Storytime

4 01 2008

This is more for my own selfish purposes (i.e., on the off chance that I get around to filling out Oliver’s baby book someday… and, um, buying this baby book… it’d be nice to have some idea of the details) than for your own reading enjoyment. However, if you find other peoples’ birth stories interesting (as I do; don’t be ashamed), then enjoy away! It’s your lucky day, because I was just about to share Oliver’s…

On the morning of Monday, December 24th, at 41 weeks pregnant, I waddled (I wish there was a better, less used word for the way I got around at this point, but unfortunately that’s exactly what I was doing) into Labor and Delivery for my check up. My doctor wasn’t there, I think I may have mentioned something about his total lack of sensitivity for me and my life and my pregnancy and delivery and ME, ME, ME when he decided he needed to go home for Christmas. So I saw a new doctor, the doctor currently working L&D. She was extremely nice (and she wasn’t wearing Crocs! I got the only doctor in America not wearing Crocs!) and I’m not just saying that because she was the one who broke the good news to me: I was already 4cm dilated! Still 50% effaced, but 4cm! That is almost HALFWAY TO A HUMAN, folks. Since I was having contractions (not regular ones, but contractions are contractions) already, she advised me to go home and climb the stairs until they became regular and a bit more intense. I did so, and went back in around 2:30 in the afternoon. I did this even though my contractions still weren’t very intense. I did this even though my contractions still weren’t exactly what I’d call regular. I did this because I WAS 41 WEEKS PREGNANT AND I WANTED TO HAVE THIS BABY ALREADY.

Somehow, though, almost as soon as I’d put on my pretty gown and my even prettier coordinating booties, the contractions were all of a sudden regular. And so clearly, positively more intense. We hung out in the hospital room (which I talked about earlier in my pregnancy, when I said that after having the hospital tour I was kind of afraid to give birth there? Yeah, it totally wasn’t bad at all; maybe I got the Good Room? And if so, why are they not showing off the Good Room during the tour? Is a Good Room really something you want to keep secret?), Jeff watching Trading Places and eating all the snacks I’d packed, me breathing through the pain and crunching on ice chips that I was pretending were peanut M&Ms.

Things went on in this manner for about three hours when the doctor (the same one I’d seen for my check up that morning) returned to check me out. I’d only progressed to 5cm, so she suggested we start Pitocin to move things along. And I was okay with it, because moving things along was EXACTLY WHAT I WANTED. And also because my biggest thing (in addition to avoiding a C-section if at all possible) as far as a birth plan went was that I did not want to be induced, and since I had already achieved that by going into labor naturally, I wasn’t opposed to the moving things along route.

So around 5:30 they started me on Pitocin. By around 6:15 I’d beckoned the anesthesiologist into my room for my epidural. I have to wonder where they found this guy. I suspect that it was at a place called Anesthesiologists ‘R Us. He was poking and poking and poking around in my back, and I could feel every little invasion into my spine. I was lying there bawling and squeezing Jeff’s hand into a bloody pulp when I said to him “This hurts! I can feel it! I can feel EVERYTHING YOU’RE DOING!” He asked if I wanted some more numbing medicine, and he’s lucky (or probably more likely, I’m lucky, since he was the one with the needle) that he couldn’t see my face when I answered “yes, please!”, what with all the DEATH that was shooting out my eyes.

He hung around the room another 15 minutes or so, but by the time he’d left, I was gooood to go. Nearly pain free, but still able to feel each contraction. Instead of mind-numbing waves of pain they’d become friendly little taps of “…Hm… Ouch? Yes, ouch. That was one. But a polite one.”

A new doctor had started his shift, a doctor I’d seen once the previous week, and he came in around 7 and found that I’d only progressed a half a centimeter. And thus it was decided that he would break my water. My doctor broke my water with my last pregnancy, but it was done prior to getting my epidural, and can I just say that it freaking hurt? This time we were doing it post eppy, and given that I’ve experienced it both before drugs and after, I can safely say I prefer it the after way, as I can recall no pain from the procedure at all. All I remember is that the doctor had to poke and poke and poke (there’s quite a bit of poking involved with giving birth, isn’t there?) with his giant hook because the thing just would not give. Which is what prompted him to remark “Huh. That is one tough bag.” And when he finally did get it, there was no “satisfying gush,” as he put it. Just a leak. Which bothered him a little, and of course had me freaked out that it somehow meant something was wrong. (In the end it meant nothing, everything was fine.)

So now it’s a little past 7, I’m on a Pitocin drip, my water has broken, and I’ve got my epidural. All is going well. The nurse leaves the room, telling us to make sure to let her know if I feel the urge to start pushing. We spent about an hour and a half watching some show about a family with like, 50 kids or something on TLC, Jeff eating more of my snacks, and me fantasizing about food. I whined and begged him for just one bite of his Pop Tart, to no avail. I was SO hungry. It got so bad that Jeff sat next to the TV (there was no remote) so he could keep his finger on the Channel Up button during all the commercials, should a Burger King commercial, or cereal commercial, or commercial showing a family eating, or a commercial that just mentioned the word food, come on, and bring on a meltdown. It was a long hour and a half.

It was nearly 9 o’clock when I said to Jeff that I wasn’t sure, but… I think I was starting to feel like I needed to push. He asked if I was sure, and I replied that no, I was not, given what the needle in my spine had accomplished; I was not really sure of anything, in fact. But then we waited until the next contraction, and then, THEN I WAS SURE. That was definitely an urge to push. Jeff got the nurse in there, where she checked me once more and announced that I was fully dilated. With the next contraction, I pushed for the first time. Then the doctor came in, my third doctor of the night, since the last guy was delivering a baby in the next room as we spoke. I pushed another 3 or 4 times. I remember the doctor stepping out of the room and wondering where he could be going that was more important than what was going on in my room. I kept pushing, another 5 or 6 times maybe, when all of a sudden the nurse holding one of my legs shouted at me to STOP PUSHING!, dropped the leg she was holding in order to remove the end of the bed, and yelled for the doctor to come back in there, quick! I guess that last push had been a really good one, because the baby’s head was like, hanging out. (I totally just grossed myself out writing that.) Two more slow pushes and Oliver was here.

And that is the most boring birth story you will ever hear, probably. Which is fine by me; boring = easy in this case, and while I hate to say that the labor and delivery were easy… well, they kind of were. Sure, the contractions hurt. And sure it was a lot of work to push in an area that had been purposely numbed to the point of not having any feeling in it. But when I consider how difficult a lot of births are, all the potential things that could go wrong… Yeah, I guess it was easy.

*****

That was Christmas eve. I spent it in the hospital, where I luckily did not have to share the room with anyone else. I spent all of Christmas day there, too. A long, boring day that I would much rather have spent in my own home, my own bed. I didn’t have a bathroom in my room, had to baby-step my way all the way down the hall to a nasty community bathroom (I still do not get how someone can get THEIR BLOOD on the soap dispenser, the sink, whatever, and NOT WIPE IT UP before they leave; I’m vomiting now at the thought). But, whatever, it’s over and done with.

I got to leave the next morning, Wednesday morning, and that evening we had our belated Christmas eve (which consisted of ordering Chinese food, watching A Christmas Story and going to bed early). We had Christmas morning the next morning, and might I recommend never missing Christmas and thinking you can have it a day or two later? It doesn’t work like that. It didn’t once feel like Christmas, didn’t have any of the excitement or anticipation or spirit that Christmas eve/morning have. And that makes me slightly worried about what that’s going to mean for Oliver in years to come, when it’s Christmas eve and we’re celebrating his birthday. Will it get overlooked due to the bigger celebration the next day? Or will Christmas lose some of it’s specialness in our effort to not let it overshadow Oliver’s day? I guess that remains to be seen.

Oliver is now a week and three days old, and he is doing great, despite some bumps in the beginning. (Bumps of the breastfeeding kind. Since I’ve done it before, I never even entertained the thought of having any problems with it this time. Problems we have had, though, mostly of the latching on type. Which led to INSANELY sore, cracked, bloody nipples. Which led to a plugged duct. Which led to an infection. Which led to a trip to the hospital a few nights ago, a crying, hungry infant in tow. The infection now is much, much better, thanks to antibiotics, and the whole process of breastfeeding is now almost pain free.) Oliver is a terrific baby- he rarely cries, and when he does it means either ‘burp me’ or ‘feed me’. He seems to think that he’s like, 6 months old or something, because he is forever creeping us out and holding his head up for up to 20 seconds in a row, his little tiny newborn head, mouth open, eyes open wide, staring intently. He looks like he knows so many things that we don’t.

And he is a HUGE source of entertainment for his brother, who looks for him first thing when he gets up in the morning. This morning when he saw him, Ethan said “Hi, baby Oliver (only when he says it, he does so without the l’s, so it sounds like “Owver”), how are you doing? Baby, you are so big! I like your bib, Owver. I like your socks, Owver.” Then he looked at me and said “Dat’s a cute baby.” And yesterday, he even read him a book:

storytime.jpg

And now Oliver is awake and fussing and that means a whole hour and a half have gone by already and he wants to eat. Again! But first, a picture- me, at 1 week, 3 days postpartum, and Oliver, at 1 week, 3 days old (the very last time, for real this time, I MEAN IT, that I will add to the Belly Gallery):

belly_1_wk_3_days_postpartum.jpg

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10 responses

4 01 2008
Ian

What with our Olivia’s birthday being a week out from Christmas, and shared amongst several family and friends, we’ve heard plenty of stories of how they often get/got skipped over when their birthday rolled around. As a preventative measure, someone suggested celebrating half-birthdays. Then they’ve got a celebration all their own in the middle of the summer. Then there is less of that “this is your birthday AND Christmas gift” business.

You know… once I type it out, though, maybe the gift angle isn’t the best angle – it sounds very material. Lets just focus on the fact that it would make a very special day for them in the summer, with the cake and the party, and whatnot.

As a bonus, we talked about celebrating her half-birthday on my dad’s birthday, which is only 8 days from her actual half-way point.

4 01 2008
Caley

Aw, Oliver and Olivia, that’s so cute! Yes, I’ve also heard the half-birthday thing, and I’ve thought about that, but Oliver’s half birthday actually works out to June 24th, which is a week AFTER his older brother’s birthday, and I’m not sure if we want to steal some of Ethan’s birthday thunder in that way… Who knows. I know me, and I know that I will put off making any kind of decision until the event is upon me… 😉

4 01 2008
ethans oma

Awwww ! Nice baby story ! And you look great ! I love seeing all the pictures too. Counting the minutes til I get to smell his head !

4 01 2008
ethans oma

Do you think I should change my name now ?

4 01 2008
AndreAnna

I love new smushy yummy-smelling babies! I think having a Christmas baby is just wonderful, and it’s all about perspective and attitude on how he grows up feeling about it.

I think you’ll do just fine.

4 01 2008
Swistle

I lovvvvve birth stories.

4 01 2008
jenefur

I love it! Congrats again. 🙂

5 01 2008
Constance

It’s crazy about the crocs, isn’t it? They ALL wear them! Even doctor office RECEPTIONISTS wear them!

5 01 2008
Hallie

Why would you want holes for blood and whatnot to get on your feet?

30 01 2008
naturallymeg

Congrats on the baby! He’s adorable! I hope that you get some good sleep soon!

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