Please bear with the typos and spelling errors... I promise I will fix them!
I was so ready. I was beyond ready. I had been waddling around for the last few months and was ready to meet this baby. The baby that was growing in my belly. I was growing too, to the tune of 75 pounds. At nine weeks the midwife told me I should expect to gain 25 pounds. Ha, I showed her.
I was a week overdue. I first been convinced Jack would be born on Halloween, then on his due date, then November 18, November 19... On Monday, November 23 I had an ultrasound and non-stress test. Just two days before we had been at the hospital with a false alarm.
"He looks pretty comfortable in there," the tech said.
"I can't be pregnant any longer. Can't I be induced?"
I was told no, I had to wait. They wouldn't think of inducing me until reached two weeks past due date. As I was wiping to goo off my belly from the ultrasound, I asked the tech how big he was looking.
"Um, I didn't check that," she said.
Hmmm... isn't that part of the point of ultrasounds? Checking the size of the baby? We knew he was big- all signs were pointing to an eight pounder. We left the office, I was feeling very disappointed. Even though I knew it would happen, I felt like labor would never begin. So, we went to lunch, I ate some bacon, and had my hair highlighted. It was looking pretty pathetic.
I woke up the next morning, Tuesday, around 6:00 with some strange feelings. My belly would get tight for a few seconds and then release. It pinched a little, but nothing too painful. This isn't labor. I tried to go back to sleep, but must have been making some noise because Adam woke up and said, "you're in labor." No, I didn't think so. I just ate too much last night. And we had watched "Bruno." Disturbing.
I got up to go to the bathroom when all of a sudden something came pouring down my legs.
"I think I wet my pants!" I yelled to Adam. No, he said my water broke. Wasn't I supposed to know these things? We called the midwife, and she said to head to the hospital. If my water hadn't broke, she would have wanted me to labor at home for a while. I was a little nervous because I didn't know the mdwife who was on duty- my practice had five midwifes who all work together. They suggest you meet with each of them at some point during your prenatal visits so you don't have a stranger there when you're giving birth.
We drove the 2 miles to the hospital, I called my mom. Yes! It's finally happening. We parked in the garage, and I waddled all the way to labor and delivery with a sweatshirt between my legs. Water breaking isn't a one time thing- your body continues to make ambiotic fluid so it just keeps pouring out. Lovely. Could they have made labor and delivery and further away from the entrance? It's a long trek. We checked in. It was a slow day so we had the best room on the floor. The corner room, with beautiful views of Burlington, UVM and Lake Champlain.
I got all settled in. Contractions were a few minutes apart and were mild. Why does everyone complain about being in labor? This doesn't hurt at all! I called Julie, my BFF Cate and facebooked. A new midwife came in- Marti. I was so relieved. I met with Marti several times and loved her. Towards the middle of the day contractions began to be more intense. It was a bummer because in one of my prenatal tests I had tested positive for the strep virus so I was immediatly hooked up to an IV and had to have antibiotics every hour or so. They got worse. And worse. And worse. I tried the ball, got in the tub. Ugh! I hated the tub. I was having severe back pain, which was to be expected becuase Jack was posterior- sunny side up- i.e. he was facing the wrong way. We knew this early on in my pregnancy. I tried to walk around, my mom and Adam taking turns pulling my tubes and bags on wheels.
Finally, midafternoon, I'd had enough. I was ready for an epedeural. I had signed the waivers when I was in a more conscious state so as to speed up the process. The anesthsiologist arrived with a med student. By this time, I had grown accostomed to the practices of our teaching hospital. My room had become a revolving door of midwives, student, doctors, interns, residents... all taking their turn to look between my legs. It took the two of them several tried before they got the right spot. It was brutal. When they are putting the epideural in, you have to stay hunched over and cannot move at all for risk of serious damage if it's placed incorrectly. After several unsuccessful tries, it was in.
I was given a handheld wand with a button to administer extra doses to myself if I needed. At first, it worked great. I took a nap and watched Will and Grace. As the day went on, it seemed less effective. Once you get an epedeural, you have to stay in bed and be monitored nonstop. No more walking around. I couldn't lie flat on my back so I was on my left side. The medicine was only numbing the left side, on the right side I could feel everything. The nurse helped my roll the other side, but as soon as I did, Jack's heart rate dropped. That was the scariest sound I had ever heard. When the beep-beep-beep goes to beeeeeeeep. I went back to the first side and his HR went back to normal. I started to feel very hot and uncomfortable. I had develepoed a severe fever from an infection from my water being broken for so long. They kept checking me, but I wasn't going past three centimeters. They administer pitocin, a drug to induce labor, to help speed things along. I went to 5.5 centimeters. No where near the ten I would need to be at to deliver. My memories of this time are so blurry. Pain, nausea, my ear straining to hear the beats of Jack's heart on the monitor.
Around the 18 hour mark, Marti came in a broke the news. I don't remember what she said, or what I said, or Adam or my mom. All I heard was "c-section." I cried. This was not in my plan. This was not the delvery I was supposed to have. I didn't have a choice. Adam got into his scrubs (he still has them and wears them regularly) and they wheeled my into the operating room. Because I already had an epdeural, things went pretty fast.
"I can still feel my legs! I can still feel my legs!" I was so scared they wouldn't up my dose enough and I'd be able to feel them slicng through my skin and muscle. Don't worry they said, we have upped the dose and it just takes a while to kick in.
"Where's Adam?" At this point I was shaking uncontrollably (this is apparently a normal side effect) and crying. I've never been so scared. Adam came to my side, they put up the curtain and got to work. There were at least 15 people n that opperating room. They worked together so seamlessly and beautifully. It was like a ballet. I've heard women say that when they have a c-section, they feel pressure. Honestly, I felt nothing.
"Do you want a mirror so you can see the baby come out?"
"No, I think I'm alright."
The cry. I finally heard the cry. The most glorious sound I've ever heard. Jack Henry was born November 25 at 12:52 am. I didn't see him for a few minutes, but they placed him on the scale.
"Ten ten," I heard a nurse say.
"Ten ten what?" asked the doctor.
"Ten pounds, ten ounces," she said.
Um, excuse me? I just delivered a ten ppound, ten ounce baby? My mom, Adam and I had been guessing the weight in the labor room. My mom and I thought eight for sure, Adam thought somewhere in the sevens.
They cleaned him up, swaddled him tight and handed him to Adam. He brought Jack over to me. That instant love I felt was so overwhelming. I couldn't believe this miracle of birth and life. And it happens every second of every day. Adam brought Jack out to the waiting room to show the new grandma. I know she was bawling.
Adam held Jack and watched as they took out the placenta, put my intestines back, sewed up my inside and then the outside. We had to stay on labor and delivery through the morning because soon after I was sewn up I began hemorraging.
Around 8 am we headed down to the maternity floor. We were lucky- no roommate, so Adam got to bunk in room with us the whole time.
Here I am, 15 months later, and I still can't put into words my emotions from the day my baby was born. I feel like words I put down, just don't do it justice.