Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Labor--Not Just a Day Off Work
Starting a blog was not something I had any interest in until recently. Actually, I never thought I had enough going on to express in anything longer than a Facebook status. Maybe I still don't. You be the judge on that one.
Anyway, I've decided to join the blogger world to share the greatest treasure I've received: my son, Vincent Jude, whom we just call Jude. On June 7, 2011 at 4:45 p.m., life as I knew it took a 180 in the form of an 8lb. 1 oz. adorable baby boy. Gone are the days of sleeping late (or sleeping at all), eating when I want, watching TV when I want, basically doing anything when I want. And guess what? I couldn't be happier! Today, Jude turned four weeks old. I realize time is just going to speed by, so I better get off my rump and record some of his most memorable moments (and some of the least memorable--what can I say? I'm a proud mama!) I'm amazed at how quickly four weeks has passed and a little scared, too. I mean, what's next? College? So I figure I'll start from the beginning.
In short, I found out I was pregnant with the little guy on October 1, 2010. Boy, was that a long time to wait until my due date of June 4 (and Jude kept us waiting three days past that)! Jeffrey and I were so excited and even a little nervous, but I'll save that for another post. Anyway, I spent my entire pregnancy trying to do everything right--eating sensibly, light to moderate exercise, resting, you get the picture. Jeffrey and I took childbirth classes, and while they seemed helpful at the time, and really they were, my labor and delivery went nothing like what I had mentally pictured.
About a month before Jude's due date, I was delighted to find out that I was dilated half a centimeter, and I just knew that baby was coming that weekend! About two days before his due date, I was disheartened to find out that I was STILL dilated half a centimeter. Jude was not coming out. Dr. Nicols told me that I would have to be induced. I was not happy. I had heard one nightmare story after the other about inductions, and they all ended in one way: C-SECTION. Now I know many women have had this procedure and those same women all had beautiful healthy babies and recovered remarkably. However, those women don't have the fear of the knife, general anesthesia, and hospital stays that I do. That fear probably stems from that eternity I stayed in the hospital when I was nineteen. But I digress. Dr. Nicols scheduled me to come in the following Monday evening to start Cervadil, a drug that would help me dilate, and then the next morning labor would begin with a hearty dosage of Potossin (or however you spell it).
My sister Amanda along with my niece and nephew had come down from Wisconsin to help me out around the house. Also in town awaiting Jude's arrival were my mom and dad. Jeffrey had to go into work on Monday morning to interview folks for the dance coach position, so I was glad to have the company just in case Jude decided to come on his own (and was I ever hoping he would!) Mama made my favorite meal: salmon croquettes, flat fried potatoes, homemade mac and cheese and surely there was a green vegetable worked in there, but now I don't remember. Daddy kept calling it my "last meal" since who knew when I'd be able to eat again? The food was delicious as always when Mama cooks, but I didn't eat a whole lot since I was so nervous.
Anyway, after a small little meltdown, a shower, make-up, and a generous helping of homemade strawberry shortcake, it was time for Jeffrey and me to head to the hospital--ready or not. Amanda kept telling me "Labor and delivery is easy. If I didn't have to be pregnant and raise the child, I would have babies every day." I'm not sure why, but those words made me a little less nervous.
After getting checked into the hospital and changed into my ever so fashionable gown, the nurse gave me the Cervadil, and we waited. It was pretty uneventful--or so it seemed. I was reading "Eat, Drink, and Be From Mississippi" (still working on it a month later by the way, but good book nonetheless), when my nurse Christy came in to adjust the heart monitors. I didn't find any reason to be alarmed since she had been in the room a couple of times before to do the same thing, so I just kept reading. (By this time, Jeffrey was passed out on the couch. Hospitals have that effect on him.) All of a sudden Christy flattens my bed and starts turning me from side to side. Meanwhile, my book had fallen out of my hands somewhere. She then buzzed another nurse for assistance, and the two of them kept turning me side to side while telling me "Don't panic. Don't say anything." Yeah. That was easy. Next thing I know, I'm strapped to an oxygen mask for the rest of the night, and they yanked the Cervadil since the baby's heart rate was dropping. Great.
The next morning, Dr. Nicols came in to check on things (still hadn't dilated any), but she decided to start the potossin anyway. She also tried to break my water. I'll spare you the details, but it did hurt! And then come to find out, my water didn't break, and she was going to have to come back and try again! By that point, I was thinking maybe I should take all of this back. As soon as she left, I had to go to the bathroom, so the nurse helped me out of bed. When I stood up, well, let's just say it was like those women who go into labor in the movies. Dr. Nicols didn't have to try again; I should have been embarrassed by the whole ordeal, but I was too relieved to care.
Wouldn't you know that about an hour later, the baby's heartrate drops again and the nurses are back tossing and turning me around, and back in the oxygen mask I go for the duration of the labor! Dr. Nicols comes back and tells me if his heartrate drops one more time, she's cutting me open. At that point, I really did want to take it all back!
My mom showed up to the hospital and so did my in-laws. We had a nice visit, but then the contractions were getting more intense. The nurse came in to check for dilation, and I was at four centimeters! Then the anesthesiologist came in to start the epidural. Jeffrey opted to leave for that part, but Mama chose to stay. I wasn't at all scared of it since I wouldn't be able to see it, plus I have a pretty high pain tolerance.
O.k. o.k. I once had a high pain tolerance. Turns out, when it comes to labor, I'm a complete wuss. The epidural worked--except for my lower right side. So down flat I lay with this wedge under that side and that stupid oxygen mask covering my face and that damned blood pressure cuff contracting around my arm for what felt like every five seconds. All I knew to do was shout "Amanda is full of crap! She lied to me" over and over again. How dare she tell me that labor was awesome! Labor sucked! There's no way she could have babies every day! Jeffrey, of course, found this whole thing funny since he wasn't the one being blamed for my predicament.
By then, I was thinking that maybe I should take that C-section after all.
So digest all this, and I'll post more next time.