Okay I have a few minutes for a post, before I'm required for another feeding so I'm hoping to get through the story of Colin's birth for everyone. I have so much to I want to write about (it is amazing how much you learn in 48hours with a newborn infant) but for now we will start with that. (There won't be time to proof-read so excuse the errors that I'm sure will be a plenty in my current mental state)
Sean and I called a cab and went to the hospital at 7:00pm on 7/16/08. We were admitted to labor and delivery and set up with the pitocin drip at 9:00pm. We were started on a very low dose and increased 1 unit (3cc's I think) every half hour until my contractions became regular. We labored over night, attempting to sleep whenever possible but obviously we were excited, nervous and I was having contractions so sleeping wasn't easy. Because of the pitocin drip I was restricted to the bed only which was not part of my 'pain management' plan but hey, you gotta roll with it. My contractions certainly looked pretty severe on the graph program, because they were almost all off the charts but I wasn't in any real pain until much later. My nurse Mimi kept coming in and asking if I was sure I wasn't ready for an epidural, it got annoying, but she exclaimed later that she just couldn't believe I wasn't in pain from the way they looked on the chart. From our room we could watch everyone in labor and delivery's contractions and none of them were even close to the height of mine, but I'm really not sure what that axis even measured so it may not mean anything. They stopped increasing pit. at around 1am (I think) I didn't really dilate very well overnight and was still only 3-4cm at 9am so at this point they broke my water and I almost instantly dilated to 5cm. It was at this point that the contractions started to become really intense and were less than one minute apart. It wasn't much longer that I was ready for my epidural thank you very much. Probably around 10:30, they made Sean leave the room at this point because it was a sterile procedure so I let loose on the nurses hand and she voiced some serious complaints about my squeezing (ha! that's what happens when you take my husband away!). It was about three contractions worth of attempting to not move while they placed the epidural and that was a really tortured three minutes.
If my next labor is the same way, knowing what I know now I would get the epidural about a half hour earlier. I have ZERO regrets about this decision. I know I didn't want one and I had hoped to do things more natural, (and believe me I have SO much respect for anyone who can go without) but it would NEVER have been possible for me to endure this labor without pain management.
Okay back to the birth... So after the epi was in they checked my cervix and I was still only 6cm dilated but and I was in much less pain, so we relaxed for a few hours and I think I even got a chance to sleep for about an hour. (side note. My mom suggested I get a mani and pedi on wed before going to the hospital (I brought low toxin nail polish of course) and I'm so glad I did because the epi made me very itchy and if I had left my nails alone I would have torn my skin to bits! just fyi in case you find yourself in a similar position.) The anesthesiologist checked my reflexes and decided I was hyper-reflexive and probably pre-eclamptic and started telling everyone to start me on magnesium. My blood pressure was slightly elevated for me (130's/90's) but I didn't really think it was that high, um hello people you've just pumped me full of fluids but I don't have an MD, so I didn't get to make that decision. They checked my urine, no protein, but my blood work came back with low (?) platelets so they decided to start the mag (total bummer because its NASTY stuff). The epi brought my b.p. down a little as well. At 3:00 the doctor decided we should start pushing, but after about 5 mins she decided he should descend a little further so we stoped and waited about 30 mins but I was told to bear down slightly during contractions but not to wear myself out. At 3:30 she came back and began the long process of active labor. I was woefully under prepared for just how long and involved the pushing process was. Everyone kept saying I was doing a good job and they could see the head but I had no idea that moving the baby 1-2 inches would take SO LONG and be SO DIFFICULT. They had allowed the epi to wear off a bit so that I would be able to feel the contractions more and feel the pushing. At 6:30ish Dr. Gade said things weren't going well, the baby wasn't presenting in a good position to get him out, with every push his head would come out but his skull was getting stuck and he was becoming more and more cone headed. She said we would give two more good pushes but any more than that would be dangerous and she was going to deliver by Cesarean. Well I of course was none to pleased with this, we had been rolling me around to help move the baby into position so with that last roll onto my back from my right side and with my sheer determination to complete the process with the next push everyone started moving around like crazy, putting on more gowns or whatever they do. (If I had known I was waiting for the 'wardrobe change' to indicate I was close I would have gotten a LOT more frustrated during the pushing process.) So on the next contraction out popped his head and out came the scissors for my episiotomy (2nd degree), THAT was hard to see for sure, but Sean did a GREAT job refocusing me to continue pushing. After his head his shoulders took one more contraction and with a big flop out popped a nearly 9lb baby. Earlier in the day they predicted a 6-7lb baby, so when this guy came out all four people (the dr, a resident, the nurse, and an intern) exclaimed about his size at the same time. Well no wonder it took so long!!
Sean cut the chord, and Colin was checked out and given to me to oogle while they finished stitching me up. It wasn't much longer before Sean's fathers family and mother were allowed to come into the L&D which was in a pretty scary state. I think the placenta was still out on the table, there was blood and gore on the floor and I looked pretty terrible. I'm pretty sure Sean's sister Katie was a bit traumatized by all of it from the look on her face and they way she practically ran from the room, poor thing!
From there we went into the recovery room for 12 hours after the mag was started for monitoring. They brought me Colin every three hours to feed and I cherished his little visits so so much. Sean was not supposed to be allowed to stay but no one kicked him out, so he was literally in a chair next to my stretcher and 'slept' with this head on the bars all night. They finally moved me up to the maternity floor around 10:30 on Saturday morning. Magnesium makes your muscles floppy so I was on a stretcher, the stretcher made it impossible for me to fit into a semi-private room so we got a free private room, complete with a pull out chair bed for Sean. IT WAS GREAT!!
Okay that's all for now. I'm forgetting things but I think you get the long and short of it. Off to feed the baby!! Next time I get a chance I'll put up some more pics, maybe tomorrow.