On Wednesday, April 27th, I went in for my 40 week OB check up. I had been out of work for a few weeks now and the doc had been monitoring my high BP and protein-in-the-wee levels for quite awhile. By this appointment, those levels and the amount of fluid I was retaining was enough to alarm Dr. Ruddy Cheeks and he cheerfully instructed me to head straight to L&D. So, off we went, willy-nilly. Well, not quite... we'd had the bags packed in the van already (I had a pretty good feeling he'd be sending me) but first we made a pit stop at Olive Garden for some Portabello Ravioli and Tiramisu :) Tee hee! Hey, I was pregnant & starving!
So, we reported to L&D where they were expecting me & even those 'we've seen it all' ladies gave me a 'whoa!' when they saw me, lol... Huuuuge. It took a few hours to get all squared away, into a room with IV, etc. and they started me on Cervadil (a cervical ripening agent) to get things rolling as I'd not dilated more than 1.5cm and that was since about 37 weeks. I had presented my Birth Plan and even though I'd expected it & assured them I wasn't a Birth Plan Nazi... I still saw them smile and roll their eyes. I'm sorry, but I've heard too many horror stories of women whose wishes are completely ignored. I've done the research, I know things rarely go as planned... but that doesn't mean I can't *try* to get what I hoped for. I even brought donuts to smoothe things over with the nurses :). My Birth Plan detailed a desire for a natural birth with no epidural/drugs... but that I was prepared to change my mind if I couldn't hack it. What I really wanted to avoid was a c-section. Well... read on to see how that plan went over.
The cervadil was supposed to get my cervix ripe and dilating, and works overnight. I was having contractions already, but they were pretty mild and not doing much. Little Bean wasn't in any hurry. Hubby darling left me for the evening as it didn't look like anything was going to happen and he wanted to be able to get a good night sleep (this was perfectly okay with me as I know how he gets when he hasn't slept!). The following morning they removed the Cervadil and checked me for progress... exciting! Nothing. So they started me on a Pitocin drip and increased it throughout the day, checking me periodically for progress. I was having awesome contractions, a little painful, but still manageable. By Thursday evening, I was on the full strength drip of Pitocin and had still made no cervical change. None. WTF!? They let me loose from all the IV lines and let me shower, walk around, etc... it was heaven. Here is me all cleaned up and IV-free!
Back in bed and hooked up again, they inserted a Cytotec (another type of cervical ripener) capsule 'up there' and I kissed hubby good night again with promises to call if anything changed. I was woken up every few hours by the nurses to check me and insert another capsule - by now I was really hurting and every time they checked me they said "sorry!", knowing it was painful. But alas, no change still. Come early Friday morning I met Dr. Hippy Necklace (a lady doctor)- the only doctor of the practice whom I hadn't seen yet. She decided to break my water to move things along. Wow... that was the weirdest feeling, it just kept coming and coming - we were seeing just why I was so big, there was a ton of fluid. Clear, thankfully. It worked! I was now offically in labor as within a few minutes my "real" contractions had kicked in and they really really sucked... all cervical pain, I never had the belly/back contractions that women speak of. I did that for a few hours and discovered that I was a moaner... only way I could deal with the pain, but I was still determined to try it naturally. And... I was dilating, yay!
One of the nurses came to check me (again), and keeping her fingers inside of me, she tilted my bed so my head was low and had Tony push the call button... Dr. Hippy Necklace came in very quickly and swapped the nurses fingers for hers - there was a lot of 'is that what I think it is' and 'do you feel that's. I was getting a little freaked out and then things started happening very quickly. Somebody said "Go?" and the doc said "Go." and within about 30 seconds, I was in the OR being prepped for an emergency c-section - the cord had prolapsed and the nurse & doctor were trying to hold his head up off the cord. His fetal tones were still very good so they had time to give me a spinal instead of being put out. My poor hubby's face during all this was a little distressing - he was all wide eyed with a 'WTF is going on' look; I surprisingly stayed very calm (I think) - trusting the docs to do what was best. The surgery went quickly and at 8:50am on 4/29/11, Dexter Nathaniel was born! A healthy 8lbs 10oz and 21" long. Here we are during the surgery, he'd just been wrapped up for a look by Mommy & Daddy - we are so happy!!
He was perfect.... I was so in love. It was a little over an hour before I was back in my room with my baby, what with the stitching up and recovery time. Daddy was able to follow him to the nursery - I don't think you could have kept him away! Here are a few shots from Daddy of Dex in the nursery, less than a half hour old:
When they pulled him 'out', the doc said "It's a boy" and we smiled to each other... we were expecting that. Then she says, "he's got red hair!" and we looked at each other, surprised... we weren't expecting that one! What a fun surprise!! A full head of it, so cute.... of course first chance that Daddy got, he gave Dex a faux-hawk :)
The birth according to Tony: "It was all rainbows and sunshine on our side of the sheet - but on the other it looked like they were slaughtering a pig with a chainsaw!" According to him, amniotic fluid shot across the room when they made the incision into the uterus and at one point my intestines where heaped up on my chest.... not quite sure how much of that to believe; but I am quite happy to remain ignorant, thank you very much.
There was a bit of confusion while I was in the recovery room... Daddy was taking pictures of Dex in the nursery and sending them to his family. Then started the congratulatory comments on Facebook ... and MY family hadn't been told yet! Heck, they didn't even know I was in surgery and there certainly wasn't time to inform everyone. So several people were a bit confused (What? She had the baby?!?) by I started making phone calls and to be quite honest, I barely remember talking to anyone, I was had so many painkillers in me from the surgery. We spent 2 days in the hospital while I recovered from the surgery and Dex got released. We spent those 2 days in a bit of a blur, I was SO exhausted but reluctant to send Dex to the nursery for fear of being 'the bad mommy', he cried and cried and cried... poor baby. He took well to nursing and I was very conscious of getting a good latch so as not to have all the issues and pain I have read about (yes, I read too much) where a bad latch ends up being the root cause... and it worked! Nursing was surprisingly easy and only a little tender at first while we were learning. He did a LOT of screaming in those first few days and weeks, but a lovely lady by the name of Nurse Betty was super helpful in showing us how to calm him and how most of his issues where likely gas related. Once we figured that out, we felt a lot more capable; but he still had a mega temper!
Very late in the evening of Day Two... we all got our clean bill of health and were sent home - here is my darling, all ready to go home:
So there you have it... Long, but thorough. ;) I didn't get the drug-free, non-C-Section birth I wanted, but it is what it is and I am just happy that it all turned out well. We continue to be amazed by this wonderful child and just love him SO MUCH!! We are finally a family and I can't wait to do it again ;)