Friday, May 12, 2006

Curse You, Magnesium!

I took quite a while to dilate - I seemed to hold on to 4 cm forever, then I suddenly jumped to 7, then 10 at around 4:00 am on Sunday, April 2. I started pushing, which was tough between not being able to feel due to the epidural, and feeling drugged, due to the magnesium. Gosh, I wanted so badly just to be alert for the birth! We used a mirror so I could see my progress, but the magnesium also relaxed the muscles in my eyes so it was hard to focus. I do recall being concened about pushing so hard that I would break blood vessls in my face, but I avoided that occurence. The nurse said I was doing great, which surprised the hell out of me. How on earth could you tell? She put her finger in my vagina and said "feel this: it's your baby's head!" I felt the top of his head with my hand - I couldn't believe it was there, or that I could feel it. I just couldn't get anywhere trying to push it out. Mr. Right was quiet throughout this whole thing, and the nurse made a comment about it, probably because she's used to expectant dad's cheerleading their wives (which I think is great, BTW). Mr. R told me later he was quiet because he was concentrating on my vitals, the baby's fetal monitor strips, what the nurse was doing, what I was doing... making sure no one made a mistake.

By 7:00 am my OB came back and told me to take a nap, then push again in 20 minutes to see where we are. I was so exhausted, that yes, I napped during labor. The last hurrah went nowhere, so he told us he'd like to do a C-section. I said - "by all means: go right ahead!" I also asked him that while he was in there, could he please perform a tubal ligation. I had thought about this for months and decided this would be the most practical approach. If we were going to get pg again, it would need to be through IVF, whether with my eggs or with my cousins. I couldn't bear the thought of needing to terminate another pregnancy due to an affected or carrier baby. I never want to go through that again. Hence my decision, and after explaining this to my OB, he said he would certainly take care of it.

The got the team ready and brought me into the OR. I had always hoped to be able to see the baby being born, but not only did they have the screen up, I couldn't lift my head due to the magnesium. I felt so out of it. Thankfully Mr. Right was there on my right side and could relay the events as they unfolded. He said that as soon as the Bee's head "popped" out of the incision, he was crying and his lower lip was trembling. Bee was delivered, cord cut by the doctors, and whisked away for tests and to be cleaned up. When I first heard him cry, I cried too. It ws awful not being able to see him. So much for starting off bonding. It was terribly uncomfortable when they stuffed my uterus back into my abdominal incision - Mr. R said it was surreal to watch this, and he was glad I couldn't see.

After they put everything back in it's proper place and tied my tubes, I remember being in the recovery room. Mr. R brought the Bee over for me to see him - he was so fuzzy becase I couldn't focus clearly. I couldn't even speak properly, my toungue was heavy and I had such a hard time controlling any of my muscles. Later, when I started to nurse him, I could barely make out his face. Now that was frustrating. My in-laws were there, and Mr. Right called my Dad, who came down right after his 10:00 am service and brought me roses. People were happy and excited, and I ws so relieved he was healthy (9 & 9 apgar scores, can't argue with that), but I felt so strange. Sad, that this little being was no longer inside me, discarded because biologically, he didn't come from my egg. I wondered if Mr. R's parent's would be this happy of the situation had been revsersed and we had used a sperm donor. (I voiced this to Mr. R later and he assured me that they would). This feeling did wear off, but it was a little unsettling there for a while.

The magnesium didn't wear off until Tuesday night, and my MIL stayed with me during the day to help out - Boy was I grateful!

Wee one is crying for his supper, so we'll catch up again later, shall we? Be well!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Best Laid Plans...

Well, as I am pretty much back at work and the muffin is sleeping yet stirring, I thought I'd fill you in on the whole delivery thing.

I was due on April 10th, and I was kinda hoping he'd be a bit late because I still had so much to do. My mother-in-law threw me a fantastic baby shower - I was really flattered - but it was March 19th. That's cutting it a bit close for me, but for whatever reasons, that's when she decided to do it.

After I discontinued the baby aspirin in the 36th week, I started having elevated blood pressure readings at the doctors. My legs and feet were swollen, and I could only wear pants, as I was extremely limited on footwear. A friend send me some great comfy maternity dresses, but I couldn't wear appropriate shoes, so I stuck to my jeans and black pants. No problem.

My OB kept an eye on the blood pressure, but then I started to register protein in my urine. On March 22nd, my OB ordered a 24 hour urine collection. I saw him on the 31st, and he was still waiting for the results. If he didn't like them, he wanted to induce me right away.

When Friday evening came and went, we figured no news was good news. Saturday, April 1st Mr. Right & I planned to run some errands then come back and work - I had a case due on Monday and he had some projects for work that needed completing as well. The next day we planned on going to Babies R Us to pick up some stuff we still needed. About 9:30 a.m. we received the call from my OB: unfortunately, the levels of protein weren't good. The hospital could take me for an induction at 12 noon. this was not an April Fool's joke. Ummmmm...

Okaaaaay... not really prepared for this, but what are you going to do? We ran around a little frantically to try to get things in order. My bag had been mostly packed except for the daily toiletries, but I still felt tremendously unprepared. We drove to the hospital excited and nervous; couldn't belive this was happening! Little sad I wouldn'tstart having contractions on my own and have to tell Mr. R "Honey, it's time." But, again, what are you going to do?

I'm going to quickly go though my "birth plan" and tell you what I was kinda hoping for in a delivery. I wanted to be able to walk around, and use the jacuzzi if available (just for relaxation, not delivery. I wanted to feel the contractions, but wanted an epidural before it was too late. I wanted Mr. Right in the labor & delivery room, I was hoping to avoid an episiotomy (we started doing the perineal massage, which was actually pretty painful in and of itself, but helpful). I wanteda mirror so I could see the Bee enter the world. We wanted for Mr. R to cut his cord, for them to lay the Bee on me for that skin-to-skin contact and for him to nurse as soon as all the necessary stuff was out of the way. Formula: not an option. Breast milk only for my boy! So that pretty much sums up what I thought my delivery would be like, although we were open and flexible. Bottom line: we really just wanted a healthy mother and healthy child.

We did get our bottom line, but the path getting there was a bit more circuitious: They gave me pitocin to induce me, but also gave me magnesium to prevent seizures and keep my blood pressure down. I asked the nurse how it would make me feel, and she responded with: "the worst you've ever felt in your life." I actually thought she was joking. The magnesium relxed my muscles. The pitocin caused the muscles of my uterus to contract, so it was quite a balancing act.

For a while, I couldn't even tell I was having contractions. We had to check the fetal monitor strips to find out. My in-laws were in the room, as well as my Dad & his partner. Nothing was going on, so it was a nice visit. by around 8 pm, nothing much was developing, and I think everyone was getting a little bored and hungry, so they all left. I asked my OB if Icould walk around and was told no. I said " I thought walking was good for-" "Not for you." Again, apparently v. important to keep the blood pressure from rising. Jacuzzi was also out. I was dilating rediculously slowly. When I was about 3 cm, the pain started to really kick in. After talking with my doc, we decided to wait until 4 cm for the epidural. I am a huge baby when it comes to pain. I went through a labor once before with nothing but morphine, which just made me sleepy, so I was definitely going with the epidural. After reading Suz's account I was a little nervous, but the doctor did a great job and it went off without a hitch. Except that my blood pressure plumeted to 55/20, and I nearly passed out. Mr. Right was a little panicky, but the nurses treated me calmly and cooly and had the situation remedied within a minute.

Muffin is now starting to get antsy, so I'm off like a herd of dirty turtles. More to come, which is good as this is pretty lengthy anyway. : )