the birth story

   Posted by: arcanai   in pix, the turkey

it’s about time i finally get this all down before i forget any more than i already have.  my first mother’s day seems like as good a time as any to record becoming a mother…

wednesday night, we had sunny and scooter over for pre-baby adult fun.  we walked across the street to the new bbq place for dinner.  we laughed about the chances of me going into labor that night.  i told them there was no chance because i had forbidden the turkey from being born that date.  sunny joked about getting a call from me in the middle of the night because hubby would’t be able to drive me to the hospital.  it was all great fun.  we came back to our house and hung out for a while.  we were going to play the dexter board game they had given us but hubby and scooter were ensconced in the little league world series (yes, with the girl pitcher) that had been playing at the bbq place.  they headed home around 22:30.

"nope, this kid isn't going anywhere any time soon!"

we got into bed about 23:00 and after my normal burrowing around in pillows to get comfy, i had finally started to drift off to sleep when i felt a huge gush (yes, tmi but it was really like projectile burst of liquid that shot against my legs) at 23:35.  hubby was sound asleep but he jumped out of bed, wide awake when i exclaimed “uh oh.  honey, i did NOT just pee myself!”  he immediately went into “what needs to be done” mode while i got up, cleaned myself, and started the sheets in the laundry.  i called the hospital to let them know that my membranes had ruptured and then i called my sissy to let her know (poor thing had only been asleep a short time herself, having just gotten home from a long day of moving her firstborn  into his  first dorm).  hubby and i got showers, finished packing our bags, did some last minute straightening up around the house, and made sure the sheets made it to the dryer.  basically, we took our time and stayed calm.  contractions, which were practically non-existent prior to the water breaking, were 45 seconds/7 minutes apart when we left home and 1 minutes/5 minutes apart by the time we got to the hospital eighteen minutes later.  also, they were all in my back so it became quickly obvious that i was going to be having a back labor and that was the reason i hadn’t been feeling contractions all week… although my back had been aching like crazy and i just didn’t think much of it, attributing it to late pregnancy aches instead.

holy crap, this is it!

we checked into the labor/delivery ward around 01:30.  they had been waiting for me so they had all of the paperwork ready for us and had us into a triage room in just a few minutes.  they confirmed that my water had, indeed, broken (not that i had any doubts!) and that i was 3 cm dilated, 100% effaced, and 0 station.  by 02:30, we were officially admitted and moved to a l/d room.  they hooked me up to the monitors to gauge my contractions and how the fetal heart rate was responding to them before letting me walk around the halls for a while.  i brought smiles to the faces of many tired nurses/doctors as i walked around in my specially selected labor nightgown.

i was made to do this!

unfortunately, they only let me walk around for about a half hour and then they strapped me to the bed for the duration.  i would have liked to keep walking around but they wanted the baby under continuous monitoring… i’m not really sure why.  to the best of my knowledge, he was never in any distress and there was never any question of his health.

i remained chipper and sociable for quite a while.  the contractions weren’t too bad, although being in my back definitely pulled at muscled i hadn’t really been prepared to have pulled.  my dad saw the news on fb and called around 04:30.  he was obviously just as concerned as he was excited and i had to talk him out of skipping out on his blood transfusion.  i assured him that the turkey would be more  happy to meet him after he had taken care of himself first.  i also heard from my SIL, calling to wish me luck on her way to open the restaurant.

talking to my daddy and feeling fine; the belly bulge is the bulky fetal monitor

labor…  there’s just no way to be prepared.  naturally, i couldn’t know what to expect… but it wasn’t what i expected.  a contraction would start and i would ask hubby to rub hard on my back and it seemed fine.  i watched the jagged line of the monitor readout rise and fall with my spasms.  small peaks turned to medium peaks.  medium peaks climbed higher.   when they were peaking around 8, i was still hanging in there.  i definitely had to focus more and i was about to strangle the nurse who just would. not. stop. talking.  the pain wasn’t really that bad, certainly manageable as long as hubby kept exerting the counter-pressure, but i was getting increasingly nauseous.  the gregarious nurse said that it happens a lot with back labor.  they gave me two shots of zofran to try to quell the queasy.  and then i started puking.  i really, really wasn’t expecting that.  they gave me phenergan, which made me feel drugged and sleepy but did not help the sickness.  finally, i decided that i could either fight the pain or i could fight the nausea but i could not fight both.  i had already fought and lost the battle with the nausea so i begrudgingly consented to an epidural.  ridiculously-chatty-nurse immediately started pumping me full of fluids while she called the anesthesiologist on call.  thirty minutes and another puke later, they were tapping into my spine and taping up my back.  unfortunately, by this point everything is already starting to get a little fuzzy because of the stupid phenergan.  i do remember the epidural going in but it was like a dream.  it didn’t hurt.  and i’m pretty sure it started working within minutes, which was a good thing and a bad thing.  good because the decreased pain allowed me to calm my queasy.  bad because the total loss of feeling in my left leg was terrifying.  our coworker’s quadriplegic son kept coming to mind and i found myself crying for him and the sensation.  i guess in that respect it was probably good that i kept slipping in and out of sleep.

obviously, i don’t have a solid grasp of the timeline for the rest of the morning.  i know i got the epidural while nurse talkathon was still with me so i’m pretty sure it was between 0600 and 0630 – i was already fully dilated and fully effaced but the turkey just wasn’t dropping into place, which wasn’t really a bad thing since i preferred to have my dr deliver, if possible, and he had two surgeries scheduled for the morning so he wasn’t going to be available for a while.

the nurse that came on at 0700 was great.  she was all business but still nice.  i so appreciated her not trying to be best pals with me.  i mean, the first nurse was sweet but what made her think i wanted to hear her whole life story?  i was worn out listening to her before i even made it to my l/d room!  everything is very sketchy for me after the epidural.  i drifted in and out up until my dr arrived just before 1000.

i remember my sister coming in, i’m thinking around 0900 or so, but even that was fuzzy.  i remember being excited to see her and share this journey with her.  i remember her explaining that her husband had actually driven all night to get her there and he was hanging out in the waiting room to see the baby before heading back home.  i was overwhelmed by the love of my family.

the epidural did not completely take the pain away.  it did completely deaden my left leg, which i found horrifying, but my right leg was untouched by it.  over the hours, they tried rolling me different ways to get the drugs to disburse more evenly but it didn’t work.  my contraction pain moved from my back into my right hip which was such an odd and uncomfortable sensation.  granted, it wasn’t excruciating, but there wasn’t any relief for it either.  the contractions in my back were vastly improved by hubby applying counter-pressure but when they moved into my hip, it just felt like the bone was being twisted and there was no way to ease it.  hubby tried rubbing all around it but nothing really helped.

finally, just before 1000, dr r came in and announced we were having a baby!  he did a quick exam and explained that the turkey was nose-up (which i had already concluded based on the back labor) so he was going to try to manually manipulate and turn him during my pushes.  the pushing started at 1000 and we went through the first set with the dr saying to push and me saying “i think i am” before he realized that they had never stopped my epidural.  with each contraction, we would start a new set of pushing and i would try my hardest to make them “effective” pushes even though i couldn’t feel a thing.  hubby held my left leg, my sissy held my right leg, and they all cheered me on.   hubby even had a battery-operated fan that he used to keep me from over-heating with all the exertion.  the turkey was being stubborn about turning and straightening his neck so he made the dr and momma work extra hard.  about thirty minutes in, hubby started exclaiming about all the hair.  i was so excited to get my hands on him that i kept reaching down and stroking his hair when i could.  it was about that time that i finally started to get some sensation back.  it was so good to feel like i had some control and to be able to make focused, strategic pushes.  it also made me feel a little less crazy about the dr’s constant proclamations that “one more push like that and we’ll have a baby!”

the push to end all pushes came after fifty minutes and my little gift from God was placed on my bare chest and wrapped in my trembling, loving arms at 1050.  i was all tears as i introduced myself to this tiny, perfect blessing.  i could barely whisper the words “i’m your momma.”  everything else in the room ceased to exist.  i saw hubby cut the cord and i was vaguely aware that a nurse was roughly cleaning him up while i held him but i couldn’t pry my eyes away from his.  i was amazed that he was looking up at me and i couldn’t bear the thought of breaking the stare.

life will never be the same

all too soon, the nurse took him away from me.  she took him to a table off to the side to dry him out (he had some fluid in his lungs) and bathe him.  laying there, trying to see my baby boy, it felt like he was miles away.

look how far away they took him

while the dr delivered my afterbirth and stitched up my episiotomy and whatever else he may have done that i wasn’t paying the slightest attention to, i kept my head turned to the right asking over and over when i was going to get my baby back.  hubby, in all his excitement, kept getting between me and the table, blocking my view and incurring my wrath.

why are you doing this to me?!

finally, after a seeming eternity, they put my printed, weighed, measured, and cleaned boy back in my arms and i was finally able to relax.

never letting go again

i love my family!!!

my son was an hour old when i breastfed him for the first time.  it was truly amazing.  i expected pain or frustration but all i found was awe and joy.  it was the most simple, natural thing in the world.  my husband wept at the beauty of his family and i thanked God for all of His blessings on me.

this is love

soon enough, we were taken to our private postpartum room and left on our own to learn how to be a family.  hubby’s proclamations that he would never change a diaper didn’t last two hours 🙂

we chose to stay at the hospital for two nights. we would have been fine to go home after the first but it was nice to have the extra day of reassurance. my sissy and dad and step-mom visited several times a day. our local friends and pastor stopped by to meet our newest treasure. on the turkey’s official due date, we brought him home for the first time – welcomed by his aunt and grandparents. later that night, more grandparents and aunt and uncle arrived. it was a busy first weekend but we were blessed to be surrounded by love and celebration.

in summation:

  • pregnancy… amazingly fantastic experience.  sure there were some minor inconveniences/annoyances but i wouldn’t change a thing.
  • labor… definitely takes focus and work but not so bad.  if it weren’t for the puking, i’d have nothing bad to say about it.  knowing what i know now, i still would have preferred to go natural but, under the circumstances, the only thing i would have changed is the phenergan.  i should have given up on the puking after the zofran and gone ahead with the epidural.  while i did find the paralysis to be frightening, i hate that the phenergan made me so loopy and took chunks of memory away from the experience.
  • delivery… incredibly awesome experience.  granted, i did end up with that epidural so i can’t speak too much from a pain perspective but i really feel like the adrenaline and excitement were so high at that point, i don’t know that it would have mattered (easy to say, right?).  go time meant that i would do whatever kind of pushing they told me to and my reward would be an angel in my arms.  when hubby saw him crowning and when i got to touch his hair, i was just overcome with anticipation and elation.  of course, it was tiring to push for 50 minutes but who cares.  i felt so…. powerful.
  • aftermath… not nearly as gorey as i anticipated.  there was continued bleeding for several weeks but not like i had read about.  and there was definitely severe tenderness for about a week but it wasn’t terrible.  i just had to sit on soft surfaces.  the uterine contractions every time i nursed were an odd sensation that lasted for well over a month.
  • breastfeeding… so natural.  the turkey has never given me any trouble with latching or sucking.  he was born for it (ha!).  again, there was tenderness those first couple weeks but none of the agonizing pain and cracking and bleeding that everyone told me to expect.  i guess we’re just super compatible that way.
  • motherhood… hard, tiring, overwhelming, worrysome, self-doubting, et cetera.  every single day i feel like a failure and every single day, my son looks me in the eyes, flashes a smile, and makes it all worthwhile.  he makes me feel more beautiful than i’ve ever felt in my life.  he makes me feel powerful and capable and closer to my husband and to God.  i’m so grateful for the full and enriched life that my husband and i have been blessed to live.  i don’t consider this new chapter to be a sacrifice of all the amazing things we’ve done or think of it in terms of better/worse… it’s just amazing in a different way and i wouldn’t trade any of it – not the 15 year adventure to get here or the new journey that we’re starting.
This entry was posted on Sunday, May 10th, 2015 at 21:50 and is filed under pix, the turkey. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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