Sunday, February 22, 2009

Oscar's Birth Story. Part Two.
(Go to Part One.)

So I had the morphine shot and was in and out (mostly in) of sleep until about 3am or so. This is now February 5. I woke up at one point and saw Donald making is "bed" on the floor and heard a bit of another birth (horrifying: the part I heard was, "Get this fucking thing out of me." It scared me because it just sounded so violent.)

Michelle and a new resident, Dr. Dunn, came in to check on me. The cervidil was removed, my cervix was checked and I was now dilated 2 centimetres! Success! A bit of sadness that it was only 2 cm, also a bit of relief that I didn't really feel any of it. Phew.

Dr. Dunn (nice doctor - very technical but also personable) inserted another cervidil and it didn't hurt this time. I was all tense ready for the discomfort, but there was none. She wasn't yanking me around in there and twisting and turning. Or, if she was, she had more practice.

And much better bedside manners than the previous resident that was monitoring me. She had been nice and everything, but was not really, uh, gentle.

Anyway, 2nd cervidil in and back to sleep for a while, until the contractions started again and Donald brought me Timmies:

Donald then went for lunch and we had a new nurse on... Sarah. She was delightful! She also teaches a prenatal class that my girlfriend took, Belly to Baby. I was so excited to hear that this RN was the same gal. My girlfriend was SO hoping she'd be on my team in the hospital. And she was! Donald and I both just loved her. She has a magic touch. And she's funny as hell. I was in great hands, once again. I could rest easy knowing that I was being looked after in the best way possible. I had no worries.

Sarah rocked so much that she found me a room to shower. I tell you, it felt sooooooo good.

Until the contractions started again.

Fast and furious. From 0 to 60. Just. Like. That.


I somehow made it back to my room in one piece, grabbed the birthing ball, and prayed for Donald to get back from having a bite to eat before I died.

And he did!

He walked in to this:

That was it. It was now about noon I think. I just couldn't do it freestyle any more. One second I was saying No to Sarah for the drugs and the next second, right now, I was hollering for her on the little bell thing. And she entered the room like an angel. I swear I heard harps and trumpets! I told her I didn't think I could do it anymore. Just. Too. Much. Pain.

That was it. That's all it took. She was in motion. I was moved to Delivery Room #8 (we had the number 8 all around us during this time. It was bizarre. It means fortune apparently. Just thought I'd mention it...), and the IV and epidural were administered right away.


Here's how good I felt about the decision:

And just so you know, the epidural doesn't hurt at all. They put a little prior freezing in, which stings for a second, but the epidural? No pain. At all. The worse part of it was AFTER the fact when they are taking it out.

Let me rephrase... taking it out doesn't hurt either, but it's removing the huge bandage that has it stuck to your back, THAT hurts. You know, the whole ripping a band aid off thing. And it doesn't hurt that bad really, but it just goes to show...

So, epidural in, I'm relaxed and feel no pain. Donald was watching the monitor and a huge contraction just hit and I felt nothing. I was smiling and talking.

Ahhhh. I'm in good hands.

Oxytocin drip on the go now too. Then my water was broken (holy cow... talk about the biggest pair of chopsticks known to man!).

And now?

Sarah's shift was over. Boo hoo. But she had told us that she'd try to find us a rockin' nurse, and in walked Selena! My god, they were good to us. These are three ladies that I'd love to have lunch with downtown. Lunch and martinis. We were so impressed with them and just fell in love with them all! Delightful gals, wonderful nurses, and great human beings.

So, back to the labour... I hope I have the details right, but I think they put the oxytocin drip on 6 right away and that got the contractions going a bit more, but when they moved it up to 8, Oscar's heart rate dropped so they stopped and were monitoring very closely. They tried it again a bit later but it dropped once more, so back to 6 it was.

As 6 wasn't doing much (I think it's 6 ml they're talking about to get the contractions moving faster and closer together) and 8 seemed to put distress on Oscar, they started talking about inserting something through my cervix, past his head and down his side. I can't for the life of me remember what this was but it sounded horrendously invasive. But, if it was necessary, it was necessary.

But it wasn't!

When Selena was on a break and I was napping the nurse had put the oxytocin drip up to 10 and Oscar was fine. And things were a movin' and a shakin'. Everything started to come together. I was dilated to 4 now. It was about 8pm or so.

Next thing it's 11pm and I'm dilated 9 cm.

Holy Shit.

I'm about to have a baby.

Selena called in the OB and the rest of the team for me to meet everyone. They were wonderful. The room was set up in no time. Donald was by my side. At midnight we started to push.

Everything up to this point felt surreal. More like a process. I had to remove myself from it all, in a way, to preserve my sanity, all the while staying connected to my son. And telling him what was going on every step of the way. Feeling that heart connection (also to preserve my sanity!). But I couldn't allow myself to really FEEL the weight of what was happening. I'd be a crying hysterical mess if I did. Just the trauma wrapped around it all (of the induction and the poking and prodding and his heart rate dropping and and and....). It was difficult to stay grounded, but I had to, so it was easy as well. Bizarre, hey? This was about a human being that needed to be safe and cared for so he'd be born ok. When you take it down to that primal level, staying grounded was easy. When I focussed on HIM. When I focussed on ME, it was another story. That's when the panic would have set in.

But now? We were about to have a baby! Oscar was about to be born! Things were happening, not passively but actively! I was present, I was involved, my husband was ready and holding me and encouraging me and this was our last few moments, EVER, as "just us". In a very short while, our whole life would change. So I stepped out of my grogginess and jumped in with both feet.

Oscar was on his way.


doglove said...

Oh my goodness!

Stephanie - you are an amazing writer - you make it easy for someone to feel like they're sharing the journey/experience with you. :)

I'm so glad you had wonderful, supportive nurses around you.

Anonymous said...

Just want to say that not all epidurals are painless. The three times the anaestheiologist attempted to insert the needle between the vertebrae in my back were the most painful part of having a baby for me.

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