totally fuzzy, as you'll come to understand when I tell the story.
On Thursday October 12, 2006 we headed to Georgetown Hospital to be induced. I called at 7:45 to make sure there was a bed for me and they assured me there was, it was going to be a slow day. So we began preparing to go. We arrived at about 9:00 and had to do the admissions stuff and finally got to the Maternity Ward. Unfortunately we had missed my doctor's morning rounds and would have to wait for a break in his patient load at the office before he could come see me.
He arrived at about 10:30 and did an internal exam. I had already progressed to 3 cm all by myself! How great I thought, that's more than my body did on it's own the first time around, maybe I wont need as much intervention. Our original plan had been to begin with a gel that would thin my cervix, then move to breaking my water, and finally to oxytocin should nothing else work. I was on board with the plan. However, since I was already at 3 cm we skipped ahead and he broke my water. Sweet. He would return with his resident at about 12:30 to see where we were at and go from there. Dr. Sutherland predicted the baby would be born by 5:00pm.
I guess things at the office were busy, we didn't see Dr. Sutherland again until almost 2 and when he came back I was only at 4 cm. I did my best to hide my disappointment, and we decided to go right to the oxytocin drip. I hate IV's. I mean hate them. I almost passed out getting this one done! But more than I hate IV's I wanted to meet my child, so we got through. Nick and I had brought the portable DVD player and we began watching movies. We were in the middle of Hitch and I was feeling contractions on a regular basis, but they weren't strong. Our sweet, sweet nurse Dawn decided to tell us in a sweet, sweet way that this was going to be a long day. Again I tried to hide my disappointment. At about 4:00 a lady came into the ward. She had been there earlier and they sent her home telling her it would be a while. When she arrived she was 6 cm, and she was not quiet from the minute she got there. Trying to concentrate on our movie got really hard as the "Lord Jesus save me, save me!!" from the next room never seemed to stop. And that's when I conformed to reliving that Friends episode. You know the one where Rachel is in labor with Emma and everyone and their dog comes in to have a baby, and does before her?!
As this lady's contractions got stronger and she got louder, my own began to pick up and it started to get intense for me. I thought, here we go, sweet! The other lady had her baby by 4:30, and she happened to also be Dr. Sutherland's patient. He got there in time to be the one to yell "Okay, push now!". Once she had been taken care of him and his resident came to check on me. Ofcourse the minute they get their fingers all up in my girlie parts I start having another contraction and I'm trying to just breathe. Both of them are feeling around in there and then they compare notes. "I'm thinking 7" says the resident. "Yeah, about that" says Sutherland, "it's more like 5, maybe 6."
And that's when I started to lose it. All of a sudden the contractions were about 200% more intense and I had gone a cm beyond the choice to have a shot of morphine, and refused the epidural. Oh, and the laughing gas isn't available today, they've decided not to offer it at the time being! I started to think, what have I done? What have I done?
I was feeling pretty low and decided I couldn't just lay there, so I asked Nick to help me sit up. He did ofcourse. Once I was sitting the contractions got even worse and were coming one on top of the other. I started to cry when they happened, not regular crying, that ugly sob crying. And I was feeling tingly all through my limbs. Once I could catch my breath I asked the nurse if the tingliness was normal. She got pale, no she said it's not. Turns out I was hyperventilating. So she held one hand and Nick held the other and all three of us breathed in unison for a few moments until I was no longer tingly. Crises averted!!
Things continued to get worse and I started telling Nick I couldn't do it. I was so sorry. In all honesty I had placed my hopes in the laughing gas. I knew that could get me through, but without it I was lost. The nurse suggested we check we're I was at. So I had to lay down again and she did an internal check. Just a lip of cervix was left to dilate!
And that's when things got nuts. And a freak snow storm began. I'm not joking, although this picture might not show it very well. I think someone forgot to tell Mother Nature that Friday the Thirteenth hadn't started yet! (This picture was after when there is snow on the ground in hopes of seeing it, it looked like someone was shaking a snow globe way too fast at this point in the story.)
Dr. Sutherland and his resident had assumed that I would be a while still and had headed back to the clinic to attend to their patients. So he was not in the building. A call was placed to him to let him know we were on the threshold. The nurse, who has been a Labor and Delivery nurse for her entire career, and is very good at her job, got really pale and very quiet. Suddenly she called for another nurse. Her name was Julie and she had done our NST.
Julie came in and started to feel around, it's now 5:25. And I don't really remember the next bit. Nick was standing above my head behind the bed because he's tall enough to reach over it, he was holding both my hands over my head and I was squeezing the living daylights out of them. He was murming into my ear to remember to breathe slowly and I had almost gotten back in control when this feeling started in my shoulders, ran all the way down my spine and I screamed- "I just can't stop I have to push now, I can't do this!". And push I did. The nurses encouraged me I could do it and that I had to stop breathing and focus on the pushing part, oh yeah, I forgot! I honestly don't know how Brooklyn was born, because I swear I didn't do a good job of pushing, I never felt like I got back in the driver's seat after this point.
Dawn raised the back of the bed to a full 90 degree angle and Julie raised it up. No time to remove the bottom part or anything. Each one grabbed an ankle and shoved it under my hip and I continued to scream through the most intense pain of my life thinking for sure I was going to die and then I hear, "Okay that's the baby's head, stop pushing." and then "Okay push, but slowly, slowly."
I'm still not sure what's harder, stopping pushing or pushing slowly. And Brooklyn was here at 5:40pm. Delivered by Nurse Julie.
Brooklyn emerged from the womb with her right hand up against her right cheek and the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck 3 times. She didn't cry. She was quite still. They placed her on my chest and asked me to rub her vigorously to try and get her going, as they had to catch up with what had just happened. (Later Dawn told me that I had taken her by surprise, she had never seen the last 4cm go that fast!).
We got Brooklyn breathing and Nick and I just stayed still crying. I had totally freaked him out with all my screaming, freaked myself out in fact, but I guess it proves that you just do what you need to do to get through. And I'm quite proud of myself for getting through with no pain medication whatsoever. I honestly did think I was going to die, but I'm still here and the thought was fleeting enough to have us already anticipating another baby.
Lovely Dr. Sutherland then returned to the room. The placenta also needed time to catch up to my crash course in delivering a child, it took about 5 more minutes before it let go of my uterus and was delivered. Then I got stitched up, (the tear isn't bad, but is a result of her head and hand coming out together.)
The nurses asked me if I was okay and then they all had to leave. There was utter crazziness in the Maternity Ward while I was there. It went from being a quiet day where I was the only patient, to delivering 7 babies in 12 hours! We had to wait quite a while before they got back to weigh Brooklyn and begin moving me over to the recovery side.
I had expressed to Dr. Sutherland my inability to do well in a hospital and asked that I be allowed to go home as soon as possible. I'm so glad I did because I once again got the nosiest roomie, whom I swear knows all of Georgetown, and joined me after an unplanned C-section at 2:30am. I was more than ready to come home by the 11:00 release time.
We're all doing good. I have only had a few Advil to deal with any discomfort, and am only just now beginning to feel the tiredness of my muscles. Nick is finally sleeping and has taken sick days for the weekend so he can spend it doting on his girls. Brooklyn is sleeping right now, and we've begun that journey of learning cries and breastfeeding. I think Belle is a little thrown off. She's got some adjusting to do, but from the recent transitions in her life I know she'll do so more quickly than we think and with flying colors.
Well, I think I hear some quiet cries, must be time for a night lunch!