Thursday, May 2, 2013

Birth of a Blessing

Two weeks ago, I visited my doctor. I was nearly 37 weeks pregnant and stress was doing me in. Mostly because I was terrified I would go into labor any day and would not have my husband Heath by my side. After the exam, my dear doctor decided I would go through an in office procedure the following Tuesday, and if that didn't get labor going, an induction was scheduled for Wednesday morning.  He did want me to come to the hospital over the weekend for a Non-Stress Test and steroid shots on Saturday and Sunday.

Saturday's test went well, with the baby cooperating quickly to what the doctors wanted to see. They gave me my shot and sent me on my way.  My doctor called me later with a small concern over a couple of heart rate decelerations, and told me to not miss Sunday's test.

So, Sunday's test seemed to be just as simple as the day before. I caught a second nap in two days and was looking forward to the upcoming delivery. But then the nurse came in and said that I was contracting every five minutes, and Dr. Goff wanted more info. So I was checked out and it was discovered I was dilated to a three and 75% effaced. They determined it wouldn't be prudent to send me home, so I was sent upstairs to Labor and Delivery.  Heath high-tailed it to the hospital from work, and met me on my way up.

Then the fun and games began.  Dr. Goff came in and broke my water. Because the baby's head wasn't fully engaged, they broke it to be a slow leak, keeping the umbilical cord from falling out in the gush. And an internal electrode was placed to monitor the heartbeat. In eight deliveries, I'd never had one of those before, and it was a little odd. By now, my parents had joined us as had Heath's brother. And since my body still didn't know what to do, a drip of pitocen was added to the party.  But that wasn't new to us. All but two deliveries involved that particular party favor.

All was well until the pit drip hit about an eight.  It wasn't really any fun anymore. Oh there were moments. Like when I needed to pee but the bathroom light wouldn't stay on. And I had to pee in an unfamiliar bathroom in the dark. Or, an hour later when I couldn't control my bladder anymore and peed out two bags of iv fluids in the bed I was laboring in. By the time that was over, I was on to gown number three. Eventually, I begged for something to take the edge off the contractions. I was given a shot of something (can't remember what) and that helped with all of two contractions.  Fast forward another hour and I was begging for something real.  And bless that nurse of mine. Knowing from the get go I don't really want epidurals, she never even offered. She told me my options were different positions in the bed, or to sit up on a birthing ball. So, somehow they hoisted me out of the bed and onto the ball. And I swear, there was more pee involved in the process. Sigh. 

At this point, I was only sitting on that ball to prove that it wouldn't help and that I needed real help.  Heath was behind me trying to find the right spot in my lower back to push against to help me through the back contractions, and my Mom was on the other side of the bed holding my hands and I moaned with the abdominal contractions. And my sweet Daddy was sitting on the couch making comments on it all. And if there was need at any point for comic relief, all I had to do was mention my tether (remember the electrode?) and Mom and I would die laughing. However, I wouldn't suggest that to the faint of heart. When you are laughing a side-splitting laugh and a late-labor, pit-induced contraction hits, well, side-splitting and pee just might really be involved.

I was using this time to try and devise a way to pull my Mom across the bed into a pile on top of Heath behind me. He never did find the right spot to push, but it kept me distracted as I in my head was telling him where he needed to push. Why I didn't say it out loud is beyond me. And the neck rubs in between contractions were in valuable. I remember I did say out loud how bad the last contraction hurt, and my Dad saying I could have fooled him. He thought they all hurt.  And with the next contraction, I moved heaven and earth with one simple word. "Baby! Baby!"

Daddy jumped off the couch and was across the room in two steps.  Heath I guess jumped the bed, because he was on the other side with the call button and Mom was behind me. Never have figured out how they did that one.  The next 10 minutes are very surreal. We were asked through the call button if we had a need. Heath answered saying we were having a baby. My thought (again, only in my head) was "DUH!" and we were asked if a nurse was in the room. To which I think my husband responded "Um, no. Duh." Mom was telling me I needed to get up in the bed. I quietly told her that if I pushed up to get on the bed, that would be all it took for the baby to be fully delivered. So, determining her Grandchild would not be born on the floor, she grabbed a towel, sheet, something and proceeded to hold the baby up. Or maybe in. I'm not sure. Daddy was down the hall banging on the nurses desk trying to drum up someone. Did I mention it was 12:45 in the morning? The nurses all gave the appropriate saucer-eyed reaction when he told them the baby was here, and the herd came thundering down the hall. Someone lifted me up on the bed. So now, I am on my hands and knees in the bed trying to not push for all I am worth. Remember, I have no pain killers or deadeners in my system at this point!  They are all asking me to lay over onto my side. I was thinking, if I start leaning to the side, it's going to be like an elephant laying over! TIMBER!  Thankfully, my husband saw my predicament, and grabbed my shoulders to lay me over.  And the beautiful baby was born with the action of me rolling.  Good thing Heath had me. My head, shoulders, and upper back were all the way off the other side of the bed. 

The poor baby at this point was completely entangled. The electrode, the umbilical cord, my IV tubes, the blood pressure cuff cords, and the cords to the contraction monitors were all wrapped around me and the babe.  It took another 5 minutes to get everything untangled. I think they ended up cutting most everything away from the two of us.  And finally, they let me in on the secret.  It was a little girl!! I was so shocked. Again. Oh, and then. My doctor walked in the room. He missed the delivery. The nurses knocked on the wrong door. He was sleeping in the other room.

So at 12:50am, on April 22, 2013, our precious ninth child, Marian Glen, was born. It was a wild ride to say the least.  My nurses favorite part?  As soon as Marian was born, I declared, "Whew! I feel GREAT!  When can I get up and go to the bathroom?" (And for the record. We went through 4 gowns that night!)