Thursday, February 7, 2013

Loralai's Birth Story

I think she sensed my impatience.  I think she thought to herself, okay, if you're ready to do this.  Let's do this.  Now.

I went to bed Friday night just before midnight and was feeling normal- no indications that I was in labor or might be soon.  At 1:30, I woke up because I was really uncomfortable, which hadn't been unusual for that last week before my due date. I took a warm shower, hoping that would relax me, but the pain started to get worse, and it was coming in waves.  Surely, this can't be it, I thought.  The pains were already so close together and  I wasn't getting any relief in between the contractions.

I got back out of the shower and laid down in bed and started to time my contractions.  They were already a minute and a half apart.  I wondered if I was having false labor, because it had come on so quickly that it didn't seem right.  I continued timing the contractions and debated calling JD, who was at work.  About a half hour later, the contractions were still consistent and I was feeling progressively worse.  The pain was making me nauseous, and I wondered how I would manage if it got any worse.  

I called JD.  "I think I'm in labor.  The contractions are already a minute and a half apart."

I could hear the adrenaline in his voice, but he remained calm.  "Okay, I'm on my way back to the station.  I'll be home and soon as I can and we'll load up the car and go."

He called me three times on his way home to check on me.  By the third time, I asked (politely- I'm proud to say I did not yell at him at any point) if he could not call me anymore and that I would call if I needed him.

He arrived home and quickly loaded our bags in the car.  He didn't even take time to change out of his uniform.  We sped off and I mumbled something about driving carefully.  I was in a haze at this point.  He called a fellow officer to meet us at the city limit and give us a police escort the rest of the way to the hospital.  I saw blue lights and felt him hit the accelerator, but I couldn't worry about how fast we were going.

We pulled into the hospital and I think I managed to thank the friend who escorted us in.  We must have been quite a sight to the people in the waiting room.  Our car pulling in, followed by a police car with lights running. JD, in full uniform, pushing me in a wheelchair while I buried my face in a pillow.  We got checked in and upstairs for my initial evaluation.  They were asking me all kinds of questions about my pain level and when my due date was.  I mumbled answers, silently begging them to leave me alone.  

"Can I get something?" I asked, mid-contraction.

"Not yet.  We need to wait to get the results of your blood work," the nurse replied.

She examined me.  There was surprise in her voice when she announced, "She's already at 9cm.  Page her doctor."

I was just as surprised as she was.  9cm?!  When did this happen?!  I'd been feeling fine before bed.  Then, there was the sinking realization that there would be no time for the epidural I had been planning on.

"Am I going to be able to get the epidural?" I asked as they wheeled me to a delivery room.

The first nurse said no.  When the second nurse saw the panic on my face, she told me there still might be time.  She knew there wasn't, but she told me what I needed to hear.  I needed hope.

My doctor came in and before I knew it, it was time to push.  My blood work was not back.  No epidural.  I was delivering naturally, whether I wanted to or not.

JD and the nurses were amazing.  They kept me calm and told me just what I needed to hear to stay focused and calm.  At 4:47am, just over 3 hours after labor started, we welcomed Loralai Violet to the world.

In the moment, the idea of delivering her naturally seemed impossible.  In hindsight, it's easy to be thankful that everything went so quickly.

Most importantly, she is a happy and healthy baby girl.  She has stolen our hearts already and become the center of our universe.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Impatience Pt. 3

Well, today is my due date.  Still no baby.  I’m officially joining JD in his impatience.

I know I can’t really complain that she didn’t come by my due date.  I know that going a week or so past your due date is still “normal.”  People keep telling me, “Just enjoy these last few days where it’s just you and JD and you can sleep soundly, because your life is about to change so much!”  I totally get that.  Once I’m “on the other side,” I’m sure I will give the same advice to expectant mothers, but when you’re in those final weeks, when your every thought revolves around your baby, when you can’t focus on anything else like work, and when your discomfort is at a level where it hurts to sit, walk, AND lie down, you’re thinking “screw that- a few extra days of relaxing won’t make a difference in the grand scheme of things- get this belly hijacker out of me now!” (I’m also finally dealing with a bit of swelling, a condition I like to call “sausage foot.”)

It doesn’t help that the doctor scheduled an induction on the 7th if I don’t go into labor before then on my own.  It feels like a looming deadline- a threat in a way.  “If you can’t do this on your own, we’re doing it for you.”

I understand they can’t let me carry this baby around forever.  Once you reach a certain point past your due date, the risk to mom and baby starts to grow.  And in a way, it’s nice to have a definitive end point.  But I really, really want to avoid an induction.  I don’t want them pumping me full of drugs, trying to force a baby out who didn’t seem to be ready to come out on her own.  Plus, it seems that a lot of inductions (not all) result in a really long labor where they do a C-section in the end anyway.

I told myself that I wouldn’t be psycho pregger with the super specific birth plan.  I didn’t want to be the woman that freaks out when it doesn’t work out the way that she wanted it to.  I’m trying to remind myself of that, because my main objective (obviously) is to have a healthy baby.  Modern medicine is designed to keep me and the baby safe.  If I have to be induced, so be it.

Plus, there’s still a week for me to go into labor on my own.  Judging from how slowly this past week has gone, a week is really an eternity, and gives her plenty of time to decide she’s ready.

On the bright side, I have an increased appreciation for the Friends episode “The One Where Rachel Is Late,” which had me laughing out loud the other night.  This compilation covers all the best parts.  A bit long, but totally worth it.  Highlights include Ross telling Rachel he wishes he was a seahorse, and the parts where Rachel tries to bend over to pick up the fork and when she comes out of the bathroom and stops to wonder aloud if she needs to pee again (I can relate to both of these moments).