Saturday, December 1, 2012

A birth story. (Or skip to the bottom for the payoff.)

So, yeah. That blood pressure thing? Was in fact pre-eclampsia, and since the day of that next doctor appointment was the 39-week mark of my pregnancy, when he came in he said that I needed to have the baby ASAP. The only cure for pre-e is having the baby, so BAM! That's what I did. And if I do say so myself, I did it like a boss.

The appointment was scheduled for 9 a.m., I was admitted to the hospital and in a room by 9:45 (my doctor's office is right across from the hospital), and by about 10:30 they had started the pitocin. Lucky me, I was already in early labor--I had been having contractions all that morning, but I was extremely confused by them. See, they tell you that you need to go to the hospital when your contractions are 5 minutes apart and a minute long. Mine were never 5 minutes apart or a minute long, and I was joking about it with my mom while waiting for the doctor before the appointment. My back was hurting a little with each one and I felt crampy, and after a while I finally said "Should I be timing these?" I started trying to time them, but although they were extremely close together they weren't really consistent and I gave up on that.

Once I got hooked up to the machines and all (BTW, birth plan totally went out the window when pre-eclampsia showed up and put me and Baby G at risk! I'm glad I wasn't dead set on any specific plan of action, I was realistic and had very little guilt that things didn't go as I had hoped they would.), the awesome nurses confirmed that I was in fact in early labor, and that I was "blessed" with super-fun cluster contractions. Instead of a single contraction every few minutes, I'd have a series of them back-to-back, then a short break, then repeat. Lucky me. When the pitocin started working its magic, this little complication led to me agreeing to pain meds, which I had really wanted to try and go without. But the fact that I wasn't ever really getting a break from the contractions wore me down. They skipped Demerol and started me on Stadol to try and take the edge off and help me rest between contractions (HA! There WAS no "between contractions"! There was only "try to breathe normally for a second before the next one peaks."). It didn't even begin to touch it, it's like they had done nothing pain-wise. But it did make me drowsy, so that's about when I started selectively ignoring everyone in the room. My eyes didn't want to stay open, so they kept thinking I was sleeping. Nope. I heard everything that was going on around me, but was totally focused on my body (in a fuzzy kind of way) and the massive amount of shit that I was talking in my head but too lazy to say out loud. I mean, it's not like I could really do anything, I was too doped up to move very well, not to mention that it's difficult to move anyway when you're 39 weeks pregnant. So I did what I do, and mentally eviscerated everyone around me with sarcasm.

But everything was moving very quickly. The contractions kept getting stronger, and it seemed like no time after getting started on the Stadol I was grumpily agreeing to the epidural. Apparently my grumpiness about that paired with my drowsiness made me uncooperative as well, because it took them forever to get the epidural started. Apparently I wouldn't sit up straight enough. Apparently that's important. But while this process was taking forever, I was being told not to move while having a contraction. Which was pretty much the whole time they were trying to get the epidural going. Cluster contractions, remember? So I'm damn proud of myself for powering through during that time, when all I wanted to do was throw an elbow back into the face of the anesthesiologist who was taking for-fucking-ever. They kept saying I was leaning over and needed to sit up straight. I'd try to sit up straight but the way I was positioned was making it difficult. They had moved a chair over for me to rest my feet on, but it wasn't in the right place directly in front of me, it was at an angle. Of course, I was busy pretending I was alone in the room and therefore did not choose to pass on this information. Instead, every time they said I needed to be sitting up straight I thought, "Make me, motherfuckers, because I couldn't if I tried." They told me to let them know if I was having a contraction, but I didn't see the point in passing on that information either because when I'd tell them they'd just say "Okay, just don't move!" With all the helpful people telling me "Oh, here comes a contraction! A big one! Oh, it's starting to back off now!" I was pretty sure they knew when contractions were happening anyway. I still don't understand why everyone felt the need to tell *me* when I was having a contraction, because I promise that even after the epidural I fucking well knew it. I think the epidural did for me what the Stadol was supposed to have done--it took the edge off. But I still felt every contraction from start to finish. Even after they gave me a second dose of the epidural when the first stopped working, I still felt it all, it just wasn't as bad and I was more able to cope. In all seriousness, this is why I didn't want pain medication in the first place. It never tends to work for me. My experience with medication in general is that it takes some pretty serious stuff to have any major effect on me, and I prefer not to mess with serious medications. But the fact that I wasn't really getting any break between contractions made me feel it was necessary.

I think I got the epidural somewhere between 2 and 3 in the afternoon (there was a clock on the wall, but holy shit was I high from the Stadol). Did I mention that's when my water broke? During my non-struggle to sit up straight? Because that's when that happened. No going back at that point, baby had to be born within 24 hours of that occurrence. But when I said things were moving fast I meant it. I got to the room around 9:45. There really was no time frame where I was relaxed and chill, able to handle a bunch of visitors or anything. It was straight to intense. Pitocin around 10:30. Stadol a while later (not sure anymore what time that happened), epidural/water breaking at 2 or 3 pm, started pushing around 4:30-4:45pm, and my lovely lady Alyson came into the world at 4:55 pm on November 9, after I had only been in the hospital for 7 hours. Not too bad for a first-time mom.

She was perfect.  

6 pounds, 18.5 inches long. She loves naps, can sleep through just about anything, and hates being naked. She has her daddy's nose, and her mama's ears. She also has an old man's mannerisms and receding hairline. She's going to have bad eyesight if she keeps staring at light fixtures and sticking her fingers in her eyes. She sounds like a chipmunk when she gets really mad, and she smiles as she poops in your hand. It's still a beautiful little gummy smile. Her favorite place is on your chest, and she doesn't cry for no reason. She's a very versatile kid so far, but will adamantly refuse to do anything she doesn't want to. (Like breastfeed, even though she has proven time and again that she is perfectly capable of doing so. But that's a whole 'nother blog post.) Based on the number of people that were in the waiting room "waiting" on her to make her appearance, she has to be one of the most loved babies in the world. I adore her, and she definitely stole her daddy's heart too when he came home for Thanksgiving. I'm already amazed at how fast she's growing, and can't wait to see her full personality start to emerge. She seems pretty cool so far. We're both doing fine, and every time things get a little hairy I just remind myself "Hey, we're both new at this. I'm new as a parent, she's new as a person, we're both just trying to figure things out. We'll get the hang of it." Maybe she'll get the hang of it anyway, I think the parenting thing is just one surprising thing after another for the rest of the kid's life. But in any case, I'm in love...


  1. I flipping love it!!! This is why we love you and Alyson so much!!!! She is one lucky girl who has amazing parents!!!! Love you guys bunches!!!!!

  2. Love you too! Thanks for reading!

  3. It helps to have such amazing friends for support! When I found out how many people were in the waiting room in the hospital waiting on her arrival, I thought to myself, "This has to be one of the most loved babies in the world right now!" Love you guys!