Friday, May 17, 2013

Labor Story...TMI?

I love reading people's labor stories and since I'm a nurse, I love all the gory details! My mother can attest to my lack of filter when it comes to talking about bodily functions at the dinner table from an early age and well, its only gotten worse. So consider that your warning as this post is probably a really long over share.

Wednesday morning 6:30am, I'm one day overdue and I'm awoken by contractions.  I'd had these contractions for about 3 weeks so I didn't even bat an eye.  I didn't even get excited when I timed them and they were 10 minutes apart.  I simply went back to sleep.  At 9am I went to the bathroom and had some bloody show and a the teensiest amount of water in my undies.  Again, I was unimpressed.  I went back to bed.  10am...there was more water.  (I'd had a scare earlier in my pregnancy where I though I'd had a leak so my Dr said don't call unless there is a GUSH of water.)  At this point, I was suspecting a leak.  So I called the Dr and they wanted me to come in.  I showered and packed up the hospital bags into the car, just in case.

The Dr checked me and could not tell if my membranes had ruptured or not.  She suspected they had and wanted me to go to the hospital and to actively manage my labor.  Boo!! I was surprised at how disappointed I felt that this wouldn't be allowed to progress naturally.  She knew I had wanted to do this naturally and had wanted to labor at home as long as possible, but if your water breaks or springs a leak, there is a risk of infection.  So I asked how long she would give me before I had to go to the hospital.  She said, "Go home, have lunch and be there by 3pm."

So I called Luke home from work and went home and started walking around my apartment complex.  Luke got home and we ate Subway sandwiches.  This whole time I'm having contractions, but I'm able to talk and walk through them no problem!  We head to the hospital, check in and my room is ready and waiting for me.

The nurse puts on the monitors and puts in my IV.  At this point she asks how painful my contractions are...2/10 on the pain scale.  Luke and I get set up...he's got his soda from Subway and we turn on Arrested Development thinking we had a lot of time to kill.  The Dr shows up and breaks my water (knitting needle to the hoo-hah? yeeouch!), and we start Pitocin.  There was meconium in the amniotic fluid so the Dr was really glad I had chosen to come to the hospital.  It was about 4pm and she said, "You're at 3 cm.  My wishlist is for you to have this baby by 10pm...can we try to make that happen?"
My happy place

Immediately after my water had been broken, my pain picked up.  I felt the need to sit up in bed really straight, almost Indian style.  The nurse asked me my pain level about an hour into the Pitocin...5/10.  She said "Really?"  while raising her eyebrows.  That made me feel like a big wimp!  At this point, I was no longer interested in watching Netflix and I'm just trying to breathe through the contractions.  During my hypnobirthing classes I had mentally prepared my "happy place" I wanted to go during my contractions...a beach that Luke and I visited on the the island of Grenada.  Soft, soft sand, warm lapping water...gorgeous!  But I didn't go there at all during my labor!  Instead, during the pain I found myself on the streets of Paris!  I walked along the Seine, visited Notre Dame and tried to visualize the exact taste and texture of a La Duree macaron.  Weird, right? Whatever works I guess.  At this point, my pain is getting pretty severe...8/10.  I'm finding it impossible to get into a position of comfort.  I wanted to stand, but felt unable to.

Along the Seine River in Paris
Luke surprised me and was a fabulous labor coach!  (I say surprised because he can't handle the sight of blood or me being in pain.  He could barely watch a youtube birthing video before our hypnobirthing classes.)  He sat beside me and did some of the light touch massage we learned in our class and told me "You're doing great!"

At about 6pm, I started shaking uncontrollably, teeth chattering.  I felt totally out of control...almost like an out of body experience without the benefit of being out of body.  I kept looking at the clock wondering how long would I have to endure this?  I thought there is NO WAY I can do this for hours.  I had no idea how far I had dilated so when the nurse offered the epidural, I gave in.  By the time the anesthesiologist came, I was a shaking mess.  I felt him put in the epidural because I could feel pressure in my back but I felt no relief!  I told the nurse, I still feel the contractions!!  Then she decided to check me.  I was at a 9!!  (Had I known I was in transition, I would have passed on the epidural!)  She said, "Call the Dr!  Get the NICU!  She's having this baby!"  Everyone rushed in and I felt like I needed to push.  Luckily the Dr got there quickly and after about 15-20 minutes of pushing and minimal damage to my lady bits, I had my baby!!

Not putting her name on this public blog for now...thanks!

Since there was the meconium issue, she was whisked away from me and suctioned.  It was a while before I could hold her which I tried not to be too disappointed with because immediate Kangaroo Care was really important to me.  But when she got into my arms, it was love at first sight!  I wept and could not believe how beautiful she was!  (Mentally, I had prepped myself to have an ugly baby or at least a squished, red newborn, but she was lovely!)

Proud Dad...I love this photo!

Such a long story for a short time frame, but I'd like to remember all the details when I'm old and grey.  She's here and we love her!