Saturday, May 2, 2009

Push, Push, Push, Push, Breeeeeeaaaaaaath

The following post is a going to be a real doozie regarding childbirth.

(oh, and I don't use spell check and my writing and grammar sucks, sorry)

So, as I mentioned in my previous post, my labor experience was a very positive one...I might go as far as saying even spiritual. Now, I'm not some crunchy hippy or anything, but it really was great (and this isn't just "childbirth amnesia" talking - I remember everything).

Here is my recap...

I woke up on a Sunday morning with what I thought were Braxton Hicks contractions...just mild, menstrual-like cramping. I didn't really think too much of it, but decided to time them just in case. At 8:30 a.m. they were about 15 minutes apart. Since they were pretty regular I thought that this could be "the day" considering true Braxton Hicks contractions are erratic in nature. I monitored them all day long as I carried on with my, packing my hospital bag, etc.

Fast forward to 5:00 in the evening. My contractions, now 9 minutes apart, had gotten much stronger and I knew for certain that this was indeed the real thing. They weren't anything I couldn't deal with at this point and I could still walk around and do things just fact, I was still vacuuming and organizing the house.

{My goodness, I was HUGE!}

I wasn't really that hungry for dinner, so my husband and I decided to watch a movie and just try to relax as much as possible until my contractions got to 5 minutes apart. We were told to do just that by our childbirth class instructor..."don't come to the hospital unless your water has broken or your contractions are 5 minutes apart". So, that's just what I tried to do. I also really hate hospitals and didn't want to go in until it was absolutely necessary (we live 7 minutes away from the hospital I gave birth at). At about 8:00 in the evening my contractions started getting pretty intense (we would pause the movie we were watching so I could breath through them) and I decided to just call my doctor to check in. After getting a call back, she told me to go to the hospital to be monitored just to make sure everything was okay.

At about 9:00 in the evening we checked into the hospital and they put me/baby on a heart monitor. At this point I remember thinking to myself "wow, these contractions are totally bearable...what's the big deal?". I could totally talk through them and just had to do some relaxation breathing a few times, but they really weren't as intense as I thought they would be. I've always been cursed with really bad menstrual cramps (I'm talking having to use a heating pad and prescription painkillers bad), so maybe that's why the contractions didn't seem to kick my butt..........yet. After getting a pelvic exam, I was told that I was 4 centimeters dilated and that the baby was indeed on his way! Until then, I was still in denial.

I was immediately hooked up to an IV (which I had never had before and totally freaked me wasn't that bad either...the fear was completely unwarrented) and was given fluid to keep me hydrated. You can't eat or drink anything once you go into labor (at least that was the rule at my hospital) so they pump you full of fluid to keep you hydrated and your sugar level stable. So, now it was just a matter of waiting for me to dilate and for my water to break. This is when it starts getting a bit fuzzy for me because I was getting really tired at this point.

After getting checked for a second time they determined that I was 6 centimeters dilated and decided to break my water. The idea of them using a long chopstick-looking thing in my vajayjay totally freaking the bajeezus out of me, but that was also no big deal. I barely felt a thing! But WOW, the contractions got really STRONG after that. That was the moment I thought to myself "there is NO WAY I am doing this without drugs. NO WAY!". So, at 8 centimeters dilation (the last moment I could wait) I got an epidural.

The epidural was the most painful part of my entire childbirth experience...I never want to go through that again. I think it was because I waited way too long and was already in "transition" (when the contractions are at their peak). Trying to sit still while the anesthesiologist did his thing was pure agony. I think I cried. It really sucked. But then, within minutes I was numb from the waist down...BLISS! I could watch the monitor to see when I was actually having a contraction, but couldn't feel a thing!

So, now I just had to wait, try to get some rest, until I was fully dilated. I rested for about an hour and a half, but couldn't sleep because I had the WORST heartburn ever and I was just too excited and nervous about pushing. My mom and husband, who were with me the whole time, were fast asleep in the room (snoring) and I laid there awake until the nurse came in, checked me one last time and said I was ready to start pushing. Oh Gawd! I was freaking out. I don't know why I was so calm until this point? It just became so real all of a sudden.

My nurse got my doctor and got the bed ready to start pushing. Just so you know, the beds totally transform into a delivery bed which is basically a more comfortable version of the bed you may be used to when you go to the OBGYN. So, I started to push which was interesting considering I was totally numb "down there". I really had to concentrate. This is gross, but the nurse told me to push like I was "pushing a BM". I know, gross right, but it worked.

This is the only scary part...

After about a half an hour of pushing, the baby's head was crowning (yaaay!). However, his heartrate was starting to drop with every contraction and my doctor began to prepare me for the possiblity of using the vacuum to get him out faster. At one point, the baby's heartrate dropped so low that they called the OR to prep it for a c-section (I found this out from my husband after the fact...they didn't want to scare me at the time). This was the moment I realized that my doctor, without telling me, gave me an episiotomy. I saw the snips in her hand and asked "did you just CUT me?!". My husband's face was white. lol. They repositioned me on my left side, gave me oxygen and magically the baby's heartrate regulated. I went back to pushing normally for about 15 more minutes. In the meantime, I noticed that there were many, many more people in the room with us. I think they called the pediatrician (because of the heartrate problem) an intern, a resident and an extra nurse. Get used to the idea of many different people seeing your Ho-Ha. At that point I totally didn't even care who was in the room.

So, then he came out. Let me remind you that I was completely numb down there so this part was completely pain free. I had no idea what was going on, that he was coming out, until my nurse and doctor told me. This part was fast...maybe 30 seconds to get him completely out. I heard him cry and was ecstatic. They put him on my chest and it felt like a dream to be looking down at him after imagining what he would look like for the past 38 weeks. He was a slimy, gooey looking baby. After what felt like a few seconds, the nurses took him away to clean him up.

While they were examining the baby, my nurse gave me Pitocin (which I hadn't needed until this point) in order to prevent bleading by contracting the uterus (I was asking a lot of questions...I'm sure I was annoying the crap out of my nurse). I was still numb, so again, I felt nothing and thank GAWD for that, because I could see the doctor stitching, stitching, and stitching....ouchie and gross.

After we were both cleaned up, my baby was in my arms and I was in LaLaLand. I honestly don't really know what happened from here on...I was exhausted. I had a healthy baby boy, I was healthy and my husband managed to not faint during the experience so it was time for me to sleep and sleep I did.

The days in the hospital during recovery were surreal and gross. I wished someone had warned me about how nasty and uncomfortable recovery would be. That I would need help going to the bathroom and taking a shower...seriously, it was humiliating and painful. I know everyone is different, but I just want to put this out there so that my girlfriends (you know who you are ;) ) who are going to have their first baby might be more prepared for recovery than I was.

All in all, the entire experience wasn't bad and I hope to be fortunate enough to be able to experience it again in the future. We are so happy to be parents and love our little one more than words can express!!

The End (the beginning).


Anonymous said...

Yay!!! What an exciting ride. I HAVE t0 share this ultra gross story as your story reminded me of it and I can relate. Had my baby- no drugs/epidural. By the time I wanted one it was not an option. (they said it was too late-I think they were just lazy) Long story short- I too got the snippage down south. Anyway! Get home- Eat a huge dinner with meat/potatoes, etc.(cuz NOBODY told me to eat light to avoid the next paragragh)Next day went potty (not tinkle...) and was in sooooo much agony and ended up, how shall we say...Not stitched up anymore?(!!!!!!) It was horrible and I was so mad at my Dr. while he re-did the procedure the next day all the while saying "why on earth did you eat brisket and carrots? Uhmm cuz my jewish mother-in-law made it and I was starving and oh yeah- NOBODY SAID NOT TOO!!!!!! That's was my drama- I got over it. :) Hope your "sticheys" are healing well and your getting some rest.

Cote de Texas said...

I guess everyone is going to tell their story. didn't you think that the contractions felt like "indian burns" - remember when you were little and your friends would rub your arm in different directions and it would burn? that's exactly what it felt like to me. nothing like period cramps. yeah - it gets intense fast. take that epidural as soon as you can girls! haha!!! you know what killed me was the pitocin after birth. it was like I was right back in labor for four more hours. I was so miserable with it. everyone is so different - you slept through your pitocin!! Congrats!!!! Your baby is adorable. my baby just turned 18. I miss those days sooo much. Enjoy them!

Anonymous said...

I can't believe you had an episiotomy without consent. That's awful.

Congratulations on your beautiful baby.

Mrs. Limestone said...

Thanks for sharing. Im glad your birth was better than you expected. Based on my very unscientific research it seems that when the epidural is strong enough and in the right time to make you numb, it all goes a lot more smoothly for the mom.

Can you explain what was so gross about the recovery? Ive heard this from so many people but no one explains what they are talking about. I can sort of imagine about the stitches but that wouldn't be surprising - what were you surprised about?

Vickie H. said...

I was enthralled with your recap of your baby's birth...and when I saw that first pic of you holding him and him looking up into your face, I burst into tears for the joy and beauty of it. Thank you for sharing. May God bless you and your son, and God bless all the little children who will never know what it is like to have a mom like you!

The Lovely Mrs. Cozy Home said...

Awww what a lovely little newborn!! What a wonderful reward for all that hard work!!!

Steph said...

i'm in tears reading this. thanks for sharing. so so beautiful. love your blog...this is my first time to comment though. i'm expecting my first in Novemeber...excited about all the mom stuff, but definitely nervous about delivery!

i'm one of those girls who is freaked about possibly pooping on the table! HELP! :)

Carly said...

Thanks for sharing this, T, and in so much detail. It's really helpful to those of us who are trying to mentally prepare for the same experience in a few short months! :)
I'm glad you had a pleasant experience and that all is well! Grayson is ADORABLE and I teared up reading this!
PS - I e-mailed you about the BM Seafoam in your MB. I am sure paint color are the LAST thin you are thinking about at this point - but if you could just give me a "yes" or "no" it would be VERY appreciated! : )
Take care and enjoy your new little guy!

Becky said...

Love it! Thanks for sharing!

Tracy said...

Love your story. My one and only baby is eighteen now and ever since her birth, when a pregnant friend would mention how frightened she was by the thought of labor and delivery, I would say "oh honey, that's the EASY part!". Once your baby is here, you realize (in a far more real way than any thought you might have given it already) that you've made a life-long commitment to care for this squirming, hungry ball of energy that, from the very beginning, has a mind of its own and will challenge you in ways you never anticipated, both large and small, every. single. day. Don't get me wrong, childbirth is a BIG deal and an experience you'll never forget, but now? the REAL work begins! And you seem like the kind of smart, resourceful young woman who is totally up for that challenge! Best of luck to you and your beautiful family!

Lovely Little Nest said...

Thank you SO MUCH for this post! It's nice to hear (read) about every aspect of childbirth - the good, the bad, and the ugly!

Congrats on your beautiful baby boy! :)

Tamstyles said...

congrats on your baby! enjoy!

meg manion silliker said...

i too can't believe you were given an episiotomy without consent. my doctor had said "ok, i'm going to cut you" and i said "nooooooo you're not"! and he backed off. thank goodness. i preferred to tear naturally - i have no memories of petocin at all!
so happy you have a healthy beautiful baby and you will be ready to go back into battle when the time is right!!

Joi said...

Thanks for sharing, T! I really appreciate a new mother's honest story...especially when this girl has so many questions!!!

Your words east my curiosity...a little.

Keep 'em coming. : )

Anonymous said...

I'm a nervous mom-to-be, and I always appreciate reading birth stories. Thank you so much for sharing such a personal experience.

Lauren said...

Thank you so much for sharing your account of your baby boy's birth. I am 7 months pregnant with my first baby (a boy) and I am so glad when women really tell it like it is...grossness and all. I am planning on getting an epidural, so your story just reaffirmed my decision to do that. So many women make you feel bad if you don't want to do it naturally. Thanks again...and congrats. -L

Suzie said...

Boy, you were wonder woman when it came to the contractions.

Oh, lordy, that was interesting but not as gross as I expected! :) But, one look at the photo of you holding gorgeous Grayson and my heart just melted!

Freckles Chick said...

My heart just melted right into a little puddle when I saw the pic of you holding Grayson and him looking up at you!!

You may have just convinced me that labor & delivery isn't so bad....I think that's one of the fears I have when it comes to getting pregnant. I'm such a pansy.

And I'm LMAO @ your different terms for "vajayjay"! I think I counted 3? =]

Catherine Longworth said...

Wow, this is good to know! It really didnt sound that bad. I am happy for you!! Hope you are healing and getting some rest. Miss you.

Lauren said...

Awwwww what a great experience!!! I have to say that I totally agree with you about recovery- I HAD NO IDEA HOW GROSS IT WAS EITHER!!!! I mean just awful!!! All the mess, the sweat, ew just yuck! It felt so good to get out of that stage and I too warn my friends now.

ps- he's so beautifuol and you've got me in tears :)

daniella said...

I came here via Holly Mathis' blog. Your birth story cracked me up; it's great that you could put a light spin on it.

I had my first baby via c-section and am going for natural this time if all works out, so I'll be going through labor for the first time!

I also read your post on "must haves" and I fully agree on all your choices (except the diaper genie, unfortunately, because we had one and my husband always forgot to empty it since it held so many diapers! Gross.)

Congrats on your baby boy! Enjoy passes by like you wouldn't believe. Next thing you know he'll be a talking, demanding, funny toddler.

Sewing-Chick said...

Congrats! I just love reading baby stories :) I had one in February; here's his story if you're interested.