Monday, June 2, 2014

Still blogging here

Celebrating Evie's birthday
This is the e-mail I sent my family and close friends at 3:30am on April 16th:

"So, what's up: theoretically speaking, there's a 72-hour clock on this leaking before the Powers That Be require me to be induced (and deliver) in the hospital.  Usually women start contractions on their own within that period of time, but we'd like to avoid the hospital so we've been trying to get things rolling on our own.  Today's attempts at castor oil were non-starters.  If nothing happens on its own by Wednesday morning, Amy is going to strip the membrane and may end up breaking the water as the next option.  (Presumably that just means making a bigger hole than the little one that's open now.)  If none of that starts it, we'll have to go to the hospital.
Amy says the baby is still doing very well, and I'm fine physically.  Still, it's kind of a shitty situation and I'm edgy at best.  Heather's more stable, so you can reach out to her if you feel antsy.  I'll give you guys a heads-up when there are contractions or Amy takes some kind of action; otherwise, it's probably safe to assume nothing has happened and I don't have the emotional wherewithal to talk about it."

If you saw my last post, you'll know that my water started leaking Monday (the 14th).  We were all enthusiastic and optimistic, which of course is the kind of hubris I've been fighting all along.  I was still leaking Tuesday, checking in with Midwife Amy with updates on the amount of leakage.  (If you saw any of my previous posts, you'll know that glamour is not a significant factor.)  Meanwhile, I had texted a few people Monday about the initial leakage and was inundated with return texts about my progress.  Well-intended, but causing regular spikes in my anxiety.

Wednesday morning, Amy came to strip the membrane.  Likewise a non-starter.  (I'm not even going to get into the castor-oil efforts.  Suffice it to say, they were neither effective nor pleasant.)  After doing a quick vaginal exam, Amy explained that I hadn't even progressed enough for her to intervene.  Because of the leakage, there was a growing risk of infection, and we were on our way to the hospital.  Seriously, that's how fast it happened.

We scrambled to fill my hospital bag-- which I had kind of done, but I needed my phone charger in the meanwhile, so that was a last-minute thing, and then I couldn't decide if I'd have a chance to use my Kindle-- and put on clothes.  Amy went to get a breakfast platter for the nurses (ironically and horribly from Chick-fila, which is located very near the hospital) as a goodwill gesture, and we went to the hospital to check in.  I was required to take a wheelchair upstairs, even though nothing was happening and it felt silly.

Upstairs, they put me on Pitocin, my parents came, the contractions got suckier and I sent my parents home before declaring it was time for a goddamn epidural.  (I know that's the cliche, but they say Pitocin contractions are worse than regular, so I choose to believe I wasn't a total wimp.)  Then I slept fantastically through the contractions while Heather and Amy sat there, waiting.  I finally hit 8 centimeters, and then they discovered that my cervix was swollen, so the baby would not be coming out that way.  The doctor would come and perform a C-section.  That was going to be at 8am.  Then he called and said he wouldn't be there till 10.  Then he was going to come at 12:30.

Heather shows me Evie for the first time.
Bear in mind, given those mixed messages, my various family members were racing to be at the hospital in time-- my dad even got a ticket for running a red light-- and then they arrived in time to sit around with everyone else.  Then suddenly the doctor appeared, Heather and I were gowned up, and off we went down the hall.  The maternity ward had been super-quiet up until then, but suddenly the hall was lined with about 9887459347 people, all of whom looked at me as I passed.  Later I learned that they were students observing the procedure.  The doctor, after extracting our child, was pointing out to them where my ovaries and fallopian tubes were.  I felt really sick at that moment, but I kind of wanted to shout at him to fucking close up my body cavity instead of doing show-and-tell with my reproductive organs.

Evie, however, was successfully extracted.  I saw her for a second, then she was taken away to be cleaned and swaddled.  Heather asked if I wanted her to stay with me, but I definitely wanted her with the baby (and I knew she was just making the gesture: of course she wanted to be
Heather holds our little one
with the baby).  Meanwhile, the kindly anesthesiologist asked if I felt sick and if I'd like some medication to lighten things up.  I'd told him, pre-procedure, that I wasn't sure if I'd want a follow-up drug and that we'd just decide when it happened; I decided that, yes, I definitely wanted something.  I apparently slept for a couple hours, missing the so-called Golden Hour of bonding and breast-feeding my newborn.  I like to believe that it was the lesser evil for me to miss those hours than to experience them while incredibly sick and disoriented, but it's hard to feel awesome about that choice.

Still, I held the baby against me inside my hospital gown (my mom, adorably, put another over my shoulders so I wouldn't get cold) and then she nursed easily.

My mom meets Evie
I don't know how to break down everything after that-- people visited, Heather was giddy, the nurse infuriated Evie with a scrub-down, my dad gazed at Evie for an hour, we debated her eye color...  Then they worried that Evie and I might be dealing with infections because of the long water-leakage, so we were both put on IV antibiotics.  Evie's tiny IV was heartbreaking, but she didn't seem to mind.
My dad, gazing
  Oh, and at some point early in the game, Amy abruptly left the room and came back with a couple nurses, who looked at my right hand and realized it was unnaturally swollen.  They'd put something in there (not the IV, which was in my left hand) that missed the vein and instead filled my hand with fluid.  That is why it's wonderful to have a midwife with you at the hospital, kids.

More on the whole baby thing later.

1 comment:

  1. Glad to finally hear the story! Cutest baby.