Saturday, July 19, 2008

Please Pass the Epidural

(Just jotting this down before I forget the details. They're already slipping away as we attempt to figure out "Amelia's ways" and re-learn how to have an infant around the house. The photos interspersed have nothing to do with the story - other than the main character is featured - but I just wanted to share a few sweet ones from today.)
Tuesday, July 15, 6:00 a.m.
- Wake to contractions 10 minutes apart. Hopeful.

noon - Contractions close in on 6-7 minutes apart. Pick Dan up from work so he can watch Jackson. Go for many walks in the afternoon around the neighborhood.

6:00 p.m. - Contractions start to hurt and come more frequently. Prep Grama.

8:00 p.m. - Put Jackson down to bed with the news that Grama will be at the breakfast table with him. Settle in for the "wait to go to the hospital WAIT." (Learn later that this is the official "start time" for my labor since contractions officially got harder and were consistently 4-5 minutes apart.)
9:00 p.m. - Can't wait anymore. Grama arrives. Go to hospital.

11:00 p.m. - Arrive back home with instructions to come back "when it gets harder. Try to get some sleep." Only 1 cm.

12:20 a.m. - It gets harder. Way harder. Back to hospital.

1:30 a.m. - Admitted. Contractions starting to get the best of me already. Crap.
3:00 a.m. - 3 cm. Totally overrun by double-peaking contractions coming a minute apart and starting to lose control. "Please pass the epidural." (Though I'm quite certain I didn't say it so nicely.)

3:30 a.m. - Relief. 5 cm.

4:00 - 6:00 a.m. - Sleep through contractions. Wake to morning news of "complete." "What does complete mean?" "You're 10 cm. Almost time to push." Five to TEN while sleeping and on "auto-pilot" mode. Brilliant drugs.

7:00 - 8:47 a.m. - Push. Elated that I can feel contractions enough to know when to push on my own. Watch Amelia being born with the help of a mirror - this spurs me on beyond words.
Wednesday, July 16, 8:47 a.m. - Happy Birthday Amelia!

8:50 a.m. - Repair work begins on Mom (tiny episiotomy, no big deal) and Amelia's cleaned up (meconium in utero) and measured.

9:10 a.m.
- Skin-to-skin with Mom, start nursing, room clears out and we all relax. Amelia is alert and awake for about two hours of quality time with Mom & Dad before slipping into her post-birth stupor.

We were then moved to the recovery room where we spent that first night, called all of our family, invited Grama and Jackson to come and visit, ate some food, and snoozed the afternoon away. I was up and about on my own (and feeling pretty amazingly good) by the time Jackson arrived at noon. We had sent Amelia to the nursery two minutes before he arrived so that we could all walk down and "get our baby" together, instead of him coming in to find that the baby had already taken over his mom. (This was on the advice of my friend, Tami. Amelia also gave Jackson a new fire truck when we got back to the room...he's slept with it each night since.) All in all, it was a very relaxing and rewarding birthing experience.


Heide said...

I wanted to name my first child after the anasthesiologist (sp?)... the only drawback was that we had a girl and the hero had a decidedly masculine name. Anyway, I know there are lots of people who criticise the use of medication during childbirth but I believe that anything which helps the mother to relax and not stress during labor really helps everyone in the end. She is just gorgeous and I'm so glad that you came through it so well. Hugs to everyone there.

thursday said...

Thank you for posting a good story about epidurals! I've heard so many horror stories, but I don't want to be scared out of getting one if I need it...

And you got to sleep through 5-10 cm! Wow. Last night I couldn't sleep through the extra gassy pressure (baby's head is really getting in the way here) - how could I sleep through contractions?

Jennifer Wigton said...

It's so great to read the birth story - isn't it amazing how different each experience is? I'm so thrilled that you were able to experience a vbac and enjoy that recovery vs. c-section. The joy on all of your faces is amazing! You don't even look tired...

Guinifer said...

Your birth timeline sounds exactly like my second boy's birth. It really was a lovely day. (I slept through 5-10cm too! AND I had a cookie!)

Anonymous said...

I love labor stories; and second the previous comment that it's so interesting how different everyone's story is. I'm so glad it all went well for both of you.