Sunday, November 19, 2006

Birth Story.... a first person account

It began on the wednesday, 11/8/06. I was at work and been feeling irregular contractions. Not a big surprise since I have been having Braxton Hicks ("practice contractions") for weeks now. The contractions did seem more consistent then. I was at work and busy. There was still so much to do and so much to follow up on. I ignored it. That night, it seemed more difficult to ignore. The contractions were coming on about 10 to 15 minutes apart, only sort of consistent. The contractions also were pretty mild. I called the hospital service just to be sure. The doctor on call told me that unless I am sure that my bag of waters broke that with mild contractions that far apart, they'll probably just send me home.

The next morning started off like any other morning. Gmom was with us because of the whole nanny situation. I was preparing for work and G (who just started his night job) was prepping for a day of play with g. The contractions started coming in when I woke up. I thought it would be a repeat of last night. I started noticing that they were coming in at 15 minute intervals more or less. So I had an internal debate about whether or not I should go to work or stay at home. There are still a pile of paperwork and follow-up items that need to be done, but it seems that the contractions were coming. I decided to work from home and see where these contractions go.

I logged on and started my emails. Made a few phone calls. Contractions were coming at 13 minutes but they seem to be a lot stronger. More emails. I had to update my status sheet just in case this is the real thing. Gmom and G took g to the park, to the swings. Peace and quiet as I try to send my developer his to-do list for the week. Closed out a couple of bugs that needed to be tested. Contractions started to come in at 9 minutes, mild and still very tolerable. Finally finished my status report. I saw that my friend, S, was online. She worked in the same office, so I asked her to make sure that our boss would check the email that I sent him. I also told her that I was in labor. It was odd when I finally articulated that, it became real. It clicked in my head that this baby was going to be born whether I finish my emails. Contractions were coming in still at about 9 minutes but they were getting stronger and more painful. I have to send my boss the status update and my own labor update. I typed a detailed email and attached the report. Hit Send. Got some odd error message. RATS!!! Contractions were much stronger now. I didn't need to see how far apart because I knew that this was it. I took a deep breath and called G. I told him to head on home. I re-typed my emai to my boss, hit Send and prayed that it gets there. No error message this time. Cool.

G arrived. We headed into the city for the hospital. Who knew that there would be traffic into the tunnel at that time of the day (~10:30 AM on a Thursday)? As we approached the tunnel, the contractions were truly coming in and they were painful enough to require the lamaze breathing. We finally made it through and got to the hospital around11:45 AM. We parked the car and checked in. We went to Labor/Delivery and the desk was staffed with Filipinos. Although I don't do this often, I decided to speak to them in Tagalog. I thought they would at least try their best to get me my own labor room. The triage room was occupied so they did my triage in a labor room. When they finally laid me down for an initial check, the doctor on call told me that I was already 8-9 cm dilated, 100% effaced and in +1 position. She mentioned briefly that there might not be time for an epidural. In my mind, I discounted that. They told me that the last time but they were able to sneak it in. So I was fairly confident still that I would be able to get my pain medication.

My doctor arrived around noon. She checked me and said that I was ready to push. G asked about the epidural and the doctor said that the baby was RIGHT THERE. Apparently there was a blood test that needed to be done and completed before the epidural could be administered. The blood test would take 30 minutes at least. I haven't been there 30 minutes yet. So they splayed me and told me to push. I think for the first few minutes, I still didn't believe that they wouldn't give me the epidural. I had no idea all of a sudden how to push. I couldn't comprehend it. So I tried to push through the pain. The doctor said that pushing through the contraction would help me deal with the pain better. Ah....NO!!!

I am still at a loss for the words to describe the pain that I felt. I tried to push but really it didn't feel like anything was happening except that the pain intensified. I started to shake violently. I don't remember much of what happened. I only remember snippets. I remembered one of the nurses say that I wasn't pushing effectively. I recalled thinking that it was because I was in so much pain. I also remembered I said at one point, "TAKE IT OUT". Yes, I said IT. Horrible, I know.

Then at 12:20 pm, after one final heaving push, it was over for me but the beginning of little s. She was truly little, weighing in only at 6 lbs 3 oz and measuring 18 inches. Everyone who has seen my stomach has been speculating that she was going to be at least 8 lbs. I was much larger than I was with g. Yet somehow she was exactly the right size for my inadvertent natural childbirth.

Again, her umbilical cord wrapped around her neck. So her cord was cut quickly and she was taken for examination by the nurses. Her Apgar was a 9 which is excellent.

Afterwards I told G to just go to work that night. Arrangements were made for pick-ups, drop-offs, g and Gmom for the next few days. Who puts whom to sleep? Who sleeps where? What was needed when? After G left for work and I was left to watch the rest of Dr. Phil, I thought that it seemed weird that my mind was occupied with everything mundane at that moment when something quite monumental had occured only a few hours ago.

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