Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Norah's Birth Story

**Disclaimer: you may want to skip this one if you are at all sensitive to words like cervix, dilation, or vaginal canal**

It has been a very hot summer up in the bay area, and I was so over being pregnant at about 35 weeks. I suffered from a severe and debilitating pregnancy induced rash/hives, and hadn't gotten a full nights sleep in several months. Baby was due to arrive July 10, but I honestly didn't know if I could make it that long.

Thursday, June 26 was a totally normal day, and Friday was to be my last day of work before starting maternity leave. I was so looking forward to 2 weeks of getting things ready, pampering myself, and SLEEPING. That night we went to bed at about 11 and I was up an hour later to use to bathroom (something that happened at least twice an hour that last month). I went back to bed but realized that my pajama pants were wet. Sadly, I just assumed I was suffering weak bladder syndrome and changed my pants. I went back to bed only to get up a few minutes later to go to the bathroom again (still, not a weird thing). When I stood up I felt a HUGE gush of water soak my pants and spill out onto the floor. Now, we took the requisite childbirth class and they told us less than 10% of women have their water break in this way--its usually reserved for dramatic moments in made for tv movies. So, of course that would be what happened to me.

I woke BVZ up and told him that I thought my water broke (he didn't believe me), and we called labor and delivery who told us to come in. We had nothing packed and nothing prepared and threw some stuff in a suitcase and drove to the hospital. I had no contractions, felt no pain, it was the most surreal drive of our lives.

We got to the hospital and got admitted. I really wasn't this lumpy, there are just monitors under that robe checking out the baby's heart rate and my contractions.

You can't really tell from this picture, but the hospital room was quite big and nice (as far as hospital rooms go). There was a nice big window and private bathroom. Little did we know we would spend the next 6 nights there.

BVZ slept on a fold out chair. For six nights. The man deserves a medal.


They told us to sleep from about 2 am to 6 am to see what would happen with my contractions. I don't think either of us slept a wink. At 6 they let me shower and then started the drug pitocin because the clock was ticking (since my water had broken), and I wasn't making any progress. Along with the pitocin I got bag after bag after bag of saline through an IV which made me have to pee every 5 seconds.

After about 4 hours, it was determined that the pitocin wasn't doing anything and I got the first dose of Cytotec, an oral drug that is supposed to thin and dilate the cervix. Over the course of the next 24 hours I would receive 3 more doses, all to no avail. Finally on Saturday morning, pitocin was started again and things got moving. Now, when I say things started to move, I mean that I went from having zero contractions to having unimaginably intense contractions in a matter of about 10 minutes. It was like going from zero to 60 in just a few seconds. I couldn't believe how painful and difficult it was. One other thing they never tell you about your water breaking, is that it replenishes itself, so it keeps on coming out. Especially when you have a contraction. I was pacing the floor, stopping every once in a while to have a contraction and water would pour out of me. Really, it was so, so gross. After about 2 hours of this pain I asked for an epidural and received the sweet, sweet relief. At that point it was really more waiting for my cervix to dilate.

At about 9 that evening it was determined I was ready to push and so we began. I knew from the beginning of pushing that something was wrong. It didn't feel right and I knew there was no progress. Sure enough, about an hour and a half later my OB confirmed that baby's head was lodged in the vaginal canal and there was little to no chance she would come out on her own. Plus, I was going on 48 hours with broken water and I started to spike a fever. So, that meant a c-section for me. I was scared, but totally out of it on drugs by that point, so it is all just a blur. From the time they told us about the c-section to the time she was born was maybe 20 minutes. It happened really fast.

BVZ went with the baby as soon as she was born, and shockingly enough, remembered to take the camera!



She was 9 lbs, 3 ozs, of pure chunk! We would spend the next 4 nights in the hospital with me recovering from the surgery and learning how to be a family of 3.


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