Friday, December 11, 2009

December 11, 2006-3 years ago

I was still at work, minding my own business, reading a book. My next OB appointment was to be on the morning of the 12th. I felt like I was a little wet, so I went to the bathroom to see what was going on. It was just a quarter size spot on my panties, but it was clear. I thought perhaps my water was leaking, and I wasn't sure how they checked to see if in fact that was the case. I heard all the time about how the docs will check only to say that it wasn't amniotic fluid when in fact it was. How could one be sure? So I called upstairs to our Labor and Delivery unit to ask. I asked if it was something that could be checked with nitrate paper (pH paper), or how exactly they determined if the fluid was amniotic fluid. Come to find out, it requires a full speculum exam. I told them nevermind, and decided that I wasn't going home unless my water flat out broke so that it was obvious, and that I was going to call my OB when the office opened to see if I could have my appointment moved up a day.

At 6:30am, I had a tiny bit more fluid in my panties, otherwise, nothing else to write home about. I got off of work at 7:30, and called Archie to tell him that I was going to call Dr. A's office when they opened to see about rescheduling my appointment and being seen today instead. He told me that he'd never be done at work if I kept calling him...Fine. I went home, took out the dog, and decided I would finish packing that hospital bag. I had put this off because I figured if it was packed, I would be the one to deliver late, and I was ready to meet my baby. So I got some laundry from the table and started up the stairs. I made it up 4 stairs before I had a lot of fluid rushing down my leg. It took me a split second to realize that my bladder hadn't been capable of holding that much urine in months, and decided that my water had broken.

I called Archie, said I was sorry, but that my water had just broken for real. All I heard on the other end was a click, and when I looked down at the phone, I realized he'd hung up on me. I hoped he heard me. Next, I called Dr. A and much to my dismay found out that she was now post call, she'd gotten off at 8am, so she would not be delivering my baby! I was so upset, but her partner would be delivering me and that was fine. She told me I had time to take a shower and wait for Archie to get home since I was only 1cm last week. I expected Archie to be home in about 40 minutes, but he was there in 20. Evidently he'd completely lost it and was running around mumbling things about water breaking incoherently as he rushed out of work to head home. I took a shower and it was really quite uneventful, no real contractions to write home about. We took the dog out again and then headed to the hospital.

On the way to the hospital I was having really bad back pain. It was rather consistent in how often I felt it which made me think it was back labor. But then I didn't think it was because the contractions were about 3 minutes apart. By the time we got to the hospital and got checked in, it was 10:30am and my contractions were coming every minute and a half. So, one would think I'd be really dilated right? Nope, 2cm. I was not impressed. By noon I was begging for my epidural. The back labor was the pits, and I was not the nicest person to my poor husband who also lacked sleep and was at a loss for how to help me. They warned me that I could have the epidural (still at only 2cm), but that it might slow my labor. I informed them that I did not care, I just didn't like feeling so mean, and being in so much pain. I got my epidural, and it worked beautifully so long as I made sure to turn on my sides every so often so it worked on both sides instead of just one. And sure enough, my labor slowed, so I bought myself a pitocin drip.

In the meantime, my mother called me every hour it seemed to see how things were going, should she leave now to come to the hospital, how was I doing...she loves me, and she was so excited to meet her grandson. She also had her office's holiday lunch that day. They had just finished placing their yummy orders when I told her that my nurse had said she could probably leave now to head to the hospital. I think I was only about 5cm dilated at that point, but they said it started to move more quickly from there on out. The plan was not for anyone to be in the room with us when Jack arrived except for the necessary doctor and nurse. My mom came, as well as my mother-in-law and father-in-law while we were in labor. My father-in-law stayed in the waiting room, hoping for news, since he was sick with the flu. My mother-in-law and mom tried to comfort me. I had the most horrendous charlie horse from my left hip to my left knee, and no matter how much I begged for more drugs, they said that they wouldn't work. They thought that Jack was pressing on a nerve, and until he was delivered, it wouldn't get better. I thought I could kill someone, seriously. I remember my mother-in-law raking her heel of her hand up and down my leg trying to give me some relief. Nothing. Misery.

I remember Dr. M coming into the room and telling me that if Jack wasn't born by 6pm, Dr. H would be delivering me. I asked who in the world that was (I had chosen my OB's office based on the fact that there were only two physicians and I thought that meant I had a guarantee one of them would deliver me), and she told me it was her sister-in-law, that she was very good. That didn't matter to me. At 5:30pm I was 10cm dilated. I asked if I could labor down for a bit (I didn't want to have to push forever). At 6:20pm, my mom and mother-in-law went into the waiting room, Dr. H was running late, and Dr. M garbed up to help us bring our little boy into the world. I remember she put a mirror so I could see how I was pushing, and I remember freaking out telling her, my nurse and Archie that I couldn't do this, I had changed my mind. I insisted that I wanted to go home. I was exhausted, and quite frankly, totally scared that I would watch myself tear from one end to the other with that stupid mirror there. I closed my eyes and pushed like they told me to. In 35 minutes, at 6:55pm, Dr. M told me to stop pushing, Jack was here, but had the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck, and it was a short cord. Archie wouldn't be able to cut it as it was too close to the birth canal. He also had some meconium (this happens when the baby gets stressed in utero and stools) at the end. They called the NICU team to check him out and make sure he was ok. He was.

His puffy little face was so bruised because he'd come out the wrong way, unable to turn due to the cord around his neck. He looked like most newborns, with their puffy, splotchy bodies for the first few hours. I shook so bad from the hormone shift. He was beautiful though in that puffy sort of way, well, sort of. I was exhausted. Our moms came in and held him, began to bond with him. I felt so bad for my father-in-law who wouldn't meet his grandson until the following week when he was no longer sick, but who had nonetheless, held vigil in the waiting room during my labor and delivery. I remember rather little of the rest of that first night. The next day we checked him over, thought about who he looked like (dead ringer for my husband). We thought he definitely had Archie's Asian appearance, his nose, and definitely my lips. He was the most beautiful baby I'd ever seen, and that is saying alot considering babies are my job. I am a bit biased however.

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