Monday, April 30, 2007

I am No Longer a Pregnant Lady

April 27, 2007, 9:00 am: Tim's alarm rings. He gets up and says, "How are you? Is it okay for me to go to Boulder to work?" I say, "Yes. I had four contractions last night strong enough to wake me, but I think you can go." He walks out. I lay there for 10 minutes awake and have three more contractions and decide I wish he hadn't left and I'd better call him. I go to find the phone and hear him turn off the shower. He doesn't go to Boulder.

10:30 am: I take a shower. I realize while I'm washing my hair that the sooner I call the doctor, the sooner I don't have to feel any more of these annoying contractions. My mantra changes from "Not again" to "It's short. It's short."

11:00 or so: I call the doctor and the nurse says come in--to the office. Seems like one extra step to me, but we go to the office. It takes us a while to get to the car and get everything sorted out. The doctor's office is literally right around the corner.

11:30 or so: I get to the doctor's office and by then I'm pretty miserable. Doc checks and says I'm dilated to 5 and go on down to the second floor of the connected hospital to the birth place. Tim asks for a wheelchair for me, but we're told it would take longer to get the chair to us than to walk. It's a LONG, slow walk. Mantra changes (involuntarily) back to "Not again!" with each contraction. A hospital volunteer sees us slowly making our way down and brings a wheelchair. She's an angel. Even when she smashes my foot by accident.

12:00 pm: We get to the Birth Place and get to skip triage because the doctor called ahead for us(hooray!) and they take us right to one of their nicest rooms, with two windows that look out on trees. I don't care. I'm just mad that the nurse takes more than 10 seconds to get into the room with us. I ask how long until I can have an epidural (forget my idea that if the labor was going fast, I could do 2 hours without one!). I start telling Tim I can't do it, and discover that coughing through a contraction is easier than trying to breathe through it. They can't get the IV in because I fail to tell them to use the small needle in the first place, so my left hand hurts like crazy and is bruised, and the IV goes into the side of my right wrist--a very annoying place because I can't move my hand without it hurting.

12:30 pm: Kim, our nurse, informs the anesthesiologist that 20 minutes is WAY too long to wait for him to show up to Start the epidural. He listens and shows up within minutes, despite the fact that I'm not in the computer yet and he's not supposed to start anything without me in the computer and signing a consent form (which I don't think I ever did sign).

12:45 pm: Only the right side is numb. This is not pleasing enough to me. He ups the dose twice.

1:00 pm: My right side is number than a rock. My left side is barely numb, but I'm not crying and whimpering anymore. Everyone relaxes.

1:30 pm: My body relaxes too much, and my blood pressure bottoms out. Ooops. They give me two doses of epinephrine, plus oxygen, and warn me that the baby will have to come by C-section if his heart rate doesn't come up fast. This is the first time the docs have actually TOLD me what was going on, even though I've had this problem twice before.

2:00 pm: Heart rate is up, baby is fine, they break my water to hurry things. There is a crisis of some kind in triage (someone might be getting transferred to Denver--bad sign for her) and my doctor has to go back there.

2:15 pm: Tim is going to get a snack, go to the bathroom, etc. I say, "Oh. A baby is coming." Everyone thinks, "Yeah. We know." I, having had three epidurals previously, have not ever felt this sensation before and don't know to be emphatic.

2:25 pm: The nurse comes in to check me and suddenly starts moving really fast. "You could sneeze this baby out" she says. She runs to get the doctor. I tell Tim he MUST close his laptop now because the Baby is COMING.

2:30 pm: Doctor is back, dressing for the birth. The nurse almost shouts for the doctor to get her gloves on. They tell me I don't have to push--the baby is coming out anyway. I push once and his head appears. I can see the reflection in the TV and it's a little startling. I've done it before, but I've never SEEN childbirth.

2:35 pm: One more contraction, and the baby literally pops out--the doctor just catches him. No "easing" him out or anything. He even has one arm wrapped around his neck and STILL just pops right out.

Welcome Benjamin Max Jones. 7 lbs 8 oz, 20 inches long. Purple and wailing like a banshee. Really purple. So purple the nurses go give him oxygen and shots and he wails himself pink. He is healthy and looks very small to me. He looks just like Anda and Dan did. He LOVES to nurse. He's very quiet--we hardly hear him make a peep. The nurses coo and ooh and aah and swear they Don't Tell Everyone this: he is the cutest baby in the hospital right now (of 11 babies born that day). His temperature remains a little low and nobody believes me that this is normal for our babies--even MY temp is running low.

Unfortantely, rushing the epidural made it very strong, and I can't feel my legs until 9:00 pm.

I get to walking around and feeling "well" much faster than with other babies. I even shower at the hospital! The bed is unbearably uncomfortable, and I hate how the nurses start making their rounds at 6:00 am poking needles into people, since we've only been asleep for an hour or two at that point. Still, everyone is nice. They say I can go home after 24 hours but I'm too tired to think through it and agree to stay 48 hours to "rest".

After 48 hours of no sleep and missing my family, I come home to a nice place to sit, wonderful joyous chaos, people making up songs and running in circles. The baby quietly sleeps in his car seat, nurses nicely, or looks around all day. The kids are gentle to him and not distressed. Dad has gone home, but he's made our home and our children feel calm and happy about everything before he leaves. I look around and listen to Anda singing a book and to Dan singing a book and to Caleb talk about "Cars" over and over and I think: THIS is where I belong. Not "resting" in a hospital, but surrounded by my wonderful children and husband, being loved and loving, and introducing a new sweet spirit into what it means to be part of a real family.

1 comment:

morelightthanburden said...

I remember feeling this way too about the hospital, etc.--just wanting to be back home with my kiddies. However, I admit that after baby four (and no epidural--it was MUCH better, and VERY painful--but what I want to do again!!), I asked them to drug me up so I could sleep and sleep and sleep. IT worked, though I did hear voices and see shapes in my room that night from the pain medication (something I NEVER do). All in all, it was a great 'trip.'

(Please ignore all the REALLY atrocious punctuation, etc. in this post.)