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Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Leslie's Labor and Delivery story: Kira

I know most of you signed up to my blog to hear about our family's adventures in York, England. But it is a blog, after all! So, now it gets personal.

I am trying to type as fast as I can since Kira is fast asleep right now, and I just woke from a nap myself. So pardon any typos and non sequiturs!

I was hoping she'd be born on time, which as far as I was concerned was January 16. But the doc had given me a due date of January 23, which gave us plenty of wiggle room, pardon the expression. So you can imagine my disappointment when January 30 rolled around and I was looking an induction square in the eye.

That weekend I had been having contractions every, oh, 30 minutes; but the timespan for those contractions was only about 2 - 4 hours and then they'd stop. Sure, she might come out soon, but we were in week 41, or even 42 based on my own calculation. Everyone reassured me this (induction) was the right thing to do, although I could have opted out. I wanted relief but I also wanted things to happen naturally. (After all, Kira, you did seem like you were really damned determined to get here in the first place!)

We got the call from Rose Hospital at around 10 pm that night. I hadn't really rested that day. They told me I could have a snack but nothing to eat once the drugs were administered. I had Carr's Water Crackers, some brie, and a Reese's peanut butter cup. (And yes, I am allergic to peanuts, but can you prove there are real peanuts in an RPBC? It's not a fatal allergy anyway. Leemelone.)

Yes. So we got to the hospital and I started crying. I was scared and disappointed, to be honest. It was a lot of nerves built up over time, more than anything. Once we were admitted we followed the nurse up to the labor and delivery ward. I was mad because when I had Zachary my contractions had started (5-1-1) and I had a wheelchair. No wheelchair for the non-laboring mother!

When I say "we", I mean myself, Andy, and Kellie, my sister.

We arrived in the room, and they gave me drug #1 around midnight to "ripen the cervix". (Oh, it gets waaaay more gross if you want to stop reading now). I think I went to sleep; Kellie went back to her hotel, and Andy tried to sleep on the little pull-out bed. The next drug - "the meanie", would be administered at 4 am.

I think at 4 am I was still only dilated 1 cm!!! The nurse "helped me out" with the another 2-3 cm ... er, manually. Then they gave the pitocin. This motherf------. I was fine as long as I was on my left side, but then I wanted to lay on my right side. Why'd I want to do that. I rolled over to my right side and it was on like Donkey Kong. The contractions were coming every 2-3 minutes -- with no preceding "oh honey I think it's time to go to the hospital the contractions are getting closer" chapter. Nope. Right to major pain land. So I asked for an epidural. Which I got soon enough, but this time the catheter became the main pain source. (With Zachary, there weren't any catheter issues).

Not long after that, my water broke. In a very unusual place - on the birthing table. Without the baby. (The sac came out by itself). Ha - are you ready to go back to Facebook now, you wuss????

What was most unsettling was that at that point I had four nurses standing around me, the baby warmer was ready to go, but the lead nurse had this to say to me: "um, your doctor is on her way here". Yepperrrr. So they stood looking at me for about 10 minutes. I felt like I had to push. So I said, "I feel like I have to push". No one really knew how to respond to that, I guess, cause no one did. So I thought I'd better wait, if I could. IF.

Finally, the doctor arrived. She wasn't really expecting me to go into labor so fast, and said as much. We laughed. Oh, fun times.

The good news is, I only had to do three sets of three pushes, and then one last Biiiiiiig one. Kira came tumbling out at 7:14 am. I cried, she cried. It was a beautiful miracle which of course words cannot express.

I was glad that she could lay on my chest for a while before she was tagged and weighed. I think all mothers hate that part. Give me my baby! The nurses were a cheerful bunch but I just wanted to hold her.

After that, things are a blur. At some point I arrived in my recovery suite; a little extra money for a little better food, a better bed for Dad, and a Jacuzzi for mommy. Anyone who's been keeping up with our family knows about the drama we came home to after our journey abroad, so you'll forgive me for splurging!!

My cousin Tonia sent the most beautiful "baby girl" balloons! My mother and my son, Zachary, were able to visit the next day, and Kellie was able to stay for most of the morning before returning to DC.

So that's how Kira was born on January 31, 2012.