I went in to the hospital on February 12th in order to induce my pregnancy. This isn’t something I normally would have done but since my best friend had already left and my mom was scheduled to leave on the 16th I figured that things needed to happen. Besides, I was already 5 days overdue and at this rate the baby wasn’t getting any smaller.
I arrived at the hospital at 6:30am and was hooked up to the Oxytocin by 7:30. I hadn’t been feeling well that morning (bad headache) and as they hooked me up to the I.V. I felt clammy and nauseous. That went away after I sat up though, so I think it was a combination of nerves, needles and my breakfast.
My friend Lori came in around 9am and we all just hung out in the labor room. We played cards and had some girl talk. I had to keep reminding Lori and my mom not to make me laugh while I had a contraction because it hurt when that happened. At some point the doctor came in to check me and noted that I was still at 1 cm. Mind you, I had been at 1 cm on Tuesday without any drugs so I was really disappointed.
During this time I had the most annoying nurse in the world. She was very “traditional” (that’s what she said) so the only time I was allowed out of bed was to go to the bathroom (my doctor told me I could get up for ten minutes at a time). She also had a really hard time keeping Aaron on the monitor so she was coming in every fifteen minutes or so to scold me for moving. There were times I hadn’t moved a muscle (even though I was so uncomfortable in my bed and my back was killing me from some of the positions she had me in) and she would come in frustrated. I kept telling her that the baby was moving, but she wouldn’t believe me until finally she witnessed it for herself. She got the heartbeat on the screen and immediately watched my belly shift as Aaron moved to the other side of my stomach. She kept making comments about how we were trying her patience. My mom and Lori kept muttering comments under their breath about how she was trying our patience. J
When my doctor came back around 3 to check me I was still 1 cm (sad face for Carrie) and the nurse got out internal monitors to keep track of Aaron. My doctor took one look at my nurse and said, “No, we don’t do that for convenience’s sake.” At that point I could have hugged my doctor. Since nothing was happening they upped my pitocen and I went on my merry little labor way. None of my contractions really hurt that bad at this point. I could feel them, but could easily breathe my way through them. I was feeling pretty good about myself, thinking that I had trained much better this time around, I just wished that things were going quicker. My doctor said that if nothing was happening when she came back we had to make a decision what to do (i.e., call the whole thing off and go home or something else).
At 8:30 (after I had called my sitter to let her know that I was still in labor and nothing was going on) my doctor came back in and checked my progress. At this point I was 2 cm (woot, 12 hours to get one whole cm!) and she was able to break my water.
Holy Crap! I won’t go into gory detail about my anatomy or anything, but my cervix is not easily accessible and it was really difficult to break my water. At one point she had her elbow digging into my ankle which really hurt too. Lori was holding my hand, my mom was holding my head and I was yelling. It took 15 minutes of tugging and pulling to finally break my water.
After my water was broken I started feeling the contractions fully. I couldn’t breathe through them. I couldn’t relax through them. I couldn’t do anything but curl up in a ball and cry. About 45 minutes into that I begged for an epidural. So much for natural birth.
When I had Nathaniel my contractions hurt so bad that I didn’t feel the epidural at all. This time, however, I think the technician used a rusty spoon and a soda straw to put that thing in. First of all, she wasn’t able to get the catheter to thread so she had to move the spot (jab numbers one and two). After she moved the spot she hit a nerve which made me scream out in pain. I thought my mom was going to come across the room and stab the technician! The technician kept asking me if it was pain or pressure, you know, because pressure usually makes me scream, “Ouch!! It hurts it hurts it hurts!!” Finally, after four tries they were able to get the epidural placed right and I was able to finally relax a little bit.
I was able to get little bits of sleep here and there but finally around 7:30am (24 hours into labor) I was at 10cm and ready to push. By the way, Sam had been sitting by the computer for the entire time getting updates from Lori via text messaging and feeling sad that he couldn’t talk to me. At this point he kept trying to call my phone, but that was on silent in my mom’s purse so I couldn’t hear it vibrate (not that I was focusing on my phone).
As I began to push the doctor came in and noticed that Aaron was turned face up instead of face down. She warned me that it meant I was going to have to push harder to get him out because his head wasn’t going to give the way it normally would. I was up for the challenge though and pushed as hard as I could for three hours, thinking that I was actually making headway. Yet, when the doctor came back three hours later she noted that Aaron wasn’t getting any further down the birth canal. He would get to the same spot and stop. Then he would travel back up the canal. So she asked me how long I wanted to push. When I told her “Until this baby comes out.” she looked at me and told me that I needed a c-section because the baby was stuck, but that it was up to me (she wanted me to have control but she also knew that pushing for five hours was just going to exhaust me and I would still have the same outcome).
I started crying. I was so tired and wanted Sam with me so badly and knew that my mom was leaving on Monday and that with a c-section I wouldn’t even get out of the hospital until Monday. I was overwhelmed and sad and felt like I had brought this on myself by inducing labor. At that point Sam called my phone and got through and talked with me and told me how proud he was of me and how much he loved me. I made the decision to go through with the c-section (what choice did I have?) and the next thing I knew they gave my mom some scrubs, put my hair in a hair net, injected a whole bunch of drugs into my epidural and wheeled me off to the O.R.
I started shaking really badly and noticed that it took a really long to get things started because they couldn’t find a latex free catheter for me (and the nurses complained loudly about that too).
Finally, after a few minutes things got started and I heard them talking about how cute my baby was with my mom exclaiming how he looked just like Nathaniel. They showed him to me quick and started cleaning him up and started closing me up (I assume, I couldn’t see anything beyond my chin and I was perfectly okay with that). After cleaning up Aaron they put him on my face (literally, my mom has a picture of the anesthesiologist shoving Aaron’s face into mine) and then finished closing me up and moved me back into my room.
At this point things are a little fuzzy. My mom and Lori went home to get some sleep (bless them for staying with me for so long without complaining at all) and I slept on and off for five hours. I would wake up to feed Aaron and then go right back to sleep (combination of pain meds and not sleeping much at all the night before). My pastor came to visit, which was nice but awkward because I felt like I had been run over by the dirty bus (no shower, hair all over and just dirty feeling from giving birth). But, he brought me chocolate so it was all great.
Recovery wasn’t so bad. I was up and walking by 11:45 that night, about 12 hours after surgery. They made me switch rooms so I made the decision to walk instead of ride in the wheelchair. I figured that I would have to get up eventually so why put it off?
Now (four days after beginning to write this) I am pretty much recovered. I have minimal pain and only take my pain meds once a day (in the morning). I have to remind myself that I had surgery and that I can’t do the things I normally would do. I can’t lift Nathaniel (or anything at all, really) and I can’t drive for another week (which is driving me crazy!). I have some numbness in my low back at the base of my spine which I think might be from the botched epidural. It’s not painful, it just feels like my butt is asleep. It’s disappointing though.
As I look back and process everything that happened I am disappointed. I couldn’t figure out why I was feeling so sad about the c-section. It’s not like I could have avoided it because we didn’t know that Aaron was face up and the boy wouldn’t turn at all. I think I am disappointed because I really wanted a natural (and shorter) delivery and because I was unable to do that. I always reach my goals in life and don’t fail very often. I think it’s because this situation was truly out of my hands that it’s so unsettling. Plus, when I have another baby it means another c-section (since I have giant children and almost no doctor will allow a VBAC anymore and with two complicated deliveries under my belt I don’t have the intestinal fortitude to try a home delivery).
But, I don’t feel like I didn’t bond to Aaron at all. I got to recover in my room and Aaron was brought to me right away to eat. I had already made the choice before even going into labor that I wasn’t going to room him in because I wanted my sleep (he came in every 2-3 hours to nurse and then went back to the nursery). So, overall, I’m not unhappy with the delivery. I just wish Sam could have been there. I am so thankful that my mom was there.
So…I know this is super long, but I have a lot to say. Sam has been able to call a lot because his roommate has Skype (woot!!) and it’s been hard for him to be away. He keeps asking what his new son is like, which is so hard. By the time he gets home on leave Aaron will be months old and no longer a newborn (although, this kid is the anti-newborn who was bright eyed and alert and picking his head up from day one). The fact that Sam is gone right now for all of this breaks my heart. I don’t feel sorry for myself that Sam isn’t around, it’s a fact of the military (a very sucky fact, but a fact), but my heart breaks for his sons who don’t have their daddy around and it aches for Sam who is missing out on his sons’ lives and milestones (like potty training).
So, that’s my marathon update. I can’t figure out how to upload the pics from the c.d. so no pictures to go along with this update.