Julia is sleeping. Alex is at daycare. Bill is at work. And I am able to drink a cup of coffee while it is still hot.
All I have for the moment are random thoughts and observations and whatever…I was trying to make mental notes Thursday, so here’s what I remember…
I was actually having contractions Thursday morning when we got to the hospital. Still only 3 cm, though, so I was put on the pitocin drip anyway at 8 in the morning.
The nurse I had for most of that day (her shift ended an hour before Julia arrived) was great – nice to have her to talk to before the contractions got really bad. And the did get really bad. Yes, pitocin is effective, but I’d heard the contractions would be worse…and they were, though different too, because I didn’t have back labor this time.
I stayed at 3 cm all morning, so the Dr broke my water around noon or so.
Stayed at 3 cm most of the afternoon – which was depressing as hell, since in my mind I should be progressing if the contractions hurt more.
Took some stadol at one point to give myself some rest…but eventually that wasn’t helping either.
The next nurse I got spoke in a too-high, too-sing-songy voice, as though everyone she came in contact with was about 5 years old. In between contractions I wanted to snarl and bite her. She called me silly – I can’t remember why. I believe it had something to do with some stupid thing she said and my surly response to her attempted humor. I don’t like to be called silly by people who talk to me like I’m five while I’m having contractions and am in no position to chase her from the room.
But – she was pretty on target as to when Julia would be born.
I got checked again near 4:00 and was at 6 cm, but it was becoming insanely painful and I was losing my resolve for no epidural. When I heard it was only 6 cm, I asked for a spinal (which is similar, but instant and lasts only 2 hours)…so they sent out a search party for the anaesthesiologist and I went back to trying to breathe correctly and the high-pitched keening that was the only way I could get through each contraction.
Someone had me sign the consent form for the spinal. I think I scribbled something kind of like my name on one of the lines at the bottom of the form.
Most of the time my eyes were shut. Occasionally I’d open an eye a tiny bit and see a random nurse’s face looming in at me like a talking balloon…someone told me I was going to hyperventilate if I didn’t slow down my breathing. So I tried to do that better.
Still no spinal…I really really really was on the verge of becoming a bitchy, demanding, raving lunatic at one point. WHERE THE HELL IS HE?????????? But I didn’t. I have not uttered a single bad word in either labor, that I can remember. I’ll have to ask Bill about that.
At some point in my fog, my Dr arrived and must have done another internal – my mind had since separated from everything except the contractions. Someone could have jabbed my thigh with a fork and I wouldn’t have noticed. Or cared.
Anyway, I heard someone say “she’s at 9” and I realized that meant me, and 9 cm meant almost ready to push. At that point the anaesthesiologist appeared to my left, and I was being “encouraged” to sit up so they could poke me in the back…but at 9 cm, what was the point? So I sent him away. I vaguely remember that he was kind of short, dark haired with male-pattern baldness invading on him at a rapid pace.
So anyway, after wailing that I wanted to push, I finally heard them say I could, and Bill and the annoying nurse got into position on either side of me, each grabbing a foot and the Dr was there at home plate, ready to catch.
It is really bizarre to have several adults all yelling PUSHPUSHPUSHPUSHPUSHPUSH at you.
I pushed. But apparently not hard enough at some point – my Dr kindly but firmly told me I was putting too much energy into yelling. (I don’t remember how she phrased it, but I stopped yelling.)
I got to feel the top of Julia’s head as she crowned. Slimy hair.
Fortunately I was expecting the pain – the “ring of fire” as the biggest part of the baby’s head pushes through. What was odd was having the phrase “The Ring of Fire!” echo in my head in the voice of Bloat – the pufferfish in “Finding Nemo” (Robert, from “Everybody Loves Raymond”).
Baby’s head came out. This is the most bizarre part for Bill – just a little head poking out.
Didn’t know til later, but the umbilical cord was around her neck and she was rather blue. My Dr told just said “You have to push the baby out now.
So, more PUSHPUSHPUSHPUSHPUSHPUSHing and out came the shoulders and – great sigh of relieve – the rest of her little body. They cut the cord and whisked her over to the heated baby-inspection table and started – for lack of a better phrase – roughing her up to get her to breathe. I must have opened an eye because I remember seeing her blue little head…and then waitingwaitingwaiting to hear her cry.
When she finally cried – loudly and with gusto – I think I finally started to relax. Bill was over there with her, and they let him cut the cord the second time – to shorten it, now that she was breathing and all was well.
I delivered the placenta a bit after that – piece of cake compared to the head.
And I couldn’t do anything for several long minutes because I started shivering really hard and I couldn’t seem to move or talk. Teeth chattering, body shaking. Your body temp drops after delivery. Thank goodness for very warm hospital blankets.
I only needed one stitch.
The time between 3 cm to 6 cm to 9 cm to PUSHPUSHPUSHPUSH to deliver was maybe 20 minutes. I had no idea. Time is so distorted at that point.
And Julia is fine. Healthy, hungry, good strong neck – lifts her head if I’m holding her against my shoulder to burp her. Her eyes are funny – she cracks them open and looks back and forth suspiciously…who are these people and how did they all get into my womb?
I endured that annoying nurse for the rest of the night and the next night. The second night she asked if I needed any pain meds and I said nope – and she said I was the easiest patient there. Well…maybe…but mostly it’s because I DON’T WANT TO BE SPOKEN TO LIKE I’M FIVE, THANK YOU!
But – she was a good nurse, as were all the rest of them that took care of me. And my doctor is great, too.
For that matter, everyone and everything in my world is great. And I am glad to be home and to begin this next chapter in my life.