Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Birth (short story, LONG)

Monday morning (3/21/11) I went to work just like normal...feeling just like normal.  Absolutely no signs of labor or anything.  Around noon I was fixing lunch in the office kitchen when I soaked my underwear!  Now, it wasn't like this huge gush or anything but I was pretty positive I had not peed on myself.  I called Brent to let him know I thought maybe my water had just broken and then we called the doctor who met us at her office around one.  She checked me and couldn't say for certain that my water had broke.  That's when I really felt like an idiot thinking I must have really just peed on myself.  I went back to work (Brent sent me the sweetest message saying that he believed me) and finished the day...all the while still "leaking" a lot.  Brent wanted me to call the doctor again to get checked but I was determined not to be "that girl" who keeps thinking her water broke and really she is just peeing on herself because she is 39 1/2 weeks pregnant!  Anyways, once we got home I called our neighbor who is an OB resident to come over....and I explained everything--thinking this could not be normal and I really should have been doing my kegal exercises!  Around 7:30pm is when the big gush came...it hit the floor!   Of course, I had to have everyone inspect it!  We called the doctor again who told us to come on to the hospital before eleven.  Thankfully,  this is just how I pictured it happening....I had plenty of time to take a shower, shave, dry my hair and finish packing my bags.  We ate Subway at my request then headed to the hospital.


Once we got there and I got hooked up to the monitors I was already about 3cm and contracting every 4 minutes although I was in no pain.  The doctor started pitocin and I got my epidural all at the same time, thanks Dr. Greg J., (which was not bad at all, hurt less than the IV) ...mind you, I got the epidural before I ever felt any pain associated with the contractions (just the way I wanted it)!  Mom got there around 2am and the doctor checked me and said I was only a four.  She inserted a catheter like thing to measure the strength of the contractions.  Around this time, I was starting to feel each contraction...some hurt as much as a 6/10 (which I really didn't mind because I had rationalized in my mind that maybe if I could feel the contractions it would help me to dilate---the doctor put this notion to rest real quick...so I asked for more epidural).  By the way, I think the whole Wong-Baker pain scale is a load of crap and totally useless.  Both Mom and Brent were laughing at me during all this because they thought I was kidding.  I have to admit it was pretty funny trying to pick a number on that stupid pain scale and adding the face that goes along with it!


Well, more of the epidural did not help and I could not figure it out...I kept pushing my button and everything.  There was a moment in time that I thought to myself--what if I am some freak that the epidural just won't take and I'm going to have to have this baby all natural...talk about freak out.  That's when I noticed my back was a little wet and made Brent check it out.  Then the anesthesiologist resident, Dr. Lally L., took a look and the darn thing had come out too far.  That meant.....they had to take that one out and start another one.  Yeah, bummer...but again, the epidural really isn't that bad and the second time is not even as bad as the first!  After that drama, we all rested a bit...or Brent slept and Mom and I  chatted through the night.  We might have snuck in an hour or two of sleep.  Through all this the doctor has checked me several times and I'm still a four....and I was having beautiful contractions (meaning they were consistent and strong enough).  At ten that morning she checked me again and I was still a four but my cervix was "swelling"---basically now I was going the wrong direction and she recommended a c-section.  Although she did give us the option to keep laboring since the baby looked great and was not in any distress, but she just didn't think it was going to happen.  Her confidence (and knowing her, she is not one to opt for a c-section over a vaginal birth any day) that we needed a c-section made it an "easy" decision to proceed with that.  


Throughout this whole pregnancy the thought of a c-section had never crossed my mind so I was a little shocked as was Brent (even though if you know Brent....he use to say he thought I should have a c-section regardless if I could deliver vaginally for years).  None the less, it was a little shocking for us both and we shed a few tears, but were extremely excited that the end was nearing and we were finally going to meet our little boy!  


Within the hour they were wheeling me back to get ready for the c-section.  The c-section wasn't too bad except for three things:  1.  I was shaking/shivering uncontrollably and I was not cold.  It was the weirdest thing and if I concentrated really hard I could make it stop for just a little bit, but overall it was exhausting and annoying.  2.  The dang blood pressure cuff.  It went off every three minutes making my arm and hand go numb....on top of all this shaking.  Trust me if I had been able, I would have taken that cuff and cut it into a million little pieces then burned those million pieces.  I was even asking the anesthesiologist to at least change the setting to every five minutes and I would sign whatever form was needed to make this happen...although he didn't go for it!  At one point, the cuff started blowing up and I knew it had not been three minutes....so, I made sure to let him know and that we were not going to get a reading this time....bless his heart, because he was already in the process of stopping it before I even finished my sentence!  3.  I was a tad bit nauseous during the whole thing (at one point when Brent was trying to show me our baby...I had to ask him to take him away and put my pretty pink pan back beside me).


So, Hampton James was born at 12:02.  After all that labor, he still was not even engaged in my pelvis.  He was also tilted at a weird angle and facing up....which means a vaginal delivery would have been pure hell (excuse my language).  The cord was also wrapped loosely around his neck which if I would have continued to labor could have been really bad in the end.  God was truly watching out for us.


I will never forget the first time I saw him.  The doctor brought him over and he was still all curled up in a ball and I remember thinking he looked so big and stalky, but that he didn't resemble anybody...Brent commented on his big lips (and we all know neither Brent nor I have any lips).  He also had the funniest cry in the beginning.  It wasn't a full blown wail that you think of when a baby is born (I was actually kind of worried in the beginning, thinking at any moment they were going to say that they had to take him to the NICU or something).  Brent called him a little "Goose" and it was a perfect description.  Finally, he let out a big, strong cry.  Funny thing is, he still makes his "goose" noise sometimes and it's the cutest, funniest thing.  


Brent got to hold and love on him the whole time they sewed me up.  Brent kept asking if I wanted to hold him (obviously the word "holding" is used loosely since I'm lying flat on my back) and in all honesty I did not.  It sounds awful...but between all the shaking, blood pressure cuff, and nausea I did not feel up to it.  Seeing Brent hold him was good enough for me and let me tell you my heart was full seeing the two of them together.  Brent was one proud Daddy (and still is)--brings a tear to my eye!  At one point, Brent took Hampton down the hall because he was going to show him off and all the nurses and doctors start freaking out---asking where the baby and Brent were.  I said, "don't worry, I trust him, he'll come back."  Well, apparently that is almost the same as kidnapping...ha ha, and the whole hospital had heard the story before too long and it became quite the joke!


Finally, they wheeled me back to recovery.  I was still a little nauseous but once I got some Coke in me I was good to go (to heck with ice chips) and finally got to really hold my little boy.  It was surreal!


One other funny thing----  We had been told I was going to room 329, so Mom and Erinn moved all our stuff there.  This included the pages from Hampton's baby book that I had brought with us (for his footprints and first visitors).  Well, it ended up that we did not go to room 329, but another room...so all our stuff was waiting at the nurses station.  Several hours and a couple visitors later I asked about the baby book pages.  We couldn't find them, so Brent went in search of them and a nurse went and looked in room 329 (which had a big pink bow on the door) and came out to inform him that indeed the pages were in there but they were used, ha ha!  And yes, the pages were clearly for a boy's baby book.  Oh well!


Last thing, I thought it was really funny how everybody kept telling me "good job" or "you're doing good" or "you did great" when in fact I really DID NOTHING.  Yes, I did carry him for nine months and that was something....but for the birth I DID NOTHING except lay there and shiver!  Also, people comment on how long my labor was with a grimace (about 16 hours), but in all actuality labor consisted of watching the contractions on a screen and chit-chatting :-)


Is anybody still reading?!




 last picture as a family of two (didn't realize it at the time, but I was a whale)...





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