Monday, March 26, 2007

Stella's One!


Stella turned one Saturday, and in honor of her first birthday, I thought I would share her birth story. I promise not to get too graphic;)

3/23/07 7pm: We eat pepperoni pizza at Reale's pizza in North Austin because of its rumored labor bringing on properties. It tastes good, but I am not too optimistic.

3/24/07: 1:15am: I wake up with a contraction. The contractions continue regularly about every 12 minutes and are getting increasingly painful, which is a good sign! Despite having read that I should "try to sleep", I'm in too much pain to do that.


2am: Decide to take a warm bath to help with pain. It does, but I almost fall asleep in the bathtub. Decide this is not a good idea.

3am: Eat blueberry poptart and watch tv. So this is when they show videos!

5am: After heading back to bed, get a wallop of a contraction. Decide to wake Tim up so he can share in my misery. We both shower and get ready.

6am: Watch the sunrise and the last night's episode of the Office. Begin watching The Longest Episode of Antiques Roadshow ever. Because we keep pausing it when I have contractions. I think we start it at 6:30am and don't finish it before we leave at noon.

10:30am: Call Dr's office, expecting they'll tell me to come on in. They tell me to come in at 1:30! I bawl. All I can think of is that cozy hospital room and people monitoring me and an epidural! I think I'll give birth in the car.

Noon: We take a walk around the neighborhood. We quickly wind up carrying our heavy winter coats because it has warmed up from 30's that morning to the 60's. Tim thinks the contractions must be getting easier, but really I just hate to show pain in public.

1:30pm: We arrive at the doctor's office and see a nurse, after waiting for longer than I think a woman in labor should have to wait, who sends me to the hospital.

1:45pm: We arrive at the hospital and are told there are no rooms. I have to wait in the waiting room, with a hillbilly family who are all oohing and awwing over their spawn in the nursery. Thank God for Ipods, though. Tim goes to get me some water (I knew I couldn't have water once I was in the room and I was afraid I'd die of dehydration). While he's gone, the hillbilly matriarch says, "when are you due?" when I'm in the middle of a contraction! "Any minute now, you idiot!" Luckily because of my headphones I'm able to just ignore her. Because of my desire not to show that I'm in pain, labor in a room full of strangers is very difficult.

3:15pm: I get up to go to the bathroom and feel a gush. My water has broken! I don't know where to sit because I'm sopping wet. He suggests I sit on my pillows. Heck no! So I have to perch on the edge of the chair. I send Tim to the nurse's station to tell them my water has broken. Luckily at almost the exact same time, the nurse comes out to say they have a room ready for me. Thank God!
Once I get in the room I have to answer an ungodly number of questions for a woman in labor and they start a saline drip and want to start Pitocin (a drug that increases the frequence and severity of contractions and sometimes causes fetal distress, resulting in a C-section). I protest, so the nurse turns it on just the teeniest bit. The nurse also checks me and says I'm not as far along as they said at the doctor's office. I'm disappointed.

4:30ish: My mother arrives and we send her out to get Tim some food. While she's gone, my contractions start to get really, really hard to manage and both Tim and I are concentrating incredibly hard on making it through each one.

6:30: My savior, the anesthesiologist, shows up with my epidural. I have a little difficulty holding still while he puts it in, but it doesn't hurt a bit. After it's in, he says the sweetest words I have ever heard, "You're having a contraction right now, can you feel it?" No! I wanted to run naked through the forest with sheer joy, except that my legs were numb and I wouldn’t have made it past the corner of the bed. Then my eyeballs started to feel numb, indicating my blood pressure had dropped. That set off an alarm at the nurses station and about 5 nurses came running in. It was totally cool, I felt like I was on ER or something. They fixed it with oxygen and I think some medicine. It was a little scary because you could hear Stella's heartbeat slow down, but it was a side effect I'd read about. At this point I have been in labor for 17 hours.

7:00pm: The doctor checked on me and said I was 4 centimeters and would probably progress about a centimeter an hour. Great, I thought, a 24 hour labor! Around this time a new nurse also came on duty and told me the dr had said to up my pitocin. I told her that I was scared to death of pitocin and she said, "me too. I'll only up it the tiniest bit so I can technically tell the doc I increased it." She was awesome!
At some point around here Christine and Caroline arrived. I think they were amazed at how relaxed I was. Thank God for modern medicine!

7:30pm: The nurse checked on me again and I was already to 7 centimeters. So much for a cm an hour!
After this they forgot about me for a long time. Did I mention the labor ward was so full they were sending women to other hospitals? I was one of the last ones to be admitted.

8:45: I start having to up my epidural every fifteen minutes to get relief. Prior to that, I hadn't touched it. I felt so much pressure.

10pm: A different nurse finally shows up and I tell her about the pressure. She says, "would you like to me to check you?" Uh, yeah! "Oh, wow, you're ready to push, the baby's head is right there!" So she has to run off and find the doctor, we kick out the sisters who I think would rather not witness a birth anyway, and my mom and Tim start worrying they're going to have to deliver the baby it's taking so long. Seriously, I had to blow my nose and I was afraid to because it felt like I'd eject the baby!

10:30pm: Finally, the nurse and the set-up crew came in and it was time to push. I was able to feel her head with my hand and see the reflection in the tv. She had so much hair! They had to coach me through it because I'd upped my epidural to such incredible levels I couldn't feel the contractions. Oops, that had NOT been part of my plan! But they kept saying I was doing an incredible job of pushing, just fantastic, and after only about 5 or 6 contractions, she was out, officially born at 11:01pm! It was so amazing, I just couldn't stop crying as they laid this slimy creature on my chest. Afterwards the doctor said I needed to tell people what a a great quick labor I'd had. Uh, yeah, the end may have been quick, but let me tell you, 22 hours does not a quick labor make!

So that's Stella's birth story. I tried to keep it brief, although I realize it's still incredibly long. Hope you enjoyed it!

5 comments:

k said...

Sweet story! Every birth is so unique and vivid. You will remember the details of that day with utmost clarity for the rest of your entire life. And Stella will be very annoyed with you if you can't resist telling her when she is a little older that she isn't REALLY one year older until 11:01pm. I always told Kelli that she wasn't older until 7:45pm and she thought it was an incredibly stupid thing for me to say, until she had Gillian and Luke so late in the day. But because you remember those birth experiences so clearly, you KNOW that the child in question was most definitely not born yet. Isn't motherhood fun? :-)

k said...

Sweet story! Every birth is so unique and vivid. You will remember the details of that day with utmost clarity for the rest of your entire life. And Stella will be very annoyed with you if you can't resist telling her when she is a little older that she isn't REALLY one year older until 11:01pm. I always told Kelli that she wasn't older until 7:45pm and she thought it was an incredibly stupid thing for me to say, until she had Gillian and Luke so late in the day. But because you remember those birth experiences so clearly, you KNOW that the child in question was most definitely not born yet. Isn't motherhood fun? :-)

Happy Birthday, Stella!

Mindy said...

That's beautiful. Much more personal and romantacized than my being strapped to a table that looks like its used for lethal injection. Isnt it funny to think you will have that entire thing memorized and playing in your head while she walks across the stage to receive her diploma? Makes me misty.

jooley_ann said...

Awwww! What a great birth story. It wasn't too long at all! I'm glad you shared it. :)

Tara said...

That's it. I'm not ever having a baby. If 22 hours is considered not long, then I'll just buy one like all the movie stars have taken to doing.