Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Baby Girl's Birth Story - part one

The cervix ripening gel did not work.  My doctor checked me Tuesday (1/29) and I was still long and closed...not one centimeter dilated and baby girl was still floating around way up high.  Our induction was scheduled for Wednesday which meant that I was to report to L&D Tuesday night for the Cervidil to get things started.  I was bummed but excited at the same time.  There was going to be a baby, one way or another, on Wednesday.

We spent Tuesday evening at home and were visited by my SIL and her 3 kids a little while before we left for the hospital.  We had french bread pizzas for dinner and I had baked a chocolate candy crunch pie for dessert.  It was SO good.  I made a couple of phone calls as the evening dragged.  The Little Guy had been adamant that he wanted to be at the hospital when his "only sister was being born" but since births are very unscripted we promised that he'd be there as soon as he could.  He was so worried about his little sister and he just wanted her to be ok...just like the rest of us.  He was with his mom and had basketball practice that night.  I asked her to bring him to the hospital for a quick visit once we were checked in.  It was nice of her to do that for us.

We checked in and I was hooked up to everything.  It all felt very surreal, like I was watching someone else go through it.  A tech came in to start my IV line in case I needed it later.  I could tell by talking to her and looking at her that she didn't know what she was doing.  Since my left wrist hurt so bad and I wanted to wear my brace I asked her to stick me in my right arm.  She searched for a vein...and searched...and searched.  Mind you, since becoming pregnant, finding veins had not been a problem for anyone.  She found one and stuck me...and turned the needle and twisted the needle until finally she said she had it.  Then she said she blew my vein and pulled the needle out.  Lovely.  She left the room to get more supplies.  When she came back she didn't try to find a vein in my arm or wrist...she went straight for my left hand.  If someone is in labor and experiences contractions and needs to push a baby out, why would you hinder her hand that she'll need to either grip a bed or someone else's hand by putting an IV line in it???  She stuck it in and got it right away.  When she went to pinch it off and cap it, blood went everywhere!  It was all over my hand and my bed.  She was something else.  She got me cleaned up and changed my sheet and left.  Then she was back.  She had misplaced her scanner.  She came back 2 more times looking for it because she couldn't remember where she had left it.  This visit did not get off to a good start.

The Little Guy and his mother came by around 8:00.  They didn't stay long.  We chatted and took a couple of pictures to commemorate our last night as a family of 3.  We promised he'd know about the birth as soon as we could tell him.

My doctor came by around 8:30 to administer the gel insert.  I wish she would have prepared me for how much it was going to hurt.  I've had hands and instruments up my hoo ha but this procedure took the cake.  Oh my gosh...it felt like she was inserting a rusty razor blade up there.  You would think that they would make those things a little more aerodynamic for the hole in which they are going.  OUCH.  BJ was watching me writhe in pain and confessed later that it was really hard for him to see that and not tell the doctor to quit hurting his wife.  So sweet.

BJ and I were both exhausted so it was time to settle in for the night, as best we could.  There were 3 chairs on the right side of my bed for him to sleep in.  He maneuvered the first into a lounging position but was not very comfortable at all.  He decided to try the second chair but first he had to figure out how to get the first chair back into a chair.  The second chair was better but very noisy to lay on and still pretty uncomfortable.  It was on to the third chair...after figuring out how to get the second chair back in place.  The third chair was the winner!  However, it took up so much room he had to get the other 2 out of the way before he could actually lay down.  This chair adventure took about an hour!  It was comical to watch it all unfold (great pun).

My contractions started to get stronger around 12:30.  They were coming at about 4 to 10 minutes apart.  BJ was trying to sleep and I was trying to breath through the pain and practice for when the real thing started.  I had to get up to pee several times and that was very interesting.  I had to be very careful not to pull the string and to keep it out of the way while I relieved myself.  That was not very easy.  My belly was really big and I had a hard time just wiping myself, let alone fishing around for a string to move to the side.  But I managed.  Getting back in bed was tricky, too.  I was so afraid of snagging that damn string.

The night was full of sleep in about 10 minute intervals.  I was afraid to move too much because at times I couldn't hear baby girl on the monitor and I was afraid of the string and I didn't want to wake BJ up because he actually fell asleep.  More importantly, the contractions had moved into my back.    I knew that pretty much meant she was facing the wrong way and that I'd most likely be in for a very painful labor.  The pain was pretty severe at times and I had a hard time breathing through the contractions.  I put my own arm behind me and applied pressure to my lower back and that helped a little but was so uncomfortable I wasn't able to maintain that position for very long.

Finally the morning arrived.  My contractions were closer together and still pretty strong.  I decided that I wasn't a wimp after looking at the print out and seeing how they spiked all the way to the top of the chart.  BJ went to get some coffee and find out when I'd be checked for progress.  We were very hopeful and pretty confident that things had progressed nicely and that I'd be starting pitocin very soon.  Nurse Bernie (I really liked her) came in and said that she'd be doing the checking very shortly.  Yay!!  She looked at the print out and was impressed with what she saw so I felt even better.  We were going to DO this!

The moment of truth...she was prepping to pull the insert out and we were making small talk about the baby and then we told her about our fears regarding her head and Bernie said that not too much should be made about those ultra sounds sometimes.  The insert coming out was pain free!  Then she reached way up in my lady parts and shook her head.  BJ and I held our breath.  She said there was no progress.  She couldn't even get the tip of her pinky in my cervix.  My heart sank and the tears came.  Again my body had failed me.  I couldn't even speak.  BJ told Bernie how disappointed I was.  Bernie was great, though.  She kept everything upbeat and told me on several occasions that c-sections really are the safest way to have babies.  It didn't matter at the time.  I was crushed.  I knew I was headed for major surgery with a long and restricted recovery.  I was so excited to meet my little girl but I knew they'd take her from me right after she was born.  It meant not holding her as soon as she came out.  It meant her going to the nursery without me getting to see them clean her.  It meant no skin to skin contact right after birth.  It meant only hearing her first cries and not actually seeing her little face.  It was probably the biggest disappointment I had felt in a very long time.

My doctor came by to reassure me that everything would be fine and to let me know that we'd be going in for surgery at 10:45.  That meant that in 2 hours I'd be meeting my little girl...my daughter.  I was very excited and couldn't wait but at the same time scared shitless.  Scared of the surgery and scared for baby girl.  I was exhilarated but deflated all at the same time.  It felt like everything was happening to someone else and I, again, was watching from the outside.

I posted on FB and made a couple of calls.  BJ called his sister and she said she'd be right up.  We made small talk for a few minutes but then things started happening pretty quickly.  Nurse Bernie came in and hooked up my drip line (remember the fiasco of getting the line inserted?) and started running down a list of things that were about to happen...IV antibiotics, anesthesiologist visit, compression legs, cap and gown for BJ, etc.  BJ's sister arrived and tried to lighten the mood.  Yes, I was excited, so very excited, but so very disappointed and full of fear.  I had never had surgery before (just my wisdom teeth out and that didn't go smoothly) and she tried to explain it as she has had 3 c-sections.  She kept saying that her first was born via c-section and it was a good thing because she had complications that could have cost them both their lives if she had delivered vaginally.  Her theory was that this was happening for a reason.  And I said, "well, if that's true then something is wrong so that is not very reassuring to hear right now."  And again I was in tears.  The fear of the unknown (and knowing they would take her from me) was the worst part of all of this.  That and the fact that I was still having contractions from the gel.

Nurse Bernie came back and wondered why my fluids were not dripping properly.  You have one guess as to why.  The incompetent lady from the night before screwed it up...are you surprised?  I wasn't.  Nurse Bernie had to re-do her line in my other arm making for a total of 3 lines in about 12 hours.  The anesthesiologist came in and we chatted about the usual stuff and I was put in my sexy compression sock things and given a hair cap to wear.  In the mean time, BJ was fumbling around trying to get his booties over his boots and cursing himself for not wearing tennis shoes.  He was given a bigger pair but they were still not fitting.  He was so aggravated that he was stressing me out even more.  He hadn't eaten, even though he was told to by the nurses, so that made him more cranky.  I told him to eat something, even a candy bar, so that he didn't fall out in the OR because I NEEDED him now more than ever.  He obliged.  :-)  We took a few pictures and by that time it was time to go.  I was expecting to be wheeled to the OR in my bed but I was instructed to walk there.  Our room was right next to the OR so it only took a few seconds.  I kissed BJ good-bye and told him that I loved him and that it was going to be ok...although I wasn't sure of that but I needed to say it.  Then I turned my back, grabbed my pole of fluids, closed the back of my gown with my other hand and walked into the room that my daughter would be born in.