I have to just give a quit shout out right here to my dad. I had been keeping “birth day bets” on Facebook and my dad picked the 4th as the day Shane would be born. Dad, you wanted to know what you won for being right? Well, here it is! National acclaim and recognition on my blog!
Anyway, I was SO excited. I knew what day I was going to meet my sweet baby! I called my mom so that she could get schedule a flight, and went home to do last minute cleaning and chores. Mom arrived on Wednesday, and we spent a fun Thursday walking around the local antique mall and finding a place to get her hair cut. That afternoon she mopped and waxed my floors, while I took a nap! What kind of love is that!
I can’t express how grateful I was to have my mom there. This is the kind of thing that women want to talk about over and over and details and again and again and on and on and….And men are like, “yeah, you had the baby, you did great, THE END.” And my mom is such a warm comfort and so willing to talk about it over and over. She knew exactly what to do when. She gave us space when we needed it and support when I needed it and really was just wonderful. Thank you so much mom!
Mom was going to go buy tea and a Danish so she offered to buy me a mag. I wanted a gossip mag, People I think, just as a fun thing while I waited. I found out later that she was also giving us time alone. Nathan and I sat there and watched TV for a while. Criminal minds. They were all re-runs, so I kind of spaced out. We talked a little, and this was when we decided to have mom there for the entire time. Nathan had also decided not to cut the cord (he told me that since before I even got pregnant). I was going to do it, but since mom was there I kind of wanted her to have the honor. Nathan thought that was a great idea. I hope you were honored, mom! Mom was gone for so long that Nathan eventually went to go look for her. We thought she’d gotten lost!
I got up frequently to go to the bathroom which I believe was a funny sight; I was hooked up to the IV pump, which had to go with me everywhere, and I also had cords hanging off me for a blood pressure monitor and the contraction monitors. Nathan and mom took turns helping me unplug cords and push the pump and keep everything out of the way.
Nathan was great through my labor as well. During the beginning, when things were just getting started he was on the internet which was fine with me since we were just hanging out. Then his dad started calling and wanting Nathan to find him a truck on craigslist. And he kept calling, and calling, and calling. It was getting distracting and irritating and I thought it wasn’t very thoughtful, since he knew we were at the hospital. I think Nathan eventually just told his dad he really couldn’t talk anymore and turned off his phone. I’m not sure exactly what happened. My memories get foggy after the contractions got stronger. But as I got further into labor Nathan got more and more supportive. I’m so glad that he was there! At the beginning he was nervous but he got more confident about how to help me as time went on. Mom, having given birth, was able to give him some direction when I couldn’t talk anymore. He was a trooper!
Dr. H came in to check me and I was a three and a half. My contractions were mild and 7 minutes apart. While he was there he broke my amniotic sac (9:49 am). Fluid gushed and gushed! The nurses said that I had a lot of fluid—I drank TONS of water while I was preggo! I was really embarrassed about all of the fluid and the poor nurses having to clean it up but after a while I told myself to just get over it. At some point as labor progressed I looked up at the TV as Law and Order came on. “I hate this show!” I said. Mom suggested that maybe that meant it was time to turn off the TV and we laughed.
Mom wrote at 10:10 am “I don’t know when they changed it, but pit drip is now 4mu/min and pump reads 12.”
At 10:30 am she wrote, “Increased pit again to 6mu/min and pump at 18. Contractions mild but 2-5 min apart.” I think I was standing and swaying with my contractions, trying to use gravity to help bring the baby down.
Eventually, when contractions were getting pretty strong and close, I wanted to sit on the exercise ball. The lovely nurses put towels down on the floor and pads on the ball and helped me sit down. At 11:50 am Mom wrote, “Increased pit to 8 mu/min and pump to 24. Gushing amniotic fluid with every contraction =). Sitting on ball. Had been standing a while.” I remember that I rocked, and every time I rocked a little more fluid would come out, and somehow that really helped the contractions be less painful. Nathan sat behind me sometimes so I could have a break and lean back. They both talked when I wanted to and encouraged me. I did really well while I was on the ball. I concentrated and rocked and breathed well during contractions and talked in between.
After a while the nurses came back in and wanted to check me. On the bed. I didn’t want to get up but they helped me stand and as I stood I had contraction. It was horrible, just horrible. I thought I was going to pass out. So did my mom, I think. She wrote at 1:00 pm, “Had to stand—VERY strong contr. Hard to manage in standing position. Nauseated. Nurse did internal—said 3-4 cm. Very pale. I thought she would faint.” I went white and my legs buckled—I would have fallen if the nurses hadn’t held me up. They talked me through it but I couldn’t breathe and so I couldn’t deal with the pain. Next time I’m telling them no way, I’m staying right here on my ball and you can check me when I have to push!
Once they got me onto the bed, I was there for the rest of my labor. I think that was my big mistake. I knew that Pitocin was going to make it really hard to have a natural labor but I still was trying. I think if I’d been able to stay comfortable I may have been able to do it. But who knows? When the nurses got me on the bed they checked me and I was only dilated to a four. After hours! And I went in at a three! I told myself it was okay, my body was working hard for me.
I was feeling really nauseous so they nurses gave me a tube to hold—much better than that ridiculous emesis basin! What is that supposed to contain, I ask you?! I threw up a few times (1:55ish pm) and mom held me while Nathan got a cool cloth for my forehead. I was so touched by that thoughtful gesture. He later told me that he went to the sink so he could get a minute because he was feeling squeamish, but I don’t care. I still think it was thoughtful. And what is throwing up? It’s a classic sign of transition, that’s what! Unfortunately neither mom or I remembered that.
4:20 pm. “Tried a few pushes, but head not down yet.” 4:45 pm. “A few more practice pushes were good. Baby’s head came down but first babies go up and down. Put legs in stirrups and started pushing!”
Pushing was hard. I wanted to be more upright so that I could curl over myself but the nurses wouldn’t let me sit up too far. They brought a mirror so I could watch and I couldn’t believe how much hair I saw! In between pushes Mom would give me ice and Nathan held my hand. The epidural had finally kicked in and I couldn’t push that well so Dr. H called for the anesthesiologist to turn the epi off. He didn’t show up and Dr. H got kinda of mad at him—I remember him talking to the nurses about it. “At 6:10 pm my mom wrote, “Increased pitocin to 10 pump at 30. Doc Howell checked her through a few contractions. He wants Jones (anesthes) to turn off epi so she feels how to push better.” Dr. H was kind of in and out-he was the Dr. on call that night. I was SO tired by the end that I just didn’t think I could do it. I pushed for about 2 hours. As I pushed and was finally crowning the nurse put her hand on Shane’s head and told me to wait for Dr. H. WHAT?!?!?! I’ve been pushing for hours and now they wanted me to NOT PUSH!! This was the only time in my labor that I got upset or said a bad word. I said, “He’d better get the He!! In here NOW!
*Edited 7/4/11 to add: I originally posted this on September 27th, 2010. I am however postdating it now to Shane's actual birthday, because I plan to print this blog in book form for him.