Friday, March 26, 2010

Douglas James, Part III

Friday, March 19th

On Friday, I was woken up at about 5:30 am to check my dilation. I had only progressed another centimeter to 5 cm. They decided to up my Pitocin and come back in an hour. An hour later I was still the same, but they decided to break my water. I should note that they had delayed breaking my water because I had tested positive for Group B Strep. So they increased the Pitocin and broke my water. Actually, the water broke just on contact with an exam, it was going to go soon anyway. And man. Holy cow! The contractions started coming on fast and furious. I'd like gone from 0 to 60 in thirty seconds with the contractions. For a while Jeff coached me through them and it was ok. But I knew that these contractions were way too strong and that I'd be at it all day long, so I requested an epidural. Requested would be putting it nicely. Begged and demanded would be a bit more accurate. I was told that the anesthesiologist has just gotten to the hospital and in all likelihood wouldn't be able to be there for at least 45 minutes. I clearly needed something, so they game me some narcotics. Which were lovely. Ironically, ten minutes later the anesthesiologist got there and shortly after I got set up with the epidural. The other reason that I wanted an epidural, was that at this point, I was pretty damn sure I was looking at an emergency c-section at some point in the day, and that I'd rather be ready to go for it. I eventually felt relaxed enough to take some naps throughout the day. As the day wore on, and on and on and on, they increased my Pitocin. Unfortunately, the epidural dispenser dealie was malfunctioning at times and I wasn't getting as much as I should have been. Luckily, some one believed us and they checked it each time and fixed it.

At about 6:30 that evening things began to change. I was started to feel the contractions again, despite the epidural working. They weren't horrific, but at the same time it wasn't comfortable. I should also note that I had to do all of this lying down in bed, so I couldn't move or walk around to make the contractions more bearable. At this point I was connected to quite a bit of tubes. I had an IV in my arm with saline, Pitocin and penicillin. I had the epidural catheter in my back. I also had a foley catheter. They wanted to better monitor my contractions, so I had an internal monitor there. They also wanted to better monitor Doug's heart rate, so he had a monitor in his scalp (we tried not to think about that so much). Then my water had been broken so long at this point that they decided to add more back in there. So yeah, I wasn't going anywhere any time soon. I think this was also about the time they added the oxygen mask. In retrospect, I'm very glad I wasn't set on a certain birth, that I was open to the fact that there could need to be intervention, because there was a LOT of it.

Around this time I had a horrific contraction. The monitor that rates them had been rating most of them at around 100 or so. This one hit the monitor at 435. It was quite strong. More alarmingly though, was how Doug responded to it. His heart rate was yo-yoing from 160-70. I yelled at Jeff to call some one, and as soon as he did, the room flooded with people. I'd never seen so many people so fast! They got me situated on my other side and Doug calmed down. I hadn't quite yet, but I was trying to keep it together so he could get enough oxygen. After we were both stable my doctor, who I should add was my favorite from the practice, checked me and I was at 8 cm. Doug was still very high up, at about -2. She told me she'd give it half an hour for me to dilate to 10 and his head to descend, but in the mean time they were going to start prepping me for a c-section, so that it wouldn't be so rushed. Well, half an hour came and I'd dilated to a 9, but Doug was still nestled in up there. Luckily because I'd gotten the epidural hours earlier they didn't have to do much except shave and top off my epidural for surgery. So they gave Jeff some scrubs and wheeled me down to the O.R. Once there I was actually able to shimmy myself over to the table, which made my anesthesiologist want to give me more meds, because I was clearly quite mobile still. It seemed next to no time that Jeff was sitting next to my head and they were starting. If you ask Jeff however, he said it was forever until they let him back there with me. Not too long into it they wrestled Doug out, the first thing Jeff told me was that the baby had hair. The doctor told the staff that we didn't know what the baby was, so Jeff got to tell me. Doug was screaming, which is possibly the best sound I've ever heard in my life. They took him over and cleaned him up, he promptly peed all over the warming table. They wrapped him up and handed him off to Jeff, and I got to touch his little cheek. The only thing I didn't like was the unbearable shivering after he was born. I just couldn't get warm. After they closed me up I got some nice warm blankets, and by the time we were all in recovery I was decently warm again. We couldn't have been in recovery more than 5 minutes when the phone rang. Jeff and I just looked at each other and the nurse assured us that it was for us. Jeff answered it, and sure enough it was my mom. She had evidently called ten minutes before Doug was born and was told I wasn't there, and to call back in an hour. She wanted to talk to me and Jeff had to tell her I was busy breast feeding. I don't know what she said but she was very happy and then I heard Jeff say, "It's a boy, we'll call you guys back in a bit." They left the three of us in recovery for about an hour, and then they came to collect Doug and take him to the nursery. I got to relax and just process everything that had happened, and Jeff went to call his parents. About an hour or so later the three of us were united and settled into the postpartum room for the night.

Saturday, March 20th

That night I stayed hooked up to most of the things, except the epidural, and I got a little pump for the pain. I was assured by my doctor that everything would be removed in the morning and that I could get up and move around. So the next morning I got woken up by a nurse and a student nurse. I asked to get disconnected from everything and they told me they'd see what's going on. Then the instructor nurse chewed me out for taking my own medication (my synthroid) even though the L&D nurses and ALL of the doctors I'd see were more than ok with it. I really had nothing but trouble with these two nurses. I won't go into it too much, but the student nurse was just outrageously bad. At this point, I'd been disconnected from the medications, but not the iv itself. It was in my left wrist and had been since Tuesday. I could see that the area was red and irritated, I couldn't use my left arm at this point, the pain was greater than the incision pain. I'd been asking ALL morning to have the damn thing removed. Finally the lactation consultant (who was an RN) was there to hear me ask the student nurse about it for the 87th time. She could see it was interfering with the breast feeding and she removed it. It was clearly infected. Not so good. I had been holding Doug with my right arm, so stupid student nurse had to take my blood pressure with my left arm. Two seconds after she removed the IV. What do you think happened? Yeah, not pretty. Anyway, later that day she came back to take it again, and my bp was high, because at this point saying I was pissed off with her was putting it mildly. So she said she needed to take it again. I informed her it would be high. She asked why. I very carefully weighed my words. I was perilously close to tearing into her for her extreme ineptness, so I said "I'm not very happy with the care I'm receiving. This IV site is clearly infected." She then asked me to lay on my left side to take my blood pressure. I informed her, in no uncertain terms, that I would NOT by laying on my incision. I told her to send some one else back in 20 minutes to do it. Not too long after the head nurse came to check on my infection. Apparently, until my outburst happened, she'd been unaware. Sigh. It all worked out for the best and I never had to see the stupid student nurse again. I do have other stories, but that one is the best. Or worst.

So, everything went fine. Once I was unplugged from everything I was up and about and most people didn't realize I was a c-section. After being there for 3 days, Monday I requested that Doug and I be released early, and we were. We even got to go to Target that night! So, we've been hanging out at home, sleeping when we can, and taking tons of pictures. And laughing. My incision hurts so much from laughing. I didn't realize that adding a near 7 lb person to the house would so dramatically increase the amount of laundry we do!

So, that is the end of the story of Doug's birth and the beginning of the story of his life :)

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