor went from painful but manageable to the worst pain in my life. Jackson apparantly flipped and was face up and a face up baby = bad back labor. At this point my idea of an epidural free birth went out of the window. The contractions were one on top of the other and I had no resting time at all. So the anesthesiologist came in and did the quickest epidural ever, thank God because I've seen them take a while before. After about 10 minutes I was pain free and doing quite well.
Anyway. 7pm is change of shift for the nurses and midwives. My doctor had gone home for the evening as he wasn't expecting me to deliver until early morning and so he'd wait for the call. In order to give report the nurse midwife came in to check me around 20 til 7. She didn't say anything at first and then she started laughing. I was only expecting her to say I was dialated to four or five (especially because I wasn't feeling a thing at all), so when she asked if I was feeling any pressure I was shocked and said "Nooooo, whyyyy??" Well, apparantly in 2 1/2 hours I had dialated from 3 to 9 and I was almost ready to push. It was crazy. Well she went in and called me doc and the new nurse came in to greet me. About 20 minutes after the midwife checked me, I told Justin I was really starting to feel the "I have to poop"sensation and to go get the nurse. Well finally the doc came in and checked me again and I was 10 cm and ready to push. So the nurse came in and we started pushing. Everything was going extremely well. At first I couldn't feel a thing and the nurse had to tell me when to push. Then I started feeling pressure and I could tell when I needed to push. Eventually the pressure got so strong, pushing was the only thing that made it feel better. Finally I started feeling the burning sensation and I knew he'd be here soon. So the nurse told me to stop pushing and they called the doc to come in. I wasn't pushing at this point but I could still feel him coming so I started getting worried and asking where the doctor was. He finally came in and in maybe two pushes, his head was out. I could have never imagined what any of that would have felt like. It was extremely painful and then all of a sudden i felt a huge relief. Once his head was out, I was still having pressure from the rest of the body, but they suctioned him first. When the doc told me to push again, I didn't think I could, but one good push later, Jackson Scott Smith was born (at 8:16 pm, less than an hour after I started pushing). I already had tears rolling down my cheeks as a natural response to trying not to push through all the pressure, but when he was born, the tears kept rolling. It was truly amazing. They put him on my chest and let us hold him for a bit before taking him to the warmer, and I don't think there's any way to really explain how it all felt. We were both in awe and amazed by everything. Eventually they took him to the warmer and Justin went with him while the doctor stitched me up and I started texting everyone about his arrival, ha ha. A little while later, the rest of the family was able to come in to meet our baby boy. Since I hadn't eaten in 24 hours, our friend Julie was kind enough to run out to get me and the family dinner, so once I ate, the nurse got me cleaned up and took me over to mother/baby where we'd be until Thursday morning.
The first night with him was very tiring. He went to the nursery for an hour to get a bath while I got settled in and then they brought him to us for his first feed. We held off a bit until feeding him because he was spitting up a lot of amniotic fluid, which scared the crap out of us, but finally I got to breast feed him for the first time, and wow is it painful. After feeding, I was extremely exhausted from no sleep and then pushing, so by 2 am i needed sleep. The nurse told me that they would need to take him to the nursery to get some vitals and check him out around 3am, so at this point I told them to keep him there until he was ready to eat again. So I slept for about two hours before they brought him back. The rest of the day was filled with feeding, diapers, visitors, vital sign checks for me, a visit from the pediatrician (who we LOVE), a visit from my doctor, and complete exhaustion. I was also in a lot of pain from my episiotomy so moving around and heading to the bathroom was very difficult. Later that night we decided that we would send him to the nursery for a bit so I could get some sleep. This helped a lot. Thursday morning was our discharge day so I spent the morning "learning" and signing lots of papers while Justin spent the morning with the dogs at home for a bit and then carrying all of our stuff to the car. Finally around 12:30 we were able to go home.
I'm going to end this post there as it's time to feed the little guy again, and I'll post again sometime soon with more pictures and an update of how home life has been since our special delivery arrived.
A special thanks goes out to my sister Krista who stayed in the room with us throughout the delivery and took most of these pictures to help us remember this forever.
Enjoy! And thank you so much to all of you for the prayers, support, and congratulations throughout the whole experience!!!