Friday, April 21, 2017

The birth of Samuel Cary part 2 - "The All Natural Labor"

The point of this post is so that I can remember what happened - feel free to read along.

While I was being admitted, hooked up to an IV, and monitored, Ian and I were having a full on conversation about what he needed to do - mainly run home for stuff and fill the car (with the car seat in it) up with gas.  Since I had not packed a bag for the hospital (it was on my to-do for that day) I was saying a lot of things like, "... in the bottom drawer of the dresser there are gray fleece sweatpants, get those..." Ian was googling, "What to pack in the hospital bag" and I am pretty sure our nurse, Ali, thought we were crazy.

The way our health insurance provider works is they have two OB/GYNs rotate through the labor and delivery unit at the hospital.  The first doctor was really nice - Dr. Webster - I think.  My blood pressure was a little bit elevated, so she gave me some possible scenarios that we would be facing and I expressed my desire to do whatever was best.  However I really, really, really wanted to go all natural.  Dr. Webster was so nice!  She let me get out of bed and do whatever for an hour and then I had to get in bed and be monitored for 20 minutes.

Once Ian left (around 1 am I think), Ali brought an exercise ball in for me. My contractions were really manageable at this point.  I knew that I should try to rest, but once someone told me that I was having a baby, I had way too much adrenaline in my system to try to sleep or be stationary.  I spent a lot of time walking with my IV cart (super annoying - you would think in 2017 they could invent an IV cart that would move easily), bouncing on the ball, and just trying to breathe through each contraction.  I can't really describe how a contraction feels - mine were all in my back - the main issue is I could not find a comfortable position (and I tried every position known to man) to be in.  Once the contraction would pass, I would be fine, but in the middle - oh man - they were not fun.

I think Ian got back to the hospital around 3 am and I was definitely feeling the contractions at that point (I was having contractions when we first arrived at the hospital - I just did not notice them).  There was a couch/bench in the room and Ian stretched out and went to sleep.  Before he drifted off, he reminded that we live in a day and age of epidurals and that I have choices.  I don't know what I replied, but it was not the kindest.

Around 4 or 5, Ali came in to hook me up for monitoring and the contractions were getting really unbearable while I was in bed.  I would just sit and watch the clock waiting for 20 minutes to pass and for Ali to come back and let me get up and move around again for 40-60 minutes.  This time, though, the baby's heart rate did not measure the way they wanted it to, so I had to stay in bed for more monitoring.  I was really discouraged in that moment.  Ian was asleep, I had just talked myself off the ledge for 20 minutes, and Ali did not know how much longer I had to stay in bed.  Thankfully, the baby's heart rate returned to normal in the next 10 minutes and I think I jumped out of bed.

I do not have a great memory of timing, but it was starting to feel like I was having three contractions back to back and then a break for 10 to 15 minutes.  I really wanted a tall (bar height?) counter to lean against during each contraction.  Yet, there was only a normal counter for the sink.  I was starting to have a hard time thinking during each contraction. 

I had a little conversation with myself that basically went like this, "Could I keep going all natural?" YES! "For how long?" I don't know.  "Will you be in any shape to push if you get no sleep tonight and labor takes 12 more hours and you are not allowed to eat?" Probably not. "Do you want to bite your husband's head off each time he tries to be nice to you?" No. "Can you continue to sit in bed and be monitored for 20 minutes at a time and not move around if the contractions get stronger?" Maybe, but it is torturous. 

So at 6am I told my nurse Ali that I would take an epidural. She said that two other people had just requested epidurals as well.  I told her I was not in a hurry and the other two could get theirs first.
how I felt during contractions
Other things I remember from this part:
  • Ali was a traveling nurse from the Dallas area.  Her accent was so cute!
  • I went to the bathroom several times.  Getting the IV cart in and out of the bathroom was not easy (did I mention that the person who designed the IV cart would not be rated (by me) as effective at their job?).
  • Our hospital room was near the helicopter landing pad - I would not have known this except there was a little blinking in our room ALL night.  I was so annoyed by it! (I was pretty much annoyed by everything to be honest).
  • At 3am (or so) I realized that I needed to put in for a sub on Monday so I bounced on the exercise ball and went online to put in for a sub for Monday and Tuesday. It took me awhile to get it done, but I did it!
  • Ian texted his parents and my parents around 2am to tell them we were at the hospital - I was not the happiest camper about this (I wanted to wait until 8 or 9).  I don't remember why it felt like such a big deal at the time but it did.

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