I’m not sure where to begin… I think I keep saying that with these posts, but it’s true!
I believe the last real update I gave relating to the actually birth was Sunday evening after my magnesium was turned off at 9pm. I was checked then and was still dilated to 2cm so they assumed that even though I was still having contractions, they weren’t productive, meaning they weren’t changing my cervix. I had been feeling contractions most of Sunday, perhaps maybe 4-5 an hour, which were uncomfortable, but tolerable with no pain meds.
Before I say more, remember how I pictured my labor…? Remember how I said I was going to order my epidural on the way to the hospital, and then just chill and nap until they woke me to push? HAHA, that was such a cute idea!
So Sunday evening at 9pm my magnesium was turned off and my contractions continued. They didn’t really want to check me, as they figured the more my cervix was touched, the greater possibility of it dilating further, and they certainly didn’t want to break my water unintentionally. Oh, and I was told to stay in bed, not moving much, as again, the goal was to NOT progress the labor. I was allowed to get out of bed to pee only, and then straight back. And can I just say, labor/delivery beds are awfully uncomfortable! There were times I thought laying on the cold, hard floor would be better!
So throughout Sunday evening into Monday morning my contractions continued, getting closer together and stronger. I hate to speak badly of my care, but I will say my nurse Sunday evening was awful. My contractions where getting worse and worse by the hour, but every time I called her I was told, ‘these aren’t strong’, ‘they aren’t changing your cervix’, and ‘this is your new normal’. Yes, those were her words. I basically felt like a complete wimp. I mean, never having been through labor before, I didn’t know what to expect. I just knew that the pain was getting more and more intense and I wasn’t sure how to handle it. I cried during most of the contractions, telling Eric I just couldn’t do it anymore, that I didn’t know how to handle the pain or get through it. I asked for pain meds several times but again was told there wasn’t much they could give me being I wasn’t truly in labor. I had percocet around midnight Sunday, but once that wore off, nothing more was given to me, and honestly, I didn’t notice any relief from the percocet anyway. They did offer some muscle relaxers, as my back was really what hurt the most, but somehow the nurse forgot to get it from the pharmacy…
So from midnight Sunday to around 6am Monday I felt like I was slowly losing my mind. I know that sounds a little intense, but not sure how else to describe how I was feeling. The nurse just made me feel like I was failing at handling the pain, explaining to me that often first-time moms don’t understand the pain of contractions and that if they were real and progressing my labor I would be feeling quite a bit more pain. I felt like she was telling me to shut up and deal with it. Also, she kept repeating that baby needed to stay put for days, weeks, perhaps months and that ‘this was my new normal’ that I need to learn to deal with this pain. She said often patients are admitted on bed rest and have contractions like this for long periods of time while they attempt to mature the baby to a further gestational age. I honestly wanted to tell the nurse to F off at that point, that my idea of a new normal could not be this pain I was feeling… But I remained polite. Throughout all this Eric was as helpful as he could be. He kept saying he wanted to help me feel better, but obviously didn’t know how.
Around 5:45am Monday morning Eric told me he was going to head to rounds, as technically he’d been working the entire weekend, although mostly from my hospital room on the computer. He said he’d be gone maybe an hour or two and then be back as he’d skip his case that morning, thinking another resident could handle it. Um, I was like, you are leaving me while I’m in this much pain??? He said, ‘but if this goes on for days, weeks, I have to work hun.’ Okay, and while I did understand that, I didn’t at the same time. I didn’t want to be alone, I was scared, not dealing with the pain very well at that point.
It was probably my next contraction where I realized something wasn’t quite right. I mean, I’d known all night, but things were just getting worse. I’d been getting so many fluids, so I was up to pee quite a few times during the night, and really felt like I couldn’t walk, like something was seriously stuck in my pelvis… With the next contraction though I remember an intense urge to push, and told Eric he needed to get my nurse right then, that they needed to figure out what was going on and not just say I’m fine and leave the room again.
So my nurse came in, and the rest is a bit of a blur to me, although I’ve heard Eric re-tell it several times, so some of this is from his perspective.
One of the doctors on-call came in with my nurse and obviously saw I was struggling in pain. They checked me and I was fulled dilated and the sack of water was bulging out of my cervix. I wanted to say, no shit, but again, I was polite. The urge to push was so intense though, and even though I don’t think I was pushing, all the sudden I felt a strange sort of pop… I didn’t realize it at the time, but my water broke at that point, and out came baby’s feet. We knew she was breach and thus a c-section had been the plan if we’d anticipated her birth. So I’m laying on this awfully uncomfortable hospital bed, in serious pain, with baby’s feet already out. Apparently this isn’t how they like deliveries to go, as I can’t even begin to tell you how quickly my room filled with lots of people. I was quickly wheeled back to the OR room, as apparently the plan at that point was still to do a c-section to safely get baby out. I was later told that breach deliveries aren’t good, but they really aren’t good for premature babies.
The rest is a blur to me. I remember asking if baby was okay, if I was okay, not really understanding what was all happening, as again, at that point I didn’t know baby’s feet were out. Once in the OR it was somehow decided they would just try to get her out without the c-section. I remember two nurses, one on each side of me telling me not to push, just to breath. I now know at that point they were trying to get baby’s arms and shoulders out safely, as again, breach is not how this was supposed to go. Once those were out though, I was told to push, and two pushes later her head was out. Baby was taken by the NICU team after I briefly glanced at her, Eric heading with her. I remember still being scared, a doctor was holding my hand and telling me everything was okay. I remember another small urge to push and seeing my doctor set aside the placenta.
After they reassured me about 20 times that baby was in good hands I relaxed a little. I remember asking some funny questions, like if I pooped all over them, and if my crotch was okay! They assured me all was well. I did get some stitches, not really because of baby’s size, as she was small, but more because she didn’t come out in the correct manner and thus had required quite a bit of help from the doctors. Thankfully I was too much in shock during all that to remember that pain! So I got a few stitches, was moved onto a clean bed and finally back to my room where I was left to rest. I just remember intense exhausted, as at that point I hadn’t slept well for over 48 hours.
Looking back, well, I don’t know. It wasn’t actually a great experience, but in the end, all worked out. I’m so so so thankful I didn’t have a c-section, so maybe I should just be thankful my nurse pretty much ignored me. If they had checked me hours earlier I assume they would have noticed I was progressing and thus would have done a c-section. So maybe a blessing in disguise?
So throughout all this, just some percocet that didn’t work anyway! Not how I wanted it! I haven’t asked for any pain meds since delivery, as I don’t really feel I need them. My stitches burn a little when I pee and sitting is maybe a little uncomfortable, but nothing I can’t deal with. I assume each day I’ll feel better and better.
The things I was initially scared of, like them pushing on my stomach after delivery, turned out to be not bad at all. In fact, I honestly didn’t think it hurt, uncomfortable yes, but bearable. And those mesh panties you all told me about! HAHA, they are actually fairly comfortable! My bleeding has already slowed down quite a bit, so I think by tomorrow when I leave I’ll be fine with just regular pads of my own at home.
Will I do this all again? I assume, although this certainly wasn’t the most positive experience of a birth… My care was great though, aside from one nurse, and maybe she really did do me a favor with no c-section!