Friday, July 22, 2011

Then: It Is Finished: Labor #5

During my pregnancy, I did not feel AT ALL bonded to the baby;  I was having a hard time feeling anything positive towards him.  I wasn't mad at the baby, specifically, especially since *I* was the one who had chosen to get pregnant, but it was really hard to get past the fact that if I wasn't pregnant I wouldn't be suffering so much.

I was terrified at the thought of trying to take care of a newborn while I was so broken;  newborns are so hard anyway, and to START OUT so weak?  Not looking good.  One of the thoughts that would torment me throughout my waking hours was that I was so damaged that I would not be able to love this baby once he was born, but I remembered hearing the story of another woman who had had a similar experience, and, once the baby was born, she HAD been able to love her baby, so I clung desperately to that hope.

Through so much of this pregnancy, I had felt as though something like the Dementors from Harry Potter were trying to suck the life out of me, and, many times, I felt like they were winning;  the feeling was so relentless and I was so weak from fighting for so long.

When I found out what this baby's due date was, January 30th, I was a little concerned because Husband has two family birthdays on January 29th, and I didn't want our baby to be born on that day.  I didn't worry about this too much during most of the pregnancy because the others had all been born well before their due dates, but as the month of January wore on, I did start to worry.  By the time the 28th rolled around and I WAS STILL PREGNANT, I decided that I just wanted the baby to wait until February 1st because we were running out of colors in the box of markers so his family color was going to be purple, and then it would conveniently match his birthstone.  COME ON!  This had already been an awful pregnancy, he hadn't come on Grandma's birthday, he hadn't come on the 20th which would have been so satisfying because it would have been a little early AND my first baby had come on a 20th....COULDN'T I HAVE JUST *ONE* THING GO THE WAY I WANTED?!?!?!?!? 


I’d been having contractions for a couple hours every night for about THREE WEEKS. They were slowly getting stronger. Friday, the 29th, I had just had it, and I didn’t feel good, so I had Husband stay home from work. I took a nap after lunch, and something woke me up.....I finally realized that it had been a CONTRACTION that woke me up because it had hurt, and I kept having contractions every 10 minutes or so for the next couple hours. I figured they would stop like all of the other contractions that had been giving me false hope for WEEKS, but they DID hurt, and I remembered from the last two times that the important thing was not how often the contractions came but if they hurt or not. So, I called Friend S. and told her Husband was bringing the kids over so we could go get checked. As soon as I called her, the contractions stopped, but I sincerely wanted to get to the hospital before I was a 7 this time and I figured that once I got there I could refuse to leave until they MADE THIS BABY COME OUT, so we went to get checked anyway since the contractions had been hurting.

We had ended up with a tradition of taking my picture near the clock right before we left for the hospital.  I was feeling so drained/defeated/exhausted/sick by this point, that I didn't want Husband to take this picture;  I was afraid that I would feel those feelings again every time I looked at it......but I didn't have the strength to protest (and, thankfully, it doesn't make me sick to look at it now).
(Do you see why I was extremely worried a little concerned about the size of the baby?!)
We checked into triage at Labor and Delivery around 3:30PM, and I was 5-6cm dilated.  The contractions started up again slowly when they put me on the monitor. I TOLD the nurses that we had tried to come in early so I could get my epidural before I started to really suffer, and I asked and asked and ASKED for it, but they kept saying they didn’t have a room for me in labor and delivery and they wouldn’t give it to me in triage. I REALLY, REALLY, REALLY had not wanted to feel those my-body-is-going-to-implode-right-into-my-uterus-8cm-contractions! They checked me when they finally got a room for me around 7pm, and I was 8cm dilated.  The nurse was over in the corner with the anesthesiologist quietly saying “There isn’t time for an epidural”, and I said, “HE IS GOING TO BE AT LEAST NINE POUNDS, AND I’M NOT PUSHING THIS BABY OUT WITHOUT AN EPIDURAL!” 

It really was a lovely epidural——I could wiggle my toes and move my legs, and I could feel the contractions, although I no longer felt like my body was going to implode------it was great!   The baby’s heart rate dropped a few times, which immediately brought the nurses to my room wielding an oxygen mask for me, but we still had to wait around for the doctor (some random person——of course one of MY doctors was sick and the other chose to leave for the weekend, even though the nurse had called him while he was still at the office at 4pm) to come. What made waiting for the doctor even more frustrating was that I had a LOVELY nurse who had been a midwife in her previous country, and I would have PREFERRED to have HER deliver the baby, but she said the hospital insurance got mad when she did that, so EVEN THOUGH I WAS READY TO PUSH AND MY BABY'S HEART RATE KEPT DROPPING WITH EACH CONTRACTION, we had to wait for the doctor. 

When the doctor FINALLY showed up, the nurse told him the baby was coming, but he disregarded that information, and he checked me and asked me push a little.  Note:  he did this BEFORE he suited up.  When I pushed a little, LIKE HE ASKED ME TO, some bodily fluid (not sure which one;  I'll just assume it was amniotic fluid) squirted all over him, and the next time I looked at him, he was over in the corner, with an irritated look on his face, wiping his shoes off.  (This ended up being especially satisfying because one of my friends had gone to this doctor for one of her pregnancies, and she ended up not liking him.  She was very pleased when I gave her the labor run-down later.)

When His Majesty the MOST IMPORTANT person in the room the doctor was FINALLY ready (the rest of us had been ready for a good 30 minutes), I pushed and the baby came out fairly easily; the doctor told me to stop pushing at one point, and I figured the baby must be coming out too fast, but it turns out that I was right and the cord was around his neck.  This time, the doctor was able to unwrap it (unlike David, who had to have the cord around his neck cut before he could come out).  The doctor put the baby on my chest as soon as he was out, and I thought, "Darn it!  This was my last chance to get a newborn and this one looks a month or two old already too!"  But!  FOR THE FIRST! TIME! EVER!, as soon as I held him, I felt an IMMEDIATE bond with and love for this little person.  I was very surprised by that since I had had such a hard time feeling bonded to him for the many months I had been so sick. 

7:39 p.m.:  9 POUNDS, 22 1/2 INCHES LONG!

I love this baby!!!  And it didn't even take a few weeks days like it usually does!
The baby was born about 4 hours after we got to the hospital. As soon as there was a break in the excitement, I had Husband order pizza because I was SO HUNGRY, and, as soon as the baby had come out, the nausea had FINALLY gone away! (My P*zza H*t delivers right to the front desk at Labor and Delivery, in case you ever need to know.)  The pizza arrived while I was still in the delivery room, and I ate it there, thanks to my wonderful nurse who saw no reason to move me when I was very comfortable with my new baby and hot pizza. I really should have let Husband take a picture of me with the baby in one hand and the pizza in the other.

Along with the nausea going away as soon as the baby came out, that feeling of something evil trying to suck the life out of me also went away.  It was a big relief to feel like the jaws of Hell were no longer gaping wide after me, but I felt weary and battle-scarred, and could only hope that I would recover and regain my strength again someday.  Not the best situation to be in as one enters the post-partum stage, but at least I no longer felt like I was under attack.


Superjules said...

Yay! Happy ending!!

I love that you ordered a pizza right away.

Joanne said...

This is so sweet and as a crazy-ass 28 week pregnant lady, I really appreciate the sweet ending! I love the thought of you chomping on that pizza.

Doing My Best said...

I was quite surprised and relieved that it turned out as well as it did!

And I think that pizza was the most delicious thing I've EVER eaten =)!!

Carolyn said...

Holy mother of all that is holy, how you survived that entire pregnancy is a MIRACLE! I cannot believe what awful care your received and how much you suffered :( You poor, poor, thing! I'm so angry at all the doctors and nurses you had, and so happy for you that at least it's all done now!

Doing My Best said...

Thank you, Carolyn! Sadly enough, that was the best care I received for any of my hyperemesis pregnancies! Ugh! I still feel sick when I think about it!

Anonymous said...

I think you look lovely in that picture, but I understand why it might have been hard for you to look at. Still, it's a good picture! The pizza part made me laugh. It's amazing to me that the nausea relented instantly.

Doing My Best said...

josefinalouise--Thank you =)! I wish I felt like I looked that good NOW, when Baby is nearly 18 months old! The only reason it is hard for me to look at is that I remember how perfectly HIDEOUS I felt at the moment that pictures was taken; I am VERY VERY VERY grateful to not be feeling like that now!

I was amazed too; I had heard that the nausea would go away IMMEDIATELY, once the baby was born, and it really went away THE MOMENT he came out!