It was only 8 hours, so this is just a one-parter, y'all!
Sunday night, Sep 29: I was too excited to sleep, and then I was too anxious about not sleeping to sleep. Kept switching beds and getting up to get a snack and doing absolutely ANYTHING I could think of to get some rest. None of it worked.
Monday, Sep 30: After less than 3 hours of sleep, called Labor & Delivery at 5am as directed, was told to come in at 6:30. Ate breakfast. Mother-in-law came over to stay with TDL. We drove to the hospital and checked in. Got started at 3cm dilated and 80%(?) effaced. Was already having small, early labor contractions.
7:00am: Nurse placed the IV, my blood pressure dropped and I almost passed out. (Watch for this, it will become a theme.)
Also, they spent at least 30 minutes asking me about my medical history and why are my labs from 2012 and why don't I have more current labs blah blah. If I'd arrived in actual labor and they'd wanted to spend all this time chatting about my medical history I really don't see how that would have gone well.
7:30am: Nurse started Pitosin at level 2 instead of the usual level 4 to see how that would work with the contractions I was already having. I got on the birth ball. GH took out his iPad and we watched some of the previous weekend's episode of Saturday Night Live. Was having "real" contractions, but they didn't require too much concentration.
8:30: My OB showed up and broke my water. And maybe the water of a few other people, since I pretty much kept flooding the room over the next hour. Things started picking up, and I put on my headphones and listened to my Hypnobabies tracks.
And then, back labor. Ugh. Kept trying all kinds of positions to ease the pressure on my back, but weirdly enough the one that seemed to work best (and resulted in the most regular contractions) was sitting upright on the hospital bed.
12:50: Checked again, dilated to a 5. Decided I no longer care about natural childbirth if it's going to take forever and be lame, so asked for an epidural. Was told that the anesthesiologist was at home and would take 30 minutes to get there. Of course. I swear, each contraction after you've asked for an epidural is such an insult.
1:08: Anesthesiologist arrived, faster than anticipated, which was awesome. Less awesome was the part where he was insane like bat guano. He had me curl up on my left side and then opened my hospital gown to get to my back, whereupon this happened.
Anesthesiologist: Hey, are you part Mexican?
Me: Um, noooo . . . why?
(Pretty sure wherever this is going, I'm not going to like it.)
A: Because Mexican girls have hairy backs and so do you.
(Yep. Don't like it.)
Me: Wow. So it's not enough that I'm in pain, now you're going to call me hairy? Also . . . that is so incredibly racist.
He kept chatting away about Mexicans and hairiness while I mouthed profane expressions of incredulity at GH, who was kneeling on the other side of the bed (facing me) and gripping my hands tightly
Thing is, Dr. Batpoo did place one heckuva(n) epidural. When he was done I felt no pain but could still move my legs and feet.
2:45pm: Checked again. I was at 6 cm. The baby was not posterior--he was transverse (facing my side) and hadn't decided which direction to flip. So the nurse put this stirrup/bar thing up on the right side of the bed and had me roll onto my right side and put my left leg up into it so that we could encourage him to turn. Decided to take a nap since clearly I had some time to kill.
10 minutes later: Ooooooorr maybe not. Judging by the pressure I was now feeling down there, either a baby was about to come out or I really needed to use the bathroom. Asked the nurse to check me.
Turns out I went from 6 to 10 cm dilated in ten minutes. Am really glad I was drugged for that. My OB came back in and we got the pushing party started.
*Warning: This is the part where I will be discussing gore. You have been warned.*
During the pushing, a band of old scar tissue on the inside of my, um, self decided to open up and start bleeding everywhere. So they're trying to mop it all up while the doctor gets ready to stitch that closed to stop the bleeding. But then he can't, because the baby's head gets there and kind of seals things off. So we proceed. This means, though, that when I got my first look at him at 3:23pm, this baby had just been dragged face-first through a lot of my blood. (Stay classy, childbirth!) I barely registered my baby's Carrie-at-the-prom countenance, though, because I was busy bursting into loud sobs at the sight of his tiny beautiful self. It seems to be what I do.
|Eyelash extensions. Best pre-labor beauty move ever.|
|You may think I look bloated and exhausted here. |
And you'd be right, but I look AH-MAZE-ING compared with the 2010 version.
After things were over with, I started shivering and my blood pressure dropped again (still not done with that), so I had to stay under these heated blankets for an extra long time before they moved me to the Mother/Baby floor.
Baby T weighed 8 pounds even, so a full pound and a bit smaller than the (Not So) Tiny Dark Lord. But even with a smaller baby, perfectly positioned, and less than 30 minutes of pushing while the OB went all massage therapist trying to help things stretch out nicely, I still would up with a 2nd degree tear. So it may really be that my bottom has done her bit and needs to be retired from this part of the process. And I can be okay with that.
I was really happy with the way the labor and delivery went. Yes, this delivery was more "managed" than my hippie ideals would have liked and I worried that I could end up with complications or regrets, but I didn't. I also felt like the hospital staff did a great job of asking what I wanted and were really supportive. (Except for the part where my OB forgot and cut the umbilical cord right away even though we'd talked about waiting. Sorry, kid. Hope you didn't need that blood for anything.) But anyway. It was smooth and fast and I'm amazed at how much more quickly I'm healing, the tear notwithstanding. Like, I stopped taking ibuprofin last week. I was on that crap until my 6-week appointment last time, I kid you not.
|The first and so far ONLY time these two have touched|
Another thing that was so nice this time around is that I haven't had the same bonding delay I did with TDL. Even though I don't really know this little guy that well yet, from the beginning I've felt like he's mine and not just some stranger they handed me to take care of. I love getting to fall in love with him every day.
And that's my story!
ps. I do have some post-delivery stories about passing out on the toilet and how a couple of nurses managed to break my bladder freaking AGAIN, but those are for another post. Get your indignation (and perhaps an ice pack) out.