This is one of those posts that has been writing itself in my brain for about two years. This will not be a short post. Probably no pictures. Just so you’re warned. Also there will be references to lady parts and centimeters and labor so if this is not your thing, do not proceed.
I’ve been thinking a lot about this boy baby flipping around in my stomach, and eventually he has to come out. It’s a little early to be thinking about that, but for me it is taking a lot of research and planning and eventually lots of time spent driving. Here’s why.
As you may remember, my labor with Isabelle was less than ideal. Well, it was less than MY ideal labor and delivery- the bottom line is she was born healthy and safe and because of that I am very grateful. I was overdue, miserable, uncomfortable, and disappointed I had seen nary a sign of imminent labor. At my last appointment, my doctor was sympathetic to my pleading and since I was measuring bigger than I should have, set up an induction for the following Sunday. I was thrilled that at last there was some plan in place naming the date and time we would get the show on the road.
I was 40 weeks 5 days when I arrived at the hospital, bags packed and full of excitement for what was to come. I was dilated to two centimeters, so we skipped cervadil in favor of good ol’ pitocin- the hard stuff. I spent the morning laboring, watched general conference, and anxiously discussed things with Jazz. He held my hand and talked to me and when he went to lunch, rushed back to be with me for my epidural. Pitocin has a nasty habit of making contractions stronger and faster than your body naturally does, so things got intense faster than I anticipated. Secretly I was happy I was in pain because it meant things were happening and I was progressing. Epidural placed, water broken, and then we waited.
Every 30 minutes or so, my nurse would come in and up my dosage of pitocin. Max pitocin at my hospital was about 35 mu/minute, and I remember looking at the monitor and realizing I was maxing out quickly.
2 pm. I was checked. I was 4 cm dilated.
4 pm. I was checked again. I was still 4 cm dilated. I cried.
6 pm. I was checked. I was still 4 cm dilated. My doctor came in and started dropping the ‘c-section’ bomb. We agreed to give my body more time. So I shifted positions frequently… My epidural was extremely heavy, I could not feel my legs or move around at all.
8 pm. I was checked again. I know my nurse wanted to desperately tell me that I had progressed, that I was further, and that I was off the c-section hook… but again, I was 4 cm dilated. My doctor came in again and we talked options. Because I had been at 4 cms for 8 hours, he explained that something was prohibiting my body from progressing further. He thought Isabelle was going to be a very large baby, and maybe my body couldn’t handle her. I begged for a few more hours to progress on my own before the final call was made, and he consented. I texted my family and asked them to pray that I would dilate. I cried. Jazz held my hand and wiped my tears and told me that I was doing a good job even though I felt like I was seriously failing at the most important job I had been given.
At 11, my doctor came in to check me. I knew I hadn’t progressed, but he checked me anyway and I was still at 4 cms. Not even 4+. Still a solid 4 cms. The facts were that I had been laboring for 16 hours with minimal progress on maximum pitocin, Isabelle was starting to show stress due to the large contractions being thrown her way every minute or so, and my body was beginning to swell in places that should not have been swelling. I consented to the c-section. I sobbed when they brought the papers in for me to sign. I sobbed when I squiggled some sort of illegible signature allowing them to cut open my abdomen and pull out my baby for me.
I cried when they prepped me. I cried when Jazz put on his blue suit. I felt so out of control of my own body, so frustrated that I couldn’t fix my own problem. I did have some sense to powder my nose before going to the operating room, I remember thinking how stupid I looked with my compact out dusting makeup on my horribly swollen and red face.
I was wheeled into the OR, given a huge dose of anesthesia in my epidural, and before I knew it, Isabelle was lifted over the blue curtain, purple and wiggly and perfect. They took her to the warmer and I heard her cry for the first time. I had heard lots of babies cry before- little ones and big ones but as soon as I heard her voice I knew she was mine, like she was always mine. She was wrapped up and brought to Jazz and he held her by my face so I could kiss her. Pictures were taken. I was sewn up. I was shakey, but not sick. I was happy she was here and it was over and she was healthy.
I was wheeled back to my labor room and it was weird to me that just an hour previous, I was sitting in the same room with a baby in my tummy, and now she was sitting next to me. Just like that. I called my family. And my best friend. Actually, Jazz called my family for me because I felt so defeated that I had a c-section, I felt ashamed that I failed and I didn’t want my mother to hear that in my voice.
Jazz took her for her first bath and got her cleaned up and she came back with a purple bow on her fuzzy head. Jazz told me he got to pick it out and he thought that purple would be my first color choice. He was right. He is so thoughtful. He showed me pictures of her crying under the water facet while they scrubbed her little body.
Just typing this makes me so weepy, those first moments when you bring a baby into your family are so sacred and so special, it’s been two years but I remember how her wrinkled feet felt and the way her lips didn’t quite close when she slept.
The rest of my hospital stay was wonderful. My mom came. She held me and I cried. She told me what I good job I did and that Isabelle was perfect and healthy and she was proud of me. It was just what I needed to hear. It took a team to get Isabelle nursing, and we worked on that. We slept. We watched pride and prejudice. One of us blacked out in the shower, no names. We were released, and then we were home.
I sat in the back seat next to Isabelle while Jazz drove 15 mph the whole way home. My mind was blown that suddenly there was a human being that needed me. I was no longer pregnant. But also, I really didn’t feel like I delivered my own baby.
To be continued.