|going to bainbridge for brunch hours before my water broke. I was convinced I'd be pregnant forever....|
No contractions started. Just gush, gush, gush water. We called the doula and she said go ahead to the hospital, they'll probably check you and send you home. They didn't. The midwives checked me and checked me in. At midnight they were starting the pitocin talk. I pushed it off until 2am. I pushed it off until 7am. I tried everything all night to start my labor. I escaped the hospital and walked under the half moon. I lunged up and down stairs. I got a breast pump going for half hour intervals. But at 10am on August 17th they hooked me up to pitocin.
I was frustrated. I had hoped they'd let me have 48 hours. I wanted to go home. Now hooked up to the IV I felt caged. I could only walk little circles around the nurses desk. This wasn't the plan! But I wasn't given much choice, so I got my head in the game. I called it the P train and it was leaving the station. I had to be on board. I did my best to be positive. I could still do this.
Every hour a nurse came in and bumped the pitocin up. Finally around 5pm I started feeling contractions. I was so excited to be in pain. They ramped up over the next couple hours. I rode them out. The pain was hard, but welcome. I used my coping tools, I felt strong. Then my body started to get in the game and joining in with its own contractions. The intensity went up. The break between contractions was never going to zero. The contractions were irregular with triple peaks at times. Soon there was little to no break. I entered severe back labor with contractions on contractions. Her position was making everything worse. I was losing it. I couldn't see, or think. It was way to early to be here.
Just under 6 hours of contractions I made the second call. Epidural. In my haze I saw a man who looked like Captain Kangaroo come in, speaking in a German accent. I kept apologizing to Owen as the man scrubbed my back down. I felt like everything was happening to someone else. This wasn't me. Soon my legs were gone. My back still ached, but I was concrete. From this point on, I left my body. I felt like a helpless bystander. I cried and slept.
The next morning my temperature was over 101º. I had an infection because my water had been broken so long. The baby was still trucking through all of this. Heart rate great. She's a trooper. I was started on an IV of antibiotics and Tylenol. My temperature slowly went down throughout the day as my pitocin dose went up, up, up. They were doing minimal cervical checks before my infection, but now they checked every few hours. Nothing was happening. In 26 hours I was now dilated 5 cm. I had been at 5 for hours. They gave me another four hours to make something happen. But I was numb. My legs were swollen to 3 times their normal size with all the fluid and drugs. My body seemed to be shutting down. And four hours later it was time to call the third thing I never wanted.
Just before 4pm Owen got his scrubs on. I was wheeled away from him to be prepped for surgery. The epidural was taken out, a spinal given. I felt removed. My arms were strapped down, curtain up. Owen was back at my side. True to their word I could feel pressure, I could feel cutting, I could feel hands pushing on me... but it wasn't me. I was just a little floating head, looking at Owen and waiting for her cry.
There were exclamations of how big she was and whoah you weren't lyin' about the head!! (Her head measured 37 weeks at 32 weeks and was just over 14.5 at birth.) And I just kept asking is she here?? Suddenly a cry! Owen popped his head over the curtain unable to wait another second and then went to hold her. I was sobbing. She wasn't crying as much as I thought she would, I kept asking if she was okay. She came out determinedly grunting and bobbing for meal on Owen's chest. Finally seemingly hours (but just minutes) later Owen laid her on my chest. She was crying but as soon as I started talking she stopped, listened with wide eyes on me. She knew me. I wanted my arms to hold her, but I was strapped down. I cried and talked to her and kissed her head over and over.
|Penelope Jane, 8lbs 5oz, 20.5 inches long, dome 14.5 inches|
We needed to stay another 48 hours and Penelope endured many pricks on her heel for blood draws, her IV pulling on her hand. We were up every hour on the hour for IV flushes and antibiotics, heel pokes and tests. I couldn't have been more ready to leave a place. Although I can't say enough good about the people that cared for us.
That first week was so hard. Mentally, emotionally and physically. My body was fluid logged. Literally sweatpants didn't fit because of how swollen my legs were. It was unreal and terrifying. Finally 4 days later they started to drain. I could see my ankles again. My incision was surprisingly painless. I was off the ibuprofen within a couple days. But I was faint when I stood up. I was so weak. Being home, up every 1.5 hours to feed her was hard. I felt like a zombie. A very sad little beat up zombie.
|Days out from c-section, feeling pretty horrible.|
Just two weeks out, I feel so much better. That first week had many dark clouds floating through my mind. I let myself mourn when I needed to, but also fought the darkness back by reaching out to my network. Every little affirmation thrown my way, no matter how small, sent light though the clouds. Thank you.
Everyone told me you just can't prepare, you can't imagine, and now I know it's very true. More than going from hoping to catch my own baby after an unmedicated birth to being strapped to an operating table...I never knew how much I could love until I saw her. Until I saw Owen with her. Everyday is open as I fall in love with her, she's an unsolvable puzzle and endless possibility, she's perfect. I'm so happy she's here with us.