Friday, April 30, 2010

  My Birth Story

Well 21 days ago I gave birth to my beautiful little girl. I was BEYOND ready to give birth to her. My OBGYN had informed me that we'd take Demi out a little early due to her being concerned that she was small. I was expecting to deliver my little girl around the end of March, she was due on April 4th. Well after my last ultra sound we saw that Demi was NOT small but "average size" so we'd wait for me to deliver naturally but not allow me to go more than a few days past my due date.

Well I went more than a "few days" past my due date. After a week post due date my OB asked for me to be induced. However there was a long line up of women to be induced PLUS women just going into labor on their own. There was a list of 17 people waiting for an induction. I was getting so annoyed waiting to go into labor. I was freaking out. I wanted to NOT be pregnant anymore. I was so uncomfortable plus anxious. I couldn't sleep, I couldn't breathe. I was just kind of on the miserable side the 11 days. Everyday I would wake up and call the birthing center to see how far they were along on that list of 17 people. Each day I got told that the list was longer and they would call me when it was time. I didn't want to annoy the hospital by calling many times in a day because, lets be honest, you don't want to piss off the staff that is going to help you deliver. When they call they'll call right?

My sister in law came back from her Florida vacation and went to the birthing center to speak to the nurses (she works at the hospital I gave birth at). They told her that I was the next person on the list and of course my sister in law made me seem extremely miserable when speaking to the head nurse. As soon as my sister in law left the hospital they called me and told me to come into the hospital within the next hour and a half so we can start my induction. I was ecstatic as I had insisted that my husband take me to the mall so I could try walking to trigger labor. I got the call while in the mall! I was sooo excited. So I rush home to get my bags and something to eat. I was told by many people to eat before hand since they wouldn't let me eat at the hospital. As George is getting my bag into the trunk of the car I hear my phone ringing. I answer it and its the hospital. They tell me not to come in. Someone who was in the case room was actually in active labor and now they had no room. Seriously? What would happen if I went into labor naturally right then and there?

I hang up the phone and get all pissed off and sad. I sat on my couch and actually cried from anger and frustration. I started to laugh at one point wondering if this would cause me to go into labor. No such luck. Apparently I had scared everyone I know because no one bothered to call me. They knew how badly I wanted Demi out and of course when I got the call to go to the hospital I called and texted everyone that I was going to deliver my angel. When I found out I couldn't go I made George call everyone. I wasn't in the mood to speak to anyone. I was going to flip out. Eventually my sister in law came over. I wasn't happy about that. Not because it was my sister in law but because I wanted to be alone. She went home after a few hours and I told my husband that I was going to bed.

I went upstairs and took a shower and then got into bed. I was hoping to relax a bit. It didn't work. I couldn't sleep. I was in bed but unable to make my brain turn off. Around 1am I decided to wake up George because I wanted to talk. We talked about everything under the sun. We talked about our exes and how our lives would have been different had we ended up with them (I know weird things to talk about while you are heavily pregnant), we talked about how we planned on raising Demi, we talked about a lot of things. At one point I turned and looked at George and just told him, "Something is wrong," and he asked me what I meant by that. I just looked at him and said, "I don't know but something is really wrong." He told me to just relax and stop stressing. After about an hour I asked him, "What if Demi has swallowed meconium?" Again he told me to just relax and take it easy. He said my nerves were stressing me out and causing me to think the worse of everything. A bit later I told him, "I betcha my labor is going to happen so fast that I miss the window for an epidural" and he laughed at me telling me, "With as demanding as you are there is no way you can miss that window. You have signs ready." Eventually I fell asleep. (We had been awake talking from 1am to 6am). I woke up at 8am and told George that it was 8 and the hospital hadn't called yet. He tells me to call them. (My doctor had told me that come hell or high water I'd be induced on Thursday the 15th).

I call the birthing center and tell them my name (although I'm sure by now that they recognize my telephone number or voice!) and the nurse tells me. "We are going to call you in an hour to come in, they are just cleaning the room for you now". I'm over the moon. George and I had made plans in the middle of the night that we'd wake up, get ready for the day, go for breakfast at Le St-James Hotel and then go to the hospital. So of course now that I've heard this news I jump out of bed and go straight to the bathroom to start to get ready. Of course I have to pee. I pee, I wipe, and I see blood. Red blood. Not the blood of losing your mucus plug. I turn white and begin freaking out. I call out to George and tell him, "Something IS wrong. I'm bleeding." He of course freaks out. Then I realize I don't feel the baby moving and I don't remember when the last time I felt her was. While we were talking in the middle of the night I wasn't paying attention to if she was moving or not.

I tell him to go cut me some oranges so I can jump start the baby. Normally an orange gets her kicking my ass. It didn't work. In the car driving to the hospital, George kept asking me if I felt her moving or not and she wasn't. HELLO if she was moving I would have told you so maybe you can stop driving like a freaking maniac. As I'm in the car I'm using my telephone in order to google what would cause bleeding in late pregnancy. What did I find? Most common cause is a detached placenta. I start crying in the car because I'm bleeding, I can't feel the baby move and I'm thinking that I'm going to deliver a still born baby or something. I am totally freaking out. I go through my mind and tell myself that at 2am I peed and there was no blood, at 5am I peed and there was no blood...so if something serious happened it had only happened between 5am and 8am.

We get to the hospital and go straight to the birthing center. I go to the nurses desk and tell them that they are meant to call me in an hour to come in for induction but I'm bleeding and can't feel my kid moving. They take me straight to a case room and tell me to get into the hospital gown so they can hook me up to fetal monitors. They tell my husband to go down to admitting and have me admitted to the hospital. They have to do this before hooking me up to monitors. George looks at the nurse and says in a stern voice, "Hook my wife up to that machine so I can hear my daughter's heart beat and I'll be more than happy to go admit her." The nurse kind of rolled her eyes but hooked me up. Right away I heard Demi's heart beating strong and I relaxed instantly. I almost cried at this point.

George went downstairs to admit me to the hospital and my sister, cousin, and best friend all showed up at the hospital. As we were just sitting around talking my cousin told me, "Oh my God Jenny you are having contractions" and I said, "I am?!" Apparently the monitor was showing that I was having contractions every 3 to 4 minutes but they weren't very painful. Then they got painful but manageable. Apparently my threshold for pain is a lot higher than I thought it was.

A nurse comes into the room and starts to speak to me in French and I just looked at her as if she was from another planet. Nicole did the translation and informed me that I was now going to a room to give birth instead of sitting in the case room. The case room is where they decide if you are in active labor or not and the birthing room is...well thats pretty much clear cut and dry no?

So I go into a birthing room where I am told to change into yet another hospital gown and take off all my clothes including under garments.(Because apparently you can't have a vaginal delivery if you are wearing panties! Imagine that!). The nurse now puts an IV line in and hooks me up to something that is NOT saline. I ask the nurse what is happening and she says that they are inducing me.(Mind you I'm having a hard time understanding this lady. Her English is horrible and apparently she doesn't speak French very well either!). I ask her why they would be inducing me when I am having contractions steadily. She tells me that I'm not. I insist that she look at the print out from the monitors and she goes "Oh yes you are. Well you are on the schedule for an induction therefore we are inducing you." At this point I just want to give birth so I don't care how it happens although it doesn't make sense. Why cause me more pain when I'm in ACTIVE labor?

Two ladies walk into the room and introduce themselves as my nurses. One is a nurse with over 20 years experience and the other is a nursing student (this is a teaching hospital). I'm immediately relieved that the lady who didn't speak English or French isn't my nurse. I then ask the nurse for the epidural. I obviously don't waste any time. I know that when you are induced you have stronger (aka more painful) contractions so I want to be prepared. The nurse tells me that I have to wait for the resident to come see me to make sure that I'm dilated enough. They won't give an epidural before 4cms and while I was in the case room no one checked me.

About half an hour later the resident comes in and inspects me and tells me that I'm 2cm and about 90% effaced. He also informs me that they are going to break my water. They break the water and the first thing I hear from the student nurse is "Is that meconium in the water" and the resident replies with "Yes. Make sure a pediatrician is here when the baby is delivered." So of course I'm freaking out. Didn't I tell George this would happen? I'm fairly certain I did. George at this point doesn't understand what meconium is or how that is dangerous for a baby to aspirate. I ask the resident, "Excuse me did you say that there was meconium in the water," and he said yes. George asks me what that meant. I tell him in Greek that I'll explain when we are alone. Of course George being George wants to know right then and there. He asks the nurses what that meant and they explain to him. He gets up and leaves the room and goes outside and expresses to his sister in law that he'd like to punch my OBGYN for letting me go so far post due. If I delivered sooner maybe Demi wouldn't have pooped in her water bubble home. He didn't want to show me that he was angry because he knew that I was upset and if I saw him upset or angry it would only upset me more. The nurses explained to George why a pediatrician was going to be here and how they were going to deal with it. If Demi was born and had a hard time breathing they would clean out her lungs. He asked how they planned on doing it and he asked if it was painful to the baby and they told him that it wasn't comfortable. Of course this upsets George further. I tell him to relax that everything would be okay. Seriously I didn't carry this baby for 41.5 weeks for her to be born sick. She would be okay.

The resident leaves and about an hour later I ask the nurse for the epidural again. She tells me that they can't give it to me until I'm at least 4cms along and asks if I read the pros/cons of the epidural. I explain that I'm very much aware of the risks associated with the epidural and with my luck I will be one of the few people whom the epidural does not catch on. They laugh and say that its so rare to happen that the chances are like slim to none. The nurses also tell me that normally you dilate about 1 cm every hour and a half. I still insist on getting the epidural right away. The nurse tells me that in order to get the epidural the resident will have to check me again and they want to limit the number of internal examinations due to them breaking my water and NOT wanting me to get an infection. I demanded to be rechecked. The resident comes and examines me explaining that if I get an epidural now or in early labor is can slow things down and we wouldn't want that now would we? Um yes, I would. I don't care if labor gets slowed down ever since they started me on the Pitocin my contractions are extremely painful. Whereas I could have carried on a normal conversation about an hour ago now I was gritting my teeth and cursing my life. I told George, "No more kids" at one point when a contraction was particularly uncomfortable.

What do you know, I'm 4cms dilated and they call the anesthesiologist who is actually on that floor to come by and give me the epidural. The nurses tell me to get up and go pee because I won't be able to walk for a while after the epidural. I get up and pee and go back to the bed. The anesthesiologist explains to me the procedure of getting an epidural and that I'll be sitting up when they give it to me. They explain how important it is that I do not move. As I am sitting up waiting for the anesthesiologist to get ready I have the urge to vomit. I tell the nurses this and and they explain that its normal to feel from the intense pain I'm experiencing. They give me a barf bucket and I throw up...three times. It wasn't fun. I start to cry because for some reason every single time I throw up I cry. They go hand in hand.

I'm leaning over waiting for the epidural when I get that first pinch. It makes me jump. Oops. They tell me that I can't move like that when they are doing the epidural. I can seriously cause some damage to me. Now the nurse is holding me in place, George is holding my feet and the anesthesiologist is doing her thing behind me. They finish and tell me to lay on my side because I can't lay directly on my back right now. I roll over to my side. They tell me it takes about 20 minutes for the epidural to catch so I will still feel pain but then it will ease into just pressure. Most women are able to rest once the epidural catches so to prepare to drift off to sleep.

As I'm on my side the baby's fetal heart monitor starts to shrill. I am on my side and the baby didn't like that position so she moved causing her heart monitor to no longer be able to catch her heart beat. A new nurse walks in and tells me that shes the replacement nurse while mine are on lunch. She asks me to change sides because Demi might like it more. I am happy to oblige. We start to talk about my rings. She fell inlove with my blue diamond ring that George got me while we were on our honeymoon. Then I felt something...strange?

I tell the nurse, "Stephanie I feel something...different down there." She asks what I mean by different and down there. I tell her I feel an intense pressure but still a lot of pain and by down there I mean, literally down there. It's not in my stomach but literally on my vagina. She tells me, "Thats impossible that you are feeling pain and that intense pressure you are only 4cms dilated." I tell her "No I feel a lot of pressure down there." Again I'm told that I am freaking crazy.

I then let out a scream that would wake the dead and probably did. I look at George and tell him, "I'm going to give birth right now and no one believes me and there isn't even a doctor in the room". Then I bear down with all my strength on the bed rails and I say through gritted teeth to the nurse, "I feel my baby's head coming out." At this point she decided to lift the sheet to examine me herself. Obviously she isn't going to do an internal exam but she'd like to reassure me that it isn't Demi's head trying to make its way out.

The next words out of her mouth scare the crap out of me. "Oh my God, shes crowning". Did I mention that this is a mere 10 minutes after getting the epidural? The epidural which still hasn't caught yet? She rushes to the phone and calls a resident. Over the intercom you hear "Resident needed in room 30 stat!" The resident comes in freaking out. How in the hell did I go from 4 to 10 so quickly? Before I knew it the room was filled with the nurses, the resident, the pediatrician, and a few other people. They quickly converted my bed to where the leg sleeves popped out and they put my legs in them. The doctor told me to push. What already!?!?!

At one point a nurse says that they have to put in a catheter so that I can know when to push. I feel a crazy pain and a sting and I yell out, "what the fuck are you doing to me," (I know I shouldn't have cussed but um, ow!). The resident put his hands up and said, "It's not us its your baby. She's pushing her way out." Two pushes and Demi was there. Yep just 2 pushes. Demi was born exactly 20 minutes after I got the epidural, which NEVER caught. After my second push they put Demi on my belly and I asked them, "That's it? It's over?!" One of the nurses laughed and said yes besides the delivery of the after birth and placenta which might be uncomfortable. I didn't feel that. Everything happened so quickly that I was in a daze. I didn't cry at the birth of my first born. My OB walks in and looks at the resident all angrily and demands to know why I was delivered. She was on her way. The resident told my OB that if they didn't deliver that Demi was going to deliver herself.

My OB decides that she'll finish up (you know the fun sewing part which really, doesn't feel nice when there is no epidural). Apparently my "WTF are you doing to me" episode was when Demi decided to rip me. This kid saw the light and just ran for it. As I'm being repaired the student nurse looks at me and tells me, "I've seen a lot of births while I've been here but I've NEVER seen anything like that before. Your labor progressed so quickly and you delivered without even breaking a sweat."

They handed me Demi after George cut the umbilical cord and they cleaned her up. She was gorgeous. Seriously, I'm not lying and I'm not saying it because she is my kid but she was the cleanest most beautiful baby I've ever seen. George cried. After I was all patched up and had a few minutes with just the three of us I decided I could allow some visitors. There were SO MANY people at the hospital waiting for her birth. Everyone who walked into the room cried when they saw her. I felt like such a douchebag mom since I didn't cry. Everyone said how beautiful she was. I was a proud mom, I still am.

When my sister in law came into the room she tells me that I'm the talk of the floor. Every nurse or doctor who walked by the waiting room was talking about the incredible birth that happened in room 30.

For those who were wondering, no Demi didn't inhale any of her poop. The pediatrician gave her a clean bill of health. The second she was out of me she started to cry, loudly on her own. :)

Today Demi is healthy and still even more beautiful then the day she was born.

When I had originally wanted to write this blog post I wanted to go into more details but having a three week baby at home is a bit time consuming. She takes up a lot of time and I love spending time with her.

And click HERE if you want to see pictures of Demi Hope! :)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

  Feeling a Little, I Dunno What?!

Would it be wrong to say that I'm feeling like a bad mother already? I guess it just doesn't make sense to anyone but me. I've been feeling miserable these past few days. I'm uncomfortable, I'm moody, and I'm just plain not very nice. Why? Because I'm pastdue/overdue/late to delivery Demi. I hate that I'm still pregnant and then I feel guilty for wanting to evict my child from my body.

I mean, its not like I want her out just for the sake of kicking her out. Everyone I talk to (family members) tell me, "She will come when she is ready". No, listen hear fuckers, she IS ready. I saw on the ultra sound. She has 2 arms, 2 legs, 10 fingers, 10 toes, two working lungs (we watched her take practice breaths!), a cute little stomach, a brain and a fully functioning 4 chamber heart. Um she's done. She could have been born a month ago and all would have been great. I'm currently 10 days past due and my discomfort grows by the minute. She is putting so much pressure on my pelvis that walking is NOT something I can do comfortably anymore. I can't find a comfortable position to sleep and well, at this point I'm just plain paranoid.

My bad mood is affecting my family and friends. I am avoiding their telephone calls and emails because, well, lets be honest. If you were past due wouldn't you hate answering calls about..."So are you still pregnant?" "Aren't you in labour yet?" "Why hasn't your doctor induced you yet?" and a plethora of other questions. Um don't you think if I was in labor or had delivered my baby that you would know? I'm not the type of person to hide that. I'd most likely call one person and then the chain would start and within 10 minutes everyone who has to know would know. STOP ASKING.

I was even polite on Saturday and asked my family members to, "Please stop asking me questions about when I'll deliver. When it happens you'll find out," but apparently my family doesn't know how to take a hint. The best part is when I refuse to answer the phone because I know why they are calling these are the messages that get left on my phone. "Hi Jenny and George, I'm just calling to see how you are doing. I was wondering how you are feeling..well I don't want to keep calling to bother you so..." Um you are bothering me and you are calling me so stop.

I guess I sound ungrateful but you have to understand that at a certain point and time you just get frustrated! I think the best is when someone who has had a kid (or 4) tries to pretend to be your doctor. "Oh my god. I think you need to change doctors, this is ridiculous, why would they let you go over so much. This isn't normal. You need to complain." Um lets see how many ways you are wrong. My doctor is head of OBGYN, she's one of the top rated OBGYNs in Canada, she is a high risk SPECIALIST and if she thought there was a reason to be concerned she'd do something about it. My doctor is YOUR doctors boss so how about you shut your pie hole and just leave me alone?

The hospital has a list of 20 women that are currently waiting to be induced. I'm number 8 on the list. Yesterday they told my husband that I would most likely be called in today. I still haven't gotten a call. Just to be on the safe side I called my doctor yesterday just to see if I'd need to see her for an appointment since I have to go once a week. My doctor told me to come in at 430pm. I get there and wait patiently in the waiting room. She gets paged to go deliver a baby and I'm freaking out now thinking she isn't going to see me.

She asks her assistant to get the room ready for me. She wants to examine me before she runs off to deliver the baby. I go to the examining room. Doctor comes in, I'm 2cm dilated. She's furious that I haven't been called in for an induction yet. She said she's been watching my name move up on the list but she isn't happy about where I am. She told me if I don't go into labor on my own by Thursday that she is inducing me same day no matter what. The hospital is full right now. The birthing center is over flowing (I guess people had nothing better to do in July...its true we had a miserable summer!!) and they have no beds (great perk to free health care eh?). She is going to find me a place if I don't do this on my own by Thursday. She told me to take it easy though. She doesn't want me walking around trying to get labor started because she doesn't want my MG to flare up and then cause problems when it comes time to push. We really want to do a natural birth (with epidural) and avoid a c-section at all costs. If my body gets too tired, I'll have no choice but to get a c-section.

So now here I am Wednesday morning at nearly 7am writing a blog. My spirits are in a bit better mood because I know that no matter what, this will all be over with by tomorrow. I'll finally get to hold my little princess in my arms.

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