Tuesday, January 25, 2011

a birth story- 370 days later

this week (last week) is obviously all about ian.  i'm sorry, or i'm not.  whatever.  this is obviously also a (long) birth story, so if you're not into that, then come back later because like any birth story, it's all a little tmi!

january 19, 2010.  11:00 am

i had what i hoped was my last scheduled appointment that day- my 40 week appointment.  i dragged my giant self out of bed and got dressed in maternity jeans that i could barely fit into, my gray sweater boots since it was freezing, a long-sleeved white tshirt, and the sweater-poncho that dave had gotten me on his trip to peru (posh spice said it was cool to wear ponchos while pregnant).  i carried all of our bags downstairs and loaded them into my car- we had been packed for quite a while, and i had a good feeling about this day.  i met dave in the waiting room at dr. barthel's office- she had been out of town last week taking her board-certification exam and i had seen the midwife last week.  i was ready to see my dr. again, and hoping to get the ok.  i was frustrated when i arrived b\c they didn't even have me down as having an appointment, even though the girl who was telling me this was the one who scheduled me.  they brought me back to the monitoring room instead of a regular room and immediately put me on the fetal monitor for a nst.  they monitored me for a little while, and then came in and gave me the button to press every time the baby moved.  i remember that you can see the heart rate number on the machine, and although i don't remember what dave & i were talking about, something made me laugh hysterically and the heart rate would spike up!  finally after 45 minutes on this thing- i was ready to go.  i was starving, and dave & i usually went out for lunch after my appointments- i was ready to eat.  dr. barthel (dr. uma- b\c she looks just like uma thurman) came in and checked me out, she said everything looked great and asked me if i was ready to have a baby today- ian's heart rate went up to 170!.  she was on call- so as long as he was ready before noon on the 20th, she would deliver him.  i decided i would go ahead- i was finished w\ my 40 weeks, more than ready to meet him, and i wanted her delivering him.  she called up to l&d and they said i could come on up!  "so this means lunch is out of the question, i guess", i asked her.  her reply, "yeah, you can't have anything else to eat until the baby is here."  boo.

so dave and i went out to my car and moved everything into his car, and we pulled both vehicles up to valet. i called my parents and my brother, so they would know that they would need to leave soon (they were driving up from georgia), and i sent out a text to my closest friends and did a facebook update for the rest.  we went over to the registrar, and we were already checked in from doing our paperwork early, so i just needed to give a little info and get my bracelets.  after we were done, we took our papers and headed up the elevator to l&d. we were buzzed in and they told us that they were waiting for me, and they took me to my room.  the room was really spacious with a nice view of the lake (frozen over, of course) and a pull out chair for dave to sleep in.  i got into my gown, peed in a cup and was ready to go.  the head of the l&d that was on shift, came in, introduced herself, and showed me the board- it had my name, dr.'s name, nurse and supervisors name, phone numbers and it asked "3 things that were most important to me."  i listed food as number one, so she brought me a popsicle!  it was 2:30 and i was starving!  my 2nd nurse came in and introduced herself as well- i don't remember her name, but she rubbed me the wrong way- she wasn't mean, just weird.  she told me they'd get me started on my iv since i was being induced, and they needed to start pitocin.  i thought we were going to do cervadil, but they never mentioned it, and neither did i.  they got me going on pitocin and i also had to have clindamycin for gbs since i couldn't have the penicillin.  when the nurse came in to start my iv, she must have hit a vein really hard b\c i looked down and my hand was soaked in blood.  that made me a little nervous, but no big deal.  i was still only dilated around 1cm, so we weren't going anywhere any time soon.  dave took the treats i baked for the nurses to their station (bribery, people) and we were left to chill for a while b\c there wasn't going to be much going on.  once settled in, we decided to exchange our gifts- (i wanted davedr. uma came in when their office closed to check on me- nothing. 

dave's mom arrived w\ dinner for them sometime around 6- so cruel.  i sat with puppy dog eyes while they had steak n shake- i finally convinced dave to give me a bite of his pickle!  this was probably around 7 or so, which is when the shift change was.  my new nurse, kim, came in and introduced herself and checked me out- not a lot of progress- but my contractions were definitely increasing- i decided i'd go ahead & just get my epidural done with, so i asked her if that was fine.  she asked me if i'd like to try nubain instead- it's lighter and goes into your iv- so i told her that would work.  we turned on the tv- scott brown had just won the massachusetts state senate election, so that was all over the news.  it was also tuesday, and the biggest loser was on- so i watched that while the nurse gave me my nubain- and then things got ugly.  a few years ago i had surgery and was prescribed lortab for pain afterward.  after i would have a dose, i would itch- all over.  it's like my arm would it- i'd scratch it until i felt better, and then my stomach would itch and so on.  miserable.  not long after i got the nubain i started having these same symptoms.  another allergic reaction!  i could not stop itching my skin- it's terrible.  these meds must be morphine or codeine-based- and i am obviously allergic to one of them.  we called the nurse back in and she added some benedryl into my iv to counteract the reaction.  it wasn't long before the combo of the benedryl and nubain made me very, very sleepy.  i remember i was barely able to keep my eyes open through the end of biggest loser- i just kept dozing off and waking up.

my father-in-law showed up some time around 9 o'clock.  everything was still the same- no progress, having to get up and get unhooked to go pee, begging for food- boring stuff.  i remember having to get up and use the bathroom around this time- so i got unhooked and dave helped me in, i went, washed up and as i was coming out of the bathroom, i started "leaking"- my water is breaking!  i was pretty excited, so we called nurse kim in the room.  she did a strip test, where they stick a little litmus strip in to see if the pH changes- unfortunately my water didn't break- no.  i just peed on myself after just peeing.  awesome.

my contractions must've been getting worse (although now i don't even remember them) and dave was so great at helping me with the breathing exercises from our childbirth class.  i remember he would hold my hand, tell me to find my focal point and then help me breathe through each contraction.  sometime after 11 o'clock i asked for my epidural- my father in law decided he'd go home @ this point, so we told him goodnight and waited on the anesthesiologist.  luckily, it didn't take him long to arrive- however, i was dreading the epidural as so many people told me that was the worst part.  i sat up on the edge of the bed, dave and nurse kim in front of me as the anesthesiologist took a look at my back.  "i have scoliosis" i told him.  "oh, i can tell, i'm going to have to see if i can even do this."  "you better," i thought.  after some looking around he was able to get started- but he warned me that my epidural might only take on one side, or might not last as long on one side because of the scoliosis.  we got started- first, you get a shot to numb the area, then they put the needle in, next the tube that you receive the meds through goes in, and the needle comes out, tube is taped to skin, wa la, you're done.  i'd say it was pretty easy for me.  next comes the fun part- the catheter- this prevents me from peeing on myself- again, (or anyone else for that matter).  it doesn't however do away with the paranoia of thinking you're going to pee on everyone. 

once i got the epidural, i got crazy tired, so i asked for another snack, my toothbrush/toothpaste and i was ready to pass out for a while.  dave went to bed in one of the reclining chairs and his mom took the other- i remember being uncomfortable, but at least i was able to sleep.  the tv was on, but i remember not wanting it turned off.  food network shows turned to infomercials and eventually i woke up, and i was in pain.  i remember the nurse saying they could add more to my epidural if needed, so after laying there in pain for at least 30 minutes (i was afraid to wake anyone), i finally got dave to wake up, and told him i was having a lot of pain and contractions.  my mother in law woke up too, and i remember her going into the bathroom- while she was there i told dave, "i hope she doesn't think she's staying in here for this" (sorry, deb).  he assured me she would be leaving.  i paged the nurse and told her i needed more in my epidural, so she said she wanted to check me out first.  side note:  i was told by someone when you have a baby that you will be all shy about being checked for progress in the beginning, but by the end you are practically throwing your legs open wanting to get the baby out- it's true.  with that check she told me- no time, it's time to push!!  AHHH!

so it was probably around 4:45 or 5:00- the hospital room all the sudden was like a transformer- a giant light drops from the ceiling, to put your lady parts under a spotlight, stir ups fold out of my bed, it was crazy.  i asked for the  tv to be turned off.  i was ready to go- but my epidural had definitely worn off on my right side- i was going 50% natural...  my nurse went over the drill with me- for each contraction, i'm going to give 3 pushes- let her know when one starts- and listen for her lead to push- push like you're taking a #2, and push as hard as you can.  dave was up by me to hold my hand and help me with the breathing.  my first pushes were small- as we were trying to get my water to break.  i must've pushed for 15 minutes just trying to get that to happen- no dice.  nothing better than watching a nurse continually jab your lady parts with her gloved finger saying, "it just won't break, we may have to call dr. barthel in with the hook."  wait a what?!?!  no one is sticking a hook of any kind in me- so i pushed even harder- and finally my water broke.  this was it- i was able to start the serious pushing.  can i just say i had the best nurse ever.  she was so excited about me having a baby- and that was awesome.  i remember poor dave didn't want to know anything that was going on below the waist- but as i kept pushing, ian's little head kept surfacing- and i remember her excitedly saying- "come here, come here, you've got to see this, it's his head, and he's got blond hair!"  poor dave went and reluctantly looked- he later said, "she was so excited, i felt like i had to."

so i pushed for a long time- 2 hours.  toward the end when dr. barthel finally came in, she said we were going to have to use the vacuum extractor to try and get him out.  she also said, "i think he's going to be huge" because i just kept pushing, and he was staying.  i remember during every contraction thinking, "will this be my last, why isn't he out yet, it's been so long."  i was exhausted.  when she got out the vacuum, she told me that i had 3 tries to get him out- or i was going to have to have a c-section.  i was filled with dread.  i really didn't want to have a c-section.  i remember someone telling me that my parents had arrived (just in time), i was so ready to meet him.  we started with the vacuum- contraction 1, nothing.  contraction 2, nothing, and the vacuum slipped and i thought i was going to suffer a serious injury.  finally, my 3rd contraction, i pushed harder than i had ever pushed before- using every ounce of strength left in my body, and pop, out he was- head, shoulders, body- everything- one push!  and he was perfect, and he was quiet, but fussed a little.  he had great color, and i remember her putting his little body on my belly, all tiny and slippery, and i remember the tears.  they then took him to clean him up and i remember screeching at dave as he stood in shock, "the CAMERA" (ha, nice wife).  dave cut the cord and they took him to the  corner of the room for tests and a bath.  6 pounds, 12 ounces- and dr. uma said, "if he had been over 7 lbs, you wouldn't have been able to have him on your own."  lucky me.  while they cleaned ian up and i tried to watch, i had to deliver my placenta, which i got to see (i could live without that again), and then i got stitched which was just fabulous...  no episiotomy, just a "very bad" tear.  none of it mattered though- i had just had a baby, and i had just kicked ass.  it wasn't long before i had my perfect baby back in my arms and so began my journey of being a mom!

 here i am shortly after we got settled in, and again enjoying a delicious cherry popsicle.  

here is dave making me all jealous with his steak n shake.  the white board you see in the background has all my info on it including the words "i want to eat."

 fresh out da kitchen.  the warming machine had his weight displayed.

 being cleaned off.  finally, wrapped, warm and in mommy's arms.  

 feeding ian for the first time, and just some old fashioned love.

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  1. Beautiful story!! Motherhood is truly AMAZING!! I could totally relate to your story, but unfortunately after 2 1/2 hours of pushing mine ended in a c-section. Way to go Melissa...Ian is lucky to have you and Dave :)

  2. I loved reading this. One day I will be able to relate. :)


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