mama kumquat

A blog from someone who has little of importance to say

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Part IV--Hopefully the end of the saga but probably not.

So the afternoon progressed. I think my inlaws came up to visit. I was happy for a break up of the monontony. For some reason, i don't remember the television being on but i can't understand why it wouldn't be because we were just waiting. That afternoon was pretty boring. Just nurses coming in and checking on me. What was my pain on a scale of 1 to 10? While i have no real recollection of time, i do remember looking at the clock around 4pm and realizing that my contractions are starting to feel more than just some tension. But what if i report that they are a 4 or 5 and they aren't even "productive" contractions. I would feel like a) a serious wussy b) that my entire labor was still out in front of me or c) all of the above. So i did what any girl who aspired to be seen as tough would do: i minimized my discomfort. I told the nurses that i was at a 2, maybe a three. Soon it became a three, maybe a four. Night came. My husband and the nurse told me i really should try and sleep. Afterall, if my discomfort was a three, maybe a four, you could sleep through that. I couldn't. And i hadn't slept since wednesday night. It was friday night. The nurse and my husband kinda dismissed my claims that i couldn't sleep because i was just a three. I started becoming pretty delirious with sleep deprivation. The nurse convinced to take some sleep aid that would be safe for the baby. I was skeptical but desperate.
I wish i hadn't taken those drugs. First of all, people who know me know that i almost never have taken any kind of prescription narcotic. Note: "prescription" narcotic. I don't like how fucking out of it i become. Secondly, i ended up not even sleeping. Thirdly, my man fell asleep (only for a short time) so i was in my own weird tripped out pregnant state by myself. Lastly, going to the bathroom in a weird tripped out pregnant state really was messed up. I sorta stumbled around this hospital bathroom like a bad drunk. I made it though, to and fro the latrine. And maintained my accuracy. Amen to that.
I suffer through the rest of the night in a similar fashion. Around 4am-ish, i finally report i'm at a seven, maybe an eight. They check my cervix. Whoah! Dilated to eight centimeters! The room started buzzing. An anesthesiologist came in and wondered if i wanted an epidural. Trying to breath, let alone make a decision during contarctions is ridiculous. I weighed things quickly. On one hand, i already endured to make it to 8 cm. Only two more to go. On the other hand, numbness sounded wonderful. I was so tired and now had been awake for over 48 hours. Dr. Anesthesia encouraged me to do it. Husband, what do you think? Do it huney, you are so damn exhausted. Later he told me he felt guilty for encouraging to just go to sleep that night when actually, i was beginning "real" labor. Maybe the epidural would assuage his guilt! :) I said, OK, epidural it is.
They left the room and came in shortly after. By then i was puking in a bedpan. The poor nurse was holding it for me. I apologized for having her see me puke. They told me to sit up straight. Really really straight. This is almost impossible when you are contracting. I closed my eyes. I realize i had had my eyes closed for awhile now. I try to open them and say that i can't sit up straight. I am having a contraction. I remember someone in the room being impatient with me. I remember wanting to tell them to shut the fuck up. Give me a second for heaven's sake. Shit. I am having a contraction fer crying out loud. An eight, maybe a nine.
Epidural in. Legs numb. I relax, the room full of people relaxes. All of sudden, it's just hubby and me, waiting. It shouldn't be very long they told me. I guess they were prepping the delivery or were watching my contractions at the nurses station. I am not sure how they knew i was ready but around 6am they came and got me and wheeled me into the delivery room. I was not nervous. I was not scared.
I get into the delivery room and they tell me how things are going to go. It goes in waves. With each contraction, when you feel it welling, it's time to push. Did they go through this with you in your delivery classes? Well, um, never got that far. Our first class was supposed to be this next weekend. But hey, the instructions seemed easy enough. Welling contraction, then PUSH. Push like you are pooping is what they tell you. Everyone is familiar with that, so i guess the description is effective. I started having a good time. Afterall, i was numb. I could really sit back and enjoy the birth process. I know i apologized for not being well-groomed in my nether region and blamed my son's early arrival catching me off guard. The same applied to my long and raggedy toenails. Pedicure was truly on my agenda. Myhusband was on the left of me. He had our camera. There were some staff people (drs or nurses, not sure) but there was one guy who was literally sitting in a chair picking at his nails a short distance away. He looked bored. It was kind of a Grey's Anatomy moment, you know? Thank god he was not the one down between my legs ready to deliver our baby. I made some joke about how i was having contractions and he was sitting there just chilling. I don't think he was amused, though i thought i was a regular comedian. My doctor sister thinks he was a resident. So, each time i felt a welling, i pushed. I thought of my best friend who surfs. This is like catching a wave, i thought. I have to remember to tell her this. (OOPS! I forgot a huge key to this entire story. This is a big addendum! My BFF was scheduled to fly in that weekend. We had scheduled massages and everything. She was due to come in Friday. I called her from the hospital on Friday and for awhile we were deliberating if she should still come. In retrospect, it would have been really cool to have her come and see Charlie's birth but at the time the decision was made, bedrest for two weeks was still a possibility. She postponed her trip. Unbeknownst to me at the time, she would be telling me that she was pregnant but opted to wait to tell me for a few weeks until Charlie was out of the woods so to speak.***Until writing this tonight, i had forgotten to tell her. So, I just called to to tell her about thinking of her as i was pushing and how it was like catching a wave. She sounded grateful for the analogy as she is literally days (who knows, hours even) from giving birth to her own little one, a girl.
My husband told me that i had asked if i should be stimulating my nipples (i have to defend myself--nipple stimulation can bring about contractions). Apparently, the guys was like, "Uh, if you want." I guess he must have not been brushing up on his books and knew this fact because he clearly thought i was pervy or something. But still, funny story.
Push, push. less than 1/2 an hour. My baby boy came out. I heard him cry which i assumed would make me feel relieved but i think somehow i knew he would cry. I didn't feel relief. I was in awe. For one second, they put him on my stomach while my man cut the umbilical cord. In that split second, he opened one eye and looked at me. Somehow my most awesome man caught that split second moment on camera. For this i will always love him. That picture makes me cry every time. My one-eyed charlie gazing up at me and me, completely dumbfounded, gazing back. In a split second they take him from me.
My huney asks me if he should go with them. "Go, GO" i urge him. He follows the doctors out as they take him behind the swinging door. I push the placenta out. I look at the clock. It says 6:25am. I ask what the official birth time was. 6:23am. That's when the love of my life was born. My man comes back in. He's exhilarated, short of breath and amped up, as if he just had the opportunity to meet the person he had always admired from afar. Really jazzed. "He's breathing on his own. They're just cleaning him." The nurse says, "That's a good sign that they are giving him a bath." What's his APGAR, i ask. For some reason, no one seems to hear me. What's his APGAR? What's his APGAR? Why does this matter so much to me? I guess i think it means he's healthy. His APGAR was 7-8----- I am so relieved. When can i see him? The Dr. needs to see him and he will be in the NICU (in the most serious level, for some reason). They run down how we can get there. But for now, they take me back to my room and i rest. I can't believe i have to wait to see my baby. My husband saw him, touched him, took pictures of him. I had to get sewn up (i still tore, despite his small size) with my legs in stirrups and the hospital staff has seen and touched my baby more than i have. Even my mother and father in law saw him at this point (they had driven up and were up there soon after his birth). Just at this moment as i write this, i had to go ask my husband why it was hours before i could see my son. His memory of that day is in some ways better than mine. "You couldn't move huney---you were numb--they had to wait for you to be able to sit in the wheelchair." Even as i recount those hours, i feel so sad that i could not be with my little boy.

Must post this. Have saved this as draft forever and also, baby is crying.