5.19.2009

Full Disclosure:: The Birth Story Part One

A few days ago I asked B, "Should I blog about the birth on rosa-sinensis? Isn't it a little too....personal, or graphic, or something?" "Of course!" He quickly replied, "Talk about a creative act! Do it!"
So I went into labor on the 30th of April, waking to contractions every half hour or so. I was elated, having spent the past month prior moaning and lumbering through life, cursing and groaning whenever I would drop something, or lay down, or get in a car, or put on clothes, or breathe in and out. You get the idea.
B stayed home from work, and we spent the day walking through our little sylvan burgh, being hailed by neighbors driving by, "Hey-is this the big day?! Woohoo! I'll be praying for ya!" One woman pulled over right there and prayed for us, asking for protection and covering as we went into the delivery. At the time, all I felt was the joy of living in such a loving community-I didn't think of those prayers as being particularly needed, after all, we'd done this before with G.
So all day I labored. And the contractions never got consistent, or very close together. I'd heard all about how women would get turned around at the hospital, in false labor, so I wanted to be sure before we went in.
Labor seemed to stall out and then pick up again as the evening came on. B and I decided to get some sleep, and went to bed, with me waking up every now and then with contractions, that were getting more and more painful, but not very close together. (The recommendation is to come in when they are 5 minutes apart, lasting for a minute for an hour.) Finally, at about 2 AM (we're into Friday, May 1 at this point), we decided it was time to go.
We got to the hospital at about 2:20AM, and I was admitted. My midwife told me that I was dilated to 5cm (10 is when you are pushing), and that though my water hadn't yet broke, she was going to leave it intact. I continued to have strong (read: painful) contractions as the labor nurse put the fetal monitor on me, trying to get a read on the baby's heartbeat. We were chatting in between contractions when the nurse suddenly ordered me to turn over on all fours. Now, I haven't been able to do that for a few months, and that was when I wasn't in labor. B helped haul me over, and the nurse sort of threw an oxygen mask at me, and the midwife came hurrying in.
"I'm getting a decel!" the nurse told her (meaning the baby's heart rate was decelerating), and the midwife checked me again. I was at 7cm now, and suddenly she said, "I can feel the cord through the waters! We've got a prolapse here! I want the O.R. prepped now!" Or she might have said "STAT!" I don't remember. Suddenly it all became very medical, and it went from my expectations of laboring in the Jacuzzi like the last time, giving birth au naturel, sans medication,(whoops! I stumbled into some broken French there, sorry....) to being prepped for an emergency C-section. While we were waiting for someone to give me a shot to stop the contractions, I remember mumbling through the oxygen mask to B, "Pray! Pray!" And suddenly we both were praying out loud for God to save our baby.
Cord prolapse is when the umbilical cord slips through the birth canal before the baby, and threatens to come out first. This is dangerous because the cord contains the life supply to the baby, and if the cord gets pinched, the baby is at serious risk. The wiki page I am linking to here gives an 11-17 percent mortality rate for cord prolapse. I didn't know at the time how serious it was and I remember part of me being relieved that I wasn't going to have more contractions, or have to go through pushing again.
They wheeled me into the O.R. with my face smashed into a pillow, and my butt up in the air, covered with a sheet, so the pressure was off the baby and the cord. It was so surreal, in this position, that it took some of the fear away, probably because I didn't have that T.V. scene with me on my back, watching the hospital lights in the hallway flash over the heads of the O.R. nurses as they wheeled me into a room where I would be going under the knife.

3 comments:

Katie Hund said...

oh my GOSH! I had no idea. I'm so so grateful that everything turned out okay. I want to hear the rest of the story!!!

Blessed said...

I know the end of the story and you still have me on the edge of my seat!

Esther Montgomery said...

All sorts of phases through this . . . start be being excited . . . then think how brave you are to be walking around the neighbourhood while in labour . . . then start being cross with hospitals that they don't let you come in sooner (which is even more of a problem if you don't have a car!) to being worried . . . to . . . ummm . . . smiling because it is such a strong image of you being wheeled into theatre in such an inelegant position. If I didn't know this story has a happy ending, of course I wouldn't be smiling but, well, it's the way you tell it!

Hope everything continues to go ok. It's a horrible experience which, I guess, may take time to get over, as well as having a wonderful outcome!

And happy birthday!

Esther

Read Your Way Through the Garden: Choice Tomes From Garden Literature

  • A Book of Salvias by Betsy Clebsch
  • Botany for Gardeners by Brian Capon
  • Making Bentwood Trellises by Jim Long
  • RHS Encyclopedia of Plants & Flowers
  • Rose Primer: An Organic Approach to Rose Selection & Care by Orin Martin
  • Start With the Soil by Grace Gershuny
  • Sunset Western Garden Book
  • Sunset Western Landscaping Book
  • The Book of Garden Secrets by Patent & Bilderback
  • The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Botany
  • the Gardener's Table: A Guide to Natural Vegetable Growing and Cooking by Richard Merrill & Joe Ortiz
  • The Gardener's Year by Karel Capek
  • The Hutchinson Dictionary of Plant Names: Common & Botanical
  • We Made A Garden by Margaret Fish

lotsa latin: rosa's botanical & etymological ruminations

  • vespertinus: flowers in the evening
  • vernalis:spring
  • veni vidi nates calcalvi: we came, we saw, we kicked butt. This was printed on a T shirt I bought at Abbot's Thrift many years ago. It encircled the NEA symbol. I wish I knew why.
  • superciliaris: shaped like an eyebrow ex: sturnella superciliaris, the White-browed Blackbird
  • rosa-sinensis: species of Hibiscus: Hibiscus rosa-sinensis. Lit. Rosa of China, so named by British plant hunters.
  • placentiformis: shaped like a cake ex: discocactus placentiformis
  • nudiflorus: flowers before leaves show ex: flowering quince, magnolia
  • nivalis: growing in or near snow ex: galanthus nivalis (common snowdrop)
  • muralis: growing on walls
  • mirabilis: marvellous, wonderful
  • formosa: beautiful ex: dicentra formosa, a.k.a.western bleeding heart/dutchman's breeches/lady in a bath
  • carpe vitam: get a life
  • Carolus Linnaeus: Latinized name of Carl von Linne (1707-1778), Swedish naturalist considered the father of plant taxonomy. Whatta guy.