Saturday, October 30, 2010

Baby Ruth's BIRTHday - Part 2: The Labor

One thing I forgot to mention in Part 1 about nurse Teresa is that she had 5 kids.  :-)  I didn't ask their ages, but I did ask her which transition was the hardest.  She said the first one was hard, simply because of the lifestyle change.  She said going from 1 to 2 was probably the absolute hardest, because of the emotional baggage that goes with it.  She said going from 2 to 3 wasn't very difficult and after that they are just another mouth to feed at the table.  HA HA!  It also was nice that she had so many kids, because that just gives her more experience in my eyes (and thus I have more confidence in her). 

I also identified with the difficulty with going from 1 to 2.  So I hoped my experience with going from 2 to 3 would be similar.  So far - it has.  It really has been a cake walk this time around.

As a reminder, I am wordy. ;-)  And detailed.  And THIS post is probably the one post that will have the most details that may make you squeamish.  

So...where I left off they had just broken my water and we were hurry up and waiting.  I think I looked at the clock about 20 times in the first 20 minutes.  Dr. A. came in to check me again (I honestly don't know at what point this was...but it was before I was having painful contractions).  She did her check and gave her numbers.  "Minus 2 and 80 percent."  Nurse Teresa diligently noted them down.  As Dr. A. took her gloves off, she said "Or maybe 90.  80 or 90."  Nurse Teresa looked up and said "Well, I noted 80%, because that is what you said first."  Dr. A. waived her hand in ambivalence and walked out of the room.

Really, who wants an ambivalent doctor?  I surely hopes through the rest of her residence she learns some manners.  I realize that this was a tiny thing (really who cares 80 or 90?), but it was simply her overall attitude.  In case you couldn't tell, I really didn't like her.  Thankfully, this was the last time I saw her.

Everyone kept asking me about my pain levels.  0.  0.  0.  0.  0.  Ok...maybe a 1.  I began to worry I wasn't going to be as fast as I thought after all.  I began to worry I'd be in labor in the middle of the night (due to the late start), which would end up in another night stay.  They don't usually release you in the middle of the night.

Then I looked at the clock.  It was only 12:30.  Silly me.  I've never been good at simply waiting.

The most interesting thing about it this time was the sensation of my broken water.  With Rebekah, I had an epidural before they broke my water.  With Peter, I was simply in too much pain...and then it was epidural time.  So at first it freaked me out and I thought I was peeing myself.  HAHA!  I had actually wondered what was wrong with me, that I couldn't simply hold my pee.  And then after a few contractions I realized the gush came with the contraction...which led me to the realization it was simply my water.  I had heard this is what it felt like, but it is something else to experience it yourself.  And it is yet another thing to experience it on your third kid.  I pondered this quite some time.  (Well, when you are waiting, what the heck else do you have to do?)

Nurse Teresa told me it takes about an hour to get the epidural, and to keep that in mind as my pain kicks up.  About 1:00 things started to pick up.  They asked me what my pain level was, and I said a 3 or 4.  I saw William's eyebrows go up.  I sat there thinking about the higher pain and the fact that it takes an hour to get an epidural.  About 1:15 I told nurse Teresa I was ready for that epidural.  She flipped on the bag of fluids you have to take first and got the ball rolling.

Just before the anesthesiologists came in, I got up to use the restroom.  Oh BOY that was a process with all the connectors thingies and such.  Nurse Teresa helped me in there, and then once I was done I wasn't sure if I should stay in there, or come out.  I peeked out and she came and got me.  Whew.  I hate those situations.  I would have been fine just coming out by myself...until I ended up knocking the IV pole over and breaking some machinery, all in the name of independence. 

By this time those 3 and 4 contractions were turning into 5's.  I gritted my teeth and didn't say too much, I knew relief was on its way!  Getting the actual epidural was grueling.

For the first time ever, they made me lay on my side.  Both times previous, I sat up for it.  The anesthesiologists said it was easier/better.  Easier for who?  I'm not sure.  Not me, that much I do know.  During this time, the contractions kicked up another notch.  The thing about epidurals is that you have to stay absolutely still.  You can't move at all...and just in case you don't respect that, they remind you they are working around your spine.  So intense contractions, holding still, AND I had to roll into a tight ball around my GIGANTIC HUMONGOUS belly.  I again ask...WHO was this particular position the best for?  Luckily sweet William was there to help with the ball part.  I curled as best as I could and he held my legs.  The docs did their thing and TA DA!  After what seemed like eternity I finally had my epidural.

When I got my epidural with Peter, it was immediate relief.  As soon as the medicine went in, I felt the coolness from it spread and I felt so much better.  This time around it was much slower moving.  And crooked.  It was perfect on one side, but I could still feel some of the pain of the contractions on the other.  I decided it was fine, and not to say anything about it.

Rather suddenly, a wave of exhaustion rolled over me.  My eyelids became 100 lbs and I simply couldn't keep them open.  I thought it was at last nap time.  I had tried multiple times to fall asleep during the day and it just wasn't happening.  I laid there in the bed, listening to everything going on around me with my eyes closed.  William was watching TV.  Nurse Teresa was sitting there monitoring things, chatting with the anesthesiologist who was staying to monitor me.  The big topic was all the wacky problems they were having along with the mysterious power outage.  The computer system had also gone out again, but this time when it came back all the notes also came back.  Nurse Teresa was frustrated as she had spent so much time writing them out.

It wasn't very long at all when all of a sudden I felt a substantial amount of pressure down low.  My eyes shot open.  I had never felt anything like it before.  It sorta felt like I needed to poop big time.  I knew that things had changed.  The anesthesiologist sat up and said "What?  What's wrong?"  Nurse Teresa looked up and waited for my answer.  I struggled to find the right word to describe what I was feeling.  "Are you in pain?  Where does it hurt?"  My thoughts went to the uneven epidural and I sort of pointed to my one side, but I knew that that wasn't what they wanted to know about.  The anesthesiologist got up trying to determine where I was pointing when I finally managed to get the proper word out..."Pressure!  Lots of pressure!"  Relief washed over the two (Teresa and the anesthesiologist).  Nurse Teresa called Dr. Z in to check me.  Everyone began busying themselves with preparations for birth.  A few extra people came in the room and they began doing what it is they do.  (I haven't ever really seen very clearly what it is they do exactly...I just know everyone looks very busy!)

Dr. Z walked in and he checked me.  Nurse Teresa said "What is she?  A plus 2?"  Dr. Z replied..."Nope.  More like a plus 4!"  Someone else peeked and said "Oh...OH."  Everyone began moving at a faster pace to get their preparations done.  Dr. Z then looked at me and said "You sneeze and this baby is coming out!"

I waited patiently as they sped around the room putting on gowns and slapping on gloves.  "Someone tell Dr. A if she doesn't get in here NOW...she's going to miss this birth!" Dr. Z said.  I am saddened to say she never made it.  *cough cough*  Well...sad is probably not the right word, but we will leave it.  ;-)  I prepared to push.  William grabbed up one leg and nurse Teresa grabbed up the other. Dr. Z got ready to catch.  "Alright, SNEEZE!" he said.  I pushed.  I no sooner than I had thought about pushing when I looked down and saw the head...the little purple blood covered head.  And I'm not sure why I could see, my bed must have been set higher or something.  Overwhelming joy flooded me and I pushed again.  I don't know how I pushed her out from there, because I was so fascinated with the fact I could see her.  This was another first for me.  Dr. Z looked at William and said "Well, what do we have???"  I strained to see, but couldn't see the vital parts.  William said "It's a girl!"  He then cut the cord.

Ruth began crying immediately.  Someone, and I'm not sure who, asked if I wanted to hold her.  "YES!" My eyes welled up and the beauty of my little screamer was not lost on me.  It was the first time I had been emotional at the birth of one of my kids.  I'm simply not a crier.  They took her to get her cleaned up.

The anesthesiologist as well as nurse Teresa both commented on my calm demeanor during the labor.  I said "What am I supposed to do?  Scream my head off and flip out?"  They laughed and said that they have met lots of women who did just that.  Apparently one young mother up the hallway believed she was in fact dying and mommy dearest didn't do anything but fan that flame.  "Some believe the baby comes out magically..." the anesthesiologist laughed. 

I have a pretty high tolerance for pain.  Not everyone does.

I commented that the room didn't appear to be very full, like I recalled with my other two.  They laughed again and said that was because no one had time to show up.  Well, just another bonus then.  I don't care that so many people come to witness a birth, but it isn't going to break my heart if they don't get to come either. 

Dr. Z said there was no tearing, but I did have a "road rash".  LOL  He said it would be more painful to put stitches in, so he was just going to leave it.  Fine with me.

And after all that blood (William tells me it looks like a war zone! ha!), I didn't get a drop of anything on my socks.  Absolutely amazing.  I left them on to keep my feet warm.  I didn't expect them to go unscathed!  Almost got some on them when the placenta was delivered.  I guess when they were removing it, there was an extra gush.  Dr. Z teased the resident (? - honestly, I'm not sure who the fella was lol) that we went so far without getting blood on my socks...he shouldn't ruin it now.

They weighed baby Ruth and measured her.  The nurses kept commenting on how huge her head was and they couldn't believe I delivered such a huge head so calmly.  I asked nurse Teresa what was normal, she said 13-some inches is normal.  Ruth was 14.5.  So really, not TOO huge. 

Ruth cried during this entire time...from the moment she was born all the way through her measuring.  I actually forget when she STOPPED crying.  Dr. Z joked that he was fairly certain she passed that part of the Apgar test.  And actually, for as much as she cried then she has really turned out to not be a huge crier.  She is rather patient (except when it comes to diaper changes).  I wondered lightly if we had another Peter on our hands.  I think she was just giving her lungs a good stretch.

She finally did calm down and eventually they brought her to me for nursing.  The first nursing session went pretty well.  Ruth latched on like a champ.  It took a few tries, but she got it.  The most frustrating part was my lack of planning.  I had forgotten to purchase any nursing bras.  I finally ordered a couple the Friday before but of course I didn't have them yet.  Sure you can hike your bra, but a nursing bra is just so much simpler.  We made do.

I starred at my little personal miracle.  This baby that the Lord blessed us with so quickly, blessed us with miraculous health...this baby that did things her own way and in her own timing (except when the subject was forced...eviction case in point!).  It was a long wondrous journey for me this time.  And with this journey I now have a little souvenir that is so absolutely precious. 

I love ALL of my children.  This birth experience for me was simply so different.  I don't know why it was so different, why I have felt so emotional over it all.  I simply have.  I still can't help but look at her little chubby cheeks and her chicken legs and well up with joy all over again.  Maybe the extra emotion is the fulfillment of God's promises to me over these past few months.  I feel so very blessed.

My entire labor from pitocin start to birth was 3 hrs and 37 minutes.  Pitocin was started at 11:15.  My water was broken at 11:20.  I asked for my epidural at 1:15.  I received my epidural somewhere between 2:15 and 2:30.  Ruth was born at 2:52 PM.  And, interestingly this was the same time of day I was born...exactly.  (I find that to be pretty cool!)

Next up the kids meet Baby Ruth.  That will be the last and final part of this very lengthy story. :-)

1 comment:

Janette said...

Wow -- so cool! And yes I think your added emotions are due to ALL that you overcame during this pregnancy! YOU were determined and God blessed your determination with answers to many prayers over both your pregnancy and a healthy baby!! You have every reason to be "extra" joyful regarding how awesome things turned out. Sure you love all 3 kids and sure you enjoyed all 3 pregnancy/birth experiences...but this time around, you have added things to be thankful/joyful over -- and that is ok!! You have been such an inspiration these last 9 months and a testimony of such strong Faith!! And for that I say -- THANK YOU!! :)