Thursday, May 01, 2014

Olive's Birthday

As you can see, I'm catching up by finishing a publishing a bunch of blog posts that were in various stages.  When Scout was born, I posted about her weird delivery, so I thought it was only right that I do the same for Olive.  You know, so she can be embarrassed some day.  And I took a lot of the posts I wrote for Scout and put them in her yearly photo books.  I wrote most of this months ago, but then didn't post it thinking instead that I needed some distance...

I had a pretty easy pregnancy with Olive.  My body just adapted pretty well, and other than the minor aches and pains I felt good.  But by the last few weeks, I was ready to be done.  But I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I had some anxiety about delivering this baby.  Scout, although overdue and induced, arrived after a very quick labor.  And this time, I was worried about the logistics of Rykert at work overnight and getting someone to watch Scout and getting to the hospital.  I talked to my doctor about it, and she said, "Yeah, I don't want you giving birth in the revolving doors of the hospital."  We laughed.  But in all honesty, I did not want to have this baby at home, or in the car, or in an ambulance.   But at my 39 week appointment on February 12, I didn't appear to be very close to giving birth so she said we'd wait another week before considering an induction.  She did remind me to not wait to get to the hospital because I needed a dose of antibiotics for GBS and had the history of a quick labor.  Aye Aye Captain.

38 weeks.
38 weeks.  One week before.

But by the next day, I felt extremely "off" while at work.  I couldn't put my finger on it.  I was getting a few low sharp pains, but nothing that I would describe as contractions.  My co-workers noted that I didn't look like I felt very well.  I felt nearly confident that I was having a Valentine's baby.  But by the next morning, I just felt pregnant.  I worked from home just in case and because it was snowing, but nothing.  We celebrated Valentine's Day by ordering pizza and starting garden seeds.  It was a full moon.

I woke up at about 3 a.m. on Saturday morning with incredible pressure.  It kept coming, and it took a few trips in and out of bed before I realized that they may be contractions.  (Any contractions I felt with Scout, though they never registered on the hospital monitor, occurred in an Ambien-induced haze.)  I started timing them and they were about 5-10 minutes apart but only moderately intense.  At 4 a.m., I got up and did some sewing to see if they passed and to take my mind off of it.  At 5ish, I woke Rykert up and he sprang into action.  My sister came over to sit with Scout and we headed to Labor & Delivery.  I was pretty confident that this was the real thing so we even brought our bags.  The contractions continued, but I was able to walk and talk.  They got me hooked up to the monitors where I saw the reassuring heartbeat of the baby, but it didn't register a single contraction.  The resident checked me and said that I was only 3cm and that my water had not broken.  They said that I should go home and come back once they got worse or my water broke, whichever came first.  Or, in the alternative, they said I could sit and wait another hour or so and re-check.  It was pretty clear that they thought I should go home.  So we did.  I was nearly in tears as we left.  I had explained to them how their monitor was up high but I didn't feel anything up there, only down low.  I had explained how I had a wickedly fast labor with my first baby.  But I didn't feel like they were listening and it was clear she hadn't looked at my chart.  So homeward bound.  This is my only regret.  I should've trusted myself and stayed.

On the way home, we stopped at Dunkin' Donuts, but before we got to the drive-thru the pain was even more intense and I was in tears.  So we went home.  My sister left, and almost immediately the pain became unbearable.  I laid in bed, got in the tub, knelt on the floor, sat down, but I couldn't get comfortable.  There weren't contractions to time as much as it was just constant pain and pressure.  Around 8ish while laying in bed I heard and felt a "pop" and then I stood up and my water broke.  I told Rykert who raced into action getting Scout dressed, throwing Scout's stuff into a bag, and calling my sister to meet us at the hospital.

We drove to the hospital, and at this point it felt like a bad scene from a sitcom.  We broke every traffic law on the way there, and then Rykert dropped me off alone at the skywalk in the parking ramp where I sat down in a wheelchair and waited.  I was a mess. My sister arrived first and was ready to push me upstairs, when Rykert came flying down the stairs with Scout who, at this point, was scared and confused.  He passed Scout off, and then hurried me upstairs.  Seriously, it was like a sitcom.  Once we were back in L&D, I got gowned up, again, and back into the bed and hooked back up to the monitors.  It was 9:42 a.m.  I noticed immediately that the baby's heart rate was lower than it had been just a couple of hours earlier.  We didn't have our bags or a camera or anything.  It was freezing cold and I'd left the house without socks and wearing Birkenstocks and holding my coat.

A different doctor (thankfully) came in a few minutes later and hearing me describe the pain and seeing the baby's heart rate she said, "The baby's heart rate has dropped because she's in the canal.  I'll check you but you are ready to have this baby."  She checked and immediately said, "I feel a baby."  She had Rykert push the call button and she called for the entire team of doctors to come into the tiny triage room.  The doors had to be wide open to make room and I felt completely exposed.

Now, I wish I could say that at this point I was cool, calm, and collected.  But I was actually more on the hysterical end of the spectrum.  I panicked.  I cried.  I asked for drugs.  I said I couldn't do it.  It wasn't pretty, that I'm sure of.  I grabbed a fleece arm that I thought was Rykert's and said, "No."  But then a nice doctor got into my face and told me there was nothing they could do but get this baby out.  So I closed my eyes, shut my mouth, and pushed once, maybe twice, and then I heard Rykert say, "Libby! She's here! Look!"  So I looked down and there she was, all funny looking laying on my chest.  She didn't cry at first but the nurse worked to get her cleaned up and warmed up.  The room was so tiny that they had to take her to the hall where a warmer bed was set up.  Eventually they made room for her bed, and rolled her back in.  I looked over and thought immediately that she looked just like Scout.

This is the most unnerved I have ever seen him.  It was a frantic morning.
Note the tiny little room.

Time of birth, 9:48. 16 minutes later.  So I guess it wasn't the revolving doors as much as it was almost the freezing cold parking lot skywalk in front of my 2 year old.  Seriously.

I finally got to hold her.
I don't really believe in birth plans, because they start from an underlying assumption that something like this can be planned and then organized to follow that plan.  All I really cared about was a healthy baby and a healthy me.  Other than that,  I didn't want to give birth some place I was responsible for cleaning.  I wanted drugs, if at all possible.  I didn't want them to use the vacuum thing. I wanted to get the antibiotics to relieve myself of any GBS worries (I didn't get them, again).  During our short 28 hour hospital stay (unlike with Scout, I walked to my recovery room and then immediately said, "I wanna go home"), everyone told me that I made it look easy.   I'm sure this type of frantic delivery is better than most other varieties, because I couldn't imagine having that pain for one second longer.  But it was scary.  I did most of the worst parts of labor all by myself in my bathroom while I could hear Rykert distracting Scout downstairs watching hockey.  The whole time I was thinking that it must get so much worse since I wasn't very close an hour ago.  So it wasn't the birth I had hoped for.  I don't have any glowy pictures to show you of all of us right afterwards, because we didn't even have a camera.  And I felt a little like I had PTSD for a few days afterward. Sort of a general feeling of, "What in the hell just happened?"  Apparently this is what they call a "Drive By" in L&D.  You don't even get a real room.  But at least it wasn't the revolving doors.

And all of that is to say that when you look over at this...


It's hard to have any regrets about any of it or to say that any of what I've written above really matters.  If nothing else, it's just a good story.

2 comment(s). Tell me what you think!:

Meagan @ The Clanahan Fam said...

Oh my goodness. What a story for sure! You are super mom. If y'all have another, you should probably camp out at the hospital from 38 weeks on :)

Kelly Bronsink said...

She is gorgeous. Good work!

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