Anyway, instead of dwelling on how wretched a writer I am, let's all just pretend it is still February and I am like on top of my game, yo. It actually would be lovely to be on top of something for once, even if it's just pretend. I'm much more accustomed to being the bottom…which, now that I'm thinking about it, I can trace back to when my dad used to make all of his five children climb on top of one another to form a pyramid. And then I always had to turn sideways and assume the role of TWO of the bottom positions because there were not six of us after all and otherwise there would not be enough children to complete the pyramid. It was nonsense. Like what even was the point of that DAD? So when you hosted barbecues you could call your friends over and be like, "Look at my children. View how stackable they are."? Or like so you could have something in your back pocket when an acquaintance mentioned some sort of accomplishment of their children?
"Matilda and Geoffrey have aced their exams in maths. Mattie is just astounding when it comes to fractions."
"Yes well, I have an entire human pyramid worth of children. Almost. The big one has to be two bottoms."
Clearly I'm still suffering from some sort of longterm emotional damage as a result of that pyramid scheme... But moving on. When I last left you, in February, the month it still is, I had just written the first part of Fiona's birth story. So I'm going to go ahead and finish that now.
If you don't remember the first part, HERE IT IS. Also I should warn you that since this is a birth story and since this is the portion in which the actual birthing occurs, I might have to mention things about, my uh...*whispers* Never Never Land or Lake of Shining Waters if you know what I mean. Just a small warning.
When I last left you, Ryan and I were driving to our hospital in the middle of the night after my water broke. It was three in the morning and absurdly freezing outside so the streets were empty and we got there in record time.
Ryan dropped me off at the door and I waddled as quickly as I could to the elevators and up to the labor and delivery ward. When I stepped off the elevator, I was buzzed through security and then met with a group of four nurses at reception, ready to check me in.
Four seemed like a lot of nurses for one patient and I thought, "I'll bet that Ryan called from the parking garage and told them a difficult patient was on her way up and to have all available personnel ready and to not expect her to wear a diaper fashioned out of garbage bags so as not to wet the furniture, because she will not do that."
But then one of the nurses was like, "Sweetheart it's your lucky day, you are literally our only patient right now." Which it turns out, was totally true. I guess Doctors had been scheduling c-sections around the incredibly dangerously cold weather, plus it was a Sunday and it just happened to turn out that no other woman went into labor spontaneously that night.
It was pretty great. One nurse helped remove Ryan's sweatpants (which I suppose I should mention were on me at the time) and all of the assorted towels I had stuffed in them in lieu of previously mentioned garbage bags. Another wrapped me in gigantic hospital gown and slid fuzzy socks on my feet and tucked me into a bed in triage while a third prepared the swabbing kit.
"I just have to swab you quickly so we can be sure your water has broken," she said. By this time Ryan had parked and made his way to my side.
"I certainly hope my water has broken I whispered to my husband in a panic, and that I didn't just get a juice box caught down there somehow."
Luckily my water had indeed broken and I was admitted and moved to a lovely private room with two TVs and plush blankets and scads of armchairs that folded down into single beds. "Call my sisters, I instructed Ryan, "tell them I will now receive them in my suite and remind them of how it is proper etiquette to never let me see their backs." And he was like, "Yes YOUR MAJESTY." And I was like, "Please Ryan, we've met before, you can call me ma'am."
So then I just settled in to await the doctor's first visit. There was a marathon of Friends episodes on so I relaxed and watched that while I got hooked up to an IV and had fluids started and got a hand massage. Seriously, one of the nurses heard me tell Ryan my hands were throbbing (they always hurt at the end of the pregnancy) and she pulled up a chair and massaged them.
|The last picture of me pregnant.|
"No, no no, stay, please, have a seat, I'm afraid ice chips are all I have to offer in the way of refreshments but my butler would be happy to get you a cup of them if you're parched. I do apologize for his attire by the way. Butler, call my sisters back and tell them to bring you a top hat, you look ridiculous."
"Nice to see you again Ryan. How about instead we check your cervix Lauren? Looks like you're at about a 2 at the moment, no contractions though correct? Ok, let's get you started on Pitocin then."
And then I was like, "Oh well, goodbye so far gorgeous, pain free, luxurious birth." And I mentally prepped myself for actually having to do a bit of, you know, labor, to get this baby out." But then, again because there was literally no one else on the floor, the anesthesiologist came in with the nurse who was starting the Pitocin and asked, since he'd seen my labor plan (Which was: 1. Healthy Baby, 2. Healthy Mother, 3. Epidural, 4. Skin-to-skin) and since I was going to be expected to deliver in under 24 hours, if I'd like him to just start the epidural at the same time they started the Pitocin. He'd give me a 24 hour dose, so it would last the entirety of labor, would that be alright with me?
And I was like, "Absolutely!" And mentally unprepared myself for the labor. Because it turned out this was going to be delightful and easy.
So the epidural got placed (which was no big deal at all) and a catheter got place (also no big deal) and the Pitocin started and my body actually started to contract. Or so they told me. I couldn't feel a thing.
My doctor was in and out and ummm, VERY IN for the rest of the morning.
I progressed "beautifully" from a 2 to a 6 over the course of four hours. I was six hours into the birthing experience and had not a care in the world.
My mom and my sister had arrived and we were chit chatting about all the meat sandwiches I would eat after popping the baby out when I felt a huge, wavelike sensation in my stomach and then a sudden burst of pain on one side of my body.
The doctor very carefully examined my stomach and checked me again. I was 7 cm and still progressing normally but it looked like the baby had moved a bit and was now, as far as he could tell, sunny side up. We were spine-to-spine which was causing the breakthrough pain. I was in back labor.
Over the course of the next hour the other side of my body started regaining all feeling as well and by the time I was 8cm dilated, I was in a lot of pain. I was still progressing just fine and obviously pain in labor is usually no reason to worry, so I was just checked by my four nurses and doctor at regular intervals while I tried to remain polite and not scream in their faces. When they were out of the room I screamed in Ryan's face a lot. And cried a little. And vomited a lot.
This went on for what felt like days but was actually only another two hours. My doctor did a final check and I was complete and ready to start pushing. At this point the epidural had been turned off completely as it had stopped providing any relief hours before. And the Pitocin was at its maximum allowed level and well, I was MORE THAN READY to meet this child.
So I pushed for an hour but it didn't really seem to be going anywhere so I was left to "labor down" for a couple of hours. It was a really difficult couple of hours. Then I pushed for another hour and again, nothing, so again, I was left to labor down for another couple of hours. This pattern repeated itself two more times at which point I started to go into something like shock. The baby's heartbeat was still fine but mine was erratic and I was confused and forgot what I was supposed to be doing and my temperature was low. I was hooked up to oxygen and my doctor made the decision at this point to go forward with a c-section.
|I should rethink the sizing of these pictures.|
I was rushed into the operating room and the anesthesiologist administered a spinal, which at the moment, was the greatest thing that had ever happened to me. It wouldn't be the greatest thing for long. The surgery was quick and honestly, I don't remember much of it at all. I remember hearing the baby cry and seeing Ryan, who was standing by my head, get all nervous, like he couldn't decide if he should go to the baby or stay with his wife. "GO!" I said and he rushed off to meet his daughter for the first time.
He soon was back holding a tiny bundled thing and I finally got to say hello to my beautiful little baby.
It was a moment of pure joy and I completely lost track of my surroundings. But then, too fast they were rushing Ryan and the baby to the nursery (she was just fine, Apgar scores of 9 and 9) and all I could hear were the words "she's tearing". I had no idea what was going on but I was scared and I didn't have Ryan and my baby was gone. The anesthesiologist was sitting by my head and he started talking to me about his twin girls and how they were applying for colleges already and how it had seemed like just yesterday they had been born via c-section. He talked and talked and talked to me for the next hour or so until everything was repaired and I was all sewn up.
Then I was finally moved to recovery where I waited another hour, with constant supervision before I saw my husband and tiny daughter again.
"The baby was sunny-side-up, lying diagonally and wedged pretty solidly against your pelvic bone, the surgeon told me, when she came to talk to me after surgery. She was really very suctioned in. You might have heard the loud popping sound that it made when we broke the suction and pulled her out (I hadn't). Unfortunately there was some tearing after the baby was delivered. We were able to get everything all stitched up and it should heal very well but in the future if you have more children, you'll have to have an early scheduled c-section as it could be dangerous for you to go into labor on your own."
At least that's what Ryan tells me she said. I was too busy falling in love. Finally.
It was a difficult day but it was entirely worth it and I would do it all over again in the flashiest of flashes to have my little girl. As I sit here writing this, Fiona has just woken up from a nap and is snuggled against me. She giggles because the dog has walked past her and OMG that dog is hilarious. Almost as hilarious as the ceiling fan.
So that's that. The best day of my life. All other days pale in comparison. Sometimes Ryan says things like, "But what about our wedding day? or the day you met me?" And I just say, "Ryan this is not 'Make a List of the Best Days of Ryan's life Day, it's Monday, and stop calling me at work." And then I hang up to the fading sound of him saying "But you called me?"
Tell me about the best day of your lives Blogstalkers?
P.S. I'm all done with the birthing stuff now. Back to regular programming, now with more