(cue random Tenacious D music now.)
It will be graphic and I will leave nothing out. You've been warned.
This story picks up where this one left off. We arrived at the hospital around 1pm on Monday, where we got settled into our birth room, and I put on my fabulous hospital gown. I got checked in, and after 2 unsuccessful attempts at placing my IV (apparently high blood pressure makes your veins less than awesome), it was in, and I was started on saline. Josh's folks arrived around this time.
At 4pm, they started me on magnesium sulfate, which acts as an anti-seizure kind of medication used for pre-eclampsia. It's a smooth muscle relaxer, meaning it was going to make me feel like a lop. It also meant I might not contract well on my own since it was going to slow everything down. Around 4:30, they broke my water (which was an awkward sensation to say the least) and determined I was now about 6cms dilated on my own. In my mind, I'm PRAYING I don't have the baby in the next hour - I was convinced everything was moving so quickly (and painlessly) that my parents wouldn't make it in time. I had no idea how wrong I was.
I had a couple real contractions before the epidural arrived. They weren't spaced well, but I finally knew what a real contraction felt like. (Meaning - I hadn't actually had one yet. When they say "you'll know" they effing MEAN IT.) The anesthesiologist arrived and gave me my epidural. It kind of hurt, and he used about a hundred yards of tape to secure it to my back. Immediately I could tell that it wasn't working right. I had full sensation on my right side, and not much on my left. I was checked again - still 6cms, and the baby was in a bad position (I assume since I'd been laying on my left side for roughly a month) - so they had me roll onto my right side to move the baby, and maybe help activate the epidural on that side. It sort of helped, and later they had me roll almost onto my stomach on my right side to help things along more. This seemed to get the epi working on both sides, so even though the anesthesiologist would come back later and check to see if I wanted it redone, instead of monkeying with it - I said to leave it. Bad idea.
Our differing views of labor.
My parents arrived not long after the epi was in place. I was so relieved. John the Midwife decided that I wasn't contracting well enough on my own to progress, so they started a slow drip of Petocin. (So, contracting agent AND muscle relaxer now pumping through my veins.) I was starting to fall asleep between contractions because of the mag sulfate. It was weird.
By 9pm, I was ready to push. Excellent - let's get this show on the road, shall we? So, I started pushing. I also issued a blanket apology to everyone in the room for the large amounts of profanity I would at some point be spewing forth. I could feel all my contractions in my butt and was getting only a little pain relief. But I pushed. And pushed. AND PUSHED.
Around 11pm, I was so puffy from, well...everything and so out of it from the mag sulfate that my eyes were pretty well closed and not to be opened again. I just remember my eyelids feeling so heavy and thinking my eyes had swollen shut. My mom was getting worried - I'd been pushing for 2 hours and there was no talk of any sort of assistance. Apparently around 11pm John the Midwife had to leave to deliver another baby down the hall, leaving his Student Midwife Julie to take over. I was so tired, and felt the worst pain, but kept pushing anyway. Luckily (or maybe unluckily?) my contractions were 3-5 minutes apart so I had some resting time between, but it was just drawing the process out further. Nurse Ratchet was now in the room, yelling at me to grab my legs and pull, but I was too tired and my hips kept cramping so NO I WILL NOT GRAB MY LEGS THIS POSITION IS JUST FINE. I made a comment around this time as well that wouldn't it be great if I could just have the baby right past midnight so that it's birthday would be on my grandmothers? Wouldn't that be great internets...to prolong this suffering at LEAST one more hour? I clearly was not in my right mind at this point.
At midnight, John the Midwife came back. My mother and my mother in law were giving him the evil eye for not helping. I was screaming bloody murder with every push now and could not see an end in sight. I just wanted this baby OUT. I didn't care how or why - just GET IT OUT NOW. Deep down I didn't want to hear C-section, but I wanted to hear SOME kind of plan B, because seriously, I couldn't push anymore.
(I'm quite sure it was around this time that I yelled "I'M NEVER HAVING ANOTHER FUCKING BABY EVER AGAIN" as well as "GET IT OUT OF ME! FUCK!" and "I CAN'T PUSH ANYMORE IT HURTS TOO FUCKING BAD." Hey - don't look at me - I warned you I was going to swear. THAT'S why I apologized ahead of time.)
John the Midwife then gave me this - if within 5 pushes (which I later learned meant contractions) the baby wasn't out they would get the vacuum. THANK GOD. A PLAN! So I kept pushing. And I could feel the pushes where I pushed correctly. AND IT HURT. So John gave me some sort of a local numbing shot IN MY VAG. Yes, internets - I agreed to have a needle placed in my vagina to numb up the area because THAT sounded better than the pain I was feeling. I kept pushing, and knew I was doing it right, and let out a scream that would make a harpee jealous every single time. And I didn't care. I had to scream. Nurse Ratchet kept telling me to use the screaming energy for pushing and had I not been so knocked out I would have knocked her out. I was so tired and amped up that I started feeling like I was starting to black out every time I pushed. I felt like I couldn't breathe. John made me focus and said that the baby was RIGHT THERE just push again. He was stretching me the whole time to help make way. And then I did it. I decided I didn't care how much it hurt, I was going to push the baby out. And so I did.
At 12:49 am, on Tuesday October 27th - my late grandma Rita's birthday - Abigail Rita was born, weighing 6lbs 6ozs and 20 inches long.
Turns out, she had her hand up next to her face the whole time, forcing me to force her and her stinking hand & elbow out WITH HER HEAD. And thus, a second degree tear. I didn't care. I was so happy to have her out that I nearly passed out from exhaustion and elation. Thanks to the Mag Sulfate, I totally missed her being born, my eyes were shut the whole time. She was a little out of it at birth as well, scoring only 6 on her initial APGAR, but quickly rebounded to a 9 on her second.
And yes, I did tell John the Midwife and his trusty Student Midwife Julie to go ahead and sew up my vag completely while repairing my tear because I had no use for it anymore. Seriously. Why would I ever want to get pregnant again? It nearly KILLED ME.
I could hear everyone cooing and talking about how beautiful she was (and that sadly, she DID end up with my toes) and I couldn't get my crap together enough to realize they were talking about my daughter. The one I just gave birth to.
When they finally brought her over and laid her in my arms - I cried. I did it. I actually survived nearly FOUR HOURS of pushing, and 38 weeks of pregnancy...and I had a baby girl. She was so awake and alert, and upon hearing my voice looked directly at me. It was the greatest moment of my life thus far.
A puffy, crying hot mess. Not the baby - me.
The next 24 hours I was still out of it from the mag sulfate. I held onto my little girl for a bit, but the hubs had to do a lot of work, including her first diaper change. Once they cut the dose in half, I felt MUCH better, and then when shut off completely Tuesday, I felt like a million bucks. Even with a pad the size of Texas between my legs. I stayed in the hospital until Thursday morning so they could monitor my blood pressure, which is still a little high.
And I'm bringing this novel of a blog post to a close. The hubs just handed Abby over to me, and I can't do anything but stare at her, tears welling up in my eyes. Yeah, yeah, hormones. But my god, she is perfect. Absolutely perfect. Every moment of pain, frustration, and sickness of this pregnancy was worth it. You really don't ever know how much you can love someone until they're placed in your arms in the first moments of their own lives.