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Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Part Two

We got off the elevator on the maternity floor and were met by a nurse who brought us to a tiny assessment room. She was nice and calm and understanding of my fear. She gave me a gown and told me to climb on the table so we could hear the baby. She turned the machine on and put the doppler to my belly. I heard nothing. She moved it over, still nothing. She moved it a third time and I became aware that I was holding my breath. And then I heard a faint woosh-woosh. She moved the doppler over again and I heard the heartbeat loud and strong.

The nurse looked over and smiled at me and we just quietly listened to the heartbeat for a few moments, and then she said, 'That's the best thing we could hear right now.'

The on-call doctor had already been called and was on her way over to the hospital. I was going to have to entrust my care with a doctor that I had never before even laid eyes on. That was a bit frightening to me. But at that point I already knew that I had no control over the situation and that I was going to have to trust that people who had more knowledge than me would have my best interests at heart.

The doctor arrived and explained placental abruption to us. I nodded and listened to everything she said but once she said that their primary concern was the welfare of the baby the rest didn't matter. She felt that my bleeding was not that bad at the moment, it had stopped gushing, and we could let my body labor for a while on it's own and see what would happen. But if I didn't progress on my own then I'd need to have pitocin.

I didn't care that I'd have to be in bed hooked up to monitors constantly or that I could only have clear liquids until the baby was born. While I wouldn't welcome a c-section, I knew I wouldn't give the slightest argument if the doctor said I needed one. And so I focused on the woosh-woosh in the background.

I moved into a real labor and delivery room. IV with saline and antibiotics in one arm, and the blood pressure cuff on the other. And we waited. At this point things were going very well. the bleeding had slowed way way down and I was having regular contractions. The mood had lightened up a bit and it was feeling like a more "normal" labor experience. They all laughed when I was asked what drugs I wanted for pain management and I answered Tylenol and Sudafed, both of which they ended up giving me along with Robitussin.

After several hours I was checked and had made virtually no progress so I was hooked up to pitocin. The contractions picked up but were still very manageable. I got up to go use the bathroom, which was quite a feat since I had to unhook all the monitors and IVs. I got to the doorway of the bathroom when I felt another strong gush. Blood again.

As I was getting back into bed the doctor came into the room and looked around at the blood. I was hooked back up to all the monitors. The baby was still doing great and my blood pressure was fine. The doctor looked at me and said, 'We need to talk about the epidural again.' I had said earlier that I didn't want one. She wanted me to get one as a precautionary measure. She said that she had seen abruptions go from being manageable with all the parties doing well, to critical in a matter of minutes. Having the epidural in would save precious minutes if that situation should arise. And so I agreed.

The contractions picked up quite a bit in their intensity and I was really needing to focus on my breathing and beginning to get annoyed by lots of little things. The anesthesiologist arrived and put the epidural in. I stressed to him that I only wanted a "little bit". He put the epidural in and I lay back on the bed, ready to be somewhat painfree.

But painfree never happened. From my pelvic bones upwards, the epidural didn't take. My knees were nice and numb though. I remember asking the doctor if I did need an emergency c-section were they going to pull the baby out of my kneecaps since that was the only area I had no feeling.

At this point, time and the events become very blurry; I guess pain does that. While I was going through it it seemed to last forever and I was cursing myself for not telling the anesthesiologist that I wanted the maximum amount of drugs. What was I thinking saying I only wanted a "little bit". The breathing was no longer helping and I began vocalizing, which quickly moved into yelling 'This hurts' over and over again. The two nurses I had in the room with me were great. They agreed with me that it hurt. I am not sure why that was comforting, but at the time it was very validating.

Someone turned the volume down on the monitor and I lost my focus. I had been concentrating on the woosh-woosh through every contraction. I was also screaming inside my head. How could I ever forget this pain? I must be crazy to be doing this yet again.

I felt the baby moving down and felt the urge to push. With the next contraction I pushed and felt the baby moving down and out. Someone said that they thought they baby could come out in just one contraction. That instantly became my goal. This baby was coming out NOW. At the time I honestly thought I would die if I had to live through another contraction.

One long push and the head was out. Pant... pant... pant and one more push to get the body out. Rob mentioned that there was blood coming out of his nose and mouth and they were suctioning it out. I was happy that I couldn't see it.

I heard someone say that it was a boy. They lay him on my stomach and he stopped crying and looked right at me. It took my breath away. At that moment I was keenly aware of the miracle of birth and the fragility of life.

I was in love.


Blogger Suzanne said...

He's gorgeous! Sounds like he really wanted you to remember his entry into the world. I'm so glad you are all okay and home.

8:28 PM  
Blogger Sherry said...

When he looked at you and stopped crying, not only were you in love, you also forgot all about that pain you were just feeling..
Congratulations. He is beautiful! And now you know why you did this all over again..
God Bless the both of you!

8:52 PM  
Blogger Kathy said...

Oh Chris he's just beautiful. I'm so glad that everything went OK. Did the placenta come out OK after that? Enjoy him!!!!!!!

2:53 AM  
Blogger O_Scientist said...


So happy everything turned out well!!! Hug that cute little one, he will be crawling and walking before you know it!


11:09 AM  
Blogger Jody said...

Thank you for this post. What a wonderful way to start my morning.

He is very beautiful!



11:12 AM  
Blogger Ash-bray Etty-hay said...

What a gorgeous baby!!! :)


1:20 PM  
Blogger Rachel said...

Oh, he's just lovely!

and I'm so relieved to read the rest of the story and that you are all home and safe and healthy.

take care and rest up.

7:24 PM  
Blogger Krista said...

What a beautiful boy! Congratulations!

3:13 PM  
Blogger chel said...

Congratz!!!!!!What an amazing story you will have to tell him when he gets older. It's times like these that remind us to hold our children closer, so a thank you and see them for the blessings that they really are. Thank you for sharing it with us.

9:35 PM  
Blogger Mandy said...

congratulations, mama!

3:15 PM  
Blogger A said...

He's just gorgeous! What an incredible story. Thanks for sharing! Congrats and hope you are feeling better now.

4:49 AM  

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