Everyone loves a good birth story, right? So, here is mine. I'll do my best to tell it well.
First, I would like to say, "I told you so." I've been saying that I didn't think I would make it to term. I was pretty uncomfortable early on in my third trimester and looked as big or bigger than other ladies who were due after me. It just didn't add up. Also, lets not forget all the passersby and strangers that would tell me that I was going to have a baby any day now. Honestly, I was ok if the baby came a few weeks early as long as it was after 34 wks. And I was 36wks when my water broke this time. I was told by my doula that this was due to the full moon. And when I did arrive at the hospital I was one of the first of about 37 births in those couple of days. So maybe there is something to that.....
Alright, here is how it happened. My brother-in-law, Samuel was over for a little bit and was visiting with David around 10:30. I went to bed (being uncomfortable and pregnant and all) and was reading to wind down. As I read, I felt something shift in my belly and swo-ooosh! Warm liquids escaped me. There was no question at that point what it was. I got up quietly (our 2yr old sleeps on a mattress on the floor of our bedroom) and went to tell David. He sprang into action calling the hospital and our babysitter. I tried to get my head in gear for packing what essentials I thought were needed. Up to that point I started packing but didn't finish. I didn't feel any contractions which meant that I had no idea how long we were going to be in the hospital. Afterall, when my water broke with David Jr. I was in there a week. Still, I didn't think they would do that this time since I wasfurther along. I packed what I could think of and felt sad to be leaving my little boy. I even took one of his stuffed animals with me as a comfort to me. We got to the hospital around 11:45pm. By that time, amniotic fluid was everywhere. My shoes were sopping as if I were running through rain puddles. Yes. It was disgusting. And embarrassing. Check-in was quick. The ER was completely deserted except for the staff. Glad for that since I had sopping wet pants.
On the drive up to the hospital, I became aware of contractions. Nothing to painful. Just enough to notice. By 12, I was in the hospital bed and checking the clock. The contractions were coming about every 5 to 7 minutes. They had to check my cervix and I find this to be very painful. Apparently, my cervix was "posterior" so they had to really hurt me to feel that I was not even a centimenter dilated. I was feeling thirsty and hungry around 1pm but all they would give me were ice chips. I was regretting that I ate such a light dinner and wishing I had downed the water that was on my bedside table before I left. David offered to sneak me food but I wasn't sure about it and opted to wait. Boy, that came back to haunt me.
The doctor on call wanted to put me on Staydol (sp?) because reportedly a couple of hours in the womb could further help the baby's lung functioning. I asked to think about it. My birth plan excluded staydol b/c it really doped me up with the last delivery. Finally, with David's help, I decided to take it but asked for half the dosage that was typical (I am particularly sensitive to meds--it takes very little for me to feel the effects). This was actually a good move b/c it allowed me to sleep for a couple of hours (maybe three). I would need that rest. Up to that point, I was fine with the contractions. By 5 something, we asked the doula to make her way over. I was in more pain at that point. I had to stop to breathe through them. The nurse came in at some point (the time is blurry) and announced that I was to be put on pitocin. I adamantly refused it. I didn't see what the point of pitocin was at that point. Not to mention that these contractions were coming much faster, even 2 minutes apart sometimes. After that, things started rolling. Contractions came on harder and faster and I was more and more ready for my epidural. I vaguely noticed that it was light outside between the contractions. While contracting I was feeling very faint. I remember telling whoever was there (husband, doula, nurse) that I was going to faint. David explained to the nurse that I sometimes have low blood sugar. With all that laboring and no nourishment--it is no wonder! The nurse brought me some apple juice and I was so thankful that she "broke the rules" for me with that. I felt better able to labor with some sugar in me. Contractions were hard! The doula suggested I sit on the toilet to see if it would help. It was ok but nothing was really going to make me feel better but an epidural. It was getting to the point that no amount of massaging on the back was helping the pain. Very very intense. I was begging for the epidural as I was digging my nails into my poor husband's arm. I even told him to go out in the hall and get him. They told me that I was third in line to get the epidural. I kept hoping beyond hope that he would come before the next contraction. After each contraction at this point, I am despairing and whimpering, "I can't do this" and begin crying. Both the doula and David were encouraging me and telling me that not only can I but I was doing this. Even thinking about this point in labor is tough. I was a pathetic sight to see, I'm sure. I didn't realize this until after Judah was born but I was in transition. Most of you readers know that this is the worst part of labor where every mother wants to turn back. And yes, it is true. I was at the end of my rope and still no anesthesiologist and no epidural. Between contractions (which were such short times) I am in another world. Everything outside my own body is a blur. People are talking to me and I'm barely cognizant of them. They are just voices coming into my consciousness from far away. They tell me that the epidural guy is there. I wanted to curse him out and ask what took so long--no energy to do that.
Here is the clincher. I'm having the worst contractions of my labor and the doctor wants me to get into an uncomfortable position and keep absolutely still while giving my drugs. I am desparate for drugs but while he is doing all his prep work I cannot keep still. I am all over the bed. The nurse is telling me to "blow away the pain" and "go to my happy place". I wanted to hit her. I never felt more patronized in my life than in that moment. I'm glad I didn't hit since she was a nice lady. :) I hear the anesthesiologist losing his patience with me and I'm wondering if getting the shot is even possible anymore. The nurse is holding me and I'm doing my darndest to concentrate through the pain. I'm actually praying. Ok, this is important to me because I can't say that I would have thought that when push comes to shove, in such extreme pain that the Lord would come to mind but He did. I was able to tell the Lord that I didn't think I was going to make it through a contraction while getting the epidural and basically pleading for help. He gave. He is gracious. When the dr. was ready to prick me, I was not having a contraction or at least not as an intense one. Oh, I have no idea how that happened but it did. I kid you not--it was a miracle.
With labor with David Jr. I was able to rest about 3 or 4 hours after getting the epidural before pushing. Imagine my surprise when I feel the urge to push almost immediately after receiving the epidural. I was telling David that I needed to rest and that I didn't want to push. I was whining it more like it. David didn't realize that I was as far along as I was and told me not to push-thinking that I wanted to push before being dilated enough. The urge was strong and I just ignored everyone (except my doula who was whispering to me to listen to my body) and pushed. I pushed while on my left side and it felt great! I guess a better way to describe it is that it felt oh-so-right. The nurse, who was well intentioned but not helpful, kept telling me to move to my side and then my back and then my side and then my back, etc. She was explaining that there was still a pocket of amniotic fluid in my belly that was slowing down labor (this was slow??!!!). I wanted her to leave me alone. I opened my eyes for a second and saw a lot of people in the room getting it ready. The stirrups came out and I was pushing. I felt burning (found out later that for natural labor this is called the ring of fire--yeah, ouch) and then relief. The dr. gave me a novacaine shot in the perineum to help with the pain of stretching. Judah came out and I was almost too tired to even look at him. I was really happy to hear him crying. I didn't hear David cry when he was born so I knew that Judah had good lungs on him. It was a sweet sound. I was also happy to hear that I didn't get an episiotomy (like last time) and I didn't tear. Whew! That makes all the difference in recovery! They cleaned everything up and I was able to rest. A little while later my epidural set in and I couldn't feel my thighs. I totally think I shouldn't have to pay for an epidural that was not helpful. However, that is likely not to happen.
The next day my OBGYN told me that she got onto the anesthesiologist about not getting to me earlier. I appreciated the acknowledgment that he was needed earlier. Judah was doing well in all his screenings except one, the hearing one. He was referred to an audiologist and I go with him on tuesday. I was told that he most likely failed the tests due to his wakefulness during the process. Whatever that means. Also, we were told that this is common b/c there is lots of fluid behind the ears for preemies. But despite that everything was great. I felt great. Folks said I looked great and so we went home a day early. Because as anyone who has been in a hospital knows--there is no rest for the weary in there. I knew that I would sleep better through the night at home.
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