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.