Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The birth story -- Part III

E hung up the phone and told me that it’s time to get my ass in gear.  I started bawling and E immediately jumped to my side and asked what was going on with me, was I in pain?  And my response to him through snotty snobs was “I feel bad for the dogs.  I'm scaring the dogs.  They have no idea what’s going on with all my screaming and they are scared. I wish that they understood English and I could tell them what is going on.” And I started to cry some more.  E started trying to rush me, verbally pushing me, but I had to go to the bathroom first – when a contraction would hit, I would have to stop what I was doing and force myself to try to make it through the contraction with lots of vocalizations and curse words.  As I’m walking down our upstairs hall, E asked me to hurry up.  I stopped on the stairs to have a contraction.  I stopped in the kitchen, leaning on the counter to have another contraction.  I couldn't bend over to put on my boots because it was too painful, so E had to try to put on my boots while I was sagging onto my elbows on the counter during the contraction.  (Thanks to my trusty contraction app & the summary of contractions e-mailed to me after the fact -- the contractions were about 2 minutes apart and were lasting over a minute each.)  We finally get out the door and I stopped at the bottom of the first flight of stairs to have a contraction.  During this contraction outside, I'm shocked that our neighbors didn't hear me screaming obscenities as I had at least two other contractions on the way to the car.  E finally took my elbow and physically pushed me to the car, telling me “Jamie!  WE HAVE GOT TO GO!”  I was in no rush at all. (denial)

Once we got to the car, I started to dig through the middle console before getting in with E yelling at me to get into the car.  In my mind, I HAD to put down the “wee-wee” training pad we purchased, just in case my water broke in the car and then another contraction hit me.  E was mad-crazy to get to the hospital and forced me into the car.  Looking back, I'm certainly glad that someone was in a hurry to get me to the hospital.

E drove like the crazy man you see on the TV shows.  I was screaming the “F” word at the top of my lungs during the contractions.  But after the contraction was over, as he was tailgating the slow moving car in front of us, I’d calmly tell him that he really didn't need to drive that fast, that we weren't really in THAT much of a hurry.  We arrive to the hospital ER as we were instructed in our childbirth class and E went to get a wheelchair.

He wheeled the wheelchair out to me. I got in after some severe prompting for not moving fast enough during my contraction.  The security guard saw the severity of the situation, radioed ahead to L&D and decided to rush us to the “secret-hidden” service elevator that drop us off right in front of the L&D desk.  (Normally, laboring moms would have to be wheeled about ¼ of a mile through hallways and put a different elevator and have to be buzzed into L&D.)  I think the security guard took us this way, because he didn't want me scaring patients with my crazed vocalizations.  I had another contraction in the hallway while they were wheeling me to the elevator.  I forgot where I was and the pain of the contraction took over – I started screaming curse words in the hallway.  After the contraction was over, I apologized to the guard for losing my shit as well as apologizing to a night nurse in scrubs walking past us.

We got up to L&D, quickly checked in and they told us to go through the doors and go into L&D #14 where they were waiting for us.  We arrived in the room and I immediately asked for my drugs and told the nurses to call the anesthesiologist.  I wanted my drugs.  The nurses told me that I needed to be checked before the anesthesiologist would be called.  In the ideal situations, the laboring mom goes into the bathroom to change their clothes – I physically needed help getting out my clothes and into the gown, so the nurses stripped me down in the middle of the room with the door wide open.  I had absolutely no modesty left, I didn’t give a hoot -- if it meant my drugs were coming faster, I would have done naked sprints down the hallway.  I got onto the bed around 9:45pm and the nurse checked me.

"Well, it looks like you are 9cm and 100% effaced!  We are going to have this baby soon!  You have got a really good pelvis -- you aren't going to have ANY problems pushing this baby out”

Immediately, I started to panic.  I’m sure the look in my eyes was primal, that I was becoming a crazed woman.  I began looking from nurse to nurse to nurse (there seemed to be about five of them in the room).  I started saying over and over again – “But I want drugs!  I'm too far along and can’t have drugs now!”  The nurses all tried to calm me, telling me the doctor would be there shortly.  I had always said that I wanted to labor as long as I could without the drugs, but never expected to actually deliver this baby naturally.  At this point, E also asked the nurses if we should shut the door because he was afraid that I was scaring other laboring moms in the hallway.  It was also at this time that E mentioned our car was STILL RUNNING in front of the ER.  E asked if he should go down and move the car.  The nurses told him that he should stick around because this baby might be coming soon but they would call down to security and let them know that he would be in L&D for a while.

At 10:15pm -- under two hours from when the photo in the bar was taken & fully dilated

This is where things get blurry for about 20 minutes.  I don’t remember the order of some of the events, just know that they happened.  The other nurses started trying to put my IV in – they missed two of my veins in the first arm and one in the second as my veins were “rolling” and they also blew two of my veins.  They then decided to call the anesthesiologist to put in the IV needle. 

During this time, one of the nurses came over to my right side and took my hand.  She squeezed it really hard and told me to focus on her.  She said that I needed to breathe through the contractions.  I was panicked and told her I couldn’t and she very sternly told me that in fact, I could breathe through them.  She showed me how to breathe “hee-hee-hoo” and made me breathe with her.  She was my bitchy angel – once I had a breathing technique to focus on during my contractions, I was better able to handle them.  They still hurt like an SOB, but the breathing gave me something to focus on, instead of focusing on the pain. My vocalizations stopped all together as I put my focus in one breathing through each contraction.  I felt a little more in control and calmer -- but I was still scared shitless that I was going to have to do this old fashion way -- au naturale.

During this time, Dr. Emery (my doctor – HALLELUJAH!) also came in to see me shortly after 10pm and checked me again.  He said that I was 10cm and fully dilated.  I can’t remember much else about his visit.  I was still petrified that I was going to have to have her naturally and the pain was unbearable.

Also during this time, I had a contraction that I thought that I felt like I had the small urge to push.  The nurses told me that I should go ahead and push.  I refused, “But I don’t want to push!”  They told me to do the other Lamaze technique that we learned in class to keep me from pushing.  I can honestly say that I thought if I refused to push, that I could postpone her delivery long enough to get drugs.

Suddenly, the anesthesiologist was in the room and E put a shower cap on my head at the request of the nurses – very crooked and over one of my eyes, mind you.  They were going to try to administer my epidural!  Hallelujah!  I guess it was a race against the clock, as I had to finish my bag of fluids (which I honestly don't remember this chunk of time, how long it usually takes to administer a bag of fluids and where that time actually went).  When the anesthesiologist entered the room, I didn't know why it was happening, but knew that he was there and I couldn't have been more relieved.  E left the room and I was sitting up, leaning on the midwife. I felt bad for her later, because through each contraction while they were administering my epidural and spinal (and there were three big contractions), being that I couldn't move from my hunched over position, I squeezed her chicken wing (the underside of her upper arm) and I’m sure that I bruised her.

Within 10 minutes, the spinal had kicked in and I was feeling wonderful!  E went down to move the car.  He didn't come back for quite some time, so long in fact, that our L&D nurse Lisa had commented – wondering if he was going to come back.  Come to find out, that someone had locked the car doors with the car still running!  To this day, E thinks that I locked the doors as I was getting out while I think that it was security that locked them after L&D called down to them to explain the situation.  The security guards didn't have the tools to open the locks, so the local police had to come and unlock his doors!

I also found out why I was able to get the spinal/epidural being 10cm and 100% effaced.  The ONLY reason that I didn't have her naturally was because she was at a station -2 meaning she was sitting low in my uterus and her head was not quite at my pelvic bone.  Because she wasn't opening at the door, I was able to receive drugs and let my uterus work her down without draining my energy.  Looking back, I now realize how close I was to having her naturally.  With a couple of hours of pushing, she probably would have been born naturally. 

I was able to rest until about 1:00am – the only thing that disturbed me was Lisa coming in frequently to ask if I felt any pressure.  Then my spinal started wearing off. I started feeling some major back labor on the one side.  The pain was so severe that I had to focus & breathe through the contraction.  I asked Lisa to bring back the anesthesiologist to give me more meds.  She didn't want to do that as she wanted me to feel enough of my contractions to know when to push when it came time.  But I persisted and the anesthesiologist came back in and administered more drugs.  Pure bliss!

I was left alone for quite a long time.  About 4.5 hours with me being fully dilated and ready to have this baby, I thought it was a long time.  I couldn't feel anything below my belly button.  And the fact that I had read during my pregnancy about how even a woman in a coma could deliver a baby because the body naturally knows what to do kept ringing in my head.  So the only reassurance that I had that my baby's head wasn't coming out of my va-jay was the fetal monitor was still pumping away at a steady rhythm.  Later we found out that there with only one doctor on the floor, at least 2 emergency C-sections, and a completely full L&D were probably the reason that they let me be for so long.

At about 2:30am, Lisa came in asking about pressure.  I felt none.  She said that she was going to catheter me.  She said that I should start getting myself “amped up” because at 3:00am we were going to push.  She also mentioned that she was shocked that my waters hadn't broken by this point.  As she lifted the blankets to catheter me, she said “Oh my!  I've never seen anything like this before!”  I was thinking that my baby’s head about already coming out!  Come to find out, my bag of water was actually hanging outside of me, like a water balloon.  E took a photo of it, so that I could see it.  And I have to say that it was pretty amazing!  Lisa broke my water while trying to catheter me and then I knew that her arrival was imminent.  I don't remember what I thought during those 30 minutes, but I was still in denial that I was going to have a baby in my arms soon.

At 3:00am, Lisa came back in.  By this point, I could feel the top of my abdomen tightening with my contractions.  Lisa confirmed that my contraction was starting and we got in position to do a practice push.  With that practice push, her head was almost out!  Lisa told me to stop pushing and she was calling Emery!  He came into the room and prepped up.  We started pushing at about 3:15am.  In four pushes, little Finn was born!

Finn born 2.16.12 at 3:23am

I was amazed that she was here and the only thing I could say was "I just had a baby.  I just had a baby!"  They cleaned her a little and then placed her on my chest.  She proceeded to then empty her bowels all over my chest!  First thing she does to her mother?  She poops on her!

 Our first photo together (thank E for my hair, as he was in charge of putting in my ponytail when we got to L&D 
and I wasn't in any frame of mind to care what I looked like)

She was perfect and healthy!  And after it was all over, Dr.Emery sat down and joked for about 45 minutes while he was stitching me up.  Her apgars were perfect -- 9 & 9.  And her jaundice score was "0" -- the postpartum doctor and our peds doctor didn't believe us and she was tested multiple times.  Every time coming back "0".  It was an amazing experience, one made spectacular with my own doctor delivering her.  I couldn't have asked for a better story!

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