Thursday, August 5, 2010

The (Rest of The) Birth Story - Part 2

So, after hitting every bump on the interstate and what felt like every speed bump in the hospital parking lot, we finally made it to the Emergency Room at the Big Hospital around 7AM.

That's where things started to go downhill. See, a few years back Big Hospital had a baby taken from the nursery, and well, since then, they've really tightened up on security in the maternity ward. So, to get to labor and delivery or any other part of the floor, there is only one recognized way in - past the first floor cafeteria & gift shops, and up a public elevator to a lobby. Unfortunately the people in the ER did not provide very clear directions and we spent a good 10-15 minutes trying to get to point M (for maternity), going up and down elevators and moving around in circles until we eventually found a back entrance which a security guard bitched about opening remotely. Keep in mind by this time my labor was approaching every 2 minutes and getting harder. I was about to become the bitchy screaming lady on the gurney if the guard hadn't let us through.

But in we went and I was transferred to the care of residents and doctors I had never before met. A quick internal check by a resident moved me from (yet another) triage room to an operating room for delivery. At this point I'm panicking a little - I'm not getting a c-section without my consent, am I? No, it was just the only room open with enough space for both the birth team and baby team. Phew. A check in the operating room by a more experienced doctor moved me back to the triage room - apparently the resident still needed more hands on learning about the difference between 3-4 cm dilation and full dilation. But the move back to the triage room didn't happen before I once again needed to vomit, this time accompanied not only by labor but loss of bladder control. It's a good thing they kept switching me from bed to bed at this point, although the IV the first hospital had located in the back of my hand started to cause problems because there was no way I could bend my wrist enough to be able to support myself easily while moving across from one bed to another. That IV ended up bruising the inside of my vein (or irritating it as there was no external visual cue that it was painful).

With all the movement to and fro, and the time lost trying to actually find the maternity department entrance, it wasn't too much longer after I got resettled into the triage room that DH showed up. So much for the time gained from travel by ambulance!

And then we waited for the anesthesiologist to come do the epidural. And waited. And waited. And waited some more. Apparently even though it wasn't a full moon or any of the other common triggers for the department to be crazy busy, it was. When DH came in there were several women waiting in the lobby, including one at 34 weeks in labor. But thanks to my being a transfer - I got priority. Such as it was. Eventually we were told the anesthesiologist had a c-section and one other epidural to get through before he could get to me. So, I labored. And labored, and labored. And got to the point where I really REALLY wanted to push. And I wasn't supposed to. And it was hard (and I am overusing and. I know it. Just bear with me here.). DH was great, he rubbed my back when I wanted him to, and encouraged me through the contractions and didn't touch me when I wanted him not to, and fed me ice chips. His only failing - telling me both to "not push" and to "push through the contractions." Of course he wasn't trying to contradict himself, it was just the way he was phrasing it. Once I called him on it, he got better about choosing other words to encourage me to hold back and ride out the contractions.

So, finally, at about 10:30 the anesthesiologist finally made his way into the room. The contractions were pretty intense by that time and probably close to a minute apart. It made staying still for the epidurals pretty difficult. Yes, that was epiduralS. The first one kinked as it went in and they couldn't use it, so had to pull it and try again. That was not fun.

But once the second one was in and the medication started to flow, life went from being horrible to pretty darn good. I never felt the full out leg deadening, instead they just tingled, like pins and needles but without the pain. After that it wasn't too long before a birthing room opened up and I was moved, once again (actually they started out once but had to turn back for some reason, so that was another trip through the halls). And at some point DH was handed a white sterile suit and told to suit up, but I'm not sure why that was - perhaps they were thinking we'd have to go back to the OR for me to give birth. That was during the hell of trying not to push labor, so it's a little fuzzy.

Not long after we moved to the birthing room, my in-laws showed up. They had stopped at the house on the way down and picked up some items that would have been in the birth bag, had I managed to get it packed. You know - a hair brush, lip balm, things that make a girl feel better about herself. My parents were not able to come until the next day - my Mother was in an airport after leaving a conference and my Father waited for her to return home before they came down. So we chatted for a bit until a little before 1 when the doctors came in and said it was time to push. Then the in-laws got kicked out - they did not need to be in the room.

A pictocin drip was started to up my contractions since the epidural had slowed them down some, a quick in and out catheterization, and then I got the word to push. On my back. It would have been easier at an angle, but that's where I was. (If that's my only regret about the birth, then I think it went pretty darn well, don't you?) At 4-5 pushes per contraction, straining to push with muscles I could not feel while regulating my breathing, it took about 5 contractions worth of pushes and the Little One shot out and according to DH almost missed being caught by the person at the end of the table. That was at 1:27pm. Fewer than 12 hours after my water had broken so gushingly.

DH cut the umbilical cord and I was given a very brief look at her before she was whisked away to the side to be checked over by the baby team. At this point I realized there were about 10 people in the room whom I had never met before. Looking at my girly bits. Ah well, thanks IF for making that just that much less embarrassing. So the doctors and residents were doing their thing on my lower half, and I was straining to see what was going on with our baby. Our baby. How incredible was that? DH was over there but I wanted to know too...

At some time during all this, I was instructed to give another push to get the placenta out, and then a bowl of water was poured over my crotch to rinse away the blood (and whatever else may have been ejected during the pushing. I didn't ask.) so that a better inspection of any tears or other issues could be completed. With two level 2 tears, I got some stitches on each and there was some concern about some additional unidentified bleeding. Eventually the doc and resident decided it wasn't enough to be of concern, but I also scored having some pills to stop the bleeding inserted, and not where the baby had just come out of. The other opening down there. Thank goodness the epidural was still in effect!

Along the way, Little One was whisked away to the nursery and the bed put back together and the excitement was over. So again, we chilled with the in-laws (they returned after DH went to tell them she had arrived) and waited for the word that Little One was available for visitors, and for a non-birthing room to open up.

And that's the rest of the long-ass detailed version of how Little One entered the world 6 weeks ahead of schedule and shocked us all.

The short version goes: water broke at 2:45 or so, went to the local hospital, was transported by ambulance to the bigger hospital, it was crazy busy so had to wait for the epidural, and finally gave birth less than 12 hours after my water broke after only 5 contractions worth of pushes.

I think that covered everything - but let me know if you think I left out something you had wondered about or want to know more guarantees that I will remember, but I'll give it a shot.


  1. and to think... this all started from one 'super egg'!! It's been so fun watching the story progress from that post.... :)

  2. My dear, many, many congratulations for everything! Yours is an amazing story and I am so grateful you shared it with us. And I am so deep in admiration that I can't even think of anything else to ask you about it all! You pretty much covered everything.
    Congrats once again. I hope the sleep deprivation is getting more manageable. Thinking of you,

  3. I still can't even believe how fast it all happened. She certainly did make her mind up, didn't she? :)

  4. Oh my goodness, what an incredible story! I told Jon about you and your baby girl arriving so early and that may have freaked him out a bit! (It also kicked him into gear a little more to get the nursery finished, so that is good!)

  5. I read your story simply in awe of how ridiculously disorganized the big hospital was. All those transfers! No wonder you wanted that epidural, how could you possibly be expected to handle those contractions while getting shunted from place to place every few minutes?

    As for the pill going in the, ahem, other opening? I'm sad to say I know EXACTLY what you're talking about, but I wasn't numb. Dude.

  6. Oh my lord!!! I haven't been here in forever, and imagine my incredible delirious happy shock at reading this post!!!!

    CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!! I am going to toast you and I tonight -- two previously infertile Myrtles basking in the glow of new mommyhood. CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!