Tuesday, July 26, 2011

birth story (part 2)

Ok, now where did I leave off? (for part one go here). Oh, that's right; my first contraction at 1:42 pm on June 14th. I remember it really barely hurting at all. It was just like they say; it felt like a mild menstrual cramp. It was a different story a couple of hours later though. It definitely started being painful enough that I had to do some deep breathing and serious concentrating. They were still bearable though. I wanted to know how far dilated I was, but because my water had already broken, they were minimizing how often they checked to avoid infection. Plus, they said the contractions needed to be no more than 3-4 minutes apart in order for my cervix to be really dilating, and that wasn't happening at this point.

It was around 2:30 that a nurse brought in these "boot" things that went around my calves. They basically were like blood pressure cuffs for your calves that squeezed and released every 30 seconds or so. I had to get these to keep circulation going due to the fact that I had all the fluid retention and the factor V leiden. It felt fine; didn't hurt or anything, but it was one more thing I had to unhook when it was time to go to the restroom. I had two baby monitoring things strapped to my belly, along with one monitoring my contractions, my fluid IV and now these boots. It was quite a process to get out of bed!

Around 6:45 they decided to give me a bit of pitocin to jump start things. I was quite nervous about this, because of the stories I'd heard about the contractions coming on quickly. They gave me the smallest dose possible though, so I was hoping that would help ease me in to things. By 9:30, my contractions were about 4-5 minutes apart, and I was feeling really restless. An hour later though, they were really getting painful and I decided I needed an epidural then. I was a little sad about it, but I knew I'd have to get an epidural eventually, so I went as long as I could without it. My doctor said it was really the safest bet to get an epidural given the fact that I was having twins, since she may have to manually turn one of the babies (OUCH!) and also the increased chance of an emergency c-section with twins. Anyway, the decision was made and I anxiously awaited the anesthesiologist to come and numb me up.

He arrived about 30 minutes later, and I immediately was nervous. It sounds unfair, but he was quite young, and I worried about his experience. I got all these fears into my head about the risks (being paralyzed the one that worried me the most) and thinking, "um, I wonder how many of these this guy has done?"  I longed for the really funny, older anesthesiologist that had put my IV in that morning, but alas, his shift had ended. Anyway, I had to scoot to the edge of the bed and lean over and round my back; my nurse supporting me. At this point, a resident came in to observe my young anesthesiologist, which made me feel better in some ways, and more scared in others. He was so inexperienced he had to be observed??? Oh well. Just breathe. Anyway, they first numbed the area with local anesthetic, and then told me I'd feel some "pressure" from the needle going in. Um, they need to find a new descriptive word. It friggin HURT. A lot. Which caused me to panic; because um? You said pressure, so is it bad that this is hurting?? I said "Ow! It hurts!" to which they replied "well, you are going to feel some pain" in a sort of "duh" way. Well, I thought, then say "this is going to hurt a little" instead of "you're going to feel some pressure"! Big difference in my book. Anyway, it was finally in, and I laid back. They handed me a little clicker button and told me that I could push the button up to once every 15 minutes. They gave me a fairly low dose of epidural, so it took about 15-20 minutes to kick in, but when it did it was SO much better. I was able to just relax and rest a bit, which was really nice. I still felt the contractions, but barely. Another plus; a catheter. I mean, ok, not really  a PLUS, but no more unhooking of 8 million cables to get up to go to the bathroom. Ok, also, no more getting up at ALL, but oh well. :)

My mom was still en route (she had several delays and it wasn't a non-stop flight) during all of this, but she finally arrived at 1:30am. It was so great to see her! No matter how old you get; it's always nice to see your mom when you're a little nervous or scared. She hung out for a while and visited and we got her all caught up, but about an hour later we decided it was best that she head to our house to get some sleep, and that try to do the same. She was reluctant to leave, but I promised her not to have the baby until she was back the next day. :)

My mom arrived shortly after we awoke, and we were all pretty excited. The nurse shift changed at 7am, which was a bummer because I had really liked our night nurse; Tocin (pronounced just like pitocin). Our new nurse was Ida, and she left quite a bit to be desired. More on her later. Anyway, my doctor arrived somewhere around 7:45 am, and checked my dilation. I was at 6cm, and she said that it could be merely a couple of hours before I started pushing! Whoa. My mom and Ian headed out to breakfast (so HUNGRY! mmm. apple juice.) and at 8:45, the upped my pitocin to keep things moving along as my contractions had slowed a tiny bit however, I had reached 7cm. Getting closer!

So, my nurse; Ida. She was a piece of work. At first I thought I liked her, because she was super chatty and friendly. BUT; not so great at her job it turns out. Now, to be fair, they were implementing a new computer system in the hospital and it was only day 2 or 3 of it being in place. Anyway, she was spending SO much time at the computer trying to make sure she did everything right, that she kind of kept forgetting about me. My doctor had made explicit orders for her to do blood pressure every 30 minutes, and check my urine output that frequently as well. But, Ida was distracted. This annoyed my doctor greatly, and Ida got annoyed right back. This made for some awkwardness in our tiny little hospital room. Luckily, my doctor is AWESOME and she kind of straightened Ida out- well, as much as she could. At this point I was kind of hoping that maybe I wouldn't have the baby until the next shift change so that maybe I could get a better nurse, but I knew I wouldn't make it until 7pm. So, Ida it was.

Anyway, once my pitocin had been turned up, the contractions came fast and furious. And the epidural? Not helping as much anymore. I pushed that little button as often as I could but they still hurt pretty bad. I got checked again though at 10am, and- 9cm! Huzzah! Getting so close. But, I was checked again at 11:15am- and still at 9cm. Stalled. Checked again 45 minutes later, and still at 9. BLARGH. I am now informed that if in one hour I am not at 10, it will be a c-section.

At this point I'm starting to panic. The contractions HURT you guys. And I have an epidural. I'm starting to panic about the pain. I confide in my mom and Ian that I am sort of wishing for a c-section because I'm scared to push. I feel bad about wishing for that now, but at the time, it sounded easier. Sadly, I got my wish. at 12:30, we are informed that my body is stalling out at 9cm. It could be for a variety of reasons; my severe fluid retention, or just the fact that I'm having twins often causes your body to stall out. Regardless, I was not going to have my vaginal delivery I had hoped for. In that moment, I was slightly relieved, but looking back, I get really sad about it.

A little after 1pm, we roll in to the operating room. Our lives about to change forever.

(Ian, in his operating room gear :)


P.S. Part 3 coming soon! I'll be faster than I was with part 2, I promise!

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