Yesterday we went to the doctor and we were told that we should "propmptly" proceed to the hospital because it was time to deliver the baby. Friday had brought preeclampsia into the picture and by Tuesday things hadn't improved.
We headed home to pick up the infamous hospital bag, feed the cat, etc. and on Thisbe's earlier advice I also took the opportunity to shower and wash my hair.
Once we got to the hospital I was given a prostoglandin hormone thingie to get things moving and by 11:30 I had become the mayor of cramp village. Not to mention that I had also managed to drop my fetal monitor in the toilet, and I felt like a kid when Husband smuggled in Burger King and I had to hide my fries from the doctor. So, back to the cramps-- Ambien? Please, that's not working? Demerol? Try again. I asked the nurse whether the contractions I was experiencing were the same as ones I would feel after having pitocin. Her answer was along the lines of not really and that while sometimes the prostoglandin can cause spontaneous labor, its not likely in a first pregnancy.
Not feeling well is an understatement. Prostoglandin not likely to cause spontaneous labor in a first pregnancy? Meet the exception that proves the rule. Pitocin? There was no pitocin. By about 5:30am, after repeatedly making the Husband run interference with the hospital staff I was finally given an epidural. Suddenly I became a mix of Lindsey Lohan and Ray Milland from the Lost Weekend. Apparently I passed out long enough to get myself from 3 centimeters dialated to 10 centimeters. I have no recollection of anything that happened from after the epidural until about 8am when Doctor Shapiro said: "you're fully dilated, let's have this baby". According to the Husband I was verbal, but less than coherent, including at one point saying: "We missed the 7:29" I do vaguely remember answering questions in completely incoherent manners, but what can you do?
8am comes, Dr. Shapiro breaks my water (with what seems like to Husband a home depot paint stirrer) and I'm told to push. Easier said than done! Pushing it hard to describe. After a bit I was able to feel the contraction pressure and start to push, but meanwhile one of our Labor nurses, Jung, was being a complete drill sargent. Jung would shout "push-push-push-push-more-more-count to ten, Breathe!"
Breathe, don't breathe, push, don't push, put your legs up, relax your legs. Quite a work out. Luckily, Baby Sophie emerged at 9:09am (approximately 69 minutes after the initial direction to push!).
Turns out Sophie, at seven pounds thirteen ounces was a little big and my pelvis was a little small, so the combination required the assistance of forecepts. Sophie is fine, but I do believe she may now have gained a lifelong irrational fear of salad tongs.
All in all by this point I was feeling okay. I am still on magnesium to try and lower my blood pressure, but as a counterpoint to that, I keep being hounded by the breast feeding gestapo.
I'm open to trying breast feeding but am also hesitant because I take enough synthroid on a daily basis to drop a small hippo and am not to comfortable with the idea of this being passed on to the baby. But, at first I give it a try-- we worked for about 5 to ten minutes and Sophie seemed a natural, though also rather preturbed that no milk was coming out. She much preferred the bottle and seeing her appetite I can now feel vindicated that half of the crap I ate while pregnant was a direct command from the growing baby Sophie. Then the lactation consultant comes in. Can't answer any of my questions and when I ask to postpone our fuller discussion until tomorrow when I'm more coherent, she goes off in a huff. Next is one of the nurses-- she's pushing me to wake up Sophie and try and breast feed. Okay, but based on advice from Texas Jack, why again, are we waking a sleeping baby? Isn't getting the baby to sleep our number one goal? Fine, the nurse decides to wake Sophie by stripping her out of her swaddled woobie clothes, which does not lead to a happy baby. Then I pick up Soph and try again with the breast feeding. It is at this point where the nurse actually grabs my boob and tries to start "showing me" the "proper" technique. Okay, first off, I don't like being partially naked in front of strangers, secondly, I'd prefer it if strangers would not handle my breasts and third, while the baby has no teeth she certainly does have strong gums and now that we've woken her she's just not a happy little person. All I can say is its a good thing I'm a bit loopy from the high blod pressure meds otherwise curse words would have been hurled.
Anyhoo, baby is here, she is beautiful and over all the birthing process wasn't as bad as I had expected. Pictures to follow!