He Said She Said: Morella’s Birth Story
The morning of November 22nd was the start of Thanksgiving Day. I was 12 days overdue, only less than 1 centimeter dilated and 50% effaced and despite trying everything under the sun except Castor oil we admitted defeat and agreed to be induced. Instead of packing up to head to Tim’s parents (as it was there turn for Thanksgiving) we packed our hospital bags and headed to St. Mary’s after Tim cooked up an egg breakfast with toast. We checked in around 5:00AM and waited around for the doctor to come in and talk to us the process. Cervidil was inserted around 6:00, and the fetal monitor and IV’s were placed. The nurse who inserted the needle messed up big time and rendered my left hand practically unable because a huge bruise formed over the top. I was angry about it later because it helps to have both hands when in the throes of labor. Plus, you know, it hurt. While we waited for the magic to start I worked on an needlework ornament for the baby very carefully as not to cause me further pain. . I watched a movie and some TV while Tim slept on the couch, updated my blogs and waited for my cervix to start dilating.
Hi, wazika fans. This is the DH guest-blogging live from the hospital. They’ve got wireless access, which is pretty cool. Anyway, the induction process has commenced. The DW is a fingertip dilated and 50% effaced, and they’ll be checking again at 10:30 am. As you may know, gentle readers, there’s really no way to predict how long this will take. If we’re lucky it will go quickly. But, in my uneducated and amateur opinion, this could take a little time.
posted by hadjare @ 7:06 AM
The doctor had said that it often takes two administrations of cervidil before they they start the picotin. Thankfully that wasn’t the case for us. About an hour or two after it was inserted I started to feel like I was getting my period cramps. Not the full blown crampiness that you get when the communists rush the fort, but more like the twings from the day before.
I, the DH, have humbly returned to provide additional information for all you birthing fans. We have conflicting measurements from two doctors, with dilation somewhere between 2-4 cm, and effacement around 60-70%. What they agree on is that the DW is progressing nicely. Contractions continue at 2-3 minute intervals, but have not started causing much pain. Bacon bit is currently awake and making the fetal monitor emit swishing noises to the back beat of her heart. The DW is requesting tea, so I must away. posted by hadjare @ 10:55 AM
The cervix check from the first doctor, one of my original OB’s was okay. I was able to hack it even though I have a very high cervix. However his shift ended at 7 that morning. The next doctor was brutal and I screamed and told her so and thereafter was very reluctant to have anyone near my cervix. At this point they had decided I was ready for the pitocin to start.
No real progress from earlier. Mild, regular contractions continue, but we’re just hanging out, with me reading a book and the DW watching a DVD. posted by hadjare @ 2:20 PM
I sent Tim off to get something to eat and possibly hand our house keys off to our friends Sigrid and Matt to take Pluto for the weekend. We had to wait for them to come back from Thanksgiving dinner. While he was gone I took the advice of the nurse and started walking circles around the nurses station with my IV pole. I got a lot of smiles from folks and encouragement but after about 15-20 minutes I started to get bored and … dare I say it? Uncomfortable and tired. Five minutes back into my room, I felt a gush down yonder. No one was there for me to excitedly yell that my water broke for another five minutes. Instead I just sort of wobbled over to the bathroom all bowlegged and sat down on the toilet for a while. When I wiped and saw bloody show with the water was when I got my first real electric shock. This was really it. I was going into real labor!
Water broke at ~4 PM. DW dubbed it the arrival of the Three Big Gushes (she said I could quote her on that). The doctor is going to check conditions in about an hour. The DW is currently perched on a birthing ball, doing cross stitch, and flipping through the channels on the TV. posted by hadjare @ 4:14 PM
I was trying to take it in stride and relax, but that was hard to do since the contractions had kicked it up a couple of notches. The pitocin was ramped up to it’s highest dose and my pain tolerance was wavering, after all I had been at this all day. The birthing ball wasn’t doing the magic that I thought it would. I didn’t help the ball I was on felt too squishy and perched on top of a towel with a gimpy hand and monitors, IV’s and tubes everywhere made it hard to be keep my balance and be comfortable. I gave up on the stupid ball and took the nurses suggestion of a bath in the big wide tub.
The DW is currently ‘relaxing’ in the tub, and having pretty frequent contractions. She’s told me to shut up at least twice while she breathed through one. The baby monitor can be a hassle, and the DW is finding it difficult to get a comfortable position while trying to balance all the cords and whatnot. She asked me if she could get an epidural so she could take a nap. I said that I didn’t think those things were intended to be used recreationally. A anonymous source related to me, the humble DH, would bet, if they were the betting sort, that Bacon Bit will arrive within the next two hours. So far, the Bit has been bucked all predictions, so I remain skeptical. In related news, a friend of ours has graciously gone to feed our pets. We are extremely grateful, and indebted to this kindness. posted by hadjare @ 6:18 PM
Relaxing is hardly what I would have called floating around in that big tub with the telemetry IV pole. I couldn’t get my right hand wet and my left hand, as I mentioned was gimpy, so it was me mostly figuring out a way to stay upright and not end up floating on my back in the water. It was nice that it was hot and a few contractions felt a teeny bit more manageable, but not for long. While I was in there the phone rang. The anonymous source was Tim’s mother insisting that she drive all the way down to Madison because she was sure that the baby was going to be born soon. The idea of having any one other than the nurses, the Dr. Ungentle and Tim there horrified me. I told him under no circumstances should she come. I was also beginning to wonder where the heck my epidural was. I had never said that I wanted an unmedicated birth and the contractions were fast, furious and hard. However, the main nurse was under the impression that I did want it to be natural. I won’t say “all natural” because, you know, I was being induced. After about 30 minutes I gave up on the tub and got out. I rested on the toilet because the contractions were so painful. I couldn’t imagine walking back to the bed, but that is also where I wanted most to be. I believe at this point I started to swear and cry that I wanted pain medication and I wanted it now! Tim conveyed this to the nurse, she apologized for misunderstanding me earlier and put in the order for the epidural. I asked whether or not my back surgery would affect my chances of getting an epidural and they said it wouldn’t. Thank goodness!
Ahhh, sweet relief!!!!
anesthesiologist just finished placing the epidural, and the DW is now relaxing comfortably with some classical music playing in the background. The lights have been dimmed, and she is attempting to take a nap.
The latest medical jargon thrown my way is that dilation remains at 5 cm, but that the cervix has moved all the way forward and baby is in Station Zero (Copy, Red Two! Check your six!). posted by hadjare @ 8:39 PM
The placement of the epidural wasn’t that bad. The anesthesiologist was able to get it in over the span of two contractions. Sitting there as still as can be during those contractions was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, but the promise of relief was worth it. Minutes after he was finished I felt a flood of warmth take over and I was finally able to relax for the first time since that morning. The nurses suggested I take a nap and I heartily agreed in attempting it. Mostly I just wanted some peace and quiet to lay there and reflect. The peace lasted for an hour, before the contractions started creeping in. I told Tim and the nurse that the epidural was loosing it’s effectiveness and they in turn told me to push the button and switch laying from side to side. I did as instructed but the pain was increasing exponentially. [Current readers will know that the epidural was ineffective because of my broken back and the relief I did feel was from the spinal shot which only gives relief for an hour -- two tops].
Another rotating of the guard is about to occur. A nurse change is coming up, and we will be bidding a fond farewell to our third nurse during our stay. Contractions are strong, but irregular. Baby is really coming down. The current nurse, the resident-on-duty, and this faithful scribe all agree that it looks like Bacon Bit will be born on the 23rd. While it remains within the realm of possibility that she will show up on the 22nd, she seems to be taking her time. I’m sensing a theme, and already dread the implication that waking her up to go to school will be an Herculean task.
It’s time for another cup of coffee for me. Alas, the DW is limited to ice chips, the price of an epidural. posted by hadjare @ 10:36 PM
I was sad that my nurse was going off duty. As it was, she stayed on an extra half an hour past her shift to encourage men and help me along. At 11:10 or something she checked me again and said I was fully dilated. I said I wasn’t ready and she said to just try and labor down for an hour so that when I started to push it would be faster. The next check was going to be from an OB around midnight and she said I would probably have to start then. Meanwhile, I labored down. My method was to grasp the side of the bed with my good arm and breath through each contraction. They finally lowered the pitocin because of the severity, however it didn’t reduce the pain at all.
The doctor has uttered some sort of magic words about the cervix being complete. They gave DW the option to start pushing now, but she declined, choosing to ‘labor down’ a little longer. Her plan is to start pushing in about 30 minutes, but, if I may be frank, I do believe I heard her attempt to bargain with the doctor and nurse, suggesting that perhaps Bacon Bit could kick her way out. The DW still entertains a small hope that it will be just like Morticia Addams in Addams Family Values, and that she will experience only the mildest of discomfort accompanied by a dainty exclamation. May it be so! posted by hadjare @ 12:05 AM
After my cervix was checked and they said I could start, I said I would wait a little longer. They let me stall for about 20 – 30 minutes before telling me I needed to get started. I said I didn’t know what to do and they said to go with the urge to push. I said I had no urge to push. I didn’t know how to push and then they said the classic “Pretend that you having a bowel movement.” With that inspiration in mind I started to push. In truth, my real inspiration was to imagine myself as a tube of toothpaste and envisioned that that I was squeezing the paste down from the top. Sort of like starting from my sternum and pushing downward. So it was that I began the final journey of the pregnancy.
About an hour into pushing the nurses began having real difficulty keeping the fetal monitor on my belly. They kept loosing her heartbeat, and often times it would vary widely each time there was a contraction. They conferred with the doctor, Tim and myself and said they were going to insert an internal monitor onto the baby’s head. I agreed–mostly because I would finally be rid of that wretched external belly strap and have more freedom in movement. Once installed we saw that the baby was doing fine and just how strong those contractions were at which point they turned the pitocin off.
About ten minutes after that, in a blur of commotion in which Tim later said scared him for the first tie–a nurse came in and told me I needed to get on my hands and knees immediately. I did as she said right away because there was a low urgency to her tone. Once on my hands and knees apparently the baby’s heart rate returned to normal and everyone breathed a huge sigh of relief. Once in this position, I realized it was way better than anything else I had tried, except I couldn’t support my weight well with an iv on top of my right hand a huge bruise covering the other. I said as much between contractions and they suggested raising the back of the bed to the highest it would go and I would lean against it. It was this position that I stayed for the next two hours with Tim at my head counting for me.
I had him count for a span of eight over and over. They were able to see when a contraction was starting on the monitor before I felt it and Tim would tell me so I could get ready and maximize the pushing for the full counts. I was usually able to get three good, eight count pushes in – sometimes four before gasping for air and the millisecond of relief between the waves of agony.
Finally at about 2:30 the doctor and nurses told me I should lay back down on my back to deliver. I didn’t believe it was really going to happen but moved into position anyway. I hated being on my back, but I hated being in labor even more and if I was going to get a baby by laying there, so be it. Tim later said that 15 minutes later everyone was gearing up quickly covering everything and everyone in blue but himself. He wondered why it was that he didn’t get protection.
Pushing a baby out was incredibly hard. They asked if I wanted to feel down there and I said no. They asked Tim if he wanted to see and he said no (we had already discussed this before). I wanted Tim up by me, counting and giving me encouragement. At 2:43 AM, with one final push I felt a slippery, rubbery mass come out of me. She immediately started crying and they asked if I wanted to hold her. I remembered that skin to skin immediate contact was supposed to be helpful in nursing so ripped the gown I was wearing down and they deposited an iron smelling, bloody, moist little baby onto my chest. I started crying because we were done. She was here. I said “We did it. We have a baby,” and “Is it a girl?” to Tim who was himself a little misty eyed. He later said it was because I was crying. Oh please. It was that dimple on her cheek.
I held her for a good ten minutes before asking of the whereabouts of the placenta. The nurse and OB had both been pummeling my abdomen and started massaging more in earnest. Nothing was happening and in fact I believe I started bleeding more. I
told the Dr. Ungentle she had my permission to go in after it. The Doctor believed in part that the epidural should still provide some pain management when she did it — but my friends, that was not the case. In fact, her first attempt at getting the placenta made me scream out like I was being murdered. It was the first time I had screamed like that since I had broken my back and had to get out of the car to a bed at the ER. I scared the doctor and she pulled out, empty handed. I said I needed something more so they administered morphine to the IV, waited five minutes and she tried again. Once again I screamed and screamed every second she was there. She withdrew and said I would need to be better medicated. Later on, I realize that what I really got was a D and C. I was bundled up and rolled into another section of the hospital for this emergency procedure and finally got some serious drugs to kill the pain. It was almost a little bit of heaven being strapped down on the table because I felt so good. There was no pain. No nothing. It took about an hour for the procedure to be complete. They administered antibiotics, I lost of a lot of blood but in the end they were able to get the retained placenta.
Finally, around 4:30 in the morning I was rolled back into the suite to really get a good look at my goo eyed little baby.
Bacon Bit’s Secret Identity Revealed!!!
After 2 hours of pushing, Morella Adelaide entered the world at 2:43 am on Friday, November 23. For those of you betting at home, she was a little critter at 6 pounds 14 ounces, and 18.5 inches long. DW blames my side of the family for being little. She’s doing really well. Her apgar scores were 8 and 9. The delay in posting was because the DW’s placenta was being stubborn and wouldn’t come out. DW needed a little help from the docs to get it out, which left me on baby duty for a bit. She has the cutest dimple on her left cheek, and she’s got a crazy amount of light-colored hair.
posted by hadjare @ 4:35 AM
After it was all said and done people would ask me about the birth and labor. I don’t think I talked about it too much other than to a few good friends. Since I had never had a baby before I figured it was as normal as birth could be. I couldn’t really gauge whether it was a difficult birth or not. All labor is hard and it hurts. I mean, there is a wide range of what is normal and what one experiences. Every birth story is unique. It took me awhile to feel like Morella’s story was unique because I was induced but I’ve since gotten over that. My story is Morella’s story and I know she’ll want to know it in the future days to come. Though of course that version is going to be more like this:
“It was Thanksgiving day and you were 12 days over due. It was a cold brisk day, and all was quiet in the hospital because everyone was having Thanksgiving dinner with their families. I had initially resisted having you on Thanksgiving day because I felt it was cliche and apparently you agreed because you came the next day, early in the morning with a shout to the world despite your diminutive size. A full head of blond hair and murky blue eyes and a dimple that would melt anyone you show it too. “
At least, until you know she is older. I will be printing this story tonight and tucking it into her journal.
I’ll post about how the day went tomorrow, since you’ve just got done reading a novella.