Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The story continued...

I believe I left off with the epidural kicking in and needing Deme.rol to stop my uncontrollable shaking...

At this point I was pretty exhausted and I did sleep a little.  My husband came to stay in the chair next to me, and my mom and sister went back to the apartment for a little rest (asking to be called in when I was up again and ready to push).  The whole sleeping thing didn't go too well, as I was still feeling pressure, and there was drilling and hammering going on downstairs in the hospital and making a terrible ruckus.  I had headphone earbuds in to try and block out the sound of the construction, as well as the sound of the all the monitors, but it didn't work all that well.  Looking back on it, the construction added a kind of comical element to the ordeal, though at the time I didn't find it all that funny.

After the epidural, I dilated very quickly...from 3.5 to 6 in the first couple of hours, and then to almost full in the next couple.  Within another half hour, that last lip of cervix was gone, and I was told to let them know when I felt the urge to push.  They left the room, and just like that, I felt the urge.  Apparently, Baby S was riding low and bringing on the sensation to push before expected.  I couldn't wait though, I had to push, and so it started.

The first hour was not terrible.  It sucked being on my back because of the epidural.  This was always the thing to avoid, because it makes it more difficult to push the baby out, and works against gravity, but it was what it was.  The midwife had me curl myself up, holding onto the backs of my legs for dear life and bearing down.  I could feel quite a bit, even with the epidural, but it was still early on, and I had rested a bit, so I was doing alright.

The second hour was harder.  I was tired, and things were coming faster and hurting more.  My contractions had never really gotten close enough together to move things along, so they had given me a small amount of to get the contractions coming faster.  It was working and so was I, though I was getting tired, and Baby S was see-sawing back and forth.  They could see the hair on her head, but she kept slipping back.  They kept telling me to curl around the baby, and that I needed to help her get past the pubic bone, but I was floundering a bit.

It was at this point, at the start of the third hour, that they called in the OB on the floor.  She assessed the situation, explained that Baby S's heart rate was starting to go up very high, and that if I didn't start making more progress, they would have to "help" her out with at least a vacuum or forceps.  All I really heard though was "C--section".  I wanted to cry.  I called out that I didn't want a C-section.  That's when the midwife put on her strict, mean voice and told me exactly what I had to do to prevent any more interventions.  She and my sister (who had arrived with my mom at some point) talked me through the next hour, helping me focus my pushing and find the strength to keep going.  My mom and another, much sweeter, labor nurse, helped hold my legs with each push, and my husband stayed by my head, where I could see him and hold his hand from time to time, just like I'd asked him to. 

By the end of that hour, I had apparently made so much progress that the OB, who had returned to check in, said I could push for one more hour - though that was my limit.  This was it, the final hour.  I again cried out when they said another "hour", as I thought it was almost over and that just seemed liked forever.  I was weak, and exhausted, covered in sweat and starting to believe the baby would never come out, and that I wasn't strong enough to push her out.  I was wrong about all that.

The despair lasted a short time before my sister and the midwife excitedly told me how close I was, how much hair my baby had, and let me reach down to feel the top of herhead.  It freaked me out to do that, but at least I could feel that the end was in sight.  Somewhere inside a voice and strength I didn't know I had, rose up.  I made up my mind that whatever it took, I was going to push this baby out.

I don't know exactly how much longer it took, but somewhere during hour four of pushing, Baby S came out in a warm, exquisite gush.  Before I could absorb what had happened, she was there, on my chest, warm and squirming with life.  Everyone told me she was beautiful, and had a full head of black hair, but I couldn't see her face.  I was flat on my back, and she was still connected to the placenta and couldn't be moved any further.  My husband kissed the top of my head, and it was the sweetest moment of my life.

After the cord was cut, and Baby S was weighed (8lbs, 8oz), we had time to just admire her and take her all in.  I couldn't do much but lie there, as I was still being stitched back up.  Apparently, I had a 2nd degree tear which I never noticed among the other pains when it first happened, but once I was being stitched I definitely took notice. 

That was how Baby S entered this world.  It was horrible and wonderful, painful and beautiful.

My post-partum story is actually crazier, and longer, so I think I will save that for another day.  For now, it feels good just to get this all out.  I needed to write it down and to remember how wonderful that feeling of having pushed her out actually was - how strong and accomplished it made me feel.  Remembering that helps keep me from getting caught up in the awful memories of that 34 hour labor and the horrible kidney infection, ER trauma, and separation from my baby girl that all followed my delivery.


  1. So proud that you were able to continue with delivery and didn't need a c-section. Something just seems to kick onto gear and will do whatever it takes to get our babies into this world in the best way possible. Congrats again!

  2. thank you so much for sharing. I'm glad you and baby are okay after that ordeal. You are one strong mama :D

  3. Oh my goodness!!! You sure have been through a lot! Baby S has a warrior mama :)

  4. So glad you are okay and found the strength in that last hour, don't think I could have done it. Hope to hear an update soon but living on newborn time leaves little time for anything else!