I have tried to write a real concise witty birth story and I can't do it so I will just vomit out a huuuuuge amount of information as clearly as I remember it.
Dec 30: I felt so shitty. I had a UTI and was on antibiotics for it but felt crummy. My best friend was over (spending the night) and we watched a lot of funny tv on dvd after dd went to bed. I spent a lot of the evening on all fours resting on a footstool or yoga ball because my back hurt. I slept like SHIT.
Dec 31: I went to triage to see a doctor because nowhere else was open. I had this gruesome back pain that came and went every few minutes... ha ha in retrospect I know this is stupid but I thought it was proof I had a kidney infection. I felt crummy, had the back pain, and had vomited a few times and had a low grade fever.
My best friend (Vanya) was still over and she stayed with dd while dh and I went to triage. I was wearing jeans and didn't even carry a purse let alone The Bag. I thought I just needed new antibiotics. We got to triage around noon IIRC and my blood pressure was high. I was hooked up to a monitor. My back pains coincided with contractions I was having every 3 minutes or so. Imagine that! l My pee showed UTI was still active and I had blood in my urine. The baby's heart rate was over 200. They got my to lay on my side and gave me a huge cup of ice water to drink all of. His heart rate came down some after that but was still high. My blood pressure was high.
Today at my appt I asked the doctor what made the triage doctor decide I needed to have the baby right then and the reason listed was my blood pressure (although it was not written down how high it was and i don't remember) and the baby's heart rate and a kidney infection.
I had two internal exams less than an hour apart and at some point began leaking amniotic fluid. The second internal was really brutal and thorough and I think the dr was stretching my cervix and stripping my membranes. It hurt really badly and I bled fairly freely after that mixed in with the amniotic fluid. They did an u/s and the baby looked good although his heart rate was fine. I was 3ish cms dilated, same I had been for a week or more. Baby is posterior and that is why I have so much back pain.
The triage doc said I needed to be admitted, have IV antibx, get an epidural, have an amniotomy (slow leak wasn't enough I guess) and start pitocin. I felt totally freaked out by this and said I needed some time. I asked to be unhooked and let out so I could go and walk and see if I couldn't get more dilated on my own. I also really wanted to settle down and think about things and get something to eat. They said that was ok and gave us 2 hours. I sent a text message to ma-mashack. Except I actually sent it to Carol that I work with.
Dh and I called home and made sure my friend was fine giving up her NYE plans and I posted on SMs. (I am still touched when I think about the SMs thinking of us and cheering us on.
) It was a really warm and balmy day, it was about 4pm at this point and dark out. It was drizzling. Dh and I got some chicken sandwiches and walked all around the Queen's Park area. We stopped at a convenience store to get some snacks for later and headed back to the hospital after walking around for two hours.
I was huffing through contractions and not walking very fast but dh and I had a lot of laughs and saw some good people watching. I am so glad we had this time together, it was a really nice calm part of this whole experience.
When we got back things got a little crazy because bing bang boom I was admitted and on pitocin-- I had not dilated much (I was "3 or 4cm" two full hours after being 3cm) and the baby's heart rate was still high. The dr was rather insistent that I needed an epidural before starting the pitocin. He wanted to do an amniotomy too because I was still only barely leaking fluid. He tried to do this
and it was horrible... maybe the most painfully acute part of the whole experience. It didn't work. He tried with two different hooks. This was very bloody and I had trouble not screaming and I just wanted to hold dh's forearm while he cupped my face with his other hand. This continued to be what I wanted from him and he must have gotten very tired of standing like this.
I called Vanya and asked her to bring us The Bag because I had nothing and I wanted my nightgown and a few other things. Maggie was upset at being "left out" and wanted to visit. Maggie and Vanya arrived around 8ish with the bag and visited with us. I was having a really hard time at this point with contractions (just in my back, in the same place) and they were 2-3 mins apart and lasting 90 seconds each. I started doing a whispered chanting counting thing to get through contractions. I was laying in a very fixed position because if I turned much the monitor lost the baby's heart rate and they were really concerned about the damn heart rate. So I was stuck, immobile, and had nothing but whisperchantcount and dh's forearm to help me.
I had called my mom around 6pm and asked her to come and she was driving. I can't remember a lot of this time but I drank a lot of orange gatorade. I spent a lot of time going to the bathroom because of the IV fluids and gatorade. I can't move around to deal with contrax much because of the monitors and IVs. (fluids, pitocin and antibiotics for the UTI) Around this time I hopped down to go to the bathroom and promptly pissed a lake on the floor during a contraction. Everyone acted like they didn't notice it but it was cleaned up when I came back from the bathroom.
My mom got there around midnight (HAPPY NEW YEAR!) and I was only 4- 5 cms. THis is 12ish hours in. I asked everyone to go home to sleep and said we'd call when things looked closer. I was having a terrible time coping with contractions without scaring dd and I could not focus with her there at all. My dh was just standing over me cupping my face and letting me hold/rub his forearm on demand. Before my mom left I asked her to find me more orange gatorade and she did-- where did she find gatorade at midnight on NYE? I should ask her.
At this point the baby's heart rate was still high at times but not consistently. It was looking more likely that I would be having a section. I really did not want one but I was horrified by the whole thing at this point and totally exhausted. Because of this I consented to an epidural to see if I could sleep for an hour and see if that helped move things along. I started having flashing lights at this point and was asking for some caffeine-- this is a migraine type phenomenon for me but with my highish BP they wouldn't give it to me or let me take any that I had with me. The baby is still posterior and the back pain is like breaking me in half and I am still chanting my counting and having dh let me hold his forearm.
The anesthesiologist came in (this man is important later!) and oh my god I hated him. He looked just like conan o'brien and he had on stupid ill fitting purple scrubs. He was super tall and fucking obnoxious. I told him my issues with an epidural-- that last time I had gotten ZERO relief from contractions but had a very numb leg and that was it. He was a total ass about this and said that doesn't sound too likely (asshat) and that I probably don't remember. Then he said that it probably did give me SOME relief and I just don't remember. I hated this man so much and I found him completely creepy.
Creepy Conan inserts the epidural. that part was fine. I felt a zing when he did it but nothing bad. Twenty minutes later I am still feeling every bit of the contractions pain but what do you know... numb leg. Now I am having trouble even turning over in bed myself. Around 4-5 am I freak out a little bit, crying and everything because how can I go on like this? I am 6 cm at this point and nothing is helping my pain at all and I am going to be too tired to push. The awesome nurse gets in my face with a cold wash cloth and says "oh you'll push. you can't help but push when it's time." and that made me feel better. The OB comes in again and says I need a c-section for failure to progress (although I have made progress, albeit slow). however I have to get a new epidural first because I have no areas of numbness other than my left leg.
So Creepy Conan comes in and I refuse. I won't let him near me. They get very huffy at this point but the nurse supports me and after an hour or so I get a new epidural placed by a fellow this time with the support of U/S. He checks on me 20 mins later and I am still feeling every cm of my body other than the leg. He had placed it one notch higher in my spinal column but still nothing where it needs numbing. He does a little bit of adjusting and I suddenly feel somewhat better. I still can feel everything but somehow the edge is taken off that horrific back pain and I am able to sort of pull myself together. I enter into some sort of trance like state where I am sleeping during the 30-40 secs between contractions.
I don't remember much from this time but at some point I become convinced the Creepy Conan guy is in the room. I ask dh to make him leave and he assures me there is no guy in the room. I can't turn over in bed to look behind me because then the strip doesn't pick up the baby's heart rate and alarms go off. So I just lay there convinced he is back there looking at me. When dh touches my face I freak because I think Creepy Conan is touching my face.
Dh rings the nurses really alarmed at this point but he tells them I am "confused" and they are like "yeah I bet she is!" There is also some throwing up at this point. A dr comes in and tells us I am 8 cm-- I don't remember this part at all. During this exam my amniotic fluid sprays EVERYWHERE and gets all over dh's feet.
As an aside, during the "adjusting" of the second epidural, the reason I got some relief and then got weird is because the anesth. injected fentanyl into my epidural tube. I had no idea of this at the time. I found that out today. It did help long enough to help me get my shit together.
The baby had some decels at this point and I am just generally exhausted and starting to be really really terrified. I tell dh I am about to start begging for a section even though I'd need general anesthesia. He tells me I am 8 cm which I didn't remember at all and i found that encouraging. It's about 10 am at this point. He has called Vanya/Maggie/Mom and they arrive around 11:00. I say hi to them and ask them to leave right now please!
Vanya says I seemed ok at the time, just tired for the 2 mins they were in the room but she was the last one out... and she looked over her shoulder and I had dissolved into a slumped over grimace with my hands over my face and it made her cry but that I held it together while dd was in the room.
btw I am totally naked at this point but had a sheet over me while they visited at least. dh had asked my mom to bring him some clean socks and she didn't. his were soaked in amniotic fluid and half dried now and were really grossing him out. My sympathy for his sock situation was limited.
The relief I had gotten from the fentanyl has worn off and I feel a terrible horrific tearing sensation with every contraction in my back, in addition to the regular contraction pain feeling. I am having trouble not screaming but I felt like screaming was going to use up too much energy so I stick with my whispered counting chanting.
At this point I select one song on my
/dock and put it on repeat and no other song can be played, nor can it be turned off. The song matched the tempo I was counting to internally and didn't have any "jangles" which was what was wrong with any other song. It was "Falling Slowly" from the movie. Not the Frames version, that one was jangly.
The contractions are on top of each other now and I am doing a weird very quiet keening sound mixed in with counting. I am aware I am doing it but can't stop and want to make a joke about it but can't pull it together to say it out loud so I start chuckling in between weird noises. Dh has now been crouching over me letting me pet his arm hair like a kitten and cupping my face with his other hand for about 20 hours straight and asks for some ibuprofen, which mom brings in and I beg her to hurry and get out right now.
The nurse adjusts my sheet and there is a lot of blood so she checks me internally herself. I am completely dilated!! this is around 1 pm new year's day. She thinks the baby has rotated but isn't sure.
A young doctor I think I have never seen before comes in and confirms that I am complete. (This was the dr who had already come in, examined me and said I was 8 cms, and had a chat apparently but I don't remember anything.)
Pushing was a huge relief although at one point I said I couldn't push anymore until someone gave me some antacid because I have awful heartburn. (All this going on and I complain of heartburn?! I also apologized at thsi point for using the F word) Someone brings me some liquid antacid really quickly and I get back to pushing. I can hear liquid dripping onto the floor during pushing (I asked people not to talk or count although Falling Slowly is still playing) and I was not sure if this was amniotic fluid or blood or piss or what but the noise really freaked me out. I pushed for about 45 minutes. Pushing made the back pain go away.
The baby completes his rotate and is born face down and minimal tearing! I remember dh crying and seeing ds come out very white and floppy and feeling that huge huge relief when all that pressure is over. They put him on my belly all white and warm and give dh a chance to cut the cord. Dh is crying and I am crying and saying "oh, sweetie, oh sweetie" over and over. Someone turns off the music.
The resp therapist person is looking ds over still on my belly and they rub him a little and he pinks up and starts to cry and kick. They put him on my chest kangaroo care style and wrap us both in sheets. I can see his gorgeous bloody slimy face and he's so cute
and I can't believe it. Dh is totally crying and trying to take pictures and asking how much I had torn and if I was bleeding much. (I had torn but not much and the dripping was blood but at that time they said to dh that everything was fine.) They do take the baby to the warmer thing to look him over but just for a minute.
The placenta is expelled without any other effort from me almost as soon as the baby comes out and the bleeding pretty much stops. The uterine massage fucking HURT but everyone seems super relieved and calm after that I remember. I believe someone was doing umbilical traction and pulling on it some but I'm not sure. I had ds back on my chest all warm and fidgety and slimy and that's all I really cared about.
Once I am stitched up and they look over ds one more time they turn the bright lights off, turn the equipment off, and leave dh and I alone with our new son in the dim light. He is looking at us and it was so awesome and calm. I drank all the rest of the gatorade, and sat up more, and ate some m&ms. I feel great at this point, all things considered! Ds latches on nicely-- great latch. After about 30 mins just the two of us, Dh goes to get Mom, Vanya and Maggie. They are all flat out sobbing when they come in. (He also called his parents somwhere here.)
The nurses come back in and give Archie his eye drops and weigh him. he weighs exactly the same as maggie had when she was born! This seems magical to us and everyone cries some more. (At this point the anesth guy comes back for some reason and tells me that I should know that epidurals do not work properly for me because of some anatomical thing. I think he was nicely telling me it wasn't his fault the epidural didn't help with pain but only numbed my damned leg.
We take pictures, everyone hugs and snuggles and takes pictures, he is liberally sprinkled with everyone's tears, and the new sister/grandma/godmother leave to eat some dinner and go home. I tried to post a pic to facebook but I was really shaky and can't do it but I get blood all over my i pod at this point.
There is stuff I am forgetting and leaving out, for instance I know there was a whole bunch of throwing up at some point but I don't remember when.
There were also about 8 conversations with doctors about having a c-section and why isn't my epidural working?? Gotta get a c-section! but it never happened.
So that's the basics. Long sucky labour but ended up great. The pain was expected. The immobility was a real problem for me-- between the monitors at first and the numb leg later. The fear was the worst part, I was really really scared for the second half and it made me lose my composure big time. My OB looked over my chart and agreed 100% that I needed my labour augmented but I really wish I had not gotten an epidural, although I understand why the doctors found it necessary. On the plus side I do think every single doctor was doing everything he/she could to avoid a c-section.
I think I made the whole medical team hate that Falling Slowly song.