Sunday, November 5, 2006
On Wednesday night we went to the hospital at 10:45 to start the induction. They put us in a delivery room and had us fill out a bunch of forms and gave me lots of hospital bracelets. I had five. I don't know what they were all for. They also hooked me up to a fetal monitor, contraction monitor, blood pressure cuff, pulse-oxygen sensor, and IV. I was basically confined to the bed at this point because of all the equipment. We spent the night there, me in the bed on all the monitoring equipment and Ryan on this futon thing they put in the room for the dads to use. After this point, the times get a little fuzzy. There was a lot going on and I spent a lot of time on Codine. So when I say something happened at 7:00, it might have been 5:30 or 8:00. Who knows. Anyway, at "7:00" my doctor came in to check me, break my water, and start the IV with the horomone that would start the contractions. I started getting really uncomfortable after that point because the contractions started to get painful. Dr. O said I should get on the epidural list right then because sometimes it could take a really long time. I wasn't too uncomfortable at that point, but it sounded like good advice, so I went ahead and put myself on the list (good advice. GOOD). By the time the anesthesiologist arrived about an hour and a half later I was VERY uncomfortable and very happy to see him. The contractions were about a minute apart and Ryan furiously rubbed my back through each one, but I was miserable. Later, when I knew how fast the labor progressed, it made sense that the contractions hurt so bad, but at that point I could only think that we'd only been at this for an hour or so and already they were nearly unbearable. So when the doctor came in to do my epidural I was very relieved. The epidural itself was painful, but TOTALLY worth it. I had to sit on the edge of the bed with my feet on a stool. Ryan held my shoulders and I held onto my feet tightly. I've never thought of my spine as a good place for a shot since they usually do it somewhere fleshy like your arm or hip and no matter how weird I looked pregnant, my spine never became "fleshy". Anyway, once it was in it would take about 30 minutes to work so I held onto a cold wet washcloth and Ryan's hand and we worked through each one. Ryan watched the monitor and told me when each contraction was peaking so I could relax. Finally the epidural was starting to make a difference in the way I felt and we decided Ryan should run out for something to eat because he hadn't eaten all day and things were going to get crazy later. After he left I called some friends and watched a little TV. The nurse came in and asked how I was feeling. I said "The epidural is working great every except my bottom. There I feel strong pressure every time I have a contraction" She said "OK I'm going to check you, then to see how far you've come." After the exam she looked at me and said "The pressure you feel, is it kind of like you need to poop?" I said "Yes, that's it exactly!" She said "OK, well all I can feel when I examine you is the baby's hair. I think you're fully dilated and ready to push." She went and got the doctor and they had me lay on my right side to get him to come down a little further and then the nurses transformed the room into delivery mode. Tables were covered with blue drapes, the infant warmer table was set up, instruments were arranged on tables. Someone asked where Ryan was and fortunately they said I could wait until he came back. When Ryan came back he was very surprised to see the room the way it was. I told him it was time to push and about ten minutes later we got started. I think by this point it was around 11:00 am. I was to push three times during each contraction. About halfway through, Charlie's heartbeat started dropping every time I had a contraction, so they gave me oxygen and set up the vacuum extractor to help gently pull him out. A few more pushes with the extractor and he was born. Dr. O put him on my belly and said "Here's your twelve pound baby!" He was perfect. He cried and cried and cried the whole time they were cleaning him up and checking him over and weighing him. When they were finally all done and out of the room I got to feed him and only then did he quiet down. He already knew how to eat!! So cool! Soon Ryan had to take him to the nursery for more checking and his first bath. He was so proud to carry him down the hall that he introduced Charlie to each of the nurses at the nursing station and everyone he met in the hall. When Ryan came back we uploaded pictures and updated blogs and sent emails and called everyone we knew. Since the labor was so short and the epidural was still working I felt AWESOME. Except for the whole legs not working thing I (felt like I could have) walked right out of the hospital and gone home to finish my dissertation. Eventually they came and took me to my post partum room in a wheelchair (getting into the wheel chair with sensation in only one leg required three people). Our post partum room was really nice with a comfy bed and a view of a lake. The brought me a lunch of a grilled cheese sandwich, fries, and chocolate cake (I know! It's like they'd met me before). The food was really good at the hospital by the way. Finally they brought Charlie in from the nursery and Ryan and I sat side by side in my bed and stared at him. He is SO COOL. Alright. This is getting a little long, so I'll write more in a couple of days about the post partum days and going home. Thanks again for all the good wishes and support!