Saturday, March 6, 2010
I awoke Sunday morning at 2:34am with a full bladder and noticed some light red spotting on the tissue. I woke up again at 4:17 with some cramping that was different then the braxton-hicks I had been experiencing thus far in my pregnancy. I took a hot shower and let the water pound on my low back, when I got out of the shower I had to pee again and this time there was a small gush of fluid that felt different, but not huge, so I was unsure that this was my water breaking, but the tissue had a lot of bloody discharge, so I was pretty sure that I was finally in labor.
I tried to go back to bed, and sleep in between contractions, but by 5:30am I knew that I was in labor for sure and woke my husband. He called Wanda, our doula who told us that it sounded like I was still in really early labor and I should try to sleep some and if I was not able to sleep I should change positions every 30 minutes and be sure to eat a little something and keep drinking water to stay hydrated. I kept counting, 1, 2, 3, 4 up into the surge, 1, 2, 3, 4, deep into the tightening, 1, 2, 3, 4, over the hump of the tight pressure, 1, 2, 3, 4, down into the end of the surge.
I moved from the bed to sitting backward on the toilet with a pillow on the tank to rest my head. I had heard that this position was helpful in letting gravity move the baby down, 1, 2, 3, 4. Then I took another hot shower and then moved back to the bed 1, 2, 3, 4. It was about 9:30am when I took to the shower again and told my husband to call Wanda again and see what she thought about going on to the hospital even though it was probably still way early, but I was having a better time in the shower, but kept running out of hot water. I was thinking that it would be better to use up the hospitals hot water rather than mine!
Wanda said that she would stop by on her way to church and check me for dilatation. She arrived about 10:00 and checked me, I was already at 6 centimeters! I worked to get dressed, 1, 2, 3, 4, while Smug-Hub packed the car and we left for the hospital. Every change of position, every bump in the road caused a new surge of pressure, I kept counting and riding each wave, knowing that each contraction, each surge that I counted through was one less that I needed to ride.
We arrived and was taken into the labor and delivery triage area where they hooked me up to a fetal monitor to check on the baby's heart rate, 1, 2, 3, 4 and then my doctor arrived and checked me. I was at 8 centimeters, it was almost 11:30am. They then took me to a labor and delivery room and I walked right into the shower, 1, 2, 3, 4 and stayed there for the next two hours leaving only long enough for the intermittent fetal heart rate checks.
Then, they noticed that there was some meconium in my fluid discharge and I needed to be on the monitor, they checked me again and I was at 9 centimeters with a little lip keeping me from reaching 10. I was able to move around in the bed and around the room a bit, but had to stay on the monitor. The pediatrician came to talk to us, telling us that the meconium may have caused the baby some problems and she would be there to take the baby should she not cry and need some assistance. Then the nurse said that if I wanted to start pushing some she could physically hold the little lip out of the way and see if it allowed me to push the baby down past it.
It was 2:45pm when I started pushing. I felt a little silly almost pushing, like I didn't really know what I was doing, but Wanda and the nurse would let me know if I was doing a good push or a less than effective push and I learned quickly what they were looking for and got down to business. I remember that I kept asking how many more pushes I needed to get the job done. I held onto the rails, counting. I tried the squat bar and counted. I laid on my back and then my side and counted and pushed.
Then my doctor was there and massaging me and my husband was telling me he could see the head and Wanda was telling me only a few more pushes, push her over the pelvic bone, 1, 2, 3, 4. Push her to the sky, push her into your arms, 1, 2, 3, 4. Suddenly, I hear, "Stop, don't push" I remember saying "What do you mean stop?!?!?" I could hear everyone jump into action, carts rolled into place, gowns were donned and I could hear someone on the phone say "Birth response" I knew then that my daughter would be on this side of my body soon. I knew that being pregnant was almost over, that labor was almost over.
It felt like forever, but it was probably only about 90 seconds until I was told to push again. Then it felt like there were people all around me, lots of hands holding my feet, my legs, on my baby's head. Suddenly, someones fingernail felt like it was digging into my delicate skin and I jerked my hand coming down to move the offending person's nail from me. Everyone pulled my hand away telling me that no one's fingernail was digging into me, I know now that this was a tearing as my baby's head and one arm was delivered. At the time, I knew that the only way to get this person to move their fingernail that I knew was digging into me was to get the rest of the baby delivered.
I heard the doctor say that the cord was around her neck and he needed to cut it, I nodded and heard my husband also give consent, the cord was cut and suddenly I looked up to see my daughter in his arms, all red, purple with some blood and goo and slippery. She did not respond, did not cry, so the NICU people stepped in to take her and I called to Smug-Hub to stay with her.
He moved to her side while the doctor told me of the tear that he needed to stitch and I kept listening for crying, for something. I heard and saw people working and Smug-Hub looking pale. They told me that she was doing better and brought her over so I could lay eyes on her for the first time. Then they whisked her away and I remember calling to Smug-Hub to stay with her, to talk to her and to keep her safe.
The doctor spent a long time on the stitches and I remember joking with him that he was embroidering a sampler down there! Once he was finished, I asked Wanda to find my mom and sister. I needed hugs since I was without husband and baby. They came in and the doctor told me that I needed to eat and drink something. Smug-Sister left to find some juice and crackers or something for me and mom stayed with me. Wanda left as the birth was over.
I felt like I was bleeding a lot and the nurse changed the pad beneath me and left, the doctor came back in and I told him that I felt like I was still bleeding too much. He took a look and then suddenly people came out of the walls, I was given an IV dose of Pitocin and a shot to help clotting, the doctor was digging within m to remove the leftover pieces of placenta that were causing the hemorrhage. This hurt horribly and I remember crying out and begging him to stop. He said "Sweetheart, the pain will not kill you, but this bleeding will, I can't stop" I remember grabbing the handles on the bed and burying my face into the side rails of the bed, and trying to endure the pain.
Throughout my whole labor and delivery I was not in horrible pain, I was uncomfortable, but not screaming or in major pain. Besides that "fingernail" issue, I handled labor and delivery without issue, this was different, this was horrible pain and I could feel my new stitches tearing out. Finally, everything calmed down and he got down to repairing the stitches and I was cleaned up again.
Smug-Hub and the NICU doctor came in and Smug-Hub was filled in on my recent adventures, but at the time he failed to fully understand how serious it was. The doctor told me that Smug-Baby had a lot of acid in her blood and some issues with the meconium in her lungs, that they were going to put in a breathing tube and give her a "baking soda" type solution to help get rid of the acid in her blood. I was feeling woozy and all this is a little hazy, but I did comprehend that Smug-Baby was in serious condition but not critical, she would live.