A Hell of A Ride

There is so much to tell you and absolutely no time to write about it. So I'm going to sum it up as best I can.

1. October 28th came and went. October 29th came and went. October 30th came and you took your first breath.

2. I woke up Wednesday Oct. 28th in the evening to an increasing amount of pain in my abdomen. I was told to try and sleep through it but I was too excited not to mention hated being woken up to massive cramping every 5 - 10 minutes. I'm grumpy as it is when I wake up from a nice snooze. So i stayed up all night in front of the computer logging my contractions into an online computer program designed to track labor contractions.

By 4:00 in the morning Oct. 29th my contractions were 5 minutes apart so I called Kristin to let her know that she'd be spending a lot of time with me soon. She informed me that because I could actually talk to her during a contraction and sound even remotely pleasant that I was definitely not in active labor and would be by first thing that morning to check on me.

She arrived bright and early only to tell me I was 3cm dilated. So she went off to work and I got comfy on the couch and tried to sleep through the contractions. Easier said then done.

When Kristin came back, just after 5:00, I was 5cm dilated and I had started into the active labor portion of my labor. Your daddy had to follow me around the house in anticipation for my next contraction, because if I had one without him near I would lose my head. So he very graciously stayed near and would massage my head every time a contraction came. If he happened to be slow on the draw I took no time at all to vocalize my extreme discomfort in his tardiness. Needless to say he wasn't tardy too often.

3. Despite my growing discomfort and increasing contractions at 7:00 I was still only 5cm. So after long deliberation we agreed to break my water in hopes to increase the speed of my dilation. Lets just say, without the gory details, that the long blue crochet hook that was inserted to break the bag of water surrounding you was not my favourite moment of the evening. But when the water did break a warm gush of liquid came pouring out of me that felt great! But I knew that would be short lived. After your water breaks that's when the real pain begins. But I was ready for that! I had a giant trough full of hot water for me to soak in.

Picture our little kitchen with a giant animal troff in the middle of the floor, surrounded by chairs and a large pedestal fan, the dog, the cat, Kristin, and daddy standing around the troff. And a very rotund, pregnant me, buck naked, on all fours in the middle of the tub, breathing like the big bad wolf trying to blow the brick house down. My tub time was short lived though. Your heart rate shot up to 76 from 48 and I was forced out of the tub to bring your heart rate back down.

4. Our little labor party was taken to the couch in the living room where I slowly started to lose composure. It was around 9:30 and I hadn't slept since the night before last. I had only eaten yogurt and apple sauce and my energy, concentration, and emotions were starting to rage out of control. My contractions were getting the better of me and I couldn't get back into my comfort zone. I started to get panicky and finally after a couple of tries, convinced Daddy and Kristin that I needed to go to the hospital. At that point Kristin checked to see if I had dilated further upon which we discovered that I had not advanced past 5 cm and we all agreed that the hospital was a good idea. I needed some pain relief so I could rest for a bit and likely some Oxytocin to help advance my labor seeing as I had now been laboring for just over 24 hours at home.

5. I sat on the bed while your father frantically ran around the house trying to gather everything that may have been needed should we need to stay at the hospital. What a disaster that was. Cupboards were left ajar, drawers were opened with their contents tossed about the room, clothing was thrown about, bags, shoes, toiletries, were everywhere! I had only a house coat on so your dad had to help dress me. I didn't want to put on pants because of how uncomfortable they would have been, so as I sat on the bed, eyes closed in concentration, breathing deeply while fighting back contractions, I asked him to grab me one of my maternity dresses. He took out a tiny strapless summer party dress for me to wear. I took one look at it and through clenched teeth said " That will NOT fit me Kevin". Panicked your father replied "well I don't know! You're going to have to help me!" I couldn't help him. I couldn't move. It was taking all of my composure to hold it together. The pain was taking over my sanity. I was hardly able to contain my irritation, frustration and displeasure. He managed however to find me my grey Jersey knit dress which was thrown over my head, no bra, no undies and with no jacket, a pair of flip flops, a straw beach bag stuffed full of baby cloths and pj's we jumped into the van and headed to the hospital.

6. The car ride over to the hospital was a long one but a calm one as well. I had managed to gain control over pain again and my sanity returned.

7. Once arriving at the hospital your daddy grabbed me a wheel chair and pushed me to the elevator in the parking garaged where we met Kristin and rode up to the maternity ward to check ourselves in. We got a nice sized room to our selves and for a small period of time I was feeling pretty good. It wasn't until I had to get an intravenous that things got nasty again. It took almost 3 hours of waiting, needle jabbing and 4 nurses for someone to find a proper vein that would allow flow of fluids into my body in order to get an epidural inserted. 3 hours! I opted for the epidural because the drug wouldn't pass the blood barrier and effect you, only me. However I was worried that you would have trouble turning, that my labor would slow down, and that my hormones wouldn't increase and give you the happy ending that you deserved. But even after waiting for 3 hours I still hadn't dilated past 5 cm and I needed a rest. The benefits out weighed the negatives and the anaesthesiologist was called in to insert my epidural. Apparently it's supposed to be very uncomfortable. I didn't feel a thing.

8. Once the epidural was in my legs went numb and the sharpness of my contractions subsided. I couldn't even move my legs if I wanted to and trust me I tried but I was useless from the belly button down. I could still however feel my contractions. They were still quite uncomfortable but at least I was more relaxed and for the first time in hours could actually talk. Your father noted that it was nice to finally hear my voice and Kristin told me it was nice to see my eyes. I guess I had had them shut for the past 12 hours or so. Once I was able to see I glanced over at the cupboards on the wall and noticed the labeling on the door said "Jackson". I asked your father if I was seeing things and what it really said. He informed me that it said "Jackson Forceps" I smiled and told him that it was a sign.

9. Kristin took my IV and added oxytosin to my drip which is used to increase my contractions and sped up my labour in hopes that I would dilate more. Oxytosin causes more pain. But with the epidural I hardly noticed and managed to get a small amount of sleep. But my new found comfort was short lived once the epidural started to ware off and the oxytocin was continuously increased.

10. The sharpness of my contractions slowly started to return and I still hadn't dilated past 8cm. Kristin had to leave after labouring with me for 18 hours. She was exhausted and needed someone whom was well rested to come in and take over the reigns. So Elizabeth my other midwife came to the rescue. Elizabeth was new to the midwife profession though and due to the fact that I wasn't having a simple labour she called in Jackie to assist. They continued to raise my oxytocin, and of course my epidural drip was no longer working. The machine kept beeping to tell the midwives that it needed tending to but nothing they did made it stop beeping. After about an hour they seemed to figure it out but I could tell that I wasn't getting the drugs properly any more. I was really uncomfortable at this point. My body was telling me to push you out. It's the weirdest thing, suddenly a contraction comes and every muscle in your abdomen abandons you and starts functioning on it's own accord. A unbelievable pushing sensation takes over you and you have no choice but to push as though you were trying to have the largest poop you've ever taken in your entire life. Only because I wasn't dilated fully I was instructed not to push. If I pushed I could tear my cervix. So i had to fight every contraction for over 3 hours! It was by far the worst part of labour.

That was when Jackie decided to push things further along and brought in the BIRTHING STOOL! It is this short chair with most of the seat cut out of it that I'm supposed to sit on. It causes gravity to pull the baby down further thus opening my birthing canal and dilating my cervix to let you out! It worked. You dropped further down the birthing canal and after 20 minutes of pushing I was able to lay back down and push normally.

11. I pushed for about 3 hours before you were ready to emerge. I was about ready to give up at that point. I was exhausted, delirious, hungry and starting to get very angry at Jackie who was physically opening the birthing canal with her hands to help you through. I actually yelled at her to take her hands out. But she was feisty and yelled back. That was when she told me very firmly that you were close, and that I had to push harder because there was NO way she was going to let this labour end in a c-section. She then told me that if I worked really hard that you would arrive in 15 minutes. That was all I needed to hear. I hunkered down and gave it my all. Your father said he's never seen me work so hard.

12. There I was on my back, your father holding my left leg, Jackie holding my right and Elizabeth waiting in the middle to catch you when you popped out, all yelling "COME ON! YOU CAN DO IT!!!!" I couldn't help myself, I just started to laugh. I had my own personal cheer leading squad hollering at me and motivating me to push a cantaloupe through a worm hole. That takes a lot of motivation but they did it! I was so determined that I pushed you out and tore open a small tear in my perineum. And I didn't care. Your head was crowning, they all wanted to get me a mirror so I could see you coming. I yelled no. Then they tried to get me to touch your head so I could feel you with my hands so I knew how close you were but I pulled away. I was on a mission and they were distracting me with details. I yelled at them to stop distracting me, I needed to concentrate or my motivation would dwindle. They understood and grabbed on tight to my legs as I heaved one more time and pushed your head through.

13. The second your head was out I was done. All my muscles relaxed, I laid back and I turned off. Elizabeth was feeling around your neck to see if your umbilical cord was wrapped around your neck and she seemed concerned but I was fine. Your daddy was stressing. He saw the look of concern on Elizabeth's face with made his pulse race. Jackie asked what was up and Elizabeth only said "Shoulder" I knew what that meant. It meant that your shoulder was stuck under my pelvic bone. Which meant that if I pushed while you were stuck that I could break your collar bone, cause nerve damage or even dislocate your shoulder. I wasn't concerned though. I knew I wasn't going to push. If they wanted you out any time soon they could pull you out themselves. I was content that your head was out and that you were alive.

14. However my midwives were far more concerned. Jackie ran to the wall and ripped out the alarm, instantly the room was filled with nurses and Obstetricians coming to your aid. One of them asked what was wrong and Elizabeth said one word "shoulder", and with that they all ran to my side. One ran to my left, one to my right, and started heaving down on my stomach trying to dislodge you, others were holding my legs, someone was watching your head and other stood waiting near by to help. The entire time I remained calm, I had absolutely no concern what so ever that you were not ok. Your father however told me later that he was panicking. In four minutes of organized chaos you slid out and were placed on my tummy. You laid there silent and stunned, barely moving while I caressed your back up and down feeling your skin under my hand for the very first time. It was so peaceful, but I was so tired. All I wanted to do was pick you up and nuzzle you to my face but I couldn't move. That's when the Dr's took you away to examine you to make sure you were ok. That was when Elizabeth said "They are just going to check him over and make sure he's ok" and with that we knew you were a boy.

Your daddy looked at me and I smiled. "We have a Jackson" I said. Your daddy grabbed my hand and started to cry.

They put you under a warm light and laid you there while they watched you move and breath. They were smelling you to see if you had an infection that may have set in for being in the birthing canal for so long. They thought you were having difficulty breathing and that you had an odd odor. This angered Jackie. This panicked your father. He walked right up to them, stuck his nose into their business and said "Is everything ok?" Jackie explained that if they decided something was wrong they would take you away and perform a series of uncomfortable tests on you that we wanted to avoid. So the longer they had you the angrier she became. She was sure that your breathing was caused by stress and that you needed me. So she waltzed up to them and took you away, tucked you under my blankets and onto my chest where we snuggled up and got cozy. You calmed down and started to coo to me. I was still so exhausted but I've never been so proud in all my life. I had a son. And he was the most amazing thing I had ever seen.

While all the bonding, happy, lovey dovey stuff was happening... down below things were still not right. Elizabeth and Jackie were trying to stitch me up with out any anesthetic so I complained. They seemed to think that my epidural wasn't really worn off and that maybe I was just being over sensitive until I explained to them that I could feel metal clamps that were piercing me and a needle being inserted into my skin. So they gave me a local anesthetic with helped a bit. That is until my placenta didn't come out and that cause a whole new heap load of issues.

To shorten this story somewhat, it didn't come out, but it has to or I could hemorrhage and bleed to death or get some sort of blood poisoning. They had to go in manually to remove it which in some ways was worse then labor. My body was just not meant to have to hands inside it tearing around, removing organs. After 45 minutes, and 3 different people, it was finally out. BUT they ripped my stitched and had to stitch me up again. The entire time all I could think of was "For real? Is this really happening to me?!"

Your father managed to escape into the waiting room where my parents were waiting anxiously wondering if we were all ok. They were not allowed in due to a swine flue (H1N1) out break. He showed them pictures of you that he had taken on his cell phone and once they were certain all was well went home for the night.

We had to stay at the hospital for observation over night to make sure I didn't develop an infection. Finally they let us go to our room. They gave us a giant room with two beds. We watched you most of the night until we collapsed in my bed while watching TV. Your father got up sometime in the middle of the night to sleep on the pull out couch beside my bed. You kept waking up so I cradled you in my arms for the remainder of the night while I watched you sleep. It was the most amazing night I'd ever had.

The next morning Kristin came to look you over and make sure that everything was ok, to let us go home. We packed you up and realized that daddy still hadn't hooked up the car seat in the van. So we called my parents to come and get us. They greeted us at the front door with a giant green frog for you and lots of hugs. And off we went to your new home for the fist time as a family.


tara said...

you're back!!!! congratulations. i've been thinking about you...

Kim said...

Tara! Hi! I've been thinking about you too! I debated coming back. I have so many things I want to do and get done in a day now. lol... and blogging lost out in the daily debates, until today.

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