Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Blueberry's Birth Story Part I

OK, so writing this has been rattling around in my head for the last three months. For the purpose of record as well as for reflection and catharsis, I give you Blueberry's birth story.

This story really starts on Friday, August 6. On that day, I packed up my bag at work, bringing home the last few things i didn't want to leave in my office during my maternity leave and I blithely skipped--ok, ok--waddled to my car with the knowledge that my baby was due any day, and I didn't have to worry about work again for 12 weeks.

Kind of. I had actually been able to do some work from home for the previous few weeks, and I left knowing there were a few things that I needed to get written for work the following week. But that was fine. I had decided to leave work nearly two weeks before Blueberry was technically due, as that should give me a bit of time to finish those loose ends as well as relax and get those final projects around the house done that I still wanted to attempt before Blueberry was to show up on the scene.

That weekend was rough. I was so tired and moody. I told Chris that I thought I was just decompressing from all the stress I'd been under at work for the last, well, year. I slept a lot. Sunday morning I couldn't even get to of bed to go to church. I tried, but I wound up sleeping instead followed by a two hour nap in the afternoon.

Sunday evening, we went out to eat with Chris' grandparents who just happened to be in town that weekend. I remember sitting at dinner with them and his grandmother hopefully (they live rather far away) asking me how I was feeling. I told them, honestly enough, that while I'd been having regular Braxton Hicks contractions (which I'd been having for weeks), when I saw the doctor four days earlier, he said I wasn't dilated at all, and I really didn't expect to see Blueberry in the too near future.

And truthfully, I kind of wanted a few days at home to relax before she came. I had been telling her for weeks--come anytime after the 12th!

Sunday night I went to bed with my 10 pillows (my gracious husband had moved himself to sleeping on the futon weeks ago as me and my pillows had slowly taken over the entire bed). I slept for about 2.5 hours.

Then I woke up. It was around 1am. I felt like I was cramping like I was about to start my period. I also started having to go to the bathroom. A lot. Now, I know being pregnant is all about having to go to the bathroom lots, but this was ridiculous. I mean, we're talking every 5 minutes. Which when you're lugging a bowling ball around with you every time you get in and out of bed, was not impressive!

Maybe it was the fuzzy brain or maybe it was just that I really wasn't sure what a contraction was going to feel like--it's kind of hard to get a good description--it took me about an hour before it suddenly hit me that, oh hey, I think I'm having contractions.

Obviously they weren't that intense at this point; however, they were just uncomfortable enough to make it impossible for me to fall back to sleep. Eventually I got up, deciding to stay up for a few hours to see where this was going to go. After all, I know it's not that unusual for people to have contractions off and on for quite awhile (read days or even weeks) before they actually start going into labor.

Well, several hours later I had taken care of some emails (I remember sending an email to Hillery answering a question about something or other and putting in there the reason I was up at the ungodly hour of 2 or 3am...needless to say, I had her on tenterhooks for several hours that day as I failed to call her and update her until later that afternoon), read some blogs, played a few games, and it was becoming apparent that (a) these weren't going away and (b) they were actually getting distinctly closer together.

Finally, it was around 5:30am. I hadn't woken up Chris yet because if I wasn't really in full labor, he would need to go to work in the morning. I decided to give it a little bit longer and see how things were going. Finally, around 6:30am, since he needed to wake up any ways, I went in and sat on the futon. I gently shook him awake and when he looked up at me, I told him what was going on. My ever silly husband's first words out of his mouth were, "I guess we won't be watching Doctor Who with Joy and Adam [my sister and her fiance] tonight!"

After punching him, we talked about what to do. He got up, had a shower, had some breakfast, as we started to time contractions. In the meantime, I piddled around the house doing various things (tried laying down to nap--not going to happen!). Set up the pack'n'play, finished putting the final few things in my hospital bag, took a shower myself, put the dishes away in the dishwasher, even answered a Skype call from work! Movement. That was all I could think--I need to move. I wanted to move.

Chris did a few jobs as well (put the diaper sprayer on the toilet for one!) and mid-morning made some phone calls: my parents, brother, and sister, his parents, his grandparents (they were scheduled to leave town the next day--thought they might want to have some time to rethink that plan!). Nothing definite but just an update on the goings-on of the morning.

As time went on and the contractions slowly increased in intensity. The movement began to be inter spaced with sitting on my exercise ball as that really helped the contractions. Basically, get up and do something, rolling the ball with me, sit down and breathe.

Finally, around 11am, we decided we should go to the hospital. Movement was increasingly becoming more painful. And laying down was not much better. The problem I was beginning to deal with more intensely every passing hour was the back labor. The contractions I could breathe through just fine, but I had severe pain across my lower back that wouldn't stop, contraction or no contraction (Blueberry had the back of her head to my back, which seems to be the primary cause of back labor like that). That was definitely the worst part of everything. No way to get comfortable. No breaks ever. It was just a constant, painful, pressure across my lower back. It started almost as soon as the contractions started and lasted the entire labor.

Any ways, I sat on the exercise ball, breathing through contractions, as Chris went and finished loading up the car. Finally, armed with a pillow that did little to make me more comfortable, but was great for squeezing, we set off. That was the longest car ride of my life! So uncomfortable. I'm grateful we live only 20 minutes away.

When we arrived at the hospital, Chris dropped me off at the door and I waited in the vestibule for him to park (I didn't want to have to walk any farther than necessary at that point). They admitted us and the annoying began.

I had pre-registered, naively assuming that the tons of questions I had answered already were all that I needed. Nope. 20 minutes later, they finish firing questions off at me. Then they checked me to see how far I was dilated (second to the back labor, having to lie down so they could check my dilation was one of the absolute most painful part of the whole thing--the back labor actually was part of that pain. Laying flat on my back was like stabbing me with a knife. I seriously wanted to kick the nurse every time they did this).

At this point, I was only at 4. They don't like to admit someone until they're at a 5. Little did I know that as much as I didn't want to have to drive home again if they didn't admit us, it might have been better for me if they hadn't.

Any ways, we began to walk. For about an hour, we walked the halls of the labor and delivery wing, stopping every few feet. What was really frustrating was that there was one thing that gave me some relief to my back, and that was sitting on the exercise ball. But they wouldn't give us a birth ball to use until they admitted us. Torture for an hour.

Finally, they checked again, and I was close enough to a five that they decided to go ahead and admit us.

1 comment:

Mercutio said...

I also made baby-shaped cookies!