By the time my due date weekend rolled around, I was feeling ready to have my baby. I was done being pregnant in October, so by December I was a real peach to be around. I tried every trick in the book to get this baby from the inside to the outside, and some of them were more complicated than others, if you catch my drift. I went out with my sister for spicy Mexican burritos--nada. I walked everywhere--nothing. Drastic measures needed to be taken.
So, the Saturday before she was born, we went to the zoo. We looked at the lights and animals, and took one last "just us" picture.
We spent the weekend getting ready and preparing for Tuesday, my scheduled induction date. On Monday, we went to the Museum of Science and Industry to check out the Trees Around the World and the kickass Jim Henson exhibit.
|Graham with the Polish tree.|
Okay, so she didn't say stat. But in my head, she does and we race to the hospital just like they do on television.
When we got to L&D, they didn't bring me into a triage room like they usually did. Instead, they whisked me into one of the large labor/delivery/recovery rooms. Whoa! Looks like we're staying! So, in case we were actually staying until one of us had a baby, we took some "before" photos.
Around 12:30 a.m., I got a dose of Cervidil. What's that, you ask? Cervidil is a 12-hour medication that ripens your cervix. It's basically a tampon that gets inserted into your you-know-where and stays put for 12 hours. Okay, so it's tampon-esque. I can handle this. Then the hospitalist came in and HEEEEEEEELLLLLLLLLLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!! Mr. Hospitalist and I got real familiar real fast. I'm pretty sure even Hannah said "WTF??" after that little encounter.
Right after that, they gave me an IV. This was probably the one element of our birth plan that didn't go as I'd hoped. I knew I'd need an IV when I got the epidural, but I wanted to stay hydrated by drinking fluids instead of the IV as long as possible. I can't even look at the stupid things without getting queasy. Unfortunately for me, Doc Holiday won't do inductions without an IV. Bummer.
Personally, the IV was about as traumatic as actually pushing a human out of my pelvis. I really, really hate IVs. When I think of the worst part about being in labor, pushing comes first, then being IV'd. Seriously. On the other hand, it was the weirdest sensation whenever they added something to the IV--the cooling sensation that went down one side of my body was insane!
Anyway, we didn't sleep much after this. My night nurse, Eva, was fabulous. She tried so damn hard to get me comfortable, but I was in labor at this point--it just wasn't happening. I was having sporadic contractions and some were suuuper strong and some were barely there. Graham couldn't sleep because he was sleeping in an old recliner. I was hooked up to external fetal monitors, and poor Nurse Eva kept coming in because I'd either shift in my sleep or Hannah would move and they'd lose her on the monitors. Eventually they put a few pillows behind my back to keep me in place.
By 4:30 a.m. I was having stronger contractions and I asked for something for the pain. They gave me a dose of Fentinol and warned me that it would probably only last about 2 hours. What they didn't know was that I usually take medications like a champ. Drugs work really well on me. That stuff took the edge off in about 3 minutes and I was out for FIVE HOURS. Wooooooo! I asked for an extra few cc's to take home with me, because that stuff was OSSUM. When I woke up, I had a new nurse and she said she'd never seen anyone take it like that.
|In labor and out like a light thanks to the makers of Fentinol.|
Around 10:30 a.m., they gave me another dose of Fentinol and I was able to sleep another 2 hours. It didn't work as well this time around; I could still feel contractions, but they were managable with the Fentinol. I only woke up when they came in to remove the Cervidil and check my dilation. I went from 1 cm at 12:30 a.m. to almost 4.5 at 12:30 p.m., so they decided to put me on pitocin to regulate my contractions. If I hadn't gotten to at least 3 cm, they would have done another shot of Cervidil and we would have to wait another 12 hours. Like I said, my body takes medications really well!
They started me on pitocin, and they also inserted an "EZ Catheter" to help me dilate a little more. Lemme tell ya, there was nothing "easy" about that catheter! That hurt like a motherf*cker. They gave me one more dose of fentinol, and this time I barely felt it, so I decided I was ready for the epidural.
At 3:30, the resident assigned to me came back (she was the one in charge of my care and the one who saw me the entire time I was in L&D) and removed the catheter, and I was at 5 cm, and I asked for the epidural. It was my goal to make it to at least 5 cm before asking for it. If there's ever a Baby G, Part II, I'll probably ask for it a little sooner because I was in some serious pain by then. (I'm a huge weeny.) If the transition phase of labor is the most difficult, I don't ever want to feel it because my contractions at 5 cm were painful enough!
The epidural was the best. thing. ever. When the anesthesiologist came in I couldn't sign my name on the waiver fast enough. I was in pain, and I was feeling sick to my stomach, and then.....aaaaaaaahhhh!!!
While I was getting the epidural, I had to round my back and my nurse was holding me tight, and I almost puked all over her. All of a sudden I felt a quick thud from the baby, then a gush of fluid.
Me: Um, I think my water broke. Or I just peed all over.
Nurse: Either way, it's alright.
Me: Sorry if I peed.
Nurse: You really want to know how many times I've been peed on?
Then I felt a tingle down my leg, and that was the last thing I felt for two whole hours. GLORIOUS! I was numb from my bottom rib down and I could not have been happier about it. Once I was moved back on the bed by the nurses (I couldn't move anything on my own), they verified that it was my bag o' waters. They put some more tubes and crap in me and put an internal monitor on the baby's head, and then I had the best two hours of my life. I was able to watch SVU and relax and not feel a damn thing. I was seriously giddy watching the monitors and seeing my contractions get more frequent and intense--I felt none of it!
So around 5:15, a CNA brings me my "dinner" of clear fluids. I had just started feeling contractions on my left side. I pressed the little button to administer more of the epi and nada. So I press it again. Nada. I'm feeling these contractions about 1-2 minutes apart, and they were getting more intense with each one. As I felt each contraction, I felt the urge to push. "Hmmm...this isn't right. I'm supposed to be feeling nothing right now..." I asked the CNA and she checked with the nurse, and the nurse said to keep pressing the button for the epi. Okaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay....
Me: I feel like I need to push.
Graham: Well, don't push.
Me: I'm trying, but it's hard. My body is telling me to push.
Graham: DON'T PUSH! Remember, they told us in class that your body is just faking you out right now.
Me: I knoooow, but my body is trying to get the baby out.
Graham: Don't push!
Right about this time, the nurse came in and she seemed a little grumpy. I probably interrupted her dinner, and everytime I tried to administer a dose of the epidural, they got a little notification at the nurses station so she probably came in to make sure I wasn't trying to off myself or something.
She barely checks me before she gasps and goes, "Oh my gosh, you're ready!" ACK! I have no clue what happened next because I just said, "What, now? Already?" and the room was filled with a bunch of people: a med student, some nurses just appeared out of nowhere, more nurses and nurses aids were coming and going...it was like a clown car! Meanwhile Graham and I looked at each other like stunned monkeys. We both thought it would be a few more hours before it was baby time, and then when all the nurses and everyone came in he rushed to the cd player in the room and popped on some Christmas music to try and take our minds off the fact that we were moments away from become parents. After this, he just tried to stay out of the way until a nurse pushed him toward me and threw my leg up in his hands and told him to help.
I think I apologized to everyone who came close to me. "Sorry if I poop on the table!" All the nurses looked at me like I was the weird one for apologizing. (Seriously, I was about to poop in front of all these people. No one thinks that's weird? Anyway, it turns out I didn't poop.)
The entire time, I just kept asking, "Now? Right now? I'm going to have a baby right now?" I was so excited and thrilled and terrified. On one hand, I was ready to have this baby. On the other hand, I was about to become a parent. HOLY CRAP.
Suddenly the nurse just grabbed my leg and says, "Okay, start pushing!" I got all freaked out because my doctor wasn't there yet, and I kept saying, "She's not here! Doc Holiday isn't here yet!" It wasn't a big deal, but I couldn't quite wrap my mind around the fact that game time had finally arrived, and I didn't want my doctor to miss the big event.
Anyway, she didn't miss it. She came in and was practically wearing waders. Uuuh, doc? Exactly how much fluid am I supposed to lose here?" The nurses were really great and encouraging, and my doctor and the med student were standing at the ready, waiting until Hannah came a little further down the shute.
Pushing? OH man, pushing really hurt. I could barely feel my legs by now, but DAMN. I'm definitely in no hurry to do this again. At one point, I thought I'd be pushing forever, but after just 40 minutes, look what happened!
At 6:09 p.m., Hannah Grace entered the world. I was tired as hell, but so elated to finally have my baby girl in my arms.
We got down to post-partum a few hours later, and the next day, Hannah got to meet her proud grandparents!
|The reason they had kids? Grandkids!|
|Grandpa G hasn't seen a baby this small in a while!|
She was born with a slight heart murmur, but after a few days it cleared up on its own. Because she was jaundiced, too, they kept us a little later than usual so they could check her billirubin levels. (Her hospital pedi was also running late. We didn't leave until after 6 p.m. on Thursday!)
|Ready to go home!|
All in all, it's been great. Hannah's beautiful and perfect, and even though I was absolutely terrified about becoming a parent, my girl makes it easy. We were insanely tired the first few days, but we're figuring out our schedule and I'm becoming accustomed to 4 hour stretches of sleep.
I still have no clue how to be a parent, but my baby girl is fed and warm, so we're taking it from there.