Saturday, February 6, 2010

Birth Story, Part 2: The Storm Begins

In the intervening days between my last prenatal checkup and my induction, I tried to remind myself that recent-miscarriage-sufferer Susan would be annoyed at hugely-pregnant Susan for being so upset about an induction and heightened risk of c-section. Anything for a baby, right? Unfortunately, that did pretty much nothing to improve my mood. I was sure that recent-miscarriage-sufferer Susan would understand.

So, Thursday the 7th arrived, and Erich and I worked around the house nonstop to get as much ready as we could. I finally had my motivation to pack my bag for the hospital! I packed comfy clothes for myself, none of which I wore because it was all pants and shirts. I also packed a zillion other things that I did not need or use. Live and learn!

My mom came over to help us and she actually stayed till after we left getting the nursery ready. Thanks, mom! At around 4:00, it was time to head out into the gloom. The predicted snow storm was arriving, and Erich was on edge, not wanting to take any chances on getting delayed in trafic or, worse yet, slipping and falling in the slush. We went first to our favorite Chinese restaurant for our last meal together as a family of two. I got orange peel chicken. I wasn't that hungry, but I ate anyway since hospitals are mean and don't let laboring women eat anything substanial.

We arrived in the Labor and Delivery ward at 6pm sharp. We felt weird showing up at a scheduled time to have our baby. It felt like we needed to make excuses to the world and assure them that we are not "those people" who schedule their baby's birth for convenience. This was not our choice! But, we got over it and got shown to our room, the same large but awkwardly laid-out corner suite we had seen in the tour of the hospital. When I had first seen this room, I solidified my desire to labor at home for as long as possible. (Aaaand, so much for that!) Despite the wood floors and other attempts at a homey feel, this was a very medical place.

The nurse took my vitals and asked again why I was being induced. Why, for high blood pressure! Except, over the next 24 hours, my blood pressure stayed in the normal range. I asked for clarification as to when and what I was allowed to eat, and she reminded me that I would not be allowed to eat the next day, "because we have to treat everyone like a possible c-section." Well, with a 30% c-section rate at this hospital, I'm not surprised. Except very, very few c-sections even require general anesthesia and only a small percentage of those have any complications with vomiting and aspiration, and effectively no one ever dies from that. Yet that is the reason I was allowed nothing more than ice chips and popsicles. Ridiculous!

Ah, but I'm getting ahead of myself. And I digress. Sorry.

Another nurse poked and massaged my crazy-swollen arms for about ten minutes, unable to find any veins for the IV. She finally settled on my wrist so that I couldn't bend or flex my hand. They put contraction and fetal heart monitors over my massive belly, and then I was really tethered. From that point onward, just to get to the bathroom six feet away I had to unplug the monitors, drape the cords across my shoulders and have Erich follow me with the IV stand. It's already hard to remember the sheer effort it required just to get out of bed and waddle across a room. I really don't miss being pregnant, to be honest.

By about 7:30, after a baseline internal check (still no dilation or effacement--"unfavorable cervix," further upping my chances of a c-section), the nurse placed the Cervidil behind my cervix. At this point, Erich took the final pictures of me as a pregnant lady:

This is actually one of the only pictures that doesn't make me look frightening. There's another one I won't share that actually scares my own mother. No joke. Btw, my face is at least 30% smaller now, thank goodness.

The bed is pretty close to the bathroom door on the right there. On the left in the background is the couch where Erich slept. You can also see my awkward IV.

All we did that evening was watch TV, get ready for bed, and try to sleep. I was helped by a dose of Ambien, but Erich had to battle hospital noises and a drafty window. He's a real trooper, and I'm not being sarcastic. I think he worked even harder than I did this whole long weekend, but we'll get to more of that later.

I'll have to leave it there for today. The sleeping baby who's been farting on my lap for the last ten minutes is starting to stir a bit more. Sidenote/question of the day: will this baby ever consent to not being held while she sleeps?

Part 3


Our Family said...

Yes she will consent to sleeping by may take months, bt it happens! :) Enjoy the snuggles...2 y.o.s have little patience for them! :)

cowboyboot lady said...

Just read Birth Story parts one and two. What a cute pic of you! I am looking forward to hearing the rest of the story. Hope the baptism went well!