Labor Story Part 3 of 4

Apparently people find this interesting so I’ll keep going!  It’s going to be long so tuck in.

So it’s 8am.  After that Ambien Rhonda gave me I’ve been dozing in and out while moaning and writhing on our bed. Derick told me it was super sexy.

Ha.

By now I’ve called my parents and they’re on their way (they’re 2 hours away).  Derick and I continue to roam the neighborhood and time contractions.  Mom and Dad show up and I start to get excited- she’s really coming!*

*did I mention that we found out she was a girl at 20 weeks but then didn’t tell anyone we knew? Until we told just our immediate families at Christmas, which was fun.

One of my all-time favorite memories of Norah’s birth will be the time my parents spent with Derick and me walking the neighborhood and timing contractions.  My parents were so excited and involved and it was such a weird circle of life thing to be with them at the beginning of this.

Long story (somewhat) short, we time and time and walk and walk and the contractions get stronger.  I’ve now called my OBGYN about 6 times and it’s always the same story; since the contractions aren’t regular they don’t recommend coming in.  Well eff that.  We’re doing this.

After they’ve gotten to the point where I’m having trouble breathing through them, we go in again. I get hooked up and physically will the contractions to dilate me so I don’t have to go home again.  And it works! I’m dilated to 5cm! The nurse actually says that she’s shocked and was ready to send me home.  She thought I was making it up.  How charming.

It’s go-time now. We get checked in and I get hooked up and start getting giddy.  My sister Maria arrives and Derick’s parents and sister/BIL are on their way.  The nurse instructs us to not only walk, but do stairs.  So we spend the next four hours (seriously) roaming the halls and stairs of the entire hospital.  Keep in mind I’ve been in labor for 24 hours and haven’t slept in over 72.

We come back to the room and they check me.  I’m 7cm! And this is where I declare that this is so easy and I’m going to have this baby without drugs and without tears and omg I’m the best laboring person ever.

My mom and sister are in the room, unplanned but not unwelcome.  They keep Derick sane and relay the progress to the others in the waiting room.  Derick is a total champ- rubbing me where I need and cheering me on.  Maria is a godsend- providing comic relief and taking pictures.

I’m so ready to meet her.

This is when it gets a little blurry.  The contractions start getting intense and after 34 hours of this I’m getting exhausted.  I can’t sit down during them so I’ve been on my feet the whole time.  My legs are now shaking and I am near collapse every time one hits.  The doctor comes in and suggests an epidural (in his words only because I’m so tired).

One more part to come.

Labor Story Part 2 (of 3, no wait 4)

Don’t worry, there’s only one more part of the story after this.  This is actually more serving as a record for Norah of what happened, so no worries if this is totally boring to you. One day it’ll be totally boring for her, and THAT is what matters.

So I get home and turn on Harry Potter 7 (part 2, because everyone knows that’s the superior film) and the contractions stop.  So we get up and start pacing the neighborhood.  They start up again, but are all over the place- every 2 minutes, every 15 minutes, every 25 minutes, etc. I call the doctor and he says what I expect- there’s no telling if this is it but don’t bother coming in until they’re consistently 4-5 minutes apart.  (Which incidentally never happened- even when I was dilated to 10 they never made it to a consistent pattern)

So we pace, and watch TV, and download a random contraction app and they pick back up.  By this time I’m getting uncomfortable- they are definitely something.  

Also I should mention that by this time I haven’t slept in 3 nights.  Acid reflux and nerves have kept me wide awake.  So I’m MORE than prepared for what’s coming.

At about 3am they’ve gotten intense, so we decide to make the trek to the hospital.  And here’s where I conclude that the only place worse than a bed while in labor is a car.  But we make it it one piece, park somewhere called the Red Deck and go check in.

I started this pregnancy with a midwife, a decision Derick and I made together and felt great about- the problem? The only one available at the time was, in his words, a ‘wackadoodle’.  I didn’t disagree.  So I was put on the ‘midwifery circuit’, which means I saw my OBGYN during the pregnancy but would be delivered by a midwife.  Which was great! Until I met the only midwife on call that night.

I have clinical OCD, something I treat with medication and therapy and take very seriously.  I took that medication throughout my pregnancy and have since breastfeeding because it’s safe for me and the baby and I wanted to be able to be a functioning human being as a mother.  90% of the time I meet a new doctor they ascertain this about me pretty quickly and remark on how great it is that I’ve found a drug and therapy combination that works so well.  The other 10% of the medical population treat me like a fascinating specimen- this midwife was that 10%.

Rhonda (that was her name, which was weird because when I heard it I couldn’t stop singing Help, Help Me Rhonda, which she did NOT) asked me almost nothing about the contractions and all about my medication.  And then chuckled as she told me I was 2cm dilated and didn’t need to come back until I was dilated further- as if I was able to check my own cervix.  Which, incidentally, someone needs to get on! That’s an untapped market! An at-home cervix ruler.  I need to come up with a catchy name.  Too bad Billy Mays is dead.

Oh wait I forgot! When she finds out I haven’t slept in 3 days she gives me an Ambien.  Basically, she thinks I’m such a weakling for coming in at 2cm that she thinks I’m going to be able to sleep through these contractions. Instead I become a writhing zombie’ I have dreams during the doze times between contractions and think every time I wake up to pain it’s something biting me.  That was a fun night.

This is already way too long and I haven’t even told you about my two nurses, Donna and Donna.  I guess it’s a 4-part labor story? Sorry.  But you came here to read this so it’s your own fault.

 

 

Just imagine a witty title here.

I’m kind of thinking about just kind of….not being intense about this blog until I feel like being intense about this blog.

Cool story, bro.

I don’t even remember how I used to come up with blog entry ideas; I’ve been sitting here for a while trying to come up with something and I came up with: the Labor Story, Part 1. It’s a thrill a mi….ohhh you just stopped reading.

Here it is anyway.  Labor with Norah was a 40-hour affair that culminated in the cutest, squishiest and best-smelling creature to ever be placed under bilirubin lights.

So my doctor’s mantra after about 36 weeks was “any minute now.” Don’t ever tell a pregnant person that. Because from that moment on, I thought I was in labor every single day.  And then I actually went into labor and lamented the loss of the last month of my pregnancy.  I’ll never get that month of sanity back and neither will everyone I told on every one of those 29 days.

I started having contractions on a Thursday afternoon whilst nibbling on a now-forgotten chicken dish at the Thai restaurant down the road from my office.  It was a goodbye lunch for a coworker and I used to love group lunches so I kind of ignored it.  I got back to the office, called Derick, packed up my stuff and snuck out, as not to have any awkward encounters wishing me luck.  I managed to avoid 90% of the office.

I made him stop by CVS on the way home though, because the day before I’d managed to score $10 off any $15 purchase using their new drive-thru service, and I was not about to miss out on that for labor.  I got home, sat my butt on that exercise ball, and turned on Harry Potter 7 to begin the breathing exercises I’d learned on the 7-minute labor YouTube video I’d used to prepare. Then the contractions stopped.

to be continued….