Thursday December 20, 2007
On Wednesday December 19th I got a call from my midwife offering me the invitation to be induced on Friday night, the 21st of December. I accepted with great hesitation but refused to accept the inevitable. I didn't even tell Marc right away but in my defense, he was on a call for work and a whole floor away.
I was very set on having a non-medicated birth. It wasn't a matter of being stoic or trying to prove anything, it was really was something I wanted to do for myself and for the baby and it just felt right, for me. The impending induction had me a little bummed because I know that a large percentage of inductions end up in C-Sections for various reasons. On Wednesday I was not on board. By Thursday afternoon I had decided that what mattered was getting Noah here in a health way even if that meant giving up on the kind of birth I had wanted. It was just a sacrifice I needed to make for my child. I am glad I had this time to resolve myself to being okay with a medicated surgical birth.
The next night, while watching the Steelers on Thursday night football I went to pee and lost my, um, mucous plug. Around 9:30pm the mucous plug became much more of a um, flow?... of fluid which kept coming in increasingly larger drips. I wasn't much phased by this but I did notice that the fluid was not clear, but actually, greenish.
I paged my midwife who called back immediately and she told me to go to the hospital. I still did not think my water had broken. I am so so stupid. Nine months of waiting for some major action and its as though I slept through the whole thing! Gushing green fluid from your girl parts when 39 weeks pregnant is a sure sign that your water has broken. And also that there is meconium. Eeek.
I went downstairs and told Marc that something wasn't right, in fact I think it sounded like this,
"Um, so there was the mucous but now there is more fluid and I don't know what it is, but, um, either something isn't right or there is a whole lot they don't tell you in the books and classes. And, we have to go to the hospital, but I'm sure it's nothing and we'll be back home in a few hours."
Because I was in so much denial I calmly got my bags together and changed my clothes and pad (note to future preggos: if you are soaking those huge overnight pads with one drip of fluid, your WATER HAS BROKEN WAKE THE HELL UP WOMAN. Anyway, I had to change my pad three times before we left the house.
I still wasn't convinced what this was. Duh!
I wasn't having any contractions more regular than I had been having for weeks and the lack of labor definitely contributed to my lackadaisical response.
Because I was going to be induced on Friday night, I had planned to spend the hours prior to that running last minute errands, you know, like getting gas and dropping the dog off at my parent's house. Ironic and sad I suppose, that we actually had to stop for gas at 7-11 on the way to the hospital with me in not-so-much-yet labor.
Friday December 21, 2007
At 12:10am I had a contraction. It wasn't much but I figured I should start keeping track. At 12:22am we got arrived at the hospital and I insisted that we park and that I walk in. I don't know if this was a mistake or just my last walk as a married woman without a child.
A mistake, yes! definitely a mistake. Halfway across the parking lot I decided that yes, definitely, indeed, my water HAD broken. Copious amounts of warm fluid were seeping out of my girl parts with each small step. Just outside the Emergency Room door I declared to Marc that my water had broken and my pants were now wet. I waddled into the ER and the security guard obviously frightening by an overly pregnant woman with wet pants directed me to a wheel chair and told Marc to take me up to Labor and Delivery.
The nurses were calm and told me that, yes, I was staying, I was being admitted and to forget about going back home. It was at this moment that I felt certain my water had broken. I wasn't yet concerned about the lack of labor. I suppose I should have been?
I got a gown, tossed my underwear in the garbage, got hooked up to a monitor and settled into bed to answer a thousand and one questions for the nurses. I was only one centimeter dilated and the baby was still high in my pelvis. Bah. My nurse until 7am would be Nurse Gia who was totally fabulous. The worst thing she did was talk to me too much and I am still regretting not sleeping that night, my last night of sleep ever. Or so it still seems right now. But actually she helped me so much and possibly even sensed that I was very nervous to be in the hospital and the sleeping husband in the corner did not make me feel any better.
After a long night of getting up to pee every hour and dripping meconium-stained amniotic fluid all over the floor, my doctor and midwife arrived at about 7:30am and started the IV Pitocin.
Marc left to get breakfast and afraid of being alone, I called my Aunt, Joanne to come sit with me. Around this time, I got my new daytime nurse. I don't recall her name but Marc described her as the epitome of a "hot nurse". I called her Barbie Nurse and silently prayed that she would go away. When you are swollen to almost two hundred pounds and sweating through labor and dripping greenish fluid every time to you stand, you don't really want a hot nurse taking care of you. It just doesn't make you feel any better about yourself. She did leave and was replaced with a very average non-descript nursing duo.
The contractions began very slowly and I was totally managing them with some simple breathing. Every so often the nurses would turn the pitocin higher and I kept managing the contractions with breathing and sitting on a birthing ball. My parents arrived sometime after noon and by this time I was sitting in a rocking chair with a rolled up towel wedged against my lower back. The contractions were about four minutes apart and each one was a sharp stabbing pain in my lower back and I would stop talking and breathe and press my back into the towel for relief. I was very set on having a natural labor without medication and I didn't want an epidural until I thought I couldn't stand it any longer. The pain was growing more intense with each contraction and I had all but decided that I would get an epidural but not until I was well dilated. I do detect some stoicism?
Shortly after my parents arrived I stopped having the full-uterus-hardening contractions and started having what can only be described as deathly excruciating torso-splitting pain. Each two-minute apart contraction brought bone-on-bone pain which felt like my pubic bone and tail-bone were both being pushed apart and split in half. No one could apply counter-pressure hard enough and I still hadn't had any pain medication. The contractions were actually bringing tears to my eyes and yet I knew I wasn't dilating. I didn't feel like I was dilating.
At around 2pm the doctor came back and checked my cervix. I was not hopeful. Call it intuition. Call it pessimistic. I knew. 2 centimeters. Baby still high. 90% effaced. Pffft.
The meconium and the broken water put me on the medical clock, I had until 9:30 Friday night to deliver the baby. He needed to come out by then to avoid an added risk of infection. It was getting closer to 3 o'clock and I knew I wasn't going to dilate 8 centimeters and drop a baby into my pelvis in six hours. I asked the doctor what he thought the prognosis was: 70% chance of a C-Section.
Reluctantly, with his professional opinion and my own gut feeling and pain, I decided that there was no reason to wait six more hours for what I truly felt was an inevitable outcome. My family was all there and I had to do what was best for the baby. So I consented to a c-section. However, when you are not an emergency c-section you sort of wait around until the operation room and doctors are ready which in my case, was upwards of two hours. Once I decided on the c-section they turned off the pitocin and my contractions immediately stopped. Another sign that I wasn't meant to deliver vaginally.
I was wheeled back to the operation room where they let me move myself from the bed to the operating table. The room was surprisingly small and bright and very clean looking. Everything was draped in blue sheets.
I sat on the table and the anesthesiologist started my epidural which was possibly the most painful thing since the pelvis shattering contractions of the previous hours. It only took a few minutes to put in place and my legs got warm and heavy. I was told to lay back on the very very narrow table. I am not an overly wide person, but holy crap that was a narrow table. My arms were laid out to my side all crucifixion-like and I was told they were placing my catheter. And for the first time in three months I did not feel the urgent need to pee. Had I known how wonderful a catheter can be, I would have gotten the fucking epidural six hours ago.
There were several swabbings of iodine but I didn't feel very much below the curtain that was raised at my chest. The worst part was that I was still getting over a cold and with my head down completely flat I couldn't breathe through my nose at all, like, NOT AT ALL. I told the anesthesiologist I wanted all the anti-nausea medications he had. Not being able to breathe is not a good thing when you are trying to keep from harfing.
Suddenly Marc was at my side and I started to feel tugging and pulling at my insiders. Up until this moment I only thought of myself as a pregnant woman. I never gave much thought to the moment that a baby would come out of my body and enter the world. Marc kept telling me he was so excited that we were about to be parents and I got all teary and was able to breathe even less so I just kept looking from side to side, occasionally stopping to stare at the bright lights of the ceiling. The neonatologist team was standing ready to intubate Noah to clean out the meconium. They were on my right and Marc was on my left.
All of the sudden the room was silent and I heard a tiny gasping sound that wasn't an adult-like sound and it was at that exact moment that my eyes opened wide and I gasped that ohmygod that is MY BABY.
The room went from peaceful to massively chaotic in a matter of seconds. I could see Noah being rubbed and cleaned and intubated, which was ... a little rough to watch. They held him up and we saw a tiny little baby with the most hair I'd ever seen on a newborn. Marc kept saying things to me but I can't remember what he said, I just kept staring at Noah in absolute awe.
It seemed like forever but within a few minutes they brought Noah over to Marc, all wrapped in a blanket and looking totally peaceful. Marc looked so proud.
I had to lay flat on the table for about another twenty minutes while they stitched my insides back together. Before long I was holding my baby and being wheeled down the hallway back to my recovery room. And then, the shaking began....
Part 2 coming soon ....