I want to write these details down before they have vanished into the vastness of my brain forever.
Thursday nite, July 12 – I think I came to the brink of death and back again. The most intense two hours, well actually just one hour of bad intensity, of my life.
so depending on how you look at it – I either had the longest labor on the planet (starting in week 32 when i started having weird contractions), or one of the shortest. Either way, 9:30 pm thursday nite laying in bed reading a Stephen King novel was my first sign of questioning that something was starting, and at 11:42 pm that same nite I was holding my baby girl, Kaylen Hope.
It started that morning when we had to wake up early to get to the ped’s office in time for Karissa’s X-rays to confirm WHAT, if anything, she had swallowed the day before, and to make sure it was not lodged somewhere bad. Of course I got the obligatory calls from the family wanting a progress check on contrax and how I was feeling and whatnot. And not a SINGLE THING. Not even my usual Braxton Hicks warm up crampy contractions in the morning like I have had for the past month and a half! I felt a little down in the dumps, but resigned to the fact that she was just going to be here in her own sweet time, and that that could be another week or so. It was hot on thursday, and as usual, I was just unmotivated to do ANYTHING. I got some work done, did the bare maintenance housework, then just watched the girls swim. I think I even got a little nap in when they did…
Anyways, I made dinner at 5:15 for us – Jambalaya from scratch, to which I added some tabasco sauce. Figured the spicy food wouldn’t hurt! We ate, cleaned up, then decided to go for a walk. I was feeling umm, a little backed up, so I chugged a shot of castor oil, knowing at the very least I would, you know, feel SOME relief from THAT. So off on our walk we went. i remember feeling like a woman on a mission while walking, even though I really wasn’t FEELING anything. I had maybe 3 contractions the whole walk, but still, wasn’t excited about it – cause i’ve had more action before. We got home and put the girls in bed, then I decided to take a bath to relax. I got out, got ready for bed and laid down in bed to read. About three minutes later I felt a STRONG contraction, checked the time just to see, ok, i’ll see if these get into a pattern at all. I had two more about 4 minutes apart, then had to SUDDENLY get up to run to the bathroom from one of those lovely bladder kicks. I put my hand down there (like, what did i think i could stop myself from peeing?) but noticed i was already soaked. I think the thought MIGHT have crossed my mind that my water broke, but more I was just DEPRESSED thinking I had fully lost all control of bodily function and was really in for a miserable week ahead!!! After this bathroom trip, I noticed some of that pinkish show and thought – well YAY! This might actually happen in the next day or two! So i went back to bed to read feeling very encouraged. Didn’t really have any more contractions but DID feel a horrible gas pain/pressure. Great. This must be the castor oil kicking in finally right? Nope. Nothing. I was sitting there cursing my IBS for flaring up NOW, at the end of a pregnancy! By this time it is 10:40, and on my way back to bed I just KNEW, ok its time to go. I put clothes on, got my contacts in and got my suitcase. And in that five minutes I could already not talk and barely walk down the stairs. Ben was watching TV and I muttered out through clenched teeth, suitcase in hand – “we need to go NOW”. He jumped up and got the puppies in their cage and woke up the girls and i said – pick me up on the sidewalk I have to keep walking. Called my sister (who thankfully lives two minutes away from the hospital) and again managed to only say – “meet at hospital NOW. Ben will call”. Ben picked me up down the street from our house and we started the long painful drive to Rush. now this is normally a good twenty minute drive with minimal traffic, maybe 25 minutes. Ben is FLYING down the road. Kealey pipes up from the back – “we need gas!” (I have no idea how she remembered this from that afternoon.) Ben just about drops a swear but keeps it together. We have 21 miles left according to the car. I think the hospital is like, `18 I KNEW we would never make it if we stopped to even pump two dollars worth of gas. So we are flying down this back country road dodging traffic, ben is flashing his lights like he’s a police car or something (i was kind of in a whole other place by this time but was FORCING myself to keep my eyes open and pay attention.) I remember the girls going “daddy, you’re driving very fast!!!” with their wide little eyes, fresh from being woken out of a dead sleep! I just kept saying the signs on the side of the road to myself – “Denmark 2, not your average bookstore”, ” We are MOOOOOOOVING!!! Four Winds Church Plainfield”, “Premier Gymnastics, sign up now for fall”….these are the wierd things that stuck in my head. i remember that my legs started shaking as we ran the red light to turn into the parking lot, and i thought, hmm. i wonder if i am in transition – but then tried to not think that positivly cause i was REALLY just hoping to be at LEAST a 3-4 cm when i got in. we go around to women’s health and THANK GOD a dr was out smoking and let us in. if we had had to go around to ER, i would have delivered on the floor. As it was, we had to park in handicap, lock the girls in the car, and ben had to walk me up the stairs to the L&D unit, i cannot describe how long of a walk that is when you are contracting hard. then of course we had to register. I couldn’t talk and just kept pacing in circles trying to keep my mind off the overwhelming pain. we got into a room, ben went to go get the girls and park the car and find my sister, and they wanted me to put on a gown. I was like – if i take off my pants I think i will pee on the floor. (obviously delirious with pain.) they wanted me to lay down to monitor baby and be checked and i said – ok go fast you have one minute. The nurse checks me and frantically starts pushing the call button – “NEED HELP STAT!!! She’s a 9!!!!!” and then thank God they started doing all this STUFF in the room, setting up for delivery, you know, like getting that table full of crap together. I was just mesmerized by watching their routine and it took my mind off the pain. Well, as much as you can have your mind taken off that kind of pain. I remember my sweet, sweet nurse Suzanne trying to gently break the news to me that they would not have time to set up the tub for the water birth, nor would i be likely to get any relief from pain meds. i am like – look, I am about to poop on this bed i DO NOT GIVE A RIP about the water birth at this point!!! (CAuse seriously, i still was thinkng I just had to poop, and THEN i could be in labor.) I do’nt think i even fully grasped what it meant that I was at 9, and Ben didn’t either, cause he walked in right when she said that. So at least he made it back upstairs. They just kept asking me all these questions and were fingerprinting me – I rmember just sitting there with my hands in the air, having contractions, ben rubbing my back, having ink put on my hands for some reason and being asked if i still drank caffeine. i think my answer was something along the lines of ” ok honestly, who comes in here and says no? i’d like to meet her. of COURSE i still drink caffeine!!!” They asked me what I wanted for pain relief, I asked for marijuana or cocaine but they said they didn’t have any left. I asked if i could have a margarita right afterwards though and they thought they could do that for me. They wanted to check me again so I laid on my side and said do it quick, and they kept wanting to monitor the baby with those strappy things and my blood pressure, but they all hurt so bad i kept ripping them off. The nurse said, look, baby is in stress i HAVE TO CHECK HER. That got through to me a little bit so i endured her at least pushing that monitor onto my belly which by this time felt like one long horrific contraction. I said ” I am GOING TO POOP NOW” and she said “GET THE DOCTOR IN HERE!!!” I think they were trying to hold me off till my midwife got there, but by that time I wouldnt have cared if Snuffleupagus had delivered me with his long snout, I just wanted that pain and pressure GONE! They said “let us help you with your legs” – I had no idea what that meant, just that it wasn’t MY LEGS that were hurtin and i told them so – don’t need LEG help, i need pooping help! (i was OBSESSED with the poop thing by this time..) some dr ( I guess, i had no idea if she was a dr, nurse, or janitor and didn’t care) was telling me to push out my bottom and i was like “no sh*t sherlock i am pooping!!!” I remember grabbing Bens shirt behind me and yanking him down, just to counteract the intense pressure. I could tell he was in a very uncomfortable position cause he was trying to slowly move my hand, but also knew better than to try to make ME uncomfortable at that point. I must have let up for a second and he shifted and I switched to doing something else to him, i remember staring at the ceiling saying ok to something over and over again and holding on to him. I just needed to hold onto him for some connection to reality… I am really so glad he was THERE, and totally in that moment with me. I guess I was pushing at that point cause i remember the dr saying ” cord times 2″, and i knew that meant her cord was around her neck twice, and ben said” the head is out honey! you did it! now just stay calm’ and i was thinking – wait, my poop has a head? like the turtle is poking its head out???” I know this seems so weird but honestly – you have to realize, an hour before i was sitting on my own toilet trying simply to have a bowel movement and had NO IDEA WHATSOEVER that i was in labor, and still hadn’t caught up to the reality of being IN LABOR at that point! I heard someone giving me some directions to not push, which i wasn’t, it was all just my uterus doing its job at that point, but they had me reach down and pull her the rest of the way out and up onto my chest and i looked at ben like – ummm, did THAT just happen? Am i not pregnant anymore for real? And ohhhhh the immediate RELIEF!!! no more pooping feeling! apparently her perfectly round little head being sunny side up was what all the pain and pressure was.
Everything else happened in kind of a blur while i was sitting there still in shock over this teeny tiny little peanut of a baby I had just delivered about 26 minutes after getting to the hospital!
so – two hours of labor, two quick pushes, two wraps of the cord around her neck, and two stitches later – I present to you –
The band aid on her hand is from her blood culture screening. I was GBS+, so was supposed to have gotten antibiotics 4-6 hrs before delivery. Well, obviously, i didn’t get that much heads up! so she had a pretty good size blood draw done, and we are STILL in the hospital waiting for the results of that culture. We should get them tonite at 3 am, so hopefully its all good and we are discharged by 8 am. i am SO READY to go home. I feel great!
Just ready to be back to my own connection!
Here are a few more pics to leave you with – of course, bunches more to come tomorrow. I am just a teeny bit sad that this all went so fast – i have NO PICTURES of the birth or anything like that…I guess its a small price to pay for less than an hour of the most excruciating pain I have ever in my life endured.
ANd – with that, i am spent.
I will update the pool game tomorrow!