Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Life goes on

Now that I have finally gotten through the epic saga that was our birth story (sorry it was so long!), what's going on with the rest of our life?

Well, I think that's why the birth story ended up so long because really, nothing else is going on.  Marlowe poops, and pees, and eats, and screams, and even occasionally sleeps.  As of last week we are able to take (short) walks, and we also met with the ladies from my yoga class and their babies for playgroup. 

We are slowly adjusting to life with M.  And by adjusting I mean grumbling reluctantly forward waiting for the good stuff.  I mean, there is some good stuff, but really newborns are not very exciting or fun.  In the last week or so she has actually become somewhat pleasant during some of her awake time, so that's nice, but she still refuses to play Scrabble with me. 

I'm trying really hard to live in the moment and "enjoy this time, they're only little for so long" but I'm dying for her to smile.  I have always been a sucker for feedback, and I find it difficult to be working so hard keeping her alive without any indication about whether I'm doing it correctly (except for the fact that she is, indeed, alive).

Right now, in spite of all the apparatuses (I super wanted that to say "appariti" but apparently that's incorrect) we have procured for her to sleep and play in, she really only wants to nap ON one of us.  Night time is fabulous, she sleeps pretty great in her pack and play, but daytime is all cuddle time. And screaming time.  And as awesome as it is to cuddle with her, I really have a lot of shit to do around here, Kid, ~ahem~ laundry ~ahem~ so please start sleeping elsewhere.  K, thx, bye.

Friday, March 11, 2011

And then there were three

***the longest and last part of the story, also, the most graphic Sam****

As they set up for delivery, everyone kept reassuring me that it was almost over.  At this point, contractions were looooooong and I was getting barely any break in between.  I was feeling the need to push, but also didn't want to just let go and do it.  I have no idea why, because obviously to get her out there was going to have to be some pushing involved, and I wanted her out as quickly as possible, but I just didn't want to commit to the pushing.

Instead, I preferred to writhe in pain and yell out whatever came to mind.  A few examples are "Please kill me, please."  "I can't do this!" (which met replies each time of "are you kidding? you ARE doing this!").  To SB "Why the hell did we ever think this was a good idea?"  To the nurse who wanted to check my blood pressure and baby's heart rate in the middle of a pretty nasty contraction "are you fucking kidding me?  You need to do this now?"

By 9am they were all set up and ready to get me pushing.  Dr. Duh had been replaced by a really great female intern, Dr. L.  Dr. K started things off by saying "Ok, we're ready to push now.  If you push really well, you will have your baby in one hour."  His sing-songy accent was mocking me now.  I took this as a challenge to get her out in half that.

Nurse P was a rock star at this point.  As she was helping me get into a comfy pushing position, she was already coaching.  She began her preamble with "Now, to get this baby out we have to do this methodically" and after that Nice Nurse P turned into Drill Sergeant Nurse P and that's just what I needed.  With SB on one side, my doula on the other (both being super encouraging), and Nurse P barking orders from the periphery, I felt like I had a dreamteam.

Pushing was actually a relief compared to the pain of transition.  In transition I felt like my entire body was trying to curl around my uterus while my uterus was trying to explode out, while already on fire.  The cliche about pushing is true, it does feel like taking a number 2 the size of a turkey, so the pain is more localized, and is a sharp burning.  If all had been normal, I totally would have rocked pushing that baby out. 

As it were, pushing was harder than it should have been.  It seemed like she crowned really quickly, and then just sat there.  It's normal that you will push a little, then baby will recede back in a tiny bit, sort of a two steps forward one step back kind of thing.  But I would push, and she would head right back to where she was before the push.  I started to get annoyed, and the doctors started to be concerned.  After half an hour of pushing, I began to demand exact numbers like "how long will this take now?"  "how many more pushes until I get her out?"  and things like that.  Obviously they couldn't tell me exact numbers, and that annoyed me more. 

I'm not sure if the length of time she was crowning had anything to do with it, but I started to tear, and they decided to cut an episiotomy.  I was pretty upset, but I knew that if Dr. K thought it was needed, AND my doula thought it was a good idea, then things were probably not looking good there.  Which I wouldn't know anything about, because I was NOT stealing a peek.  Really.  They offered a mirror several times and seemed perplexed that I had no interest.  I think Dr. K thought it would give me some incentive if I could see the progress, but nope, I wanted none of it.  And at that point I think he was a little scared of me since I kept yelling things like "Motherfucker". 

Nurse K checked the fetal monitor, and saw that the baby's heart rate was getting a bit sketchy.  This terrified me, because after all my research (ie, watching episodes of A Baby Story) I knew that low heart rate meant signs baby was in distress, which the hospital tends to interpret as "Baby's dying, quick, to the OR!"  And of everything I knew I didn't want, C-section was at the top of my list.  So I got serious, and finally pushed her head out. 

Within the split second that her head came out, Dr. K said "Okay, no more pushing. Stop pushing." He said this because he could see that the cord was wrapped around her neck (twice!), which is why she wouldn't come out.  I would push and push, and the cord would draw her back in.  Upon seeing this, he wanted to try to unwrap it before trying to push the rest of her out.  But baby was not having any of that.  She was just annoyed as me at that point, I think, because I swear I didn't push, but hell if that baby didn't kick herself the rest of the way out.  She was born at 10:04 am, an hour and 4 minutes after I started pushing.

Dr. K officially cut the cord (because of the whole double wrap thing), then SB got to trim it back.  He said it was cool.  Then Dr. K said "Alright, now that the Cirque du Soleil show is over, we wait for the placenta."

They put her on my chest where she wriggled for a second, but because of the craziness of getting her out and her low heart rate they took her pretty quickly to check her out.  I watched them rub her skin and suction her mouth and nose.  It was the nurse and a specialist from pediatrics working with her, and that had me a little concerned.  So while Dr. K and L were shooting me with stuff to clot my blood because they found I was bleeding too much, I just kept watching the baby.  I could see her wriggling and squirming, but there was no crying.  After what seemed like forever, they concluded that she was fine, that we had produced a baby who just didn't feel like crying.  Magical!  (and totally not true.)

The rest is just medical non-baby related stuff.  Placentas and stitches and more swearing.  I found that Dr. K was a bit rough with me, and when I said so to SB after the fact he said "well, you did call him a Motherfucker quite a few times."  Which I totally didn't.  I was just exclaiming it.  In general.  To no one in particular.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011


***warning, Sam, it's still the labor story***

Dr. Duh came back, along with the attending on duty.  Luckily the attending, Dr. K, took control of the situation, because Dr. Duh still looked like he was half asleep.  Dr. K was a very funny man - he pretended to be offended that I still had my undies on (I put them back on after my first check because of the gown/heat issues.  I wasn't quite ready to walk around with my butt hanging out.)  I liked him right away.  After some discussion of what the problem was (I didn't want to stay in bed, but so long as my waters were intact, they didn't want me walking around) he suggested that we break the waters and make the whole point moot.  We mulled it over, and decided it was the best plan.  Note here that I did NOT enjoy the sensation of my water breaking.  Ugh.

Once we were okay'd to move around, I got up and wandered a little, but quickly made my way back to the bed and hunched over it.  This is where the contractions got suddenly a lot stronger and a lot closer, and this is where I suddenly started to check out.  I suddenly didn't want to walk around at all.  I just wanted to curl up in the fetal position and die, actually.  I tried some water therapy in the shower, and while it helped I had no strength to stand and kneeling on the tile was uncomfortable.  I tried to continue hunching, but again my legs felt weak.  I don't think I ever got to the point to try squatting, for fear I wouldn't be able to get back up.  So I collapsed in a ball on the bed while our doula rubbed my back and SB held my hands.  Every once in a while I would roll over.  I almost broke one of SB's fingers squeezing his hand.  And while, yes, it's true that you do forget what the pain feels like exactly once it's all over, I will never, ever, ever forget screaming out for someone to please kill me.  So that is some indication that I probably won't be too excited to go there again. 

I really have no concept of time for this transition stage.  I'm sure they broke my waters maybe around 4 or 5 am?  I don't think it could have been before 4.  And within half an hour, the pain went from 3 to maybe 100.  Again, labor mind-eraser is in effect.  At some point, Nurse #2 left (we hardly knew ya!) and Nurse P came on shift.  Nurse P  was amazing!  She had had 3 natural births of her own, and seemed to totally know the right things to do and say.  And she had a good sense of humor, which I appreciated.  Probably around 6am, I heard Dr. K come in while I was in the middle of a contraction.  As I screamed he said in his funny sing-songy accent "Sounds like we're making some progress in here".  (some people would find his humor annoying, but I totally dug it, especially since his accent was so great)   They checked and I was at 7cm and totally effaced.  By 8am I was totally dilated, and they started setting up for delivery.