God's Timing: A Birth Story: Part 3

Continued from Part 2

My doctors office was supposed to have called ahead to let L&D know that I was coming, but apparently they hadn't gotten that far.  So we got to do all the registration paperwork, which we had just about completed when the call finally came in to expedite us through the process.  What lame timing.   I paced through a couple contractions (hooray for contractions finally starting!) in the waiting room while they got us a room.

Once in the room it was time for a hospital gown, monitors, blood pressure, etc. The hospital's on-call doctor (a midwife) had a bit of a passive-aggressive personality and was quick to tell us that they would be starting pitocin right away.   This immediately put me on edge, a fact which it seems was most evident in my veins...or lack thereof.  Three different people tried to get an IV in me - they managed to do a blood draw on one arm, but that spot was good for nothing else (and later bruised up pretty badly). They found one in my other hand, turned on the IV flow and instantly my skin started to bubble - turns out it was not actually in the vein.  My hand was quite sore for sometime. They told me my hands/arms were very cold - but you could have fooled me cause I was feeling overly warm. We call that nerves.  They finally called in an expert who had to search and search, but did manage to get an IV in me.

Side note: I cried sad-tears twice during this whole delivery experience. Once was during the IV. I hate needles. I also hated that they wanted me to have pitocin. The combination of the two prompted tears.  Also side note: With Papillon I have no memory of getting the IV...I am pretty sure I was in transition at that point. Turns out severe contractions are a great way to distract you from pointy needles.

Our militant midwife returned to the room shortly after the IV ordeal and declared it was officially time to start pitocin - doctor's orders. Inwardly, I surrendered. I had no confidence in my ability to handle medically-induced contractions (I am told they are worse), and knew I wasn't up for fighting the institution that was the hospital.    Praise God for Mon Amour.  He asked the midwife if we could hold off on that until the doctor officially insisted.  She said he had officially insisted. And he told her, in that case, we wanted to go against medical advice - there would be no pitocin right now. 

The midwife huffed off to inform my OB who eventually came in to tell me he would give me an hour or so to see what happened - then it would be pitocin time, no arguing.  This was 11:40am.

During this time, we had been trying to get a hold of my doula.  I had met her just a few days before and she was going to send me her work number since she couldn't answer her cell phone during the day.  Since it was still 2.5+ weeks till my due date, it hadn't been a rush. So I didn't have her work number.   Needless to say, we left a few messages on her cell phone, just in case.

Around 12:45pm I was definitely feeling contractions.  Definitely uncomfortable, but not really all that painful. And frustratingly, they weren't really showing up on the monitor (seems it wasn't in a good spot...but gosh darn it, I wanted credit for those contractions!) Being in killing-time mode, and not being terribly uncomfortable, I made some phone calls. Checked in with my mom and Papillon who were working on packing a hospital bag for me. Called my sister to make some small talk. And thought how pleasant an experience this was compared to Papillon's rather hectic birth (little did I know what was to come). 

Thankfully, around 1:15pm my doula arrived. She had checked her messages on her lunch break and rushed right over!  Her timing was impeccable - things were starting to get uncomfortable.  The doula begins coaching me through breathing through contractions. Some are much worse than others (and still only about 50% of them show up on the monitors...I would get through a contraction, inform Mon Amour and the doula that it was the worst one yet, only to look at the monitor and see a tiny blip on the feed. Argh.)

At some point my mom and friend brought by my "hospital bag".  The anesthesiologists came by to introduce themselves, just in case I wanted or needed an epidural;  I was impressed how they did not push their 'product'; if you didn't know they were anesthesiologists you would have thought they were just there to congratulate me and give me some encouraging words!  Also at some point around this time, it seems the medical professionals had decided I was officially in labor, cause they didn't bother me about Pitocin anymore - and simply told me to give them a heads up if things seems to be changing/progressing. 

Around 2:20pm we inform the medical professionals that things are much more painful and the doctor returns to check on progress.  5 centimeters and the baby is much lower than she was - success! But, honestly, 5 was not the number I wanted to hear. 5 sounds like half way - 5 more slow centimeters to go. I remember feeling the same way when I was 5cm with Papillon - but clearly was much closer to the finish than "half way"

Since Hibou had finally "dropped" the doctor told me I could get out of bed and walk around (she was not very low before and they didn't want my walking around to allow the cord to drop down before the baby did).  They say they will come back in about an hour to do a little more monitoring. 

In between contractions I get out of bed.  I think I had maybe 4 or 5 contractions out of bed. Each on noticeably worse than the one before. I suddenly got incredibly warm (cue Mon Amour to bring cool wet towels  - he was a lifesaver!) and each contraction made me feel nauseous.  Time to get back in bed!

Not wanting to call a false alarm (I mean, seriously, 10 minutes before I was only 5 cms), I was hesitant to summon the nurse back in.  And my doula just kept dutifully coaching through contractions. It was Mon Amour who decided it was time to summon the doctor. He convinced me to do so under the pretense of summoning the nurse to put the monitors back on. Once the nurse came in, a contraction peaked, and my body involuntarily pushed.  Now it was definitely time to call summon the doctor.

I was 8 centimeters. My first thought was "no, don't push, I don't want to push till I am really really ready...no tearing this time." That thought was very shortly followed by the thought "to heck with tearing, I am getting this baby out now".

I pushed 4 times.

My doula was dutifully coaching some breathing - but I wasn't listening.
The doctor was putting on his gloves.
The nurse was in the hallway grabbing another nurse to help.

No one was ready. But at 2:52pm Hibou Marron arrived.

They handed her to me and I burst into happy tears.  First thought "this kid is tiny! definitely not 9lbs".
 (Later we officially confirmed she was a tiny-ish 6lbs 11oz.  Had she been born closer to her due date she would have likely been up there closer to Papillon's initial 9lbs. I guess she just wanted to be nice to her momma by coming early)

The moments immediately after her birth are ones I will never forget. For which I am very grateful.  With Papillon, they gave me some kind of pain killer immediately after the birth in order to stitch me up.  But it made me really really loopy. And I have almost no memories of first holding her.

Not so with Hibou. I remember her face, her hands, her tiny nose, her hair that I could tell was blonde even before they wiped it off. I remember allowing her to nurse and how she took to it like a champion.  I also remember every stitch (thank you, 3rd degree tearing. It seems Hibou followed the path Papillon had prepped 20 months before).  But I didn't care - those memories will fade.  Hibou's face never will.

To be continued...

1 comment:

Suzie Sunshine said...

Kudos to Ton Amour for sticking to his guns on the Pitocin and letting Hibou Marron do her own thing!!

She's such a cutie pie. =)