17 October 2008

Birth Story

It's been a little over 2 weeks now and I want to get this posted while I still remember, bear with me though since the times will be off - we didn't completely keep track of when things were happening. You'll get the idea though.

Tuesday September 30, 2008: We went to dinner with my husband's family and then headed in to the hospital - it was an extremely surreal drive since we knew it was the last time it would just be the two of us. It was one of those moments where I was both totally ready for what was coming, from NOT being pregnant anymore to finally getting to hold our daughter, and yet it was a little sad too since it was the end of "just the two of us". We've both had worries now and then about what a child would do to our relationship, since so far things have pretty much been perfect. We checked in to the hospital at around 8pm and were in our room by 8:10pm - which I was completely surprised by. They had me change into the hospital gown and get settled in, and then started the Cervadil around 9pm. The also set me up for an IV - which SUCKED completely - even though I was never hooked up for fluids or anything until the next day. Apparently my veins are so good that the nurse got squirted with blood and my arm was covered, of course telling her she had only one chance to get it in due to my fear of needles probably encouraged her to make sure it was right to begin with. For the next few hours we just sat and watched TV. At about 11:30pm or so we figured we should probably try and get some sleep since we were expecting it be an early morning and a LONG day. Unfortunately, the monitors they had on me seemed to alarm almost every 30 minutes which meant the nurses kept coming in and having to re-attach them. Sometime during the night I started feeling some contractions.

Wednesday October 1st, 2008: At about 4:30am, after not getting ANY sleep and putting up with the mild contractions that were getting more uncomfortable, I asked for some pain meds. This was one of the smartest things I did since I was FINALLY able to get to sleep once the Norco kicked in. About 7:30am they came in, removed the Cervadil, checked me (soft, but not further progress - this exam was rather painful too, I'm pretty sure it brought tears to my eyes), and started me on Pitocin and IV fluids. Ughh - that damned IV STILL hurt in my arm. This was the story all day though - sometimes it throbbed to the point of putting me in tears and sometimes I couldn't feel it. Within a short time I started having more irregular contractions. They were still uncomfortable and not extremely painful, but enough that I wanted some sort of pain meds to help deal with them. I personally saw no need to deal with pain or tough it out to a certain dilation, it was more a play it by ear sort of thing. Originally I was just going to go with some pain meds being added to my IV, but after talking to the nurse, who basically said if I was going to get an epidural, I might as well get it now instead of delaying it any - so I agreed. Of course, I started crying as soon as I agreed because the thought of a needle in my back REALLY freaked me out, but not as much as labor did. The anesthesiologists came in and had me sit on the edge of the bed as he prepared my back. I am sobbing to the point where I was afraid I was going to hyperventilate and the doctor is attempting to joke with me (think "I've done this twice" type jokes). My husband is trying to console me and is thinking the doctor is nuts while I'm trying not to pass out - but in all honesty, I'm glad the doctor was attempting to lighten the mood verses being serious, even if I wasn't really paying attention to what he was saying. Amazingly, the epidural was NOTHING like what I expected - it hurt far less than my IV did, and even hurt less than when you get a big pimple on your back. Again, totally amazed at how easily the process went. Oh, and within a short time the contractions were GONE as far as I was concerned (the monitors showed otherwise). He said they start with a low dose and only turn it up as needed, and then went on his way. They put in a catheter and I felt NOTHING. I think they checked my progress too, but no idea what it was other than I still needed to make a bunch more. After this, I sort of lose memory of what happen when and exactly in what order, but you'll get the idea. Within a few hours or less of getting the epi, I could start to feel the contractions so I asked for it to be turned up - so the anesthesiologists came back and turned it up, and all was good again. Sometime in there they hooked me up with an internal contraction monitor - it might have been at the same time as the epi or it might have been later. My doctor came in some time around lunch to check my status and while again I don't remember my progress, she did say that at the rate I was going, she expected the kid to be born sometime around 6pm. My husband's parents came up and were in and out as well. I napped on and off after getting the epi as well. At one point, the 3 of them went to eat in the waiting room while I tried to nap. I started getting some more contractions and I could feel them in my back. I just tried to stick it out since I couldn't move my feet and didn't want to increase the epidural again, but it started getting worse so I called my husband and told him I needed him to come back into the room. Within a minute of him coming back in the contractions get horribly painful in my back and I started sobbing. We called the nurse and told her I needed the epidural turned up again and once the doctor came in, he said I apparently sat up too far in the bed and since the med's were relying on gravity, it was all going to my legs instead. He laid me back down and gave me some more drugs. I think this is the time my contractions really ramped up (see picture, the bottom graph is contractions). Apparently with the intense contractions the baby's heart rate wasn't responding well so all of a sudden we had 4-5 nurses come in the room and were checking things out. The decided to switch me to an internal baby heart rate monitor and put me on oxygen as well. My husband was a little freaked out, but I was clueless as to what was going on so by the time I learned what happen, everything was all good again. After this, it was back to my husband and his parents coming in and out and me napping off an on.

Around 4:30pm the nurses came in to check on things and said my doctor was on her way and she was going to see how far along I was. It took her a while to get there and I started feeling really crappy - I was really starting to have issues with not being able to move or feel my legs and feet, my head was starting to hurt, I started feeling a little nauseous, it was basically a general, overall nastiness. Finally, my doctor came in, checked me, and said I was ready to push. WHAT?!?! Everyone talked about feeling pressure and all that jazz, but for me, it was nothing. Other than feeling sick, I didn't FEEL different as far as being ready to push and such. My husband and I looked at each other and were totally in shock. The nurse started prepping everything and getting me ready and at about 6pm, I started pushing. After a few times, I told the nurse I was going to get sick and her and my husband rustled around to get a pan for me. And then I yakked. The nurse took the pan away and I told her I needed another one since I was still feeling like I was going to get sick. At this point I was totally annoyed because I KNEW I was going to vomit but they didn't seem to care too much and were not hurrying - and the last thing I wanted was to lay there in vomit, especially since I had my own pillow from home. I coughed a little and think I got some in the nurses face (not on purpose at all and I did apologize to her). Then it was back to pushing. I couldn't really feel what I was doing but they told me I was doing great - so after about 28 minutes and a few sessions of pushing, Ruby Ann was born - October 1st, 6:28pm. They took her over to clean her up and my husband was helping while they finished with me. My doctor said I had very minimal tearing - hooray! They did all the typical stuff like deliver the placenta and rub on my belly - but who cares, I had my beautiful HEALTHY daughter and that's what mattered. I will say the one thing I was NOT ready for was I had a few bouts of what felt like back labor AFTER delivery. Luckily it was only a couple and they were completely gone with in a hour or so from delivery.

And, that's the story of how Ruby came into the world. It was a lot easier than I expected and i can't even imagine how I would have done it without pain meds. I applaud anyone who does it natural, but it is DEFINITELY not for me.

That's enough for today, I'll post more about things I learned and what we found useful next time. Ruby is getting hungry so I'm off to feed her.


Jess said...

No Ruby posting allowed without pics of her!

Cassie said...

This is a great story! I'm so glad everything was relatively "easy" for you. It's funny how everyone's experience is different, because I'll tell you what, I pushed for 3 hours and felt EVERY MINUTE OF IT, so you're lucky you didn't know what was going on! It did NOT feel good!

MrsSandro said...

Thanks for sharing. It was a great story. She is such a cutie pie.