(Read Part I HERE)
I was almost immediately transferred to the delivery room (with a jet tub, yah!). Then ditched the terrible hospital gown and got into my comfy skirt. So nice to feel like myself and not a patient.
I not so kindly suggested that Bob go get the hospital bags (like NOW?!) and for a while was alone in the labor room. I found a comfortable position leaning over the food tray with my head on a pillow and swayed and swayed and swayed. And swayed some more. I also took that time to text Jess back- I had to throw her of the trail!
I remember that time being the most surreal time. It was silent and I was just going with every contraction, really letting my body do what it was made to do. That sounds so uber crunchy, but it was kind of a crunchy experience!
Things heated up when I started suspecting I was in transition. Labor had three stages; the first is the basic labor, which itself is divided into three parts. That last part is transition- where the cervix dialates from 8 to 10 cm. The contractions in transition are INTENSE and right on top of each other. Where the earlier contractions would peak at the the most intense for a few seconds, the contractions during transition would peak twice before the tiniest of breaks. Thankfully I was just on the verge of realizing that this was happening when Bob and the nurse came back.
I did not want to be hooked up to an IV, but had a block put in my hand in case I needed the IV at some point in the future (for an epidural or for fluids). My tiny, difficult veins reared their ugly heads. I thought it was bad sitting still while getting blood drawn before; sitting still while having a contraction is next to impossible. To be blunt, there was a whole lot of bleeding from my arm when that was put in. and even more tape all over my hand to keep the IV block in place. Folks, medicine tape is pretty strong, but when you’re hands are sweaty and clammy, basically nothing will keep it on. I had actually holding the tape on with my thumbs during the whole labor.
(Taken 24 hours later)
Around this time, my water broke while I was seated on the bed. There was some question of whether there was meconium in my water, so I was told that a respiratory specialist may be there for the delivery to make sure the baby’s lungs were ok.
I asked to be checked again. YES. RIGHT NOW! When the midwife arrived around noon, I once again had to reluctantly lie on my back. But for good reason- I was 8-9 cm! Transition it was! I had gotten so far on my own! And it was going fast! Two secret goals! Now for the tough part.
I observed (outloud) that I was going to have a baby today! The midwife laughed and said “yeah, you’re going to have a lunchtime baby!”
The next hour or so was a blur. I could tell you it went by in 5 minutes based on my memory. I spent most of the time leaned over the hospital bed with Bob rubbing my shoulders and wonderful nurse Jen putting counter pressure on my lower back. Unfortunately for her, when she would stop to, you know, do her job, I would yell “NO NO NO DON’T STOP!” In the interim, I repeatedly told whoever would listen that I just couldn’t do it anymore. Nope. I’m going to stop now. But to my surprise, no tears.
Jen then told me that I would hate her for it, but that I should really move to the bouncy exercise ball to get things moving along. What, we weren’t moving along enough? I obliged, and she was sooo right. Ow ow ow ow ow! A few contractions later, back came the midwife…
Right as she was checking my cervix, she let out a surprise “Oh! Are you having a contraction? Ok you can push now!” and then said to the nurse that the baby was RIGHT THERE.
I pushed on my side, I pushed on my hands and knees. Then back on my side, and finally on my back. I remember being given oxygen “to help me and the baby breath better” and being hooked up to the IV to get me fluids.
I have no idea what time it was when the pushing started getting serious, but recall having the doctor come in towards the end and introducing himself. Oh yeah, Doctor, I could give a shit who you are right now. This, incidentally, is exactly what everyone told me. Doctor was not my regular doctor, and just covered some weekend shifts for my practice. I was upset when I heard that he covered some shifts, but it truly didn’t matter. Plus, my parents were excited, since he was friends with my dad in Med school.
Anyhow, I pushed for what seemed like 2 minutes when the doctor asked if I wanted to feel the head. Oh lord, if you had told me before that moment that I would do that, I would have laughed at you in disgust. But in that moment, I needed to. I needed to feel how far I was and how close I was to being a mom.
Bob was holding one leg and a nurse was holding the other. To be honest, the pushing process wasn’t nearly as bad as transition. The worst part was the breaths I took in between pushes. Crunch again, but being able to actually feel the baby move down my body was the perfect motivator. I knew when I had a good push and when I had an unproductive push. Bob was amazing- I distinctly remember the look of amazement on his face when he told me over and over how well I was doing and how close I was and that the baby was coming. !!!.
And then. And then. And then. A contraction with 6 pushes. The doctors and nurses practically yelling at me to push! Push! Push!
And then she was here. Bob was silent. The room was silent. I looked, and saw a vagina! A vagina! A girl! The doctor handed her off to a nurse. And the room was still silent. I didn’t think it was that unusual that they didn’t give the baby right to me, given the meconium issue from earlier. I watched her be carried into the little warming bed. And in what seemed like an eternity and a millisecond at the same time, she cried.
She was here. And she was perfect.