Saturday, March 23, 2013

Birth

I woke up.

It was dark outside, and I wasn't sure what time it was. 

I had a few contractions, but they were far apart, and I wasn't going to get my hopes up again....

...But I clocked them anyway. 

After an hour I decided to get up and do my make up, just in case. 

My contractions went from 15 minutes apart, to 4 minutes apart, and they were winding me, which made me think, that maybe, maybe this could be it. 

Jeremy was curled up in a ball in bed, and stirred a little when I sat on its edge. 

"What are you doing?" He asked groggily. 

"Timing," I replied. 

"Oh." He stretched. "How far apart are they?"

"Two minutes. But they've slowed down."

He got up and started to organize the information he needed to put together the ward program. My contractions kept coming, and they were getting stronger. 

Jeremy clearly was in the same mind frame I was about me going into labor, because he kept asking me to help him with the program while I breathed through increasingly painful labor pains. It was getting annoying. 

"Hey, how do you spell --" he rambled. 

I wanted to bite him really hard, but the English major in me couldn't stop from correcting the errors I found as I peered through watery eyes at his computer screen.

"You need to capitalize that..." I managed. 

After another hour of convincing myself I wasn't in labor, and after about thirty concerned looks from Jeremy as I tried not to pass out from contractions, Jeremy finally asked me, "Should I call my mom?"

I wanted to scream, "YES!" but I was in denial still, and so I managed a peeved, "I don't know!" 

He finally decided I wasn't a reliable source anymore, and called his mom. 

"Hey, be on alert," he said to her, as I walked around the room trying not to cry. 

He hung up and looked at me. 

I must have looked awful, because he called his mom back.

"Hey, I think, maybe, we're going to head to the hospital, maybe...." He then looked at me again. "Do you want to go, or no?"

I had had enough at that point and said, "If you don't take me, I'm going to drive myself!" 

A few minutes later, we headed out the door, and then my contractions decided to go on vacation.

"Great..." I mumbled. "They are slowing again."

"We can drive around for a while, if you want," Jeremy suggested. 

"Nah...I don't want to have a baby in the car." 

When we got to the hospital, we were ushered into an empty room, and I was checked shortly. The nurse announced, cheerily, "Oh! You're a five or six!" 

Sunshine spread through the room as I beamed happily at Jeremy. Yes, I was in pain, but halle-freaken-lujah, I was in labor! 

"Would you like an epidural?"

"Yes!"
Yay! I thought to myself. Drugs!

Jeremy looked around the room. In the corner was an exercise ball. 

"What's that for?" He asked.

The nurse looked over at the ball, and replied, "Oh, that's for women who don't want to use medication. They bounce on it to help with the contractions."

"Sounds awful," I said. 

"I'm with you," she nodded. 

The contractions were pretty steady by this point. And they were getting stronger, so I eagerly anticipated the arrival of the nurse anesthetist. 

When he finally came, he smiled down at me and said, "Would you like a happidural? Ha ha!"

They sat me up and Jeremy decided this would be a good time to be extremely curious about the epidural procedure and started asking lots of questions, which the NA was more than happy to answer.

Unfortunately, that meant that as he explained things in great detail, he was doing them super, duper slow...

"Well, you see, we insert the needle into the spine here, just so, and then it goes down the thingamabobby, and that does x, y, and z, BUT, it won't do sloopyloo, blah blah blah..." 

The whole time Jeremy was nodding sagely, and asking more questions, all while I was trying to stay still, and not die from contractions, and desperately wanted to tell them both to shut up. 

Finally, the NA was done. He then handed me a cord with a button attached to the end.

"Okay, now I've hooked you up to the IV for the epidural, but if it isn't enough, you can just push this little button until it beeps and it will give you another dose, but you can only do it every 15 minutes. So, you can push it a whole bunch of times, but it won't over-dose you."

He then felt it necessary to push the button a whole bunch of times just to prove he was telling the truth. I nodded, and willed him to stop so I could hold it and push it myself a whole bunch of times. 

The doctor had come in to check on me, and popped in a few times during the NA's visit. At one point he quipped, "Looks like we'll be missing Sunday School! But this is more holy than that. Ha ha!" 

I agreed.  

When everything was situated, got down to business to try and get my baby out. 

He wasn't going to to wait until she was ready. Oh, no. He had a schedule to keep. 

*Graphic Warning* If you are bothered by things relating to female bodies, I suggest you stop reading...

The doctor decided that he was going to stretch my cervix. Manually. 

Now, let's back up a few years. 

My body doesn't like epidurals.

Well, I take that back.

It likes them, but only one half of my body. 

With Lily, they had to give me a double dose to knock out the rebellious left side of my body. With Eden, they had to replace the epidural entirely to knock out that horrible rebellious left side of my body AND give me a double dose. 

So, as I was laying there in the hospital with Dr. Frankenstein manually stretching my cervix, I wanted to scream really, really loud for him to stop since I could feel E V E R Y T H I N G. It was like I was being stabbed with an ice pick. If my legs hadn't completely turned into white, floppy hot dogs, I'm pretty sure I would have kicked him in the face. Instead, I just clung to the side of the bed, and braced myself with each contraction and clenched my teeth as Dr. Frankenstein messed with what should have been left alone. 

It was clear to everyone in the room that I wasn't doing well. The NA was called so he could come back and fix the situation. 

He walked in with a syringe full of spine-numbing goo. He pumped me full of the stuff, and then said to let him know if it wasn't helping. 

Minutes passed. All that happened with the second dose was that my legs went from wobbly and unmanageable to completely dead. I tried moving my toes. I can only imagine it's how a paraplegic feels when they know how to make their toes move, but the toes won't comply. The most I got was a tingly feeling when I attempted to wiggle my feet. This would have been the ideal situation if I was going to have a baby through my knee caps or something. But I wasn't. I was having a baby the traditional way. 

The doctor was completely surprised by the whole thing and decided that I should be flipped over, like some giant, half-numbed pancake. It seemed like a good idea...

But it wasn't. 

It was a BAD idea.

It took the nurse, doctor and Jeremy to roll me over, since I couldn't move anything below my belly button, and as they slowly turned me over, my face started to fold in on itself and I, who have never screamed during a labor, or made any sort of protesting noise above a whimper, found myself going, "Ow OW OW OW OW OW OW!

The doctor took a step back and very calmly said, "The pain will stop, once the baby is here, hon... we can try and just have you push," and when he saw the look on my face added, "Or we can have the NA come and redo the epidural." 

If I had been myself, not curled in a ball of agonizing pain, I would have replied, "Oh, yes, I like that option, let's do that!" 

I think I managed to squeak out a strangled, "Okay..."

I knew I was running out of time. I was dilated. I was having constant, soul-piercing contractions, and I could feel myself becoming so exhausted that I knew at some point, if the pain didn't stop, I would either pass out or die.  

The NA showed up again, and sat down. 

He looked peeved. 

He then raised an eyebrow, and sat forward confidentially as he said, "I think you have a plica."

"That's nice," I thought to myself. "Now get off your bum and fix it." 

"What that means is there is tissue in your spine blocking the epidural from spreading to where it needs to go." 

"Thanks for the science lesson, pal. Fix it." I thought again.

He then said a bunch more stuff that I ignored, but I nodded just so it looked like I was paying attention. 

He stood up and then took his epidural kit and had the nurse and Jeremy sit me up and hold me in place since I was unable to do so by myself. 

I leaned my head onto Jeremy's shoulder, and he wrapped his arms around me while I tried not to cry. This was quickly becoming horribly unbearable. 

The NA, the second time around, was in and out in record time, and sat down and waited to see if it had worked. 

I waited to see if it had worked.

The whole room held its breath. 

........

...........

It worked. 

Which was fortunate, since two minutes later the baby popped out. 

There she was. All gooey. Screaming like a champion. 

I couldn't take my eyes off of her, gooey mess that she was. 

It was over. 

Yay.

They gave Leah the once over, and, after I was all situated, they handed her to me. 

There she was. My swollen, pasty bologna loaf. She was perfect and beautiful. Nine months of waiting, weariness, anxiety, anticipation, and hope all wrapped up in that hospital blanket and topped with a hat.

Worth every second. 

Would I do it again, if I knew what I would have to go through to get her? 

I would do it one hundred times. 

2 comments:

Les said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!!! I am glad that you are now both doing well. I am sure you already know this, but enjoy each minute with her, these kiddos grow up way to fast!

Bethany said...

We have very similar uncooperative -with - the - epidural bodies. I can totally relate to all of it, especially the part where it is all totally worth it. Congratulations!

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