So, my baby girl was born on May 28 at 6:28 PM. She was 8 lbs, 10 oz, and 22 inches long. Nice big girl. Her entrance to this world was pretty traumatic on her (and me), but I needed to write it out. Here it is.
I had an awful weekend (sick) and on Memorial Day, just sat around watching TV and hating life and my stupid body that couldn't deal with making a baby. I've struggled throughout the pregnancy with 'morning' sickness and many physical problems. Thankfully no true complications, just a lot of 'suck'. Anyway, I felt particularly sick Monday night. We were sitting on the couch watching Netflix and I shifted in my seat and felt the gush. I went up to the bathroom (gush gush gush) and used my ph test strips from petco ($10 for 25 of them, good deal to test your leakage) to test the PH. Definitely not pee! We gathered our stuff and went to the ER, where I was admitted at about 10:30. The ER was packed with drunk weirdos, btw, it being memorial day.
12 am - After the worst speculum exam EVER by a (female!) resident, omg, they determined that while my membranes had ruptured, my body was not in labor (no contractions, baby at the highest station, etc). Time for Pitocin, yay. It went downhill from there. I started to feel sick. My husband looked up on his phone that nausea and dizziness are common side effects of pitocin. Ah. Well, I needed it so whatever.
3:30 AM I was at a 3.5 cm. The nurse I had during this time was wonderful. Her brother in law was also the anesthesiologist.
4 am, Epidural. Worst pain ever (at least to that point). I literally screamed in that poor nurse's face while she held on to my shoulders. My husband says it was the epidural causing the pain, not the pain shot they give you first. Somehow that pain shot did not work. Oh well, I got through it.
Then my ass went numb. I felt mostly good for 2 hours. I was still dizzy/barfy. It got worse. I got a 30 mg (wow) shot of zofran at about 6 am but amazingly, it didnt help at all. They put me on oxygen. I was so so hot. They covered me in ice packs. I laid there with my oxygen and my ice packs and just writhed around from the dizzyness. My husband tried to get some rest, basically failed at that. I did too, but I couldn't. We were both starving because we had only had cereal for dinner at 5 pm. And exhausted because no sleep. He finally ate something from the patient lounge I think. Nothing for me of course. We watched HGTV all day long but I couldn't tell you any of the shows or what happened on them.
8 am -- my doctor came in and checked me. Lots of checks over the next several hours. Each time, there was progress. The problem was, I was still so damn sick and dizzy. My husband told me the room was freezing - I was lying there mostly uncovered, piled in ice packs, complaining about the heat, and gripping on to my barf bag with one hand and my oxygen mask with the other. I had terrible heartburn/reflux and every time I put an ice chip in my mouth, I would burp acid. Didn't help that baby's heart rate went down the more I sat up, so they kept lowering my head. They gave me reglan by IV, and a 'shot' of some awful antacid that tasted like concentrated mashed up flinstone vitamins. About 10 minutes after that antacid medicine I barfed it and nearly 2 cups of yellow burning stomach acid with it. I actually felt decent for a half hour or so after that. So, worth it? lol.
3:30 PM: I became extremely uncomfortable, felt like I needed to push. The doctor checked me at a 7. I writhed around for a half hour and a nurse checked me again, still 7. They finally brought up the anesthesiologist, who gave me a bolus (?) of my epidural. It got a LOT better. Still pressure, but not like my pelvis splitting open. I was still hot, sick, and dizzy, but continued to progress. Was at 9 cm by 4:45 pm. The nurses did not tell me at the time, but we overheard them say I had a temp of nearly 104. Jesus. They started me on antibiotics. They inserted a monitor in to me and under her scalp to monitor her vitals (she still has a little scab from that).
People started to bring things in to the room. Baby warmer, tools, surgical gear, etc.
5:15 PM - The doctor checked me again and said there was barely a tip of cervix left, but they believed I'd developed an infection due to having ruptured membranes 18 hours prior, and wanted to have me try pushing. If it didn't work, they'd wait a bit and try again, but wanted to get baby out ASAP.
5:20 pm - my first push. My husband thinks the nurses and doc were genuinely impressed at how hard I pushed to get that baby out. I was so sick, and so numb from the epidural, they had to tell me when the contractions were, but when one came I pushed like no tomorrow. At some point they got really worried about my out of control fever and, LOL, could not figure out how to give me Tylenol. I had no more spots on my IV line, and I could not keep the pills down. How many gals can say they've had a Tylenol suppository held in their butt by a nurse while they pushed? This gal can.
I think I was a little delirious - there was a TV on behind the doctor (muted) and I kept seeing commercials for things like orange julius and san pellegrino and 'pushing' toward the icy cold beverages, which I wanted more than anything. (Baby? hah! Mama wants an Arctic Rush.)
Contractions were about 4 minutes apart and I pushed until she was born, at 6:28 PM. My husband says I was pushing with such force on that last push, that when they pulled her out I actually managed to spray the wall on the other side of the room, along with the shoes of several people, with blood. Whoops. Due to my fever, there were several NICU staff on hand and everyone was totally scrubbed, with masks and hairnets and everything. She was grey when she came out. I was very very sick and not sure what the hell was going on, but I listened and watched her and saw her cry a bit so I felt like she'd be OK.
They wiped her up and put her on me. She was beautiful and perfect but OMG she was SO HOT. I was so hot and they put this hot little body on me. I feel awful because this is supposed to be a magical time and all I could think about was how HOT she was. I couldn't even hold on to her (I couldn't fathom how to, plus I was lying flat on my back while the doctor and resident pummeled my stomach to try to get my uterus to 'close' so I would stop bleeding). My husband kept her from falling off me. Then they took her and he went with them, and I didn't get to see her again for about 20 hours (no window to the NICU, even). They had to keep her from me because of my infection - they didn't want me making her worse. I found out later she had a fever of about 100 degrees, so thank god she was not as hot as I was.
They delivered my placenta and kept massaging my belly because my uterus wouldn't close - I was bleeding a lot. Finally it did and then it took like half an hour to stitch me up. I don't know how many stitches, I lost count after the first 30 or so and the doctor wouldn't tell me. In addition to my major tear, I had vaginal tearing that required stitching. Baby girl has broad shoulders. Lady hockey player in the making? The nurse said "she's built like a linebacker" - should I tell her that when she's a teen?
The wonderful nurse did the best she could with my beverage preoccupation - she brought me a grape popsicle and a sprite. I ate part of both but I felt too sick to actually gobble them down. Like 2 minutes after the doc finished stitching, my MIL came in. She was shocked to see me in there and so apologetic. She said she just wanted to leave some flowers in my recovery room, and the nurses let her in. She thought she was walking in to an empty room where I'd come and find the flowers later. Nope. Anyway, it was fine. She didn't stay long and I really didn't care.
That's the birth story, so I'll abbreviate the rest. I was dizzy and trembling uncontrollably all night after the birth. I received IV antibiotics for 24 hours for my fever/infection. They gave me more reglan, which helped a little but not a lot. I can't take narcotics (they offered oxycodone I think), but I got tylenol and advil. I still couldn't eat or drink, though the nurses kept pushing me to do so and I'd feel better. Every time I took a bite of a piece of dry toast, I felt like I'd hurl. They said my blood sugar was likely very low, which was probably causing most of the shaking and dizziness. I forced down two english muffins and three glasses of grape juice. I didn't sleep at all still but did feel much better. Too much shock/adrenaline I think. I still get the shakes if I think about it too much.
After finishing my IV meds, I went another 12 hours with no fever and they discharged me Thursday, 5/30. My mother is here and just sort of hanging around because we booked her ticket before knowing our daughter had to stay in the NICU till next week. [She had some elevated labs, had to get a lumbar puncture (OMG) and now has 7 days of IV antibiotics - 3.5 days left.] My husband went back to work to save his sick time for when she comes home. Meanwhile, I'm mostly OK, just very very stiff all over, sore 'down there', and now my boobs are engorged (I am not breastfeeding). I have bouts of nausea still, sadly, but nothing as bad as before she was born. I think I must still be a little shellshocked, or something. I hate, hate, hate that she isn't home with me, but the 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep in my own bed these last couple of nights wasn't too shabby either, I will say.
Here are a couple of photos of her. The first one (with the oxygen flow tube) is from May 29; the second one is from yesterday. You can really see how she's improved, I think.