The Story

So, where were we?

Oh right, I had a baby!

What an experience. Before I start off the labor story, let me just mention that as I type this little Violet is sleeping beside me in her bassinet and life could not be more perfect. I am so blessed to have this child. I am so absolutely in love with her.

Tuesday morning at 5:45am my husband and I were checked into the hospital for the induction. Things started slow. Very slow. I wasn't put on pitocin right away -- instead my doctor started me off with a pill (put in your who-haw) and after 4 and 8 hours (and a second pill) they checked to see if I had dilated any further. Now, I started off already 1cm dilated, so when I heard that after 8 hours I was only 2cm dilated, I got a little worried.

Then the pitocin was started. I had wondered throughout my pregnancy what 'real' contractions would feel like. I would very soon find out. Many hours later, I can't recall when exactly, maybe 10 to 12 hours into it, I was at about 3 1/2 cm dilated. The contractions were really starting to hurt. I had the worst stomach cramps from not having eaten in a long time, and the pain was very bad in my back. So I decided it was about time to get my epidural.

I knew that if I had to see the enormous needle used for the epidural I would freak. I'm a wuss when it comes to needles. I like to think I have a high pain tolerance, but the sight of needles going on -- *cringe*. So I kept my eyes closed most of the time and tried not to think about it. As it turned out, the epidural experience was the 2nd most painful part of my labor, with only hard pushing surpassing it. What happened was 3 things:
  1. I had to sit at the edge of the bed, hunched over my belly as far as I could, which was very uncomfortable. While I did this I was getting hard contractions, about 30 seconds from one to the next.
  2. They ended up poking me with the needle more times than I can recall. The pain really wasn't much worse than any old shot though. If they got me in the wrong spot I would end up jumping in surprise (and pain) and that is a very bad thing to do with the worlds biggest needle in your spine.
  3. The blood pressure cuff. Now before you call me a wuss, let me explain. The machine that worked my blood pressure cuff was all fugged up. It wasn't registering when to stop inflating, which meant that the pain in my arm was INSANE. A time or two I even ripped it off because the pain was just too much. So, that just sucked.
Things were more comfortable for a while after the epidural. I honestly am drawing a blank when I try to remember those next 10 to 12 hours. The blood pressure cuff went off every 15 minutes, which was less than fun. I got checked by many, many nurses. Finally as we approached the end, my dilation was picking up, about 1 cm per half hour. I started to feel like the baby was down there, FAR down there, and like I needed to push. It ended up that I still had to wait a few hours before pushing started.

So with perfect timing (not), the epidural wore off. Now, the funny thing about this was that for as many times as I told the nurses, my doctor, anyone who would listen, that I was in SO MUCH PAIN, I would get the pat reply that, "That is just the pressure you are feeling." Pregnant women -- don't let them tell you that! I wish I had put my foot down and demanded more drugs at this point, before it was entirely too late.

I want to guess that from about 8cm dilation and on I was having contractions very close together, and eventually one right on top of another with no break in between. They were very strong (thanks a lot, pitocin) and I was frankly just miserable. Cranky, exhausted, hungry, my sciatic nerve was on fire, the contractions just wouldn't let up.

Finally I felt like I couldn't NOT push for any longer. The pressure, (and yes I knew what that felt like as compared to PAIN), was so strong that I couldn't help myself any longer. I asked to be checked again and they said that I was 9 1/2 cm dilated, just almost 10. It was go time.

As I started pushing, I had my husband holding my hand, two nurses on each side of me, and the doctor at the receiving end. You push 3 times, ten seconds each, then take a deep breath, and start again. Fast forward about 1 1/2 hours later, and there I am, still pushing. Only the pain was much worse.

I was desperate to get this little girl out. I asked, between contractions and pushing, if they had something to help her move down, as I had heard of babies being "vacuumed" which is kinda like sticking a plunger up your who-haw, suctioning it to the babies head, and as I push, the doctor tries to pull the baby down. The doctor said they could do that, and got ready to try it.

The first attempt was heart breaking. The pain, and pressure, was so intense and felt so low that I was sure that she was close to being born. I was pushing with everything I had, and at the last push, I felt an insane amount of pressure (again, and pain) and heard a loud POP, and I thought for sure the baby was out. Uh, no! The plunger deal had popped off. I am pretty sure I cried and had in internal panic attack.

We had to wait to make sure the baby was alright after that stress, and after we were sure she was fine, we tried again. No luck. My doctor looked at me and said that the baby was just too big, her head couldn't fit, and I would have to have a c-section.

Thank you GOD! I was about to lose my mind from the pain. Of course, it was very early in the morning and we had to wait for the surgeon and staff to be called in from home. I remember that as feeling like the longest 20 minute wait of my life.

I got more drugs (another epidural and morphine) and was wheeled across the hallway to the operating room. I got even more shots, IVs, and they put up the blue curtain so I couldn't see what they were doing. I was sooo happy once the drugs took effect. WHEW!

I didn't know where in the world my husband was, but it turns out that he couldn't come in the room until they had made the first incision. So I was kinda just laying there, thinking about meeting little Violet, and wondering when the surgery would start when the surgeon told me that the first incision had been made. What?? I had no idea! Thank you drugs.

My husband came in, sat next to me and was very supportive as the surgery progressed. It only took a few minutes before they told us that Violet was out -- and she was a big girl! I heard her cry and I felt so happy, just deliriously happy. The staff started working on her, cleaning her up. I got to see her for the first time, for a precious few seconds, before they whisked her away. She had straight, dark hair and grey-blue eyes like her dad.

I'll also note that the drugs did make my stomach very nauseas, so after seeing her for only a few seconds, I had to whimper that I had to look away from her so I could puke. And puke I did. Hehe.

What I didn't know (and wasn't told until later) was that the reason she was being whisked away was that she was 1.) having trouble breathing from fluid in her lungs and 2.) she wasn't getting blood to her arms and legs and a purple/blue color was moving up her lower body towards her chest.

I remember laying there and realizing after a minute that I couldn't hear her crying anymore. That is such a scary realization. When I heard her cry again I was so relieved. She was taken to the nursery and my husband followed to watch them take care of her. I was stitched up and taken back to my room. It would be hours before I could see her again.

Since she had breathing problems, she had to have an oxygen hood put on for what I think was a few hours. The oxygen hood sort of looks like a baby sized astronaut helmet. Before they could bring her in to see me she had to be off of the hood for a half hour. Time was moving slow but I was so excited to see her.

I finally was able to hold her, to kiss her, to meet the little girl who would be mine for the rest of her life.

The next few days went by so fast. Lots of pain killers, drugs for this and that. Waking up every few hours for more medication and to ask how Violet was doing in the nursery. Saturday in the late morning we came home for the first time. Which is scary for first time parents, but it also feels very good.

I feel like I love her more and more each day. Each day she is more beautiful, more charming, just more a part of my heart. I am trying to rest and take it easy, and I find myself waking up from a nap and missing my little girl for that short time I was asleep.

She is perfection. She is our world.

She also sleeps during the day and is up all night. It is okay though. She is worth it.


Barbara said...

Wow, you really went through some labor. It reminded me of my nephew's birth. My sister's doc was a real Shi* and pushed her to have a 'natural childbirth' (aka, no drugs). The poor girl was in labor for 21 hours, on her 21st birthday. He weighed in at 8 lb.s 13 oz. Needless to say she was totally exhausted.

My nephew is now 21 which is hard to believe, since I still remember the day he was born so clearly.

Cherish your little Violet, she's a keeper.

Audrey said...

I know this might sound cheesy but I cried through your entire rendition of your labor. Thanks so much for sharing, it's such a personal experience. Thanks. I wish you and Violet the best of luck.

Leah said...

Thank you for sharing your story. Violet is so, so beautiful, and I am so happy for you guys. Congratulations again!

***Willow, Belle & Old Man Turbo's Mom*** said...

Ahh...Sniff sniff. I love the birthing story. It Brought me back down memory lane with my babies...I know your pain! but when the birth is all done the pain goes away. My babies were up all night the first few weeks but I totally enjoyed that bonding time. Me, Baby...quite evenings snuggled on the sofa smelling her sweet skin and baby breath...Oh I miss those days and nights...
CoNgRaTuLaTiOnS she is beautiful. Enjoy her she will grow up quick!
Mawahhh xxoxoxoxoxoxoxx

anna said...

This sounds almost identical to my first birthing experience... only they were nice to you and let you think they were doing what was best for you - even though it was a lie.

First, Pitocin is evil. It tightens your womb unnaturally and makes your body 'fight' the natural process because of the intense onset of pain for longer. Lucky for you, once you've had a C/S, you'll never be subjected to Pitocin again. If they'd been nice, they'd've told you that you should walk or take a jet bath - MUCH better ways to stimulate the birth after getting the 'pills'.

Second, the epidural. It's a tube they insert into your back and run medicine thru. It doesn't 'wear off'... it runs out, and they can keep the meds full so they DON'T run out... *IF* they're kind. In your case (and mine), they weren't kind. There's NO reason an epi should 'wear off'. I've got scoliosis (a crooked spine) and they stabbed the be-jeezers out of me that first time, too - but y'know...?... the other two births, the tech was actually schooled in how to do his job and I didn't have a problem - even with my scoliosis. The first time I was riddled with holes that had crystallized sores on them by the time they were done.

At least they didn't give you the crap excuse they did me for the need for a C/S. I was ready to keep going with the labor, but the second shift GYN came in, accessed me, and said, "Crap, now I have to miss my golf game". Within half an hour, he was prepping both of us (two gals laboring that evening) for C-sections... he didn't want to bother with waiting, apparently.

The good news is that it doesn't have to be that way next time. I've had two VBACs since that first miserable experience, and they went SO MUCH SMOOTHER and the recovery was so much less painful...!

In the end, the baby makes the trouble worth it, but if you can get the baby WITHOUT the trouble, why NOT?! ((wink!))

Waylon & Willie - the Boston Terrier brothers said...

What a great story. :)
My labor & delivery is similar to yours when Lauren was born in June - I was induced, but I had no progress but painful contractions for hours. Ended up w/ a c-section

I gaze & study Lauren all of the time. I cannot get enough of her. Her smell, her soft skin. It is truly amazing.

Congrats again to you & your hubby. Motherhood is so incredible!

Peabody said...

My mom was in labor for 36 hours...she reminds me of this often :)
Glad you have a happy and healthy baby girl...even if she is a night owl.

Keriann said...

Oh honey-that was certainly a really rough labor. Induced labors really are more difficult than ones that begin naturally, but wow can you imagine how big Violet would have been if you'd waited another week?

She is absolutely gorgeous-y'all done good!

dawnpizzo said...

WOW! I'm so sorry your birthing experience was so long and painful. But I'm so glad to You and Violet (love the name) are fine and healthy. You breast feeding? I found it made my life so much easier. Hope it works for you.

AM said...

I know you might not see it this way, but I think you will appreciate in the long run that you got to experience labor and pushing before you had to have the c-section. I wish I had gotten to the pushing stage.

Man, that was quite a lot you went thru girl! You are TOUGH. Hope all is well with the family adjusting to a new baby being in the house!

You sound so happy!

s'kat said...

What an ordeal, but in the end, you've got your beautiful girl, and thats all that matters.

Love-love-love the name! Congrats to you both.

me said...

Well done to you and a big Congratulations to you both.
Welcome to the world Violet - fab name too!

Keely said...

Thank you for sharing this.... made me a little teary. :) You wrote it well and I am very happy for you!

whoorl said...

YAY Parker! She's beautiful!

susana said...

your baby girl looks soo sweet and adorable. i wish i had one!!! congrats for your new motherhood.

Donna said...

She is a beauty Ali and such a pretty name. Well done and welcome to the wonderful world of motherhood. Isn't it fun? She was a big baby just like my Elizabeth :-)

Adena (cre82learn) said...

Congratulations!! Such an absolutely beautiful baby. My little one is about to turn 9 mos and time goes by just way too fast!! Knowing he was my last, I took the first 3 mos trying to do nothing but just hold him. I didn't want to have any regrets missing that first year when they grew so much so quickly. Hope you feel better soon.

Erica2368 said...

I love this :) congrats Violet is a precious blessing.