On Monday, September 28th, 2009 I was asked to come to the hospital to begin a medicine called Cervidil to ripen my cervix for labor. I was ten days past my due date. After waiting anxiously all day we were finally told we could come to the hospital. It was 9:00 pm, 100% humidity and raining. I started off driving us but had to stop to go to the bathroom halfway on the way to the hospital. On top of being pregnant I pee when I am nervous. Alan drove the rest of the way to the hospital because I was too nervous driving in the dark and rain with my glasses on.
When we got to the hospital we were taken to our labor and delivery room and I was instructed to give a urine sample and then change into a hospital gown. Easy enough. Then the fun started. IV placement! I do pretty well with needles and pain so I wasn't nervous. The nurse was pretty good and the IV was in my arm within 10 minutes. They hooked me up whatever it is they use to hydrate you. Doctor 'A' came in and put the Cervidil in place and told me we'd start on Pitocin tomorrow morning around 9 am and to get a good night of sleep. The nurse asked me if I wanted something to help me sleep and I said yes and an Ambien was given to me.
We finished watching the Panther/Dallas game and then fell asleep. They brought a cot in for Alan to sleep in. The room was FREEZING!! Neither one of us slept well but then again, neither one of us expected to.
Let me just say right now that my labor and delivery room was a miserable, dimly lit, closet of a room and I hated it. It felt sick and wrong and the bed sucked.
The next morning around 9am they hooked me up to the contraction inducing drug, Pitocin. The nurse said they'd be in every half hour or so to increase the amount flowing into my IV. She also said that most women are in active labor 4 hours into the treatment. Alan was so excited and even clapped his hands saying, “Alright! Let's get this show on the road!” I was very excited at this point as well, not knowing what I was in for..
Around noon I started feeling little contractions. No big deal.
By 2pm the contractions were a bit more intense and long. That was about the time my Mom and Brother in Law arrived with lunch, tormenting me with their Cook Out smelling clothes and hair. They were kind enough to eat downstairs because at this point in my hungry state I probably would have jumped out of my bed, IV's and all and mauled them for a corn dog. I was starving, having not eaten since 6pm the previous day.
Labor is kind of boring and SLOW. I have never watched the clock more in my life. In fact I think it's fair to say that September 29th 2009 was one of the longest days I have ever experienced.
3pm – they came in and broke my water. Dilated to a '3'.
By 4pm I was in definite intense pain and I had asked for my first dose of pain relieving drugs, something to take the edge off. They gave me Stadol. I then had slurred conversations with my Mom and B.I.L. Stoned watching Tom and Jerry on the TV.
At some point I get an epidural. I cannot even remember the time or sequence of events because like I said, time stood still that day while in labor. I do remember it not being that bad just that it was a serious event that required a lot of concentration on not moving or jumping and that it took a lot longer to do than I thought it would. Like 20 minutes from start to finish. I guess I thought it would be like getting a shot.
All is not well. Because of the stress of being in labor and not progressing correctly my blood pressure sky rocketed. I wasn't dilating. Henry was starting to show signs of stress with his heart beat. Still only dilated to a 3. My pelvis is small. Everyone thinks that an ample hipped woman will just have babies fall out of her. Not so. It's all about the pelvis, apparently. Doctor talks to me about the possibility of a C-section. He gives me a while to process...
Nurses keep coming in my room to help me roll side to side. They check my blood pressure like 80 thousand times. I am getting majorly annoyed and tired of this whole event. I'm done. I'm out. I'm officially shutting down emotionally.
I tell Alan I don't want to do this anymore and that I can't. I can't have a C-section, it isn't what I wanted, I'm scared shitless and I don't want to do it. I beg him to take me home. When that doesn't work I kick him out of the room and cry to my Momma about it.
Yes, I know I'm a baby...and I was very, very scared at the prospect of being cut up. Remember, I'm a control freak and the thought of having a cesarean had never ever crossed my mind my entire pregnancy. I was not prepared for this! Do-over!!
I cried hysterically for quite a while, apologizing to nurses and the doctor over and over again as they entered my room one after the other.
They started getting me ready for surgery. The anesthesiologist comes in to give me the scoop on the meds they'll be giving me and asks me about any allergies or reactions I've had to medicines. I remember her telling me that when they numb me I'll feel like I have an elephant sitting on my chest and that I'll be breathing fine, it will just be a sensation. Great. So now on top of being freaked out about being cut open I'm now freaked out about not being able to breathe.
I cry some more. I'm exhausted and very volatile. This whole event is going wrong in my mind and I'm having to accept an ending that I didn't already anticipate. I'm learning a hard lesson in life at a vulnerable moment.
I kiss my Mom goodbye and Alan goodbye and they roll me off to the operating room. I close my eyes and don't open them until an hour later when they're telling me to open them up and look at my little boy. I was scared to look or see anything.
When I got to the operating room it was a scramble of people, all women, except for my doctor. Everyone was hustling and bustling, things were being put on me, strapped on me, pumped into my IV, people talking to me....it was confusing.
I am just trying to concentrate on breathing. I'm laying flat on my back and my nose holes have completely shut. As in swollen shut. Nice. I remember feeling sorry for the nurses or whoever standing by because I'm sure my breath smells horrible and I'm breathing heavy on all of them. I apologize and they laugh.
They start putting more medicine in my IV and doing “can you feel this?” checks on my abdomen. When I get all nice and numb they start cutting. I can feel pressure and my eyes squint further shut as if I can block it all out, the noises, the chaos, by closing my eyes. My idiot of a doctor is humming along cheerfully to the music on the radio which is irritating me very much but at least I have something else to concentrate on.
I'm jerked awake by pain and I am panicking. “I can feel that!”, a burning deep inside towards my back. It's nothing severe but it freaks me out because I don't know what they're doing and if I should expect more pain. They tell me a little pain is normal but if it gets to be too much to let them know again.
I feel enormous pressure and yanking and then a high, shrill cry. I think I say, “that's my baby?!? I can hear him!” and I still have not opened my eyes. I know they're taking him over to suction his mouth and do all his vitals. They're telling me he's healthy and his cry tells me that, too. Good Lord it's high and clear!
Queen's “Best Friend” is playing on the radio. I remember thinking what a nice song to remember the birth of my son by.
Then I hear my husband tell me to open my eyes and I do. There he is! He looks nothing like I thought he would. He looks like my brother and he's tiny! All through my pregnancy and labor they've told me to expect a big baby. He's 6Lbs, 13 ozs and 21 inches. He's perfect though and handsome. It's all surreal. I have no idea the magnitude of what has happened, that I just brought another human being into the world....I just can't think about it.
They're still working on me and Alan has to go...they need to bathe Henry and do the rest of the routine. I'm starting to relax knowing that it's almost all over.
When they leave they put something in my IV to make me “more comfortable”. I'm told it's a morphine derivative and suddenly I feel very warm, fuzzy and content.
They wheel me off to recovery where I'm in for tons of poking, prodding, more medicine, questions and a blur of compassionate nurses.
4 days later and lots of yummy hospital food later (seriously, it was yummy, not being sarcastic at all) we go home. And thus, the adventures of Sir Henry begin.