Tuesday, August 11, 2009


...is the most perfect baby in the world. I want to jot down the whole labor/delivery story for myself. I want to be able to look back on it, and remember how I was feeling. I want to warn that there will be a lot of details, possibly too much info for some. Skip if you will. Not a big deal.

So the story starts at 7am. I woke up, and felt a trickle; almost as if I peed my pants a little. It felt different enough, however, that I mentioned to John that it happened. Now... an occasional "accident" of dripping a few drops of pee in the morning was nothing new. It happened a couple times a week for the last months of pregnancy. But this felt different. I went to the bathroom, as normal and went back to bed. Again, when I rolled over at 8 am to get up, same thing. But not enough for me to say "yes, that's definitely it". So we went to the skate park. It was a Monday morning and we had our big town meeting to discuss our entertainment license. So I was poking around the internet, returning emails & chatting with my brother on facebook when I got a more distinct trickle. So I decided, at 11:15 am, to call the doctor. They had me come into the office to have a swab test done. They told me to come in at 1:00. Since they seemed so unconcerned about it, I wasn't too worried. I really wanted to make it to that meeting.
So I was 20 minutes late for my appointment. The doctors were at lunch. The ride made me have to pee like something you read about; so I went. 3 minutes later they call me into the office, do the swab test and say -- nothing. No amniotic fluid. My water hadn't broken.
So I went about my day as normal - despite the fact that I had to change my pantyliner every 40 minutes or so. We went back to the park, did some work until about 5:00. Went home, showered & got dressed for the meeting. Meeting went well. The fire chief made a joke about the selectmen needing to hurry up before I go into labor. We walked out, chatted with some Mendon residents for a while and I started getting fidgety. We walked to teh car, and as I got in - my water BROKE. It looked like I peed my pants. So after we dropped Bob off at home, we went straight to the hospital. I called on the way and the midwife told me to go home and wait. I said no. I want to come in and at least know that my water really broke.
We get to the hospital and once we finally navigate our way to the proper entrance. We go to labor & delivery and they do the swab test. Sure enough, water is broken. Then they put me on the monitors. I'm having no contractions (that I can feel), but the monitors show braxton hicks contractions every 4-5 minutes. THe midwife, again, tells me to go home. I tell her no. Again. She says, it can be up to 24 hours after your water breaks before active labor starts, and even then, active labor can be hours or days. SHe also says that i'm "visually not dilated at all". I tell her, I don't care. I don't want to drive an hour home, just to turn around and come back. Keep in mind, by this point the waiting room is FULL of family. And I was 3 cm dilated on Friday, so it makes no sense to me that I was not dilated at all. Also, I know that my water actually broke at 7 am, and it just didn't ERUPT until 8 pm. I'm NOT going home.
So she explains to me that in order for me to stay, I need to be admitted. In order to be admitted, I have to agree to some form of induction plan. We decide that I will walk around for 2 hours to see if it induces labor. If after 2 hours I still am not contracting, I will have pitocin. So the relay begins. Karla and I walked a figure 8 pattern through the labor & delivery and maternity wards for 2 hours. Nothing.
Now it's time to get the IV thing put in my arm. I bleed all over that room like a bastard, and I'm thinking "Oh great, if this is any indication of how my stay is going to go, I'm really in for it!". And then we are escorted to my delivery room. I meet my nurse - whose brother I graduated with - and she starts teh pitocin. It is now around 2:00 am. The midwife tells my family that it will take "at least 10-20 hours for the pitocin to start making anything happen" and that they should go home. They wait until 3:30 and then go home.
At about 3:45 I can start to feel my contractions (I didn't know my family stayed... I thought they left at 2). By 4:30 they were painful enough that I woke John up and made him hold my hand. By 5:00 they hurt enough that I couldn't talk through them anymore, and I had to breathe through them. Now, the midwife had me convinced that it was going to be such a long time before I'm dilated enough for my epidural, that I decide to make a goal for myself. Here's the issue at this point. They can't check for dilation by an internal exam at this point because of the risk of infection. Once they check, I need to go into active labor within a few hours or I have to havea c-section due to infection risk. So I want to make a goal for myself before I ask for the internal. I want to "hang on" as long as I can so that I'll be dilated enough before the exam that I won't need a c-section. So the goal I set was 7:30am. I wanted to last 2 1/2 more hours before I let them check for dilation. Well... by 5:45 I was making a significant amount of noise through my contractions. At 6:15, I decided I was going to ask the nurse for my exam when she came back (she came in to check on me every 30 minutes) so I had to wait 15 minutes. The longest 15 minutes ever! So She comes back and I tell her that I'd like to be checked to see if I can get my epidural yet. She looks at me like I'm nuts, and says "Why don't be try to get you up and walking for a bit, and then we'll check you if you still feel like you want that". She explains that sometimes walking is more comfortable, or just changing positions will make the contractions more bearable. Well... WRONG. I get up. Go to the bathroom and make one trip to the end of the hallway. Grabbing hte wall for dear life every 60 seconds. On my way back to my room, I glance at the nurse's station and let her know to get the midwife in there asap. I want my exam and I want that epidural.
So I get into the room, get myself into bed (John is being extremely supportive and helpful through all of this). I feel like my contractions are right on top of each other. I feel like one starts before the other one ends. John confirms this feeling my watching the monitors. The valleys are getting shallower by the minute. The midwife comes in. It's now 6:45. (all of that, in 15 minutes.) She explains the risks of checking, again. And asks me if I'm sure. I tell her, I'm sure. She checks. and her face says it all.
She looks at me with a look I'll nevr forget. It's the look of a mistake. I'm devastated. I'm sure that I've made a big mistake, and sealed my fate. A c-section it is.
"You're 9 centimeters. I can feel the baby."
WHAT?!?! 9 cm's?? What happened to 10-20 hours? SHIT! John, call your mother. Get everyone back here.
"You may not have time for your epidural"
Excuse me?! Call that anestesiologist and get his ass down here.
Epidural is ordered. Contractions are SOOOO painful. Like nothing I've ever felt in my life. However, the midwife is here with me now. Talking me through them. And somehow, though the pain is more intense, her explinations of how to cope have made them much more bearable. 20 mins goes by, no epidural yet. I hear the nurses panicking. "Where is he? Why isn't he here yet? Someone call him". To top it off, it's now shift change. This wonderful woman that is talking me through the most painful experience is leaving. What the hell am I going to do?! While holding John's hand is comforting, he doesn't know how to talk me through a contraction. Not his fault, he just doesn't know. Although, if he tries to take his hand off me, I will cut it off.
The midwife begins to say "ok, at some point you are going to feel this incredible urge to push. as if you are going to have a bowel movement. your body will tell you, and you will know. it will feel just like..."
Oh shit! where the fuck is that anesthesiologist!?! It's 7:45!!! Oh there he is. "SOrry, I went to the room next door and gave her an epidural" (She was 4 cm's. ugh)
They ask me if I'm sure I still want the epidural. "You could push this baby out without it. You're doing great'.
Give me the fucking drugs. I'm too nervous. I know there's more pain around the corner.
So they sit me up. Tell me bend over (yeah bend over despite the watermelon in your stomach and the pain splitting your body in half). So I do. Keep in mind, I'm involuntarily pushing with each contraction, which are still milliseconds apart.
Epidural stint in... medicine being injected. It's 8:00. My legs are numb. I lay back down.
"How do you feel?"
Much better. I feel my next contraction coming. They say not to actively push this time, but to get a feel for what they feel like.
I have a 30 second break... next contraction. Ok, time to push. 2 pushes for each contraction.
John is taking pictures. The transition to the new midwife is seamless. Old midwife stays. She takes the camera from John so that he can enjoy this experience. I hear the clicking of the camera. I hear the encouraging words.
Ok another contraction. Push again (2nd time). "OH ZMY GOD!"- John. "I can see hair! Is that a head"
Sure enough. There's "her"head. I'm still calling my baby "her".
4 more rounds of pushing, and the babies head is out. John's face says it all. I feel no pain. I feel a bit of a pinch with the head coming out, but not pain.
The midwife tells me that with the next contraction to push very hard, and before starting my 2nd push, to reach down and I can pull my baby out. I do as she says. Push once, shoulders & arms come out. I reach down and as I give my 2nd push I pull "her" out at 8:34 am.
AANNND, she has a penis. She is not a she at all.
And he's perfect. absolutely perfect. He's 7 lbs 5 oz, 19.5" long. He cries. I melt.
John cuts the cord, and they take him to clean him up a little bit.
One more round of pushes for the placenta. What an odd feeling that is. And then it's time for the stitches. I can feel the stitches. Doesn't hurt, pinches. I'm euphoric. I can't feel pain - but I know the epidural effects are wearing off because I'm aware of my legs now.
They stitch me up, check him out, and I get to eat!
Family comes in and visits, and I'm content eating my breakfast.

From that moment on, I don't want to put him down. Ever. 6 weeks have past, at this point, and I still want to do nothing all day but snuggle him.

I'm back at work, however. That adjustment will probably be the topic of many posts - so I'll save it. This motherhood thing is so natural yet so foreign. I want to relive this experience a million times.

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