October 30th, 2010the birth of the peanut
If you are in any way offended by some gross details, feel free to skip this one.
I was supposed to be induced September 30th, around 7AM. So on September 29th, we went out to dinner, worked late and hardly slept. At 5AM the hospital called — a lot of women had actually gone into labor (bitches!) and I was being pushed back. I went back to sleep (after telling my mom to get out of the shower, as we weren’t going yet) and at 9AM they called to tell me I wasn’t going to be induced.
Sigh. My mom took me for a mani/pedi that afternoon, which was a brilliant idea — the fluid that causes your feet to swell to the size of a troll had been paining me for weeks and the Chop was happy someone else was rubbing them for once. :)
October 1 (Friday) I called the hospital and they told me not to come in, but they’d call me later. Oy. Once you are past your due date, every day is really long and all you can think about is when is this baby leaving my womb. At 40 weeks, your stomach is massive. You ache all over, sleep is elusive, you feel twice the size you actually are and people KEEP ASKING if you’ve had the baby.
Plus, my mom was here and she kept smiling at me. And if I groaned or moved funny or grimaced (which frankly happened all the time, the Chop wasn’t even bothered by it anymore), she’d look over, her eyes would light up and she’d be all, has it started?
Sigh. Yeah. No.
Around 3PM the hospital called. “Did you think we’d forgotten you?” she asked. “Um, haha, kind of…” I replied. “Can you be here in an hour?”
Sure, I said, quite stupidly as we still had to load the car, drop off the dog and get lunch.
The Chop and my mom were both on their phones, so I went into the bedroom and started putting everything together. The Chop came, still on the phone, and asked what I was doing — we’re going to the hospital, I said. He got off the phone. :)
We dropped off the dog at daycare, picked up lunch at Panera and arrived at the hospital around 5PM. There was a bit of traffic (and a car accident RIGHT at the hospital exit), but we actually drove there in pretty good time.
We checked in, got our fun bracelets and headed to our labor and delivery room. Our first nurse, Yanna, was Russian. She was very sweet, but was concerned about getting my IV in, so she called an IV nurse — it took two weeks for the IV bruise to go away. She ran through her checklist of questions, and they started the pitocin drip.
I expected instant, painful contractions, but got nothing. As it turns out, pitocin can take awhile. By 8PM I was blogging and my mom was getting ready to head home to sleep. I had some mild cramping, but in general, was feeling OK. The Chop and I watched Blue Bloods (I love Donnie Walhberg, he’s a fantastic actor) and NCIS reruns.
Around 11PM they checked to see how far I was dilated and stripped my membranes again — fuck if that doesn’t hurt like hell. They’d done it the week before, at my doctor’s office, but this time it was twice as long and twice as painful.
Then they offered me my first pain meds. A drug cocktail, one in the IV and one “in my bum.” Um, no, I said. I’m all for the IV, but I don’t want one “in my bum.” Yanna was confused and said, but that’s the one that lasts longer, you need them both. No, no, I said, I don’t want that one.
She left to get the drugs (and the doctor) and I looked at the Chop. He agreed, none in the bum.
The nurse and doctor came back and she again offered me the one in the bum. The needle is small, she said. Needle, I said?
As it turns out, the Chop and I both assumed that “by in the bum” she meant a suppository. Why, you ask? I don’t know. The way she said it? The accent? Whatever it was, I was not keen on a suppository, lol, and the Chop was in agreement. The needle comment was what gave it away. “In the bum” meant a shot in the ass, lol.
So first came the nubane in the IV. Magical, wonderful and my only drug of choice, it’s like getting smashed on vodka, without the hangover or the nausea. You’re just instantly (and I mean within seconds) floating on a happy cloud (and apparently slurring, according to the Chop). The world is very hazy and your body feels wonderful.
Then of course came the Demerol shot (in the thigh instead of the ass, incidentally), which really and truly hurt like hell. But the next four hours I was in a drug induced sleep, feeling next to nothing at all.
Around 3:30 they offered me the epidural, and by then the Demerol had worn off and the pain was starting to be a problem.
The anesthesiologist, with exceedingly cold hands, did a great job getting the epidural in. It was definitely uncomfortable, plus hands on my back make me jump, but the Demerol shot had been far more painful. It was just weird, and disconcerting, having a tube inserted in my spine. Thinking about it now, I still shudder a little.
Once the epidural kicked in, I went back to sleeping. Sadly I was woken up regularly to ask how I was doing (I always forget that sleeping in hospitals is impossible — you sleep for what seems like five minutes and then someone comes in, repeat ad nauseam).
At around 6AM the doctor came in to see how dilated I was. Sadly it was just a few centimeters, 4 I think, but they broke my water and I went back to sleep.
The rest of the day was basically a haze of being checked on, being drugged and sleeping. The Chop slept in some, got up and showered, went and got lunch; my mom called, but was waiting to come in until the labor really started, so really I just dozed in and out.
Around 5PM the nurse checked and I was 8 centimeters, finally, so the Chop called my mom to have her come. By the time she got there, around 6PM, I was being checked again. OK, the nurse said, it’s time.
The next three hours were some of the most excruciating of my life. The epidural didn’t make me completely numb — I had tingling in my legs, and the “pushing pain” (an overwhelmingly painful feeling of needing to void something) was in no way lessened by the drugs. Due to the baby “possibly” being too big, they didn’t want to use forceps or the vacuum, so in order to get him out, I had to push with no assistance—and if I couldn’t we had to move to C section.
I have honestly never been in so much pain in my life. The contractions were coming 2-3 minutes apart and the pain was indescribable.
At 8PM I wanted to give up. Demanded a C section, started crying uncontrollably and frankly just wanted to die. 10 more minutes, they kept saying to me, we can see his head!
FYI, they’d been saying “we can see his head” for over an hour at this point. Apparently you can see the head for A LONG FUCKING TIME before it actually comes out.
They brought in the anesthesiologist to give me “an extra boost” down the epidural, and somehow I managed to pull it together for the next 50 minutes and get him out. There must’ve been magic in that boost, because I’m still surprised I didn’t die. Especially when he crowned. They call it “the ring of fire” and it truly is like having a white hot poker swirled around down south — it’s like, no, it can’t get worse and then OMFG IT JUST GOT WORSE.
Once his head was out, the rest kind of whooshed out in a massive flood of liquid (gross I know—apparently it was the most disturbing part of the whole thing for the Chop—well, that and the “stretching” he said) and the relief was fabulous. He had the cord around his neck once, so he came out greyish-purple and I only held him for a quick second before they whisked him away to do his tests and get cleaned up. He pooped on me, of course.
He arrived at 8:50PM exactly four weeks ago, on October 2. He was 8 lbs, 4 oz and 21 inches. And he came out completely bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.
The next thing I know I’m being stitched (and FEELING IT, FUCK) and a nurse is beating the shit out of my uterus. Stop, stop, I cried, why are you doing that?! We have to get the blood clots out, she said, unless you want the doctor to stick his hand up there to get them out — and trust me, you won’t want anyone to stick anything up there.
So there I was, being beaten by a nurse, while the Chop and my mom had deserted me to hang across the room with the baby. Eventually they came back to my side, my mom holding him and telling me “thank you for my grandson” multiple times, and both of them sending picture messages of the little cutie to our friends and family.
They took him out after that, to do whatever it is they do with babies, while I got cleaned up. Then I realized I was starving. To death. I am not kidding. I have never been so hungry in my entire life. I ate Chris’ leftover lunch (turkey wrap, piece of cake), my mother’s chocolate candy bar (Hershey’s with Almonds) and then we ordered a pizza and salads (hello, did you know labor and delivery stocks take out menus for this reason?).
We were moved to our maternity room around midnight, by then my mom had gone home and the Chop and I were dead exhausted. Chop went and checked on the Peanut in the nursery (before we crashed), but he wasn’t brought back to our room until 3AM.
We spent the next two and a half days in that room, the Chop only leaving to go to the cafe or the kitchen. We were visited every shift change, and sometimes in between, by nurses. My OBGYN came every day, as did the Peanut’s pediatrician and the lactation specialists (they really are very full service). My mom brought Starbucks every day, too. My favorite part of being there was getting three meals a day brought to me, lol. I was really hungry every single day and it wasn’t until we were home a week or so that I wasn’t starving constantly.
The day we left, bearing flowers and awesome cupcakes—and an adorable baby—the Chop and I spent 20 minutes attempting to get the car seat buckled in while the car was idling at the front door. We finally moved the car to a parking spot (we felt very conspicuous) and realized we had been trying to put it in backwards.
Great start, we decided. :)