Here is the birth story!
On April 10th I was 37 1/2 weeks pregnant and at 12:30 am my water broke while I was sleeping. It was just like being in a movie! Just a little bit of water leaked out so I went to the bathroom and prayed that if this was the real deal God would make it obvious. Sure enough, I stood up and the leak turned into a steady stream. I woke Garland up (who handled the whole situation like a champ, definitely the calm one of the two of us!) and we started packing our last minute items (we already had a lot of stuff packed). We checked into triage around 1:15 and they had me do a test to make sure my water broke. This was ironic because in the minutes I spent waiting for the test to be done a puddle had formed around my ankles because I was leaking so much fluid! At 2am they finally cleared us for full-on labor and measured me at 1cm dilated and 0% effaced (at this point we knew it would be a long day). We moved to a Labor and Delivery room and starting making all the calls to the grandparents and sending texts to our friends.
We tried to sleep some throughout the night, but between the uncomfortable couch for Garland and the contractions I was having, we didn't even get a wink (we were way too excited). The grandparents started showing up around 3am and we were having a really happening party! By 7am I had not progressed any so they decided to start Pitocin and estimated that I would be in labor for at least another 8-10 hours. I made it through about an hour of Pitocin contractions before asking for the epidural and this was a GREAT decision! I could feel my legs but I didn't feel any pain, and I thought getting my IV put in hurt much worse than getting my epidural put in (I say "to each their own" when it comes to deciding on whether to use pain meds during labor or not, but I will tell you this, if you are going to have a long labor or if they have to use induction meds, I would DEFINITELY recommend it!). Another benefit of the epidural: It killed my appetite, which was a total blessing because the only thing making me grumpy at this point was being hungry and eating only ice chips!
Fast forward to 10am and I had progressed to a 2.5 and 70% effaced. By noon I have reached a 4 and 90%, so things were beginning to move quicker (the nurse said getting to 4 is the longest part). Here is where we enter what I now refer to as "the dark hours." I started feeling some pain from my contractions (which I hadn't felt since I got the epidural) and called the nurse in, who said it wasn't unusual to start feeling a little pain as the contractions progressed. She hooked me up to the epidural push pump and told me I could pump extra medicine every 15 minutes into my direct epidural line for an extra kick. I started pushing the button but for the next 45 minutes the pain only got progressively worse. At this point the pain was getting so strong that we kicked everyone out of the room, turned off the lights, and Garland and I sat there in the dark breathing through the contractions. The anesthesiologist came in after this had been going on for two hours and checked the push pump, which was working fine. He then gave me a speech that can basically be summarized as, "labor can be painful, you probably just have low pain tolerance and need to suck it up." As he was leaving, he turned to the nurse and said we should check to make sure the epidural line was still in my back, as a few and far between times he had seen it fall out. Sure enough, they flipped me over and all the epidural medicine was pooled under the tape and the epidural line wasn't in my back whatsoever. At this point I'm having contractions every minute to minute and a half and I'm bent over the bed waiting for him to reinsert it and he decides NOW is a good time to mull over how it came out. He kept asking if we'd shoved a pillow down by my back or moved the blanket weird and I just wanted to scream WHO THE FREAK CARES PUT IT BACK IN!!! They finally put it back and within 15 minutes I felt relief. They measured me right after that (at 2:30pm) and I was at a 7 and 90% (from what I've been told from other moms, contractions at a 7 while on Pitocin are nothing to sneeze at. This actually secured my choice to get an epidural because I got to experience labor without medicine and liked it much better before!).
By 3:30 the party was back on and I was feeling great again, so I was really surprised when the nurse told me I was at a 10 and 100% and we were ready for Titus to get here! AHHHHHH!!!!! Everyone left the room and they put me in the stirrups and it was all I could do to keep from giggling because I was so nervous and was I really going to push a baby out of me?! The nurse started me on my pushes and after about 10 minutes my doctor arrived (I got lucky and delivered during the day so I got to deliver with my prenatal doctor). Once Dr. Mason had me pushing things got a little strange. From the combination of low blood pressure, not eating for 20 hours, and not sleeping, I started having what they call "vasovagal episodes" which is a fancy name for my heart rate dropping so low I would pass out. Y'all, I was PASSING OUT DURING LABOR. It was the strangest thing, I would be pushing and when I would wake up only a couple of seconds would have passed, but I would just hear my doctor saying, "You HAVE to push." Garland told me later that when I would pass out my head would fall back to my pillow and he just thought I was giving up! Ha! I finally worked up the words to tell them I was passing out and my doctor gave me a couple more breaths between pushes and I didn't pass out any more after the first 3 times.
At 4:16pm after 18 minutes of pushing Titus James Autry was born into the world with a head of hair that would make a grown man jealous. He was born face up and came out so fast that Dr. Mason literally had to drop to a knee to catch him because he FELL. OUT. Titus was 6lb 3oz, 18 inches long, and I will forever remember praying for that first cry. I can't say enough about how incredible my husband was throughout the whole process, he did exactly what I needed him to do and was an amazing daddy from the first moment on. While they were stitching me up (I turned to my doctor in my delusion and said, "Okay doc, what's the damage?" he told me I had a 2nd degree tear which I was glad I couldn't feel!) Garland went and stood with Titus and the nurses and brought pictures to me on his iphone. I had tears streaming down my face and just kept praising our faithful God for giving us this baby we had prayed so long to be able to conceive.
I don't think I have ever been more thankful in my whole life than in that moment.