Since things have finally settled down around here, here is Noah’s birth story.
On Sunday December 19th, 1 week after my due date, I went into the hospital for a scheduled induction at about 8:30 am. After being checked, getting hooked up to the NST monitor, etc, I was eventually administered Cervadil at around 10:00 am. I was SO surprised at how much it hurt! It sent shooting pains up my vagina……I felt like that was not a good indicator of my pain tolerance, LOL. After being hooked up to the fetal monitor for the required 2 hours, I headed home at around 12:30 pm without feeling any different than when I had gone in. I was 1 cm dilated and 70% effaced, like I had been for the past two weeks.
However, once 1:30 rolled around, I felt like I was dying. It had started out as mild cramping, at which point I was intrigued. What does it feel like to have a contraction? I assumed that I would eventually find out….and OH BOY did I ever! 1:30 was about the time that the WHOPPERS started kicking in. I dealt with it by curling up on the bed in a fetal position. I had read somewhere that a bath may help (thinking along the lines of a water birth, I think), so I got Caleb to draw me a bubble bath and I hopped in.
It actually kind of helped at first, I’d just roll over into the fetal position when the contractions hit, and try and breathe through them. At around 2:30 we decided to start timing contractions. We only bothered timing them for 15 minutes or so, but they were regular, about 30-45 seconds long and 50-60 seconds apart. Basically they were right on top of each other, and at this point I wanted to cut my uterus off. The information sheet that I got from L&D said to call if my contractions were regular. I phoned, and she said to come in at around 7:30 pm like they had told me earlier for an NST.
So I got back in the bath, and seeking something to distract me, Caleb and I watched an episode of How I Met Your Mother while I stayed in the bath. At this point I was getting up every 20 minutes or so to sit on the toilet. I somehow kept peeing and pooping! It was amazing….I didn’t know that I had it in me to go that often! So then the one time I got off the toilet, and there was a bunch of blood in the toilet. The sheet had said to call if I had “menstrual-type bleeding”, so since that was pretty subjective, and basically I just wanted them to tell me to come in so I could get some DRUGS (haha, screw the “natural” labor I wanted to have originally 😛 ), I called in. So they told me to come in. YAY.
It took me a solid 10 minutes just to get downstairs and into the vehicle, whereas normally it would take maybe a minute and a half. The contractions were so terrible that I had to keep stopping and bending over to deal with them. So off we were to the hospital! This was around 4 pm.
I got checked, and I was 3 cm and 100% effaced. They gave me a shot of morphine (THANK EFFING GOD), and it took the edge off and made me stop wanting to kill myself (lol). They then admitted me, and we were taken to our room.
As soon as we got there, I stripped and hit the shower. I sat on the exercise ball, leaning against the wall during the break between contractions, then leaned forward against Caleb’s chest during the contractions. I was able to deal with the pain fairly effectively with this technique. I was still going to the bathroom every 20 minutes or so, and sometime around this time I felt this massive need to fart, but no matter what position I took on the toilet, and how many times I got up, got in the shower, then got back on the toilet, that stupid fart WOULD NOT GET OUT.
I also changed it up, laying on the hospital bed every so often….it was kind of hard on my back sitting on that exercise ball (it was a little too short for me). Then as I was back in the shower, my pain relief technique stopped working….I wasn’t able to sit through my contractions anymore. I had to stand up, still leaning on Caleb, but they started being even more painful.
At this point, I went to find the nurse to see if I could get an epidural (again, TAKE THAT, original plan of no drugs!! lol!). I assumed that I was still 3 cm or maybe 4, and I wasn’t sure what was considered “too early” to get an epidural.
The nurse checked me. She said something about not having a cervix, and went to get another nurse. I was super confused, scared, and thinking WTF IS GOING ON. The other nurse came in and checked me too, and gave me the verdict:
I was 10 cm.
Stupidly, I asked if I could get morphine (LOL). Of course, no. I think I was in shock…..I knew full well that I couldn’t get it so close to pushing, haha.
So I freaked out. My mother wasn’t even at the hospital yet. Oh, and btw….
This was only AN HOUR AND A HALF since I’d been admitted!!!!
I went 7 cm in AN HOUR AND A HALF! 😮
So they called in the doctor, and Caleb called my mom. I overheard something about “KFC” and I flipped out, and yelled in the direction of the phone, “STOP EATING AND GET TO THE FUCKING HOSPITAL!!”
Turns out that I misheard….they were DRIVING past KFC…..oops 😛
So, my mom shows up, and the doctor tells me that it’s time to push!! It was 6:55 pm.
I am scared shitless at this point.
I tried the squatting bar, but I ended up hating it. I couldn’t support myself like that for very long, so I ended up lying on my back and propping my legs up on the bar. I find it interesting that “the least effective pushing technique” worked so well for me.
They put an oxygen mask on me and told me that I needed to breathe because the baby was having some issues. I did what I had to do, and tried to listen to what the nurse and doctor told me to do as best as I could. Finally, they told me that they could see his head. The nurse asked me if I wanted to see in a mirror, and I said yes. She took out this piddly-ass locker mirror, and was terrible at holding it. I didn’t even get to see anything because she kept moving it. Then again, I couldn’t keep my eyes open during the pushing since I was using all my energy trying to focus my push.
Finally, I felt the infamous “ring of fire”…..it didn’t actually hurt, per se, but it was such an intense pressure that I let out a Serena Williams-style grunt (like when she winds up and hits the tennis ball). It was the weirdest feeling, feeling him moving between my legs….I was so used to feeling him move way up high in my belly, it was bizarre feeling it so low!
Then BAM, at 7:54 pm on Sunday, December 19, 2010, only one hour after I started pushing, Noah slid out. It felt like a giant, wiggly poop!
He weighed 8 lbs 10 oz and was 20.5” long.
[My mother had told me that an amazing fact of child birth is that as soon as that baby comes out, it is instant pain relief. And she was totally right. The best part was that that “massive fart” feeling was finally gone…..turns out that Noah was my massive fart….LOL!]
He had his cord wrapped around his neck, so I wasn’t able to hold him right after birth like I wanted to 😦 . They put him on the tray a little ways away, and used the bag to try and get him to breathe.
I waited and waited for him to cry. It was the most agonizing 3 minutes of my life.
Still nothing. So they put him on a cart and wheeled him up to the NICU. Caleb went with him while my mom stayed with me.
I got a 2nd degree tear, and a couple hemorrhoids for my trouble, but I didn’t even know until the nurse told me.
An hour later I was finally able to go up to see Noah.
That first night I think I had the best sleep of my entire life (well, for the 3 hours I had until I had to go upstairs and try to pump some breast milk for Noah). No giant belly! I could sleep on my belly for the first time in MONTHS. It was heaven. However, just walking to my room that first night was heartbreaking. On the walls there are a bunch of posters talking about how important skin-to-skin contact is in the first hour of life, and how it’s crucial for breastfeeding, etc. It broke my heart because I had been so set on having him on my chest as soon as he was born, and for his cord not to be cut until it stopped pulsing….but as I said before, unfortunately that wasn’t an option for me.
Over the next couple of days, we went back and forth to the NICU, bonding with our son. Then on Tuesday, December 21, 2010, at 36 hours of age, Noah suffered a seizure.
The next few days consisted of our world falling apart. You can read about that in my previous blog entry.