Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Mom Talk - Labor

My buddy Lacey is holding another Mom Talk Link Up on the eve of her induction with her second child and of course labor stories are on her mind. I never posted a birth story for Icie as I started this whole blogging thing just a few month ago, so now is as good a time as any.
I went in for my final scheduled appointment on my actual due date. I was hopeful, but knew not much had probably changed from the week before. I was not feeling anything but miserable. I never felt anything that I had pictured or thought a contraction might feel like, I was just uncomfortable all the time.
I felt defeated when my doctor told me nothing had changed, and my hospital had changed their policy about inductions. I was not in the hospital's opinion a medically necessary induction regardless of my doctor's opinion. I would have to wait a full week and one day past my due date to be considered medically necessary for an induction, unless the baby or myself showed signs of distress.
I cried, I had a feeling my entire pregnancy I'd be early and here I was being told not only was I late but chances are I'd have to wait at least one more week. My doctor then presented an option I wasn't prepared for, he suggested we try the other hospital he had privileges at as an option. Another hospital was not in the plans. I hadn't taken the tour. Forget the tour I wasn't even positive where it was located. I had seen signs, but never ventured off the main road to see the actual building. I didn't care. I was too anxious, I couldn't wait to meet Icie. I remember saying, "I just want to be done, I cannot go another week."
We left the office 20 minutes later with an appointment at the other hospital for a seven o'clock induction in two days. Two days seemed doable. I then was told an induction horror story, and doable then became scary.
Two days later and we were in the car at five-thirty in the morning heading through the empty streets of Pittsburgh. I love when the traffic lights are still blinking and the sun is just coming up, it calmed me.
After the standard check in I was headed to my room. I was very excited when the PA from my primary care doctor's office came in to examine me. She had gone part-time at my PCP's office and I hadn't seen her in a year. It turns out she had started working as my OBGYN's PA at the hospital. I felt a little more comfortable knowing that besides my doctor I knew one other person at this hospital. My examine revealed I was two centimeters dilated and I could skip the first part of the induction(a medicine delivered as a vaginal insert, ewww) and head straight to pitocin. It took three nurses and about ten needle sticks to get the IV goodness of the pitocin rolling.
I was watching the monitors until around lunchtime to see if I was contracting. I wasn't feeling a thing. I tried to rest. I felt fine, but a little defeated, even the pitocin wasn't moving my little Icie. My doctor finally came in and examined me around that time. There was some kind of miscommunication between him and I and he broke my water before I got my epidural. I hadn't been feeling anything really painful, but I didn't want to either. I guess I wasn't clear, and he thought I wanted to wait for some pain before the epidural. The forty-five minutes between my water being broke and waiting for my epidural to show up were hell. That was all the real labor I want to ever feel. I never thought I'd be so excited to have a stranger stick an insanely huge needle in my back.
I went back to resting and watching the monitor, I could feel the pressure and tell which contractions were bigger, but it was more of an annoyance then pain. I progressed pretty steadily and around seven my nurse started talking about the pushing process. I started pushing shortly after that. My contractions were right on top of another so I pushed on every other contraction. My nurse said it looked like I maybe pushing for awhile. I felt a little panic set in, I didn't think I could do this for another hour. My chest started to pulse. My doctor really talked me down from the panic. I felt a burst of determination and at seven forty-five Miss Icie was born. I shocked everyone in the room, they all thought I'd be pushing at least another hour. My doctor had to rush to put on the full riot gear looking ensemble during my last couple of pushes.
Icie was beautiful, immediately alert and dibbing and dabbing just like her daddy. I knew something wasn't right though. She was crying but it sounded funny. I was flashing back to all the Discovery Health shows I had watched while I was pregnant. I knew there was name for this, what was it? Icie and I were both being cleaned up when the nurse said she was "singing" and needed a chest xray. They thought she had swallowed some fluid on the way out and needed to check for a pneumothorax (lung tear). I sent Dave off with her and tried to pull myself together enough to be able to follow them. Dave was back just as I was putting on a fresh gown, Icie was not with him. Icie was in the NICU with a very small pneumothorax. We would know in the morning after a second xray whether or not surgery would be needed. There was nothing we could do until the morning. They had her on oxygen and started an IV antibiotic to prevent any infection that may result from swallowed fluid.
Icie was born on a Thursday, I was discharged on Saturday and by Sunday the pneumothorax had healed itself and there were no signs of infection. It was hard to go home without her that Saturday night, but I tried to get as much sleep as possible, I knew I was going to need it. I was right. All the sleepless nights since have been a blessing.
A little side note about Icie's birth, I had sent my sister and mother in law out of the room during the delivery. My mom and Dave stayed. Dave tried to get as much information about Icie's condition before letting his mom and my sister back in the room. We didn't want anyone to worry unless it was time to worry. When we told them what was going on, and that they called her funny breathing "singing" my sister said something about Ella (my niece who was almost three at the time) being right. Apparently Ella had told my sister a very detailed story of a dream about Icie singing. If I remember correctly the dream sparked a debate you can only have with a three year old and Ella held her ground. Icie would be singing.

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