without further adieu, here is the birth story: (warning, it's detailed)
- we went to the hospital at 3pm to get the 1 hour cervical jelly procedure done & then go home. caleb was at my friend vanessa's house (one of our many lifesavers of the day, thanks again!) and we thought we would be picking him up in about 2 hours. well things didn't turn out as planned....
- as i lay down being monitored, i had some irregular contractions which i'd been having for weeks now. but the nurse came in to let me know that with each contraction, the baby's heart rate was dropping down and was worrying them.
- they gave me a small dose of pitocin to force me to have 3 contractions in a row that they could watch closely. the baby's heart rate continued to drop, indicating distress.
- i was then given a shot to stop the contractions and was told that i would not be leaving the hospital. the baby would be coming out, and to plan on a c-section since my cervix was not close to ready, the baby had not dropped and i was not even a smidgeon dilated.
- um, awesome.
- we got on the phone to try to make plans for caleb and our second saving grace of the day...ben's aunt kathleen...answered her phone. she said she could pick up caleb & take him back to our apartment for the night where she would stay with him.
- here i am just waiting for the action to begin, still feelin' groovy.
- i was told i would stay in the triage room & be monitored for four hours, then i'd given another cervical softening procedure and monitored for another 12 hours. 12 hours! keep in mind that i had not eaten since 3 pm and by now it was about 8 pm. they wouldn't even give me ice chips.
- i repeat, not even ice chips.
- ben went home for a little bit to get caleb to bed & help aunt kathleen find her way around our apartment.
- we had called the producer of the online show to let her know what was happening. she & a cameraman came to the room & we just talked for a couple of hours about random things, (ben had the opportunity to diagnose the octomom. but then again, haven't we all?) then she went home & we said we'd call her if any action happened.
- at this point i was having more consistent contractions and when the nurse came to torture me... i mean, check me...(i screamed it hurt so badly) i had dilated to a 2 or 3. because i was dilating, i was told we were just going to let my body go & see what came of it. the baby had still not even dropped yet.
- about 1/2 hour after this, the contractions started to HURT. H.U.R.T. there was some crazy sharp pain coming on in my abdomen combining with each contraction where i already had major back labor. i tried to take it for a while, but then as soon as i heard they were actually moving me to a labor & delivery room, demanded some reprieve.
- my knight in shining armor, also known as the anesthesiologist, showed up. it's always fun when they say to you, "well i've been doing this for 25 years and you definitely have an interesting spine. one of the more difficult epidurals i've had to do." nice.
- but the moral of his uh, compliment, is that it worked. the pain was gone. ahhhhh. unfortunately, the baby's heart rate continued to drop. it was scary to hear her heart all normal one minute bum, bum, bum, then with each contraction we would hear it slow down to bum.....bum.........bum. and become softer. so, on went the oxygen mask. a little resemblance of anthony hopkins, don't you think? fava beans and a nice chianti. but at least i am smiling.
- ben went to sleep. snored like a bear.
- did i? i tried. it was about 2am and boy was i tired. but each contraction brought a nurse shooting in the room to check me & the baby. i do remember having a dream that brad pitt (not molestache brad pitt of the more recent days, think "a river runs through it", all slicked up. nice.) was sitting at our dinner table, telling us a joke & we were all laughing. i woke up, wondering how much time had passed. oh, about 2 minutes & 20 seconds.
- suddenly, the pain began again. not in my stomach, not in my back, but down in the nether regions. i called for the nurse to ask about the epidural. she gave me another shot of it but it didn't help. i couldn't lift my legs, couldn't feel contractions, couldn't feel my own belly. she checked me and i was at an 8.
- i asked what was going on, why i was hurting so badly down there and then she said these magical words. "ohhhhh, you had the cervical jelly didn't you. yep, that will definitely make it so the epidural doesn't work down there. um, you might feel some pain because of that. i hate that cervical jelly stuff."
- i began to panic.
- i woke ben up, several times...because he would raise his head and look at me with his bloodshot eyes, and i would say "ben i'm at an 8. get up." and he would say, "okayyyyyy." and then his face would fall flat back on the mattress.
- i gave him a couple of minutes. then finally yelled,
- "BEN, WAKE UP RIGHT NOW!" and he shot up out of that bed like his pants were on fire, scrambling around frantically, perhaps looking for boiling water and hot towels because he thought he was delivering the baby himself.
- we called the producer again, when i got to a 9. by this point i was very uncomfortable. i felt it all.
- my mouth was so dry, i asked for ice chips and was finally granted my wish.
- 10 minutes later, i threw up all 8 of the ice chips i had eaten. and dry heaved like that baby was coming out of my mouth. sorry, i said it would be gory.
- the funny (as in, un-funny) part of it was that i had to sit up to throw up so i wouldn't just gag on my own vomit. as the nurse & ben helped me sit up, and as my stomach muscles contracted, the baby moved. down. and it hurt. the nurse checked me after the heaving subsided and said, "um, if you throw up one more time, we're going to have a baby fall out on the bed."
- not the words you want to hear after you've already had a baby fall out on the bed (caleb came into the world this way) and you know what that experience is like.
- i was at a 10 and had to wait 25 minutes for the doctor to arrive. seriously! but at this point i was so scared to push because i knew i was going to feel it all, that i was willing to hold on & be patient.
- the doctor showed up right as the producer & cameraman showed up. as i heard shay (the producer) coming into the room, i yelled, "NOOOOO!" and am sure i scared the poor lady. they waited outside the room, where the door was still open.
- this is when things turned a little primal.
- i was told to push and holy mother of pearl, i felt my insides coming out. i screamed. quite loudly. it was the craziest feeling, one that i don't think i could forget even if i come down with old age dimentia.
- i pushed twice, and there she was. 5:53 am.
- i bawled. louder than she did. ben cried.
- i remember crying because i had been so unsure of my own strength, that i could actually push this child out while being so sleep deprived and in so much pain. i cried because it was over and i had done it.
- i cried because i could see her. i could hear her. i could feel her.
- and i cried because suddenly, she was real.
- all throughout my prengnacy, part of my brain teased me that this baby was a figment of my imagination. that i really was just suffering from a bad case of indigestion. sounds crazy, i know. but ben was the same way, we would often look at each other and say, "ummmm, we're going to have a baby?" and even speaking it out loud wasn't enough to believe it.
- but we were holding her all gooped up & wrapped in a blanket (which is something i swore i would never do, it grossed me out so much) and there were her fingers and her toes and her double chin, just like her mom's.
- i was overcome.
- we took about 20 minutes...i got stitched up, passed the placenta (another craaazzyy feeling, ew!) heard her apgar scores (9,9) and held her after everyone left.
- then we let the producer in with the camera. they stayed for a while, took some camera footage (by this point i have no idea what i was saying, should make for some fun times) and then called the family.
- i was moved after about an hour to a recovery room, where i got to order anything i wanted off of the menu 24/7. it almost made up for the lack of ice chips in the beginning. almost. look how happy i am ordering my food.
- i must say, i had some spectacular nurses helping me, but no one was better than ben. aside from having a hard time waking up, he was the best. coach. ever. so supportive, so helpful and just perfect for what i needed. it was so great to go through this experience with just him. and the staff of course. but really, he made me laugh through the pain and held my hair when i vomited. so we can chalk up another bonding experience to add to our 6 years (technically 7, but 6 married) of history together.
- i love him.
- i am glad that the pregnancy is over. the recovery from labor was much less painful than the last 9 months have been. i know that sounds dramatic, but it is true. i realize i am not one who loves...or even likes...to be pregnant. tired, yes, but all the back pain, stomach pain, indigestion pain, is gone.
i think pregnancy is like life, just wrapped up in 9 months.
(sorry, the text goes whacko here, and i can't get it to calm down. i am not yelling at you.)
some have a difficult time conceiving. some never can.
some have crazy bad morning sickness, where they are strapped to IV's and on chemo medication.
some get enormous, or end up on bed rest, or develop toxemia, or have other high-risk problems.
some have horrible, traumatic labors.
some have newborns who immediately have health problems.
some have very difficult recoveries and complications after they've given birth.
some have colicky, hard, hard newborns.
some have crazy toddlers.
some have nerve-wrecking teenagers.but in the end, it seems to even out.
for those who have a difficult time conceiving, the joy is that much greater when that pregnancy test says "yes."
for those who can never conceive receive blessings in other ways. ability to adopt a baby who deserves a better life than what it would be living otherwise. i must say, after working in the group home where 90% of our kids had been adopted to wonderful, amazing families, i realized how special and important adoption is.
those who get deathly ill may have the easiest time conceiving. or they may have extremely easy labors or have amazingly easy babies.
do you see where i'm going here??
there have been so many times that i have looked at someone going through a trial and said, "they are so strong. i can't believe what they're going through. i would have never been able to handle that." and at other times, they are looking at me and saying the same thing.
sometimes i look at blessings of others and wish for those. sounds ungrateful, right? i know. i am working on that. this is part of letting go of that first traumatic year with caleb. we have to let go of those times, to realize our blessings and be grateful for them above the trials or we will become bitter and hardened.
we go through our trials and we experience our blessings and we struggle and grow and change. we stretch. we get stretch marks. :) we get pushed to our breaking point, scared out of our minds we are going to fall over the ledge. sometimes we let out primal screams, or beg for mercy (and tell our husbands we will never be doing this again so don't even think about it!).
but in the end, we realize that the path we have taken has shaped us to be better. and what eventually comes out of that trial, is a gift straight from God. you see the blessing, or the baby, and reconsider what you've just told your husband.
because it is all worth it.
and that, my friends, is what it's all about.(funny, all this time i thought it was the hokey pokey.)
okay, enough soapbox for one day. i'm off to enjoy the sunshine & my sweet family.