Saturday, December 20, 2008

L & D


So I've been meaning to write my labor story for a few weeks now (obviously not longer than that), but the whole taking care of a newborn kept getting in the way.  Here goes:

I walked around the mall for a couple of hours on Wednesday, October 22nd with Braden.  And I mean walked and walked and walked.  Then we went to my midwife appointment, at which point she stripped my membranes a little bit more and pronounced me about 4 cm.  I was very uncomfortable at this point, but still not in labor.  We went home, and Braden left at a little before 5pm to go to his staff meeting, which was supposed to last until 9pm.  He really wanted me to get him out of it, but I of course couldn't make any promises.  Jenna was already with the Grandparents E. because we THOUGHT I was in labor on Tuesday night.  (I was really mad when the contractions stopped that night).  I started getting contractions after Braden left, and they became more and more regular.  I think it was about 6:30 that I gave in to my craving of Pollo Asado from a nearby Mexican place and went to pick it up.  I enjoyed my last supper very much, thank you.  :)  The contractions continued, and I believe I called Braden about 7:30 or so and told him that it would be a good idea for him to come home.  Apparently he took the call out in the hall, ran back in to get his stuff and ran back out.  Just like Braden to make an exit memorable. 

Braden came home, and we timed the contractions a little bit more.  We ended up heading to the hospital maybe at 9 or 10...I can't remember some details; sorry.  Anyway, when we got there, I dressed in the lovely, modest hospital gown and the nurse checked me before she wrecked me.  I was still 4 cm and regretted telling her that the midwife said that I was 4 cm at my appointment at 2 that afternoon.  She calls the doctor, who is on call instead of my midwife, of course.  I had indicated that this doctor could deliver my baby if my midwife wasn't available.  This is the doctor who I had seen a couple of times before and who had done my 36 week ultrasound.  Well, the nurse comes back and says that the doctor said that if I haven't progressed within one hour, I need to be sent home.  WHAT??????  Understandably, I was quite upset.  I tried an exercise ball thing for 15 minutes, but that did nothing, so then I started speedwalking around the entire department, noticing as we went along that the rooms were not even half full.  So why the crap were they threatening to send me home?  Braden suggested it was because the doctor wanted to have a good night's sleep.  I think it was 10 or 11 at this point.  Anyway, when my hour was up, I made the nurse give me more time, since the ball was a waste of time, and she gave me like 10 more minutes.  My contractions sped up to 2-3 minutes apart while I was walking, but when she checked me again, she goes, "Maybe half a centimeter..."  Well, I was really, really upset at this point and had been ever since they had told me that I might be sent home.  I let the nurse know that I did NOT want to be sent home, that I knew I was in labor, that my contractions were not very far apart and consistent and that they had sped up.  Well, after a few minutes, the on-call midwife came in, and I guess my impassioned plea worked, because she asked me a few questions and then said, "Well, when would you like your epidural?"  NOW!  I guess the doctor wasn't on call anymore, and the midwife either had pity on me or realized that I was actually, really in labor. 

So after a little while, the anesthesiologist came in and did his thing.  He had a habit of telling that he was going to do something right as he did it.  As in, "this will stingOUCH."  I jumped at one point, and he was like, "PLEASE...try not to do that."  Well, suerie, maybe you should give me a little warning!  :)  The epidural took effect after a little bit, and I was overcome by itching...everywhere.  Oh, my goodness, I itched so badly.  And then, not too long after, I started to feel the contractions somewhat, which really upset me, because that's WHY I got the epidural, hello!  :)  So I told the nurse and then they brought me my own button thingy to press whenever I started to feel them, and that helped after a bit.  Then I was a lot happier, trust me.  Anyway, rinse, repeat...blah, blah.  At some point, I tried to sleep as much as I could, and Braden did, too.  Then around 5am, the baby's heart rate all of a sudden went way down, and Mom ran and got the nurse.  It was deduced that the baby's head was engaged and she was ready to be born.  Mom said she wouldn't be surprised if I had her within the hour, and she was right!  Katie was born just before 6am on Thursday, October 23rd.  When I was pushing, I guess the midwife wasn't all the way ready yet, but she said, Um, you're a really good pusher, so I'm going to get ready here.  Also, I had a mirror to see, but the midwife's head was in the way most of the time, and when she finally moved, and I got a good look, my eyes about popped out of my head, because Katie was almost, well, out, and I couldn't feel it, so I had no idea she was that far along!!  :)  I guess that with Jenna, they had stopped the epidural when I started pushing, so I definitely could feel that part with her.  I wasn't aware that they had stopped the epidural with Jenna, so with Katie, I expected to feel that again, so when I didn't, I thought I still had a long way to go.  I had actually pressed the epidural button right before Katie's head engaged, so I was chock full o' medication, and that's how I prefer it! 

They weighed her behind a curtain, so I yelled to Braden, how much does she weigh??  When he came back with "8 lbs, 6 oz", we were both shocked, because she did not look that big to us when she was born.  WOW!!

Anyway, the other occurrence of note was that my epidural did not wear off until like 5:30pm on Thursday, and I received it at about midnight!  That is a loooooong time to not feel your legs.  I couldn't get up that entire time, so when they moved me to another floor, the nurse really did not get that I couldn't move my legs at all until she didn't support me enough, and I almost fell off the wheelchair while they were trying to get me in it.  I had warned her!  Anyway, I had the painful IV of death in my hand from the night before (it really, really hurt, not only going in, but the entire time it was in; the nurse kept jabbing me while trying to get it in), and I really wanted it out, but the nurse wouldn't let me until I could go to the bathroom by myself.  So when my epidural took so long to wear off, I had to have this stupid IV in that whole time.  It was the bane of my existence.  I was hyper-aware of anyone's proximity to it...WATCH THE IV, PLEASE.  :)  However, I'm not knocking the epidural; thank goodness for modern medicine!

I should also mention that one of my ward friends had her baby at the same hospital this past February, and that they not only threatened to send her home...they actually did!  She told me about it a couple of months before I had Katie, and it worried me a little bit.  She went home and had hours of really painful contractions before she couldn't take it anymore and went back in.  My mom could not believe that they were going to send me home.  She said on our way to the hospital that she thought they would take me right in.  If I were going to be around this area for our next baby, no way would I have it at this same hospital.  I was not as far along (centimeters-wise) with Jenna when I went to the hospital to have her, and that hospital never once said, "you have X amount of time to dilate, or else buh-bye".  Women in labor have so many other worries and concerns going on; it's just not right to do that!!  I was very clearly in labor and had followed the orders of my midwife for when I should go to the hospital. 

Anyway, my postpartum recovery has been so much better than the last time (not hard to do), so I am really grateful for that.  I'm also grateful that I did not get sent home and that I got to have my Katie!! 

The end!


LintyPuppy said...

I love the nurses at St. Pete's. My L&D nurse this time was just awesome. More about that another time.


Ker said...

Yeah, aside from my actual doctor, I really liked my experience at St. Pete's, too. I did have a crabby night shift nurse, but as soon as she went home, everybody else was really nice.

I forgot you had the baby there!

Anyway, I see you're up late, just like myself. Hope everything's going well!

(Every time I think I'm getting Katie on a schedule, she wakes up at 3:30am the next morning. That would be why I'm commenting at 4:20!)