Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The One Where I Can Write About My Labor and Delivery And Never Think About It Again...

Dear, Sweet Lex. My darling, darling boy. As your mother, I never want you to experience any type of pain that can be described as "agony". Having said this, you will never really know enough about what women go through to ever really appreciate what I have just gone through to get you on this earth. And that's a little frustrating. Just know that when you are old enough to make your own money, I expect flowers every year on your birthday. Yes, YOUR birthday. :)

So, throughout this pregnancy I had Braxton Hicks contractions (pretty much from the get go), but when I hit 38 weeks they started to feel different. For a few days, I had contractions that would come and go, getting so intense and close together at times that we thought "this is it!" and even packed and got in the van one time, only to have them stop completely. It was a very confusing couple of days! On Thursday, March 7th at around 2am, I woke up and felt like my water had broken. I walked around a little, and sure enough it had! I called the midwife who was on call, and she said if I wasn't having consistent, uncomfortable contractions then I could stay home for a while to labor, but to call back around 8am if things hadn't picked up. 
Around 7am I started having some slightly uncomfortable contractions, but nothing too intense so I waited until 8am to call again. I called, and they recommended that I go ahead and come in to the hospital around 9am. So we got up and packed, shipped the girls off to Mother's Day Out with Granna and Rae Rae, and headed to Texas Children's Pavilion for Woman (after picking up breakfast, of course:). We got there, got checked in, settled into a Labor and Delivery room and waited a few minutes for the midwife to get there. Granna, Rae Rae and Auntie L (with Norah) met us there, too. Dawn was the midwife on call that day, so she was the one who would be delivering Lex. She checked me at around 10am and said that I was barely dilated to one cm, and that Lex was at a -5 station...he was basically floating and not at all engaged or "dropped". 
Dawn said she recommended that we go ahead and start pitocin even though she knew I didn't want pitocin this time around. She said we could wait an hour or two to start it to see if I could get my contractions going a little stronger, but since I had been contracting for days with nothing to show for it, she felt that pitocin was inevitable and delaying it would only make me more tired.
I agreed to pitocin, but we discussed the possibility of an epidural if I felt like the pain became unmanageable. I remembered Charlotte's birth with pitocin a little too clearly and wanted an "out" if I felt like my labor became too intense.
We started pitocin at around 11:30, and it definitely felt like labor, but was still bearable at that point. At around 2:30pm they felt like I wasn't progressing fast enough so they bumped up my pitocin. From that point on, my contractions were beyond painful. Almost immediately, I felt like I needed to push. Dawn checked my progress, and flat out refused to tell me what I was dilated to (which was SO maddening. In retrospect, there were many things I was unhappy about and things that could have been handled differently.) I found out later I was only dilated to 4cm. I did at this point ask for pain meds in my IV and got something that I can't remember the name of. I just remember thinking that it made life so happy and really made me feel like I could do it. And then *literally* ten minutes later it had worn off. I spent the next 2-3 hours crying, yelling, a scene from a movie where the woman in labor is very loud and everyone on the floor is scared to death to have their baby. It was pure agony. At some point, Shawn asked Dawn if we could go ahead and get an epidural. I gladly agreed and asked to get the ball rolling. Dawn said she would make me a deal. I told her I knew how their deals worked...she would stall on the epidural just long enough for me to have the baby, and I assured her that I wanted the epidural. She said that they would start the IV fluids necessary for the epidural and that once those had gone through, then they could call the anesthesiologist, and it would take him about 30 minutes to get here from that point. I remember thinking at that point "It should NOT take that long!", but I was pretty much out of my mind from pain and so I just agreed. At some point during this process, Granna and Rae Rae couldn't take it anymore and had to leave, but Auntie L stayed by me with Shawn (or Daddy...I forget what vantage point I'm writing this from now...) and held my hand and encouraged me (which I remember being a little bossy about. I clearly remember crying and asking "Will someone please tell me that I can do this??" after every. single. agonizing. contraction.) I ended up progressing to an 8 about 45 minutes later, and was ready to push about 20-30 minutes after that, so I never did get that epidural. When it was time to push, Auntie L ran out of the room, and I had to lay flat on my back because Lex's head could not get under my pelvic bone. I only pushed for about 5 minutes, and I finally understood what some of my friends meant when they said that pushing brought them relief. I finally got to meet my sweet boy. It was, of course, all worth every moment. There were just a few moments I would rather forget. :)