Scott and I left for the hospital around 6 am. I hardly slept a wink the night before because I was so anxious. (I started off in our bed, moved to our chaise lounge, then to our guest bedroom, then back to our bed. Ha!) We were apprehensive and excited for this day.... so many unknowns of how the day would play out. We said a prayer and snapped one last pic of my belly before heading out the door.
We arrived at the hospital and checked into room 2042. St. Luke's East is a single room maternity ward, so I labored, delivered and recovered in the same room. So nice. Our fabulous nurse, Janie, started my IV around 7:00 am, and hooked up the fetal and contraction monitors. I was having regular contractions spaced about 5 minutes apart. They weren't very strong, but my body was definitely ready to go.
Around 7:30 am, the nurse started a pitocin drip of 1 cc per hour - the lowest dose available. The doctor came in at 8:30 am to break my water, and that's when the contractions really started to pick up. The pitocin was turned up to 3 cc's, and I went from a 3 to a 6 by 10:30 am. The contractions were fast (about 2 minutes apart), and started to get pretty painful. I wanted to hold off getting the epidural, so I could 'experience' labor. I had no idea I would progress so quickly, though. At 11:00, the nurse anesthetist came to put in my epidural. By 11:30 am, the epidural was in and I was at a 7. The epidural was great... allowed me to rest and relax. I didn't sleep, but I did rest my eyes and body. My contractions slowed down a bit after the epidural, but they picked back up after the nurse increased the pitocin back to 3 cc's. I progressed from a 7 to a 10 by 2:30 pm. I couldn't necessarily feel the pain, but I could feel a lot of pressure. When I was fully dilated to a 10, I placed a call to my sister, who was in the waiting room, to have her order a Steak & Shake burger and vanilla malt for me to enjoy post-delivery. Ha! I had been craving Steak & Shake the last few weeks, and had never managed to get there.
From 2:30 to 3:30 pm, I labored down. A little after 3:30 pm, I started pushing. The experience of pushing was different than I expected. It wasn't painful since I had the epidural, but it sure was exhausting. I was so determined to get this little girl here, that time flew. I had a fabulous coach in Scott. He counted loud and encouraged me through every contraction. Plus he fanned me with a magazine after every push, since the hospital air conditioning decided to go out for an hour while I was pushing. Nice!!! So at 5:05 pm, Sienna arrived! Scott cut the cord, and the nurses made sure she was okay. She was crying and using her lungs! Scott went out to the waiting room to tell our family she had arrived! Then Scott & I spent an hour alone with Sienna. No nurses, no family members - just the three of us. We snuggled her, fed her, and sang to her. It was the most precious hour, and I am so glad the hospital suggested this time to us. It felt so surreal to hold her and know that we had created this perfect little girl. It was during this hour that we decided her name should be Sienna. Afterwards, all our family got to come in to meet our precious baby daughter.