Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Birth Day!

Today is August 4th which was my due date, however, my daughter is now two and a half weeks old. She was born on July 17th at 4am (well 3:57).

My last day of work was Thursday, July 15th and it was a tough one. My husband had been driving me to work for over a month because I was so heavy and swollen. On Thursday morning I felt just awful, my body was done with working and I just started to cry when it was time for me to get out of the car. My husband thought I should call in sick but it was my last day and I just wanted to finish properly. Somehow I made it though the day and went home feeling relieved to be done with work. We had some friends from out of town staying with us for a couple nights, so we went out to dinner and the next day I was able to sleep in and hang out with them. They took me to see my OB and we went out for lunch. We spent the entire afternoon at the beach which was fabulous; I even had a nap. The day was relaxing and wonderful. We decided to go out for dinner and it was on the walk to the restaurant at eight o'clock that it all started. Basically I felt a little bit of water/liquid in my underwear, not a lot, just a little. I didn't say anything first at because I didn't really know what was happening and I thought that when we got the restaurant I would go to the bathroom and check it out. But then it happened again, more liquid and I thought this has to be it, this is my water breaking. I told my friends what was happening and my husband and I decided that we would forgo dinner and deal with this water breaking thing. I would like to make clear that I had no contractions and that as far as I knew it could take hours, maybe days before labour actually started after ones water breaks. As soon as we got in the car I got the whoosh; my water officially broke and I was now soaked. We got home and I changed clothes and called the hospital and they told me all the different things to look for and what to do if this or that happens. I was feeling very calm and decided to put on a movie and order a pizza. I figured it was going to be a long night and I should just try and relax and have some food. My husband was a little more anxious; he was running around packing the hospital bag and installing the car seat (things I thought I would do my first week off work).

It was at this point that I started to get contractions. They weren't bad at first but they quickly progressed. By the end of the movie I had moved into my bedroom and was just trying to breath through the pain. It was getting really intense, really fast. We were waiting for our friends to get back and grab their stuff cause clearly they wouldn't be staying with us this night. By the time they arrived and left I was ready to go to the hospital (I sort of felt like if we didn't go now I wasn't going to make it).

When we arrived at the hospital I could barely walk from the back parking lot to the door; I clutched my belly and barely made it into a wheelchair. We made it to the maturity ward and the nurse came to check on my progress; she told me I was 2 cm dilated and that I would probably have to go home because it could be awhile. I did not want to leave the hospital and in fact in my mind I knew that I was not leaving and that they would have to drag me out of the hospital kicking and screaming if they wanted me to leave at this point. The nurse offered me some morphine for the pain and told me that I could wait and see the doctor. The morphine didn't help, but it did bide me some time. I was feeling really nauseous while I waited and threw up a few times (something that is not uncommon during labour). About 90 minutes later the doctor came wanting to send me home too and I asked the nurse to please check me one more time. She did and I had progressed to over 3cm which was enough for the hospital to admit me. I was led down the hall to my room (walking was almost impossible at this point and I held onto my husbands back for support).

In my room the nurse gave me nitrous oxide (aka laughing gas). The nitrous oxide was pretty good, mostly because it helped me slow down and breath properly, something that despite my prenatal classes felt impossible. The nurses suggested I get into the shower or take a bath but I didn't/couldn't move. I felt in a daze, in and out of consciousness and in and out of pain. After a few hours the nitrous oxide was no longer working so I called for the nurse and asked for the epidural. The nurse needed to check my progress first and when she did she told me I was 9 1/2 cm and that the baby was coming now. She told me that there was no time for a epidural. This was not something that I wanted to hear. I was in pain and I had been promised relief and drugs. The nurse did her best to calm me down and help me get focused but the pain was seriously intense.

At this point the bottom half of the bed was taken away and lights and were brought in. Some other nurses came in to check me and the pain felt unbearable. I started labour lying on my side, then moved onto my hands and knees which had to be the most unflattering position possible, not that that was a concern. I remember sort of ramming my head into the bed and the nurse making suggestions about positions but all I wanted was out of my skin and away from the pain. I finally found my position on my back with the nurse and my husband holding each leg, this was it hard labour and pushing was about to start. Without even meaning too I was pushing, my body was pushing and I was screaming. The nurse told me I needed to use the energy of screaming and focus it into pushing (this was a prospect that seemed impossible). I listened to the nurses instructions and tried to do what she said and I did get better. When the contractions came I held my breath and pushed, I did this three times and it usually ended in a scream. My legs were shaking and I felt so weak. I could feel the head coming but it seemed impossible, it seemed like it was never going to come. The nurse reminded me that I was having a baby, that s/he would be here soon but all I could think of was the pain. I had a resident, with a doctor delivering the baby. They stretched me open which was the worst pain I have ever felt. The doctor at one point told me that "a voice would tell me to stop pushing soon." I of course asked if it would be his voice to which replied if you like the sound of my voice. A minor moment of humor during the most painful moment of me life. I knew about the slowing down, the stop pushing in order to prevent tearing.

Then it happened he said stop pushing and I couldn't, my body wouldn't stop. Then he yelled for me to stop and the next thing I knew the nurse was right in my face helping me breath in order to stop pushing. All I could see was her month breathing and I followed her led. Then I felt her come out and it was pure relief. The pain was over and my daughter was placed on my chest. I was shocked, it was pure disbelief. Eight hours earlier I was pregnant and bloated and now this screaming, beautiful baby was lying on my chest. It was completely surreal, just like that I was and am a mother. Just like that I was floated with the most love that I have ever felt. Just like my life was and is changed forever.