Baby B's birth story
I never thought I would write up a birth story because a) it is a lot of info (though I loved reading other people's experiences before I had B) and b) because I was positive it would go something like this: arrive at hospital, get epidural, watch a movie, push three times, get baby, the end (thanks Boo for the false idea here). Things turned out quite different than I had imagined and, as I am already forgetting most of the details, I thought I would write them up to remember (though perhaps forgetting is not such a bad idea :) ).
About 2 1/2 weeks before my due date I was dilated to a 3. My doc told me I would likely not make it to graduation which was the Friday (a week before my due date)) and that she did not expect to see me at my next appt (the following Monday). She also told me to go straight to labor and delivery if I started having regular contractions, even if they were not painful. (Up to this point I had been having lots of braxton hicks contractions but they were not painful, only annoying.) This news put me on high alert. I went home and cleaned my house up, went grocery shopping-thinking this was my last chance to stock up for the next few days (hahahhahahahahaha, if only I realized then that the recovery is not a matter of days...) and took a nap. Well, not overly surprising, I did not have a baby that night, or the next, or the next. Though I did continue to wash my sheets every single day (I wanted to have all the laundry done before I left) and O continued to eat the food (mostly chips and crackers) that I bought every day that was to be for after this baby came. :) Well I made it to the next Monday appt. Thursday I was happy to find myself at the commencement ceremony, however, I was also feeling a little worn out from being on high alert thinking this baby was coming any second. By that evening I thought-I got to wear my cap and gown, the baby can come now and I will not be overly sad about missing graduation tomorrow. Then I heard that Cafe Rio was catering our family graduation party (four BYU graduates in the family that weekend) and I realized I had better wait until Friday afternoon. :)
Friday morning-went to graduation, and it was all I could have hoped for :) glad I made it and glad I made it to the Cafe Rio party-so fabulous!
Saturday morning-woke up to extremely regular contractions! what perfect timing! :) after about three hours of regular contractions (not painful, just present) we went to labor and delivery. I was thinking "this cannot be labor, it does not hurt", however, things were consistent. After an hour in the hospital guess what, I was not in labor. The nurses looked so sad for me, they wanted to know if I wanted to walk the halls for a bit. Me, not sad one bit, I was happy to have another few days. I was still not uncomfortable enough to want to face labor and delivery :) and I was not due until the following Wednesday anyways. We went out to Chick-fil-a and I made O swear not to tell anyone about our false alarm trip. (of course I told everyone about an hour later, I was so mad at myself for going to the hospital! I was triply mad when I found out that those false alarm trips are rather costly! O of course told me not to be crazy :) ). I did decide then and there that I was not going back to labor and delivery until I was scheduled for an induction or I was practically dead-I was not about to have another false alarm.
Sunday: The final milestone. The April Birthday dinner! I had finally convinced everyone to go in with me on my fav chicken cordon blue for our birthday dinner and I sooooooo did not want to miss it! I made it and it was every bit as fabulous as I could have imagined! I was mortified at church however when everyone kept saying, no baby yet! in either a slightly accusatory or so pitying way that I told O I was absolutely not going back until the baby arrived. I kept thinking-It is not even my due date yet, stop harassing me!
Monday: went to doc (she was surprised to see me yet again). She told me an induction would be scheduled for a week from Wed (so one week from my due date) if I did not go into labor by then and started trying to convince me that this was a good idea. I was like "I'm all for being induced, not a problem for moi" I cannot imagine why she would think that I would go a week over my due date and then not want to be induced. She also told me she thought I would go into labor before then. Again, I'm not sure why everyone was so hopeful for me to go into labor naturally, I have zip problems with being induced, in fact, planning the thing seemed like a good idea to me. You can arrive ready.
Tuesday: O tells me he "cannot take it anymore" (yes, that is correct, he cannot take it) and that he could not be on high alert any longer and he was just going to plan on the baby coming on a scheduled induction the following week. I was thinking a)"you cannot take it?!" and b)"I don't think you can plan these things."
Wednesday: due date, no baby, so tired of doing laundry and cleaning and grocery shopping that I have by now given up. Also, starting to feel really really really depressed for myself because I had suddenly developed major stretch marks. Because I never had any until about a week before my due date I thought I was out of the woods. Instead, I started realizing I was ruined forever.
Thursday: Went to E's and we all helped her assemble her mini trampoline (twice in fact, as the first time we put some pieces together incorrectly and did not catch it until we tried putting the pads over the springs, that made for some really frustrated people :) ) and then dinner at O's bro's house.
Thursday night: for some reason could not sleep all night and was feeling more and more depressed about those stretch marks.
Friday morning: woke up around 5ish feeling uncomfortable. Took a bath around 6. O was timing the contractions but as they were mild I was not about to consider them labor. 9 am: they were pretty consistent and more painful than the braxton hicks things I'd felt previously, however, still not painful enough to not talk through etc. O suggests we go to hospital, I said no way. Instead, we went to the non-stress test we had scheduled. I thought sneakily that perhaps they could tell us there if I was in labor so that I could avoid a second false alarm. We went to the test and they suggested we go downstairs to see if it was labor-they could not tell us for sure :(
Friday around 10: entered labor and delivery, again, I was feeling like a complete idiot. We went to a room, they checked, guess what-I was in labor after all! I was at a 6. They acted very happy for me.
We walk down the hall and get a room. Meet the nurse, check again, 7. I decide I want some water (I had not eaten or had anything to drink much because I had felt nauseous that morning) and to take a bath and watch some project runway on my ipad before I get the epidural.
It is now Jan 2014-approx 8 months later. Sadly, though I wrote up the rest of the story in extremely gory detail, it appears not to have saved. I'm going to speed write the rest of the details below-ignore any grammar and punctuation problems. :)
So, we got all checked in and I hung out in the bath watching project runway for a few hours. Things seemed to be going quite all right! The nurses and my doc were rather surprised that I was doing just fine sans epidural, which left me delighted, thinking that perhaps I would actually survive. By about 1:00 I started feeling a bit ill so I got out of the bath and threw up a few times-it turns out you should not drink loads of water, epidural or no. By this time I was at a 9 and I called for the epidural. I am no fan of pain and there was no way I was about to push without being properly medicated. I have heard horror stories of epidurals but mine was no big deal, the doc came in, poked in a little needle, and was done. I think it took like 2 minutes and I was not having a prob with the contractions so there was no prob sitting still. He did tell me that since I had already gone so far without one he would do a light epidural. Therefore, I could still move my legs just fine, a relief as I have heard countless times from K that no epidural is soooo nice bc as soon as you have the baby you can get up and zip around. (I have no idea where you would zip around to though.) As soon as I got the epidural I did think "now O is not even going to feel sorry for me"! Probably the worst thought ever. I assure you, I never again want things to go so badly that everyone feels sorry for me. Ten min later I was at a ten, then they had me hang out and do a rest and descend thing for an hour and O zipped out to the car to get our bags and things.
At 3:00 I started pushing. I could feel the contractions just fine but never had the sense that I needed to push, however, when a contraction would come I would think, "I'm going to have a giant Dr Pepper in a few min, huzzah"! Or, "I'm going to have pizza, yay"! And then O would hand me my blue raspberry (my favorite) ice chips. After about 30 min, the nurse says, "I can see the head"! So I kept on, wondering when they would call in the doc. After about an hour some puzzlement began to set in. O asked about how much longer the nurse estimated and she said perhaps an hour. AN HOUR?!?!?! I thought they were seeing the head! Plus, who has ever heard of someone pushing for two hours?!?!?! Sadly, it's actually very common. So while my Dr P and pizza floated off into the distance, they brought in a mirror to bring reality much closer. The only purpose of the mirror is to depress you completely-a head, maybe, if my child is the size of a mouse. I took one look and knew absolutely that I was going to have a c-section! We pushed away for another hour. I was no longer wishing for Dr. P, just waiting for the hemorrhoids to pop out before my very eyes. The third hour my doc came in. While my lovely labor assistants, the nurse and O, had been quite nicely encouraging, my doc was a bit more like a football coach and I quickly stopped worrying about the damage being done to my nether regions and pushed like you cannot imagine (not much good as I was rather exhausted already). At some point around 3 hours, they started worrying about the baby's heartbeat and they told me I had two more pushes before they would use forceps. I think they asked me about forceps vs a c-section but I was so brutally exhausted and positive that I was dying that I'm sure I practically screamed my acquiescence to the forceps. I actually truly did scream when the forceps were employed. I actually started thinking, "oh no, I am that woman Preston told me about!!" Preston had told me that when Liz was having her first baby there was a lady next door that went natural and was screaming and it really scarred them just hearing it. It was one of the main reasons I was never in a million years going to not get an epidural.
So, there I was, screaming away for two seconds, and then it was over. O says baby B was screaming before he was even all the way out, shocking as he is actually quite calm. :) Baby B was born around 6 pm-ish, weighed about 7 lbs and 15 oz, and was about 21 inches (that is actually a complete guess) long (I will check for the official time and weight and all for the next post). I'm a bit hazy on the details of what happened next (combination of exhaustion, pain-forceps are unsurprisingly damaging, and drugs) but O assures me I held baby B for a few minutes. After that I mostly remember lots of people buzzing around (NICU people stopped by bc of B's heart but turns out there were no probs, yay!!!!, the doc trying to sew me back together, a new anaesthesiologist dropping by and numbing me soooooo completely that I was nothing but a floating head, repair work commenced once again, being wheeled upstairs on a stretcher, floating head depressed beyond measure that I had been soooooo numbed that I was clearly not getting up any time in the foreseeable future, O disappearing with the baby that I had yet to really actually see to the nursery, feeling desperately thirsty, floating head very embarrassed that I could not aid the two nurses in lugging my body off the stretcher and onto the bed (I was well and truly numb), feeling shocked that things had gone so poorly, feeling very worried that I was terribly damaged (a line my friend once said "she looked like hamburger down there" kept haunting me), basically wondering how I was ever going to recuperate, and relieved beyond belief that it was all over. Hahahahahahahahahahahaha. Why does no one tell you how absolutely horrific the recovery is?!?!?!?! Oh yes, because they want to trick people into having kids. :)
A few minutes in my room and nurse one notices I'm still bleeding a lot. Nurses 2 and 3 come in and give me 4 types of drugs to start clotting. Then they start punching my stomach, and I am being entirely serious. For the first time, I am sort of glad I'm just a floating head. I cannot see much but I do have ears and it is somewhat alarming when they say they need a bigger scale to weigh all the blood. I start thinking "TMI peeps, I'm sitting right here". Docs 1 and 2 come in, with 2 being a somewhat large guy who begins aggressively 'kneading' my stomach, to put it rather mildly, while asking me if I need more morphine. "No, I'm just a floating head", I respond. By this time I'm shaking uncontrollably, which makes it very hard to get my blood pressure, and I keep apologizing while they try both arms and both legs and different cuffs etc. They tell me, not a problem, I'm just going into shock from blood loss. Well, to me that seemed like a problem, and hearing that you have lost enough blood to send you into shock is likely to send you into double shock. There I am, nudy me, bc who knows where my gown went, and though they
keep trying to nicely drape a little washcloth over my bosom it keeps
sliding off while they pound my stomach. If I had not been so worried
about dying I'm sure I would have been horrifically mortified. However, my thoughts were otherwise occupied. I actually thought "oh no, I cannot die, I have told O too many times that it would serve him right if I died in labor (only bc he had been so insensitive and said "women have kids all the time, no big deal" more than once), plus, I cannot leave O with a brand new baby all alone!!!" So, while I'm wondering if I'm dying (I've always had a dramatic bend I suppose), Doc 1, the lady in charge, gets a sterile gown brought up from surgery and puts her arm inside me up to the elbow! If that is not enough to make you scream nothing will. Every 5 seconds people are asking me if I'm in pain etc but I'm still just a floating head from my 2nd epidural (which clearly saved my life because there is noooooooo way you can survive hemorrhaging without one) and on morphine and cannot feel a thing. At some point I decide I'm not going to die, in fact, I had a definite feeling that things will be OK. Into this scene walks O, the nurses rush him out and tell him that he is going to see some alarming things and then bring him back in, trailed by the baby in the rolling container cart. I cannot imagine the sight but I'm sure it was not nice.
Next they decide to send me back downstairs to see if they can stop the bleeding while they prep me for surgery. Nurses come in and ask if they can take the baby back to the nursery and promise they will take such good care of him etc while I'm gone. "Can we take the baby?" I almost laughed at that-I don't even have arms to hold the washcloth over my chestal region, I'm shaking insanely, bleeding all over (at least in my mind, bc I actually could not see anything from my vantage point), dying of thirst, on my way to surgery, ya, that would be lovely if you would take the baby. At this point in my life I had no experience with newborns at all and would likely have sent the baby to the experts in the nursery regardless of hemorrhaging! So, we wheel back downstairs, I once again wonder if I should be alarmed but I had the strongest feeling ever that things were going to be fine bc people were praying for me, (and it turns out people were and things were :) ). Down in labor and delivery it was more of the same old, pounding on my stomach, shaking violently, trying to take blood pressure, poking me with needles, morphine galore, at least, that's what I'm guessing, because I was well and truly spent by this point in the evening. At some point things calmed down enough that they decided against surgery and to monitor the situation instead.
As things slowed down, O took himself off to the cafeteria for a nice meal. It had been hours, he informed me, since he had eaten. I wish you could see the face I'm making right now, I'm raising my eyebrows extraordinarily high while saying pleasantly "oh really". They still would not let me have anything to eat or drink in case we needed to go to surgery. And it had actually been hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours since I had eaten! (Actually, O got me a little blue ice chip drink right when things slowed down but then the nurse caught it and banned all beverages for the rest of the night before I got more than a mouthful or two!)
Monitoring is painful: it involved every 15 minutes (for the next several hours) stomach "massaging". I'm using that term loosely. :) For the few hours I was numb but at some point I started FEELING! Not pleasant. I must have snapped mentally because I remember at one point O passed out on a chair and me just whimpering (or screaming or something) in pain as two nurses pummeled my stomach and one nurse said "just squeeze my hand as hard as you can", and I did. The assistant at my dentist used to always say that when they were going to give a shot, however, being generally mentally sound, I never found that necessary. I did see a pediatric dentist for quite a while :) which explains the nice assistants.
So we hung out in labor and delivery all night, while I was tortured and O hallucinated. At one point there was a call for a c-section and a bunch of people came rushing into the room all gowned up. Scared me to death! Yes, all I need now is a c-section! Panic-stricken, I panted out, "not me, not me!" and they immediately apologized and rushed back out. Then an hour or so later O jumped up screaming where are they, where are they, while rushing out into the hall. Which left me, strapped to the bed, trying to quietly scream to him to get back in here. All I could think was "he is not wearing shoes"! At some other point O went off and brought the baby downstairs, bc he'd woken up to me softly sobbing away that this was terrible and how could I ever do this again and I did not even know what the baby looked like. That, actually, was just an exhausted person rambling, not, in fact, a plea to get the baby. Particularly when he showed me the baby for 5 min, then fell back asleep and left me and the baby wondering what in the world we were supposed to do next! Even worse, a nurse came in and was like "what is the baby doing down here? He is not supposed to leave his floor! How did he get here!" etc. So off the baby went. Around 5 or 6 am we finally were cleared to go back upstairs.
We got to our room and the nurse asked is she could do anything for us. Oddly enough, when we got to the room the first time I thought "I guess they save the super nice nurses for labor and delivery and you get the more business-like nurses in recovery". Well, it turned out the recovery nurses were sooooo nice and wonderful. I requested water!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! O asked for a hospital gown. It turns out, he had brought his hospital bag without anything in it. I don't know why he brought it at all in fact. He was not sure when we left the house if it was the real deal and so did not bother packing (other than his bag that is). He figured he would just run home (we only live 10 min from the hospital) and get his stuff if needed. I totally considered not packing myself and had the same thought, that I could just send O home, so I don't blame him. However, it is beyond strange to bring an empty bag. Sooo, he needed a gown to sleep in. After laughing, the nurse brought him one and we passed out.
It is also beyond strange to me that at this point I had barely thought about the baby. They told me he was in great health, no probs, and I was like, sounds great. No worries at all. I think if it had been my second or third kid I would have been focused on him/worried about him THE WHOLE TIME!!!! :) But up to this point it was a bit surreal, the idea of having a baby, because I had not really seen him yet.
The next time I woke up it was to one of the docs sitting in a chair staring at me. That was disconcerting. I went back to sleep only to wake up again to another doc hovering above me, staring intently. I must say, the staff is very attentive at IMC. :) I kept trying to reassure the docs that I was awesome, totally great. What else was I going to say?? Plus, I was on a lot of pain meds and they have a profound effect on me. :) Looking back, my number one piece of advice to everyone: say you are terrible and you don't know if you will live. They might let you stay a few extra days in the hospital. I totally should have thrown my optimism out the window and stayed!
Later that morning they brought the baby in to meet me. I was still entirely drained and they were going to help me figure out breastfeeding (which is a nightmare for a first time parent) and I could not sit up or anything. I asked O (sitting covered in blankets on the couch) to hand me a pillow and he just threw it over. I'm sure the nurses thought he was the biggest loser in husbandville (not helped by the fact that he remained lounging on the couch throughout the entire tutorial) but actually he did not dare leave the safety of his covers due to his hospital gown not covering much. :)
The rest of the hospital stay was pretty routine. It was about 24 hours later before they took the catheter out and had me try to get up (yikes, that was awful). Some people tell me how great the hospital food is but I don't think I ate a thing other than chicken broth, I felt terrible. I tried feeding BB every now and then but mostly just sat in a daze or slept. I was pretty much horrified by the whole experience and I kept asking O if my stomach was super bruised and thinking "perhaps I should not have gotten the epidural-did that ruin things, did I make one decision that ruined everything!??!". Basically, I obsessed over what went wrong for like a month. Truth is, childbirth is just pretty awful. It is a major killer in fact. Perhaps if you do not go in expecting to have an easy experience you will not be so let down. :) The second truth is, you actually have to worry about the recovery (which takes months) much more than the labor and delivery. So, don't stress about L&D, it is rather out of your control, and have no expectations for it. Instead, focus all of you energy on planning out your recuperation.
We did have lots of family visitors which was fun. O ran around and got lots of drinks and chicken broth for everyone. :) I'm glad that I did not plan to have O go home to get my bag because he never even made it out to the car again. It turns out, I needed him around for everything! I could not stand on my own or anything at all. I never left my room (I wish I had at least gone down to see the nursery or cafeteria) but needed him to haul me off the bed and to the bathroom. More importantly, I needed him to hold BB and hand him to me every now and then and to move my tray and hand me water and stuff. He was rather handy to have around. :) Sadly, he accidentally burned my magic bean bag up in the microwave. But it turned out to be kind of funny as when he tried to pull it out of the microwave beans spilled everywhere and he was frantically trying to clean it up as a nurse that had come in several times on him messing around in the drink room came by. :) I pretty much used nothing in my hospital bag, though I did use my
everywear capelet as you will see in pics to come :). Every time nurses
would come in O and I would try to soak in all of their knowledge on
child care. :) O learned several ways to swaddle from different nurses
and had to teach me when we got home. :) BB was super easy going but
when he did cry we were completely at a loss as to what to do. I just
laugh at how clueless we were back then. :) Basically, we learned very
little and when we came home were constantly on the phone to my sisters
or anyone in the world who would give us any advice. :)
We did not have a name for BB in the hospital. We had gone with about three choices but honestly, the stress of having a child left me in no shape to make a huge decision! Never again will I go to the hospital without a name solidly determined! Also, never again will I leave the hospital without a name on the birth certificate! Because it took us weeks to determine a name (that was the last thing on our minds for the first few weeks, we were so busy just keeping BB alive!) we ended up having to go to the birth certificate office which was a giant pain! More on the name to follow. :)
We did not take enough pics of our sweet BB at the hospital so word to future parents-pictures, pictures, pictures! Fortunately, my parents came a few times and my dad took pics of many visitors with his camera. O also snapped a few of some other visitors and between them we got a some good ones. :)
The craziest thing about all of this, now that I have had BB in my life for months, is that I was not just obsessed with BB from the minute I got him. :) I was worried about how I was going to take care of him and suddenly overcome with the knowledge that I knew absolutely nothing about infants, but in the hospital I did not really know him yet. He is such a sweetie and is just the love of our lives! He totally rules our household and hearts now :) I mentioned earlier that this experience would have been very different if this was our second or third or some other child, not our first. It is just funny how you really cannot explain how much you will fall in love with a baby until you become a parent. :) Then, I was sending BB off to the nursery without a second thought. Now, I can barely even leave BB with O on Saturday afternoon without an entire page of instructions and 5 phone calls an hour. :)
enough of this epic post. Pics to follow!