Thursday, October 21, 2004

The last bit - the best part


My new favorite doctor in the entire world Dr. Chen, the “good” anesthesiologist, came in at around 3:00pm with his kit of happy drugs.

I was in too much pain to be scared about the epidural. I was just worried that I would not be able to stay still for Dr. Chen because as I said, I was getting contractions lasting up to 3 min. Just as one would fade away another would start up - it was insane. But I managed to sit up and Jack & a nurse were holding me and I tried to relax.

The first thing I felt was a sting in my back as Dr. Chen froze the epidural site. On a pain scale I would compare it to the Dr. breaking my water - not pleasant but over quickly. Next thing he did was put in the little tiny catheter that would administer the anesthesia. That was the weirdest thing I have ever felt - you can definitely feel the little tube fishing around in there while the doctor locates the correct spot but it isn't painful the way you would expect more achy. Again it was over fairly quickly.The last thing I remember about the epidural was a cool feeling down my back like they were pumping ice water directly into the tube.

Within in I would say three minutes I could already tell a difference in the quality or sharpness of the pain of my contractions. Then, I would say within five to 10 more minutes all I felt were cramps and by 15 minutes I felt nothing but pressure from the contractions. I could still feel my legs and feet but they felt very, very heavy and fuzzy like the way freezing feels in your face after you have had a filling at the dentist. I definitely could not walk and Jack or a nurse would have to help me move them to change positions.

I was down right giddy - just having the pain go away like that made me absurdly emotional (or maybe it was a side effect of the epidural I am not sure) but I now loved the entire nursing staff at the hospital and I worshipped Dr. Chen - of course I told them all how great they were. Jack was laughing at me I think but I did not care.
So it is about 3:45pm - I have 2 tubes in my arm, one in my back, the blood pressure cuff on my other arm and the monitor belts on my stomach. So when the nurse came to put in the catheter I was not surprised… I was however grateful that I would not have to get up to pee and even more grateful that I did not feel a thing.
By about 4:30pm the doctor said I was about 5 cm dilated. Okay. I was doing a crossword puzzle and Jack was reading a fitness magazine. If we were not in the hospital it would have been a nice quiet afternoon.

Jack & I would check the contractions on the monitor every once in a while. The spikes were off the chart and would plateau there for 30 seconds before going back down. I was SO relieved that I was not feeling them - good lord! They were lasting about 2 minutes and were about 30 seconds apart. I kept thinking how bloody stupid I was for not getting an epidural the first time around with DD…

The nurses would continue to check me every once in a while I was slowly progressing about 1 cm every hour.
About 7:00pm something weird started to happen - I was beginning to feel the contractions. I was not happy about this at all - it started to become damn painful. The nurse checked to see how dilated I was and said about 8 cm. I wanted more drugs and I wanted them pronto. The nurse said that I might not want to do that because I was so close and it might interfere with the pushing. I was freaking out and the new anesthesiologist came in to give me a top up.The top up helped immensely.

By 7:30pm I started to feel a lot of pressure and let the nurse know she checked me and said that I was 9 cm and could just feel a tiny but a cervix. They called in my doctor and set things up.
7:50pm - the doctor said I was ready to start pushing anytime and had me push once. She said that the baby was right there!

I was exhausted, but when they told me I could start pushing I was so relieved. It was almost over...
I could feel the pressure of the contractions so it did not interfere with the pushing at all.
Jack held on to one leg and my doctor was pushing up on the other. Jack and my doctor coached me through some tough pushes. I pushed like a son of a bitch for about 8 minutes. At one point I was yelling for the baby to come out. It was very intense.

My doctor told me to stop pushing. She was easing out the baby's head. Then after a small push Jack was saying that the baby's head was out. The baby's shoulders were a little difficult to get out but after one big push my doctor eased them out as well. A few more pushes later and my beautiful son was born. Jack cut the cord. It was 8:13pm.

So just over 12 hours from the time we got to the hospital I was holding our baby in my arms. Jack & I were laughing and crying at the same time.

It was so emotional and I was SO glad it was all over. Matthew was here and he was very healthy and quite a big guy weighing in at 9 pounds 2 ounces.

He was just perfect!!


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