There is not enough time in the day for me to write about all the things that have happened in the last 20 days, but I will do my best in providing a glimpse of our recent weeks. I will give you a few events at a time… today I will start with my account of the L&D. Here we go:
LABOR & DELIVERY: 10/02/09
We arrived at the hospital between 8-9am on Thursday, Noah’s due date. I wanted to just go to the Doc’s office to be checked out, but we would have had to wait another 30 minutes before even talking to a nurse about coming in, so we headed up to L&D Triage. I was the only person in there so we were seen pretty quickly. After a few “tests” to find out what was going on, the nurse quickly declared that my water had definitely broken and that we would be headed to a room shortly (which we later found out was the ONLY available room left in the unit). We got settled into the room, made phone calls to let folks know that this is definitely happening, and around 11 I was able to get up and walk around the unit. Things stayed pretty “normal” for 5-6 hours and I was able to get up and walk or shower or do the birthing ball every so often for about 30 minutes at a time. The nurse (Julie) would come in and hook me back up to the monitors and check me every couple of hours, which turned out to be one of the less enjoyable parts because 1) it made me lose my lunch every time (even though I had not eaten in over 12 hours) and 2) my contractions were consistent but I was making no progress. My contractions started to get more intense at 2-3 minutes apart around 4pm but I had stayed at 4cm since being admitted earlier in the morning. Dr. Cottam (my OB) had left at 3pm and was calling to check on me around 5pm, suggesting that we needed to change something otherwise I was going to continue to labor with little progress and wear myself out. My options were to go ahead and start pitocin or have a pressure monitor “installed” to measure what exactly my contractions were doing. Sticking with the “natural” mindset I opted for the monitor, which did NOT fair well. More lunch losing and tears in my eyes (the only time I cried during labor) and pulling the nurse’s hand away… so we stopped with that option. It wasn’t that my contractions weren’t getting stronger, they just weren’t dilating me, so I was feeling the pain and pressure with each contraction… and the weird part is that I was having what Chris called “double shots” meaning that I was having two contractions back to back with no time in between, going 2-3 min, and then having two more back to back. This was starting to get to me so I asked for Stadol (a narcotic that just takes the edge off, not a pain reducer… think 2 for 1 margaritas) before they started the pitocin so that I could relax between contractions. When they had started to get intense I was shaking and having a hard time resting between them, so the Stadol definitely helped, allowing me to relax for the 2-3 minutes b/t contractions. Once the pitocin was administered everything started moving right along… more intensity, more dilation, etc. From about 7pm on I progressed steadily, hardly opening my eyes, only talking when talked to. My focus was on breathing and relaxing, Chris rubbing my back through each contraction (also offering to play DJ with the iPod), and hoping that I could get through with only the Stadol. Also, let me mention, that Chris was a trooper… communicating with the nurses of what we wanted, holding his bladder for several hours because I wouldn’t let him leave my side, rubbing my back until his arm nearly fell off, encouraging me with every contraction, among other slightly more intimate memories I will keep to ourselves. Dr. Many would be the one to deliver our baby and she was periodically checking in on us, beginning to “worry” that I would end up laboring for more than 18 hours after my water had broken, which meant I would potentially need antibiotics to reduce risk of infection for Noah. Although his heart rate remained “perfect” throughout labor, we would still have to take precautions just in case… I missed the 18hr mark by about 30 minutes. Around 10pm our nurse (Meredith) came in and checked me, finding that I was at about 8.5cm. She began to situate the room and equipment in preparation for delivery. This is when it really sank in for me… I was about to have this baby, most likely before midnight. Holy crap… Around 11pm Meredith wanted to do a “test push” to see what kind of pusher I would be, at which she quickly learned that I meant business! Dr. M was actually delivering another baby at that time, so I had to wait a few more contractions before going again to give her time to get in the room. I never understood the statement “I feel like I need to push” and what it really means, but with my contractions coming one behind the other pretty intensely, there wasn’t much waiting I was able to do. I asked to continue to push, and she let me, and soon after the Dr. joined us. At this point (around 11:20pm) the nursery nurses, the Dr’s assistant, and Meredith were all gearing up for delivery… one of the nursery nurses asked if he would be here before midnight so she could fill out the paperwork and Meredith indicated that she thought so. Oh man, here we go… so I will spare the details, but with Chris at my side, Dr. M running the show and the other folks offering words of encouragement and incredible support, we pushed until 12:05am when Noah Matthew entered this big new world! He came out wide-eyed and screaming at 8lbs6oz, 20 1/2inches with beautiful color and chubby cheeks (he got those from his mama). His daddy may have shed a few more tears than his mama, both proud and relieved that the “hard part” was past us. The nurses cleaned him up, the Dr. finished with me, and Noah was handed to his daddy to cuddle and love. We are now a family of three and a half…
Quirky Facts of Our L&D:
* I may never drink apple juice again.
* We heard stats ranging from 3%-10% of babies are born ON there due date… Noah missed his by 5 minutes.
* I never asked for the epidural.. I wouldn’t have let them near me with a needle anyhow.
* Apparently, I apologized frequently to the nursing staff and Dr. for what was going on down yonder.
* “Hees and Hoos” of breathing are silly… just breathe slow and close your eyes to focus. I think those breathing techniques are for the entertainment of others in the room.
* Chris offered to play Mitch Hedberg during my contractions.
* You quickly lose any shred of modesty during childbirth.
* I wouldn’t do anything differently… every bit of the pain was worth it.
The staff at Parkwest were above and beyond what we expected. They helped make our experience a positive and successful one… we are eternally thankful for their care and expertise that helped us bring home our healthy baby boy.