Matt and I welcomed to the cold, harsh world (as I am sure it is to a newborn) our little boy, Brock, on November 23rd. I would like to bring everyone's attention back to the very first post about this boy, titled "Expecting!", written on June 2nd just after the 1st trimester. My reason for calling this to attention: in this post I predicted Baby O's birthday! Other posts mention that I would like him to be here by the 17th, but this post actually says I know he will be here by the 23rd. Mother's intuition ain't no lie.
The labor story... (feel free to skip, this is a work in progress and I am being very detailed for my own memory.)
Friday, the 21st. I spent the evening studying for a final while Matt went out with friends. So, when I went to bed that night, it was just me and the baby. I took this opportunity to have a heart to heart with Baby O, and let him know all the reasons he should be born this weekend, more specifically, Saturday, the 22nd. These reasons were: One, our doctor was on call that day; two, I did not want to continue to study for my final while in such discomfort; three, that way would be out of the hospital by Thanksgiving; four, everyone coming in town for Thanksgiving would get to meet him; five, I was just plain, flat tired of being pregnant, and really, it was best for my mental health.
Saturday, the 22nd. By golly, Brock did his best to get things going, my water broke that afternoon around 1pm. (I would like to add a sidenote that Matt and I had been shopping all morning, and when we came home I went straight to the restroom to pee and that's when it happened! I came so close to a public water breaking, like in the movies! And, how much more ambiguous can you get? I walked out of the bathroom, and said to Matt, "I'm not sure, but I think my water broke, or I just peed a little more as I stood up to pull up my pants?") So, we put some finishing touches on our hospital bags and headed to St. Luke's.
When I arrived, because I am a Strep B carrier, they needed to get antibiotics on board ASAP. Lucky for us, I had not really begun having contractions. How did my water break without contractions you ask? Who knows how - but it did. I have to say this whole day ranks as one of the strangest days of my life. Was I excited? Nervous? Happy? Scared? Anyway, the antibiotic needed was a Penicillin IV. The nurse laid me on my back in the bed to give me the IV. After lying on my back for a bit I began to get light-headed (which was a common occurance now that I had an 8 lb. plus baby laying on my main blood vessels). I mentioned the dizziness, and informed the nurse of my tendency to faint. She seemed unconcerned, but then it got really bad. She lowered me flatter on my back, at which point I had become a bit panicky, and exclaimed, "This is only going to make it worse!" Sure enough, the tunnel vision, sweats and ear-ringing arrived, and my last words: "I'm out."
I recovered just fine from the fainting spell, and then we lazed around for 4 hours before adding any drugs to get the contractions going. At about 7pm, they gave me the "GEL". Still not quite sure exactly was that is but it did the trick, contractions gradually increased in frequency and pain, until about 1am when reprieve came by way of an epidural!
Sunday, the 23rd.
The epidural. Wow. Don't attempt childbirth without it. At about 1am a 2nd year resident placed my epidural, and he just so happened to have graduated from grade school with Matt - crazy! Though everyone you talk to and everything you read mentions at least one epidural horror story, I did not feel the needle go in, at all! That does not mean I didn't have my typical reaction to anesthetics. I suddenly started vomiting and fainted - again. Matt made it through the entire birth without getting nauseous, but me puking put him over the edge? Men. My BP was hovering around 80/50 making it a bit difficult to remain conscious. When they got my blood pressure under control and once these drugs were on board, I was able to sleep on and off for the rest of the night. I have no desire to EVER have a child "naturally" and do not feel like less of a woman for it. Honestly, there is no way to prevent feeling pain when you are being ripped in half, it just helps with the pain leading up to that moment. For future births (if I can successfully forget the agony of this one) is it possible to request specific anesthesiologists?
Because my water broke so early, and Brock was in no hurry to exit, at 5am they performed an Amnioinfusion. This procedure just places tubes around the baby so that fluid can be put back in as a cushion. Brock's heart rate would decrease significantly during contractions, and this is meant to help prevent such a drastic change. After this procedure, the waiting continued - still no Pitocin.
finally, when the day nurse came back, she decided to get the show on the road and started some Pitocin. By 1:30pm I had not made the progress all had hoped, and we were hitting the 24 hour mark since the breakage of my water, and the baby was on his side. Mention of a possible cesarean started floating around, which is not what I wanted to hear. Apparently, it wasn't what my nurse wanted either. She just so happened to be the mother of a girl I swam with in high school. She said, "if you can make it through 11 years of Pete's workouts, you can push this baby out." So, we started pushing. Two and a half agonizing hours later, at 4:02pm, Brock Thomas arrived - deformed head and all.
I love this boy. Looking at him still brings tears to my eyes. It is so hard to believe that something so perfect and beautiful and alive came from my own body. Amazing.