Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Birth Story

June 27th....nope July 5th.....became July 11th. 7/11/08 made those extra two weeks all worth it.

I had a doctor appointment on July 8th. I told anyone within earshot that I was going to stage a sit in if my doctor didn't schedule my induction. Uncomfortable was an understatement at this point. The baby growing inside of my was a dancing machine and had a serious work ethic about it. The OB/Gyn practice I go to has you see a different doctor at each visit and I had no idea if I was getting a "good one" this day.

She took one look at me and said "We gotta get this baby out of you!". I almost kissed her feet, cried and probably would have jumped up and down if the laws of gravity allowed pregnant woman to do so. Tests were done, ultrasounds performed and schedules made. I left with the promise of a phone call with in the next 12 hours to let me know when to show up at the hospital. The next morning I was told to be there on July 10th at 4pm. Salvation!!!!

Mom came to town early Thursday afternoon and we packed up the car. Went to lunch at Boston Market and saw Wade's doppleganger, which made us miss him (more). Of course, we were anxious to start this process so we were in my room by 4pm. Wheelchaired up there and everything. (Poor wheel chair guy). I avoided laying down in that bed for as long as possible. But, eventually they had to start poking and prodding, bleeding me dry and squirting that gel for the monitors all over my giant belly.

I had a snack a couple of hours in, after being told I wouldn't be able to eat for two hours after my cervadil was started. Dr. Heath finally came in around 7pm and began the process. An hour later, I was starting to feel hunger pains, and it was too late to get anything from the cafeteria. I began to crave a Filet of Fish and a Chick-Fil-A milkshake. At 8:45pm, I sent Mom out to do the only bidding on my behalf for my entire pregnancy. I had no idea it would take her almost an hour to get back. Apparently, cruising up and down the road in front of the hospital is found to be entertaining by the locals. Oh, and the fact that I sent her to two different fast food chains in opposite directions didn't help.

She walked in and I felt awful for sending her on a goose chase AND being locked out of the hospital, but I scarfed that food down. For a minute or two, because I started having contractions. While I was eating!!! My yummy food!!! That's ok, I thought, these are just teasers, not the real thing. The sandwich died, unfinished. The milkshake drowned, half full. Those contractions got stronger and stronger. It took an hour for my nurse to come in and find out that I had been having them. She gave me some pain meds which knocked me right out for about an hour.

When I woke up, all I could think was EPIDURAL. They promised me she was on her way up with my drugs. My lovely, in the spine, knock the pain and feeling in my legs away drugs. It took three hours and massive amounts of brain cells for her to get there. Some where in there, my water broke. Once the anesthesiologist arrived, she had me sit up on the bed, indian style, and lean over. Had this woman not realized that I am pregnant, and have a large protrusion blocking anything remotely looking like "leaning over"? It was one of the most uncomfortable parts of the whole two day event. And that's saying something after some of those contractions. It took her a while to get it done and at one point she had my nurse hold me still. Apparently I was having a hard time not moving while having contractions and sitting in the world's worst position. Weird, silly me.

But oh, sweet relief. I don't know how women go through child birth without an epidural. The pain vanished and I was able to sleep. Of course, this slows down your contractions down a bit, but I had no idea I was even having them in the first place from that point on. I also had no idea they weren't starting the pitocin until the next morning. I had monitors strapped to my belly, checking on my contractions and on Zachary's heart rate. He had been happy as a clam all night. The nurse joked that even though my water broke, he didn't care that he was losing his 'jacuzzi'.

The next morning I woke up and started my buffet of popsicles. I was starving but knew it was going to be a long time before I could eat. Yummy, red, crunchy and cold popsicles. I don't really remember how we passed the morning but around 10 am, the nurses told me that Zachary wasn't handling the contractions very well. They had explained the night before that his heart rate would always drop a little during a contraction but as long as he recovered quickly from it, he was fine, and it was actually a good thing. But now, he wasn't doing that, he was struggling. Dr. Heath came in and said the word....C-Section. I had mentally prepared myself for the possibility when the ultrasound earlier in the week showed he was going to be about nine pounds. But, I was so out of it from the drugs and being so tired, it just didn't register to me, then, that this was an emergency.

Mere seconds after the words left his mouth, a gaggle of nurses, anesthesiologists, doctors, just tons of people were in my room. Sign this, drink that, hold out your arm, lay down, etc. I started to shiver and shake. I was freezing, and I don't normally get cold. Warm blankets were brought out, Mom put on her scrubs. I was wheeled away.

I knew where I was going, because I had taken the hospital tour a couple months prior. A stark white and extremely lit operating room. As they wheeled me down the hall, I got colder and colder, shaking more by the second. The door to the OR was opened and I was hit by a wall of even colder air! Bring on those warm blankets! My arms were stretched out like a scarecrow and a curtain was hung inches from my face. Because I had my epidural in place, I had no sense of what was going on behind that blue sheet.

Of all people, that anesthesiologist was my life line during the hour or so I was on that table. Mom held my hand and they all talked me through what was going on, but that doctor kept telling me, "Whatever you want, you tell me and I'll give it to you". I was told that I would start to feel some pressure up by my ribs, that they were going to push down to help Zachary to come out. And, I did. That boy was lodged in there nice and tight. I was told later, that they had to use the suction to help get him out.

This whole time, I am shaking like your proverbial leaf. Not a good feeling in the first place, but then when you know someone is cutting you open, it makes it more of a struggle to try and stop so you aren't causing problems around that knife area! They wrapped warm blankets around my head and put a lovely little heater under the blankets on my chest. In a way that helped, but my body was just so confused by everything going on, she didn't want to calm down. But then, I heard it.

I heard him cry. I felt my Mom's hand leave me. I started to cry. I had no idea I would be filled with such emotion. The months of struggle that had led to this point released themselves in that moment. I was so glad he was finally with us and go grateful that he was ok. The cord had wrapped itself around his neck, chest and legs. He recovered immediately and was given a beautiful APGAR score of 9. He continued to let out cries, and so did I. Mom took pictures and videos and I felt someone holding my hand. I looked over and it was one of the nurses, she was just sitting there stroking my hand while I cried.

I began to feel nauseous and my good old trusty friend the anesthesiologist immediately put something in my IV to stop the rumblings (could you imagine being sick on the operating table?). Then, I started to feel itchy (and would continue to feel so for a good 24 hours). Oh my goodness, it was like I was a crack fiend going through withdrawals. She offered me something for it, but I didn't want to be groggy when I met Zachary. They were still cleaning him up, and making sure he was ok. I still hadn't seen his face, I had no idea what he looked like, and I wanted to be as aware as possible when that time finally came.

I can still feel that moment when they brought him over. Swaddled like nobody's business, with his face peeking out from behind blankets and knit caps. His eyes shone out like dark river rock and looked right at me. We stared at each other and the nurse brought him closer so I could smell his sweet skin and give him kisses. Hooked.

They took him to the nursery, and Mom went with him. I stayed there in the OR for what felt like forever while they stitched me up. I finally was taken to the recovery room and waited there for everyone to join me. Tanya arrived from D.C. and sat with me in my groggy state and then met Zachary when they let him visit before getting his first bath and all of his newborn tests done. He was here and we were getting ready to start falling in love with him.

Those three and a half days all seem like a blur, now. But they were the beginning of a life long love for one of the most important people we have ever met. We are so grateful to know him and will cherish his grace in our lives.

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