December 25, Christmas morning...after a night full of family, friends, an awesome dinner and a huge mountain of gifts flying everywhere on Christmas Eve night, T and I woke up slowly and groggily. Even Tay, at 5 years old, wasn't already up sneaking a peak at what Santa left her. I got up first and went to the bathroom for a quick pee break. On the way out, I noticed a spot on my pants. It was very wet, about 3" in diameter, clear and odorless. Yes, I checked the smell. I had to make sure I hadn't peed on myself or something. Hey, it's common in pregnant women!!
I showed T the spot and asked him what he thought. He said that he thought maybe my water broke or leaked. I was like, hmmm. I don't know. I was still thinking that maybe all that leaked was a bit of my bladder. But I was 3 days past my due date and it didn't smell like pee. He suggested, and I agreed, that I should call my doctor (or the one that was on duty for my doc while Hutch was on vacation) and go into the hospital to have it checked out. We both knew from our massive amounts of research that, if your water does break or is ruptured in any way, delivery needs to take place within 24 hours to help alleviate any concerns for infection.
But, before we headed out across town, we woke Tay up and told her Santa had been here. She was able to have a somewhat normal, exciting Christmas morning opening gifts and playing with her new toys. T and I both took showers and then we finally left the house around lunch time to head to the hospital. Neither of us had any breakfast but we figured we could eat after our visit if it was all a false alarm - which I really thought it would be.
We made it to the hospital around 12:30 - right around lunch time - and I got checked in and directed to the labor and delivery area of the hospital. I had to leave T and Tay behind since children aren't allowed in that area due to the ridiculous hype of swine flu. I walked back through the maze of halls and noticed that some of the lights were still turned off and there were a lot of empty rooms. I guess a lot of people not only take vacation time around the holidays, they also don't have babies.
I finally made it to the nurses station after being buzzed through several doors and making several turns. Typically they would have examined me in triage to see if it was the real thing or not before assigning me to an L&D room but there was some sort of something going on with triage so they decided to examine me in the L&D room directly across from the nurses station. I was directed to undress from the waist down and was then explained the procedure to determine if, indeed, my water had broken or not. It is basically a pap smear type examination where they obtain a couple of swabs and then investigate the fluid under a microscope. According to the nurse, the cells of amniotic fluid are shaped like snowflakes which will determine if my water leaked or if it was just pee all along.
After she swabbed the deck, she did a quick internal and discovered that I was only 1 cm but that my cervix was very thin. She left to look under the microscope and I laid in the room by myself listening to my stomach growl and wonder what would be open for lunch on Christmas Day for when we were told to go home and get a hold of my bladder!
She returned in what seemed like forever and said, welp, that definitely is amniotic fluid. I just looked at her, waiting for her to say "go ahead and get dressed. It isn't time yet." So, since she didn't follow up her observation with the response I was expecting, I decided to take the next step. I said, so what does that mean? She said, that means you are staying here. We are admitting you. I think I literally heard myself gulp out loud. I asked, what is the next step? She said that they would be starting me on Pitocin to get my labor going. I think I was still in disbelief so I just laid there as she took my information - answering the questions from my subconscious versus my conscious brain.
When she was done with her questions, I asked her if she could let my husband know since he was out in the waiting room with his daughter. She said she would, then I realized it might be easier for me to just text him. All I knew is that I needed him to get back to me as soon as possible. I noticed that I was slightly trembling but that I wasn't all that cold. It was from nerves and anxiety and I was there without my security blanket, my rock. I needed T to get back there as soon as possible.
There was a lot of drama surrounding Tay being able to come back to see me. It was against the new "swine flu" rules to have a child come back to L&D (or anywhere in the hospital other than the main lobby). I was very upset because we really wanted her to be able to visit with me before and after. After a lot of convincing, they finally allowed Tay to come back wearing a mask and a special badge. She was so sweet. She held my hand as they were giving me my IV. She rubbed the inside of my hand and asked me if it hurt. She was so sweet and just looked at me like she loved me so much. It melted my heart and made me want her to stay even more.
But, eventually, she had to leave with Nona to get some food and to be out of L&D before things really started rolling. And it is probably a good thing she did. I started feeling contractions but they weren't too bad at first. Just period like cramps, nothing to unbearable. Although there was a clock right in front of me, the hands on the clock might as well have been spinning uncontrollably around the face. I do know that, around dinner time, I was checked again and still at 1 cm. The Pitocin was bumped up and continued to be bumped up every time I was checked because my cervix just wasn't dilating.
Then things started changing. The simple period like cramps evolved to a feeling of someone stabbing me with a dagger in my pelvis. It hurt so bad that, during every contraction, I was nauseous and had a serious urge to "go to the bathroom". Which I did do and had another contraction in the bathroom that made me think I was going to deliver in the toilet.
I was given my epidural but the pain continued. The very nice anasthesiologist stayed in the room to see how the epidural was initially progressing. She told me it would take about 15 or 20 minutes for it to really kick in. This was one time that the clock meant a lot to me!! I stared at the second hand as it made it's way around. Now time was standing still and my pain was still there. It only intensified when she left and we had to call her back again to bump up the amount. I was feeling incredible pressure in my pelvic area and that constant stabbing pain.
While waiting for my increase, I vomited the only meal I had had all day - a cherry popsicle. The nurse checked me again - an hour after being at 1 cm - and I was suddenly at 8!! What?? Then, about 30 to 45 minutes later, she checked me again and I was fully dilated! I couldn't believe it. I don't think anyone could believe it. The nurse decided to have me do some pratice pushes while they called Hutch's backup doctor (who, by the way, was VERY nice. She stopped by earlier in the day to introduce herself to me since I had never met her). T grabbed one knee, she grabbed the other and then we waited for the next contraction. We didn't have to wait very long. Deep breath in, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, let it out...and deep breath in...this repeated three times per contraction.
At one point, T started feeling a bit faint. It wasn't from being queasy from what was going on, it was from not eating for about 18 hours at that point in addition to not having anything to drink. But the nurse kinda razzed him a little. A little too much, in my opinion. She had another nurse hold my other leg while I continued my pushing. At one point, the unmentionable happened. I always feared that it would happen but 'they' are right that you don't care as much when you are in that "position". If you don't know what 'unmentionable' I speak of, I will leave it unmentioned.
Then I had more practice pushes during my second contraction. The nurses told me that the head was "right there" and that I was pushing great. During my third contraction, second practice push, they told me to stop in mid counting. It wasn't just a casual stop. It was a STOP! I guess baby was coming faster than they had expected. My nurse jumped on the phone to call the doctor to let her know it was time. I couldn't believe that, just hours before, I was still only 1 cm and now I had a baby on the verge of being born.
The practice pushes were put on hold until the doctor arrived. I just laid there in a holding pattern. When the doctor came into the room, she did so very casually and not too concerned about how quick things were going. She came over to my lower regions and started to casually reach for her cover up stuff. While she was pulling latex gloves out of their box, she asked me to give her a push to see how things are going. So, during the next contraction, I did the deep breath in, head to chest and 1, 2, STOP!! And that came from the doctor! She quickly started getting her supplies ready but she wasn't quick enough. I don't even remember giving any sort of push but I did feel the sudden rush of something happening. The nurse holding my left leg looked the doc's way and said, here we go! Sure enough, before I knew it, there was a blue-sih colored baby with arms and legs spread eagle and a good set of lungs! Everyone - including the nurses - knew that we didn't know what we were having so, while baby was spread eagle in front of us, we all looked in the same spot...
It's a GIRL!
Now, I know everyone knows that I was thinking (and, for a while hoping) it was a boy. But she was (and is) so beautiful. All of those thoughts and hopes flew out the window just as quick as our beautiful baby girl was born! Did I cry? Did I laugh? What did I do? What was my reaction? I was so shocked, overwhelmed and just in pure shock. There were no tears, no laughter, but T did say I had a huge smile on my face. I was incredibly shocked at how fast the delivery happened. There wasn't the whole "the head is out, stop pushing so we can turn the shoulders, etc." It was "hey doc turn around" and she was there. Reality happened quick and before I could figure out what happened.
I was still a bit dazed with my new reality as they were checking her out in the warmer. T was taking pictures and I was being stitched up - only a small tear. Nothing too bad. They asked us if she had a name. She does. Hayden Grace. Because of her quick exit, her breathing was a bit labored and very fast. But that corrected itself within a couple of hours. She was able to ride with me to the recovery room. After my epidural wore off a bit and I tried to pee, that is. I had to keep the IV in my arm until I peed. I really wanted to get that IV out but I really couldn't pee. The increased dose of epidural kept me from feeling anything from the waste down - including my bladder. So the IV had to be capped and kept in until I peed in the recovery room.
Although the bed in the recovery room was more comfortable than the one in L&D, it was very annoying. It had some sort of function that made it blow up or deflate in random places at random times. And those random times included in the middle of the night. Once in the recovery room, the nurses helped me into the restroom to try and pee. Success. IV came out (and the spot still hurts to touch to this day) and, with my legs back under me, I was able to shower and put on a nursing gown that I bought. I felt like a real person again and it felt great.
Hayden stayed with us in our room the entire time. I started breastfeeding in the recovery room since she wasn't up for it in L&D. OUCH! That's all I have to say about that. But I did it and suffered through the pain. She had a rough night of sleeping and it seemed to be due to gas. At 4 AM, right when I went to sleep for the first time in 48 hours and T finally got Hayden to sleep, some freaky witch of a nurse barged through our door, turned on all of the flourescent lights and a needle with a vile. She had come to take my blood. At 4 AM. Righteous. After missing my veins several times, she finally found what she was looking for leaving me with a huge bruise that has turned every color of the rainbow since then.
We didn't have the best experience with the nurses at the hospital. Or the hospital itself. They don't accomodate the dads very well. There is a small love seat sized sofa for the guys to sleep on and they don't even bring them meals!! Not that they would want them - I didn't eat even one of their meals. But it is just the way they pretty much disregard the dads. T would ask them a question and the nurse would answer his question while looking at me. Not at him. We think we got the holiday crew instead of the A Team. But we were able to leave on Sunday around noon and we couldn't get out of their fast enough!
But Hayden is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I am not only in love with her, I am obsessed with her! I find myself staring at her when she sleeps, melting when she looks my way with her beautiful, googly eyes and pretending she is smiling at me when she is really cooking up a good fart. Oh and this girl can fart!! And burp. She will make a good tomboy! We are becoming a good team with the breastfeeding. It still is uncomfortable but it is doable. T is in love with her too and it is sweet to see how comforted she is when she is in his arms.
I will be starting a new blog designed specifically for Hayden updates. I want a place where my family can come by and keep up with the amazing progress of my amazing girl. I will send out an address of the blog sometime soon.
In the meantime, introducing HAYDEN GRACE
December 26, 2009
7 lbs, 14 oz