I just want to let you all know that Lily’s birth story is being featured by one of my bloggy friends Kelly from Our Lincoln Log. I’m honored to be one of the mothers featured in Kelly’s weekly birth story series.
Again a lot has happened since I last posted. I truly intend to update this more often and now I have good reason to. I don’t want to forget a minute of Lily’s life.
On Saturday December 20, 2008 I woke up about 8 like normal and spent 30-45 minutes snuggling with Waldo.
During that time I kept feeling small gushes (for lack of a better word) from my girly area. When we finally got out of bed I went to investigate the gushes. I had soaked through the pad I was wearing. TMI alert: Pregnancy is full of fluids and its best to wear protection. I changed the pad and went into the living room and announced that we were on “fluid watch”. I wasn’t stressed out by the fluid, like I said pregnancy is full of it. But I had no clean baby clothes and our washer had finally defrosted so I went and started a load of baby clothes, just in case.
About 11:00 Waldo told me to make a decision about this fluid since we needed to start our normal Saturday chores. I did the smart thing and called the doctor’s office (which I had planned to do all along, I was just procrastinating) At this point I had soaked through 3 more pads, the doctor told me to go to the hospital and get it checked.
While Waldo took a shower I got my hospital bag ready, the whole time thinking that I was being silly and I didn’t need the bag yet. I was only 36 weeks 1 day along. I was going to get to the hospital and they were going to shake their heads at me and tell me to stop worrying.
Once we got to the hospital we left the bag in the car since we just knew we were going to be heading to Kalispell soon. Boy we were wrong.
I was pre-registered so they put me in a bed and hooked me up to the monitors.
I wasn’t contracting, but when they checked the fluid it was in fact my amniotic water. I asked how long we were going to be there because we hadn’t eaten yet and we were hungry. It was about 11:45 or so. The nurse laughed and said that we weren’t going anywhere, we were having a baby within 24 hours. Waldo and I looked at each other and I think we both had that deer in the headlights look. OMG a baby now!
The nurse checked me and said that I was completely softened and what not and “wow your baby is so low” but not dilated at all. I still wasn’t having any contractions either.
She had us order lunch from the cafeteria, which was surprisingly good.
At about 2 they started pitocin. Since my bag of waters had ruptured there was a high chance of infection, so they had to get my labor going. For the first hour or two I didn’t feel anything, we could see the contractions on the monitor but I wasn’t feeling them. Then I felt one and that was the end of it. They were coming every 2-4 minutes and they hurt. After about an hour I was already ready for the epidural, but I’m a closet granola and I had ideas about how I wanted my daughters birth to be. Medical intervention was not on the list. I was already off to a bad start with the pitocin. I tried all of the pain management techniques we had learned at our child birth education class and the things that the nurses recommended. Nothing really helped. Sitting on anything just seemed to make it worse. Standing up and walking helped a little, but I couldn’t do that for too long. As much as I didn’t want to be in bed, that was the most comfortable place. Later I figured out this was because Lily was so far down (as everyone told me when they checked, EVERY TIME) I was sitting on her so the soft mattress was better then a hard chair, etc.
When they checked me I wasn’t really making much progress, it was very disheartening. They kept turning up the pitocin. In order to make it through the contractions I just kept telling myself it was all for Lily and thinking about her made it possible to endure another one and another one and another one.
Waldo was great, he did what ever I asked him to. Rub my back, walk with me and rub my back, hold my hand while I was in the tub, remind me that it won’t last forever and stand by my decision to go without pain meds and then again stand behind me when I decided to take something.
Finally about 2 in the morning, the nurse offered something I think was called stadol, she said it would just take the edge off and only lasted about 1 hour. I needed a break, the contractions were back to back and really bad. They told me that I had a few things going on that were making the contraction bad, Lily was really low, the pitocin, and the lack of amniotic fluid to soften them. I agreed to a half dose of the stadol. I call total bullshit on “it takes the edge off”. It made me very sleepy, but I felt each and every contraction just like I did before. I would breath through a contraction and then fall asleep and then wake up for the next one. Waldo was sitting in a chair next to my bed, holding my hand and watching the monitor. He knew when I was going to wake up again and felt so bad for me. I would ask him almost every other time “did I sleep through some” and he would tell me no, but I was dreaming about having contractions so it was very depressing.
At about 8:30 am on 12/21/08 after being awake for 24 hours I asked for the epidural, I didn’t want it though. But neither Waldo or I had slept and I knew we would need our strength. It took about 2 hours for the anesthesiologists to get there and get it in. That had to be the longest 2 hours of my life. Once it was in, we both slept for hours. Well except the nurses kept coming in to take my blood pressure and check on me. This went on all day. My doctor was great, she knew how much I didn’t want a c-section so she kept upping the pitocin to try to encourage my cervix to dilate. Finally at 11:00 pm I was at 10 and ready to go. I pushed and pushed, staring into Waldo’s eyes while he held my left leg and helped me count. I couldn’t have done any of it without him. After 3 hours my doctor said that Lily was wonky and we had to do a c-section. I asked if there was any other way and said said no. For the first time I cried, and boy did I cry. I had worked so had to get to this point and now I had to have the major surgery that I never wanted. But it was all about getting Lily out and into my arms.
They brought Waldo some scrubs and I got a really cool hair net thing. He and I talked about it all and knew that this was for the best and how funny it was that everything thing that could go wrong with how I wanted this to go had. I calmed down and stopped crying.
After what seemed like forever (probably more like 45 very long minutes) someone came to get me and told Waldo what he was going to do. They wheeled me into a very cold, white room that made me cry harder then ever. Everyone was really nice and tried to tell me it was all going to be fine. I knew that, I was crying over the loss of my vision, my ideal birth. For 8 months (or my whole life) I had planned this birth in my head and now it was all different and essentially wrong. But being the logical person I try to be most of the time I calmed down and knew that it was best for Lily. The little sucked was trying to come out sideways and that wouldn’t work.
They gave me more drugs and explained how it was going to work. Waldo came in and was holding my hand, the next thing I know I felt them rubbing my stomach and then they were holding a slimy baby over the drape.
They put her in the warming bed and Waldo went over the be with her. I cried as I watched them rubbing her. She was crying and I couldn’t be with her, which just made me cry harder, but I was glad Waldo was there. He was taking pictures of her, just like I told him to.
After what seemed like hours they wrapped her up and brought her to me. .
To be continued when I can see through my tears again….