Tuesday, November 30, 2010

My (LONG) Labor Story.

After my OB appointment on Wednesday, I knew I was ready. I even told my doctor as much. She asked how I felt, and I just sighed and said “I’m ready. I’m not ready for the chaos, but I am sick of peeing every 2 hours, sick of having to heave myself over just to roll onto my other side, sick of the hemorrhoids (not that childbirth makes them disappear!)… just READY.” She laughed, and said, well we’ll see what happens! I left the appointment not really thinking that much. I mean, yes, I was ready for Connor to arrive, but wasn’t so ready that if he still waited till his due date I wouldn’t be upset about it. Later that afternoon B and I headed to Target for our weekly outing, enjoyed popcorn and soda and browsed around. I noticed I was having contractions, but nothing too out of the ordinary. Later that evening I realized I was having contractions every 10-12 minutes apart. I went into nesting/planning mode and swept, mopped and vacuumed the house again, thinking it would be the last time I would get the chance to do it for a while. As I went to bed, I thought that perhaps this was it and I would wake in the middle of the night asking Drew to take me to the L&D ward. Unfortunately though, the contractions piddled out in the middle of the night.

I woke up Tuesday morning around the same time Drew did for work and was having painful contractions. So much so that I interrupted Drew’s breakfast for him to massage my back because it was really painful. But like the night before, they piddled out. I called my mom that morning and told her that I was going to be one of those women who walked around in active labor for two weeks. We laughed about it and I hung up and headed out for errands. They weren’t really anything out of the ordinary; I mean, one was at the mall, so I took it upon myself to walk around a bit more than normal, and at a faster pace. The rest of the day we hung out at home, I grabbed my afternoon nap, and we played in B’s room together for a while. Around 5:30, I noticed I had a REALLY strong contraction. Even stronger than the night before, and strong enough that I needed to breath through it. After about 3 of them coming minutes apart, I emailed Drew to make sure he was coming home on time… trying to breath through and time contractions when you have a 19 month old is nearly impossible (although Brayden did find my breathing and rocking pretty funny, so I tried to make it a game). Drew got home around 6:30 and I told him I really needed to time my contractions, so he took over for me with Brayden and I started timing. After about 30 minutes, it was pretty apparent I was in active labor-- my contractions were coming 4 minutes apart consistently and they HURT (thankfully though it was NOT back labor, which I had with B, and which is a horrid, horrid feeling). I went back into nesting mode, and quickly grabbed up the ingredients for oatmeal chocolate chip muffins (I had set it all out earlier that day), whipped it together in between contractions, and called my best friend Stephanie to let her know I thought I might be in labor. When I laid down to check my contractions again, they increased in pace, coming every 3 minutes apart, and I knew it was time to go. So we made a quick call to my Aunt to have her come and stay with Brayden, and our neighbor headed over to be the buffer between when we left and my aunt arrived. And we set out.

We got to the hospital around 9:45 and were quickly seen by a nurse in triage. The best part of seeing that nurse was recognizing her! It was Abby, the same nurse I had had in triage when I went to the hospital in labor with Brayden. Consequently, I was right at ease. When I was checked, I had dilated to 4cm, so Abby went to check with the on call doctor to see what they wanted to do. About an hour later, they decided to go ahead and admit me since my contractions were still coming at 4 minutes apart. Thankfully I was not having back labor this time, so although the contractions were painful, they weren’t near as bad as the contractions I had with Brayden. We headed down the hall and got settled in for the night.

I got the epidural immediately-- I wasn’t really needing it at that point, but didn’t want to wait until the pain was intolerable to make the decision. The anesthesiologist was great, and the epidural went in without a hitch! I woke up an hour later to numb legs J She did her job well! I slept for the rest of the night off and on, and at 6am was checked again and was at 8cm at that point. My nurse Abby left her shift at 7am, which I was sad about, but was so happy that when the new nurse came in it was my nurse Meredith from when I had had Brayden. Drew and I had just talked about how good Meredith was during Brayden’s birth, so the fact that we had Meredith again was an answer to prayer. We also found out that my doctor was on call that day, so we were pretty much assured she would deliver Connor.

They figured I’d have Connor just a few hours later, but by 10am I still had not dilated. They then said by lunch time. But by noon when I was still a 9, we were thinking I might have needed what my nurse called a “whiff” of pitocin. Thankfully by 12:30 when my doctor came in to check me, I was complete, so pitocin wasn’t needed, and we started prepping for pushing.

I started pushing at 12:35. Everything was going swell. Then Connor dropped into my pelvis. OH. MY. WORD. My epidural, for whatever reason, had not numbed my pelvic region. At first I tried to be strong. But the pain was UNBEARABLE. To hell with the ring of fire. This was the ring of death. I started crying. Not a mean cry, but a desperate, I need my mommy cry. It hurt so freaking bad. Meredith had to leave the room at one point to change scrubs (something about some weird hospital policy-- I was out of it too much to understand what happened, only that I couldn’t push through about 2-4 contractions). She came back and I resumed pushing. Then she asked me to slow down the pushing. When someone feels as though a watermelon is about to come out of their vagina AND butt hole at the same time, the last thing they want to hear is to hold on. I started crying harder and saying “get it out of me! Just get it out of me!” They had to run and get the doctor, who was in triage. It seemed as though it took her forever, and then she slid in to take over the baby catching. I was again asked to push slowly. I came to find out later that the cord was wrapped around Connor’s neck twice, so the doctor had to finagle the cord off of his neck while I was pushing (this is also why Drew was unable to cut the cord). Connor was born at 12:53, which means that I pushed through about 10 contractions (probably less if you consider the time my nurse had to change scrubs and the time I couldn’t push because the doctor wasn’t there). When they laid Connor on my belly he wasn’t crying, which I knew was not a good sign so I asked about it and they took him over to the side to get him to cry. Music to my ears when he let out a little sqeak-- and that was all he really let out! He didn’t make a peep through the shots, the cleaning, the eye ointment… he just laid there and looked around! It was the funniest thing-- even our OB made a comment about it! And after they weighed him-- 7 pounds 14 ounces-- I was SO glad he had come early. I am almost positive that my body is not made to deliver large babies. With both Brayden and Connor they got hung up (that’s why I didn’t dilate with Connor at the end because he was hung up and not pushing on my cervix when I was contracting), and both were under 8 pounds.

In the video of Connor being cleaned off and weighed, you can hear me in the background saying “oh my God that hurt so freaking bad.” I think I say it about 4 times. I can’t decide if I would rather the tense moments of back labor in the beginning or having a smooth labor and a horrible last 10 minutes of delivery. Either way, I have come to decide that child birth is by far the hardest thing I will ever have to do in this life. And that’s my second labor story. And the last labor story-- for a few years at least :)

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