Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The story you've all been waiting for......

I have been meaning to write this down before I forget all the details about everything that happened and how I felt about it all. Although I question if a person can every forget the day they gave birth to their first child. I had been having pregnancy induced hypertension for a few weeks before my due date, so they decided that they were going to induce me on 1/20/11. My OB scheduled me to come into her office on 1/19/11 to get a Foley catheter put in and then send me home for the night. Supposedly, the catheter was supposed to ripen my cervix throughout the night and hopefully speed up the laboring process.

 So Nick and I went to Dr. Lowden's office at about 4:00pm on Wednesday, 1/19/11, and Dr. Lowden had gone home for the day, so Dr. Hague was the one putting my catheter in. While Dr. Hague and the nurse were preparing everything (and I was sitting uncomfortably in the stirrups), they were telling me that the last time the nurse assisted in this procedure, she had squirted water all over the patient. She also informed me that Dr. Lowden had told her I had a "tough cervix" so it might take some work (whatever that means). About 10 seconds after both of those stories came out of her mouth, I felt a lot of water on my back. I thought for a second the nurse had done a repeat squirting, but then Dr. Hague rolled away from me and said, "Hmmmm...........well that was your water breaking." Nick and I just kind of looked at each other in shock. Even though we were planning on having Tommy the next day, we thought we still had one night together to go to dinner, stay up late, sleep in peace, etc. Oh, how God laughs at our plans!

 Dr. Hague told me that what happened to me only happens to 1 in 10 women and personally, I was glad!! I had been wanting to go in that night anyways because the weather was supposed to get really nasty and I didn't want to have to drive in the next morning. Wish granted!! They sent me away to the hospital with the catheter still in and my amniotic fluid draining into a colostomy bag. How attractive. You know when they say pregnant women glow? No, it's just their amniotic fluid bag glinting in the sunlight. I remember getting on the elevator, still not believing I was actually starting the laboring process and holding my colostomy bag under my shirt so people wouldn't think I was a crazy hospital runaway. We got in the car and I called my mom and he called his parents and we were off!

We got to Wesley and they took us to labor and delivery. The room was big and had a couch (if you can call plastic pillows on top of wood a couch :) ) and a recliner. We got settled in and then started thinking of a million things we had left at home. So I called Brooke and my mom and had them stop by the house to pick it all up. Silly me, I thought I'd have the time and the desire to read a book. Yeah.............that didn't work out. We had gotten there around 6pm and by the time they got me hooked up to the fetal monitors, I had to pee again. My nurse was SOOO annoying. Nice, but over-informative and extremely anal about the monitors on my stomach. I want a nurse who smiles, tells me everything that needs done, makes a little kind chit-chat, then leaves me in peace.

Yeah, not this lady.

She told me her birth story about her daughter, all about driving home in the snow, etc. I was thinking, "Does she really think the expression on my face right now says please keep talking??" Those fetal monitors are SO annoying. The bands that hold them on kept rolling up and every time I'd get settled, I'd have to pee. But I was feeling great and was still so excited when my family showed up around 7:15pm. Brooke, mom and Whitney all came bearing gifts (aka junk from my house, including my glorious body pillow which became my birthing buddy!). They were there for about 1 1/2 hours and then Nick's parents got there around 9pm. The nurse had already put in my IV and started fluids and pitocin, but it hadn't kicked in yet. I just remember the fluid making me VERY cold.

We were all talking and enjoying life when BAM!

The contractions started. Damn contractions. Now I'm not normally a cussing lady, but those made me cuss. I didn't know how to tell everyone that I wanted them out of the room immediately, but luckily my mom picked up on it and ushered everyone out to the waiting room. They came on so quick and hurt SO freaking bad. I tried breathing through one like everyone tells you to do and like you see on the movies.  All I wanted to do was curl up in a ball and die. Nick kept asking me if I was okay and all I could do was cry and think, "Hell no, I'm not okay!! My uterus is turning against me and killing me from the inside out!!!" But I know he was just worried and felt like he wasn't able to fix the problem. They let me have contractions for about an hour before they considered me to be in "active labor" and I couldn't get an epidural until I was in active labor. So after an hour of the most horrible pain I've ever experienced, I finally got the most wonderful thing in the world---my epidural. Me and the anesthesiologist became best friends. I loved her. She saved my life and made me whole again (okay, only Jesus can do that, but she is a close second)! Everyone said that actually getting the epidural would hurt but I was pleasantly surprised to find that they were all wrong. Mine did not hurt at all. It felt weird, but not painful. And everything she said was true. She would say, "Okay, you're going to feel a slight zing." And what do you know, I had a feeling that could only be described as a zing. She would tell me I was going to feel hot or like I had electricity in me and she was right every single time!! After my epidural, I think I only had 2 or 3 more contractions that I actually felt and then it was HEAVEN!!! 

They also put in an internal monitor (a monitor that they connected to the top of Tommy's head to monitor his heartbeat) so I got to take off those stupid bands that kept rolling. And I got a catheter so I didn't have to get up to pee anymore!! Oh glory day!! Truly, I can not sing the praises of an epidural enough. Those women who try to have babies the "natural" way are NUTS!! How do they do it?!? Not for this girl, that's for sure. I felt like a whole new person once that epidural kicked in. I was smiling and ready to party!! I tried to get some sleep and so did Nick, but I think we each only got a few hours. With all the nurses coming and going and them making me switch sides constantly, I didn't have much time to rest. Which was okay because I was so excited. I finally got a new nurse around 11 pm and she was AWESOME!! Friendly but not annoying, informative, decisive....I liked her. She was really young and cute and she was pregnant too. Nick kept getting onto her because she kept tossing me around like it was nothing since I wasn't able to move my own body (keep in mind, I was numb from the epidural). He told her if he had seen me doing that when I was pregnant, he would have kicked my a**. He's so good with words :) She kept coming in to check me and have me roll over and then they finally told us that every time I contracted, Tommy's heart rate was dropping. They decided to stop pitocin and see if his heart rate was okay with the contractions. He would do good, so they would restart pitocin and again, his heart rate started dropping. This happened 4 or 5 times and the nurse let us know that if it happened again, we would probably go ahead with a c-section.

Nick didn't really like that and it wasn't my first choice, but I wanted Tommy to be safe. They finally were able to keep me on pitocin and I was having contractions without his heart rate dropping. Nick was starving and hadn't left my side all night, so since everything was going good, he decided to go get some breakfast. He had my mom come in with me and after being gone for about 5 minutes, the nurse came in and said that Tommy's heart rate had dropped again with my last contraction and Dr. Hague was going to do a c-section. The doctor in charge on the floor came in and started telling me all the legal stuff about all the possible complications (including death--I love how they throw that in there :) and my mom was like, "Wait!! Wait, her husband's not here. Start over!!" The doctor just kept talking. It was really awkward. Everyone kept calling Nick and trying to get ahold of him but he wasn't answering his phone, so finally I think Brooke went down to the cafeteria to find him. He came rushing into the room and was like, "What the heck happened? I thought everything was fine." It was kind of cute! He was so worried and in a total state of confusion and shock :) But he didn't have much time for that! About 10 minutes after they told me I was going to have a c-section, the anesthesiologist had already come in and done something to my epidural to make the numbness go all the way up to my armpits, Nick was in disposable scrubs and they were wheeling me down the hallway. 

I found out later that my mom, sister, Whitney and Esther were all waiting in the hallway to see us before we went in but they took me the other way, so they didn't get to say good luck. My mom told me they just kept waiting and waiting! The whole c-section experience was very painful but very surreal. My whole body was numb, so the nurses were just rolling me this way and that way like I was nothing but a bag of potatoes. They made me drink this nasty stuff that is supposed to make it not hurt if you vomit, but made me feel nauseous. This lady kept poking me with a plastic thing to see if I could feel it and to make sure my epidural was still working. I know it was necessary, but man it was annoying!! There were bright lights everywhere and what seemed like a million people in the room. But I just kept looking at Nick and listening for my baby. The nurse and doctor kept saying, "You'll feel a little pressure." Yeah. That's an understatement. It was SO painful and uncomfortable. They are pushing all your insides around and that's exactly what it feels like. Then they said, "Okay, there's going to be a LOT of pressure on your chest, like someone is standing on it and then the baby will be here." And they were right. I felt the pressure and then Dr. Hague said we would have a baby in about 30 seconds. That's when the tears came. I had done okay emotionally until then, but when she said that, I just started crying and waiting to hear him cry. They got him out and I remember being SO frustrated because I couldn't see him. Nick got to look at him and they of course weighed him and cleaned him and I kept trying to ask them to hold him up but NOBODY WOULD LISTEN TO ME!!!

Finally, Nick got to hold him and he brought him over to me so I could kiss him and see his sweet face. I don't think there's ever been anything more beautiful. He was the perfect combination of me and Nick. I just stared at him while they moved me back to my bed and then the big moment came--they put him in my arms! My whole world was in my arms. So many thoughts were going through my head--he's so tiny, so much responsibility, he's so cute!!, how am I going to take of him, look at those blue eyes, this is scary!--the train my mind rode was endless.
 But man, I don't know if there's any moment in the world that can top seeing your baby that you and the love of your life made together. It was perfect in all it's craziness. We went back to our room and everyone got the see him. They were all in love (of course!). After everyone had gotten a turn to hold him, they all went home and me and Nick and Tommy were moved to the postpartum floor. Nick was excited because there was an actual bed for him to lay on. I was in pain because my epidural was finally wearing off and Tommy was sleeping the whole time. I'll never forget those first few hours alone with our baby, just our small little family. It was awesome and still brings tears to my eyes. It's a day I will never forget and I like to relive in my mind several times a week. Tommy, you are such a gift and I can't wait to know who you are going to become. I do things for you that I never would have thought I could do--I get up in the middle of the night with a smile on my face, I get poop on my hand when I change your diaper and I don't gross out, I talk to you in baby talk and make a fool out of myself, I turn off the TV so you and I can have a conversation by grunting to eachother. You have changed our lives forever and I am SO grateful every day that God gave me one of his angels to raise and take care of. I love you, sweet boy.

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