Monday, May 18, 2009

A Baby Story

I had a picture in my head of how this labor was going to go. I was going to be induced (despite my "practice runs" to the hospital I was still convinced I'd make it to induction day). I WAS GOING TO GET AN EPIDURAL!

Well, God certainly showed me.

I went in on Tuesday for my 38 week appointment and the doc checked me over. Still 3cm and 70%, the doc ended the appointment around 11:30 with a "see you next Monday"-I was definitely going to end up being induced.

Probably.

So I went about my business. I went upstairs to the L&D to drop off my registration paperwork, ran to the post office, paid a couple bills, and then ran into the store to grab some last minute supplies for labor-new socks for Hubby (that poor man goes through socks like no body's business!), a labor gown for me, premie onsies for The Bean (because our kids are pretty small, they generally wear premie clothes for the first two or three weeks even after full term), non perishable snacks, that kind of thing-when it happened. There I was at 2 in the afternoon, pleasantly moseying around the store, when all of a sudden I had this sharp pain in the top left side of my abdomen.

Maybe I'm walking too fast, I thought.

I slowed from a mosey to a crawl and continued down the isles. Then came a horrible cramp on my right side right above my pelvic bone. The cramp got stronger and stronger until it felt like it went all the way through my bone into my back. But only on one side, just like the sharp pain was only on the opposite top side. Then it went away.

Maybe I'm dehydrated?

So I go and grab some water at the water fountain. I'm only drinking the water for maybe a minute when the same pains come back...only worse. This is when I think to myself-

I don't know what this is, it doesn't feel like any contractions I've ever had, but whatever the heck it is I need to go to the hospital. Now.

One teensy problem though-I drove myself to the store. I left Hubby at home with the kids when I went to my doctor's appointment, and I can't exactly call him since we are the only living people without cell phones, but I don't want to alert any of the employees in the store to what's going on because they will then be obligated by protocol to call an ambulance which I'll have to pay $500 to drive me less than two miles across the overpass to the hospital.

It hadn't come to that, really. So instead I stood in the apparel department clutching my shopping cart waiting for the pain level to get down to the point where I could drive myself. I got trapped in the Freddy's for nearly an hour before I was able to abandon my cart, dash (okay hobble) to the car, and drive as quickly as I could (through one pink light even) back to the hospital.

Because the pain had gotten better for the moment, I decided to stop in at my doctor's office instead of heading straight for L&D. (What? I really didn't think I would go into labor on my own.) The nurses took one look at me and decided otherwise. They wrangled me into a wheelchair and ran me over to Labor and Delivery-the same nurse that I had dropped my registration paperwork off with earlier that morning checked me in-the irony escaped neither of us.

I got all hooked up to the monitor and around 4 the on call doc came and checked me out. I was 4 to 5 cm and 90%, but only contracting irregularly every 7-12 minutes...in other words, I was borderline. Yes, I had dilated-but it was less than 2 cm in 6 hours, and my contractions weren't regular. The on call doc decided to have my regular doctor swing in after clinic hours to check me out and see if we could make a decision.

Was I or was I not officially in active labor?

By the time my doctor got there at 6pm I was "pretty much" 5cm and my contractions had gotten down to every 5-10 minutes...but that apparently is still considered prelabor. My doctor told me that he could (a) break my water if I wanted him to (b)let me wait out the night and see if I finished labor on my own or (c) let me go home, but he didn't recommend that. [It's okay, I didn't feel inclined to do that either.] So I call Hubby and we talk about it, and we decide for the wait and see option, followed by a morning membrane rupture if nothing happened on it's own. My mother in law comes and gets the kids and drops Hubby off at the hospital and we are in business!

Hubby and I walk the hospital grounds. We walk and walk and walk and walk and walk. Then we go back and get hooked up to the monitor once an hour.

Then we walk and walk and walk and walk and walk.

And freeze our butts off in the rain (but it's better than burning up inside the hospital).

More walking.

Around midnight we go back in for the last time and the nurse checks us. We are 5 whole centimeters.

Woo.

At this point we decided to get some shut eye. Obviously this kid wasn't going to be born that night, so we figured we might as well get some rest for the next day. At 6:30am the doctor came in and checked me-yep, still 5cm-and he broke my water. Then he told me not to worry-I'd deliver really soon. After all, I was still contracting every 5-10 minutes and I was already 5cm and 90%. Absolutely this baby will be born soon!

According to him.

At 10:30 he came back in to check me and I was now magically, after 20.5 whole hours of labor, 6cm dilated. This was not going quickly enough. Now that my water had been broken, the risk of C-Section loomed if I didn't continue to progress. So what do they do? They brought in the Pitocin.

That's right-with The Bean I went into labor on my own AND I was induced.

Which was just fine with me, because after the Pitocin went in it was time for my very favorite part of labor and delivery-EPIDURAL TIME! I was so happy that I could have done a little jig (if I wasn't hooked up to IVs and monitors). The anesthesiologist came in and administered the epidural and I laid back in my bed waiting for the waves of numbing serenity to take over the lower half of my body.

Do you know what happened instead? Nothing. Around 11 I told the nurses,

"Uh, hey. Just so you know, I can still feel my legs."

"Oh, you're supposed to be able to feel your legs," they say.

"Yeah, I know what an epidural is supposed to feel like. I've had two. I'm telling you, I'm not epiduralized."

"Well, maybe it's just taking an extra minute or two," they say. So they lay me on my side, then they lay me on my other side, leaning me back and forth like an etch-a-sketch trying to "distribute the epidural".

It was non-distributy.

The nurses still seemed unconcerned-apparently they thought I was just failing to appreciate how numb I actually was. Then they did a cervical check and I clutched the ceiling tiles in pain.

Turns out my epidural wasn't working. At all. And I was still 6cm. They had the anesthesiologist come in and give me a refill, and continued to turn me this way and that-still no happy numbing feeling.

Then he came in and gave me another booster.

And another.

And another.

I felt NOTHING! Or, rather, I felt everything! The epidural was completely useless! Non functional. Defunct. Non distributy. Not happening.

So of course, being the rational person that I am, I begin to quietly sob at the realization that I am going to have to have a natural labor. I DIDN'T WANT ONE OF THOSE! At 12 my doctor comes in and checks me and says I am still 6cm. Perhaps there is time to take out my epidural and create an entirely new line. My doctor is willing to try, so I tell him sure-that'd be great-as long as I didn't dilate 4cm in less than an hour like I did with Baby Bug.

Of course I did.

I push on the nurse light at 12:30 and tell them I'm feeling pressure and it's time to push. The nurse looks at me-sitting in bed crying silently-and skeptically says "Well, the doctor is doing a c section right now, so I'll check you". She takes one look and changes her mind in a hurry.

"It's definitely time. You're 10 and 100% and the baby is nearly crowning. We'll call the backup doctor."

As they are calling the backup doctor I can feel The Bean moving from "nearly crowning" to "abso-freakin-lutely crowned" and I start to panic.

I start yelling at the nurse-WHERE IS THE DOCTOR? WHY AREN'T THEY HERE YET?!

The doctor is on her way, she assures me.

ON HER WAY? WHY ISN'T SHE HERE?! IF MY DOCTOR IS IN SURGERY, AND HE'S THE ON CALL DOCTOR, SHOULDN'T THE BACKUP DOCTOR BE IN THE BUILDING? JUST MAYBE?!

She'll be here in a few minutes, she promises. If I want to start pushing that's fine.

I CAN'T PUSH! YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND! I PUSHED THREE TIMES WITH OUR OLDEST AND TWICE WITH OUR LAST BABY-IF I PUSH, EVEN ONCE, THIS BABY COULD FLY INTO YOUR ARMS!!!!

Again, skeptical looks from the nurse. She looks at Hubby and he just nods frantically with his eyes as wide as saucers. [He's never been through a natural birth either.] So the nurse straps on her gloves, and calls another nurse in.

ARE YOU THE DOCTOR?! PLEASE GOD, BE THE DOCTOR!

Nope, she says, I'm here for the baby-just in case. But the doctor...

YEAH, YEAH. IS ON HER WAY. WHY ISN'T SHE HERE NOW?!

They continue to say things, to which I am completely not paying attention. All I can feel is the horrible burning cramping blinding pain and the urge to murder everyone within 100 miles.

Finally, after literally 5 minutes of waiting (which of course is approximately 10 years when you're holding a crowning baby between your legs) the doctor finally shows up. She takes one look and says,

"You are literally one push away from having this baby!" She gears up quickly and tells me to push, so I do.

BIG MISTAKE. That is, by far, the most excruciatingly painful...I mean, just a ridiculous amount of pain...seriously just...it was horrifying. I had made it through my entire labor with just a pant here and a sigh there, but now I was screaming profanities that would make bikers blush at the top of my lungs. At the end of the first push I looked the doctor straight in the face and screamed

I CAN'T DO THIS, I WANT A C-SECTION!

To which the doctor replied, "Look down honey-your baby is already out!"

Lo and behold, there was The Bean. Well, her head at least. It was a perfectly round little head with a mass of beautiful brown hair-she was here! All I had to do was one more push. That changed everything!

Well not everything-I still emitted a shriek like a blond girl in a slasher flick, with some generously applied obscenities-but I managed to do one more big long push, then it was over. There she was-my beautiful daughter!

The Bean
Born May 13, 2009 12:53pm
6lbs 14oz
19 1/2 inches
[A huge heartfelt thank you to Kirsty from Momedy for all of her support and for making these pictures possible.]

She is perfect and beautiful and healthy and we are all so happy to have her with us!

She's definitely our last child, though.

14 comments:

Mama Bub said...

Great birth story! And congratulations Mommy!

Muthering Heights said...

Oh.My. Talk about DRAMA!!! I really hope my labor is nothing like yours!!

Congrats on pulling through, and on your new baby girl! :)

Jen said...

Oh my goodness..lets hope this is the most drama that baby girl puts you through!! :) Congratulations to you all! She's gorgeous!

Kirsty said...

Oh WOW!! Congratulations! She is so, so beautiful and perfect!

Sorry the epidural-less labour was not quite the piece of cake I had assured you it would be ;) Will you ever trust me again? I *promise* I wasn't intentionally trying to mislead you :) But! At least there was someone to watch the kids.....Anyway you did GREAT mama!

Hope she goes easy on you considering how much work she put you through in getting here. How are the other kids adjusting? Do you have any help?

Lots of love and congrats to you all.

Jinxy said...

Congrats!! She's beautiful.

Mrs. M said...

Thanks for all of the Congratulations, everyone! [We think she's beautiful too :)]

Mama Bub-I definitely think it's 'great' in the sense that it will make excellent ammunition when she's a teenager. [Do you have ANY IDEA what it was like to have you?!] LoL.

Muthering Heights-I hope your labor goes exactly the way you want it to! Everyone's should (in my perfect universe).

Jen-I expect her teenage years will be a lot more drama than that-but luckily I have 13 years to gear up for that.

Kirsty-Don't worry, I still trust you. It really wasn't that painful until the pushing part, and I think part of the pain was that I was still in shock over having to go all natural. We are very blessed to have easy going very mellow children. I mean, don't get me wrong they have their moments, but over all everyone is adjusting nicely and even our little Bean is as easy as newborns get. Hubby's been on paternity leave, but he goes back to work on Friday-and when he goes all my help leaves! Still, I think I'll do fine-luckily my kids are easy and Hubby is still Superman when it comes to helping at home and then going to work on very little sleep.

Jinxy-Thank you for visiting my blog! I hope to get to know you better once I am up and blogging regularly again (when Hubby goes back to work-right now I'm mostly soaking up time with him...and the kids, of course).

Damselfly said...

Love the way you told your birth story! Congratulations. She's beautiful!

Mrs. M said...

Thank you!

TwoPrettyLittleSkirts said...

What a beautiful birth story! congrats again on the baby!

Dawn

Mrs. M said...

TwoPrettyLittleSkirts-Thank you very much!

Jenny said...

She is just gorgeous! Congratulations! Your writing cracks me up! I could just feel the pain of labor all over again...EEEK!

Jamie said...

Awesome Birth story. Your Bean shares a birthday with my brother too! Stopping by from SITS to say hi.

Elizabeth said...

Congrats! Great story - although I'm sorry it was so painful.

Wifey said...

What a great story! Congratulations! She is absolutely precious. Love and blessings to you all.

Winks & Smiles,
Wifey