In case you missed it, read this part first.
After I wrote that, I went back to bed and fought sleep until it was finally time to get up at 5 AM and get ready for work. My heart was feeling very anxious, like I drank a whole pot of coffee. I made myself a grilled cheese for breakfast, but forgot to put the cheese in between the pieces of bread until it was almost too late. Grilled toast. Not being able to keep myself dry and focusing on breathing through contractions for "practice" for the "real thing" made me run a little behind and I was late for work.
Just as soon as I got there my boss and the part time guy had to leave to make an important death call and I was by myself to answer the phones until they came back. Since I was alone I couldn't call my doctor and tell them about my night because what if the phone rang???
They returned hours later and finally around lunch I was able to make the call to the office. I left a message with the girl that answered telling her my question and she said the nurse would call me back. I ate my lunch (bowties and pasta sauce) and just kept working on things I had to finish up, keeping my mind busy until she called and wrote down all the times I felt a contraction from 11:30 until almost 2. I needed proof that I wasn't crazy this time!
My nurse called me back around 1:30 and after telling her my little story she thought that I should come in and be checked again. Boots had started his paternity leave this morning and was headed from our house to my work so he could go with me. He had planned to spend the two weeks before the baby came working on some things at our house, not schlepping me to the hospital every day.
I left work at 2:20 and didn't have to wait to be seen but about 15 minutes in the busy doctors' office. My doctor wasn't there that day so I met with the doctor on call, a very nice lady that I took to right away. As soon as she opened me up, a flood of water verified that my water had indeed broken. She told me I was almost at 4 cm and thought she could feel the head.
She stood up from her stool, "We're having a baby today!" and then proceeded to tell me that she knew I wanted to "go natural" but since we didn't really know exactly how long my water had been broken and there was a possibility of infection that I was going to have to be induced with pitocin to get my labor going. Then she brought up epidurals.
I could feel the tears welling up in my eyes because I knew this was the beginning of exactly everything I did not want to happen. She was very excited about delivering a surprise baby and even more excited that it was a surprise what the surprise baby was!
Doctor Lady gave us our instructions and I told the girl at the front desk to cancel my appointment for Thursday, that I was going to have the baby. "Right now?" She seemed kind of surprised.
We waited for my ride, another stupid wheelchair, and I rode through the secret hospital mazes texting my boss, my mom, and my sister all the way to labor and delivery where I met my delivery nurse and was instructed to take everything off, even my bra, put on this gown and get in the bed.
My friend Melody came to sit with me while Boots drove home to grab our bags because this was for real and we needed them this time. Wouldn't you know, when we were waiting and just hanging out the doctor's office machine appointment reminder called to confirm my appointment for Thursday. "Press 2 to cancel." Yep.
My delivery nurse came back and asked me a bunch of questions ("Who's your emergency contact? Do you want an enema?") and gave me the run-down of how things were going to go. (No to the enema, btw) I asked her what would happen when my sugar got too low because I hadn't eaten in about six hours at this point and was worried that I'd get the shakes and then throw up. She said all I could have was ice chips and popsicles and that I should have eaten before I came.
Nurses are like scientists, always asking questions and comparing data about you, their little experiment. They were all wonderfully nice though, and I never felt like they were possibly going to kill me.
At 4 PM, I got started on the IV, antibiotics and pitocin or as my delivery nurse called it "Devil Woman Meds" and within minutes I could tell a difference. It felt like incredibly strong menstrual cramps. She came back every half hour religiously to pump me up another two (two whats? two points? I don't know) until I eventually reached 20, which is the pitocin max. I only got up to 16.
I met with the male anesthesiaologist who asked me about an epidural and other pain relief drugs and answered my questions about what would happen in a worst case scenario (emergency c-section and I'm unmedicated.) I told him I wanted to try without the epidural and see how it goes. He told me he'd be down the hall in case I changed my mind.
At 6 PM, my nurse brought me my supper and plunked it down on the table- a styrofoam cup of ice chips with a plastic spoon.
Boots came back, my mom and my sisters came rolling in too. We talked, laughed at me dribbling a grape popsicle on myself, and took pictures for a while in between them leaving the room so I could haul my naked butt to the bathroom to pee again (dang IVs) until I started concentrating and focusing on relaxing and breathing.
My preacher was visiting church members that were sick and he'd heard I'd been admitted to have the baby. He came by and prayed with us, but I can't remember what he said. I was too busy trying to breathe.
Trying not to hold your breath when a contraction hits you is hard. All I could think about was holding the pain close to me, which was exactly what Boots' mama told me not to do when I'd talked to her weeks before. There was lots of hand holding and finger tapping to try to keep my mind and body relaxed and somewhat at ease.
During contractions I was burning up and fanned myself with my sheet. As soon as it ended I was freezing and hugged the sheet around me. I couldn't be still. My legs probably rubbed the sheets thin from me moving them back and forth until the nurse told me rocking my hips from side to side would help coax the baby down and ease the contraction so I went side to side for a while. The nurse let me take a ten minute warm shower. That helped and was soooo nice, but ten minutes in the water is all you get. Boots held my IV pole and tried to help me keep my IV hand dry. I remember dripping water on his boots.
Moving seemed to help, but around 10 PM, things started getting rough. I asked Boots if he thought I should take some IV drugs, like Demerol, to help "take the edge off" as the nurse put it. We agreed that it would be ok, even though I felt inside like I'd already lost since I had to give in and take something. Being induced and taking meds was not what I wanted.
At 10:30, I got one shot of Demerol and Finigrin and my mom got an emesis basin because usually you puke, but I didn't. I hate to throw up and was determined not to. My memory gets a little fuzzy after that. Boots has been helping me with pieces of it that I can't remember and it's pretty interesting the things you forget. At one point I told Boots I just wanted the epidural, but he told me no, which is what I told him to tell me weeks before.
The Demerol made me really sleepy, but one thing I do remember is Boots helping me to the bathroom for the bazillionth time. Ya'll, I fell asleep on the toilet. What's worse, I had a dream and started talking in my sleep to one of the guys I work with who was trying to hand me a paper! I think Boots tried not to laugh and get too freaked out at the same time. I had another contraction on the way out the bathroom door and remember leaning on the door frame with my face on the cool metal.
I felt like pushing an hour before the nurse would let me and kept getting fussed at because it wasn't time yet. When it finally was time to push I felt so relieved to finally be able to do somethng constructive! Boots and my mom were on either side of my bed, more hand holding (or perhaps hand gripping) and loud counting to ten right in my face because I didn't have the brain power. In between pushing through a contraction I fell asleep until the next one hit me. This went on for an hour.
I remember Boots yelling, "Push hard!" and he was so excited when he could see that the baby had hair. He said I even cracked a smile when he told me.
Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 12:28 AM, Mayhem was born.
After all the contractions and stinging in my lady parts during the pushing, feeling him come slipping out was the strangest, relieving feeling I could imagine. The pain was over immediately. The doctor held him up and Boots said, "It's a boy!"
The clamps were put on the cord and Boots was given a pair of scissors to disconnect him from me. I hadn't mentioned earlier to the nurse that I wanted to wait until the cord had stopped pulsing to have it cut, but at this point that was small stuff and it's sad to say, but I really didn't care anymore. I remember feeling the placenta
Mayhem didn't cry as loud as he should (I wondered later if it was because of the Demerol) so he didn't move all the crap out of his lungs like he should have and wasn't breathing deeply. The nurses worked on him in the baby warmer to my right so I could watch him move his arms and legs around and try to distract myself while Doctor Lady stitched up my lady parts which was the worst part of the entire thing. I think I counted 7 nurses crowded around him and it was 40 minutes later when I finally got to hold him for the first time.
He was so wrinkly and small, like a little, naked baby bird and I bawled the whole time I held him. I was crying so hard I couldn't even tell my mama what his name was. Boots told her his name and after a little while he carried him in a blanket to the nursery so they could finish working on him.
Reading all those books was good preparation, but I wasn't really prepared enough. I wasn't prepared to enjoy it so much and look back in my mind on it and wish I could do it again like I do. It wasn't as scary as I thought it would be and I honestly can't wait to do it again. It was the most awesome experience of my entire life thus far. Next time I hope I'll be able to avoid the pitocin and be strong enough to not take the Demerol and be assertive enough to ask that the cord not be cut immediately.
I have nothing to complain about though. I wanted a natural, unmedicated birth and I mostly got it. I was sort of a little celebrity those few days I was in the hospital because the nurses all kept commenting on me having a baby without an epidural. My doctor was great and I just love her. When I went back for my six week check up she told me she had fun delivering my baby!
And that's it. The greatest job I'll ever have began......