Monday, December 13, 2010

My labour and delivery story...

Well, now that I can finally stand sitting on this computer chair for more than a minute or two, and Marshall is sleeping in his swing, I thought it was time I wrote out my experience before it gets too foggy on me. As it is, there's about a 6 hr gap in my memory where I don't really remember much except having to turn over so they could top up my epidural! Lol

Let's start from where I left off in my last post:

After I lost my mucus plug at Walmart, we went home and just hung out. We watched Edward Scissorhands and around 5:30pm, my contractions started coming at regular 8 minute intervals. So I kept writing down the time every time I had a contraction, and around 7:30pm I decided to go lay down and try to have a nap.

Yeah, that didn't work so well. I don't know what I was thinking, but I certainly wasn't about to get any sleep! With every contraction, I started moaning just a bit louder. By 8:30pm, Jay came in to check on me and rub my lower back. He said I sounded like I was in a lot more pain than before, and maybe we should go back to the hospital. You see, I tested positive for Strep B, and was told that if my water broke or I was in labour, I had to go to the hospital right away and get on antibiotics. Only problem is, when we went in that morning, they didn't act like it was a big deal and didn't give me any more info about it.

So I called the hospital and asked them what I should do; that my contractions had been every 8 minutes for 3 hrs, and that the pain was getting really intense. She said to come on in and get assessed, and the doc would decide when to put me on the antibiotics.

So Jay took the dog over to his parents' house, and while he was gone, I had a few more contractions that were 5 minutes apart. When he came back, I had another, and a couple more on the way to the hospital. They were still 5 minutes apart.

So we get to the hospital and I sat in a wheelchair and waited for Jay to park the car. He came in eventually and wheeled me upstairs to labour and delivery. When he phoned into the ward to be let in, I had tears streaming down my face. I never realized how painful it could be! And that wasn't even the worst of it yet!

Well, they put me in Triage and hooked me up to the monitors. As the contractions hit, I tried my best to be strong but they hurt so bad that I ended up moaning and crying through them. The nurse checked me at about 9:30pm and I was only dilated 2 cm. She had a really hard time getting to my cervix because I have a tilted uterus (the nurse that morning couldn't reach it at all). Turns out, my OB may never have actually felt my cervix because her fingers are even shorter than the nurse who managed to get to it! That makes me feel confident in my OB. :P

So after a couple of hours of increasingly painful contractions, the nurse brought me a shot of morphine to help with the pain. Lemme tell ya, it did NOTHING for me. Well, except make me really dopey and high! :P When she checked me again at midnight, I was between 2-3 cm. It was around then that she ordered my epidural (because despite my saying all this time that I didn't want one, at that point I was ready to die and would've taken anything to make the pain stop!). That was also around when I started saying things like, "I don't wanna do this anymore!", "I didn't know it was gonna be this bad, I wasn't prepared for this at all!!", and my personal favourite, "I wanna die. Please, just kill me now, oh God, I wanna die!!"

They took me to my own birthing room around 12:30am and I got my epidural at 1am. Then my water finally broke... all over the place! Man it was gross, but I was in so much pain I really didn't care. My personal nurse checked my cervix again and I was at 3cm. Oh yeah and at some point in there, they also hooked me up to an IV and started me on the antibiotics (which they had to give me every 4 hrs of my labour). They also set me up with a catheter... lemme tell ya, it was weird not to have to pee for so long! LOL

The next few hours are a bit of a blur; Jay managed to get some sleep, but I couldn't sleep for the life of me. The nurse kept telling me I should get some rest, but I just couldn't. Every time I closed my eyes, I could still hear everything going on around me; the beeping of the monitors, the heart rate of my son, the nurse doing... whatever she was doing, I don't know, my eyes were closed.

At 6:30am, the nurse checked my cervix again, and guess what? I'd only gone to 4cm (in 5 hrs!!!!!!). I was pretty upset about that! So they started me on the oxytocin to regulate my contractions. By 7:30am, I was between 7-8cm. So I messaged my sister and told her, and she said she was on her way to the hospital. Jay's mom was also on her way... with his dad and grandma. It was a bit of a zoo when everyone finally got there! I have a photo of Jay talking to me while I plug my ears, haha. My hearing seemed a bit wonky and everyone was so loud!

And again, the next several hours are pretty blurry. They had to flip me from side to side every couple hours to top up my epidural and get me numb again. I don't remember what times they checked me, but I know that the next time they checked me after a couple hrs, I hadn't dilated at all. So they upped my oxytocin again. The next time they checked, I still hadn't dilated. So the doc came and stretched me up to 9cm. And this is how it went for the next few hrs again. Eventually he stretched me fully to 10cm.

(The whole time I was on the epidural, I was really itchy and thirsty. But every time I scratched, I couldn't feel it so it just stayed itchy which was torture! And occasionally I could feel the contractions because the epidural had started to wear off on the top side of me, so then they'd flip me and top me up again. And I was drinking a tonne of fluids... I think I was clearing 1-2L of fluid an hour! Seriously, I've never drank so much in my life! I also threw up 3 times by this point... once right before I had the morphine {from the pain} and twice since having the epidural).

By now, it was about 1:30pm. Doc Shannon and Nurse Tammy were shocked that I still hadn't felt the urge to push. I was so numb down below, I honestly didn't feel anything. And every time he'd come in to check on me, he'd ask if I felt the urge to push yet and I'd say "Nope!". He was baffled!

Tammy told me that if I still didn't have the urge to push by 2:30pm, they'd get me to start pushing anyways. At 2pm, I threw up about 3L of fluids, so she decided it was time. My God, pushing sucked!! Seriously, having to do that every minute to 2 minutes? It felt like my ribs were breaking, because everything was pushing up into them. Marshall was still moving even while I was pushing!! And I couldn't even tell if I was pushing right because I couldn't feel it.

After about half an hr of pushing, Tammy told me that Doc Shannon could help me out with the forceps if I wanted him to; that it would cut down on how long I had to push. I asked if it would mash my baby's head (because I'd heard of that happening back in the old days). He said, "No no, all 3 of my kids were delivered with forceps, and my 14 year old can even count to 10!" I laughed and said that was reassuring.

So he got set up and after another couple contractions, he started helping with the forceps. I couldn't see anything, I just felt like he was pulling something out of my butt. It was strange. I didn't even realize that he didn't pull that much of his head out, only a little bit... and then my next push got his whole head out! (14.5 inches around!). He told me to relax a bit and that he was going to deliver the baby. He helped the shoulders out and told me to give one more push, and out he came! I watched him pull Marshall from me and it was the most beautiful thing I've ever seen! Even though he was purple and swollen, lol.

I remember not being able to see much the whole time I was on the epidural. I wasn't wearing my glasses, and my eyes kept crossing and not focusing; but while he pulled Marshall from me and I watched, I was like a hawk. I saw it clear as day, in slow motion even. I wanted to make sure he was breathing (he was) and that he was ok (he was).

I remember whining because they took him away and seemed to be taking forever with bringing him back. Doc Shannon stitched me up and they cleaned me up, and eventually they brought Marshall over. I looked at him and said to Jay, "Are you sure this is the right baby? He doesn't look like either of us!" :P (he does now)

After that, most of the rest of the day is a blur. I remember breast feeding him for the first time (yuck and ouch!). I remember Jay feeding him his first bottle (because his sugar test came back a little low). I remember Tara and Rebecca coming to visit. I remember eating dinner (not much of it tho because every bite made me want to vomit). And then I dozed in and out for hours.

I tried breast feeding him again around 5am, but it just felt so awful I wanted to cry. Our new nurse Mary (a Mennonite woman) told me I didn't have to breastfeed if I didn't want to. She brought me a bottle and I fed him, and it was beautiful. She said I looked so much happier, and I was. I love that Jay and I can both feed him. :)

Anyways, that's my story. Maybe there should've been more detail (maybe some of you are wishing there was less! lol). But it's such a long story that I just had to write it as I remembered it, rather than making it all fancy and stuff.

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