Where do I even begin? With all of the events of the past few weeks, it feels like 3 months have passed. I feel like I’ve gone through some kind of wormhole. My life has completely changed, virtually overnight. Gone are the days of customer service and working non-stop, here is today of dedicating every second of every day to a 10lb dictator. I kid, I kid, but babies are the ones in charge, make no doubt about it.
But let me back up. It wouldn’t be right if I didn’t fill you in on the details of bringing Patrick into the world. So here it is- The Birth Story.
After conferring with 3 different doctors in the last week of my pregnancy, I finally made the decision to induce- something I really didn’t think I would do. My main doctor had wanted to induce me on June 17, Patrick’s due date. I thought that was too early to be talking induction. Call me old school, but I was always in the school of thought to “just let the babies come when they were ready”. After seeing my doctor on Wednesday the 20th, she absolutely pleaded with me, “If you were my sister, I’d take you to the hospital right now.” The baby, according the sonogram, was in the 90th percentile of size. Now, we’ve known these sonograms to be wrong before. Babies I’ve known have been about a pound less than their sonogram indicated, if not more. Another doctor at the practice agreed with her, but you know, they could be in cahoots. haha… So they sent me for an emergency sonogram that day and even that doctor, (who’d make more money off me if I didn’t induce because I’d have to go back for another sonogram) gave me a semi-lecture on why I should induce.
I finally agreed that the earliest I would go in would be Thursday the 21st for cervix softening, hopefully to deliver the 22nd. I thought 5 days overdue was long enough to wait. If Patrick really was as big as they said, it could mean major complications for both of us. I checked into the hospital, and as it turned out, I was already having contractions. I was so happy, at least it was happening when it was supposed to. Well, by morning, I was 3-5 minutes apart with contractions, but had only dilated 1/2 a centimeter. We did 5 rounds of the cervix softening pill, only to get me to about 1 centimeter. Around 2pm on Friday, I started having major contractions. For 4 hours I suffered through, with still no change in the dilation department. My contractions were 1-2 minutes apart. Still only 1 centimeter.
Everything I’ve ever heard about contractions and labor was described as the feeling of a “wave”. You’d feel it start up,it reaches a crest, and then it would wash away, over and over like the ocean. This was not the case for me. My labor was like a tsunami wave- one constant horrible wave that just kept coming and coming and flooding my very will to live.
I looked at my sister and said, “I can’t do this.” I decided on an epidural. Of course, the hospital was grossly overbooked, so we ended up waiting for a room to do the epidural in for about an hour. This is the only time during my entire pregnancy where I really started barking orders at people. Nobody was moving fast enough for me. I was like, “WE GOT A ROOM, LET’S GO!” The nurse was getting ready to get me in the wheelchair and wanted to talk about it. I said, “Let’s stop talking, let’s just GO!” My support team seemed to be dilly-dallying (I’m sure they weren’t, but there didn’t seem to be enough of a sense of urgency that matched my pain). “OFF WITH THEIR HEADS!” I was truly the Queen of Hearts.
We finally got the room, and I had a giant needle stuck in my back by someone who looked like Doogie Houser, if we’d seen Doogie in his early 40’s. I was totally freaked out about the procedure. One move on my part and the needle could move and ruin me forever. Yikes. Too much pressure!! What if I sneezed? What if I coughed? I couldn’t cry… but I did. I cried a lot this day.
The epidural was a gift from God, as one friend put it. It’s like magic. I could move my legs and feel touch, but not pain. Now onto the pitocin. They thought it would get me dilating. Well, it did, but not fast enough. All night long and we ended up getting to about 7-8 centimeters. But we were maxed out on the pitocin. We’d have to stop and start it up again after another hour. Meanwhile, poor Patrick, while not in true distress heart-wise, was in there in a landing pattern.
It seemed my body was trying to tell me something. Vaginal delivery might not be the best option.
The doctor weighed the options for us. Keep going, try to dilate more, which could take all day, and then possibly not be able to push him out. In which case, they’d have to shove him back in and do a c-section anyway, or risk breaking his shoulder to get him out. Then there was the possibility that he’d be so big he’d literally rip me in two.
At any rate, after weighing all the risks for all the options, I finally decided on a c-section. This was THE LAST thing I wanted to do. But after 40 hours already, it seemed like the safest way to go for both Patrick and me. This was 40 hours of no food and little sleep for me, and 40 hours of confusion and God knows what else for Patrick. We’d had enough. We didn’t need it to end in injury.
They prepped me for surgery, and was about to roll me into the operating room when there was an emergency next door and we got pushed back. Unbelievable. We took this as a sign. It gave Patrick one more hour to decide. Well, he decided to stay in, and hence, the c-section was on.
Ok, so… after never having had surgery in my life, I was pretty scared. They told me everything they were going to do. My biggest concern was that the anesthesia would wear off before it was over. “No, no. That won’t happen.” On the way in to the surgery room, I said, “He better be at least 9 lbs!”
So they get me in there, and I have to lay on a table with my arms straight out like I was on a crucifix. They then loaded in the anesthetic, which made me shiver like I’ve never shivered before. They set up a blue curtain right at my chin so we couldn’t see anything and then it was on. Dear God.
To try to describe the tugging and pulling I could feel going on as they were trying to free the baby from my abdomen would be fruitless. It was surreal and pretty indescribable … and made me pretty uncomfortable. I was already upset, but when I felt a bunch of tugging, heard the doctor grunting, and then heard a loud pop, “uncomfortable” doesn’t really cover it. It was downright disturbing.
I heard the sound of what seemed to be a loud and very upset cat. It was the baby! I couldn’t believe my ears. “He sounds like Fisher!” I said. They called my husband over to see him and take pictures. I had to get sewn back up and wait to see the baby. As I was laying there, I heard them say, “He’s 10.28!!” I was like, “No way they are talking about Patrick’s weight.” Oh, they were. His head was 14″ and his chest was 15.5″. All my misgivings about having a c-section went out the window. I think he would have killed me coming out, or he would have been seriously injured. Thank goodness we weren’t out in the wild!
Now, the last notable thing about the end of the surgery, was that towards the end, the anesthetic was starting to wear off. I said, “I can feel this…. hello.. somebody….. anybody??” I said to my husband, “Can they hear me? I can feel this- it hurts! I need more anesthetic!” Well, they don’t give you more, because then I wouldn’t have been able to try to breast feed as soon as I could. So the anesthetic guy says, “Do you just want to go to sleep for about 5 minutes?” I was like, “YES.” So he gave me the Michael Jackson death drug, Propofal. So, you know, I can wipe that off my bucket list.
In the end, after ALL THAT…. here’s the reward… a little angel from Heaven.