Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Labor Story

Life has been a whirlwind! Nugget is doing great, Norm and I are exhausted because she honestly doesn't sleep. But we could not be happier. More about all of that later...I want to document the labor process before I forget. I am already losing my memory of it.

Here goes...

I hadn't been feeling very peachy for the few days leading up to my 39 week OB visit. It actually went beyond the bad contractions. I wasn't sleeping at all because of the belly pain and vaginal and rectal pressure and Norman was staying up with me all night since the beginning of July. He decided to begin his leave on July 2. My 39 week OB visit was on Thursday, July 3. Norman drove me over to the doctor early that morning and I was seeing fireflies - you know, those odd little lights you sometimes get in your line of sight when you are nauseated. Once we got there, I was weighed and peed in the cup as usual. When my BP was taken it was high, 150/90. My doctor checked my reflexes and they were a bit more jumpy than normal. My doctor told me that I had spilled protein in my urine, and that, combined with the elevated BP, hyper reflexes and fireflies, indicated preeclampsia. He called the hospital and notified them I would be heading over for induction and that if all progressed normally that he would come to the hospital and rupture my membranes at lunch time.

Oh.My.God.

I couldn't even believe it. Honestly.

I got my papers from the nurse and Norman and I were off. When we pulled into the hospital parking lot I started cry. I was so overwhelmed with emotion. I couldn't believe I would be meeting our daughter in a very short while.

We checked into the hospital and we were taken straight to a L&D room. As soon as I was connected to the monitors, Norman went home to pick up our bags and infant car seat. After my intake, I was hooked up to the IV and was given Penicillin for Group B Strep (I was told I was negative but turns out I was actually positive). I was then checked for dilation and was only 1CM and my cervix was posterior. The induction began at 11AM: Cytotec tablets were inserted and I was on bed rest for 2 hours while we waited for the medicine to start dilating me.

Norman got back at around 1PM and brought my mom with him. I was laying on my left side and Nugget's heartrate dropped to 80. Those L&D beds are so uncomfortable as it is, now I had to be on my right side only. I was so uncomfortable and panicked at this point, staring at the baby's heartrate monitor the rest of the night. My dad came a short while later. By this time, my contractions were about 5 minutes apart. My doctor came to check on me shortly thereafter and I was still only 1CM dilated. He couldn't break my water since I wasn't making progress. We all thought that since my cervix was very ripe my induction would progress rapidly. This was not the case. My doctor said he would come back at the end of the workday to check on me.

Things didn't start getting very painful until about 4PM. I was contracting strong and I was so uncomfortable. The nurse shift changed and my new nurse, Joanie, who was so awesome during the whole ordeal, told me that as soon as I needed pain medicine she would call the doctor. I love her so much I have to remember to send her flowers or something.

I was able to hold out on the pain meds until my doctor came back to see me at about 8PM. I was checked and again and was only TWO CM DILATED. Bad in terms of progress. If it wasn't for Joanie, my doctor would have performed a C-section at that time. She asked him to give me some more time to progress and he agreed. I got Nubain. It made me giggly and giddy and it helped a little bit. I still felt the contractions and I was in pain, moaning through the contractions. At some point I managed to doze off and when I woke up it was about 11PM. I was in so much pain at this point. I mean really bad contractions. What was going on? Turns out that while I was sleeping, Joanie started me on a Pitocin drip. Holy shit I was shocked at how intense the Pitocin made my contractions. Turns out the Pitocin causes much more intense contractions than natural contractions. At some point I started getting the shakes and they didn't stop until the day after I delivered. My dad left to get some sleep.

I got my epidural at about 2AM and managed to stop shaking long enough for the needle to go in my back. Joanie inserted a catheter shortly thereafter. I was given an oxygen mask and almost passed out because it was recycling my CO2 but we'll forgive Joanie for that lol. I couldn't sleep at all. I was afraid I would die. Literally. I felt so drowsy and my pressure was so low alarms were sounding. My doctor called and asked Joanie to check me for dilation. I wasn't even 3CM yet. I had been laboring for 15 hours at this point.

My doctor decided to perform the C-section right away. I couldn't believe I was haing a C-Section. It wasn't supposed to happen this way. I was prepped and Norman was given scrubs. My doctor was at the hospital in less than 45 minutes. My dad came back to be there for the birth. I was wheeled into the operating room and was shaking so much I thought I would roll off the table.

The surgery began and I heard them say "Dad's in the bathroom" and I remember thinking Norman is in the bathroom? I couldn't comprehend. Norman finally came in and sat by my head. He had a mask over his mouth and he was trying to talk to me and I couldn't hear. I was so pumped with morphine and drugs I actually passed out. I woke up when I heard the baby cry. I heard My doctor say Nugget's Apgar was a 9. I was struggling to keep my eyes open. Norman came to me to show me the baby's feet prints. Then they finally brought me my Nugget and she was crying and so beautiful and when they put her near my head I told her I loved her and kissed her and she stopped crying briefly. My heart just melted and my adrenaline kicked in and I was DESPERATE to get off the table to hold my baby. Everyone in the OR said she was the cutest baby ever. It seemed to take forever for them to be finished with me. The tugging and pulling was an odd sensation. Norman had gone with the baby to the nursery. I was finally wheeled to triage and Norman came to me to say the baby was perfect and adorable and ready to eat. He went off to take my parents to the nursery and I waited for them to bring the baby to me. They finally did and it was so surreal. Sienna is AMAZING. So beautiful and perfect and lovely and delicate and tiny. She latched on to my breast right away and ate like a pro. They took her back to the nursery and I told Norman to follow her so I stayed in triage alone drifting in and out of sleep. Norman came back to tell me my parents were going home for a shower and breakfast and would be back later.

After what seemed like forever, I was wheeled to my recovery room which is where we stayed for the next 3 days. Joanie situated me and they finally brought Nugget to us. She had her first bowel movement shortly thereafter and Norman was a champ and a natural. My C-Section was unplanned and I was so emotional because honestly I wanted to get up and help change her diaper and carry her but I couldn't. It was hard to adjust to the idea that Norman had to not only take care of me but also the baby. I felt helpless. But the baby was born at 3:33AM on the 4th and I was up and walking by 6PM that same evening. My recovery, albeit painful, was thankfully very smooth and wonderful thanks to Norman, my parents and the AMAZING nurses at the hospital.

I celebrated my birthday at the hospital on Saturday.

Nugget is the most perfect gift I have ever received.

3 comments:

Jim said...

Thanks for the update, R. That was quite an experience, but you know what? ... everything turned out just grand! Congrats on the birth of your Nugget!

J

Belladora said...

Awwwww I love you!

Jackie S said...

What a wonderful recount of your experience. I am certain Sienna is worth every bit of worry and pain, and by now the pain has all been forgotten.

I hope to see you soon and meet your little one. Thinking of you often!!!

Happy Belated Birthday :)

Hugs, J