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Monday, August 24, 2009

Two years ago...

Two years ago, I was in active labor on this day. I woke up at 5:00 a.m. with contractions that were 5-8 minutes apart. By 11:00 a.m., they were 4-5 minutes apart and starting to become more painful. I couldn't really eat anything all day. By 3:00 p.m., they were 3-4 minutes apart, and I was having trouble talking through them. I was mostly on the couch, but walking around some of the time. After talking to my mom, she urged me it was time to go in. So, off to the hospital we went. They checked me in triage and I was at a 2 and 90% effaced. They confirmed that my contractions were 5 minutes apart, and said I would definitely be back later, but to go home and labor some more there, because I'd be more comfortable (why, in the appointments do they tell you to come in when they're 5 minutes apart, then? Oh well).

So, I went home. Two hours later, I was lying on the couch watching Thirteen Going on 30 (giggle), one of my favorite girlie movies, trying to distract myself, when I felt a gush. I thought, oh good, it's my water!

But, it wasn't my water. I went to the bathroom and it was blood. It was really gushing out. Like, I had to use some pads and I was going through a few of them and just peeing it out (like a heavy period day). Uh oh. My belly felt hot to the touch, and I was so scared. I was on the phone with my mom as this all happened, and she said to call the doctor or go in.

I called and the nurse was like, "well, it's probably just bloody show, but you can come in if you feel like it". Um yeah, we're going in. I am not chancing this!

I was in tears in the car, so afraid something horrible had happened, like my placenta detatching. We get there and they ask me if I want a wheelchair for the ride up, and I take one simply because I have a super pad on, but feel like I am going to gush over all over the place.

I get in triage and now I'm at a 3 and 100% effaced. They monitor my contractions and my doctor comes and checks me (yes, my doctor was the one on-call that night--yay!); he doesn't seem to be concerned at all about the bleeding and says it's probably from dilating. ?? WTF ?? I finally get admitted around 7:00 and they take me to my birthing suite.

Wow! It was gorgeous! They had recently remodeled, so we're talking hardwood floors, a very large room, a big-screen t.v., a couch for the hubby, a rocking chair, and a nice bathroom with a deep bathtub. I was very impressed. First I got settled in and then they hooked up my I.V. (I was GBS positive; the only "downfall" of my entire pregnancy, but really no big deal) and then told me I could walk around if I wanted to. So, we did. I went down the hall because I knew my friend's mom was working in the nursery. I said "hi" to her in-between contractions. One of the nurses showed me how to grab the handrail when I was having a contraction and squat and push through it (I felt like such a dork). I had to go to the bathroom and had this, and I'm not kidding you, over foot long clotty thing come out of me. I had more blood. Come to think of it, I should have motioned the nurse to come into the bathroom and see, but I flushed it because I was in pain from my contractions and if the doctor said I was okay, I must have been. I walked around for awhile and then headed back to the room.

After a little while, Dr. M came in and asked how I was feeling. He checked me and I was at a 4 at this point? I think? He asked if I wanted my water broken, and I said, "sure" (why not get the ball rolling; I had been in labor now for 16 hours). He said, "you have a tough bag! It took a couple attempts with the hook thing, but he got it. It seemed to bring on more frequent contractions, but I didn't really notice.

Around 11:00 p.m., I decided I wanted to labor in the bathtub. Maybe the hot water would help. I spent two hours in there. At one point, I yelled at DH because he was sitting next to me, smacking his gum (I kid you not) and asking me questions DURING the contractions. After I yelled at him (barely), he said, "I'll just go home if you're going to be like this". I was like, "no, it's not that! Seriously, just don't smack your gum, and don't talk to me during a contraction because I need to focus and get through them". The nurse came in a couple times and told me what a good job I was doing!

At 1:00 a.m., Dr. M came back to check me. I was now dilated to a 5. A five. Seriously? I had now been in labor for 20 hours and I was to a 5. Wow! So, I asked for the epidural. They came right in and inserted it. Why are people so scared about the needle? I mean, when you're in a ton of pain from the contractions, a needle is the least of your worries (a little advice to those who haven't been through labor yet, LOL, I know this was one of my concerns pre-labor). Instant relief. I felt nothing, literally, after about 60 seconds of that being in. The nurse told me to get some sleep, but I was too excited about labor! I could not sleep a wink. I was glad DH got to get some sleep; he was on the couch. The next time they checked me, I was at an 8. The nurses were coming in seriously every 10-15 minutes, maybe because one of them was a student nurse being trained (she graduated from my high school in a tiny town, two years after me--funny how you don't mind having someone you sort-of know seeing your girlie parts on display, not to mention being completely naked in the tub).

So, finally I was to a 9. And then, still a 9. And still a 9, and my contractions had basicaly stopped (not that I could feel them either way). You know how when you have an epidural, they have to keep checking you to make sure it isn't up too high (they had ice in a rubber glove)? Well, I couldn't feel it wherever they put it. I was numb up to my clavicles, and I could feel my neck starting to tingle. They elevated my upper body then. This was when all the chaos went on, because it was all of a sudden time for them to give me pitocin to get my contractions started up again (mention of the "P" word elicited fear in me because I was afraid of ending up with a c-section), but it worked. The contractions started up again. Then my blood pressure crashed to 88/30. I started shaking really bad, uncontrollably. I threw up my ice chips (all I had eaten all day, so it wasn't very much). They had to give my epinephrine to get my BP back up. There was chaos in the room, so this part of the story is hard for me to remember.

Eventually, I was to a 10 and it was time to push. This was at 6:30 a.m., 25.5 hours after my labor had begun. I couldn't believe it was finally time to push! The only thing was, my legs were dead weight and I couldn't feel when a contraction was coming (even after they turned down the epidural twice. Why in the world didn't I tell them to just turn it off? I didn't know it was an option, that's why. Oh well, live and learn). The nurses told me when a contraction was coming, and then I would push with these muscles I couldn't feel. Very strange! I was also coughing the entire time because I was on the tail end of this horrible cold. Every time I would cough, it helped him come out a little more. He was crowned for what seemed like a long time! I used the mirror and I would rub his little head. So, this went on for 1.5 hours and at 7:53 a.m. on August 25th, 2007, Andrew was born.

He had a squeaky cry! "Uwaah-squeak...uwaah-squeak!" His little mouth was quivering and at first, his little nostrils were flaring. He was so little! That was my first thought. I said, "wow, he's tiny!", and he was. He weighed 6 lbs, 6 oz., which I found out later. First it was time to snuggle! They got him on my chest skin-to-skin and helped me get him latched for the first time. They wrapped us in a heated blanket and I just enjoyed snuggling with him. He was so cute and small! OMG, I couldn't believe it. Later, I asked DH what he thought when he came out, if he was freaked out, and he said he was more amazed that something that (seemingly) big could come out of there!

Our first family picture:

The rest was history. We had a ton of visitors because it was Saturday. At one point, it was like a zoo in there and I seriously wanted everyone to shut up for just a second (the nurse came in and asked, "do you need some water?", our code for "get these people out of here--but I was cool with it; I knew they'd eventually leave). My perfect little guy roomed with us (our room they gave us had a double bed, so DH stayed there with me). He liked my body heat, and a couple times the nurses would get him all burrito wrapped in his basinet, and they would put heated blankets on him, but as soon as the heat wore off, he would be crying. Both of us got up with him and comforted him the first night. By the time I went to sleep, it was 1:00 a.m. on SUNDAY, so I had now been up for 44 hours straight! I couldn't do it anymore. I remember rocking him in the rocking chair and my head kept nodding. I was thinking, "this isn't safe". My aunt was working that night (Labor & Delivery nurse) and she came in and said she'd hold him and snuggle so I could get some sleep. She took him and brought him back early in the morning. I slept like a zombie, especially after I got my cough drops (they had to bring me some from the pharmacy because I was literally coughing all night). I loved nursing him, and it really clicked after the first couple of times of having the LCs help me.

Finally on Sunday at 11:00, it was time to check out. I got my cutie into his carseat (OMG, so tiny) and we went home. The newborn outfit I had as his going home outfit was too big on him; luckily, one of my friends bought him a couple preemie outfits. When we left the hospital, he weighed 6 lbs, .5 ounces (by his 2 week check-up, he was all the way up to 7 lbs, 5 oz.; amazing).

Wow, if you read this all! :) I hope the next labor is shorter (haha, 27 hours is a bit long) and I am not getting the epidural for sure. I am not sure about other pain relief via an I.V., but I hope to go natural.


Rachel said...

WOW can you belive it's been two years?! Time has flown by like crazy.

Also, you are a saint. If Tim had told me he was going home during labor, I'd have punched him in the nuts. When I was in labor (with Hailey) I yelled at Tim for just breathing too loud. Like three times.

Shannon said...

Happy Birthday to Andrew!

I'm sure your second labor will go a little smoother. Mine was about half the second time around.

Laura said...

Hey Sara, I was reading someone else's blog and saw you commented it and I found your blog and I started reading it a couple of weeks ago anyways we were due date buddies on the pregnancy boards with our sons 8-31-07 lol! I had my son on 8/23/07.

I can't believe its been 2 years!! You are one strong woman to have put up with those contractions that long I felt like 5 and I was yelling for an epidural. I had to be induced and was in labor for 9 hours. I had my daughter 16 months later and was in labor for only 4 hours!

Happy birthday Andrew! Congrats on the second baby!