Wednesday, October 07, 2009

The Birth of Maggie: Part Two

In case you missed it, here is Part One.


By 6am I was contracting regularly enough to prevent any more sleep. Plus things in the hospital were getting busy. Everyone had to check in on me one last time before the shift changed at 7am, so it was like there was a party going on in my room. The resident informed me that someone would be coming to start my pitocin drip within the hour, and I felt the dread building up in the pit of my stomach.

At 7am sharp a new nurse came in with the IV pump machine with the intention of starting mypitocin drip. Luckily, while she was still fiddling with the dials and such, my doctor came in. When the shifts changed my doctor changed as well, and because of some heavenly intervention I was now under the care of the best doc in the practice. She was also the doc who was the most supportive of my birthing ideas in the office. She immediately stopped the nurse with thepitocin and told me that if I was progressing, she would hold off on the drugs and just break my water instead.

I don't think I was ever so excited for a pelvic exam in my life.

The moon must have been in the seventh house or something because, lo, progress was being made! I had progressed to five centimeters, so out came the proverbial knitting needle and my water was broken. I hopped out of bed and proceeded to labor from a standing position, occasionally resting on my big pink ball. I was still tethered to the monitoring machine, but now I had Gayle, the world's most awesome nurse, who stayed in the room with us for almost the entire time I was laboring. Having her in the room made for less tension with the monitors, so I wasn't as shy about moving around.

I was able to manage things pretty well for the next few hours. SOB came back around 7am, and was awesome at providing a hand to squeeze and later some counter-pressure on my back. Gayle was funny because she was yelling at him to press harder, at my request, but he was afraid he was already pressing on me too hard. There might have been some moaning and a little bit of crying, but all was well. I was resting in between contractions and keeping things in perspective as best I could. My doctor was also very encouraging. I remember at one point she said something about acting like I was only at 2cm when I was probably more like 7cm. I was jazzed.

All morning I kept the TV on for background noise and distraction. For a while we had on thegameshow network, so the atmosphere was set by old episodes of The Match Game. At 11am things started getting a little more intense, so we switched to The Price Is Right. I know it's weird, but I desperately wanted this show on. TPIR is an old favorite from my childhood, and I think subconsciously the predictability of the show was something I was craving since what was going on with my body was so unpredictable. From one contraction to the next things were changing. Some were so bad I thought I was getting ripped in half, and then the next one would be nice and short. Someone passing by in the hall might have suspected there was a moose birthing in L&D room 1 based on the sounds I was making.

I could tell I was getting close based on everything I had read. That whole transition thing, you know. Just when you think you can't take it anymore it's almost over. I decided that by the end of the Show Case Showdown I wanted to be checked again. My OB was in the OR, so a resident came in a did my exam. When she said I was completely dilated, I was relieved but a little surprised. I thought I was close. I didn't think I was complete. However, I was ready to be done and I figured she knew better than me, right?

Right?

Turns out, she didn't. They broke down the bed for delivery and got me all set up to start pushing. After two pushes I knew something wasn't right. By now another OB from my group had shown up, and when I mentioned that I didn't think I was ready to push, she checked me and announced that my suspicions were correct. I was only dilated to 7am, maybe 8cm.

I was crushed. And mad. Really, really mad.

And defeated.

At that point I asked for the epidural. I cried and begged for an epidural. By the time the anesthesiologist came twenty minutes later, I probably was completely dilated, but I got it anyway. A few minutes later my left leg was numb but not much else.

And then I knew it was time to push. Gayle, my super-nurse checked me out this time before calling the docs in, just in case, and the baby was about one minute from crowning!

Everyone flooded in as I laid there, waiting for the big moment. They asked if I wanted a mirror, and even though I wasn't sure beforehand, I quickly said yes. It only took a moment, literally, but I watched as my little chestnut haired girl came out of my body and into the world. For one quick second I thought I was giving birth to a puppy, she had so much hair! Once her shoulders were delivered the doctor told me to reach down and grab the baby. I still didn't know if baby was a boy or a girl, but I was so excited I forgot to check. It was such a surreal experience to grab onto baby's little torso while she was still halfway inside me! After I got baby up onto my chest awesome nurse Gayle reminded me to look between the legs, and I was seriously surprised. I had so convinced myself that the baby was a boy that seeing girl parts was a (pleasant) shock to my system.

And even though I begged for the epidural? I felt just about everything except for my left leg. I guess that was the universes way of giving me the natural birth experience I wanted, huh?

One week and one day in I have to say that I would have a dozen more kids if I could get a guarantee that they would be as sweet and darling as Maggie is. She sleeps well, eats well and is generally pleasant and adorable.

She's everything I could have ever wanted and then some.

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4 comments:

Lora said...

good for you, going through your labor drug free, even if your left leg got it at the end. Not that I have anything to compare it to but my imagination, but isn't it better to be able to labor standing up and mobile?

And there is no such thing as pushing too hard on a laboring woman's back. I wish dave could have pushed through my back, so hard that I could see his fist pushing through my belly.

I can't wait to see you guys!

But wait, did you clear up the smell thing? Or is that part 3?

melissa said...

wow. well done, mama.
she is a beautiful little miracle.

Heather said...

*swoon* she is a darling! So glad you had a good and quick! birth experience!

Arizaphale said...

She is sooo beautiful she makes me well up. Your photos this time around are astonishing too. Such detail. I feel like I could reach right out and stroke her little face. I am so glad you got the positive experience you hoped for. SO pleased the epidural didn't kick in properly! I know that sounds mean but really, to have gone so far and missed the last bit would have been a shame. I don't understand why they put you on the bed for delivery though. Doesn't that kind of slow things down lying you down again? Mind you I delivered in water so it was a soft landing. :-)
Such a great story! It was worth the wait.