Monday, August 16, 2010

The Birth Story: Is There a Labor/Childbirth App?

All things aside, I have determined to turn this blog into my memoirs of my maternity leave. As all things must have some catchy name, I have decided to name it "The Maternity Leave Monologues". That is catchy enough, right? Either way, cut me some slack...I'm an engineer by trade. Without further to do, let me get to the birth story (this will be long, they usually are):

After my first pregnancy, I made sure to always sleep in my bed especially in my last few weeks of my pregnancy. Given that the weekend was consistently in the 90's, we decided to spend Sunday night sleeping on or aerobed in our basement. You can guess what happened next.

I awoke at exactly 1am to my toddler tossing and turning around, but what made me truly awoke me was a slight gush of you know what and you know where. I just laid there without moving in hopes that I didn't feel what just happened and sure enough I finally got up to check what was going on. Was this labor or is it just false labor again? Am I sweating or did my water just break? Is there an app for childbirth? I mean there is an app for everything else, there has to be one and why do I not have it.

As I finally made my way to the bathroom, I realized that I had the 3rd symptom of labor. I guess I would have considered it my 2.5 symptom of labor since I still was not sure if my water had broken. Either way, I started to freak out since my 3rd symptom showed up a day after my false water broke (my term for my first bag of water breaking) during my first pregnancy and now my 3rd symptom decided to rear its ugly head an ungodly 10 minutes later. After waking up my husband, my fellow squirrel friend, and my parents, I finally decided to call my doctor. Big mistake...or so I thought at the time. After trying to convince the on-call doctor that I must be experiencing false labor, my OB must have made it clear in my chart to send me to the hospital at the onset of labor, false or not. So once again I took my time to finish packing my suitcase, deciding what to wear and whether or not I should drive myself to hospital. This was starting to become a nightmare because we had nowhere or no one to watch our son, and what kind of parents would we be to have our 2 year old witness childbirth? You think I would have learned my lesson after my first pregnancy but once again I finally showed up at the 3am. That was also after my husband grabbed the car seat on our way out the door and I yelled at him that we might not need...deja vu #2.

Once at the hospital, the triage nurse was convinced that my water hadn't broke and that I was just experience false labor. Somehow, my lab results came back positive that my water had broke however since I had symptom #3 it made the results somewhat questionable. I hear the nurses talking about my lab results and I was certain we would get sent home. I wasn't even having any contractions but after another hour of being monitored I was starting to get pissed since I was thinking I would still need to be at work and it was already 4:30am. But at 5am when the nurse finally comes back, she announces the news that I was going to get admitted. My response: "does this mean I don't get to leave the hospital until the baby is out?" If only I had a picture of the nurse's look when I asked that question.

So as I am getting led into my labor and delivery room, all I could think about is that everyone must be making a mistake. My due date was still 11 days away! I had just discovered gelato and there was still one more pay period between now and my due date. How could the baby want out right now? What do I do's 5am, I have a deadline and cannot call anyone at work, and I have nothing to help me endure a long labor. I was still able to laugh, I couldn't feel contractions, I don't own an ipod (as if there is a docking station in the room), and my toddler is still with us. I finally wrangle my dad to drive out and pick up my son and I learn that I have a small window time frame as to when I can get an epidural since all the scheduled c-sections would be making their way into the hospital around 8am.

So I spend 5am to 7am debating whether or not to get an epidural. I did it once without any pain meds and I am still alive, so why not try it again? Turns out a reason why I was not in active labor was because my second bag of water was still in tact. I was told that my doctor would make his rounds starting at 7am and if it hasn't broken by then my doctor will go in a break it for me. Okay, maybe this epidural sounds like a good idea. The icing on the cake came when I finally asked my doctor how big he thought the baby was and he guesses 7 pounds. Okay, well bring on the meds.

Getting the epidural was a bit of a challenge but I am still here to tell about it. Once my doctor broke my water, my labor went just as quick as my first pregnancy. Well I guess I am glad I went to the hospital, my water probably would have broke at work and I would have had to deliver the baby without any pain meds again. But Andrew John Shelton graced us with his presence at 9:42am at 7 pounds 12 ounces and 19.5 inches long. We couldn't be blessed with a more calm, mellow, and perfect baby! But we'll see how his first night outside of the womb goes...

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