Thursday, November 24, 2011

Childbirth: Part II

So. When last I left you dangling precariously off the edge of that cliff, my doctor was missing, I was under orders to resist the urge to push (which is similar to saying resist the urge to take your hand off of that hot stove. Virtually impossible.) and my epidural was like some kind of evil prank. It was not working by any stretch of the imagination. I had finally succumbed and made the call to the dugout for a replacement doc, the on-call OBGYN, to close it out.

(If you missed part one and would like to see how I wound up in this position you can click here. There’s also a few disclaimers and warnings that you probably ought to read first before you continue with this post anyway. I won’t rehash all of that though for those of you who just want me to GET TO THE REST OF IT ALREADY!!! Yeah, that’s right. I hear ya. Oh, and that other post will also explain all the bold print fyi.)

When the door opened and the on-call doc stepped in, I promise you it was like a chorus of angels began to sing. My hero! Here to rescue me from a pain so intense, I can’t even begin to put it into words. I was literally sweating buckets and on the verge of tears. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so helpless before. And I promise you, I can think of no other time in my life when I have EVER hurt like that. Considering this is my 3RD CHILD, that ought to tell you something.

But shortly after her introduction (Dr. Who? What? I don’t care!!! JUST DELIVER THIS CHILD), things would go south and fast. After she told me her name, I warned her about the one thing I panic about every time. I’ve torn and bad before. Pretty much as bad as a woman can humanely tear with baby number 1, which led my doc to be a little quicker with the episiotomy the 2nd time making things thus significantly better. Let’s just say with the first one, it took waaaaaay longer to stitch me up then to actually push the baby out. So I wanted this doctor to know that, to be ready to cut when necessary and before it got to that point to be doing a little stretching (if you know what I mean) to make things a little smoother.

But do you know what this pyschopath said to me when I told her? Just guess. Take a minute and think to yourself what your response would be to a woman IN LABOR when she expresses THAT concern to you…

Think of something? Ok great. Was it this: “Oh. You’ve torn before?” Me: “Yes.” Apathetic response: “Well then, you’re probably going to tear again.”

Thanks. Thanks for your frickin’ sympathy. Could you lie to me please? Or just say, “I’ll do my best?” Or, “Thanks for letting me know.” ANYTHING other than what equates to “Yeah lady, you think it hurts now, it’s about to get much much worse.”

But THEN it gets better! Because remember how I’m in the middle of trying NOT to push every time I have a contraction. I mean really, we are at GO TIME here people. But does this doc go scrambling quick to get into the catcher’s position? Nope. Nor does she even get her scrubs on for that matter. She’s off to the side of me talking to the nurse. Now, I’m sure it was something VITALLY important they were discussing about BUT I HAD TO PUSH!!!

And that was about what I yelled in her direction when the next contraction hit. She looks over at me and says calmly, “Ok. Go ahead.” as if I just said I had to cough or sneeze or something other than, you know, HAVE A GIANT HUMAN HEAD RIP THROUGH MY BODY. I literally had no idea what to do with being given “her blessing” to push. I was so thoroughly confused which is probably NOT the best way to be when you’re about to give birth.

Now, let me just pause here for a second to say yeah, I get where she was coming from. Sort of. I get that sometimes women push for hours before their little bundle finally becomes one of joy and pops out. NOT ME. SEVEN minutes on the last one might I remind you. SEVEN Minutes. So when this doctor says to me ok push, I’m just thinking “SERIOUSLY?” Nobody had dropped the bottom of my bed yet. No one was “in position.” In fact, no one other than my mom and husband was anywhere near me.

There were just so many things running through my head at this point, what about that tearing I just mentioned? What about that fibroid and possible c-section my doctor and I discussed back at his office? Why does this hurt so much if I have an epidural? Is something wrong? Is it that fibroid in the way? Is she stuck? Will pushing make it worse and if not and I push, is this kid going to land on the floor?

So although I may have made a face (and a little noise) as if I was pushing I wasn’t really. I mean, I might have given her a little nudge, but certainly not a push.

I swear to you the thought ran through my head that this was all some kind of hidden camera joke. A really cruel one where they take a pregnant woman, give her a dummy epidural, hide her doctor, send in a replacement “on call OBGYN” who is really an actor playing disinterested medical professional and then watch to see for entertainment purposes how she responds when she’s basically left entirely on her own to give birth.

And let me tell you something that I learned through all this. Really, nobody else IS necessary for you to give birth. In fact, despite my worries with my first child that I wouldn’t know how to push when it came time, I can say with full confidence now, ya don’t need to know. I honestly don’t even think I was entirely necessary for childbirth. At least my mental presence anyway. I swear that baby and my body we’re moving on whether or not I decided to participate and actively push or not. SWEAR.

So mid first semi sort of push, one of the nurses ran over, grabbed one of my legs and started pulling it up towards my head, “Grab your legs! Grab your legs!” she sort of shouted at me. I didn’t. And she looks at me and goes “Didn’t you hold your legs with the others?” I think I responded, “No” or maybe “I don’t know” or “I don’t remember,” but I’m pretty sure my head did a full on Exorcist style 360 degree rotation when she asked. All I could think was REALLY???!!! YOU are going to critique my birthing technique while ya’ll are chit chatting across the room? Let’s see now, for the last two not only did I NOT feel it, but I also had a doctor in catching position and a nurse by my side giving me a push count and reminding me to breath. So yeah, I apologize if I’m a little off my game when the doctor who’s supposed to be helping this along has STILL not made a move to get scrubbed up or in position.

In fact, SHE NEVER got scrubbed up or in position EVER. Swear. Ok wait, no. Let me take that back. She did put scrubs on her feet. That’s it. Dr. Clean shoes. Wouldn’t want to get a little baby on those loafers now would we?

But I promise you she never came within more than 5 feet of me. After two pretend pushes with her over off to the side and my seriously considering getting out of bed and dragging her to the appropriate location to actually, you know, DELIVER A BABY, Dr. Clean Shoes finally sort of moved in that direction and stood there with hands folded, sort of semi peeking from afar under the sheet that’s now raised because one of the nurses has my legs and I think my mom maybe had my other one. But she kept glancing over her shoulder at the bathroom. One time, I(I swear I am not making this up.) I told her (or yelled rather) that I had to push and she said “Ok.” And then turned around and looked at the bathroom door. I

Just as I was about to yell “WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU LOOKING AT? WOULD YOU FOCUS PLEASE?!” and then remind her my kid was not coming out of the bathroom,  into the room bursts MY doctor. He exchanged half a nod and a couple of words with Dr. Clean shoes and she was out. Of. There. without even a good luck or best wishes to me (not that I really cared at that point).

Now, I’m not sure if my doctor came rushing in with his scrubs on or if he just ripped off his clothes and they were on underneath like Superman or Batman (Did Batman quick change? I have no idea, but I’m sticking with it). All I know is, he was ready to go and in position about one minute after he walked (quickly) in. And by in position, I do not mean 5 feet away staring at the bathroom door.

It didn’t take him long either to assess the situation and realize I was not giving it my best effort. “Ok Kelly, what’s going on? Whimpy pushes are not going to get this baby out. Why aren’t you pushing?” (He’d later apologize for calling me a whimp, but said he figured I could take it because I’m a runner. He knows us well eh?)

Now, for a brief moment Dr Clean shoes and the chaos that had ensued under her lead flashed through my head, but as I was not really in position to be explaining ALL that, I just shouted out the most pressing issue: “It HURTS!!” (um…duh)To which he calmly replied, “Ok…where or how does it hurt?” My response? “I DON’T KNOW!” I didn’t really. My whole nether region basically.

So there was some numbing (that didn’t help) and some baby turning and/or guiding (which FRICKIN’ HURT worse than before), but basically I knew this wasn’t going to get any better until I delivered and now that I knew there was someone PAYING ATTENTION I just gave it all I got. Two pushes later, my OBGYN was telling me to stop for a minute. At the time, I had no idea why. I also didn’t know for sure if I had stopped pushing. I was TRYING not to, but the pressure was so intense I wasn’t really sure if I HAD in fact stopped. Fortunately, I did because I’d later find out my doctor had me stop in order to remove the cord from around my sweet baby girl’s neck.

One push after that and at 7:01 PM, just 3 hours after my water broke, she was FINALLY HERE!!! (Hear that Dr. Clean shoes. THREE pushes.) all 8lbs 14.3 oz of her (and 21 inches long. Yep. She was a big one!).


And as you can see, she was NOT shy about letting the world know she was here. She was screaming like a banshee from the moment she came out. She was also the bluest little baby I’ve ever seen, although you can’t see it in that picture above at all (cord around the neck maybe?). In fact, when they handed her to me, she was so blue and cried so loud that I thought DSCF9599 maybe something was wrong (yeah, that’s not a very good picture there to the left, but she’s fresh out of the hopper and you can perhaps see what I’m talking about).

My doctor assured me though that she was fine and after a minute or two they took her across the room to clean her up, get her stats, etc which was completely fine by me because I have a REALLY difficult time holding a newborn while I get stitched back together. Eventually though, I got my little peanut back and all calmed down. Isn’t she cute :-)?


But there’s one last part to this (fabulously long) labor & delivery story: the return of Mr. A. You see, when you have an epidural, usually your anesthesiologist checks on you the next day to see how you’re doing and how it went. True to form, (VERY) early the next morning, Mr. A showed up at my door. And when he asked, I didn’t hesitate to tell him something wasn’t right during delivery. Everything still really hurt even with the epidural. After all, I wouldn’t want some other poor unsuspecting mom to be dealt the same fate in her time of need.

His response? I kid not. This dude looks at me blankly as if I’m some kind of raging moron and says, “well, it was a labor epidural not a delivery epidural. You’re supposed to feel a little discomfort.”

**Deep breath** “A LITTLE discomfort???????!!!!!!!” Did I say I was UNCOMFORTABLE? No, I said it hurt. How ‘bout you endure 2nd verging on 3rd degree tearing in your most sensitive man parts & then and only then will you and I have a little discussion about “discomfort” ok? And what the crack do you mean “labor epidural not a delivery epidural”? I didn’t see an option box when I signed your little paper work. Why on earth would I want pain medication for the labor, but not the delivery? I’m sorry. Are you on drugs? (You know, like say perhaps the drugs I was supposed to have gotten?)DSCF9636

Still I almost let it go at that point because really I just wanted that  dude to get out of my room and let me enjoy my little baby. Almost.

But thinking perhaps he had mistook me for a rookie with a low tolerance for pain and I should give him the benefit of the doubt, I opted instead to clarify that I did, in fact, have some idea of how the epidural was supposed to work. “You know,” I told him, “I’ve had two kids before and it never hurt ANYTHING like THAT.” But oh, silly me.

Are you ready? Ready for his brilliant response? First he shrugs his shoulders, then he says to me, “I don’t know. You must have been lucky with the other two.” Luck? LUCK?! GET OUT OF MY ROOM MAN. I. AM. DONE. With you. I seriously wanted to punch him in the face, but instead I just said nothing and he left.

I’d later relay this conversation to my doctor. He made a funny face kind of like when your three year old asks you for something and you have no idea what they’re talking about. He guessed perhaps Mr. A was referring to the difference between blocking the pain for a C-Section versus a vaginal birth. For a C-Section, you don’t need (or want) to feel anything, but when you actually need to push like with a vaginal birth, you want to feel a little bit so you can do so effectively.

But little bit was NOT what I felt. I’ve been there and done that. My doc suggested that maybe I’m just not remembering correctly, but trust me I WOULD HAVE REMBERED THAT. (And for backup purposes, I asked my husband. He’s on my side. He says NO way was that epidural working the way it was with the other two. I was not pouring sweat with either of them.)

I can tell you this much though, should I be blessed with another child, I might as well forgo an epidural entirely. I only had it for 15 minutes or so anyway and if it’s all still going to hurt like a mother, then what’s the point. Besides if my labor time follows suit and is cut in half from 12 hours the first time, to 6 the 2nd, to 3 this time, then that means that next time will be somewhere around an hour and a half. I may not have time for an epidural anyhow (and I should probably live at the hospital in the last trimester for that matter).

DSCF9721So that’s the story. We’re all doing great over here. Yeah, I’m a little sleepy and all (as you can totally see in that picture), but we’re loving our new addition.

The Little Miss and the Tiger adore their baby sister and are so sweet and gentle and loving with her. The Little Miss is THRILLED to do anything to help with the baby and has now DSCF9674 changed her list of “what I want to be when I grow ups” from a myraid of things (soldier, nurse, singer, doctor) to just one: mother (say it with me now “awwww”). The Tiger’s big sisterly job is to throw away dirty diapers. She slams those suckers in the trash and throws her arms in the air like she just scored a touchdown, “I did it!” She shouts and does a little happy dance. We high five her after every one of course.

However, The Tiger is also taking out her frustrations about losing her position as the baby in the family on the rest of us, tantrums, biting, a newly acquired fear of the dark, and a general refusal to do DSCF9460anything she is asked unless it is asked by her little abominable snowman stuffed toy (yeah, I have no idea either, but I am slightly tempted to take him with me EVERYWHERE). So please, fee free to share any of your tips for dealing with a 3 year old who seems to have lost her mind, because I’m sort of feeling like I could lose mine on a somewhat daily basis. Who knew that once you have three it’s the baby that’s the easiest?

As for me and my running, not so much yet. I have been doing some walking though and I just made up a training plan with the thoughts of doing a marathon somewhere next fall. It starts Monday so wish me luck!

Oh and I did register for my first race, the Warrior Dash. I figure it can’t be any tougher than what I just went through right? (Please say yes, please say yes, please say yes.)

Happy Thanksgiving ALL!


'Til next time...

P.S. I’m planning a Black Friday review & giveaway around these parts so be sure to check back when you’re finished shopping. You have my solemn oath that my giveaway post will NOT be this long.

P.P.S. But in all honesty, you better give me until Sunday to get that review posted. Everything seems to take me waaaaaaay longer these days.


Jessica Washburn said...

Sorry you had such a rough experience! Enjoy your new little bundle. Jessica

RunMom said...

Thanks Jessica! I should also say it was totally worth it and I'd do it all again in a second. She's so precious!

Mum on the Run said...

What a horrendous experience.
What an utterly adorable outcome.

Erica said...

You have such a great since of humor! I would have possible punched someone! and blamed it on labor....Your 3 girls are precious and very close in age to my 3 girls...all I can say is age 3 seems to monsterous! I constantly tried to remind my 3 how much we loved her and give her extra quiet time while baby is napping and big girl is at school...and yes I rave about the baby being the best baby ever...because she is the easiest one in the house, the first couple of weeks were nuts and a huge adjustment phase then is leveled out and got much easier now I think I could have another :) and that's how I know I'm Crazy!!

bobbi said...

What a crazy L&D experience! *I* wanted to punch both Dr. CS and Mr. A in the face - you were a model of restraint :)

She is breathtakingly beautiful! Happy Thanksgiving!