At the risk of appearing on STFUparentsblog.com for over-posting baby-related stuff on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook; I will be turning to my blog when I feel the need to use mommy-speak and reflect on baby stuff.
I received bad news about a friend’s pregnancy last week and another friend went into labor today. I’m really grateful that I’m part of this mommy “class” of friends. We’ve been able to talk candidly about all things pregnancy-related, and I was one of the first to go in. Yeah, my girl Moselle will be “old” for her grade! I try to hold myself back and not give too much advice or too many horror stories, but there’s just some things I want my friends to know ya know?
Again, I’ll be turning to this blog for that stuff. The internet is my friend too I suppose. If you pulled my Google search history from the past 15 months (yes, I speak in months now), you’d find some pretty shocking, weird, funny, and informative stuff. I’m looking forward to seeing what search terms bring people to my blog now that I’m going full mommy.
Let’s start at the beginning. December 18th, almost a week past my super cool due date of 12/12/12, hubs and I were in the basement watching TV. That was pretty much all we did during my last trimester. It’s where the comfy couch was, but there was no bathroom so I’d have to roll myself off of said comfy couch, waddle up the stairs, pass through the kitchen, then to the bathroom, like 6 times each hour. We were in the throes of daytime TV when I felt the tightness in my belly and thought, hmm, these aren’t Braxton Hicks, they must be the real deal. Instead of being honest, I told hubs I kinda felt something in my belly, but nothing crazy dear! A couple of hours passed and hubs cooked a nice lunch, I don’t even remember what it was (see what happens?!) and the tightness was accompanied by some slight oomph, I wouldn’t say pain knowing now what I didn’t know then. I figured this would be a good time to fire up the hospital’s iPad app and use the contraction timer. It made counting contractions pretty foolproof. I think at this point, contractions were happening for 7-10 seconds, 15-35mins apart. No pattern yet. I remembered the hospital’s advice about contractions like this – Bacardi 151 – 1 minute contractions, 5 minutes apart, lasting for 1 hour. Feel free to use my mnemonic device.
We went about the day, tapping the iPad as needed and looking for patterns. The contractions got gradually more predictable until I tried to go to bed at 10pm, lasting 45 seconds, 5-9mins apart. I slept for maybe an hour.
I distinctly remember sitting on the toilet as hubs called my mother. I insisted that my water hadn’t broken, but there was some mucus going on down there, not enough to make me think it was the mucus plug. Ah, yes, that lovely term that we learned in baby class.
“I think she should go in, you talk to her”
So, I relayed the day’s events to my mom again, from the toilet. I told her I was in a bit of pain, but nothing crazy. She told me it was time to go in.
Hubs and I had our bags packed for at least the past month, but I still double-checked a few things as he let the dog out to potty and setup the cat with food. The action plan was now in effect – future grandma and grandpa would be on their way from up North to watch our pets as I would labor in the hospital.
Hubs got out the “good camera” and took a pic of me in my undies and tank top, my final maternity pic.
Ladies, take your hospital’s advice about pre-registering! You do NOT want to deal with paperwork and a copay when you arrive to the hospital looking and feeling like me in this picture! Don’t worry, I did pre-register. So I quickly laid down in a triage room. A really nice nurse put the monitors on my belly and we watched the machine monitor my contractions. It was interesting to put a number to how I was feeling. By 1am, I was admitted to a birthing room.
Look how happy I am to be in the birthing room! I want to take this moment to laugh out loud via keyboard at the Pinterest pin about “photos you must take at the hospital.” I don’t know what drugs that lady was on, but there’s no way I would’ve let hubs or a photographer take pics of me during what transpired between now and the next pic I’ll post!! I labored laying down, standing up, on all fours, “dancing” with hubs, sitting on an exercise ball, and in the shower under hot water until 11am the following morning. I really tried to go natural, it was not meant to be. On my birth plan, yes, I did one of those, I asked that the nurses let me know when the “no going back point” was for an epidural. 10:30am was that time. I asked nicely for an epidural and told hubs not to judge me. He had the same wide-eyed “I can’t believe what I’m seeing” look on his face since 1am and was not judging me one bit.
About that birth plan, it was something we scrawled on the March 19, 2012 page from my hub’s Moleskine notebook around 12/12/12. Nothing fancy. I had researched a few things and other things were more for general comfort, here are some I remember off the top of my head:
- profanity is allowed
- I want a natural birth, but let me know when the last chance is for an epidural
- don’t cut the baby’s umbilical cord until it is done pulsating
- no Hepatitis shot please
- don’t forget I’m O- please
- no visitors until the baby is born
- skin-to-skin contact right away please
- I plan to breastfeed
See? Simple, but a lot of this stuff maybe wouldn’t have happened if I did not write it down. The nurses take your list and put items on your care board in your room just in case you see multiple shifts of nurses like I did. I saw at least 3 shifts during labor, my 1st nurse was my favorite, the nurse that “helped” me deliver was my least favorite as she smelled like cigarettes and cared more about her paperwork. But I digress.
Hubs said the epidural was gnarly to watch. I’m glad I couldn’t see it, judging from all the little holes I felt on my back, I think a student may have done it.
I think I took a 2 hour nap! Prior to the epidural, the doctor checked my cervix and I was around 2cm dilated. Yay. After my nap, I was 8cm! SWEET! I didn’t feel a thing and my cousin the surgeon brought me a chocolate chip cookie against doc’s orders. In my mind, surgeon trumps doctor right?
Fast forward and now I’m pushing, it’s around 9pm. I may have gotten trigger happy on my “happy drugs” and my epidural ran out. The doc ordered the nurse to order more, but I guess she didn’t hear the 1st time. I needed something, and the doc offered a local anesthetic. It hurt like a mofo, hubs said the needle was 2 feet long. I needed two shots, OMG, that sucked. This is when I ran out of gas. I was being a good little pusher, even when the nurse wheeled a mirror in so I could check my progress. Hubs and nurse had been saying “there’s the head!” for a while, and I thought I’d see the baby’s head OUT when I looked in the mirror…no. So I pushed some more, I thought I was going to poop for sure this time, but I never did. Also, the baby wasn’t coming out. I was pushing as hard as I could! The doctor said I’d have the baby “tonight” and it was 10:30pm. I trusted her. I kept pushing and pushing even when the nurse wasn’t there, I could read the contraction-o-meter by now and knew what to do.
The doc and I had a short conversation: C-section, keep pushing, or forceps. I chose forceps, I needed help. The doc sent for her set of forceps and they arrived in a case, it looked legit and the doc got a business look on her face. Hubs asked how often she does this, she said “all the time.”
Forceps in place, doc is coaching me now and I push. Relief, the baby is out! She comes out pooping and the doc hands her to me. I couldn’t see her face, but her little wriggly purply bloody body was so cute. They wiped her off more and handed her to hubs who was ready with his shirt unbuttoned for skin-to-skin time. She pooped on him. This is definitely my child!
The nurses followed all of our birth plan instructions and left the room. Hubs had to order a clean up as some, uh, stuff, was left on the floor. Yuck. The recovery rooms were all full, so we had to sleep in our birthing room. Two hours later, we took a walk to the nursery for some tests. Our little baby was the cutest in the nursery and she probably had the highest test scores I’m sure.
The rest of the night and morning is a blur of breastfeeding attempts and vitals checks. By noon the next day, we were ready for visitors. Baby’s first visitors were my parents and my father-in-law who by dumb luck flew in from NY the day Moselle was born. The second best visitor we welcomed that day was the lactation consultant. I woke up feeling like my right nipple had definitely been ripped off during the night. It was still there, but in bad shape. The lactation nurse had the pharmacy whip me up a special steroid nipple cream that I’d use for the next 2-3 months until I got the hang of breastfeeding. Another nurse walked hubs through changing a diaper.
We were finally cleared to bust out of the hospital the next day. Hubs brought the car seat and base up to the room. Men and partners – don’t bring the base that you spent an hour installing in your car into the hospital. Also, make sure your baby’s going home outfit has legs so they safely fit in their car seat.
So there we were – hubs proudly carrying his daughter in her carseat through the halls of the hospital as I waddled 10 feet behind to the below-zero chill of the Minneapolis air, past the nurses taking smoke breaks, into the exhaust-filled parking garage.
Moselle was going home!
But, not so fast. I have another story for you about what happened less than a week later.