Ash Wednesday was my first official day of maternity leave – i planned to do some last minute errands, go to Mass and then lunch with my mom and godfather and pray that Spike would come unassisted before Friday – after Tuesday’s trip to L&D, my OB had agreed to give me a few more days to see if the baby would come on his (her) own before we induced – unfortunately for me, the hospital schedule was against me
Wednesday morning i got up to listen to the show (just because i work there doesn’t mean i’m not a fan!!) and i got a phone call from my OBs office about 8:30am – now i was expecting this call to be about scheduling an appointment for the next day – imagine my surprise when the nurse told me they wanted me to come to the hospital at 4pm to start the induction – HUH??? that’s not the plan – she explained that the hospital was booked the rest of the week and that since i was already overdue, Dr. Flowers didn’t want to wait until next week – so they were going to start the Cervidil Wednesday evening and then we would go from there – i asked her if i could get the Cervidil and then go back home to labor – hmm – how about no – she said that labor can come on really strong with the Cervidil and they needed to monitor me at the hospital – yeah, at that point i started to cry – i was prepared for induction on Friday but on Wednesday?? not so much – she asked me if i was okay and i lied and said yes – she promised me that it would be okay and told me to call if i had any questions – um, do you have 2 hours to talk to me – sure i had questions – like, why is my child stubborn? duh. i think we all know the answer to that – the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree
anyway, Kelley was still asleep and i needed some time to process everything – so i sat on the chaise for another 2 hours trying to think things through – about 10am, Kelley came into the living room and he immediately knew something was wrong – i told him they were starting the induction at 4pm – of course Kelley, the level headed, was completely unfazed and asked me what i needed him to do – um, can you make your child come on its own?? anyway, i spent the rest of the day sending emails and making phone calls and trying to contact everyone and get everything together – as the day went on, i started to come to terms with the induction but i was still a little freaked out – and then i got a call from Dr. Flowers (my OB) – dude, what doctor does that? she was just calling to check on me and see how i was doing – she knew that i didn’t want to be induced so she just wanted to see if i had any questions and let me know that even though we were going the induction route, she would still do everything in her power to stick to my original birth plan – love this woman! while i wasn’t wild about the induction, i knew that her number one was getting Spike here safely – so i decided to go with the flow and finally started to really calm down
so we get to the hospital about 4:15pm – it took about an hour to fill out paperwork and all that jazz and they administered the Cervidil about 5:30pm – one of the things that sucks about induction is that they have to hook you up to all the machines to track your blood pressure and contractions and the baby – that means you pretty much get to sit in the bed and go nowhere – yeah, i hated that – Kelley had class at 7:30pm and i didn’t see the point in him missing class since we’d just be sitting around waiting – so i sent him on his merry way (after he picked up some dinner for me – he’s so great!) and my mom and godmother came to hang out with me – Kelley got back around 10pm and my mom and godmother left – during that time, my contractions were starting to pick up – at least according to the monitors – some of them i could feel and some i couldn’t – and since i couldn’t feel all of them, i was trying to watch for them on the monitor – but the monitors wouldn’t stay in place, so the nurse had to keep coming in to adjust them – but he was only concerned about the baby one and not the contraction one – dude, if you’re going to adjust one of them, why wouldn’t you adjust both? i was more than a little annoyed but he apparently wasn’t concerned with my contractions – i, on the other hand, was trying to figure out what to expect and was VERY concerned – i guess it didn’t really matter because the contractions kicked into overdrive around 11:30pm – Kelley was asleep (because his bedtime is 11pm) but i was wide awake because i had foolishly declined the Ambien offered by the nurse – big mistake because i didn’t get any sleep that night – about midnight, the contractions were getting pretty bad so i told Kelley to call Kathy (my doula) because breathing through them wasn’t cutting it and i had no idea what to do – i don’t know where she was but she arrived in what seemed like minutes – and good thing …
the next few hours were pretty much a blur – the Cervidil had kicked into high gear and it was not fun – first of all, i had terrible shakes – then i alternated between freezing to death and major hot flashes – then i had to pee what seemed like every 5 minutes – the problem was that i was still hooked up to the monitors, so every time i had to go to the bathroom i had to disconnect myself from the monitors – in addition to that, Sydney was still not reacting like they wanted her to – so i was hooked up to some sort of an IV in addition to the monitors – so from about 1:00am until 4am, i spent the night dealing with contractions, freezing to death, burning up, trying to disconnect the monitors so i could pee and carrying around an IV – talk about labor! so here i am trying to get to the bathroom without peeing on myself in the middle of a contraction – at the same time, Kelley is following me while holding the IV and a blanket because i feel like i’m in Antarctica – good times – not that i was modest to begin with, but labor will eliminate any modicum of modesty that you thought you had!! “honey, i know you’re holding the IV while i’m peeing, but can you wrap that blanket around me too?”
now here is where things get fuzzy – at this point, it was about 4 or 5am and i was really tired and the contractions were coming super fast – i think the nurse mentioned something about starting the Pitocin, but i wasn’t willing to do that until i could talk to Dr. Flowers – plus i was really starting to feel like crap from the Cervidil and just needed some rest – so i *might* have been a bad patient and told the nurse to take the Cervidil out to see how much i could progress without it – Kathy suggested i head to the whirlpool for a while – so the Cervidil came out and i headed for the whirlpool – SCORE!!! you wouldn’t think sitting in a bathtub would alleviate that much pain, but it did and it was wonderful!! now i know why people give birth in water – it’s still not something that i’ll ever do, but i understand it! i stayed in the whirlpool for about an hour and probably would have stayed even longer, but by then Dr. Flowers was there and she was ready to break my water … YIKES!! i was very nervous about her breaking water – for the first time i was officially scared – and i told her so! all i had heard is that if they have to break your water, it will hurt … BADLY – but Dr. Flowers (and my mom who had also arrived) assured me that it wouldn’t hurt and that i would actually feel better – and of course, she was right – see why i love this woman! she’s the greatest doctor ever! so i was good for a little while – it was about 7:30ish and i was dilated to about a 5 or 6 at that point and i was good for a little bit – and then the contractions kicked into overdrive again – they were coming really fast and they were intense – and i was TIRED!!! tired to the point where i was begging for rest – all i wanted was to get a quick nap – that and some drugs – i thought i could get through the contractions if i just took them one at a time – the problem was i didn’t feel like i was getting a break between them – it just felt like one long contraction – i was still adamant about not getting the epi, but i needed something to take the edge off – i asked Dr. Flowers what my options were and she offered me Stadol or Demerol – i opted to go with the Stadol because BFF Angie had Demerol with her daughter and was completely out of it – so we went with a low dosage of the Stadol around 8:30am and while it did nothing for the pain, it did allow me to sleep for about an hour – and i needed it because i was exhausted!!
then it was time for the big guns – around 10am, i wasn’t progressing and it was Pitocin time – i was still a little out of it because when the nurse checked me and said they needed to start the Pitocin, i remember asking her if she had checked with Dr. Flowers – i’m sure she was thinking “um, duh.” but i was a little loopy so when she said “yes – Dr. Flowers is the one who said to start it” i said, “ok” and went with it! once again, the contractions were in high gear and i was in MAJOR pain – this is where the rantings and ravings of the crazy pregnant woman begin – things i specifically remember saying:
“can you make them stop for just a little while?” – um, sure dianthe, hold on while we take care of that …
“why does it hurt so much in the same spot – why won’t it move?” – the contractions felt like the most severe menstrual cramps i’d ever had – and i think i was expecting them to hurt somewhere else than in my lower abdomen – in my head, i was thinking if it hurt somewhere else for a little while, it wouldn’t hurt as bad – um, okay …
“i just need a nap – all i need is a nap” – i was SO tired that i could barely keep my eyes open – and all i remember was contraction, contraction, contraction – now my mom says that i was sleeping between contractions – like full on-knocked out-snoring sleeping – what i remember is one contraction on top of another – but whatev!
i guess the contractions went on for another hour or so because i don’t really remember anyone checking to see if i had progressed any further – i just remember telling Kathy that i needed to push – i know that i changed positions several times because nothing felt right – it’s weird how well you get to know your body – i had no idea what i was doing but i knew what was working and what wasn’t – some positions worked for a few minutes and some positions i instantly knew were out! and during the pushing, more rantings and ravings from the crazy pregnant woman:
“i CANNOT do this” – i said this A LOT!! and every time i said it, someone was there to tell me i could – Kelley, my mom, Kathy – everyone kept telling me i could – whatever – i was tired and in that moment, i didn’t think i could finish – but it’s not like i had a choice!
“stop asking me if i want to see the mirror – IT’S NOT HELPING ME!!!” – so when you start to crown, they bring out the mirror so you can see the baby coming out of you – apparently it helps some women because they realize that they’re really close and it gives them the incentive for those last couple of pushes – a lot of people are weirded out by this – but i wasn’t – it just wasn’t helping – i caught a glimpse, i even touched her head (and was amazed that she had a head full of hair) – but watching her head come out of my va-jay-jay was not benefiting me and i wanted everyone to stop telling me to look
“OMG – can everybody just stop talking and SHUT UP!! S#IT!!!” – while i was pregnant, i spent a lot of time watching “A Baby Story” and every time i would get annoyed when the mom is pushing and there is a room full of people saying “push”, “you can do it”, “you’re almost there”, etc. – i always wanted to tell those people to shut up – and when everyone was saying those things to me, i felt the same way – which is why i told everyone to shut up – it was difficult enough concentrating on pushing – the last thing i needed was a cheering section
“Come on Spike – come out” – hey, if she could hear me while she was in the womb, surely she could hear me on the way out – and it was a team effort, right?
so at this point, i’m REALLY close – and Dr. Flowers said that we were almost there and made a comment that if i didn’t push Spike out, she was coming in to get her – then she started putting on her delivery gear – that was all the incentive i needed – when i saw Dr. Flowers in that gown with the gloves on and that huge mask, i decided that Spike was coming out no matter what – it didn’t occur to me that doctors wear that for every delivery – hello … childbirth is messy – but in my head she was preparing for forceps or the vacuum or a c-section (later, Dr. Flowers told me she was just kidding!) – but i wasn’t having any of that – it took everything i had, but i gave 2 or 3 more pushes and out came the head – they kept her body in the birth canal while they suctioned her and then one more push and she was out – they immediately handed her to me chest down – i flipped her over just to confirm and screamed “it’s a girl!!!!” – i can’t begin to tell you how shocked i was – i think everyone else was too because i swear there were actual cheers! someone handed me a blanket or something and let me wipe her off – i was surprised because she seemed to come out so clean – the nurse ended up cutting the umbilical cord because Kelley aka “Mr. Science” was busy checking out things from the other end – normally they tell the husband to stay up by the mom’s head but Kelley wanted a front row view of his child being born – he watched it all and his exact words afterwards were “AMAZING!!”
and after 15+ hours of labor and just over an hour of pushing, Sydney Jane was born!