let me take you back to monday, january 30th, 2012. i started itching. i think i even updated my facebook/twitter with something to this effect. itching BAD. itching on my palms and the bottoms of my feet and EVERYWHERE. i tried oatmeal baths, lotions, everything i had on hand and thought was safe for baby and i. nothing worked. the internet told me that the itching (particularly on the palms and feet) were a big symptom of Cholestasis of Pregnancy. which was a little scary, but i try not to be a total hypochondriac and believe everything i read on the internet... the following day i called my OB's office because this was ridiculous. i have to admit i felt a little "special" for calling my OB for itching, but i tend to err on the side of better safe than sorry. it was my OB's day off but the nurse made an appointment with one of her partners. at said appointment the doctor used the word cholestasis very non-nonchalantly and sent me off with an order for some blood work. when i asked about the whole still birth consequence of this condition, she simply told me it was not a huge alarm since this developed in my 38th week, but the blood work would be done as a rush and they would contact me if anything went wrong. ok...
blood work was done. no word from the doctor's office. i continued to itch, but with the benefit of benedryl naps. yay naps!
gee, thanks kid...
the boy brought me home a cold. it was the most awesome thing. all of the sudden both the boy and i were coughing and snotting all over the house from about wednesday on. but, that was ok. i had been sick loads through this pregnancy. we blamed it on the constant exposure to the petri dish we call kindergarten. meh. at this point, i figured i had time to recover from this one last cold. again, yay for naps!
its friday, friday gotta give birth on friday...
thanks to insomnia and having run out of benedryl, my friday started around 5am and i have to admit i was feeling a bit more than usual. crampy. nothing major but just feeling more with each contraction than i had before. granted the contractions were maybe 2-4 per hour, but still. they were noticeable.
it was time (9am) for my weekly check up with my regular OB. I go through the motions of the appointment. no big deal. then my OB (whom is an amazing woman with a typically quite serene disposition) comes in with someone of a panicked look of alarm/worry on her face. she pulled out the lab work and said my liver enzymes were normal which was a good sign but the symptom was still too telling of cholestasis. then she said the words that made my decision for me. "at 38 weeks, 6 days pregnant in this situation, i would be induced and have my baby." clearly the doctor i put the trust of birthing my child into was much more alarmed at this situation than her partner, so we decided to have a baby. a brief listen to baby's heart (sounded good), feel of my HooHa (3cm dilated, 50% effaced), a quick chat about our timeline & "plan" (NO chemical induction. bag-o-waters broken only), then a mini melt down from me (hey, hormones! i was about to have a baby!), she was out the exam room door and i was left alone with my thoughts.
first things first, i text husband (he was watching the boy) that we were going to have a baby that day. (he responded "whhhhaaaa?!") i did this through tears. i have no idea why. i was completely stoked that baby was about to show up finally so i was excited but so many other emotions as well. i was kinda resigned to being pregnant longer with this pregnancy.... and i wanted to do a few things with the boy and husband over the weekend... and i really didnt want to have a baby whilst i had a cold... and it just wasnt perfect, was it? it took a few minutes but a regained composure and managed to walk out the OB's office. (10am)
next, phone calls to grandma's. got the boy's care sorted out. then back home to pack everyone up. our hospital bags had been packed for weeks, but i still panicked a bit through this rush. not my normal self, but husband helped pick up the slack and we got out of the house, dropped off the boy at grandma's and headed to the hospital. arrival time 11:45am.
by the time we got to the hospital, the doctor's office had already called ahead to the hospital and they were waiting on me. very quickly i was shown to my delivery room and asked to put on a lovely gown. from there baby was monitored for 30min and an IV port was installed. my OB was called and showed up about 1:45 and popped my bag of waters. truly an interesting sensation. its like a warm bubbling spring... gushing between your legs. every time baby would move or i would cough (dangit!) another gurgle of fluid would make its ways out. neat, huh?
(don't judge. i know i'm a mess.)
so everything was going swell. i was posting to facebook and noticing mild increase in contractions but i was maybe a 2 on the hospital's 1-10 scale of pain. then, around 2:30, shit got serious. i stopped documenting contractions after 2:25 and frankly did not care. my FIL showed up to say hi. (in my head: omg go away!) my SIL & MIL showed up. i said something to the effect of "go away right now, i plan on verbally abusing your brother/son. maybe come back after i've had the epidural."
when was that epidural coming by the way!?!?!?
the contractions themselves were relatively short. just a minute or two, but i could feel them coming and going. like rolling waves. husband could look at the monitor and see them building up and did his best to talk me through them. (i.e. remind me to breath). my instinct to pain it to shut everything out. including poor husband. he already pretty well felt like a useless lump, but he couldn't even say anything with out making it hurt worse. dont ask me the logic. thats just how it is.
at what i think was around 3pm the contractions sucked balls like a lot. pain scale, probably ranging from 6-8. hitting pretty high on the monitor. climaxed in the 60s each wave (for those of you who have been hooked up to a monitor before...)
when was that epidural coming by the way!?!?!?
they didnt really like how baby's heart rate was looking. so they had me flop around on the bed a bit. left side, right side. given oxygen. not much change. then they had the idea to hook up an internal monitor. neat. i took off that stupid belt thing that held the external monitors to me with a strange amount of relief. i'm fully convinced that belt thing is what made baby's heart rate a little high and flat. the nurses were not convinced. baby's heart rate did go back to normal and showed more change with each contraction, however. so whatever.
the oxygen stayed, which was vaguely cool and a relief even though that mask sucked to wear. the IV drip was turned on by one of the nurses so i could get the fluids i would need to get the epidural.
where was that epidural by the way?!!!?
i remember apologizing to one of the nurses, but i'm not sure why anymore.
around maybe 4:20pm, the nurse came in check my cervix (which was at 7cm) and that my doctor was on her way.
i stated i felt the urge to push.
the nurse paged the anesthesiologist so i could get the epidural in.
my doctor showed up and checked my cervix, which was at 9cm.
the nurse paged the anesthesiologist so i could get at least the 1 shot version of the epidural since it looked like i was about ready to push.
a contraction hit while the doctor was checking my cervix and i hit 10cm, fully dilated and ready to go.
the OB asked me if i wanted to wait on the epidural and i said "yes, but thats not going to happen is it?"
they laughed and the nurse paged the anesthesiologist to cancel the request.
so here it was at 4:29pm and i was told to push
i was scared. it was going to hurt. (you know, because the contractions didn't hurt or anything, right?) the doctor didnt even have delivery scrubs on. one of the nurses was helping me get my legs up (i opted to use stirrups) and keeping an eye out to play catch. the doctor was suited up by the 2nd push and the bed was transitioned to a delivery bed. the 1st contraction was over.
the 2nd one was coming
but it wasnt a big contraction. i waited it out. the nurse had me remove my gown so baby could have direct to skin contact after birth.
a 3rd contraction was rolling in
i pushed like they told me to. the nurses and my doctor were amazingly supportive. nothing but kind words. husband looked terrified. i think he needed the epidural. the nurses/doctor asked for a 3rd push from this contraction. I SAID "I CAN'T", they said bullshit.
a 4th contraction came
it was small again. it passed.
the 5th contraction, i was fed up
no epidural and this shit hurt. i pushed. i pushed so hard i thought i was going to start bleeding from my lips. i felt something move down there. i took a breath and pushed again. something came out! i breathed and the nurses/doctor asked for another push. husband finally seemed encouraged/not terrified and asked, no BEGGED for another push. i gave another push! (like hell if i was going to go through another contraction) and there she was.
yes, your math is right. that was less than 3 hours of labor and 9 minutes of pushing...
from my vagina to my chest immediately. well stomach. apparently her umbilical cord was kinda short. husband cut the cord relatively quick (with in the minute. apparently there is some debate regarding prolonging baby's connection to the placenta after birth. we cut the cord. baby got her use from that organ). once that was taken care of, baby was on my chest where husband and i stared.
the after birth was slightly amusing mainly because my OB was interested in how "pretty" of a placenta i had. it was pretty cool to see the sac which baby lived in for those 9 months and the organ i grew for her to be nourished by. kinda a cool veining/marbling. the placenta was then discarded.
strangely enough, my labor/delivery was so short i was given pitocin to help my uterus contract and finish doing its job. seems to have worked...
the nurses were even more amazing once things were "cleaned up" down there. baby was encouraged to latch (which she did) and we spent a good hour and a half with her on me. husband gave baby her 1st "bath" but most of the creamy white stuff was left on her to protect her skin. and i got out of bed and performed some bodily functions so the nurse could take my port out. victory!
a week and counting
and that was how we had our little squish. its been a whole week since we welcomed her and it has been amazing. she it a wonderful baby and i cannot believe how fortunate we are to have had such an easy, uncomplicated labor and delivery.
for now, all is well. baby is super fantastic awesome. i still have my cold but the itching stopped during labor. i really wish i could smell that new baby smell, but in time i will get to embrace this little detail as i try to absorb all the others. but, hey, not everything is perfect, right? maybe it really is after all...
sunshine & bunnies,