Thursday, June 5, 2008

I Fell In...

Since I spent so much time moaning and complaining about being overdue, I figured you deserved to get 'the story' now that he's arrived.

After several days of waiting, my doctor instructed my tear-stained self to report to labor and delivery on Monday morning at 8am, so that he could break my water and 'get things going', although he told me that he really wanted me to be able to just go into labor on my own.

Initially, I was ecstatic to finally have a real end in sight, but as the day drew nearer, I became worried that it was not the right decision. Hadn't my goal the whole time been to have as little intervention as possible? I wanted a successful vaginal birth this time so badly, and didn't want to let my impatience over-ride that goal.

Granny and Papa were scheduled to arrive from Oregon on Saturday night, and J got off a string of 10 days of overnights on Sunday morning. After getting to see SATC on Friday night, I had been feeling a little off all weekend, and confided in J each night as he went to work that if felt like "this could be it!" only to greet him with a sullen smile each morning in an even more pregnant state.

My friend Alex accompanied H and I to the airport, as I thought it would be more fun to give birth on I-95 with an audience than by myself. After not seeing my parents for almost a year, I was ecstatic to have them with me in the flesh. H was just as excited and didn't make it to his beddy-bye until 1am, although he soon landed in mine. After a brief 'lie-in' (aka waking at 7am instead of before 5), H and I were in the living room settling in for some awesome PBS Kids when Granny ambled down the stairs to H's delight.

We spent the morning walking around Davis Farmland while J got some rest; H excitedly showing Granny and Papa all the animals and also got to discover the 'fishing pond' with Granny.

For dinner, we decided we'd "Go Outback tonight" and I had a nice bloody steak with some brocolli...I guess I knew I'd need the extra iron? On the way home, we stocked up on the basics; Snickers Ice Cream Bars, frozen Chimichangas and about 400 gallons of milk.

I set my alarm for 6:45 so I'd have time to shave and wash my hair before heading to the hospital the next morning, and went to bed at about 10:30. I awoke at 12:30 to a cracking pain in my head, as J had rolled over in his sleep and head-butted me...nice. It was at that point that I realized I hadn't really ever fallen into a deep sleep, and that I wasn't feeling well.

I decided that if I wanted to shave my gams, I better get in the shower. After four consecutive 'pains' and one leg left to go, I envisioned getting out of the shower, wrapping up in my robe and sitting on the couch with a pot of tea and the heating pad so that I could ride out the pain and decide if it was serious enough to go in.

As I was trying to put lotion on my legs and couldn't concentrate on that simple task, I whispered J's name and announced it was time to go. Ever the Ranger, he was out of bed and dressed in about 30 seconds, while I was still struggling to moisturize...what? Who wants dry legs when you go to all the effort to make them silky smooth?

I pulled on what had become one of my two pairs of maternity pants, which were still damp on the chair where they'd been carefully lain to dry overnight in order to be ready for the morning, and slid into some flip-flops. After obsessing to J all afternoon about needing extra batteries for the camera, my mom knew that she needed to stand back when I snapped at him that I didn't much care about the camera batteries just then, as I was bent over the kitchen table with a contraction.

I did, however, apparently care about applying my facial moisturizer, as I instructed him to retrieve it from the bathroom prior to our departure. I silently thanked my friends who'd talked about packing a hospital bag, as it was now patiently waiting in the car for just such an occasion.

We arrived at the hospital at about 2:30am, after a drive that felt like it took about 10 hours and was full of the lovingly maintained streets of Worcester. I announced to J that I didn't know what I'd been thinking when I'd talked about 'going natural' this time, but that I'd be requesting an epidural upon arrival. I called my doctor's office to let them know I was on my way, and stopped several times in the parking lot to let the pains that were wracking my body ease before continuing.

I don't think I was prepared for the pain...

About five minutes after being in the room, I quickly turned into one of those women who I always make fun of on Baby Story and any other birth show who were avoiding pain management and used the utterance of 'low moaning tones' to help the pain pass. I was no Katie Holmes, that's for damn sure!

The resident came in and checked me to announce that I was at 6, which prompted my query "so I can have an epidural?" Seriously, they need to streamline that process and just have a little stool you can sit on in the triage where they put it in...

I fell in love with my anesthesiologist, and was told that I was now at 8cm. I let everyone know that before things got going, I wanted it to be made very clear that I did NOT want a mirror so that I could see the baby coming out. They laughed and assured me they only bring that in if it's specifically requested.

The on-call doctor arrived, had already been briefed about my case by my doctor, due to my impending induction, and was extremely positive about the outlook after checking me to say that I was at 9. She broke my water and I immediately felt the urge to take the biggest dump of my life.

They told me to wait before pushing, so they could make sure that I was really fully dilated...uh...okay...I'll just resist this all-consuming urge to...ooops...sorry, can't help it.

J reports that there were glances between the nurse and the doctor at one point since my polite banter had quickly turned into something reminiscent of how dock workers talk to one another, but I didn't really care...I now know what people say when they talk about the ring of fire. Nobody really tells you that the vag is not affected by an epidural...you can still feel it all. I had a brief moment of panic in which I wondered if it was not too late to have that c-section after all.

Twenty minutes of pushing and I glanced through my squinted eyes as I was 'curled around the baby' and saw in the reflection of the doctor's face shield the most amazing (yet kind of gross and farm animal-esque) sight...my baby gushing out of my body followed by a blast of fluids that would put Niagara Falls to shame.

It was surreal. I had come to the hospital expecting several hours of pain and craziness, but in just over three hours I had what I'd waited for, and he was perfect. They laid him on my chest as soon as he came out and I kissed his slimy little head (something I thought I wouldn't be able to do, due to my personal issues with goo), ecstatic and feeling the biggest sense of accomplishment that I think I'll ever feel.

My doctor was so happy to come in at 8am to find me recovering, with the epidural and IV's already removed, and a healthy baby boy resting with Daddy J.

So there you have it. Sarcasm aside, it was amazing, and worth every second of over-due status. Welcome to the knitty fam, baby C!

7 comments:

Milly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Milly said...

Sally HP,

It was fun to read about your birth story here even though I already "knew" the story. You added in more details and witty comments. I am glad that mom restrained herself from lecturing you to be nicer to J about the batteries. That would not have been a pretty site to say the least!

Susan said...

Yeah Congrats. Bad enough we look our worse when we are pushin' I say horrah to smooth legs and face:)

Dukie's Mommy said...

You are so amazing! Congratulations, and thanks for the laugh....

Alex Elliot said...

Congratulations!!!!

Jen said...

I couldn't resist coming to a blog that has knitty in the title :)
Loved your birth story! Congratulations. Can't wait to read more about your adventures.

Whirlwind said...

Great story. I couldn't imagine walking around Davis Farm being overdue!