Saturday, November 7, 2009

Was it Something I Said? (The Birth Story)

So, clearly, the best way to induce labor is to insult your pregnancy with a "Dear John" blog. Several people have commented how funny it is that, on the day of telling my pregnancy how annoying I found it, it ended. I believe my cousin said it best. The comment she left on my last blog entry after finding out I'd be having the baby? "I think your pregnancy may have taken this very personally. I don't think it just left. I think it slammed the door in your face!" Indeed.

After that last "infamous" entry, I headed to my OB appointment for the week. It was the last one I was supposed to have with this OB, because my doctor would finally be returning from vacation on Sunday. Psht! The doctor did my first office check. I had been checked 3.5 days earlier at the hospital because I thought I might have been leaking fluid. In the hospital, I had been 1 cm and not effaced enough to mention. By Tuesday morning, the doctor informed me that I was now at a 2-3 and 80% effaced. He asked a few seemingly uninformative questions, but then informed me, while I needed to make an appointment with my regular OB for next week, he did not think I was going to make it til then. (My mom reckons he whispered a little something up there or used a little voodoo magic during the check so that he could get my hospital fee)

When I got home, it was hard not to feel excited. I was having back pain and contractions, but I told myself it was my imagination or wishful thinking. When things continued to feel progressively uncomfortable 4 or 5 hours later, I decided to call the doctor's office back and was prepared for them to tell me that was normal. Instead, I was told to go to Labor & Delivery.

Say what?!! My husband and I headed over to the hospital to see what was up. The doctor checked and said I was now a "stretchy 3" (how's that for hot terminology?) and 100% effaced. Instead of sending me home to have me come back later, he decided to break my water and get things moving. That all happened in about 45 minutes. After the OB had left the room, I was staring at my husband with coaster-sized eyeballs. We were about to have a baby! That's not exactly what I'd expected for the day.

I labored pain med free for about 3 hours, with intense contractions about 1-2 minutes apart. With my first son, I still wasn't sure the epidural had worked, so I was reluctant to get it this time. When the pain started becoming pretty unbearable, I told my mom that, if I'd made good progress, I was gonna keep going. If not, I'd talk about the meds. By the time I finally got checked again, they said I was a "loose 4." That was not the answer I was hoping to get.

The nurse, who had done natural labors herself, was very encouraging and wonderful but she told me that with my family's and my history of quick transitions and push times that I wouldn't have long to make a decision. She also said that she didn't think the epidural had worked either after I relayed my original labor horror story. I told her I'd give the epi a try after I continued to hear my cousin in the back of my mind saying, "If you want it, get it. Don't be a hero!" The nurse told me not to worry about it and just to relax. She was fantastic, by the way, and smelled like cookies! I told her that and she laughed and said maybe it was because she'd made banana nut muffins earlier that day. I nodded while I secretly thought, "No, you clearly smell like Tagalongs!"

Like this, only with scrubs!

I can now say with complete and utter confidence, my first epidural did NOT work!!!

Immediately after receiving the catheter in my back and laying down, my legs started to get really tingly. I just kept saying at every turn, "This is different from last time. This is different already." There were things I didn't like about the epidural, like how it made me feel and my horribly uncontrollable shakes (which came at the beginning and the end). I could feel like a pinch which hurt but not nearly as bad as the contractions had before. I told the nurse twice about the pinch and we shifted my position. She asked if I felt pressure in my bottom and I said no, so she asked if it was okay if she raised the bed up where I would be sitting to see if that would move the baby down. This was an hour after I'd gotten the epidural. She sat me up, walked out for 5 minutes and I was like "Ugh! I definitely feel it in my bottom." So my mom went and got her and she checked me and was like, "Yep, just like I thought. You're ready." Huh?!! Ready for what? For pushing?! I didn't feel at all like I did with Jamie, and I didn't really know when the contractions were even happening. The nurse told me when to go, I did. Everyone was saying, "Oh! Good Job! You're doing so good!" I was thinking, "Good at what?! What the heck am I doing?!" It didn't feel like anything was happening. However, I'm the apparent queen of pushing because I had about 10-15 minutes worth of pushing with Jamie and I pushed twice with Charlie (I think it was three times, but my mom and Tyler say two).

On November 4th, 2009 at 9:20 pm, Charles Grady was here! It was so amazing. I actually said "You're kidding me?! That was it?! That's what it was supposed to feel like last time?" I was on Cloud 9 and couldn't stop talking about it for hours. Everything has been easier in the recovery department, too. It's almost enough to erase the horror of what I experienced 18 months ago! We've been so excited to welcome home our 7 lb 1 oz little man. I am officially the proud mommy of 2 under 2. Now the adventure really begins!


Jessica said...

Congrats again! So happy I could be with you in spirit during the arrival of Charlie. Shall we go for three under...nope better not say it!

Tonya said...

I am so glad it was easier this time. He is precious.

Erika said...

I'm soooo glad you had a better experience this time around! He's an amazing little man, though it's not like I expected anything any different! :)

Matt and Shelby said...

he's precious! why do you suppose the epi didn't work last time. I know nothing about this stuff, so sorry if that is a stupid or prying question.

Jessi said...

I'm soooooo glad things were 500x easier with this labor & delivery!!! I've always heard that it gets easier and faster with each child you have. The first is always the worst. I hope that IF you decide to try for a 3rd Baby Belew, it's just as easy as this time, or even more so. :) Congrats on Charlie! He's adorable!

Your Favorite Redhead said...

i'm not sure, shelby. maybe it was because of how swollen i was, maybe it was because i have red hair, maybe they just did it wrong (the nurse this time told me that it happens).

Matt and Shelby said...

I've heard that it takes more anesthesia to knock out us redheads, but I've also heard we have a high tolerance for pain. good thing huh!?!?

Well I'm glad that you had a much better time of it on round 2.