Sunday, April 16, 2006

Somehow, it all seemed pretty smooth at the time

I realized today that I will not have time to write up a comprehensive retelling of Olivia's abrupt entrance until such time as she is sleeping through the night. By that stale point, I will no longer remember the details, so I will cheat and adapt the bullet points I emailed to a few friends last week:

4:30 a.m., lying in bed wide awake, just gone to the bathroom for the seventh time, feeling a little crampy, not quite comfortable, jabbing senstation and GUSH. Very clear water breakage. No doubt.

4:35 a.m., while rustling through drawer next to Jeff's head for clean underwear, remember to wake him up and tell him. Said, Wow, my water broke, over and over again for about an hour.

5:30 a.m., after second big gush and noticing that minor cramps are persisting, remember to page on-call doctor. Am instructed to wait for contractions; remember to ask doctor what contractions should feel like. Am told menstrual cramps. Mention already have those. Told to time them.

7:30 a.m., contractions have been coming pretty close together but are still mild, at least compared to what I expect, so don't think much of it. Figure I'll wait a bit longer.

8:30 a.m., notice contractions are at five-minute intervals and figure I'll call again. Am told to go immediately to hospital.

9:30 a.m., arrive at hospital, sent to triage for evaluation, hooked up to machines, examined (70% effaced, 1CM), fluid tested "somewhat inconclusive" but contractions are regular and topping out off the chart (not that I could really tell, even then) and nurse immediately pages doctor because of "variability" associated with the contractions. Not know what variability refers to. Am told baby's heartrate is going down with each contraction, which is OK, but they want to do continuous monitoring regardless. Love the monitoring. Fine.

11:00 a.m., whisked off to L&D room with Nice Nurse Janet. Gigantic IV placed in arm, hooked back up to monitors. Doctor on call from OB's practice (who also happens to be head of women's medicine for the hospital, lucky us) arrives, checks me again, it hurts excruciatingly, I am still 70% effaced/1CM dilated, she wants to hurry things along, am put on Pitocin.

4:30ish? Have lost track of time. Have been working crossword puzzle, chatting with the nurse, still breathing through the contractions but noticing that they're starting to get stronger. Doctor returns to check me, which hurts in a breathtaking manner, am 4CM dilated and 100% effaced. I am dumb and still do not ask for drugs. Over next hour, contractions turn to torture.

5:30ish, Doctor returns to check me, excruciating pain, am 10CM. Get fantonil (sp?) in IV, which is lovely. Am advised by nurse to get epidural stat. Am told Olivia is "sunny side up", which sounds so cheery.

6:00ish, get even lovelier epidural. Have had PIO shots that hurt more. Lovely, lovely, lovely. Doctor goes off duty, new doctor from same practice supposed to take over.

6:30ish, feel urge to push, crew of nurses brought in to help with holding legs and such, pushing hurts some but not bad, think I need to go #2, am told that's the baby, silly girl, just feels like a dump. New doctor paged, doesn't respond. Am told to keep up the good work, baby is moving down the canal, pushing very effective. Doctor paged again. Doctor responds that she will be there shortly.

6:45ish, am asked if I need my epidural "topped off"; I am fool and say, no, I can just press the button twice an hour for a little extra if I need it. FOOL.

7:00ish, labor turns into torture; the words "I can't" escape me while being instructed to pushpushpushpushpush. Then told to stop pushing. STOP? How stop? Must. Push. Doctor still not there, baby close, need doctor, she can't be there, has another patient at the same stage of labor.

7:30ish, still trying not to push. Original doctor returns from home to deliver baby. Looks at monitor read-out, gets very brusque, tells me to push NOW, baby needs to get out. Hear murmurs of "40 beats per minute" and "are you sure you're not picking up the maternal heartbeat?" Scared.

7:45ish, pain becomes excruciating, not sure I'm conscious at some points, still pushing, get oxygen mask, rip it off, someone puts it on and holds it on.

8:04, Olivia rips through me and into the world. Oxygen mask ripped from me and put on Olivia. She turns from indigo to pink while flopped on my belly.

8:10-8:45, I am the lucky recipient of a couple dozen stitches, each of which I can feel in exquisite detail. Where is epidural? Big mystery. I get IV antibiotics for a fever of 102 and watch as Olivia falls in love with her father, engulfed in his arms.

And that's the story, as best I can remember it.


Blogger Anne said...

Wow, Bugs. You did it. Congratulations. So, so happy for you, Jeff, and Olivia. Thanks for your story. Loved the bullet points; this is actually the best detailed account of labor I've read.

Hang in there with the weepiness; at least you're sane enough to recognize the BBs when you feel them.


P.S. Another fab side effect of pregnancy-induced insomnia is the chace to be 1st in the comments! Hope you're able to get some good sleep soon...

10:46 PM  
Blogger Coloratura said...

I don't even know you hardly... and this brought me to tears because it's really beautiful. You probably think I'm some baby-obsessed ninny, but it was really beautiful in some strange way... I hope you and baby are acclimating well. Thanks for taking the time to outline this, it was a riveting read for me...

3:23 AM  
Blogger Pamplemousse said...

Glad you all made it through. Take good care of all of you, sweetie.

3:34 AM  
Anonymous sox said...

bugs, pitocin is the devil. glad everything is going well, enjoy her- little girls are the best.

4:11 AM  
Anonymous lala said...

golly, everybody sems to have had a torturous birth lately, you, me, Panda. Wow.
I'm glad you sound a bit better, I hope the blues are clearing up. I personally, was crying over spilled nail polish the other day so I know what you're talking about.

5:54 AM  
Blogger The Lioness said...

You did it, bugs, you did it. Amazing how women do. I hope the blues are better, you sound a bit more like yourself. Hormones are the pits, the absolute pits.

6:05 AM  
Blogger Millie said...

So very glad that the two of you made it through but it does sound like a rough time. Thank goodness that original doc came back and took such good care of y'all. Thanks for sharing your story.

7:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whoa. It's all so amazing. Awesome birth story.

7:45 AM  
Anonymous Z said...

wow! no epi and still survived! and here i was thinking i could do it this time without one...after reading this i'll ask for it a week in advance. CONGRATULATIONS!

7:58 AM  
Anonymous amber said...

Thanks for the update and the details. After all you have been through to get here I'm just thrilled for you.

10:18 AM  
Anonymous pixi said...

Sounds like it was incredibly hard, but it also sounds like you did great.

Hope you're feeling OK these days.

12:03 PM  
Blogger Katie (WannaBeMom) said...

I loved hearing every minute of that story. It's just lovely-- Olivia ripping into the world! Thanks for telling!

2:46 PM  
Blogger tonya said...

You did it! Sounds like the pitocin did its thang and I totally hear you on the 'I waited too long for the epi' sentiment. I'm so amazed they gave you one at 10cm dialted.

Sooo glad everything turned out okay, and that you have your precious girl to cuddle!

5:13 PM  
Anonymous Menita said...

I am so, so, so happy for the three of you. And how on earht can you remember (and write) all of this coherently???

5:53 PM  
Anonymous Menita said...

See, I can't even spell "earth." And it's been almost a year.

5:53 PM  
Blogger Dunn Family said...

Love the story! Great memory to have! I am glad you wrote it down! I wish I did when my boys were born. I remember bits and pieces when I read stories like yours! Thanks for bringing up the memories for me! Enjoy Olivia! She is beautiful!
~Lurker, Kim~

6:11 PM  
Blogger HomeFireBlue said...

Holy Cow! Great story. You did really good Bugs.

I never got past the excruciating, feels-like-a-dump, pre-epi, on pitocin stage so I'm a tad jealous. They just crack me open and haul mine out by hand.

Congrats again!


6:47 AM  
Anonymous Alexa said...

So many congratulations on your beautiful baby girl. You really did it, Bugs! I hope you are feeling better.

6:57 AM  
Blogger Dee said...

Amazing when you think back on it, isn't it? Almost like it happened to someone else.

Now that it's no longer 'fresh' in my mind, I often find it amazing to think that this small person came out of my body.

Oh, and quite possibly the worst part of my delivery was when I was told not to push, esp when all my body wanted to do was push. Hell, wasn't that? And the stitches afterward? Yeah, I felt those too...bastards.

But it was all worth it. And now, two are three.

8:32 AM  
Blogger Zarqa said...

Well, I'm nearly in tears.
You did it!

1:23 PM  
Blogger Kellie said...

Congrats! You did a great job with both the birth story and the birth.

1:30 PM  
Blogger Ornery said...

Amazing story! I can't believe you held off from the epidural for as long as you did. You are truly a superwoman in my eyes!

6:14 PM  
Anonymous laura said...

And it's a great story. Thanks for not skipping the details. She is truly gorgeous, and so lucky to have you and Jeff. Congratulations... I can't wait to hear more.

10:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...



4:05 PM  
Anonymous Deepa said...

Caught up on the news a bit late. Hearty congratulations from a lurker! And luv to Olivia Rose from India. Her nane is as cute as her.

11:25 AM  

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