Understanding Laura

I am a crunchy oddball with too many ideas and too little time. Do you get me now?

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Pardon the Rambling

25th November 2006
6:30 pm
Brian and I were watching a re-run of "King of Queens" when I felt a bit of moisture in my undies. I hopped up and went to the bathroom, worried that I might be bleeding. As soon as I stood up, the moisture turned into wetness. The weirdest feeling in the world! As I sat on the toilet, I heard a trickle that made me think I was peeing. I wasn't. At least, it didn't feel like I was peeing. I asked Brian to call Tora. She asked to talk to me and I described the "wet" feeling and the trickle sound. When I went to stand up, the trickle increased. She said I should go to the hospital. Why the hospital and not to the birthing center? Because Tora is only qualified to deliver full-term babies - 37 to 42 weeks gestation. I asked if I should hurry or if we had time to burn. She said I shouldn't dawdle. So we got the hospital bag, the baby bag, and Brian buckled the car seat into the car.
7:00 pm
We walked into the maternity center at Providence Hospital in Anchorage. The woman at the desk looked up at me and asked how she could help. I told her that I thought my water had broken, but that I wasn't having contractions. I calmly signed papers and joked about how we would only be there a few hours before we could go home. Brian, myself, and the nurse walked back to a transition room. They put what I would call a "piddle pad" on the bed for me to sit on. While they were finding the right people to do the right tests, I leaked a good sized puddle onto the piddle pad. Then they wanted a cup of my water... (Ummm... It's all on the bed. Can you just take the piddle pad?) They still needed the water, so I walked, I kid you not, with a specimen cup tucked between my thighs to the ultrasound room. They confirmed that Kellie was head-down and thoroughly violated me with a speculum. I am no stranger to the pap smear and have endured my fair share of vaginal examinations. But they let a student nurse do my exam (without asking me!) and she seemed to think it was a straight shot and kept ramming the speculum harder and harder when it became clear that the path was not as smooth as she'd planned. After attempt two, Brian glared at the teaching nurse who took over and saved me from having broken girl parts forever.
7:30 pm
My contractions began (I'm sure because of my overzealous student nurse) and they were so mild I had to guess when they began and when they ended. (I guess it doesn't hurt like it did twenty seconds ago... I don't know.) I was dilated almost to a two. (Same as I was the day contractions started and I had to have shots of Tributylene to stop them.) At this point, I was still convinced that I'd be sent home without having delivered. It still felt like a false alarm. I'd had menstrual cramps worse than those contractions.
8:00 pm
The nurses checked my cervix again and I was at three centimeters. It was confirmed that we would be having a baby soon, if not that night. We were moved to a labor and delivery room reserved for premature births. I walked from wall to wall, touching things lightly. It was almost like the focal point they talk about in hypnobirthing. I saw a light switch, I walked to it and touched it. I saw a faucet, I walked to it and touched it. I saw a table corner... The pain increased to the point that during a contraction, I would hear people ask me a question and I wouldn't answer. Instead, I stored the question in another part of my mind and when the contraction subsided, I would answer all the questions at once. (No, I'm not allergice to latex. Yes, I would like some water. No, I don't want to sit down!)
8:30 pm
Brian called Tora (My midwife) to give her an update. She said she'd be there as soon as she could, but that she had to pick up her husband from the airport. (He'd been given two weeks of rest and relaxation from the Army.) Becky, Tora's student midwife, came in her stead. I met the doctor who would catch Kellie. She was a resident, Dr. Richey was the attending doctor. (Dr. Richey takes Tora's high risk, premature, and intervention births.) I remember very few names. It felt like every room I went into, two new faces were in front of me. I quit caring. Especially when their name was told to me during a contraction.
9:00 pm
The nurse set up a yoga ball in the shower and left me to it. That yoga ball felt glorious! As I sat on the ball, I relaxed a little and was able to make it through the time Brian was out calling family. (These times are all estimates. I don't know if this happens in all births, but time meant nothing to me.) I would sit in the shower waiting for a contraction, then as I hit the peak of one, I found myself sitting on the toilet. And so it went, the whole time Brian was gone, shower-toilet, shower-toilet, shower-toilet. Brian came in and I had a list of things I wanted to feel more comfortable. I don't know if I asked nice, but I asked for my contact case, my glasses, and my water bottle. Then I asked him to GET ME OUT OF THAT SHOWER AND GET ME SOME DRUGS! That, I'm pretty sure, I wasn't nice about asking.
9:30 pm
Before I was given a shot of Demerol, they had to check my cervix again. I was five centimeters dilated. The Demerol made me all sorts of friendly, but they wouldn't let me do my walking/touching thing. I remember my answers sounding very lucid to me, but hearing people laugh. Why would they laugh when I answered honestly? (What is your ring made of? "I don't know... I bought it at a pawn shop for forty bucks. Metal?" Laughter.)
10:00-11:00 pm
Becky rubbed my back. I don't know when she got there, but she was my new focal point. She was my new doorknob/bed rail/sofa arm. I focused on her voice and her back rubbing. The pain got to be unbearable and I asked for an epidural. (I may have screamed for an epidural.) They said they'd get paperwork for me to sign and an anesthesiologist to come explain the risks and benefits. They gave me the paperwork and I clutched it in my hand during contractions and didn't care a bit when I wasn't contracting. (Needless to say, I never read that paper.) They told me I couldn't get up and walk around while I had an epidural. My concern? How will I go to the bathroom? Becky told me that they'd be inserting a catheter into my urethra. (A what?? I don't want a catheter!!) What I said was "No. No catheter." An awkward silence followed by Becky saying that I had to have one. I sobbed and waited for the contraction to let up. (Fine! I'll take the catheter!) I asked for a pen as Becky was telling me how much more comfortable I'd be. My question? Why will I be more comfortable? Because they'll take off your belly band monitors. (They will?? That's great!) And they'll insert an internal monitor. (A what?? I don't want that!) No internal monitor. No catheter. NO EPIDURAL!
11:00 pm
When the doctor came in to tell us that the anesthesiologist was on the way, Brian told her that I didn't want an epidural anymore. (She what??) Yes, that's right. She doesn't want an epidural anymore. (But...that's unheard of!) The doctor very reluctantly leaves and I'm sure I inconvenienced some poor anesthesiologist who didn't get to poke a very big needle into a very big woman. I buckled down and focused on Becky's advice. (Work with the contraction. Let it do it's job. Don't scream! Laura, you can't scream! Your baby is just as worried as you are and she doesn't need you screaming. Laura! Don't scream! Moan, like this, "Ohhhhhh.... Ahhhhh... Ooooooh.") Yes, that calmed me down. I don't know why. So I let the contractions work for me. I focused all my energy on my cervix. I breathed, I moaned, I screamed occasionally. I even remember knocking on the bed rail like you would a door. (Knock knock! Who's there? Back-breaking pain!)
11:10 pm
I felt an overwhelming urge to push. What? I have to wait? For who?? Tora's here! (She'd gotten there around 11:05, I think.) Dr. Richey was on his way. The resident doctor checked my cervix, which didn't hurt as bad as I'd thought it would. She had her whole freakin' arm in me! I was at eight centimeters. I wanted to push! Right then!
11:15 pm
The NICU team came into the room. I was introduced, but I never saw their faces. Though they got an eyeful as I'd ditched my hospital gown some time around 4 centimeters. (I hate this thing!) Where is Dr. Richey?!? I'm going to push! I'm going to! You can't stop me!
11:20 pm
Dr. Richey made it! You can push! (I can what? All right! I'm going to right NOW!)
11:35 pm
They had me feel her head. Gross. I could feel her knees and elbows coming out. I still remember that feeling. Intense.
11:41 pm
Kellie Allison is born. Healthy and a little less happy than she would have been had her Mom not screamed as often as she had.

7 Comments:

  • At 5:52 PM, Anonymous Auntie Em said…

    Oh thank you for sharing the story! It felt like I was there with you! But what I wouldn't have paid to have seen you in child birth!!! Love ya honey bunches!! :)

     
  • At 7:07 PM, Blogger RuthieMom2 said…

    Wow, Laura, you've described the event so beautifully. Thanks for sharing.

    You Bagley Children have always had a gift for writing.

    Love you bunches!

     
  • At 11:18 PM, Anonymous Mara said…

    yay for laura! i didn't get the epidural either... this childbirth thing is what women were made to do!
    I'm sorry you didn't get to deliver at the birthing center, but at least you got a yoga ball! And did you notice? Anjali and Kellie's birthdays were the same time apart as their due dates...we both had preemies at 35 weeks! Must be a Greiner thing...

     
  • At 8:28 AM, Blogger Heather said…

    So sorry about the student nurse and the speculum. That must have been great having your water naturally broken. I am always in wonderment about labor when my contractions start.So happy to see that you did ok without the epidural.
    Yeah those doctors and having to wait for them, isn't that aweful! My sentiments...they don't need to be there to catch and its coming out without them anyway.
    I hope that I can be as good of an aunt to Kellie as you have been to my children (even though we are thousands of miles away).

     
  • At 1:42 PM, Blogger Staci Banner said…

    So good to hear Kellie's birth story. You are so brave to have not gotten the epidural. My sister had her first two kids natural, and the last two she got an epidural.

     
  • At 1:45 PM, Blogger Kara said…

    That is awesome, Laura! Super intense. You are a brave, courageous woman! Go La oo rah!

     
  • At 6:10 PM, Blogger MartaMolly said…

    Yay! for Brian standing up for you in a turning point moment, way-to-go Bri!
    I love that Tora and Becky were there for you, a rock of focus, stability and compassion I'm sure. Although I missed the birth, I am happy to say, I didn't miss you sreaming one bit, *) your best "owie dance" couldn't have expressed the pain you felt. I wondered for quite a few months how you would handle that intense pain and not sream. I decided that you most undoubtedly would SCREAM!
    Kellie is so very precious, and I am confident in your capabilities as a first-time mother, lucky Kellie to have such awesome parents! Oh and let's not forget,Zoe too!
    Did you ever think you could love so deeply and completely after Brian?
    The cool thing is, that your love for Brian never changed, but maybe even enhanced it?
    Love you tonz my baby girl, Laurakinze.

     

Post a Comment

<< Home