Disclaimer I’m writing this post on approximately 4 hours of sleep. It may not be fully coherent . . . please forgive my ramblings.
I blame all of this on my husband. While he was cutting tomatoes for dinner this past Sunday night, he nearly sliced the tip of his thumb off. He started yelling and jumping around with blood running down his hand, and it freaked both me and my son out. It took everyone a few minutes to calm down, but we ultimately decided that a trip to the ER would be a waste of time. The tip of his thumb was probably just going to just fall off anyway, so there was no need to waste a whole evening going to the doctor. (sorry babe!) We counted our lucky stars that we narrowly avoided a late-night hospital visit, finished dinner, got ready for bed, and then . . . I peed myself. Well, that’s what I first thought (my second thought was “crap, I should have done more Kegels”) when I felt myself leaking into my underwear. Bah! I went upstairs to the bathroom to see what the hell happened when I couldn’t really seem to stop the flow no matter how hard I clenched my pelvic muscles. Plus, the liquid didn’t smell like pee, it didn’t smell like anything at all. And that’s when it finally hit me – my water had broken. What the hell!?! In all of my imaginary delivery scenarios, having my water break was never one of them. I was only 38 weeks pregnant! I wasn’t supposed to go into labor for another two weeks!!!
At that point, things started to speed up. We whisked ourselves off to the hospital and got admitted that night – even though I felt no contractions (I was dilated to 2 cm). No pain, no contractions . . . no nothing. I was worried that maybe we had gotten ourselves admitted too soon, but by that night my contractions had started in earnest. Our doctor was great and allowed me to labor all night long without any medication. The next morning I ended up with a dose of cytotec and labored for 4 hours to 4 cm starting around 6 am. Another dose of cytotec and another four hours later I had dilated to 7-8 cm and was 80% effaced. I was also done with the pain at that point. I got an epidural and was given Pitocin to jump-start the delivery. And I will have to write about this later (assuming I have time), but this delivery was exactly the delivery I needed in terms of pain management. I felt like I had control over what happened in the delivery room (although I was fully aware that my “control” would disappear if there was any apparent danger) versus just given the highest dose of Pitocin so that the doctor could go home. Unlike my first pregnancy, I was thrilled with my progression despite some of the complications…
After my epidural and the Pitocin, I was ready to push within the hour. And that’s when things started to go a little south. The heart rate monitors had shifted and the staff was inadvertently monitoring my heartbeat versus the baby’s. Once they realized that they had the wrong heartbeat and the monitors were correctly positioned – it became clear that the baby was starting to have fetal distress. His heart rate had dropped down into the 80’s and my cervix refused to stretch due to the episiotomy scar tissue from my first son. I knew things were starting to get a little complicated when I had to push without waiting for a contraction. Ultimately my doctor had to tear the old episiotomy scar so that my son could be born without an emergency C-section. With the cord wrapped around his neck twice, he was rushed over to the baby station and all of a sudden there were about 10 extra people in the room that hadn’t been there before. He was cleaned off, resuscitated with extra oxygen, and generally checked out. Luckily it didn’t take long before I could hear him crying (and deemed in good health) and my husband was allowed to hold him. I, on the other hand, still needed some work. According to the doctor I had a postpartum hemorrhage and was losing too much blood. I distinctly remember feeling like I kept forgetting to breath and then started to feel nauseous. Apparently my blood pressure had tanked, and I was given oxygen and fluids while my stomach was heavily massaged to force the placenta out. Not the most pleasant way to welcome your baby into the world, but I am okay with it. I also didn’t take long to bounce back, and then I was able to hold my baby and breast-feed him in the delivery room.
As I write this, I am currently looking at my new son while he sleeps in his bassinet (and I am oh so tired). Despite the complications, I feel as though I got the delivery I needed. My son was born happy and healthy, and I don’t think there is too much more I could ask for. (Well, maybe a little more sleep . . .)