I will start at the beginning…On Friday, October 22 my co-workers threw me a baby shower. I got lots of gift cards, so Evan and I decided that on Saturday we would use them to finish buying all the left over stuff that we needed for the baby. So, we went to Target. I bought everything that I needed for the hospital bag. We came home and finished putting everything away in the nursery. It was a good day! I felt like I was a step ahead of the game, after all I still had 3 weeks left to get the house clean, baby proof and do all my mental preparing for the baby. The very next morning, at 6:00am (Sunday morning) I thought I had peed myself! I quickly realized that I was leaking amniotic fluid. I woke Evan up and told him what was happening. He told me to call my dr, Dr. Travis. I called, but since it was 6am on Sunday, the call went to the dr on call, Dr. Harrington. She asked me a few questions, but when I told her I was only 36 weeks and 6 days, I got a little scared. She told me that it was best to come to the hospital to see if I was really leaking amniotic fluid. We got dressed, grabbed the hospital bag, which was just packed the night before, the laptop, and cell phone and rushed out to the car. As Evan drove, I called my in-laws, my best friend/sister Stacey and my dad to let them know that we were going to the hospital and that I would keep them updated. My best friend (whom I’ve known since we were 5) was on vacation. She was just walking down the ramp off of a cruise! She was in Florida. The plan was that when I go in labor, she and Evan were to be my coaching partners. I told her what was going on, she told me to keep her updated since she was on her way to the airport. If this was it, she would buy a ticket to Asheville NC instead of Pittsburgh PA. I don’t think I will ever forget the drive to the hospital. It was about 6:30am and the sun was just starting to come up. The sunrise was BEAUTIFUL! I said to Evan, “This is it. This is the last time that we will ride in this car just the two of us. The next time we are on this road, we will have a baby!” I asked him how he felt, he said “happy”. I felt excited! We were both very calm and ready! We got to the hospital. I got out of the car and my butt was drenched! Luckily I had the frame of mind to sit on a towel in the car! We calmly walked down the hall to the elevator. Just a few days prior, we had gone on the hospital tour!! Thank goodness for that! This hospital is huge! I thought that when we toured the hospital and walked this corridor that I would be freaking out and screaming in pain. It wasn’t like that at all! I remembered that I was only 36 weeks and 6 days and that made me a little scared again. I told Evan, he said that everything would be fine. He was my rock, and I needed him to keep his cool! He guided me up to the Labor and Delivery floor. As soon as we got there the nurses greeted us and said that they were waiting for me! The nurses were so nice and welcoming, it was a great feeling! My first nurse, Juanita, showed me to our room and gave me my “gown”. Evan had to help me change! I got changed and settled into my bed. Juanita hooked a monitor on my belly to measure my contractions; I was having contractions every 5 minutes. They didn’t hurt too bad, just a little uncomfortable, on a scale from 1-10, 10 being the worse, I would rate them at a 4. She put in my IV, she was so gentle, and it didn’t hurt much at all. My blood was drawn and Dr. Harrington came in. She told me that I wasn’t dilated at all. She said that my water had ruptured, and when that happens, the chance for infection and harm to the baby increases. She suggested pitocin. I didn’t want pitocin. But, in this case, I felt that it was for the best. Pitocin was started. Now the contractions were intensifying. Evan called Stacey and told her that I was going to have this baby either today or tomorrow. She made arrangements to fly into Asheville. I couldn’t wait to see her! Evan called his sister, Amber, who immediately came to the hospital and brought Evan some food. I wasn’t allowed to eat. I wish I had known this; I would have eaten before getting to the hospital! Amber kept us company for a couple of hours, and then around 1:30pm she left to pick up Stacey from the airport!!!! Evan and I sat in our room and Evan set up the lap top. The hospital has a wireless connection, so that kept Evan’s mind busy! Evan brought over a chair to sit next to me, and then all of a sudden, there was blood and water all around me! I stood up to go to the bathroom and blood and water was running down my leg. I panicked! We called the nurse and told her that I was bleeding. The nurse very calmly sent someone in to check on me. I thought, why aren’t they making a big deal of this, I am bleeding and I am pregnant!!! Well, it was all normal. My water had actually just broken. Shortly after the pitocin was started the anesthesiologist, Dave, came in and asked if I wanted an epidural. I said no, not yet. They suggested that I put one in place just in case. I figured, why not? My biggest fear was that I would be in incredible pain and then find out it was too late for the epidural. Juanita’s shift had ended, in came nurse #2. Her name was Julie. She was great too! She helped calm me down as Dave and his trainee inserted the epidural. I started to cry a little, this was really scary for me. A needle going into my spine really freaked me out. The room was so quiet…then it was done. I felt some pressure, but that was it. No biggie! The actual medicine wasn’t injected; just the needle was now in place. I was told now, that I couldn’t move from my bed. That part didn’t make me very happy. The next few hours went very slowly. Thank goodness the Steelers were playing the Miami Dolphins. So as Evan watched the game on the laptop, I watched the old version of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”. And, FYI, the Steelers won!!! Julie came back in with Dr. Harrington. They wanted to check my progress after a few hours of the pitocin. When they check you, this is really uncomfortable. She told me that I still wasn’t dilating and they wanted to get a more accurate read of my contractions, so Dr, Harington tried to insert a tube into my uterus to monitor the contractions. They laid the bed the whole way back, lying on your back when you are big and pregnant is really uncomfortable. She couldn’t get it in! Kellen’s shoulder was in the way! This really hurt, like an 8. She tried 3 times and I was crying! She finally quit trying. She said she would try again later. GEEZ!!! It was now 3:30pm. Dr. Harrington and Julie came back in to try with the tube again and to see if I progressed any. On my back again, and in serious pain. She was much more aggressive this time! I still wasn’t dilated!!! This was the worse pain I have ever been in! She manually dilated me. Definitely a 15! WOW!!! It felt like she was just grabbing my insides and ripping them out. She tried getting the tube in, after 3 more tries I told her to stop. I told her that she wasn’t going to go any further. I wouldn’t let her until I got the epidural. The pain was THAT bad. So, we called Dave and he came in with this trainee and injected the meds…a startling coldness went down my back. After about 5 minutes the right side of my lower body was numb. I could still feel the left side. So, they moved me to my left side…I could still feel my left side, but I could handle it. I was finally relaxed enough and Dr. Harrington finally got the tube in. And since she manually dilated me, I was finally 1 cm dilated. Thank God, right after that, my best friend and sister (the sister that destiny forgot to give me) walked in!!! I was SO happy to see her! I felt that now I can do this! I have my Tate! We spent the rest of the afternoon and evening talking about her trip and catching up and watching parts of the new “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”…I hadn’t seen her since May. Since I was being pumped with Pitocin, sodium water (to keep my veins open) and the occasional epidural I was starting to swell pretty good. I couldn’t get out of bed anymore, so Julie inserted a catheter. The epidural kept wearing off. It would work pretty good (1/2 of my body) for about 1.5-2 hours, so I could feel the catheter going in. It wasn’t too bad, just kind of weird. Julie’s shift was over, so nurse #3 came in. Her name was Tammy. I liked her a lot too! She talked to us for a while, and told us about her daughter. Julie ended come back in at one point to check me. She laid me on my back again and I almost passed out. I felt like I was going to throw up! They quickly laid me on my side and gave me oxygen. After about 5 minutes I started to feel better. Lying on your back is not a good feeling at all!!! Dr. Harrington came in and checked me, I still was only 1 cm dilated and wasn’t progressing at all. She decided to take me off of the pitocin, give my body a little break and then start up again after a few hours. She thought this would do the trick. She excused herself for the night and would return in a few hours to check me. Stacey slept on the couch (or at least tried) and Evan slept on the floor (yes, he did!). I didn’t sleep at all. Once they gave me the epidural I had to wear a blood pressure cuff that went off every 30 seconds. No sleeping here, besides I was way too excited to sleep! At around 3am, Tammy started the pitocin again. The epidural was long gone and I could feel the contractions. They were intensifying quickly. I didn’t want to wake anyone up, so I just tried to breathe through them myself. After about 2 hours they were so bad! I told Stacey and Evan what was going on. They got up to help me. Cold wash cloths, temple rubs, holding my hands, helping me to breathe got me through each contraction. They were 2 minutes apart. We called Tammy who called Dave. This hurt at about a 10. I am so glad that I felt the contractions this hard. Eventually my new favorite person came in the room, Dave! Thank God for Dave! We were all wide awake after that episode. At 7:00am Dr. Harrington came back in to check me. I was dilated at 6 cms! She told me that the rest of the labor would go fast now. Juanita came back to start her shift, I really liked her; she was so good to me! It was almost 8:00am and I felt the need to push. It is weird how you just get the feeling like you need to push. So, the contractions were intensifying again. The nurse checked me again and I was 10 cm dilated! But, I couldn’t get an epidural because I was too close now!!! Dr. Harrington told me to push every time I felt a contraction and to keep pushing for a count of 10. I tried pushing for about 15 minutes, but his head wasn’t dropping fast enough. Juanita and Dr. Harrington helped get me on my left side. They told me to lie on my left side for 30 minutes, and then we would be ready to push again. Evan called Amber to let her know that it wouldn’t be much longer, she raced over! Dr. Harrington’s shift was over; Dr. Garbarino was my new dr. I liked Dr. Garbarino! The excitement in the room was really picking up! After about 20 minutes, I said I had to push, I felt like I was going to poo. That was it! Stacey told the nurse to get me a mirror so I could see him being born. So, the mirror was in position, I was in position and ready to go! Evan grabbed my left leg, Stacey grabbed my right leg. And just then Amber arrived! She stood right behind me. I looked at the clock and thought my baby is going to be born on October 25, 2010. 10-25-10. This is going to be the most important date for the rest of my life. It was 8:30am now, and I was about to push. This moment right now is the defining moment in my life. This is where my entire life changed. My entire purpose for life was being born! I will never forget this for as long as I live. Every time I felt a contraction I pushed with every single ounce of strength. I pushed so hard! We could see his hair showing through! I pushed for 40 minutes. The pushing part wasn’t so bad. The contractions weren’t so bad. Right before his head popped through, that is what labor feels like. That is the pain that all women who have gone through labor remember! His head finally made it though. I took a deep breath and Dr, Garbarino said, “just one more push”, and so I did. She pulled my baby out and unclogged his throat and nose. He let out a scream and the scream lasted until she laid him on my chest. As soon as he was on my chest he completely stopped crying. That was amazing! I was in shock! Here he was, right in front of me! So beautiful! Such a perfect and precious gift! Evan cut his cord while I studied every single piece of his face, his fingers, his chin and hair, everything! Finally my Kellen was here! After 26 hours of labor, my sweet Kellen is here! I looked at Evan and he was smiling so big! He gave me a kiss and said “we did it!” Dr. Pascal came in, he checked Kellen out, and weighed him. They told me that he was perfect, I thought, “I already knew that!” He weighs 6 pounds 10 ounces and is 20 inches long. Evan held Kellen for the first time as Dr. Garbarino delivered my placenta and sewed me up…6 stitches. After about 3 hours we were transferred to the mommy baby room. My stay here was very nice. I had Evan, Stacey or Amber was with me the entire time. My friends Jen, Amanda and Cindy came to visit. I held my baby nonstop. I am so very thankful to have him. Thank you dear God for giving him to me! I will love him and protect him and respect him for all of my life.
Juanita just hooked all the monitors up to me...now we wait!
He is here!!! The first time I held Kellen!
Thank you, Stacey for helping me deliver my baby!
Proud daddy! Evan is holding his son for the first time!
Here he is! All bundled up!
Stacey holds Kellen for the first time!
Amber holds Kellen for the first time!
Our sweet Kellen Leslie Martz!!!