Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Chocolate Cake Must Have Worked...

So when we last left you, our fearless protagonist had baked herself a chocolate cake in an effort to bring about a very, very overdue baby.

Well, it worked.

I started having contractions at about 2:30 AM on Tuesday, October 12.  They started about 30 minutes apart, and gradually got closer to about 10 minutes apart by the time I woke up for work at 7 am.  I had convinced myself that they were nothing and went ahead getting ready for work.  By the time I got in the car to go to work, they were about 7 minutes apart.  Still in denial.  I arrive at work, they are 5 minutes apart.  Starting to get a bit nervous, but still trying to stay calm.  They hurt, but they don't HURT yet, so I'm unsure what to do.  I go into work, and then realize that if they keep progressing like this, I'm going to be utterly miserable and wasn't the rule that you should go to the hospital once they are five minutes apart?

So I called Steven.  He arrived at my workplace IN RECORD TIME and whisked me away to the hospital.  By the time we got to the hospital, the contractions were about 3 minutes apart and were starting to get rather painful.  They took me up to triage to check me out, and I started getting excited.  Maybe this was it!!

The triage nurse called our doctor, and apparently in my excitement I hadn't followed the correct procedure (which procedure, of course, no one bothered to TELL ME ABOUT before hand, but anyway...).  I was supposed to go to my OB's office first, for "monitoring," before going to the hospital.  The triage nurse checked me, declared that I was 3 cm, and told my doctor over the phone.  He said that since I was 2 cm yesterday, it wasn't enough progress yet, and they sent me home.

I was so upset and frustrated and felt like an idiot.  An idiot with contractions that were now coming every 2 minutes.  More than feeling like an idiot, I felt really frustrated that they didn't want to take me at the hospital -- like they were saying -- here, you go deal with this on your own for a while.

So we drove ALL the way home.  It was like a 30 minute drive.  It's about 11:00 AM at this point.  Steven sits down at the kitchen table to do some last minute work from home, since he realized he might not be going into the office at all that day.  I tried to watch TV but my back was killing me and the contractions hurt and I was generally just frustrated and weepy and miserable.  I went upstairs and took a bath and it didn't really help much.  Things slowly got worse from then until about 2 pm, and I started watching the clock and getting nervous about rush hour.  I finally called my doctor's office in tears, asking if I could please go back to the hospital now.  They told me to come in to the OB office first, but not the usual office by our house, but the OTHER office all the way across town.

At this point I am starting to get angry and feel like no one believes that I am really and truly in labor, for real no kidding this time.  The contractions were still between 1.5 and 2 minutes apart, and the drive to the OB's office was not a single ounce of fun. At all.  (Poor Steven for having to put up with me this whole time, by the way.)

We arrived at the OB's office (which, thankfully, was near the hospital after all), and I slowly walked in the front doors, crying and huffing and puffing and generally making a total scene.  The lobby of the office was chock-full of pregnant ladies, who I'm sure I have now totally terrified with my antics.  We finally got back to a waiting room, and the doctor came to see me.  He took one look at me, and said, "Ok, let's call the hospital and let them know you are coming. I presume you are going to want the epidural?"

Yes, please, you dummy.  Thanks for sending me home earlier.

So, I walk back to the car, we drive over to the hospital, and we get set up in a room.  At the OB's office, I was 4 cm dialated.  We checked into the hospital at about 3:30 PM, maybe closer to 4.  The doctor showed up to check me at about 5 PM, and I was 6 cm at that point.  I felt like we had to wait an eternity for the anesthesiologist to show up, but when he finally did, he changed everything.


"Hi everybody, I'm a human being again!"

Wow.  Never was I so thankful for a needle in my spine.

They wrote our names on a white board in the room and wrote "Happy Birthday Sophia!" and I started crying.  Ohmygosh she really might be born today.  This really might be her birthday.
After the epidural, we watched the contractions on the monitor for a while.  They were coming fast and strong (according to the screen, thank-you-Jesus-and-Mr.-Anesthesiologist) and about every 60-90 seconds.  I got checked again at some point, and I was at 7 cm.  Oh man.

And so we waited.  An hour later, I was still at 7 cm.  Two hours later, still at 7 cm.  At this point, the doctor came and explained that Sophie's nose was facing my hip bone, and that she would need to (a) rotate, and (b) travel further downwards, and (c) I would have to dialate more for this labor thing to happen on its own.  The doc said he couldn't give me anything to make her do that, and my body was already contracting on its own just as good as it would be on Pitocin.  (Yes, I know, Doc, remember when I called you in tears earlier today and you sent me home? Not that I'm holding any grudges or anything...)

So we had a decision to make.  Do we wait for Sophie to turn, descend, and for me to dialate, and hope that she doesn't get stuck and create the need for an emergency c-section, or do we go ahead and make the choice to have her by c-section now, before it becomes an emergency?  The doctor said his opinion was that she probably wasn't going anywhere and that she was probably too big to get any further and that a c-section made sense.  I considered it and hemmed and hawed for about 45 minutes, and then said, "Okay.  C-section it is."
So they got Steven all garbed up in scrubs and took us down the hall to the operating rooms.
Being in the operating room and hearing all the chatter from everyone and being under the lights was really rather scary, but it wasn't the end of the world and I tried to be brave and realize that my little girl would be in my arms in less than 30 minutes.

And sure enough, at 9:53 pm on October 12, 2010, my little chunk of love was born.
When they took her out, the first thing Steven said was "Oh man, look at all that hair!  She's beautiful!"
And she was.  She was also HUGE.
Just after the c-section was the hardest part for me.  I got the shakes and they'd really drugged me up good, and I was trying so hard to be present for this very special and sentimental moment, but I couldn't focus or respond well to what anyone was saying.  And I was unbelievably thirsty.
This was in the recovery room after the OR, and I think I'd gotten my ice chips by then.  I was still very out of it, but Steven said "smile" and at least I could remember how to do that.

So, our little pumpkin Sophia has finally arrived.  We are thrilled with her, and enjoying (and learning more and more) every second.

(I'm sure there will be a ridiculous number of future posts about her now, so get ready.)


mom said...

So glad she is here and you are doing well. We love you all and can't wait to hold her. It is the greatest feeling in the world to hold your own baby in your arms, isn't it, Heather and Steven. Wonderful-God is wonderful. For He's so wonderful that my mind can't conceive, He's more wonderful...... He goes beyond our highest hopes and fondest dreams....LOVE and kisses from Pop and Nana

Jennifer said...

omg! 9 pounds 11 oz !!!! heather...and you what? went to work?! oh, you poor dear! i would have been terrified and ALSO gone to the hospital probably REGARDLESS of what the procedure would have been just bc...well, you're in labor! how can that not be a big ginormous deal! :) i love you so much! i love you love you love you and i am so happy she is healthy and mom is doing well, dad (awww steven! you are going to be such a great dad!) is doing well. what a hero and trooper he has been for you during this time! big fat hugs and kisses you three and soo, i expect to see your little pumpkin in the flesh! maybe i will stow away in your moms trunk? :)

S said...

First, I can't believe you were still working!!! We used to have 4 weeks before our due date to be home. Second, doctors do this all the time so they are annoyingly matter-of-fact about things that are extremely important to you, especially the first time around. I'm sure my NY self would have been hard to restrain. :-) Your decision was a wise one-having had a 9 lb 2 oz, 22" baby w/o ANY anesthesia (I'm sorry Mrs. Carlson, you are too far along to give you to the hosp 7cm and in full phase 2 labor) and having to breathe through a few contractions so Rachel could position herself a little better, there was far less trauma to Sophie this way (and you too. I looked like I went 3 rounds with Ali!) She is beautiful and GOD IS AWESOME!! Enjoy her! Be blessed!

Kristin and Adam Salvia said...

Thank you so much for the post! I loved reading all about your experience. Good job, momma!! Can't wait to meet Sophie in person!!

Allison said...

Heather, I am laughing and crying over here. I feel play dates and coffee is in order very soon. So happy for you!