Birth Stories

Colette Grace - epi birth

I woke up about 3:00am with back pain and thought oh please God don't let me be getting another kidney infection.  I went to the bathroom and laid back down for about 20 mins.  This process went on till about 5 when Brent asked if I was ok. 

B - "honey are you ok?"

Me - "i don't know.  I think i'm having contractions but they could just be braxton hicks.  My water hasn't broken.  OW!"

B-"You shouldn't go to work today"

Me - "I don't want to waste my maternity leave."

B - "you don't want to have the baby on the highway in traffic either.  You shouldn't go to work today."

Me - "I'll go to the doctor and see what he says.  I hope that they aren't going to feel like this till I deliver.  I can't take 2 weeks of this pain"

I went to the bathroom again only this time i actually turned on the light and discovered that there was some blood and what was probably my muscus plug.  I told brent and he replied "You're not going to work today."

He went into the kitchen and made some oatmeal and brought it back into the bedroom and shared it with me, feeding me in between my wincing and rocking in the glider. He wanted to stay with me but I urged him to go to school.  He only had one more week of this class and couldn't miss anymore time or he would have to retake it.  So reluctantly he went.  I promised to call him as soon as I saw the doctor.  I called my boss' voicemail about 6am and told her that I was going to the doctor before I came to work cause I wasn't sure if I was in labor.  Being a nurse I'm sure she found this funny and probably dimissed it when I told her that it probably wasn't and I would just be late.  Then I called the hospital and sheepishly told them that I was pregnant with my first baby and wasn't sure if I was in labor, but could I come in and have them check.  She said of course whenever I was ready.  I hung in until about 7:10 when I decided that I was just going to drive over there.  Since the hospital and my OBs office are in the same complex I figured I'd sit in the parking lot and decide if I could wait till 8:30 to see the doc or if I just need to head into the hospital.  I managed to drive over there without issue even through the contractions.  They really were hurting now and coming closer together; but since I was still in denial that I was actually having a baby I just knew that the hospital was going to sending me home.

I sat in the parking lot till about 7:45 and decided that I just couldn't take it anymore.  I kept thinking "Please God don't let this cost anything! and "Please don't let this pain last for another 2 weeks!"  I made it up to the L&D ward and signed in.  They put me in triage and the nurse came in about 15 mins later.  I told her that I wasn't sure if I was in labor to which she replied "If you're not sure then it's probably not it"  She asked me if my water broke and I told her that I didn't think so, but there had been some blood.  She hooked me up to the monitors and had me pee in a cup (which let me tell you is even harder with a big belly! you almost have to be a contorsionist).  She said she'd be back in about 15 mins and would do an internal.  I did all those stupid breathing techniques as much as I could but they really don't help and kind of made me light headed.  Luckily the nurse came back quickly and did the exam.  Holy crap, it was the most painful exam to date.  And the end result was "The baby is head down but you're only 2cm.  We'll check your sample but I don't think your in labor."   She came back about 10 mins later and a little sheepishly said "well your water broke, so we're going to admit you."

I was in total shock, some relief that this pain wasn't going to last forever, but still shocked that it was really happening.  They pretty much immediately moved me to a L&D room and I called B.  He was very calm and said "ok baby I'll be there as soon as I can".  He later told me that he went up to his instructor expecting to get hasseled (they have been none too compassionate that their students have lives outside of the school) and was happily surprise when the guy's response was "well what are you still doing here?"  the instructor was even nice enough to not comp him the full amount of time that he was gone.  I'm not really sure how fast he got there, but it was so good to see him walk in the door.  He walked with me and held me while we waited for the nurse to come back in.  When she did I quickly informed her that I wanted the epidural just as soon as they could give it to me.  I'd had enough.  She told me that she would get the IV set up asap and call down to the anestheologist just as soon as I'd gotten hooked up.  It took 3 nurses 4 attempts to get the iv in, apparently despite the drug addict like vains in the crook of my elbow, the vains on my hands are impossible.  My original nurse (I hate that I can't remember her name, there were so many of them) then took my history. 

RN - this says bottle fed

Me - I'm going to try to breastfeed, but I had reduction surgery and don't know if i can

RN - well we'll just change that and give it a try for now. do you plan on having your tubes tied?

Me - ask me that in a few hours

Still a little bit of humor left in me, but it was fading fast.  I think it was about another hour before the anesthesiologist arrived.  B had just left to get something to eat, so the nurse held me.  I had to sit on the edge of the bed with my shoulders rolled forward and not move, no matter the pain or what contractions may come.  She just about had to hold me down.  They had to stick me 4 times (seems to be the magic number) with the novicane because every time he went to put in the Epi it hurt like hell.  I think the novicane never really took effect because it hurt pretty much until he was done.  The nurse was so sweet and kind, and by the time the drug kicked in I was ok with the pain it caused going in.  The nurse then inserted the cathiter and a fetal monitor.

B came back a little while after the epi took full effect and we spent the next few hours watching tv.  I do not know how women have natural births.  You all who have are amazingly strong and I admire you a lot. I think you may all be slightly crazy, but still I admire you.  The epi experience is strange because you can feel some sensation but it is very mild.  I kept touching my legs and they felt twice their size and water logged.  And when the nurse would roll me over I felt like I was perfectly round and would roll back over onto my back unless she got me completely on my side.  The nurse would flip me every hour or so to make sure that the meds were circulating properly.  I think around noon they found that the baby was lying on her cord and her heartbeat was dropping slightly.  To fix this they inserted a fetal iv, which apparently just put saline into the placenta.  This worked almost immediately and her heartbeat returned to normal.

They checked me every few hours and I was making continuous progress.  I got a new nurse about 4 or 5 pm I think and she stayed with me through the delivery.  I believe her name was Lori (the only one I remembered because it was so close to mine).   She was great and pretty much stayed with me from the moment she came on shift.  It was comforting to have just the one nurse who was dedicated to my care.  She checked me about 7 and found that I was really close.  She said that she would inform the doctor and then we would practice pushing (I didn't realize you practiced this).  Dr. Howard came in and checked me and said that it looked like we'd be ready to go really soon.  He then sent in the anesthesiologist to turn down the epi so that I could feel to push (I wasn't excited about this part).  Not long after that I could feel my toes and so the nurse said we were good to start pushing. 

The side effects of the epi got a little yucky when they turned it down.  I began to shake like I was really cold and threw up several times.   B was right that I shouldn't have had all those fluids through out the day.  Still I think the epi was definitely worth it.

B and the nurse had to help me hold my legs but then we were off.  The 10 count is a lot longer than you think it will be then you compound that by having to do 3 in a row and I quickly learned just how out of shape I was.  Apparently it was showing because she put an oxygen mask on me.  It was nice at first but it dried me out really quickly.  The nurse said that I was a great pusher (thanks!) and that she'd better let the doctor know, it would be sooner rather than later.  So I got to take a break while she went to find him.  He came in and said "wow ok you are a good pusher".  They did whatever setup it is that they do and then he informed me it would just be a little while longer and then we'd have the baby. 

B was so sweet the whole time.  He kept rubbing my hair and telling me how great I was doing.  It wasn't long before I was pushing again.  The epi had successfully turned down and I was definitely feeling everything, dulled still I'm sure, but not like before.  Dr. Howard said I was doing great but that I was beginning to tear and so he was going to do an episiotomy.  That hurt!  I pushed a little while longer and he told me that he was going to use this little suction cup thing.  We didn't want the forceps or the vacuum, but this seemed harmless enough so I agreed.  But guess what, this hurt like hell!  I think he actually inserted it in me around her head, yowza!  But about 2 more pushes and she was here!  B looked shocked at the amount of fluid (it sounded like Niaga Falls as it hit the floor), but we later realized that a lot of it was from the fetal IV.  I heard the doctor say "oh you got me good" and thought he meant me, B later told me that right as she came out, she coughed mucus all over the doctor. 

First thing I asked was "is it still a girl?" B said it was and kissed me and told me she was beautiful with tons of hair.  She was 8lbs 4oz, 20 inches long with a 14& 1/2 inch head. They gave her to me while they cleaned her off a little.  She was amazing.  That suction cup thing had warped her head, but the dr assured us it would round out soon (& it did).  I was so weak and a little afraid I would drop her (I later found out that I had apparently lost a lot of blood and was very close to needing a transfusion).  Soon they took her and put her in the warmer, while I delivered the placenta.  Next the doctor sewed up the episiotomy, again, yowza!  Dr. Howard kept telling Brent that he was being as gentle as he could.  I think he was afraid B was going to hurt him since he was hurting me :) B later said that he's probably had baby daddy's yelling at him to stop hurting baby's momma's.

When they were done with me I told B to go be with her.  She had quite a bit of fluid in her lungs but they got it out.  She took her shots like a champ.  Cried a little with the first and then gave up being mad with the second.  Because of a lack of communication between the nurses at shift change she was given the eye ointment and the vitamin K shot that we weren't going to give her.  But she's just fine so I got over it, B was less forgiving. 

B's parents arrived in record time right as I was about to start pushing but the nurse had them wait outside.  They came in as the nurse was giving Colette, her first bath.  They got some pictures and told us how beautiful she was, and then gave us sometime alone with her. 

It was a completely surreal experience.  I still can't really believe that we are parents.  She is a wonderful baby and really only cries when she's hungry or has a tummy ache.  She's tolerating diaper changes a lot better now and is even beginning to enjoy baths.  She was diagnosed with a heart murmur but after seeing a pediatric cardiologist, we were assured that it's very mild and whether or not it corrects itself, it won't in anyway impede her life.   She's come down with a cough this week, but seems to be getting better and even sick she's a happy baby.  We are truly blessed, she's an angel!

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