I wish I had blogged when we got home on Saturday. Heck, I wish we had brought a laptop and the hospital had wi-fi and I would have blogged about 10 minutes after he was born. Because I felt like I was capable of running marathons, of kicking ass, full of relief and joy and whatever else that is good. Now, of course, it’s several days later, I need some sleep (anyone got any sleep, like 20 minutes to spare?), I look like crap, and I don’t have a lot of time to blog anyway.
Anyway, Callum John Stewart was born on Friday afternoon at 16:49 EST, weighing 9lbs 1oz. We all couldn’t believe it when the nurse called out the weight from the scale.
Some of you may not want too much information. If you don’t (family members?), go away. Not that I am going to get graphic. But still. Not to make it sound epic, but it’s one of a few pretty major failures that could have given me some serious post-traumatic birth stress disorder (again), but the end result has sort of fixed that.
Mark and I turned up for my scheduled induction on Friday morning just before 9am. They examined me, said I was 3cm dilated already, and wondered if I was noticing those contractions on the monitor. For the last 2 days, I felt them (sort of) but didn’t have any pain with them. Then, we did a lot of sitting around and waiting. Mark snored in a chair.
I got moved to a labour and delivery suite (one of the new, nice ones) around 11am. During the day, we repeatedly had the discussion about size of baby, about what happened with Oliver, about the possibility of a c-section. At least they were well informed, and I knew they were going to do what they could to avoid the dreaded surgery.
Soon after, they started a pitocin drip. Here was the first failure – my lovely nurse (who was mostly lovely, and with me all day) couldn’t get the IV in my left hand. I still have residual trauma from the pain of having an IV in with Oliver. It was one of the most painful things, particularly during recovery. So I especially enjoyed her internally stabbing my veins repeatedly. First set of tears.
Once that ordeal was over and the drip started, I knew from the monitor that the contractions were intensifying but still couldn’t feel them. I watched tv, read a couple of magazines, and sent Mark home to let the dog out/eat lunch/check his email.
At 1pm, the doctor (who had truly great bedside manner, I enjoyed having her around) came in to break my water. This pretty much immediately sped things up. By 2pm I was asking for an epidural. Thankfully, the doctor was able to get that set up pretty quickly.
Mark had returned, but left while the guy did his thing in my back. I can’t really write about this, but it was pretty bad – basically, he couldn’t find the right spinal space in my back to put the stuff in and I was in a LOT of pain. During a time you aren’t supposed to move. And I was beginning to think I was going to end up paralyzed from the damage being done. And then we all sort of thought he had gotten it.
So I lay down, tried to deal with the pain and contractions (in very active labour at this point, it’s around 3pm), and realize that I can still feel everything and it’s not being reduced in any way really. The nurse offers gas and air to temper things while we see if the epidural will work and I readily request it.
Failure number 3 – gas and air ain’t working in that room. At this point, I am thinking (in between contractions when you are able to think), what the hell is this, I should have had a damn c-section! No pain relief, only extra pain on top of normal pain. Actually no, I should have stayed home and we could have done this ourselves.
So basically the epidural only worked on the right hand side of my stomach. Everything else – full on pain. However, for the most part, I could actually deal with it (despite repeatedly exclaiming that I couldn’t). It was bizarre to experience it almost naturally – I felt almost normal in between contractions. One thing similar from last time – my body was telling me when it was ready to push before the medical staff knew it was ready.
The end is more of a blur, but (a) it hurt; (b) I felt everything, good and bad; (c) I DELIVERED A 9LB 1OZ BABY MYSELF. Holy crap. And all done on the same staffing shift – woo hoo!
So after freaking out last week about what I did wrong this time, it turns out that whatever happened with Oliver was way more wrong than this. Because a meager 6lb’er should not have required forceps or any other intervention I had that day.
He’s waking up, I gotta go, but I hope to be able to blog a bit more in the next few days, as we settle down to some normalcy after a lot of visitors and such.